Thursday, 8 February 2018

F is for ‘fish fingers’… the elite athlete’s best kept secret

Okay, so maybe ‘elite’ was a stretch- I got a stitch climbing the stairs to the toilet this morning. And perhaps ‘secret’ is slightly overegging the pudding- after all, I’m blogging it for all to see. But still, fish fingers. Who knew?

When I set off for my run last night, I honestly felt like I had a food baby in my tummy. Apparently, two fish finger sandwiches with mayo will do that to you. But when I was still enthusiastic at mile 4, I started to think that there might have been some magic in Captain Birdseye’s best. When, at mile 5, I wasn’t bent double and heaving into a bush, I had my eureka moment. Eureka! Fish fingers are magic.

Now I might not be a nutritionist but I am extremely interested in diet. In fact, I usually class myself as a whole-food plant-based eater but, with it being February, and cold, and raining, I decided that a little treat was in order. And I’m so glad that I did.

So now  know what I’ll be having prior to running my half marathon in May- fish finger sandwiches for breakfast anyone?

Monday, 29 January 2018

G is for 'Get the Glow!'

Monday 29th January 

I ran 9 miles this weekend. On purpose! I chose Friday night for my long run because, for once, it wasn’t snowing/ hailing/ blowing a gale and it was fantastic. I ran 5 consecutive 9 minute miles- they weren’t pretty (the baby weight is taking some shifting and I really have to run in the dark these days- lycra + wobbly bottom = traumatised motorists) but they were fun. Obviously I define fun differently to other people.

It was after my shower that I realised I had the glow. Now, it’s been a long time since I had the glow and I feared that it had gone forever but no, there it was. The bright eyes, rosy cheeks and that smug smile that says ‘Ha. You’ll never guess what I just did.’ I swear, even my teeth looked shinier. If L’Oreal could bottle this glow they’d make a fortune- although their adverts would have to change slightly… a little less perfect model and a little more ‘sweating mum on the run’… but hey, it’s a good look.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

R is for... Reasons to run

Tonight I ran for the second time this week. Tuesday’s forced hobble through the arctic weather: the gale force wind blowing me into the road and hailstones the size of my fist bouncing off my hat with the holes really inspired me… so tonight I repeated the fun. If Tuesday’s run was that first date- butterflies in your tummy, feeling high on endorphins- then tonight’s was the crash and burn after the break-up. It hurt. A lot.

In fact, it hurt really quickly. I had not gone half a mile when a persistent pain in my heel caused me to stop (in the middle of my favourite song no less) and de-shoe. And there, skulking in the bottom of my trainer, was a piece of lego. And this reminded me exactly why I run.

I run for my kids. There are four of them and, generally, they are lovely. My third child is disabled and will need me to care for her for all of her life… so I need to be strong and fit. A good reason to run I’m sure you’ll agree. I’m also running a half marathon to raise money for an essential piece of tech that will help her to communicate… another great reason. I could go on about empowering my kids, showing them that you have to look after your body, blah, blah, blah but actually I run to get away from them.

It’s true. I haven’t been to the toilet for 16 years without someone following me to ask me what’s for breakfast/ lunch / dinner. I spend every meal time telling my older ones to stop bickering and if I have to pretend to be interested in someone’s dream about Phoebe, Polly and Nancy one more time, I swear I will rip my own ears off.

So what if running hurts. So what if, for the first two miles, I have to force myself to pass every park bench just in case I give in to temptation and take a quick snooze.  Parenting hurts more. And those precious child free moments are worth the pain. So bring it on.

Friday, 19 January 2018

L is for Laaaazy… it’s also for ‘Look at that WEATHER!’

According to my diary, this week I should have run three times for 30 minutes in order to build up to the BIG one, the 3 mile mountain crawl/ hobble/ wince tomorrow. However, dear readers, I’m still at zero miles. And now it’s only 17 weeks until the half marathon. My best friend, who is definitely NOT a runner, logged over 40 miles in walks and runs last week. The shame!

So what happened? Was I abducted by aliens? Did the lycra squeeze my wobbly bits so much that I developed a blood clot (a serious worry)? Did my beautiful ‘hat with the holes’ (for ventilation purposes obviously) disappear? No. It snowed. Not just a little bit of snow, more ‘Quick look out of the window,’ snow. And with snow comes ice. And ice is the runner’s worst enemy.

So, in a bid to be productive in my fund raising, here I sit. In a moment I am going to write to lots of local businesses and ask if they can donate prizes for an auction we are having in the Autumn. Really, I am.

I did manage to achieve something running related this week- by far the most important something actually… I created a playlist on my phone. See, really important. At some point I should really try my lyrca on- but I’m saving that visual treat for a super special occasion, like when it’s Children in Need and I’ve spent the whole night crying anyway so what’s a few more tears.

As always, I digress.

If you learn anything from this post lovely people out there, it’s this- don’t read your diary. Oh, and don’t plan to start your half marathon training in January in the mountains of Yorkshire.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

E is for Eighteen weeks... only 18 weeks! (N is for 'Not in virgin territory anymore.')

Picture the scene: it's New Year's Eve. You're tired (because really, who actually wants to stay up until midnight when bed is just SO comfy). You're trying to muster some enthusiasm for your daughter's twenty third 'Just Dance' set of the night and your husband says something along the lines of 'You know we need to raise this money for Georgie's eye gaze machine...' loaded pause, intense stare, 'You could... erm... run...' 
A few things you need to know here: 1) Georgie is our 4 year old disabled daughter. She has Rett Syndrome and is locked in which means that, although she's pretty switched on, she can't talk. 2) An eye-gaze machine- think Stephen Hawking- would enable her to control a speaking machine with her eyes et voila... she could communicate. 3) They cost £10,000. 4) Baby number 4 arrived in May 2017 and I've well and truly fallen off the wagon with the whole fitness/ running thing. Not only did I fall off the wagon, I'm pretty sure it ran over me then left a couple of its tyres around my waist. 
But it's for Georgie. Decision made. 
In 18 weeks time, I will be lacing up my trainers and heading out onto the mean streets of Leeds- and there won't be a shopping bag in sight. Dutifully, I have written a training schedule. I have tried all of my old running clothes on and thanked God that I run in the dark- it's not pretty dear readers. And I have promised to write all about my journey because, frankly, there has to be some silver lining to this seriously grim, constant cloud of rain that hovers about three feet over Haworth. 
There will be tears. There will be tantrums. But most of all lovely people, there will be Cadbury's. 

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Friday 31st January 2014..... R is for 'Relight my fire!'

I don't mean to brag but I've been running not once, not twice, not even three times but four times this week. That's four times that my wobbly bits have been squeezed into spandex and dragged along the nearest flat road  (reached by half walking, half crawling up a semi-mountain, this is Haworth after all.) That's four days I have spent scanning the sky hoping that it will rain and therefore excuse my lame efforts at running. That's at least four prayers of 'Dear Lord, I think I'm having a heart attack. Please let me be wearing my non-holey knickers just in case the paramedics need to be called."

It's also four days of basking in the 'I went for a run last night' after-glow. And it's this glow that is keeping me going... well, that and the fact I've promised myself chocolate on a Friday if I run four times a week. Oh yes, Kit-Kats, Curly-Wurly's, Maltesers, Mars-Bars, Galaxy, Snickers, I'm not picky, I love them all equally.

 In total, I have clocked a rather magnificent 16 miles. Some of those might have been spent power walking, some of those might have been spent making a new playlist on my ipod but hey, I did it. Now all I need to do is tell the good people on Daily Mile so I don't register another big, fat zero come 2015... oh, and buy some chocolate of course.  

Monday, 3 February 2014

R is for Resolutions (and Really, REALLY lazy)

Hi everyone, it's been a very, very long time since my last post... and my last run but there are extenuating circumstances, I promise!

Lots have happened since... (pause whilst I scroll through my blog)... May 2012! Blimey, I've been more lazy than I thought! My main excuse though is that I have had another baby. Yep number 3, baby Georgiana, was born last March. Not only does this excuse my lack of running, it also excuses my rusty writing repertoire... bear with me, it'll improve, I promise. Somewhere, in a sea of nappies and breastmilk, of teething and the ancient 'will she crawl/ won't she crawl- my baby is bigger/ has more teeth/ is already reciting her alphabet whilst sitting on the potty chewing a three course meal' debate, I lost the will to live... and to write... and to run...

Nearly eight months later, I decided to put a tentative, running shoe clad foot outside the front door in the form of our local Santa Run. Essentially, I donated money to charity so that they would let me dress up in a horrendously fitting Santa suit complete with ventilation holes under the arms (rips) and an itchy santa beard. Then, as if walking around the park in said suit was not  fashion statement enough, I ran 4 miles through the town centre in the flipping thing. Not only was this a real treat for me, I also managed to drag along the husband and two older children (the eldest of which whooped me and finished in 29 minutes... a fact I remind him of when it takes a whole Sunday afternoon to clean his bedroom.) 

I intended to continue with the good work after this... honestly, dear readers I did. But then it was Christmas and it just seemed rude to leave my hubby to eat ALL of the kid's selection boxes by himself. What can I say... I went to ground.

So here I am. Almost ten months on, after listening to Katy Perry roaring on a continuous loop (my six year old got an i-pod for Christmas, what a mistake to make,)  I'm feeling that old familiar stirring in my shin-splints. I need to get back to it, I really do, and here are some reasons why:
·      I put a whole stone and a half on whilst I was pregnant and managed to gain weight whilst I was breastfeeding. Oh yeah, I took 'eating for two' to a whole new level!
·      I need to get out more. No joke: there are only so many times you can wind that bobbin up before you want to throw it out of the window. If I get out more, perhaps I'll rekindle my love of Old McDonald...
·      Post-natal January blues... it's dark when you get up, it's dark when you go to bed. It's cold, it's windy and has rained everyday for the past 5 weeks. You know me, I'm not one to complain but c'mon, something's gotta give.
·       I need to get fit. As Ms Perry says 'I've got the eye of the tiger, the fighter, dancing through the fire, 'cos I am a champion, and you're gonna hear me roar...' Oh yeah!
·      On New Year's Day I received a very friendly e-mail from the lovely people Daily Mile which briefly summarised all the running I had managed to complete in 2013... and brief it was. I registered a big fat zero! Obviously I knew that I had somehow forgotten to spray on the lycra and dig out the unflattering hat with holes but to see it in print... ugh.

My New Year's Resolution then is to leave the comfort of my sofa for the discomfort of ill fitting spandex and compression socks that cut off the circulation to my knees. When it's put like that, how can I fail.
Coming very soon then my first post- Georgiana running report... I promise!