A muddy, dark and amazing 7.5 miles!

 

It was very dark!

I’m home, showered and feeling amazing!

7.5 miles in the bag tonight and had the energy for another lap to take me to 10… but my brother got a call from his wife to say tea was ready, and as we spent most of the run discussing food, that was the call that made us run back to our cars to head off home. 

It was my first run in the dark, the mud, off road, in my trail hokas and it felt great. We picked a route that we knew and was a 2mile distance and just went round in circles ending in a figure 8 to get back to the cars. At no point did I feel tired, it wasn’t a fast pace and we didn’t even monitor the pace, I just wanted to go and enjoy a run!

 

We did 3 loops round and cut through the middle on the fourth in a figure of eight to head back to the cars
 
The plan was to start off slow so we could add some miles on, but we ran slower than needed and gradually picked up the pace when we realised we had run further than I thought. 

  
I honestly felt we could have ploughed on a few more miles, which is a lovely feeling to end the run with. We had good banter round the run and at no point was it uncomfortable, too fast, tiring or painful. I loved it. 

I was nervous to run where we chose in the dark. Now though, I can’t wait to get back out in the dark and the mud. I really did love it!

Tomorrow is a speed session with my friend, so I’m looking forward to that. Sprints used to be what I was far better at… but I’m slowly starting to feel more comfortable with the longer plods. 

I just feel so upbeat at the moment with all the training. This run tonight has also given me confidence that I can run the 1/2 marathon with a little bit more training. My goal now though is to ensure I’m strong enough to do it in a good time too!

  

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First week of 2016 ✔️✔️✔️

This week has been a crazy one!

First week of 2016!

Sunday 3rd – 6.27 miles running

Monday 4th – 1hr 1st Crossfit session of 2016

Tuesday 5th – 3.1 miles running

Wednesday 6th – 1hr Crossfit and 2.2 miles walking

Thursday 7th – 3.1 miles running and 2.8 miles walking

Friday 8th – rested!

Saturday 9th – 2hr Olympic lifting training
It has been a sore week back as DOMs kicked in mid week! 

I wrote about my run on Sunday and my first Crossfit session of 2016 on Monday. 

TUESDAY:

The 3.1 miles I did on Tuesday was a run round a loop we do a lot in plodders, with my friend Sabrina. It was a wet evening and cold, but a good run to burn off some Christmas mince pies! 

WEDNESDAY:

With the DOMs starting to kick in from Monday, I went off to Crossfit on Wednesday. It was a good session. We warmed up with running, kettlebell exercises and good mornings (10×3 @ 25kg). 

We then moved on to building up to a heavy 3 rep deadlift in 15 mins. 

I did: 8 x 55kg, 8 x 65kg, 5 x 75kg, 5 x 85kg, 3 x 95kg, 3 x 100kg, 3 x 105kg

Not as heavy as I usually build to, but I was very happy to have done that after the Christmas break. 

Then came the wod: 11.2 (aaahhhhhh!) 15min AMRAP: 9xDL (I used 55kg), 12xPU, 15xBJ (20″). I managed 6 full rounds + 9 DL.

Later in the afternoon, I took my dog Millie out for a 2.2 mile walk to loosen off my muscles!

THURSDAY:

This was the day my muscles were really aching! I knew it was plodders Thursday and I didn’t want to miss the first session back, so I headed out with Millie to walk off some of the stiffness. We finished our 2.8 mile walk with just enough time for me to eat and then head out to plodders. 

I wasn’t feeling great for a benchmark run. My glutes and hamstrings were tight and sore. I headed off with the group though and made it round. I’m not going to lie, it was tough. I surprised myself at the end when I saw the time I had completed it in. 

I first did the ‘loop’ in August when I joined plodders. I did it in 36 mins. (Back on my Nike app)

25th Aug 35.51

Fast forward to Dec and dropped to 34.54

This session I did it in 28.04!

That’s 8 mins quicker in 5 months!

  

 

i’m in the shorts at the front!
 
FRIDAY:
I rested, and boy did I need that rest!

SATURDAY: 

Olympic weightlifting session. We worked on snatch technique, clean and jerk, push press and back squats. 

I love these sessions, usually slow and heavy reps working on correct form and technique. 

SUNDAY:

That brings us to TODAY! My plan was to meet my brother and go on a long run today. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to reach him all day. So, I’ll lace up and take myself for a run later – just won’t be as long as I had planned. Tomorrow I have a planned speed session with Sabrina, Crossfit Tuesday, Crossfit Wednesday and a run with my brother, plodders hill session on Thursday, Crossfit Friday and then a park run on Saturday!

*******

It’s been a great start to the year for me. I hope you’ve all had a great start so far and I’d love to hear how you’re getting on!

1st Crossfit WOD of 2016!

Monday, Jan 4th

4 days into the year and I realise today is my first day in the box this year!

I didn’t check the WOD before heading there so I creep over to the board at 12.20pm to scope it out, before it starts at 12.30pm. 

My choices were:

8 min AMRAP

  • 10 x wall balls
  • 10 x burpees 
  • 10 x kbs 

4 min rest

  • 1k run

OR

KELLY (30 min time cap)

I went with option 1… We did the warm up and I got my 5kg ball and 16kg kettlebell ready to start. I made it through 3 rounds and 5 burpees in the first 8 mins, then I managed the 1k run in 6min 21. 

I was done 😊… or so I though 🙈

I hadn’t realised there was a small x 2 at the bottom. 

So, after another 4 min rest I had to do it all again!! 

This time I surprisingly went quicker on the run, despite feeling exhausted! I managed 3 rounds and 10 wall balls in the first 8 mins and the 1k run in 5.23. 

Felt good driving home. Lots of energy!

Short lived though… I got home, showered, sat down and stayed there for 2 hours!

If I had closed my eyes, I know I could have slept for hours… but as I haven’t been sleeping at night I refused to have a nap thinking I would sleep like a baby in the evening. 

So, why am I writing this now? I should be asleep!!

Went to bed at 10.30pm and haven’t slept a wink. It’s 3am now and I’ve given in. I’ve got up walked around, made a drink and I know tomorrow will be exhausting if I can’t sleep. 

The last few years my shoulders have itched to the bone… but only when it’s cold and at night when I try to relax. It’s never been that bad that I can’t sleep though. The last week or so, it has been. I just can’t get comfortable and my joints ache – shoulders and elbows. No idea what’s causing it, but I will be booking a trip to the doctors this week. 
Anyway, I have another Crossfit session tomorrow followed by a 5k run with my running buddy, Sabrina! So, I’m going to try force myself to sleep for 5 hours 😴😴😴

Surprise 10k!

On Sunday I saw a post in our ‘Runcorn Plodders’ group… ‘Who fancies a run tonight?’ 

I was having a lazy day and was supposed to have gone for a run with my brother, but he had a change of plans. 

I was quite content staying on the sofa, hot brew in hand.

However, I found my self typing back to confirm I’d join!

We met at 7.15pm and in my head I just thought it would be a little 2 or 3 mile plod. 

4 of us set off. We threw some hills in and planned a 5k run and planned to loop again if we fancied going on. I decided I was going to call it at 5k. 

One of the ladies didn’t feel very well, she is a strong one, but was recovering from a nasty chest infection… so we ran her home to ensure she wasn’t on her own in the dark. We had some giggles along the way and it was a fun, gentle plod. 

And then there were 3…

We had hit 5k at this point so we decided to make it 10k by the time we got to my parked car. 

I say ‘we’ but I really didn’t have a choice. 

With my complete lack of direction, I had no idea where my car was! I just matched the pace of Kerry and trotted along next to her. It’s so much easier for me to run with someone as I just slip into their pace and match the foot hitting the pavement with theirs. It becomes natural and I don’t even think about it. When I’m on my own I struggle to find that comfortable pace. 

We ended on 6.27 miles and in a good time too. For the last mile or so, we were pretty much within touching distance of my car but zig zagged around it… probably a good job I didn’t work this out until the end!!

It was a fantastic session though, an unexpected 10k and I felt great. Even felt like I could have done a few more miles. 

  

First day of 2016!

Woke with a slight prosecco/cider hangover at 11am.

Stayed in bed until 12pm… Almost wrote the whole day off!

I got up though, sorted my stuff out and travelled over to my parents at 2pm for a ‘New Year Dinner’ with my brother, my nephews and my parents. Unfortunately my other brother didn’t make it… by all accounts his hangover was very bad!

About an hour or two after the big feast, my brother and I changed into our running gear – determined to start the year with a good run. We mapped a route out and went out to see if we could run it. 

The first two miles we ran together chatting about 2015 and what we see us doing in 2016, talked about his kids/my nephews and generally caught up. 

During the first 3 miles, my back ached. The way it did when I first started running. By mile 2 my left foot had started to go numb. It was uncomfortable and a horrible feeling. My big toe was completely numb and the rest of my foot was part numb, part pins and needles. I loosened my shoe laces and we ran on. It was like it for a good mile. 

When we hit the 5k/3.1 mile mark, Jay ran on ahead on one route while I ran in a different direction. If we followed the route correctly we would meet at a roundabout – giving jay the opportunity to run his 6 min miles and cover more ground while I plodded along at just over 10 min miles. 

This was a great plan… In theory!

I got to the roundabout and met Jay thinking our timing was spot on. 

When we got home and looked over our routes I realised I had taken a wrong turn when on my own and extended my run. This meant that when Jay first got to the roundabout I was nowhere to be seen. He looped round looking for me then headed back to the roundabout to see my light bobbing along assuming he had just got there too!

Just as we were going over the maps and realising I had increased the run by and extra 1/2 mile for us both, my 6 year old nephew walks in to say ‘Daddy, Emma always gets lost… she only has to go out the front door and she is lost!’

2016 is the year that I will learn to read a map, follow a map and not get lost!!

  


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End of 2015!

What a year it has been!

2015 started with a glass of champagne on my mums sofa in my onesie… and I’m pretty sure 2016 will start in the same way but in my own home this year due to a poorly dog!

January:

  • Kicked off with a round of golf Jan 2nd at The Oaks Golf Club in Mollington, Cheshire. 
  • My nan was very poorly in hospital but came out later in the month
  • Had lots of snow and took my nephews sledging up by mine in North Wales
  • Travel: London, Dublin, Chicago 

  

February:

  • Spent a week working in Chicago, stayed at the Westin this year near the airport as opposed to being in downtown Chicago. 
  • Lots of mall shopping, Cheesecake Factory visits, lots of snow, hotel gym workouts, Super Bowl, line dancing, meeting  Chris Gardner who wrote ‘the pursuit of happiness’ and was played by Will Smith on the big screen.
  • Started my PT sessions up again
  • Ski trip in Borovets, Bulgaria with my friend Jilly. 
  • Travel: Chicago, Dublin, Netherlands, Bulgaria 

  

March:

  • Took my mum to see Lionel Richie in Liverpool, gave my dad a ticket too to keep her company! (For 2016 I got her tickets to meet him!)
  • Did a ‘Woofs & Wellies’ walk with the local hospice. 
  • It was the month of the eclipse!
  • Attended a fantastic weightlifting workshop focusing on ‘snatch’ and ‘clean and jerk’. PB in both too 😊
  • Decreased the time in my 2k row to 8:31
  • Travel: Liverpool!

  

April:

  • Easter, got Liverpool kits for my adorable nephews instead of chocolate!
  • Awesome bike ride adventure with my oldest nephew
  • Joe and I cycled to Liverpool 
  • Day trip to Manchester golf show
  • Travel: London, Scotland 

  

May:

  • Got myself a new deadlift PB of 145kg and was super pleased at lifting over 2x my body weight!
  • Started golf lessons to brush up on my game play
  • Got my first birdie on the golf course at Sandfield Golf Course
  • Attended Bodypower Expo in Birmingham with VIP pass – Dana Linn Bailey 💪🏼😍
  • Drinks for my friend Hannah’s 30th
  • Rockclimbing with my nephews
  • Travel: Birmingham 

  

June:

  • Oldest nephews 6th birthday and we rocked up in fat suits to surprise everyone!
  • Awesome seminar at CW1 Crossfit in Crewe, Cheshire with Steve Fawcett and Buff Box Meals
  • Overnight stay and rounds of Golf at Cally Palace Hotel in Scotland
  • Shared a cinema screen with 7 random adults and not a child in site watching ‘Minions!’
  • Travel: London, Cambridge, Scotland 

  

July:

  • Got myself some Adidas Drehkrafts for Olympic lifting!
  • Had my long waist length hair chopped to chin length 😱
  • England ladies win bronze in Fifa women’s World Cup!
  • Built dens in the forest with my nephews
  • Crossfit Warrington night out after the summer throwdown – lots of fun!
  • Did my first session with Runcorn Plodders!!
  • First 5k colour splash for Trinity Hospice in Blackpool on the beach, with my brother and my nephew Josh!
  • Travel: London, Blackpool 

  

August:

  • More golf fun at Mollington Golf Club!
  • Google cardboard changed my life!
  • Got my first pair of running shoes from Run Geek – Hoka One One
  • Went to the filming of Ninja Warrior UK and met the gorgeous Chris Kamara
  • Experienced camping for the first time 
  • Climbed Snowden with Joe and Millie (my Labrador)
  • Travel: Manchester, Snowden

  

September:

  • Running starting to pick up as I do more running on my own and start this blog
  • Got to see my brother Jamie use the Christmas gift I got him and fly a helicopter in Manchester!
  • Got my plodders running vest and loved my first hill session
  • Tried chicken drumsticks for the first time eek!
  • Ran my longest distance at 5.90 miles 64mins
  • Had a hedgehog come visit in the back garden – so cute!
  • Plodders graduation
  • Legoland fun in Manchester
  • Travel: London, Cambridge, Manchester

  

October:

  • My first 10k race. Completed in 59:34 PB finishing 174/450!
  • Some winter sun with a 2 week all inclusive holiday in Riu Toureg, Boa Vista, Cape Verde – lots of running in the sun too!
  • Travel: Boa Vista in Cape Verde

  

November:

  • First time marshalling – Norton Priory 5
  • Went to ‘An Evening For The Angels’ raising money for Miscarriage Association
  • Had a plod with some lovely ladies
  • Left my job after 6 years there. Opening new doors for a new adventure. 
  • First breeze bike ride
  • Joe did his leg in, we thought it was a simple break but turned out to be worse – 2 damaged ligaments in his ankle 😞
  • I celebrated getting a year older with a lovely meal at Casa Italia in Liverpool (one on my fave Italians!) and mainly drinking tea from my new tardis to match my tardis teapot (simple things!!)
  • Travel: none!

  

December:

  • A month of Christmas preparations! Made chocolates with my nephew
  • More hills with the plodders
  • Focused a lot on snatch technique this month with Ged and Beth
  • My youngest brother turned 30… making me feel very old!
  • My other brother and I set up weekly long runs
  • Completed the Reindeer Rush for Miscarriage Association
  • Completed the Livewire 1mile Santa dash, in a fat suit, with my 2 year old nephew
  • Completed the Nantwich 5k Santa dash, in a fat suit, with my 6 year old nephew 
  • Millie had surgery on her ear 😢
  • Completed my first virtual run with my brother and 6 year old nephew
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens premier – amazing!!
  • Christmas night out with the plodders
  • 5k PB of 28:58
  • I ended December with a 5k run last night taking my total miles for this month to 35 (PB: most miles in a month to date for me!)

  
All in all I loved this year and I’m looking forward to next year. Running has changed a lot for me in the last few months. I’ve met some brilliant people and found a new passion in my life. As scary as the prospect of my first 1/2 marathon is, I’m excited for the challenge.

I have so many other things to look forward to in 2016 too… camping trips (after my first was a success this year!),  hearing all about my mum meeting her idol Lionel Richie, really hope she enjoys it! My brother bungee jumping with his ‘jump into your 30’s’ gift off Joe and I! New adventure in a new job, more Crossfit and weightlifting, hopefully more running events and maybe even signing up to a marathon before the year is over!! Lots of other stuff going on in my personal life too!!

So, here’s to a fantastic 2016 as we wave goodbye to 2015 – have a great night whatever you’re up to… I plan to be on my sofa in a comfy onesie with my dog, my man and a glass of prosecco!

Festive Break!

Hope you had a lovely Christmas!

Mine was the usual… hectic, fun, noisy and all about family!

I’ve also enjoyed taking a few days rest and recharging my batteries. I haven’t been out for a run since last Wednesday and don’t have another scheduled until tomorrow. 

The only exercise I’ve done is a Crossfit PT session on Sunday. 

It was a great session though as my OHS is improving so much and while we have been ironing out the issues with my shoulder, back, hip and knee all working together, it has been helping to improve my running! 

Looking forward to a 3.1 mile run tomorrow with Sabrina and hopefully a 5 mile run with my brother on New Years Day. 

I have the 1/2 marathon in May and this was the reason I started this blog… this is my big goal – to complete a 1/2 marathon… So, today I want to start looking at training plans. Never used a training plan but I think I need some guidance for the distance and best ways to train. Any advice?

I think I will also start looking at events/races to enter in 2016 to keep me on track and focused. I quite like the virtual challenges!

– What have you been up to during the festive break? Resting and relaxing or still clocking up the miles?

– Any training advice you can share or links/blogs/apps to help with training for my first 1/2 marathon?

Please comment below, I genuinely appreciate the advice from you.