Fitness Journey, Health & Fitness

Fitness Diary – reflecting on the last year

liar

This week has been one of reflection.  A year ago today I completed my first ever event, the Sports Relief 5k and graduated from the couch to 5k programme run by my local club, the Leighton Fun Runners.  Tonight, I ran alongside the latest group of couch to 5kers, supporting them as they themselves tackled their first ever full 5k.  It got me thinking how much I’ve changed since I completed it back then.

I never set out to be a ‘runner’.  I was at a time in my life of change and trying new things and also wanted to get a bit fitter.  I joined the couch to 5K programme after hearing about it from an old school friend via social media and thought it would be a great way to get a bit fitter and maybe meet some new people.  From the start, I never found it easy.  I always approached each weeks task with a ‘I’m never going to be able to do this’ attitude which whilst I always ended up surprising myself, often made it a lot harder than it needed to be. I managed to reach the end of the programme and even signed up for membership of the club, still not really thinking of myself as a runner, but someone who was giving it a go occasionally.  Shortly after I suffered an ankle injury which meant I completely stopped running and lost all confidence in my bodies ability to do it.

It took me three months to gain the confidence to go back to club and I’m so glad I did.  Last week I ran 5 consecutive miles under 10 mins and this weekend I completed a 10k race in my home town in 1:00:47, not quite a PB but given the ‘undulating’ nature of the course was an amazing achievement for me.  The point is, my mind set has changed completely.  I’m now craving challenges and I am constantly pushing myself to achieve more.  The last 6 months of running have seen me almost starting from scratch to training for a half marathon and setting myself new targets and goals every week. I don’t think I’ve ever been this motivated about anything before!

So at the end of the first quarter, here’s how the targets I set at the start of the year are looking:

  • Run 700 miles minimum – so far this year I have run 200.65 miles
  • Complete 12 events – to date I’ve completed 2 x 10k’s and booked 1 x 5K,  6 x 10k’s and 3 x half marathons (a total of 12 so far and I imagine there will be quite a few more)
  • Finish 10k in under an hour – my fastest so far has been 1:00:37!!
  • Complete at least a 15 mile distance – Kinda forgot about this one but I’m sure after the first half we’ll give it a go.
  • Trail running – make the most of all the lovely routes we have locally – I’ve booked the dirt half, a mostly trail half marathon and also organising a bluebell run in May in a local woods.
  • PB’s – lots of them at all distances! – I have smashed my 5k PB and am hoping to keep bettering that 10k time!
  • Push myself to achieve but remember its all about having fun too! – I’m definitely doing that so far 🙂

I’ve still got a way to go on some of them but I’m pretty pleased with the progress so far!

P.S.  No bling this weekend but I did get a really cool Tshirt – here’s a few pics with my normally awful running face on!

Running Leighton 10k

Happy running!

D x

 

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Fitness Journey, Health & Fitness

Fitness Diary – First race of the season…DONE!

I’ve been looking forward to this weekend for weeks as I’ve had really itchy feet to do an event (and get some bling) and this weekend it was final time for the first one of the year, the 10k at the Milton Keynes Festival of Running.

We got there nice and early, there were 4 distances in total on the day starting with the 20 mile which a few friends from club were running so once we cheered them off it was time to get focussed.  This event was by far the biggest one I have done so far and the 10k seemed to be the most popular distance.  It was an odd feeling being surrounded by so many people – all shapes, sizes, and abilities but all with the same goal.

MK festival of running

 

 

 

 

 

 

As this was my first official 10k, my aim for the day was to just run my own race, listen to my body and push when I felt like I could.  Aside from one encounter with a very rude runner hurling abuse at some 5kers who were struggling a little, the atmosphere on the way round was really good.  Lots of people cheering you on, especially in the second half which I was surprised actually does really help!  Pace wise I was surprising myself at the speed I was running – 9:20 miles which is very fast for me for that distance and I was feeling strong, until I saw ‘it’ in the distance.

A lot of people had been talking about ‘the hill’ in the last mile, something I thought was odd as anyone who has been to Milton Keynes knows, its pretty flat certainly in the centre where we were.  I didn’t know the course route so as we hit a steady incline at the start of mile 6 I thought OK, this isn’t so bad.  I can do this after all.  That was until I turned a corner and there in the distance I saw it.  At that point I had been pushing pretty hard and knew there was no chance I had enough left in me for that hill.  So the strategy was, push right up to the hill, speed walk up, and then sprint the rest of the way.  It wasn’t ideal as I was determined to get round without stopping but this way it meant  had enough left in me for a little sprint finish and finish in style 🙂 As I stumbled across the finish line and collapsed on the grass, I was gutted when I realised I forgot to stop my watch!  Waiting anxiously for results to go up online I knew I was really close to a PB and the goal for the year, a sub 1hr 10k.

MK festival of running medal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even with the little uphill walk I managed 1:00:37, over a minute off my PB and so close to the end goal!  I was so pleased with that and has made that goal feel so close!  My next event is a 10k on 22nd March, course wise, I don’t envisage it being a PB as it is reasonably hilly so the tactics for this one is to get round with out stopping and not let those hills defeat me!

hills

 

 

 

 

 

 

2015 mileage to date: 159.96

Miles to go to hit target: 540.04

Happy running

D x

 

 

 

Fitness Journey, Health & Fitness

Fitness Diary: What a difference an insole makes

This week has been a mixed week.  Some real successes but a few blips too. Following all the trail runs we did over the Christmas break, this week it was back to road running.

I’ve been using my new runners which I bought from Sweatshop over Christmas along with some customised insoles.  They had a hefty price tag at £45 so was expecting really good things from them but unfortunately after a couple of 3-milers at the beginning of the week I was feeling a little pain in my ankles, so I swapped them out for my old Sole insoles.  I’d been sent these a while ago to review but due to my injury and break in blogging, I never actually got round to it.

Sole insole

 

 

 

 

You can pop these in the oven to help mould them to your foot shape or just pop them in your shoe and they will over time adapt to the shape.  I opted to just pop them in and go and thankfully, I’ve been injury free since using them for the last 5 months.  I’ve been out in my new shoes with these insoles in a couple of times now and my ankle pain has gone again.  I think it’s because I have high arches.  The Sweatshop ones don’t seem to support my arches sufficiently but the Sole ones are much more supportive.  I’ll be sticking with them for now and returning the sweatshop ones – that is the great thing about sweatshop, the customer service is fantastic!

So what didn’t go so well this week?  I ran a quickish mile before speed and stamina this week and then started the one mile loop sessions.  Aiming for 3 in half hour, I actually only managed just under 2.  I think a lot of it was to do with the ankle pain and I probably went out a little fast on the first one!

Successes this week, Tuesday night we had a 5k time trial, my first proper road run since before Christmas.  I didn’t get a PB but I did come in just over 30 mins so that’s not too bad for me.  My biggest success was today when I ran my first proper 10k attempt in 1.09:50. My aim is to get under an hour by the end of this year so I’m pretty proud of that.  Hopefully I’ll soon shave off those 10 mins with a bit of stamina training – my legs felt really good and I probably could have carried on.  I actually found the first 3 miles a lot harder than the second three.

All in all a good week!

2015 mileage to date: 33.79

Miles to go to hit target: 666.21

Happy running!

D x