Purple Flower

How was your week?

If any of you are feeling like me, then this week feels like a month. To be honest, this weekend feels like it has taken a fair few days to past. Isn’t it weird?

So, technically I am a key worker as I teach in a school and when I left work a week ago Friday they had asked me to go in on Monday. No one had any idea how many children were going to be attending school so I think they just wanted as many staff in as possible.

My daughter had been feeling under the weather on that Friday but played it down as she was desperate to see her friends knowing that she wasn’t going to be seeing them for the foreseeable future. By the Saturday, feeling under the weather had escalated to a full-on cold. Sneezing, coughing, temperature, so that was that. 14 days isolation for us all. So I haven’t been off my home plot since. We are so lucky to have a garden, so I have been outside, well the beautiful weather has been too good to miss.

Cup of Tea

I have been using the treadmill to get my runs completed. It was so hard to miss running in the sun, but still being able to run was good enough. I have noticed that when my brain is working overtime and anxiety is kicking in big time, running has helped so much.

Every morning this week, we have started our day with Joe Wicks PE lesson. 30-minute HITT sessions and I had some serious DOMS midweek. I’ve really enjoyed doing these with my daughter, giggling and just having fun. It’s a great start to the day.

Post HITT Workout

On Monday, I got tagged in the Instagram #see10do10tag10 so had to do my 10 press-ups. My upper body strength is usually and annoyingly my camera didn’t record the first set, so I ended up doing another set of 10.

To finish off my active Monday I completed my run clubs virtual session which was a killer. 10 minutes warm-up, then 6, 8, 10, 8, 6, minutes pyramid. Followed by 5 x 1 minute and a 5 minute cool down.

Let’s just say that I was ready for bed on Monday evening! As you can imagine there was a little bit of aching on Tuesday, so after Joe’s PE lesson I did a little yoga with Adriene on YouTube. A stretch was very much needed.

Having hardly completed any steps on Tuesday, I just walked on the treadmill. I am keen to stay active, as it is so easy to just sit on the sofa all day.

Even though I am starting every day with Joe Wicks, I also ran on Monday, Wednesday, Friday Sunday. Friday was another club session and was tough. I had planned to do my own Parkrun on Saturday but woke up feeling really sick. I ended up staying in bed until about 1 pm. It was really weird as by about 3 pm the sickness cleared and I felt much better. I decided to not run at all and just rest.

10K on the treadmill on Sunday completed my running for the week. I had planned for a longer run, inspired by Mrs Brems, who completed a half marathon on the treadmill. But as I hit the hour mark, messages started pinging on my phone and my daughter needed me to help her, so I called it quits. I am happy enough with my activities this week and hope that I keep this all up as the weeks continue.

One of the successes of this week has been our daily Video Call with my nieces and nephews. We play maths games and catch up and it is lovely for all the kids. If you have ever played 21 dares, we play something similar to that, although whoever lands on 21 is out. To make it more difficult, we replace certain timetables with words. For example, any multiple of 3 has to be replaced with the word buzz. We have also played bingo, helping them practices their times tables too.

I am going to lookup more games that they can play over Video Call as it is really nice for them to learn together, whilst they are still catching up with each other.

Please message me if you would like me to explain 21 in full. If you have any other suggestions for games let me know in the comments. Are you staying active? How are you keeping occupied?

Brighton Half Marathon Medals 2014-2020

Brighton Half Marathon 2020 Race Recap

Just to warn you, this race recap is probably going to be very different from my previous race reports, but here goes.

If you follow me on social media you will probably be aware that my mum died on the 15th of February. This was a complete shock to us all and I am currently still trying to process it all.

Rularuns
Both of us in Chicago back in 2019

My mum was my rock and the thought of her not being here anymore scares the hell out of me. I’m not sure how you go on, but I know you learn to cope. I learnt that when I lost my dad back in 2010. So why am I sharing this, in this post? Well, I have run the Brighton Half Marathon every year since 2014. (Read previous race reports here 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019). I love this race, my mum even came with me back in 2016.

 

So deciding to even turn up for this race I was in complete turmoil. Who runs a half marathon the week after they lose a parent? What will everyone think? Will they think I have just moved on? Will I even be able to run it? What if I cry all the way around? Shouldn’t I be with my family?

 

There were so many things going through my head. Then I remembered something that my mum had said to me when we were in Chicago. We were having dinner and I was talking about running – like you do! It must have been so boring for her, but she said: “Ruth, don’t ever give up running as your face lights up whenever you talk about it.”

Remembering that, made up my mind, I was running it and I was running it for my mum. I kept questioning if this was sensible, especially when the weather forecast was predicting 45 mph gusts of wind. Part of me wanted the race organises to cancel it, as I knew that there was no way I was not going to show up. Well, they didn’t cancel it, so show up is exactly what I did!

The Start

It was a very early alarm as I was getting a lift down in the morning, which is different from normal as I usually stay over. I was surprised that the weather didn’t appear to be that bad, but it was early so who knew how bad it was going to get. The journey was fairly easy and we parked at my friend’s friends house and then he drove us into Brighton.

As we walked towards the start line, I did find myself get emotional. The wind on Maderia Drive was insane. It was VERY cold and I needed the toilet, so we went in search. We didn’t need the bag-drop and we saw a LONG queue for toilets but we had plenty of time so just joined it. After about a 5 minutes wait, other runners, shouted to say that there were more toilets further up the road, so we headed for them. I’m not sure we gained any time as the queues were still LOOOONG there too.

We made it to the starting pen with about 15 minutes to spare. I think a lot of people had decided not to travel as it didn’t seem as busy as it has been in previous years.

Standing in the pens was very cold and I couldn’t make up my mind when to remove layers, if at all. I had a long layer on, my MND vest, a long sleeve London Marathon rejection top (that I was planning to throw away) and another jumper on. A buff around my neck, a buff over my ears and a hat. Is this helping you to picture how cold I was feeling?

Let’s just say that I only removed the top jumper and the rest stayed on. There were sections when we were out of the wind that I considered discarding layers, but I knew that the last three miles along the promenade may make me regret that, so I didn’t!

Being completely vain, the only problem with all those layers and the silly hat meant that my race photos were shocking! Hehe 

The Race

Rularuns - Brighton Half Marathon 2020

Due to the high winds, the race organisers hadn’t been able to put up the start/finish gantry, so from the start pens, we couldn’t see how far away we were. We crossed the start line fairly quickly. I knew that there was a point just past the start line, where my mum had stood years back. I looked for her and the emotion started. But as I started to get lost in my own emotion, the gusts of wind started which took my mind off my own grief.

As we headed up and out towards the marina, all the runners looked drunk. The wind was blowing us all over the place. Luckily for us, the wind was behind us, helping push us up the hill.

The speedier runners were already on their way back down the hill and you could tell by their faces that were having to work hard running into the wind.

Usually turning at the top of the hill, knowing that you have downhill for a few miles is great. Well, the headwind made the downhill harder than the uphill. It was quite nice when we turned to run past the Brighton Pavillion as we were sheltered from the wind for a while.

Turning on to the Kings Road was crazy. The wind was so strong and blowing straight into our faces. The route changed slightly this year, with us running around Bedford Square and Grand Avenue; both were very welcome breaks from the headwind I would love to be able to share a route plan with you, but I managed to leave my Garmin on charge in my kitchen that morning!.

At one point running along the Kings Road, there was a break in the buildings. The wind blew so strong that it moved my leg, almost making me fall over. It was insane!

Turning at 10 miles with ‘just a parkrun’ to go, I was starting to flag. I walked a little but then the wind blew behind us. 3 miles with the wind pushing me felt far more appealing than a headwind.

Listening to the wave crashing against the sea wall was amazing. The sea was so ferocious that the waves spilt over on to the promenade. I had to stop and take it all in. It was then that running the race just felt fitting.

My mum loved the sea and once said to my Aunty, ‘When I am gone, I would like people to just walk along the beach and remember me’.

As I crossed the finish line, the tears came. I wasn’t sure if that was due to relief or sadness for my mum, but I found it hard to hold them back. Funny enough, as I crossed the line I tried to stop my Garmin, only to remember that I had left it on charge at home! It was probably one of my slowest times, but I really didn’t care, as this race was not about times.

My world has been turned upside down and I currently can’t think too far ahead. I have the Official Big Half this weekend, which I am currently planning to run. But beyond that who knows.

Also, I am in the process of changing the look of this blog; it’s helping me occupy my mind! So if things aren’t where you think they should be, please let me know. 

Manchester Marathon training Week 5

Manchester Marathon Training Recap – Week 5

Well, this is going to be a short and sweet post. Week 5 of Manchester Marathon training hasn’t really gone to plan, but when does marathon training ever go smoothly?

Monday

With my hip/side still painful, even when just walking, I rested today. Hoping that I would be able to run tomorrow. I stretched my side lots, but it actually felt like the stretching was making it hurt more.

Tuesday

I thought that I was going to be able to run today, but the pain was still there when walking. It is such an awkward place that resting it is almost impossible. Every movement in bed, when I walk, standing up, just everything seems to make you engage your obliques. Saying it’s my obliques is totally self-diagnosed; not ideal but going to see a physio at the moment is out of the question.

Wednesday

With my hip rested and feeling a little better, I was struck down with a cold. Very annoying! I was in bed by 8 pm, asleep by 8:20 pm and then slept through until 6:30 am the next morning. I am sure you have gathered but no running again today.

Thursday

I was still not feeling great today. I went to work, but I had that feeling when your eyes are sore and all you want to do is close them and lay in bed. So, day 5 of no running. Can you see why this week hasn’t quite gone to plan???

Friday

Feeling better, I decided to go for a test run to see how my hip was. I thought it was going to be lovely, as the weather was nice and it was still light outside when I got home from work. I got my music ready and was about to head out when my daughter said she wanted to come with me. Ahhh, how lovely I thought. Well, that didn’t quite go to plan as she whinged after just 30 seconds and made me feel like I’d forced her out 🙂 Well, after returning her home 1/2 a mile in, I completed the other 1/2 mile on my own, with Oasis playing on my headphones.

I could feel my hip, it was tight but not sore. I felt VERY unfit, but it was lovely to be running. I stuck with just a mile as I wanted to see if there would be a reaction.

Saturday

With no obvious reaction, I decided to head to Parkrun with Christine. I thought I could just walk when I needed too. Irchetser Parkrun isn’t the easiest, but luckily we started towards the back and that meant that we started slowly as it is congested.

I was surprised at how my breathing was; feeling ok and enjoying the running, we didn’t stop at all. My hip felt tight and I was aware of it the entire run, but it was hurting.

Parkrun band and tag.

It was really lovely to be running again. It was only a week without running, but it felt like a lifetime! I stretched lots when I got home and kept my fingers crossed that there was no reaction.

Sunday

Luckily there was no reaction with my hip, but Storm Ciara was visiting so I actually enjoyed a lie-in. Tea in bed and a lazy morning was so nice! I had decided that I needed to run again, I am very aware that Manchester Marathon is getting very close and I haven’t really logged any big miles. I decided to get on the treadmill and see how many miles I could bank.

Does anyone else find it really hard to motivate themselves to run if they haven’t got it done in the morning? I knew I didn’t have the mindset to just run long on the treadmill and I still wasn’t totally confident with my hip.

So, I ran a mile then stopped and stretch. I increased the speed a little and then ran 2 miles. With a little speed increase again, I ran 3 miles. I would have liked to run 4 miles, but I knew that I didn’t have the time as my husband and daughter were waiting for me.

Manchester Marathon training on a treadmill.
The usual sweaty treadmill selfie.

I was really enjoying the running, singing along to the music; well miming, as no one needs to hear my singing voice! I was constantly checking my form and I could feel my hip, but it didn’t feel as tight as yesterday. Funnily, everything else seemed to hurt!

But I was happy with 6 miles banked in total. I would have liked more, but I don’t want to push it too soon.

Manchester Marathon Training.
How annoying is that 0.01!!!

Overview and Stats

I would be lying if I said I was confident for Manchester. I already felt so behind with my training, so missing last week hasn’t helped at all! But 8 weeks is still a long time, so let’s see what happens!

10 miles banked for week 5

Let’s hope that week 6 is ‘back on it’. Fingers crossed. Remember you can subscribe by adding your email address below. It means that every time I post, you will get it straight to your inbox.

If you have missed the previous weekly updates, read them here.

gptempdownload

Manchester Marathon Training Recap – Week 4

Week 4 of Manchester Marathon training started well, but a small injury is worrying me a little now. If you have missed the previous weekly updates, read them here.

Monday

I didn’t set the alarm to get up early for my recovery run, but I had put my kit out just in case I was awake. When I looked at the clock and it said 5:45 am, I really wanted to stay in bed, but I knew I would be disappointed if I didn’t get up and run.

5k was completed on the treadmill, it wasn’t anything special. I kept it slow and just got it done.

Tuesday

It was another early morning as I made my way back to the gym. Strength work is so important and I have just been finding the early get-ups difficult, so it was nice to get back in the gym. A sad admission, but I got a little bit excited when the gym staff told me that the gym is now open from 6 am not 6:30 am! How sad is that??

Strength Training selfie

Wednesday

As I hadn’t completed a long run last weekend, I decided to run longer with Christine this week. I suggested a route, which was hilly but we went for it anyway. Christine wanted to do 15 miles, but I stuck to 11. We ran 8 together, then I stopped and let her do the extra 4 miles and then we completed the last 3 together. The last mile was up a particularly big hill. It was the hill that kept on giving and I have to be honest, I walked some of it. I was so hungry by this point, I was a little grumpy and just didn’t have the resilience to conquer the hill! hehe.

Rularuns action photo.

Thursday

A recovery run was much needed today, yet I really wanted to go to ‘run club’ to see everyone. Waiting until 6:30 pm is sometimes hard, it gives you just enough time to sit down after work and then it takes everything to get yourself out the door! Anyone else find this?

The session was a speed session, but I just jogged all the reps. It is so hard not to be competitive! The evening was finished with a trip to the gym – well isn’t that the way every spends their wedding anniversary!! Yes, you read that correctly, it was my wedding anniversary and I went to ‘run club’ and the gym! My husband is a lucky man! hehe

Manchester Marathon Week 4 - run club squad photo

Friday

Rest day, which was lucky as I had a very sore hip. It was painful to walk at times. I tried massaging it, stretching it and ignoring it (typical runner) but it was quite painful.

Saturday

As I am not covering huge mileage on my long runs at the moment I was happy to run long again. I made arrangements to run with Sarah. Early alarm set again, I think I may have forgotten what a lie-in is now! We met at 7:00 am and I did warn Sarah that my hip was not quite right so I would have to see how I went.

Early on I could feel it, but it wasn’t too bad. Around 8 miles, it started to be quite painful. Sarah went off to do some solo laps of the lake we were at, whilst I stretched. We had to get back to where Parkrun was starting, so I said I would try to run that part, but I would have to give Parkrun a miss. We slowed down and jogged back. I was surprised that my hip seemed to ease a little. So, like most runners, I pretended that I wasn’t injured and joined in with Pakrurn anyway. You would all do the same, wouldn’t you?

We took it very easy, but by the end my hip was sore. As we were finishing the run, I focussed on where the discomfort was. I realised that the tightness was coming from my side as well. I spoke to a friend of Sarah’s, who helped me stretch my side. Ouch, that’s all I can say!

Manchester Marathon Week 4 - Long run selfie.

Sunday

Originally, I had planned to run the Junior Parkrun with my daughter. I thought running slowly would help my legs, but even after lots of stretches my side/hip said no way. Instead, I had to just be the proud mum at the side as my daughter collected her half marathon band.

So, an enforced rest day, but a fair bit of stretching trying to ease my side.

Overview and Stats

I am gutted to be nursing a little injury as I feel like I was working hard this week and right back ‘on it’. I purposely didn’t step up my mileage too quickly for exactly this reason, yet still seemed to be injured. Annoying!! I hope it eases quickly.

Manchester Marathon Week 4 - weekly total

27.5 miles banked for week 4

Who knows what will happen in week 5, I’ll just have to take it day by day.