Fitness Journey, Health & Fitness

New Year, New Gear

Like any girl, I couldn’t resist a trip to the sales this year but times have definitely changed.  This year it wasn’t about LBD’s and bargain sandals, it was all about new running gear!  I have a bit of an addiction to say the least and my running attire is quickly taking over my wardrobe.  There has been a bit of a spree so too many to mention all of them, but here are my top picks.

1. Garmin Forerunner 220

Garmin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I actually purchased this towards the end of last year so not technically a new year buy, but a key part of my daily running gear now.  Still being fairly new to running, I opted for a mid-range model and it does everything I need it to do, I am a bit of a data addict so love analysing all the stats.  My only complaint is that it can sometimes take a long time to find GPS signal but I tend to switch it on and leave it on the window sill about half hour before I head out to be sure.  I’ve been using the pacing function quite a bit recently to as I’m awful for going out too quick and not having enough left for the end!  A must by for any keen runner.

2. Shoes, Shoes, Shoes!

Nike Zoom New Balance Trails

 

I was happy with my Adidas runners but I was keen to get a proper gait analysis done to start the year off on the right foot so to speak.  Good sports stores like Sweatshop will carry this out for free and recommend shoes suitable to your foot type. After some scans of my feet, a run on the treadmill and running around the store trying numerous different shoes, I opted for the Nike Zoom.  I have big old man feet and these mens shoes just happened to have a little flash of pink which made them feel a little more feminine.  I’ve recently been talked into a few trail runs with my running club which during the winter months is obviously a slippy-slidey experience, and despite my hatred of mud, I’ve actually been loving it a little bit (shhhhh…don’t tell anyone!).  So that I have a better chance of staying on my feet, I invested in some New Balance trail shoes.  The shape of your foot is less of an issue with trail shoes as you want something that is comfy but that your foot can move around a little bit to cope with rocks/tree roots/rabbit holes etc. Both have been out for a test run and so far so good.

3. High-vis wear

Nike Flash Nike Vapor

I’m totally addicted to high-vis wear at the moment! The more reflective the better which just so happens to be great for all the winter evening running I’ve been doing lately.  I’m a bit of a Nike fan so I love their current range.  The Nike Flash tights look amazing and are super reflective so great for keeping me safe on the roads at night.  I also recently got the Nike Vapor jacket for my birthday (best present ever) which has thin reflective lines woven throughout. You’ll definitely see me coming!

4. Proper running socks

Hilly socks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been running with just normal socks up to now and they haven’t been too bad but I have noticed that since I’ve been running longer distances, I’ve been getting more blisters and my socks have very often fallen down at the back. The running socks seem to be much more supportive and so far, my feet feel better.

5. Warm layers

Under Armour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s always handy to have lots of thin layers during the winter months as the temperature can be a bit unpredictable.  I previously bought an Under Armour jacket which has been fab and I have been wearing it to death so thought it was about time I added another one (and it just so happens to match my new trainers).  It a really comfortable soft touch, stretch fabric – perfect for layering up.

Happy running!

Dx

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Fitness Journey, Health & Fitness

Fitness Diary: The highs and the lows

It’s been a while since my last diary post and a lot has happened in the last two weeks!

At the end of March I completed my Sport Relief three miles and raised a final total of £267.40. Thanks so much to all who sponsored me and to the family who came down on the day to cheer me on. It may have only been 5k but it was tough! A new course, first morning run and it was pretty warm too. I didn’t get the best time but I did it and was really proud of myself. I even got my first bling!

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I learnt a few things from that run.  Firstly, running in the evening and running in the morning is different.  My body is not used to running in the morning – must fix that.  Secondly, the crowds do help encourage you to carry on – even when you feel like you are about to pass out across the finish line, you do it with a smile on your face because they are cheering you on.

I’ve done a few 5k’s since then including the big one – my graduation run from the couch to 5k programme.  Last Tuesday us newbies went to ‘big school’ and joined the Leighton Fun Runner club night for our first run with the club members, and it did very much feel like your first day at a new school!  All the older (more fit) kids scoping out the newbies and vice versa.  We all huddled in a corner and tried not to look out of place surrounded by a sea of well tuned runners in club uniform.  We all headed out together to do our graduation 5k, there must have been about 100 runners in total.  Us newbies headed off first – not sure how long the big guys waited before they chased us down but I managed to hit about the 3.5k mark before they all started flying passed me.  They were great though – offered words of encouragement one even shouted “Love your blog” as he zoomed by!  But it must have spurred me on because that night I smashed over a minute off my best 5k time!   Still a way off my target of under 30 mins but I am getting there 🙂

Unfortunately though, after the extreme high of Tuesday night, I came back down to earth with a bit of a bump.  When I got home my ankle was the size of a balloon. I had been feeling some tenderness around the ankle bone but nothing too bad but after putting ice on it that night and still being pretty swollen the next morning I decided it was best to get it checked out.  I didn’t want to see the doctor as they’d just say rest it and then would probably go round in circles before anything actually got dealt with so decided to check out the local physio, Brecon Clinic.  I did try and get a run in on Thursday night but after about 2k I had to throw in the towel.

So I hobbled off to physio on Friday.  I’d never visited a physio before so wasn’t sure what to expect but certainly wasn’t expecting what did happen!  An hour of assessment, poking, pulling, electrocuting, stretching, cracking and god knows what.  But my ankle did feel loads better at the end of it!.  It turns out that I have some hip and foot jouint issues which is causing problems for my tendons, causing the foot to swell.  The physio gave me some exercises to do, told me to ice it twice a day and take ibuprofen and then rest until my next run on Tuesday.  Hopefully it will not hinder my running progress for too long.

I’ve got to admit, I never thought I would say it but I’m really missing running.  I’ve felt great physically and mentally since I started back in January and the last few days have been a real downer 😦  Having to stop has certainly made me realise what a difference it has made to me and I can’t wait to get back to it.  Keep your finger crossed for me for Tuesday!

D x