Friday, 27 May 2011

Taking stock........

It's necessary to take stock from time to time. In all areas of life. This week I have been forced to take stock, all round. It's got to the point where I seriously do not know if I'm coming or going, big style. I'm always like that anyway, trying to stretch myself here, there and everywhere, that's my nature, I've never, ever, been any different. Something in my life changes, for whatever, reason, something takes over that spot. I deal with it. For the most part. Then for some unknown reason, (well that's not entirely true, but let's not go there,)I am forced to take stock, look at how ridiculous my weeks have become, which is difficult because they all blur into one. Trying to balance, work, home, running, tending my allotment and everything else which weaves in between all that, and it's just not working. Several times last week I found myself down at Stanley Street allotments watering my vegetables at going on for 10 O'clock, yes in the dark!

These Summer months, lighter, longer nights may be favourable but we always want more don't we? Not satisfied that it doesn't really draw in until 9:40 I have to stretch it out even longer.

So my first casualty? Parkrun.... I have had to make the difficult decision to step back, at least for a while. Largely due to the transport issues I've been documenting recently, and there's still no sign of a solution. As well as the prospect of adding over six miles to the 5k parkrun by walking there and back, three club nights and mid week races, I started to feel the pinch. I've had a couple of near misses injury wise in the last couple of weeks, hamstring and quad strains, so I fear I am treading on rocky ground and may well be heading for trouble. I may make further changes still, but for now I'm going to see how it goes. I am still on the trail of an alternative activity to even out the load and have been looking into Zumba classes ....... here we go again......

Meanwhile I'm extremely pleased to report that I did obtain that elusive PB at the final race in the John Carr series - not by very much but none the less a PB of which I'm very proud as the 5k time to beat was set in 2009!

There's life in the old dog yet!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Faster than the speed of light!

Well not quite! Last night we dropped the 'hills' from our 'speed and hills' session and turned it into a speed session!

Some time ago sessions were provided by the club behind local supermarket, Morrisons at Five Lane Ends. These sessions were coached activities comprising, hurdles, relays etc. Very enjoyable sessions they were too. Trying to keep what is provided on training nights fresh and varied is a difficult task which we, the Committee, all have a hand in from time to time. Mick suggested a while ago that we might benefit from a speed based variation such as a track session or similar, aimed at improving fitness. After failing to secure a night where we could use the nearest track to our club on one of our training nights, Horsfall near Shelf, he suggested that we might be able to use the industrial area round the back of Morrisons, some weeks later he had cleared the way for us to use it.

We (Mick & I) met up an hour before our monthly steering Committee meeting on Sunday tea time to throw some ideas around and see if we could remember anything from our previous sessions. We came up with a few ideas and agreed that we should keep the session quite short but with maximum effort. I'm pleased to report that by and large it went really well. The weather wasn't kind to us, it was very blustery and drizzling the whole time we were training. Those Members that expressed their views, approved of our team relays and overall speed work saying that it was really good as it encouraged you to work hard without realising it. The camaraderie involved in such sessions is second to none, if you didn't know everyone's names beforehand you did afterwards! It really did turn into a bonding exercise. I hope that the enthusiasm will spread throughout the club and encourage those who may be perhaps a little apprehensive at trying such sessions to give it a go next time.

Wednesday sees the final race in the John Carr 5k series and I'm pleased to report that I was a couple of pounds lighter when I alighted the scales last Saturday so hopefully by now I might just have shed a couple that elusive PB on the cards? Watch this space!!

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Every second counts....

Last night saw the second in the series of the John Carr 5k races. I must admit to being a little apprehensive as we set out to drive to Esholt. After Monday’s club night of a pyramid/hill session my left hamstring felt very tight, luckily for me I already had a massage with Peter May booked for Tuesday tea time. I had been looking forward to it anyway as I’ve had a few issues with the (previously injured) right ankle area too. Not so much recurrence of my old injury as pain that seemed to be radiating from my heel, plantar fasciitis? Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammatory process of the plantar fascia. Those not familiar with this condition are advised to read up on how to prevent it at all costs; apparently it is excruciatingly painful, often described as feeling like nails sticking into the heel.

The good news is that Peter gave my legs a good going over and declared that he in no way associated my foot pain with plantar, maybe ligament trouble and he managed to loosen off my hamstring. However, the following morning the hamstring was still causing pain; it did feel more of an ache than a pulled muscle but how does one know? On the start line at the John Carr I was wondering whether I would be troubled by it or get round in one piece. Thankfully it was the latter and I even managed to knock one whole second off last week’s time. Still chasing that elusive 5k PB, missing it again by a second. Will next week be the week? Can I knock off those pesky seconds? I shall certainly be giving it a good try!

Thanks to Sophie – or Speedysoph as she’s affectionately known in club I’ve taken the plunge to try and shift some of the excess weight I’m carrying around too, largely since Marathon training ceased and also no doubt a large portion of it went on when I was injured. There's a tendency to up your intake and then fail to adjust it once the level of activity decreases. It certainly has been a bit of a rollercoaster these past few months. What with starting out on the Wii yoga and then distance training with the marathoners, I've dropped it all like a ton of bricks since London. Not a conscious decision, I have to say, more of a diversion, in that my attentions have been focused elsewhere but that's another story for another day! So weightwatchers are once again having the benefit of my company for the next few months or so anyway. Who knows, maybe a few pounds lighter next week, hopefully, will be the key, after all every second counts.........Especially if it leads to a PB!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Ups and downs

John Carr Race 1

Where to start?.....

It's been a little while since I've blogged. Various reasons are to be attributed to this. Work, lack of transport, injuries, decorating, Bank Holidays, lack of internet access, I won't go on.

I've certainly had an 'ups and downs' couple of weeks in all aspects of life but mainly running or not as the case may be. I'm sure most runners will tell you that at some point or other during the time they have been running they've 'lost their mojo'. I certainly have at the moment, more for racing than social running but both have suffered of late. I've been striving to keep up with life whilst one family car is off the road leaving us with only the 2 seater smart car, try getting a very tall son and a boisterous Dave to parkrun in that! No fun I can tell you and in addition there's the other half needing to get to work on a Saturday morning. So last week I decided to walk to Lister Park, do my usual duty of sweeping at parkrun then walk back home again, Marc was having none of it and Dave loved it. Trouble is I could hardly walk for two days afterwards, walking had a strange effect on me from the hips down, I thought I walked quite a lot, dog walking and all that, I fear I don't do as much as I thought and I really must try do more of it from now on. I know that different muscles are exercised when walking as opposed to running but my word I really did suffer, I felt like a 90 year old and believe you me I was walking like one!

I'm pleased to report I'm walking around much more normally now. Onwards and upwards, I took part in (my only planned races) the first in the John Carr 5k series tonight. Although I didn't achieve a distance PB, missing it by just 2 seconds, I did achieve a course PB so now I'm hoping this gives me a zest for racing again and assists me in entering some more. Bring on next week. I've still got a quiet few days in terms of running ahead of me due to family commitments etc but hopefully I'll get back into my stride next week, with a little help from my friends!