Tuesday, 30 August 2011

M is for mantras

During my brief stint as an invalid/ occupant of the living room floor/ person who other people fall over because you are lying in the kitchen doorway hoping that someone… anyone… will make you a cup of Yorkshire tea (with three sugars just in case you’re brewing up) I decided to catch up on some reading. If you read my last blog (if you didn’t I hope you have a really good excuse) you will know that I am a little bit addicted to this whole running thing… but I couldn’t run. My family, friends, casual acquaintances and even the postman had tired of hearing my pitiful wailing and general bemoaning of the ‘not running’ condition… In desperation, my husband bought a book that had the word ‘running’ in the title, threw it at me then shepherded the kids away from their increasingly volatile Mother. For once, he chose well. He bought me a book called ‘The non-runners marathon trainer.’
                After I had recovered from the fact that, despite my spandex rashes and fanny pack, he didn’t consider me to be a REAL runner, I started to read. The book is epic, a revelation, truly sensational. The authors of the book talk about how to prepare mentally for running long distances- that is to say, how to stop yourself from becoming mental when you run long distances. You know me, I love nothing more than flexing my mental muscles (only because they don’t hurt as much as my real muscles) so when I read about visualising success, mantras and focussing on developing a positive mental attitude, I got so excited that I actually sat up- yes dear readers, me with the broken back… I actually sat up! Such is the miraculous ability of this book!
                And so, with a sore back and a brain full of positive mantra’s to test, I ran 5 miles tonight. I had several prepared, they are listed in order of preference…
1)     I am a marathon runner
2)     I was born to run
3)     I am strong
4)     I am healthy
5)     This feels great
6)     I love running
… if asked to describe my attitude to life, no-one, not even my Mum would describe me as a ‘positive, can-do’ kind of girl. Whilst the peppy angel on my shoulder was telling me how wonderful I was, am and always will be, the devil on my other shoulder (the one who makes me eat 10 Flumps in a row and/or 6 KitKats) started talking… and his voice was really loud…
1)     Angel: I am a marathon runner. Devil:  “No you’re not, you’re not even a half marathon runner, Yesterday you couldn’t even get off the floor to go to the toilet! Geek.” (My Devil is VERY insulting.)
2)     Angel: I was born to run. Devil: “To the toilet when you’ve drunk too much Coke/ Wine/ Beer/ Gin… You have a driving license for a reason!”
3)     Angel: I am strong. Devil: “Your back was much stronger when it stayed on the sofa all night every night. The sofa misses you!”
4)     Angel: I am healthy. Devil: “Is it healthy to spend an entire weekend lying on the living room floor because you can’t move? And a bank holiday weekend at that.. when all of your friends are going to the beer festival. Is that healthy? Is it? IS IT?”
5)     Angel: This feels great. Devil: “If you compare it to being hit by a bus.”
6)     Angel: I love running. Devil: “LIAR!”
                Damn that Devil on my shoulder! When I actually nearly got hit by a bus at mile 3 (I was concentrating on trying to remember my positive mantras and didn’t realise I’d come to a road) I decided to just plug in the earphones and obliterate all thought with a good dose of the Foo Fighters.
                One good thing though-I no longer have backache- or leg ache for that matter, because I have no feeling in the lower right hand side of my body at all. Hey, maybe running isn’t that bad after all. Repeat after me, “I love running, I love running, I love running…”

Happy times x

Thursday, 25 August 2011



MY BACK HURTS! It really hurts. It hurts to sit, it hurts to stand and it hurts to laugh…fortunately it doesn’t hurt to grumble since this is what I have spent most of today doing.   With only four weeks to go until ‘HM’ day (that’s half marathon day for those of you who were wondering) my lower back has given up the ghost. To be fair, I’m impressed that it has lasted this long but running long distances followed by sleeping on the floor whilst camping has finished me off. I need ibruprofen, I need an ice pack, I need gin and I need counselling- in that exact order.  
Because I am literally obsessed with all things running and I need to feel like I am at least doing something , this is my ‘non-running running blog.’ Hopefully your normal service will soon be resumed. What better opportunity to continue with the world renowned ‘A-Z’ of running. According to my scientific calculations (which involved me looking through previous blogs) we are up to D…

‘I love running’ A-Z
‘I hate running and wish that I had never signed up for this madness’ A-Z
Delicious male runners
You’re half way through a 10 mile run, you’re hot, sweaty and sticky. Suddenly a hallucination of pure perfection approaches you: six foot three, dark haired, designer stubble…you get the picture. He’s gorgeous. You straighten your shoulders, instantly energised (and have a cheeky look at his bum as he burns past you- nice!) Running certainly has its perks!
Delicious male runners
I forgot to mention that your face is the colour of beetroot and your hair is jutting our at random angles. You are also wearing spandex and a fanny pack. Can you see how fast that delicious male is running? That’s because he’s terrified of you!
They are awesome! They make you feel high in a completely legal way (although I still maintain that short shorts should be made illegal). Do be warned though that they are addictive, which leads nicely onto…
…Enthusiasm. You’ll be dripping with it, unfortunately, not everyone shares your love for the noble sport. Don’t be offended if people run away when they see you coming

Happy times x

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

N is for nettle… S is for stings and A is for Arse- as in nettle stings on the arse!

Catchy title eh? And it’s true-I am suffering from an acute attack of ‘nettle stings on the arse.’ It’s a rare condition contracted only by the idiot, stupid, doofus female runner who has no pelvic floor muscles and cannot therefore contain the contents of her bladder!  In my defence, it wasn’t actually my fault. It was my blooming ‘gee I loved running those 11 miles in the rain’ attitude of last Thursday that got me into trouble- damn me and my positive attitude. No good can come of it.
           Basically, we went camping to an idyllic part of Yorkshire. As we  were driving to the campsite, I realised that all of the roads were flat- there wasn’t a hill in site. It hit me like a fitness obsessed thunderbolt- I would run my first 12 mile race here, what better way to see the local area and idyllic villages (and to snoop through windows where people had forgotten to draw their blinds against nosey runners- don’t judge me, we all do it!)
            Still in recovery after the 11 miler, I had drunk litres of water to re-hydrate. But did this occur to me? Of course not. In fact, as soon as I had mentally committed to running, I decided to drink more- the temperature was notching up an impressive 19 degrees and so I was swigging litre bottles of the good stuff like they were going out of fashion. As soon as the tent was up, the kids were playing with their new best friends and the husband was reading the paper (I say ‘reading'- he always pays particular attention to the ‘stories’ on page 3, obviously Debbie from Dundee has a very informed and intelligent opinion on the state of the Middle East- that’s why she has to express it with her baps out,) I laced up my runners and set off.
                For five miles, I enjoyed the scenery and the flat roads. Then I felt a twinge in my bladder. I needed the loo. At home, I have several favourite ‘wee tree’s’ behind which I nip if I become urgent- but out here… there was nothing but low hedges and million pound houses with wrought iron gates and swanky water features. I bit my lip and continued running then I stumbled in a hole and nearly wet my pants. Desperately, I stopped, crossed my legs and looked around. To my left was a square of overgrown grass- quite large, and surrounded by bungalows. I really had no other option.
                I removed my cap (it’s bright white and would have stuck out like a sore thumb amongst the sea of lush greenery.) As I ran towards the back of the plot, I stood in a bucket of what can only be described as sludge. My lovely blue left shoe assumed the colour – and consistency of pooh- and something wet oozed between my toes. I should have known right there and then that this would not end well… but I soldiered on. Finally I reached the back of the plot and urgency overtook me, I squatted and relieved myself. Then suddenly, I felt a little stinging sensation on my right bum cheek-this was joined by another, then another until there was a whole line of tiny pinpricking stings stretching across my booty. I froze- terrified that I had disturbed a hornets nest or the web of a black widow spider (Yes, I know they are not supposed to live in this country but scientists can never know for sure- one might have come over from Africa in a banana crate or something.)
                Then I looked around and saw that I had squatted in the middle of the biggest nettle patch ever- it literally stretched for half an acre. By the time I had hobbled back to the path, my backside was on fire. I must have looked a sight going back to the camp- my left hand rubbing my bum cheeks whilst I hobbled/ jogged in a kind of legs crossed, squelchy shoe kind of manner. I fell back through the tent doors and begged my husband to rub the savlon into my bum- when he had finally finished laughing, he agreed and then rang his friends and family to share the story. All of his phone calls started with that immortal line’ you’ll never guess what she’s done this time…’ even my kids laughed and spent the whole of the weekend saying things like ‘oh no Mum, quick, hide, there’s a nettle bush.’ It was a special trip. Really it was.
                Because I am still a bit tender (and back to my usual ‘why the heck am I bothering? This just hurts’ ethos rather than the peppy attitude I foolishly adopted last week) I only ran three miles tonight. Quite honestly, I was a bit worried about getting caught short again- there are quite a few thistle patches on my usual running route. Now that WOULD be painful!
Happy times x

Friday, 19 August 2011

Y is for… you know when you’re a Yorkshire lass because…

… you like the rain! Last night it rained- a lot. At times it was the fine drizzle, you know, the stuff that ‘gets you really wet.’ Then the heavens would open and huge, fat dollops of rain fell on my head- soaking me through to my knickers. And I loved it.
                Because I am braving the English weather to go camping this weekend (when hopefully it will not rain) I had to endure my long run last night. It said 11 miles on my calendar. I didn’t believe the calendar- it has lied to me before about hill running and speed running (!) in the past, so I consulted my half marathon training book and it said I should be running 12 miles. Needless to say, I referred back to my good old trusted friend, the calendar! I didn’t realise it was raining until I opened my front door- lycra firmly in place, impatient woman on the micoach asking if we could ‘start the workout’ now and fanny pack tied securely under my ribs (don’t judge me, I have to put my goo somewhere.)  Instead of cheerfully accepting the excuse not to run, I shrugged my shoulders and set off.
                 Did I mention it was ace? I usually end my long runs looking like a bag lady- with bits of clothing tied to my fanny pack as I limp back to the car, beetroot read, with sweat making a break for freedom down every available limb. I ended this race wet but of a normal colour (pasty white) and I was still wearing the vest and lightweight jacket I had set off in. The only addition to my fanny pack was my baseball cap, which, in a moment of unadulterated bliss, I had taken off so that I could get my hair wet so as to further enjoy the run. I promise you readers, I did not take any drugs- recreational or otherwise before I ran, although I had consumed quite a lot of caffeine throughout the day- maybe this is the answer!
                I enjoyed the run so much that, at mile 3- when I usually hit the wall- I decided to ‘do the shuffle.’ For half a mile, I danced along, much to the scorn of passing drivers. As well as thinking ‘who runs in this weather, get a life,’ they were obviously also thinking , ‘that woman is a weirdo but my goodness, she can shuffle!’ The only fly in the ointment is that I think I have offended the woman on my micoach app thingy: she usually tells me my distance, calories burned and my pace. At mile 2 she told me I had run a 24 minute mile (I had only been running for 20 minutes so that would have been quite an achievement) and after mile 9 she didn’t even bother to tell me what my pace was. She was obviously so disgusted with my time of 2 hours and 4 minutes for 11 miles. Me, I was just happy that I made it home, soaked but smiling, ready to bore my husband with the tale!
Back on with our A-Z now folks, I may have missed a few letters but, hey, I ran 11 miles last night so I can do what I want

‘I love running’ A-Z
‘I hate running and wish that I had never signed up for this madness’ A-Z
My top 3 running tracks for women are:
Fighter: Christina Aguilera (think about running past anyone who has ever annoyed you – ha)
Dirty: Christina Aguilera  (imagine you’re a Pussycat Doll- everyone does it, don’t be ashamed)
We will rock you; Queen (use the three beat on this to set your pace)

… oh, and LMFAO’s ‘Shufflin’’ but YOU MUST shuffle when it’s on. It’s the law!  
It can’t get GPS if you’re standing too close to the house, if you stop for a drink/ wee in a bush, it tries to end your workout, if you go too slow the voice gets stroppy (it’s not just my imagination, honest) if you go too fast it doesn’t register your pace… it has more faults than a tectonic plate.
Why bother?    

Happy times x

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

F is for FASTEST EVER RUN (and N is for… nearly died!)

Okay, so I didn’t nearly die… I actually saw the light. It appeared at the top of cardiac hill- after I had run my fourth consecutive 9 minute 40 something second mile. I was exhausted, I was hot, sweat was rolling from the end of my fingers and making puddles on the floor (I really have a way with words, it’s a gift.) So to be honest, the light was looking pretty attractive. Then I looked down at my pretty shoes and decided that they were a good enough reason to stay on the planet- oh and my kids and husband… of course.
                I seriously don’t know what came over me tonight. I gave blood last night so couldn’t pound my body into submission and Monday had been a rest day so I guess that I was… dare I say it… looking forward to getting out there and giving it some. And boy did I give it some. I gave it so much that now I cannot feel my legs. But hey, 5 miles in under 48 minutes has got to be worth the temporary loss of a couple of major limbs- at least I hope it’s temporary!
                Whilst I was whooshing (and I chose that word for its accuracy- I definitely whooshed) I realised that I have been neglecting my A-Z. We are starting at B because I have already covered A- if you didn’t know this, shame on you. Go to the BLOG called ‘ S is for short shorts and C is for chafe’- I'll bet you know at least one 'A is for Arses who know everything!'

‘I love running’ A-Z
‘I hate running and wish that I had never signed up for this madness’ A-Z
Booty. Your booty will be pert and gorgeous, it will be toned and muscled. You MUST take photographs of said booty and keep them in a frame so that, when you are too old to run, you will always have the fond memories of when your derriere looked like it belonged to one of the Pussycat Dolls. Go out in a short skirt, go out in a bikini, Hell, go out in a thong…but be sure to show that booty off!
Battered, bruised, boobs which will bounce out of your bra and either give you black eyes or attach themselves firmly to your knees and refuse to bounce back
Also boils! On your bum, on your face, where your bra straps have rubbed… everywhere!
Calories. As in, you can have loads and loads of them… fill your boots.
Carb loading- it IS JUST AS GOOD as the name suggests!
Collagen- you’ll literally pound the collagen out of your face apparently which is always good to remember when you’re 6 miles into a 10 mile run and everything hurts- NOT!

 Happy times x

Sunday, 14 August 2011

N is for… new shoes… and they are really, truly lovely!

Turquoise is just SO in right now darling!
Because I am really devoted to running and all things fitness (well, all things that enable me to eat two Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Bar and a Half’s in a row without feeling TOO guilty) I have been running on less than perfect shoes for the past three weeks. I distinctly remember the moment when they died- I was two miles into a six mile hobble when I heard a pop then a faint hissing sound… like a beach ball being deflated. By the time I got home, the shoes looked like they had been run over -  I now realise that my (very) pathetic performances on recent runs must have been because of said poorly footwear rather than excesses of TGI’s and McDonalds! Mystery solved.
                I must make a brief point here, dear reader- I am not the type of woman who loves to shop. I have two children and the very thought of being in a clothes shop where one (or both of them) could either…
a) get lost inside a clothes rack/ changing room/ toilet
b) pull down a clothes rack/ changing room curtain or
c) (and the most likely) my four year old daughter trying on all of the shoes and make-up- especially the neon pinks then me having to pay for all of the damage…
…fills me with dread! So when my Husband declared that ‘we need to go shopping for running shoes,’ I almost fell wailing and sobbing onto the living room carpet (which is still soaked in dribble after I put my back out during last week’s disastrous 10 mile attempt!) Instead, I nodded bravely and prepared to enter the war zone. As soon as we entered the shop, a horrible, villain of a man (with an acute case of BO) attacked me and made me stand on a black rectangle thing, which immediately turned luminious green. He then told me that I have flat feet! The bloody cheek. When I was little, a ballet teacher told my Mum not to waste money on lessons because I was as flat footed as an elephant- my Mum made me believe that the lady was simply jealous of my grace and technique! All lies!!!! I may actually need counselling.
                To add further insult to injury, I had to run on a treadmill… which he programmed to travel far too fast… plus I wasn’t wearing a sports bra (how I don’t have black eyes is a mystery)… there he left me, panting and sweating whilst he and my husband looked at a computer for ages talking about fallen arches and curvature of the spine. When he finally turned the machine off (with very little warning, it’s a good job I was holding on or I might be writing this BLOG from a hospital bed) he spoke in a language that I think was English but needed a medical dictionary to understand. Whilst laughing hysterically at the size of my feet and the length of my toes (which, granted are a little on the long side but there was no need to recommend that I join the circus) he offered me 3 pairs of trainers. I tried two of them on (the third were too ugly to describe… I will have nightmares, honestly.) Then he made me run around the shop whilst he and his cronies (including my husband, who was supposed to be watching the kids…who were having treadmill races at this point) pointed and laughed. After a hot and sweaty hour of being laughed at, made to run too fast and discussed like a lab rat in a scientific investigation, I picked… the prettiest ones! Don’t judge me readers, the men folk had worn me down.
                So today’s ten miler was the inaugural run of the pretty trainers and what a revelation it was! Having never before selected trainers on their technical merits (usually I have bought them because they matched my jogging pants/ hoodie/ vest top- you get the picture) I was amazed when they actually did stuff. I have no pain in my left leg- the bridge on the inside of my left shoe sorted that out! My lower back does not ache- the extra padding in the heel and the super tight fastening thingy stopped me from bending too far forward when I ran… I ran 10 miles in under 2 hours and I lived to write the tale! Never mind the half marathon, I’ll be ready for a full marathon by September! Bring it on!
Happy times x

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

M is for mountain ranges!

As promised, here are some photographs of last nights mountain climbing expedition. I ended up running 5 miles just so that I could reach the best elevation for photography- so technically it's you fault that my thighs ache today! Shame on you!
I ran the 5 miles in 1: 03- but in my defence, I did stop very often to take photographs. Again, your fault that my pace was so pants... I hope you feel really guilty dear readers! x
Mountain number 1: The warm-up mountain, it actually bends then continues to climb ever upwards!
Sure, it looks lovely- but would you want to run it?

Mountain number 2...affectionately known as cardiac hill.  (Like they NEED to write 'SLOW' on the road!)
Okay... it is pretty lovely... 
I hope you enjoyed my guided tour- just thank your lucky stars that you don't have to run it!
Happy times x

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Pedestrian Chicken: Your ESSENTIAL guide to the running craze that’s sweeping the nation (and some parts of other nations too!)

Disclaimer: Please note that the advice given in the brilliant pages of these hysterically funny instructions are for entertainment purposes only. You participate in Pedestrian Chicken at your own risk : should you fall, break a bone/limb, dislodge an internal organ, end up in accident and emergency, break a nail or start a brawl in the middle of the road, you cannot blame me!

Pedestrian Chicken: Your ESSENTIAL guide to the running craze that’s sweeping the nation (and some parts of other nations too!)

Are you tired of ignorant walkers assuming the right of way on narrow roads? Do walkers irritate you because, despite the fact that you are clearly on a mission to beat your personal best, they still take 5 minutes to cross 0.1 miles of pavement? Are you tired of simply giving them the one finger salute behind their backs as they walk away from you? If so… you are ready for PEDESTRIAN CHICKEN!

You will need:
·         A brilliant ‘dirty look.’ If you’re unsure whether it’s adequately dirty, go and practise in the mirror. We’ll wait for you.
·         A lot of tension that you are desperate to release on some unwitting member of the public
·         Nerves of steel (you probably already have buns of steel and abs of steel- unless you’re like me who has gained half a stone during her training… oops. Mustn’t digress… but half a stone? Really!)
·         Loads of lycra (if you are American, I think it’s called spandex unless this is a totally different product in which case I’m really confused!) If possible, the lycra should be black thus making you look REALLY scary!
·         A hat- even better a hood! Okay, I know it’s not practical but think how scary you will look.
·         Oh yeah, running shoes, ipod, high carb drink… the usual stuff!

Method :
1.                          Start your run using your usual warm-up routine (nip to the loo, have a coffee and a biscuit, watch a Friends re-run on Sky- the usual.)
2.                          Set off looking super powerful and sleek in your black attire. (At this point, the hood might become a little warm but persevere-greatness isn’t achieved without effort people. )
3.                          Find a pedestrian who is willing to play the game: you will know if he/she is willing because they will give you a look. This look will scream ‘Try to move me out of the way and I’ll smack you over the head with my handbag/umbrella/ briefcase…come on sunshine, make my day.”
4.                          Slow down, jog on the spot- issue your most withering dirty look. Tense those nerves of steel… try repeating this mantra: Look here you rude pedestrian, you’d move for me if I was an equestrian. Maybe not my best, how about this one: Move out of my way you obnoxious toad, there’s no way I’m running in the road! MUCH BETTER.
5.                          If your opponent is unfamiliar with you and your awesomeness, she might decide to chance her arm. If this should happen, position yourself on the inside of the path (i.e. not next to the road) and charge. Keep your head up high so that as you pass the loser, you can re-use that dirty look! Please be aware that this is a NON-CONTACT sport which means that issuing a gentle nudge (or a full on shove) as you pass the opposition is strictly against the rules.
6.                          Once you’ve passed the pedestrian, punch the air and start the mental tally. You have played your first game of pedestrian chicken- welcome to the team!
7.                          You can remove the hood now- just in case you were wondering.

Your rough guide: How to choose a suitable opponent for Pedestrian Chicken.

Good people to play against
People who have no buggies, no walking sticks, no zimmer frames… are of perfectly sound health and can therefore handle a half step to allow you to pass.
This includes people with dogs who seem to assume that they NEVER have to deviate from their path (even when their dog has just emptied his handbag all over the pavement…grrr…)

Bad people to play against
OAP’s- if they break something, you will feel guilty. If they bruise, you will feel guilty. What if it was your Grandma? Exactly!
People pushing buggies- we’ve all tried pushing a 3 stone buggy up a hill with a screaming baby inside it… don’t add to the stress. Just give a sympathetic nod from the curb and move away.

If you have read and inwardly digested these instructions, you are now ready to play pedestrian chicken. You have the power now… use it wisely my running friends. (And let me know what your score is!)

E is for… EMERGENCY!

W is for... What the????? as well as...WEIGHT GAIN
After reading lots of wonderful BLOGS last night, in which people were saying how running had helped them shift those extra pounds, I thought I’d get on the scales so I could share the magic with you.
            As I pulled them from under the bed and dusted them down (don’t judge me, I don’t have time to clean… I’m a runner) I felt confident. I expected to have lost at least a stone, maybe even two… oh yes… I was already feeling smug. Then I stepped on the scales…then I stepped off and adjusted them (because they clearly weren’t working.) I moved them to a different part of the room, I even moved them to a completely different room but they REFUSED to behave. Dear readers- after months of sweating, swearing and excruciating pain I have managed to gain – HALF A STONE! HALF A F@~*£!G STONE!
            I just cannot understand it. My ipod thingy keeps telling me that I have burned hundreds of calories, so how have I gained weight? It can’t be the McDonalds- they are organic now- it says so on the new advert. Everyone knows that flumps are the foodstuff of the Gods- so they can’t be to blame.
            I think the scales might be broken. I’ll pop down and buy some more, then call in at KFC on the way home for a little pre-run treat- well, it is lunch time after all.  

Monday, 8 August 2011

EXTREME Pedestrian Chicken: The sequel!

Oh my goodness, I have discovered something EVEN MORE exciting than passive aggressively eyeballing pedestrians on the cobbled streets of Haworth… passive aggressively eyeballing pedestrians on canal walkways! Close your eyes and imagine if you will (actually, don’t close your eyes or you won’t be able to read this…) you are dragging your howling body on its first ever 10 mile run, jog, walk, hobble, stagger when you come to a narrow section of canal pathway. A pedestrian is coming towards you. There is clearly only space for one of you to get through the teeny-tiny, most minuscule of spaces… you swagger as you jog, she squares up to you and keeps walking, chin held high in defiance… you keep jogging- a little faster now- she keeps walking- even faster than you are jogging (the shame). In a sudden burst of energy, you race through the space, pushing her aside…and she falls, shrieking into the canal! Wouldn’t it have been cool if this had actually happened? It almost did…unfortunately, what actually happened was that I wimped out and hobbled on the spot whilst she strode past- a smug smirk playing on her supercilious lips. Fear not reader, I did manage to throw her a REALLY dirty look!
            Basically, canal pedestrian chicken is extreme because pedestrians have to make a quick choice: jump into the foliage and be attacked by wasps or jump into the canal and be attacked by shopping trolleys! What fun it is to see them sweat.  
            You might have assumed that, since this blog is technically a day late, I ache today. And you would be wrong. Actually, I am locked in a burning, agonising, eternal fire which is consuming almost every part of my body- except from my little finger, which is actually healing quite nicely thank you for the concern. I learned 3 main lessons from yesterday’s run:
1)     Read the instructions on the back of the GOO tube. If it says ‘take with water’- take the bloody thing with water. If you take it with a carbohydrate loaded energy drink you will go dizzy and run perilously close to the canal edge with such a manic look on your face that a 73 year old lady with a limp asks you if you need the telephone number for the Samaritans Suicide Helpline.
2)     Avoid swans, ducks, dogs and geese… in fact, avoid all animals completely. No good can come of them when you are trying to be a serious runner. You either get distracted by the animal’s cute expression or the animal tries to eat you, bite you or lick you to death.
3)     Third, and most importantly. So important in fact, that it is written in capital letters: IF YOU HAVE EATEN NOTHING EXCEPT FISH AND CHIPS, TGI FRIDAY’S, CHOCOLATE, CRISPS AND FLUMPS DO NOT TRY TO RUN 10 MILES. You will be sick, you will go into cramp, you will end up laying on a grass verge crying for your Mum. Really, they should put this warning on all fatty foods, much like the ‘IF YOU SMOKE YOU WILL BECOME A LEPER’ warning on cigarettes (I think that’s what it says on fag packets these days.)

Back on with my now infamous A-Z…Are you ready? Here we go.

‘I love running’ A-Z
‘I hate running and wish that I had never signed up for this madness’ A-Z
F- Flumps. Have you EVER tasted such a delicious, mouth watering, sugar injected, soft and scrumptious, life affirming treat. They are only 30 calories each: which means you can eat HUNDREDS of them in one sitting and you will gain absolutely no weight…at all… Genius x
F- Fanny pack/ bum bag/ thing you strap around your waist and then hope fervently that you don’t see anyone you know. Yes, you can fit all manner of things in the handy little zippers. Yes, ‘proper runners’ wear them and you feel a bit more professional with it strapped around your waist. But a FANNY PACK? Come on people, have you no shame?!  
Quotes: neither good nor bad, just funny:
Kel, do you think you might be overdoing things a bit?” My Mum when she found me face down on my bedroom floor, butt naked during week 1 of my training. I was trying to put my knickers on, couldn’t bend my legs to put through the holes, had fallen onto the floor and couldn’t get up. (She then went downstairs for a cup of tea and left me on the floor… that’s motherly love for you!)
Running’s just a fad. I’ll give it 5 weeks.” My husband, oh he of little faith, about 5 months ago! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Watch this space guys. 4 mile ‘fast’ run tomorrow (yeh right) and I will take some photographs of my local mountain ranges. I am also working on the formal rules for ‘Pedestrian Chicken,’ keep ‘em peeled!

Happy times x

Saturday, 6 August 2011

All together now...poor Kelly...

H is for hurt (and heckles and humiliation)

I knew that running was a dangerous sport, I was told cautionary tales about shin splints, runners knee and the increased likelihood of loosing one or more of my toenails (I’ve lost two to date, which is nice!)  Unfortunately, last night, I was seriously injured… but my shins didn’t splinter oh no… and my knee didn’t detach from my body… I broke my little finger! I know, my little finger- the horror!
            ‘How did this foul injury occur?’ I can hear you screaming at your computer screen, ‘Did you stumble whilst running your eighth mile up a vertical incline? Did a participant in pedestrian chicken attack you when you refused to move out of their path?’ Alas, ‘twas none of these things.  In fact, I hadn’t even started running when I acquired this most life threatening of injuries- because I did it on my garden gate! Literally- I knocked my finger on the garden gate whilst bounding enthusiastically towards the starting point for a 4 mile hill run. And that was just the beginning of my waking nightmare!  
            After ‘recovering’ for five minutes (my recovery involved LOTS of expletives and jumping on the spot waving my finger in the air) I set off on a hill run. To be honest, I wasn’t (and still am not) entirely sure what a hill run should entail- but instead of researching it like a normal person would do, I simply set off towards the steepest hills I could find. ‘Fortunately’ for me- this hill led to another and then another. Did I mention that I live in Haworth which is basically a mountain range with olde worlde tea shops and pubs selling ‘Good old Yorkshire grub and proper bitter?’ Well I do. The hills are so steep that I felt the temperature drop as I climbed higher, I’m also sure that the air grew thinner (which would explain why I couldn’t breathe and my heart was trying to jump through my chest in a bizarre suicide mission.) I ran 2.5 miles straight up and, when the ground finally levelled out, I couldn’t feel my legs anymore. This was quite a nice sensation at the time- unfortunately it didn’t last long. As soon as I reached home, the pain began. My thighs were keen to get in on the action that my little finger had started- they throbbed, cramped and sent shooting pains down to my ankles.
            I spent my Friday night sitting with ice on both of my thighs whilst my little finger was wrapped in a bag of frozen peas. I was unable to shower because I couldn’t life my legs high enough to step into the bath. What a pleasure it must have been for my husband who magnanimously supplied me with water then sat as far away as was humanly possible while I moaned and droned about the perils of being a runner.
            I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I can be a bit slow at understanding things and/or grasping new concepts. So it was a total surprise when I discovered a wealth of running forums on the Internet- these places are magical and I cannot believe that I have spent the past 30 years unaware of how many miles Sophie B ran on Friday the 5th of August (if you’re reading, Sophie B, well done!) Because I am SO cheeky, I went on the womensrunning forum (which is really good actually- hey, I could have asked advice on there about what hill running actually is! D’oh! ) Anyway, I asked for contributions towards my runners A-Z. And, bless a runner called Sarah, she sent me a corker!

‘I love running’ A-Z
‘I hate running and wish that I had never signed up for this madness’ A-Z
H- humiliation. You may think that this should be on the other side of the table but hear me out. If, like me, you humiliate yourself every-time you go out, you develop a thick skin. This means that, when humiliating things happen in real life, you are better able to deal with them! Do you see my logic? Running really is the sport that just keeps on giving.
H is for Hecklers. Yes, cider-swilling, smoking teenager, I'm sure you think I should 'keep running' Gosh, I would never have thought of it without your words of encouragement....!!

I also went on runnersforum, where I met about twenty of the nicest people…ever! How cool is this running thing?!
10 miles tomorrow folks… bearing in mind that I still have ice on my thighs from yesterday, the next BLOG might appear sometime around Wednesday.

Happy times x

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Pedestrian Chicken

Whilst running tonight I devised a new and exciting game, it’s called ‘pedestrian chicken,’ and, even if I do say so myself, it’s awesome. Basically, if you see two people walking on your path/ track, you keep running in a straight line towards them. Eventually, either you will break and run on the road or one of the walkers will move behind their mate, giving you room to pass. I played this several times on my run tonight. I was inspired by an obese couple who were walking hand in hand along a narrow path- they saw me coming, they even exchanged a glance which screamed ‘there’s a runner coming towards us (sub-text- what the Heck is she wearing? Her arse looks awful in those pants).’ Yet they still didn’t move. I was forced onto the road where I was nearly crushed by a passing tractor – okay, perhaps crushed is the wrong word… it was travelling really slowly…and it was about half a mile away…but still. It could have been dangerous- hence my new game. Feel free to play it. We should make a league table of the rudest places in the world- where the pedestrians are least likely to move.
            I ran a ‘fast’ four miles tonight. Quite honestly, my pace wasn’t much faster than usual since I am a stoic, steadfast 10 minute mile kind of girl. As well as pedestrian chicken- which is sure to catch on- I added an extra couple of letters to my runner’s alphabet.

‘I love running’ A-Z
‘I hate running and wish that I had never signed up for this madness’ A-Z
G:  Games. If you have free head space for an hour each day what should you do? You should play games! Play runners ABC, pedestrian chicken- Hell, play ‘I went to the shop and I bought…’ but play something otherwise you might just go insane!
G: Goo. Yep, that’s it’s actual name. Manufacturers create a gloopy, foul and nasty tasting product then charge you through the nose for it. Apparently it enhances your performance- all it does to me is enhance my nausea at around mile 8!