Thursday, 30 December 2010

Christmas Lights.....oh what a plight!

This blog comes a little late and it really does seem as though it's months since I last ran. Continuing the downward spiral in my training, the snow and ice threatened to put a stop to our annual Christmas lights and indeed last club run before the festive season commenced. I managed to persuade a few hardy souls that if we were to set off and find ourselves unable to run we could run/walk to Idle and miss out the planned visit around Wrose and Swaine House to keep it short. Those not wanting to run at all could stay behind and put the kettle on! Before we set off people began offering donations for me to put in the collection box for Marie Curie cancer care which sits in the porch of the very well lit house who's owner has sadly lost his father to the cruel disease.

So a hardy 5 of us set off, I donned my holly 'bell' earrings, and actually it was not bad at all under foot. Myself, Shirley and Laura all expressed how liberating it felt to be out, we really enjoyed it. The lights, as in previous years, were spectacular and the fundraising efforts made it all the more awe inspiring. It really is a sight to behold. Nikos took some photos before we set off back to enjoy a hot drink and a mince pie with our club mates.

Bye all and a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

So that was it, work, work, work was all that was left until Christmas. I was rather excited that my family had agreed we would all do the Christmas Day parkrun. We arrived in Lister Park bright and early after opening our presents, I tried to complete a warm up round the park with Dave, by heck it was freezing. We went down to the bandstand meet up area to hear a chap saying it was -13. Believe you me it felt it too! Martin insisted that he would 'sweep' with Dave and I was to run it for a change. Off we went to the start. By this time my fingers and toes were freezing. Gill, Laura and I stuck together, it was absolutely lovely, the sun was shining making the snow glisten. I couldn't believe how many people had turned up to take part! First lap completed, my fingers started to warm up and I felt the familiar pain associated with the thaw! We started up the teeny tiny hill for the second time, as we did so I began to feel dizzy, I then felt like I was seriously going to pass out, I stopped and beckoned Gill and Laura to tell them I wasn't feeling very well and to keep going, they stayed with me until we reached the top and round the corner met Ian and Marc, they then both agreed to carry on. I began to feel slightly better but not enough to get going again.

I was puzzled as to the cause of my malady but could only think it was something to do with the pain in my hands. All became clear as the day went on and I began to realise I had chest problems, was it flu, a cold? I had no idea but what I did know was that there was no way I was going to be able to do the Chevin Chase I had planned on Boxing Day. I text Gill and warned her I probably wouldn't be going.

Over the next few days I went from bad to worse as the illness got a grip, I definitely had picked up some bug or other.
My running is still on the back burner as I struggle to breathe without coughing let alone run and wait for the symptoms to subside.....

and wait.....

.....and wait

Monday, 20 December 2010

Elves Bells!

I was looking forward to the second of this years cross country races at Middleton Park (Rothwell Harriers playing host). The return of the white stuff had me wondering whether parkrun on Saturday and indeed the race on Sunday would be cancelled.... I texted Linda and asked if she would let me know if parkrun was cancelled and planned that if it wasn't I would go be sweeper before going to work. By Friday late evening it started snowing profusely, no parkrun in the morning I thought. I got up bright and early and texted Linda again, surely it would be called off, nothing..... So I erred on the side of caution and went to work as planned. I later found out she had decided to go ahead with it and 11 hardy runners turned up or should that be mad?

There was hope for the cross country then, being off road should prove better under foot, surely? Mick texted me late on Saturday evening to say it was definitely going ahead. We met up on Sunday morning at Morrisons and Sophie and myself travelled with Shirley. We got to Middleton Park well over an hour early, went and got ourselves registered and decided to go down to the sports centre to use their loos. As we entered the building the smell of coffee drifted out, Sophie suggested we sit in the cafe and have a drink rather than go stand in the freezing, snow covered field, no contest! A while later we went back to the car to shed our winter attire, had a really good warm up and proceeded to the start. No more ladies? Slightly disappointed, we found we only had four chaps too so neither a men's or a ladies team..... None the less it was a lovely crisp morning for a run. The person trying to give instructions for the race was hardly audible, except I then heard 3, 2, 1, go! Off we set, charging like wild horses! Not very far into the race I started to struggle, felt sick, gasping, legs like lead, was it the coffee, I had no idea but considered turning back, not something I relish the thought of so soldiered on, things didn't really get much better but I heard jingling bells behind me.... Santa? Reindeer? I turned to look as careering towards me was a rather large elf! Bells a plenty jingling away, I had to smile and plodded onwards. The ground was pretty solid and it proved tough trying not to go over on the ankles. It seemed endless as I approached two young boys, one shouted, 'is this your first lap or second' - first I gasped wishing it was my second, how much further did we have to go? Through a field we lurched and were directed round a right hand bend which proved to be a furious downhill, I just went for it, overtaking about 10 people, the elf included. Each uphill proved to be an energy sapper, it wasn't long before some of those I had conquered took back their reign!

I began to settle into a rhythm until I came to another rather large hill, it was just impossible to keep going, I came upon Mrs Elf again, she was cursing the fact that a marshal had told her a while ago that she only had about a mile and half to go, she hated it when they did that she said. With a wry smile I overtook her once more, got to the top and tried hopelessly to put one foot in front of the other - a wide open field stretched before me, complete with frozen mole hills, 'jingle, jingle, jingle' - I heard once more, to my dismay there was the green and red clad figure ambling past me again, I did my utmost to keep pace as she widened the gap between us - just around the corner I read 'Finish' phew that was a relief. I was convinced I was the last runner in but although I dared not count there were a few more after me, I'll have a peek at the results but hey I've been beaten by worse things than an elf, ...I think! I even felt too sick to claim my mince pie! Oh well this time next week I will most probably have had my fill of mince pies as I try to get myself up the hills of Otley in the Chevin Chase on Boxing Day!

Merry Christmas one and all....Keep on Running.......

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

New Shoes and Stockings!

Following an indoor coached session at Pulse Gym on Friday we've had a near normal week back at club this week so far and fingers crossed that will continue. I am still in awe of how fast the ice managed to beat a quick retreat in just a few short hours. I went to work on Friday morning slipping and sliding all over the place and came home to completely clear paths. I work in Queensbury and for anyone who doesn't know it's another world at the highest point in Bradford so no reflection of what it's like on the other side of town where I live! I have managed both club sessions quite well including our Monday speed and hills session and then an undulating 6 mile run tonight. Club numbers were very low but it is very near to the festive season now.

However, the training so far has given me an opportunity to test drive the new shoes I finally was able to go and purchase last Friday. I didn't get to 'Up and Running' as I had fully intended (a) due to the weather and then ultimately (b) due to lack of time. I ended up slipping out of work to go shopping and could only justify going to Sportsshoes, Bradford, not Leeds.
Here is the result:

Mizuno Lady Wave

As discussed with Peter I have decided to go back to the make of shoe I had quite some time ago. The assistant in the shop was not convinced that I needed new shoes at all and was very reluctant to encourage me to buy them. She talked to me at length, had me running on the treadmill and up and down the aisles of the shop in both Nike and Mizuno shoes. She also asked a senior sales person to talk to me too. He was very informative, as are all the professionals I have discussed my plight with. He did stress though that 'not everyone sings from the same hymn sheet'! Which I guess is why I feel quite frustrated that one person says one thing while another says something totally the opposite in their advice, I think this is why I feel that I have lost my mojo a little and am just trying to get by but my heart really isn't in it at all.

One thing the senior chap at Sportshoes said was that compression would help, and so in accordance with Peter's advice to ditch my beloved Thorlos socks and get thinner ones I have coupled this with compression too so I'm now running round like someone in those very unflattering hospital tights! Lucky I need long running tights at this time of year!

Black and White

My New Year's resolution? I'm thinking about it but one thing is for certain, I definitely need one......

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

soul searching

It's been a funny old week.

I visited Peter just over a week ago. Following my giving him my account of the Abbey Dash he requested that I take my running shoes and socks to my next visit. I went for my 4.30 appointment with quite a spring in my step since I had enjoyed the previous Sunday's race so much and managed a great session at club the next day.

Examining my Nikes really closely, twisting and turning them, Peter declared that he had once purchased a pair of Nike shoes, run 3 miles and put them in the bin! Astonished I declared that these particular Pegasus model were the third pair of said make of shoes I had had due to owning the Nike sportband, I had wanted the shoes that allowed me to place the sensor for the sportband under the sole in a purpose made 'well'. He urged me to look back to the time when I had not had Nike shoes and to think what make I had previously purchased and when my injury problems began. I began to cast my mind back to the first pair I had bought, then the second and finally these I wear today. If my memory serves me correctly the first time I ever suffered any kind of injury was when I moved from Mizuno to Nike. Peter said that any kind of numbness as I had suffered in the latter part of the Abbey Dash was not good, each time I saw him my ankles were swollen, he counteracts it with massage and then the next time I see him it's back again. This he concluded was down to my shoes and circulation, ditch the socks and get thinner ones and get some new shoes, Mizuno if possible, flexible ones and make sure they are not tight, don't lace them too tight and have a week off running all together with a view to be wearing new shoes the next time I do run. I have done much soul searching over the past week - just how much more I can take I don't know, being put on the bench again has really dented my enthusiasm and I fear this could become the norm as I fail to summon up not a drop of disappointment that I don't have to run.

I'm now well over a week since I have run, not may I say due to my own decisions but more due to the weather and partying, my brother's 60th Birthday and a farewell get together for fellow runner and dear friend Lisa as she moves to Spain to start a new life. At least 7 inches of snow has fallen in my garden meaning I haven't been able to get to the running shop to purchase the new shoes. So at the mercy of the weather I live in hope that some time soon I will indeed be able to make that all important visit and put an end to my soul searching, if, that is, there is an end to it.