Monday, 11 October 2010

Crazy times people - CRAZY!

Crazy times indeed.

As it happens, I'm pregnant.

As it happens, I didn't know I was pregnant.

I am thankful I didn't run the Lochness Marathon because, as it turned out, I am pregnant.

I am THRILLED to be pregnant!!

I am NOT thrilled about having to go through morning sickness again.

I am very very tired, but I went for a 5.2 mile run this evening and, even though I felt tired, it felt good getting out there amongst the birds and the trees (I could have said "birds and the bees" but felt that would just be WRONG as it is because of the birds and the bees that I happen to find myself pregnant!!)...

Anyhoo, yes, it felt GREAT to be running again after having to back off my training so my achilles and knee could recover.

I am pleased to have a good level of fitness (pretty much marathon fitness) going into this pregnancy and I aim to keep running (sensibly) throughout this pregnancy like I did with my previous two. Makes those babies healthy and strong (and hopefully not toooooo big...!)

Well, that's my news and a quick update from me.

Happy and Healthy Running!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

The spirit is willing but the flesh (achilles and knee) is weak

So this is the way of it - my achilles and my knee have thrown in the towel.
With only 1 week to go they couldn't handle the demands of marathon training.
So I'm pretty gutted right about now.

I could only do 7 miles today before the pain kicked in...

I know it's been a while since my last post but I couldn't bring myself to admit there was a potential problem for my first much anticipated marathon...

Anyhoo, I figure it's best to listen to the painful cries of these tendons and give them time to sort out their shit rather than keep on pushing through and likely do permanent damage right?

There'll be other marathons.
Yes, there'll be other marathons.

So it's physio appointments for me - strengthening exercises for the glutes and hamstring on my left side where the affected tendons are. Right leg is stronger than my left and is also 1cm longer (go figure?) so this is the reason for my pain...
I'm discovering that physioherapists are pretty darn clever.

But don't worry I shall keep running and all the while listening to my body.
I'm planning to still be out running when I'm 80 so this is really just a minor setback for now.

I've enjoyed doing the training so much that I shall definitely be tackling a marathon as soon as I can.
And I now know that I can at least do 19 miles and not even feel like I'm dying - I think that's pretty darn good!!

As for now, time to apply another icepack and book another physio appointment.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

19 miles and it's getting tough...

Woah..... this marathon training malarkey is really tough going!

I've just completed a 19 mile training run - was supposed to only be 18 miles but I calculated wrong... it's a bit annoying that my iPhone battery doesn't last the distance required as I could have stopped bang on the 18 mile mark today instead of having to add that extra mile in.... ah well, I did it and have lived to tell the story so that's all that matters right now.

I'm feeling well chuffed that I did it and also VERY SORE! Still think childbirth is easier than this marathon training!!
My fitness (lung capacity) is doing great, it's just my legs that HURT!! And - funnily enough - my uterus...... I guess the muscles all around there are still in shock after having Beni 8 months ago... better get onto those pelvic floor exercises again I suppose (yawn).

I had 3 rest days last week instead of the 2 that I was allowed..... ooooOOOOOOoooooo! But hey, it was my 3 year old's birthday party so I'm thinking this was a good excuse! I spent the morning decorating the cake and the afternoon keeping adults and children happy and entertained. That's exhausting!!

So right now I'm liking the fact that I would only have to run another 7 miles and that would be equivalent to running a marathon! Easier said than done, but I'm feeling more confident now that I will actually be able to complete a marathon and still be breathing!

Hope you are all well and loving your running xx

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Clocking up the miles and loving it!

I'm feeling well chuffed with myself right about now.
I've just run 16.02 miles (to be exact) in 2 hours 30 minutes (9.26 mins/mile pace).
I've just completed another week of marathon training right on target.
This is the first time ever that I've run this sort of ludicrous distance.
And you know what? I'm LOVING IT!
I guess I was expecting it to be such a drag to have to do looooooooong runs every week, but I'm scaring myself by actually meeting the mark in my training schedule, even though it looked impossible and ever so slightly daunting upon commencement!

I've found that it helps to look forward to certain things and keep these in mind when out running and the going gets tough:

i.e. that maybe one day, as a result of all this running, I'll have a body like this...

...but not if I keep drinking this...

... which is another thing I look forward to. 
It's such a shame and really very cruel that a cold beer and it's 'empty calories' tastes so heavenly after a long hot run! *sigh*

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Marathon Training - 9 weeks to go and feeling fine!

Wow - it's been rather difficult to get on here this week and give y'all a run down (Ooooo that's a terrible pun sorry...) on how the training's going.
But don't worry yourselves none, I've been a-runnin! Oh yes.

I'm feeling well-chuffed that I'm actually following my marathon schedule as accurately as I can. I guess I was a little nervous that I would start out all excited and stuff, like any other project, and then after a week lose interest and not end up completing it.
But not this time - oh no.
I'm going all the way baby.
26.2 miles in fact!

I'm so flippin' excited about getting to run in Scootlund ! It all feels a bit unreal...
Once I book the flights and accommodation I know my anxiety will settle down.
And the great news is that my sister is going to run the Loch Ness Marathon also!!
I should get a reward (£500 will be sufficient) because I managed to convince her that she has to do it and the scenery will be amazing and we can talk with Scottish accents the whole way around and remember we are part Scottish so it's only right that we should be running in the Highlands blah blah blah...
So I sent her a marathon schedule and she's signed up to do it. YES!

I ran a hilly mountainous half marathon on Sunday with my husband and I totally loved every minute of it! I was feeling so good and my legs and lungs felt strong and the scenery was STUNNING, the marshals friendly. At the end I even felt like I could keep going - now THAT is a sign that this marathon training is actually working!
NEVER have a felt like that at the end of a half marathon! So pleased I was, so pleased!

I had a rather unfortunate mishap last week... I've heard that it happens to many a runner, but still...
I had a wee 'accident' in my undies while out running thanks to a stomach bug that I picked up.
You can read about it at my Stay At Home Mamma blog here.

And you know what? I don't mind you laughing at my expense. It's ok and in fact I encourage it.
That's why I shared it because I knew someone would see the funny side in it...

Anyhoo, bedtime now - running 9 miles tomorrow pushing the buggy with 2 chunky-monkey children it!

Happy running days everyone!

Monday, 26 July 2010

Heavy Leg Syndrome

I'm feeling quite chuffed about my long run on Saturday - the fact that I'm still able to walk is a bonus!...

Ended up being 14.85 mile - I lasted the distance but my iPhone battery didn't....blimmin'  technology huh?! It only crapped out at the 13 mile mark so it wasn't too drastic. I just hate listening to my own breathing and footfall - it's very boring. You'd think that I could actually use the time as my 'Thinking Space' but that fact is that when I run I think my mind shuts off as well and I just zone out for the run duration... I don't mind. It's quite nice to be able to switch off the noise that is in my head!

By mile 8 my legs were getting the heavy feeling. I was quite fascinated, yet annoyed at the same time. Fascinated because 8 mile is the distance I had been doing a few times a week before I started my marathon training and obviously my legs are used to running that distance, so anything beyond that must become an 'issue' for them. Hmph.
I'm guessing this will get better as my body gets used to doing the longer mileage? I hope so!! At the moment I'm thinking that pushing out babies is actually easier than this marathon training!.... But that could always just be ME being ever-so-slightly dramatic...maybe.

Recovery was good - rest day yesterday was fantastic.

My run tonight felt good once my legs warmed up properly. On the schedule today was hills... Now I actually don't mind running up hills - I find flats a teeny tiny little bit boring...
Anyway, so 10x up the very nasty hill in Richmond Park with an easy 1.6mi jog there and back.
Cold beer and dinner waiting for me when I got home. Nice one Mr. Amazing Husband!
8mi tomorrow.
7mi Wednesday.
etc. etc.
Then it's our Annual 14 mile trail race on Sunday in Surrey (South England) - whoop whoop! This is the run my husband and I love to do each year because of the off-road/dirt track aspect and also the scenery. Oh. My. Goodness.
This is why I run!

This is a picture of the Highlands around Loch Ness where I'm doing the marathon. Scenery such as this just makes me want to weep and/or break out into some ancient Celtic song.

Don't tell me I'm the only one...

I always loved running... it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power.  You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.  ~Jesse Owens

Friday, 23 July 2010

Marathon Training recap - 10 weeks to go!

I am pleased to report that after ONE WHOLE WEEK of official marathon training I feel GREAT!
I shouldn't get too excited though... it has only been 1 week.
I've still got 10 more weeks to go...
AND I've still got the 14 mile long run tomorrow - which I am {surprisingly enough} looking forward to!
It will be interesting to see how I manage my first real long distance run since bambino numero due was born...

A factor that I'm having to incorporate into the marathon training is running with a buggy with 2 kids in it!
My on-line training schedule didn't bring this into consideration did it. No.
I had to swap a run this week - instead of doing a short 'brisk' run on Wednesday I did it today and Wednesday's run became an "easy" run  
(well, if pushing a buggy with 2 chunky monkeys in it can ever be classed as 'easy'?).
My husband was away for work so I didn't have a choice but to take the children with me on the run.
But it was fun.
Luca was very entertaining, once again, with his stretches...

...before he took off as fast as his little (yet long) legs could carry him.
Which is pretty fast.

He feels very special in his new running shoes.

My body's feeling good - although I've gained a kilogram this week... WHAT?!?!?!@*%?$!!!
Ah well, I'm still hoping to lose 5kg before I run the marathon. 5kg's less to carry around 26.2 miles is all I'm thinking about!

Anyways, had a good quick run tonight - felt really great to get those fast-twitch fibres into action again - they were loving it! It felt comfortable enough and felt pretty quick, yet I was only averaging 7:51min/mile. Was hoping for 7:30min/mile. Ah well.
I ain't bovered yeah innit.
And I've still got 10 weeks to get there!

Have a great weekend everyone with enjoyable running!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Loch Ness Marathon - I'll be there!

It's pretty exciting times - I have registered to run the Loch Ness marathon on 3rd October!!

Being my first EVER marathon I don't really know what I am getting myself in for.... but I know it's the next step from always running half-marathons. And there's nothing wrong with half-marathons by the way - I LOVE them!! They are the perfect distance but the thought of running that whole distance again if I was running a full marathon has always made me feel sick... but now I am doing it! Going all the way baby!

I think the thing that I am most looking forward to on the run is the scenery!! The race reviews are all about the beauty of the surroundings: Loch Ness and the Highlands all wrapped up into one run - awesome! So I'm hopeful that maybe this will help take my mind off the pain??  Here's hoping...

It's now less than 11 weeks away, I'm pretty confident I can do this. I've got a good training schedule from Runner World website and am aiming for a sub 3:45.

Training's going well and I'm looking forward to hopefully losing the last couple of kg's of post pregnancy fat!

I like the way when your body becomes lighter you run faster, and the more you run the lighter your body becomes. It's a great partnership.

Friday, 16 July 2010

The Queen's Deer, Playgrounds and New Socks!

Today was my first run since Saturday. I have been ill with stomach 'issues' - got some nasty diarrhoea virus thing which left one feeling nauseous, dizzy and needing to visit the toilette every hour (or sometimes less...).

Not cool. At all.

So today, being one of the first day's I haven't needed to lie on the floor every 15 minutes until the nausea passes, I was determined to get out running with the boys in the buggy (which I did) even if it was forecast to rain (which it did).

And oh my goodness did it feel GOOD!!!

This was probably mostly due to the fact that I was wearing the most cushioned socks I have ever experienced! My feet were practically falling asleep they were so comfortable!

It wasn't a fast run at all, but it was a good run. I felt great actually! I even kept on going after cresting the top of the nasty hill on our route which we normally take a 'breather' at the top when pushing the buggy cos it literally takes your breath away. Yay for me!

Although there were moments of rain there was a whole lot of sunshine and it was still very hot and humid.

We spotted one of the Queen's deer grazing in a tree by the path.
Such beautiful creatures. Until they start moving towards you with a not very nice glint in their eye...

Our halfway turn-around point was the park at Kingston Gate where I graciously took a 15 minute break so Luca (son numero uno) could stretch his legs and swing from the monkey bars.

On the way back Luca ran down the nasty hill like he always does but didn't continue on with his usual distance as he spotted a juice that I had for him in the buggy and promptly decided he'd had enough of running for today and wanted to sit in the buggy and be pushed instead. I didn't blame him really.

 And so we continued on our journey home. Beni (son numero due) was already away with the fairies so it was a very quiet, relaxed run home. Nice.

A visit to the shops in the afternoon resulted in purchasing a pair of running shoes for Luca which he is very proud of!
Oh, and a football.

Tomorrow is our 14km 'family' run around Richmond Park again so I doubt these shoes will be white for much longer!

Happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Bring it!

I don't know what it is about me that loves the rough and tumble, dirt and mud of the outdoors. I blame it on my farmgirl roots and spending many a school-holiday day roaring around (and falling off) motorbikes on the farm, getting mud, cow/sheep poo and swamp water flicked up in my face by the rider ahead of me. Or maybe it was the carpet rides behind the tractor that left you covered in grass, dirt, cow/sheep poo (again) and normally with a black eye and grazed face. And yet I LOVED IT!!!

As I got older I started running around the farm, taking on the steep hills as my daily challenge.

My favourite Saturday morning long run was to run up and down and over and across the many hills with one or two of the farm dogs, following sheep trails to the back of the farm where there was THE MOST BEAUTIFUL waterfall. That was my half-way mark where I would strip down to bra and undies, jump off the 16 metre waterfall for a quick cool off in the fresh (sometimes a little too fresh!) waters below, climb up the rocks again to the top, re-dress, running shoes on again and then continue on my run home.

Flipping brilliant!

I think it was my exposure to all things farm-like and growing up with this kind of outdoor space and beautiful countryside all around me that began my love for trail/cross-country running.
The dirtier the better.
The harder the better.
If there's blood, that's even better!

So keeping this in mind, check out this race I have entered hubby and myself in at the end of November (I didn't ask him, just entered him cos I know he will love it!...I hope...).
Make sure you watch the video attached in the link to give you a real idea of what we are in for.
11 miles of mud, blood, sweat and, more than likely, tears.

Oooooohhhhhh yeeeeeeeeaaaaaah.

I'm also trying to decide on a marathon to enter towards the end of the year. This will be my first marathon - I've done plenty of halfs but it was one of my new year's resolutions to run a marathon this year... so I better jolly well do it!

So of course I was trying to eek it out and enter one in December (so i can just sneak one in there before the year's out!) but December is scarce on the marathon front. Damn.

So I am now looking at the Florence Marathon at the end of November. My youngest child will only be a few days over 1 year old by then but I'm sure I'll be fine.
Dude, if I can give birth to bouncing baby boys then surely I can run a marathon?!

I've never been to Florence so hey, why not? Better enter it now before I chicken out...

If anyone out there has any advice or a great training plan for a Mamma running her first marathon I'd LOVE to hear from you!

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Breeding a Runner

My husband and I love to run.
And we love to take our 2 boys running with us (in a buggy).

Our oldest son is 3 in August and he loves to go out for long runs with us, the wind blowing in his hair, encouring us to go faster
"C'mon Papa c'mon!!"
"Go fast Mamma, go FAST!"

And when we are climbing a hill, he comes out with "You can do it Papa!"

Bless his dear wee heart.

Once we get to the top of the extremely tough hill on our run we always use the excuse of snack-time or a toilet stop and this is where Master 3 likes to get out of the buggy and do his stretches...

As you can see it's very serious stuff. Oh to have that flexibility!

On the way back down the hill is his favourite part cos he gets to run down the hill himself, stretching out his long limbs - the reason why everyone thinks he is a 4 year old!

And he runs. And runs. And runs. His little legs churning rapidly and at such a speed that we are now having to actually put some effort into catching him!

After running down the hill and playing numerous games of "I'm gonna get you!" he would have covered a good distance - around the 1km mark which I'm thinking for a 3 year old is pretty impressive (?)

So now the hunt is on for some toddler running shoes, if such things exist...?

It has both surprised and pleased me immensely that he should love running so much at such an early age and that he actually has the stamina to keep going for quite a distance, so he even works up a sweat and is puffing.

I'm telling you though, when he does start entering into races I wouldn't want to be put up against him - he has the unfair advantage of long legs that will just eat up the ground.
Ooo I'm sounding like a proud mamma already!...

Anyway, watch this space I guess.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Going Solo

Yesterday I was able to get out to do my regular Richmond Park circuit without having to push the buggy.

Oh. My. Goodness. It makes SUCH a difference!

I can go faster.
I don't have to stop every few minutes to meet the demands of snacks/water/boogie-on-finger etc.
I think I actually forgot how easy it is to run solo. Even with the hills I averaged a 5.21min/km pace which I'm quite pleased with. I'm thinking it was the ANGRY music with dirty guitars I was listening to which helped me keep up a decent enough pace.

Unfortunately I am rather sore today even after quite lengthy stretching at the finish of the run...
I guess it makes sense though because this is only the 2nd time I've run the park by myself since having bubba 7 months ago - and the last time I ran it was when I did my calf-muscle in at the 6km mark...

When Luca asked me to play car chases with him this morning I happily obliged until I tried to get down on my knees and crawl around quickly like he was doing... oh to be young again huh?

So I've become a member of the LogYourRun website and have their app on my iPhone but it's a bit crap to be honest...
It decided to stop recording the run somewhere between the 1km and 13.94km mark... grrrrr.
I had to calculate my pace myself, taking the run time and distance. Oh well, modern technology doesn't always work in my favour.

I'm enjoying my 'rest' day today and am back out there again tomorrow, this time pushing the buggy... oh well, at least my arm muscles are strengthening up as a result of pushing a 17kg toddler, a 9.5kg baby and a 13kg buggy!
And all that weight makes you go really fast down the hills!

Happy exercising.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

A quick run-through about ME!

Hi! My name is Brigitte, 34.... no, 35 years of age...
Mamma of 2 delicious little boys.
Wife to 1 delicious husband. Sorry, had to be said.
We are Kiwi's living in London for nearly 8 years now. 

I have endured running since before I can remember, but over the past 10 years I have started enjoying it! No, not just enjoying it, actually LOVING it!
I am mostly a recreational runner though I have a fair few half-marathons under my belt - PB 1:43.
I particularly enjoy off-road/trail/fell races - they are so much more challenging and interesting to run and the scenery always more than makes up for any discomfort experienced.

I ran through both of my pregnancies wearing a support belt (like a massive elasticated belt really). I can testify that keeping fit before and during pregnancy makes for a good labour and birth - I'm not an expert or anything but I'm presuming this is because of the strength needed and the pain/endurance threshold being that much higher? That's my guess anyway.

We live right by Richmond Park in London so my husband and I try to get out running with the 2 kids in our buggy as much as possible. It's always nice to have an excuse for stopping "for the kids to have a break"...

My big running aim for this year is to complete a marathon by the end of 2010. Not bothered where, somewhere with nice scenery though.

I guess a big part of me starting this blog is to keep myself accountable in a way... if I see my results recorded somewhere it will urge me on to do better and not easily give up on my goals. It annoys me when I do.

I can also be found at my Stay At Home Mamma blog here