Santa Delivered the 5k ‘Power the Sleigh’ Challenge!

I wrote a blog previously to say I entered a 5k virtual run through VirtualRunnerUK for my brother, my 6 year old nephew and I. 

I didn’t tell my nephew and instead I made a scroll from Santa with a race bib and left it in the house for him. We played some jingle noises and the house fell silent. Him and his little 2 year old brother crept up the stairs to find the delivery on the bed. 

The excitement on their faces was priceless!

  
He unwrapped the letter and got super excited. I knew he would ask ‘but how can Santa see me doing the run?’ So I had cut up an old phone is card to attach to the race bib as a ‘tracking device’. It all made perfect sense to him. He tracked Santa last year on Christmas Eve and nowhe thought Santa would be tracking all the boys and girls doing this run. 

He is excited now to receive more details from the elves nearer to the time with the route – so I’ll make a little map for him! 

The sleigh is powered by magic dust and the dust is created by chosen boys and girls running around the world. This year Josh was selected and he is over the moon!

After the run he will get his certificate I’ve made, a magnet of him running (to stick on the fridge!), a medal (from virtualrunneruk) and hopefully a print out of his name on the website after we submit his details and his proof of run!

A bit of Christmas magic!

  

My Birthday!

It’s 01:04 so technically the 22nd November ended just over an hour ago and it’s no longer my birthday… but as I’ve not yet slept I’m still ‘birthday girl’!

No miles for me today, instead it has been a day of rest and relaxation (mainly due to OH and his broken leg… convenient timing!), eating lots of naughty food and cake, opening presents and seeing my family.

I came downstairs this morning to a treasure hunt! I do them all the time for my nephews, so it was sweet he did one for me 😂 I followed the clues around the front room (again, limited hiding places due to broken leg!) and it led me to a certificate from the OH! I had an amazing present… a garmin forerunner 235 is on order 😍😍😍 Not released until November 25th. I can not wait to get that and try it out. I’m so grateful and so overwhelmed! 

When I got to my parents, they told me to pick trail shoes and they will buy them, again I’m just so happy and so grateful. 

So it looks like I’ll be out with a fresh kick of motivation soon. It’s such a nice feeling to have my family support me with the running, made me feel very special today. 

Everything else was minion or doctor who related from my parents, brothers and nephews… onesies, tardis cup (to match my tardis teapot!), minion stompeez (from my nephews), minion meets doctor who t-shirt, fluffy socks, minion sweets and bits n bobs. So, quite a minion, running and doctor who theme 😂

Big minion cake too!

  
I guess that even at 35 I can still be a big kid! I’ll update with some pictures tomorrow!!

For now though, this birthday girl has got to switch off and go to sleep!

Night night x

  

Hill Repeats & Cake… Ending in A&E!

Wednesday 17th November

Legs tired from the biking and Crossfit the previous day. 

Rested Wednesday day time and made some chocolate cakes…

  
Then it was off to Penn Lane in Runcorn, in the wind and rain, to do some hill repeats. 

We had a gentle warm up run round the block, then hit the hill:

– top of hill and back, gentle pace x 2

– rest 30 sec

– sprint 1/2 way, gentle pace down x 4 with 30 sec rest breaks

– rest 1 min

– sprint 1/4 way, gentle pace down x 6 with no rest

– cool down doing same run as warm up but in reverse. 

   
 
I don’t stop my app during the rests, so it does mean I can’t see my running pace. Unless someone can help me understand how to see this – only because I’m curious on my speed up each climb! I’ve just started to use strava so still getting the hang of it 😊 Strava run

Post run it was a quick trip to the pub for a yummy old mout kiwi cider and to enjoy some cakes and catch up with the lovely ladies… all was going well until I got a call from OH to say he had cut his football game short and was on his way to accident and emergency… so I ended the day collecting him in a plaster cast, with his leg confirmed broken, from A&E. 

I had spent so long convincing him to run a Santa dash with me in a few weeks… now he has the best excuse to watch instead of participate… the lengths he goes to avoid running with me!

A day on the bike

Tuesday 16th November

I decided to join a small group of ladies for a bike ride on Tuesday. Set up by a group called ‘Breeze’ and apparently they have rides for ladies only all over the UK. More information on them here

Free to jump on, all you have to do is sign up to be a member at ‘Go Sky Ride’ here (again, all free) then you can find local rides you fancy and add yourself to them. There are lots of guided rides with ‘Breeze’ on there. 

It was a nice ‘leg’ day as we cycled from Warrington, Cheshire to Marbury, Cheshire and back. 29.6 miles in total. 

I’ve just joined strava too and mapped the journey on there. Will continue to use now to track my runs on there. My Strava Ride 

  
I haven’t ridden my mountain bike that far before, it’s usually my road bike that goes on the longer journeys… so it was tough for me to ride for that long on that seat! I had a very sore bum at the end, even with my padded cycle shorts on!!

It was a fantastic day though and I do highly recommend the groups if you enjoy cycling and haven’t done this before. Our ‘breeze champion’ who is the leader on the ride gave a good history on the area and knew the ride well, taking us to a lovely pub for lunch. Louise kept the ride at a nice pace and it felt more like an enjoyable social get together than a guided tour, the atmosphere in the group was great and Louise always made sure we were together and ensured the route was safe. 

All in all, I got some leg training, met some lovely ladies that I would never have met otherwise and got to se my bike to explore more of the local area that I would never have known about. 

 

We had set off at 10am and were back by 3pm. I booked onto my Crossfit class and ended the day with a 4.30pm Crossfit class (still covered in mud from the bike ride!). 

I’ve just signed up for another Breeze ride 1st December – already excited as to who I’ll meet on this ride and what adventure we will go on and what places I’ll see!! 

  

Just to be clear, I haven’t been asked or incentivised to write this for Breeze or for Go Sky Ride. This is my account after finding them and joining for a ride. 

Running Gear

This is not a typical blog post for me.

It’s more a cry for help!!

Where do you shop for your running gear?

– I have a good pair of Hoka one one trainers that I love for road running, but I want to start running trail and wondered what recommendations people have?

– Some new running bras are a must, I’ve noticed the ones I use for weight training just don’t hold me well for running. What do people recommend?

– As the nights get darker I’m in need of a head torch too but no idea where to look. 

– I’d like to add compression socks to my collection too. Mainly for the longer runs, but also for when the weather gets colder and icy (as I only run in shorts)

– lastly, I get my running clothes from decathlon, asics and Nike… are there good online stores I’m missing?
Share below where you shop, recommendations, links etc 

Thank you!

Running with friends…

It’s a cold, wet and windy Sunday in November. 

4.50pm and it’s just starting to get dark.

Yet here I am in my short shorts, t-shirt on and hooking Millie up to my waist belt. 

  
I’m running with two ladies from the plodders group tonight and I’m excited for 3 reasons:

1. I’m getting off my bum and going outside on an adventure!

2. I get to run with two awesome ladies!

3. They know the area better than me, so no getting lost!!

We had a great run, plodding along over a distance of 3.3 miles, chatting and laughing. Much better than watching the idiot box with a brew – which was the alternative plan for the evening!

I got home to a nice bath of bubbles and a pint of juice, while tea is being cooked while I soak – spoilt!

Tomorrow I’m getting back into some one to one sessions of PT as well as getting back into at least 3 sessions of Crossfit. Feeling very much back on it and still a little nervous that 6.5 miles is still my furthest distance and I have to work on doubling that for early next year!!!

  

Hills, hills and more hills!

After my holiday, I’ve had a rest from all forms of exercise as I had a lot going on in my personal life and an inner ear infection affecting my balance. 

Yesterday I found the courage to get back to Crossfit. 

Yes, courage was needed. 

I find that a month away and I feel nervous to return, worried I can’t do anything, scared I’ll fail. The thing is, deep down I know there’s never anything to worry about – the people are like extended family and there’s nothing to ‘fail’ as turning up and doing the wod is the only goal!

So after an EMOM of 10mins doing 3 x squat cleans at a nice easy weight of 30kg, followed by 100 wall balls with another nice easy weight of 5kg and 100 box jumps, over 10 rounds of 10 each per round… I thought I had eased myself back in well. Didn’t push it, kept it nice, but still worked up a sweat. 

This isn’t what my legs said today!

I have spent the day on my sofa, with the occasional trip to the kettle or the bathroom… legs were ever so slightly sore!

However, today is Thursday and I promised myself I would return to plodders tonight. 

A cold, dark, wet night and rumour is its a ‘Penn Lane’ night (hills). 

My legs are aching and yet I was excited to pull on my shorts and get over to the meeting point. 

I was a little nervous, but more excited to see everyone. 

(I’m the one in shorts looking excited in a room full of of people dressed up warm for the November weather!) 

   

A quick catch up with everyone, then we were off for what turned out to be a fantastic night!

It was dark, the roads were wet and slippy with the Autumn leaves on the ground… a fantastic setting for Lou (our leader) to show the ninja skills she keeps a secret… Was it a fall? Was it a roll? Was she trying to cross the road in a way Ethan Hunt would be proud of?! Whatever it was, it certainly provided some entertainment for us to watch, probably a few bruises for Lou though and yes… we probably could have been a little more sympathetic 😂

The hill work we did was fun. Yes, I said fun!

I do love bouncing up hills. 

Even though my legs were like jelly from last night, I just kept going and remembering the first time I ran that hill it was horrendous. My back ached, my determination ceased to exist and I had no belief in myself. Fast forward less than 3 months and I’m excited to run it, full of determination and I’m finally in control of my body. 

My brain an no longer tell my legs to stop because ‘it can’t be bothered’ or because ‘they will never make it, so what’s the point’ and if it tried to, my legs know they can just keep moving and the rest of the body will push on with them. I run now because I know I can. I’ll stop when I can’t run, not when I don’t want to run. My brain and body are working together and that’s a nice feeling. 

I just need to keep challenging that link with some longer distances and some off road running to keep my mind active too. My body needs to keep proving to my mind what it’s capable of. 

Self doubt is something I’m sure a lot of us are guilty of. Sometimes we let it eat us up until it becomes ‘fact’ in our minds ‘I can’t …’ and we believe that so much, we don’t even try. We give in. We believe the self doubt and the fear. How can we say ‘I can’t …’ without attempting it? Most of the time, when we attempt something, we realise we need to change the ‘fact’ to ‘I can …’  

This is something I am trying harder to do everyday. 

It was the main reason for this blog and what started this journey. 

‘I can’t run 3 miles, let alone 13.1 miles’

Well, I can run 3 miles… I’ve run it several times… I can run 6 miles, done that a few times now… and I’m pretty sure with a bit more training I CAN run 13.1 miles in May next year!