Time to put the Mr.Grumpy mug back in the drawer – I’ve cheered up a bit (ok, a lot) mainly because I’m running again 🙂

I’ve realised this week that the old adage of ‘you can do anything if you put your mind to it’ and ‘if you take your mind out of it, you can do anything’.

Monday – Gym Day.

Since I’ve been injured with my Achilles and was told I can still go to the gym and do stuff I’ve really embraced the static bike (there is a theme here – hold onto that thought). Previously a torture machine that hurt my bum and made my man bits go funny (too much info?).

However, as I said ive been embracing the bike and have been doing 10k’s two/three times a week, taking roughly 22-24mins. Being me, I decided I needed to step things up a bit, so after a 20min warm up on the treadmill, I decided I would try and do half on hour of continuous riding and seeing how far I get.

Almost 8miles later (agonisingly almost, I’d have carried on if the bike didn’t record in KM’s) and I was pretty chuffed with myself and realised I need to invest in cycle shorts. I am thinking of giving a group cycle a go in the coming weeks – we have one called ‘the pack’ where you work in teams to win challenges etc – sounds good fun.

After cycle I went into the big scary weights room, where the big guys go and grunt for an hour a day. Now this was my point about the mind and what you can do if you take your mind out of the situation. I went to pick up my usual bar to kick off my weights session and cracked on with my normal workout. I wasn’t until 45mins later that I was taken aback – I’d missed the two little extra 5kg weights on either side of the bar – I’d been lifting an extra 10kg beyond what I thought was my ‘comfort zone’. Had I have realised this before my workout, no way would I have done what I did. Ended Monday with both wobbly arms and wobbly bottom!

Tuesday – rest day

Wednesday – hmmmm

My Achilles has been ‘ok’ for the past couple of weeks so I thought it was time to get back out after a couple of treadmill runs and 5k’s outside. Now, this is #GreatNorthRun week, after a few bad months with my Achilles and ending up in hospital the week before with gastroenteritis I decided to withdraw from the race as it really knocked me sideways. Of course, coming into the week of the race, despite cancelling the hotel and sending my number and withdrawal form back, I was still clinging onto a hope I could still do it – madness I know!.

“hmmm maybe tonight if I went and did like 8-9miles and my foot holds together I could still do it”

Sitting at my desk at work, I planned a route out from the City to Battersea Park and back to Waterloo, looking at around 8.5miles. I had brought electrolyte drink and shot blocks with me (hmmm why would I do that).

See now this is my bit about engaging my brain…..

I took off along London Wall, intentionally slowly, I had a plan in mind and in truth I walking the vast majority of the first 2/3miles and I was still quicker than my plan – but I felt as though I had finally cracked my pacing issue.

From there headed onto the embankment by the Millennium Bridge and then just kept going and going and going. I got to Chelsea Bridge and the plan was to cross over, run through Battersea Park and head back towards Vauxhall, however I was feeling good and carried onto the Albert Bridge crossed over and came back down along the South Bank of the Thames but through the gorgeous Battersea Park (cue me to sign up to one of the RunThrough Events there in the future). I tried to stick to the Thames Path (or whatever it’s called on the Southbank) all the way but due to silly building work around Battersea/Vauxhall I had to go in-land and that’s where it got tough. The constant building works and pot holed pavements didn’t exactly make for an inspiring route, I got really tired and had to force myself to run and used the tactic of running to the next set of roadworks, run to that digger etc etc.

I could see the huge tower next to Vauxhall which I now know is deceivingly big and it took quite a while to get to it. But when I did I got back on the Thames for the last little stretch. I stopped running when I got to the station, impressed that after 8miles I was still able to run, on my previous long run efforts, I’d been walking for the final mile or two completely.

The task in hand was – could I do GNR sunday? Answer, well it was the thought of instead of stopping and getting on my train at Vauxhall, carrying on running and going all the way back to the City – nah ah, not a chance did I feel capable of doing that – so at that point, I pledged GNR would have to wait for 2017.

Now granted, I did have a 5/6kg backpack on, I probably hadn’t had the same nutrition as I would have if pre-race and I wouldn’t have had a long day at work either, but I just didn’t see it happening. Happy that I’d given it ago but text home to tell the parents it was definitely not happening and I was off home to foam roll the heck out of my calves.

Thursday – errr rest day?

Friday – Indoor Sprint Triathlon?

So earlier in the week I’d been discussing a triathlon as something I want to get into and maybe doing on of the Human Race beginners Triathlons. I googled the distances required and thought I’d mix up my gym routine a bit and make it more exciting.

Now, yes, I know it is the wrong way around, but it was just easier this way. I decided what distances I would do and see how it goes.

2.5km Run – 10km Bike – 250m Swim.

Now I know I can take off 3-5mins on the run, no idea about how the cycle would go out on the road (see Saturday) and Swim, first test today.

Now the pool at my current gym is pretty small and only 3 lanes wide.

If I did 17 lengths of 15metres it would get me close to my target, however my time would be skewed due to pushing off from the wall at each lap and stop/starting etc. Well it turns out the pool is 17metres and I enjoyed it so much I just kept on going and going. I primarily swim breaststroke, but it started to introduce a bit of front crawl in for the last 5metres, then from halfway until I was swimming the length of the pool front crawl – still lots of work to do and maybe some goggles will help!.

I left the gym on Friday pretty refreshed (Jacuzzi may have helped there) and pretty pumped as I felt quite good with myself.

Saturday – Cycling (well….)

So as I’ve had to explain to colleagues, trainers etc, I never really learnt to ride as a kid. I had a bike etc, but never cracked it, until I went up a big hill then cracked my head instead.

I’d love the cycle, I’d love to just bimble around up on the common & Richmond Park and just go places under my own steam that are too far to run.  But I guess mainly I would love to do Triathlons and Sportives – I was thoroughly inspired by the Pru RideLondon – maybe because it came past my flat and I loved cheering the riders along.

So first lesson: this is a bike, get on bike, get off bike (Mr.Miyage style), repeat, practice putting feet down, scoot along (great fun :-D), then try to get two feet on the pedals (that escalated quickly).

It took me ages to get more than a foot or two, once I pushed off I felt the bike going over before I could get my left leg on the pedal and my right leg had already hit the bottom and I swiftly came to a stop. We realised it was the initial getting going that was the issue, I was a bit scared of going over. So my instructor would hold the bike up until I got both feet on & got peddling. Success, I got both feet on, peddled for about 10-15 yards and the bike was heading towards a fence, so swiftly stopped.

Next go, and I realised Chris (instructor – lovely bloke), wasn’t holding me up, I was going to have to do this myself. one more slightly failed attempt, then one more go and I got both feet on myself and I was peddling, then after 20 yards “Oh Shit……I’m riding a bike…I’m CYCLING!!!!) I’d finally cracked it (not my head this time), I knew that as long as I kept the pedals turning over I would actually stay up with little movements of the handlebars. I felt like I could’ve just gone and rode forever – but learning on a sectioned off park of a car park in Morden and not knowing how to steer made me hit the brakes for what I must say was a lovely controlled stop! Perfect way to end the lesson – lots of confidence for next time!.

Sunday – Club Run

Sunday, not my normal running day, I actually prefer running on Fridays and Saturday and keeping my Sunday’s free, but since I’ve joined my running club (fully paid up & got the t-shirt) I’ve loved the sunday morning social run. There’s a big gathering and different routes, distances (5k, 5m, 7m) and everyone is incredibly friendly and welcoming.

It took me ages to buck up the courage to go – thinking I’d be permanently at the back and everyone would be waiting for me. Turns out its not true, we stop every km to gather all together and have a quicker breather, share instructions on the route and off we go!

I am normally at the back with the coach until about half way where I seem to get a second wind and pick off some of the others. This week was lovely though, I was able slow down and offer my help and support to a slower runner. A lovely German girl who came for the first time after a couple of parkruns. I really enjoying winding it in a bit, not chasing a time or a certain pace and helping someone new to the sport where we were, how far we had to go and have a little chat along the way.

With nattering we got round rather quickly and did a quick loop of the pool (despite my new friends trepidation) and stopped to stretch out with the rest of the group once everyone had come in.

Then the best part, a nice cup of tea from the windmill café and we sat chatting for a good hour afterwards about club runs, club lasanta, runs, parkrun you name it! I’ve always been a sole runner, but I love my club now and would recommend it to anyone!

Until next time….

Oooooh – almost forgot! I’ve finally got my JustGiving page up and running (running haha).


I am raising money for Bone Cancer Research Trust and running the Royal Parks Half Marathon in their aid. So I’ll be posting this up on Twitter and Facebook and bugging you all to donate and at least RT!!!

As you were……