The Incredible Pink Flash

IMG_1311Today I took my first run since the Hampton Court Half Marathon and have been DREADING IT !!!!  OMG, trying to persuade myself that I WANTED to go for a run was unbelievably hard work and getting out of bed into the cold was almost impossible.  However, I took the precaution of packing a (slim-line runners’) rucksack and laying out all my running clothes the night before, so there was NO ESCAPE !!!!

I forced myself into it and I was glad that I did, following half a cuppa and a banana; I pushed myself out the door and off to work via the Greenwich Foot Tunnel – which I noticed today has been leaking a bit since it opened in 1902!!!  Yikes!  This didn’t thrill me to be honest but I sucked it up and off I went.  The morning was beautiful; bright and sunny whilst still fairly cool, if you weren’t running with a rucksack.  Blackheath, Ranger’s House and The Cutty Sark looked stunning in the sunlight and I made good time to Manchester Road for the long schlep into Canary Wharf.  Manchester Road is one which you think only curves around once but it’s actually twice before you reach the home straight, leading over the bridge and through the building site.  Normally you can cut through and zip up the steel staircase to the back of Waitrose but today that was closed off and I can got sent on a diversion which meant I accidentally ended my run in the shopping centre; running through Waitrose, passed Boots and to the inside building entrance.  Now that was a first ! haha!  But all ended well, with a respectable 14 minute mile (4.1 miles in 56 minutes).

When I got here, I popped up to my desk to grab my shampoo ahead of my shower and couldn’t resist running down to office to show off my hilarious pink trousers… at which point I was labelled ‘The Pink Flash’ (as I was pretty much wearing pink head to toe), which I loved, happy for that to be my new nickname! Hahaha 😉

This run has been brilliant to refocus my training and get my back on track with motivation and determination to succeed, following my lame week off injured.  I have now updated my running plan going forward and can confirm by the time I have finished the marathon I will be run 313 miles, if I follow this running schedule exactly.  Though I am feeling inspired and may indeed squeeze in a quick river run tomorrow lunch time if I can!

Date Week Walk Run Time per run Distance per run Total Distance (per week) Minute Mile
02-Mar Nineteen Run One Run into Work 56.18 4 6.44 19 30.58 14.0
Run Two Long Run 15 24.14 0.0
BodyCon Davina workout SUPER SCULPT
09-Mar Twenty Run One Run into Work 4 6.44 20 32.19 0.0
Run Two Long Run 16 25.75 0.0
BodyCon Davina workout SUPER SCULPT
16-Mar Twenty One Run One Run into Work 4 6.44 21 33.8 0.0
Run Two Long Run 17 27.36 0.0
BodyCon Davina workout SUPER SCULPT
23-Mar Twenty Two Run One Run into Work 4 6.44 22 35.41 0.0
Run Two Long Run 18 28.97 0.0
BodyCon Davina workout SUPER SCULPT
30-Mar Twenty Three Run One Run into Work 4 6.44 24 38.63 0.0
Run Two Long Run 20 32.19 0.0
BodyCon Davina workout SUPER SCULPT
06-Apr Twenty Four Run One Run into Work 3 6.44 18 30.58 0.0
Run Two Long Run 15 24.14 0.0
BodyCon Davina workout SUPER SCULPT
13-Apr Twenty Five Run One Run into Work 2 6.44 12 22.54 0.0
Run Two Long Run 10 16.1 0.0
BodyCon Davina workout SUPER SCULPT
20-Apr Twenty Six Run One Run into Work 2 6.44 28.2 48.6 0.0
BodyCon Davina workout SUPER SCULPT
Run Two London Marathon 26.2 42.16 0.0

Can’t run, can shop

bad running outfitFollowing my exciting exploits at the Hampton Court Half Marathon, I latterly that week found myself a little injured.  Once the pain in the front of my thighs subsided it became apparent that my left calf was extremely tight and something was pulling in my left foot which made walking difficult, let alone running.  Somehow (I didn’t realise I’d ever been active enough before, but apparently so…) I had, had this injury before but in the right foot.  So I knew that resting with ibuprofen as muscle relaxant was the order of the day.  When by Thursday it still wasn’t improved I bit the bullet and booked myself a not-quite excruciating full body massage to deal with the lactic acid and painful foot.  This made a HUGE difference and though not fully recovered I was on the mend.  I decided to give myself the rest of the week off and try to enjoy the ‘resting’ which I don’t do very well, preferring to be doing something at all times other than sitting around with my feet up.  However I did what I had to do and when Sunday came around and I issued myself a proclamation that I could have a LIE IN!!!!  I actually rather enjoyed it.  A little too much.  I watched a few history documentaries and even popped out to the shops(!).  Contrary to popular opinion, I am not much of a clothes shopper and need to be in the mood… however having decided at the Half Marathon that my running clothes simply were not cool enough, I popped off to Sport Direct for a browse and came back with the worlds brightest running tights; one pair in shocking pink and one pair in bright blue !  They are AWESOME!   I now feel much more glamorous when running and have already taken the pink pair for a spin, looking forward to trying out the blue pair!! Yah!

Training just got Spa-tastic

Greenwich clipperFollowing the Hampton Court Half Marathon on Sunday I’ve been walking like a granny for three days with very sore shoulders, so after a huge amount of stretching I decided to give in a book a full body massage with my favourite local salon the Greenwich Clipper.  Sadly my usual lovely lady Nicola was injured and so unavailable 😦  but the wonderful Lauren stepped into the breach and did an amazing job really working hard on my legs and shoulders and even down to my toes!  It did hurt whilst I was there on the table (not the whole time) but afterwards I felt like a million dollars.  It also seems to have eased the pain in my foot which was caused by a very tight calf muscle…though I do now have ibuprofein for assistance with this as well.
celtic inside
Inspired by how brilliant I felt, I have now booked myself a super swanky lovely spa break for the week after the London Marathon!!  I will be whisking myself off to the glamorous 5* Celtic Manor in Wales for 2 nights and 3 days of spa (and friend) therapy.

I will have:

Elemis Well-Being Massage

From the soles of your feet to the crown of your head, this aromatherapy massage is prescribed to your needs. Your body is lightly brushed, before the warmed pure massage oils are smoothed over the face and body, leaving you in a state of total relaxation.

Elemis Visible Brilliance Facial

A perfect pre-occasion treatment. Moisturisation levels are clinically proven to increase by up to 61% and elasticity by up to 40% after just one treatment. Specialised micro-circulatory massage, combined with a two phase amino active mask, helps smooth, firm, plump and restore radiance.

Elemis Exotic Frangipani Body Nourish Wrap

Aromatic Tahitian coconut and frangipani flowers are soaked together to produce monoi, which is poured all over your body and then cocooned in a nourishing foil wrap. Skin is drenched with moisture for immediate softness, suppleness and radiance

pool celticThen just to make my week truly perfect, I will be treated to some spa and cocktail time with the gorgeous Rebecca Wilson-Smith!  Though I do hope I might be getting some cuddles with baby Gruff and Grandad Mike for lunch one day too 🙂

I cannot wait !!!!!  It’s going to be amazing !!!!!

So now I am keen for my foot to feel 100% so I can get back on track with my training; if I’m okay I’ll be running 15 miles this weekend and stepping up the body conditioning to1 at least 2 per week, as after the half marathon the muscles that hurt most were the front of my thighs and my abs which are all worked with a good Super Body Work out !!  Plus I invested some resistance bands for some strengthening exercises.  The interesting news on the long runs is that yesterday I printed out last years London Marathon route (which I assume will be largely the same this year?) and I’ve already run some of it through Greenwich, so I was thinking I might try to do my long runs in London going forward along the actual Marathon route where I can, to give myself a psychological edge over myself and take advantage of the fact that I live just 15 minutes from the actual start of the race to familiarise myself with the terrain, inclines etc, so I know what to expect.

I’m also planning a London Marathon pub crawl route for anyone coming to support me on the day, so you can go from Blackheath to the Mall and hopefully be rather tipsy by the time I get there! haha

celtic 2Damn the idea of the spa break is SUCH a good motivator!  WOOHOO 😀

Smashed my target at Hampton Court Half!

DSC_0746It was comedy all the way on Sunday as I donned my very fetching red bobble hat to set out on the dash around Esher/Kingston/Hampton Court.  Thanks to my fabulous neighbours holding a rather loud party until 4am the night before, I managed a mere 4.5 hours sleep ahead of my 7am pick up and race start at 08.30am.  Excellent.  I found it endlessly hilarious as we arrived to see the first group of runners start and then had to wade our way through tons of runners lining up to get off for their quick start, as I headed for the loo before setting out.  Strangely I met a fellow runner in the queue (little did I know then) who I then actually ended up crossing the line with…though she was a Millwall fan and hugely disapproved of my music choices and accompanying dancing/singing over the bridge at Hampton Court (it was the soundtrack of Hairspray the musical), I tried not to hold this against her as we were desperately helping each through the almost knee-deep mud bath on the last 2 miles of the race, followed by profuse high-fiving as we crossed the finish line with great relief it was over.

The weather was perfect; sunny, bright and cool.  I had my head firmly on this time (for my second ever race) and focused on blocking out everyone else to exclusively run ‘my race’.  It was a very well organised race with many water stops (also offering jelly babies) and a loo spot at 5.5 miles around.  We started and ended at Esher College, ran up to Kingston, through the town, down by the river, over the bridge, past Hampton Court Palace (at which I was agog), back over the river and onwards to Esher College again.   It was a good route, mainly flat and very well marshalled.  There were a few accidents (nothing to do with me, I assure you) where two runners had bloody knees, a cyclist came off his bike in the road and a runner was belly down in the mud (flanked by friends).  Fortunately I stayed on my feet which was tough in the mud and managed to run all but about 10 minutes of the race.  I found the mile markers quite helpful at times and pace setting runners were great as I could pretty much keep pace with the 2.5hour runners.  Yah.

So having run 14 miles the previous weekend in 3hr24, I was convinced I could not possibly do the 13.1 miles any quicker than 3 hours… I am very smug to say that I was entirely wrong about that and managed to finish in 2hr39 which completely smashed my 14 minute mile target, getting down to 12.5 minute mile!! WOOHOO! 😀

My keys to success on this occasion were:

Porridge before setting out

Amazing friends supporting me (with whom there was a huge pub lunch afterwards)

Incentivising myself with a lunch afterwards

Putting in the training – there were many who looked like they hadn’t

Energy gels and shot bloks at about every 4 miles / as required

Upbeat music I could sing-along to

When I did start to flag towards the last 5 miles, I put on the soundtrack to Hairspray the Musical and bopped along the road, singing along with the cast of the movie, much to the bemusement of many I think but I enjoyed it.

It is funny how you end up in a group with a few other runners who over take, fall back and then over take each other time and again.  It was fun and you become a little competitive in your own little area of the running field.  (Listen to that, almost sounds like I know what I’m talking about!) haha!  I was very glad to finish and get off to the pub for a quick change into jeans and I could relax with a pint of soda and lime.  I was astonished though at just HOW many Running W*%$ers there were in there just loafing about in their running tights, honestly I cannot get them off quickly enough!!!  I couldn’t believe it and half of them wore their medals for the whole of lunch…how very odd.  I feel they are a bred I will never understand but that’s fine, I have been told by my friends that despite feeling I do not belong, by running a good time (for me) at this Half Marathon, I have now achieved at least temporary Running W*%$er status!  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  

The crowd towards the end were great, high fiving me as I went along and it was great to end with a big cheer.  I enjoyed a good stretch and some water before being whisked off to The Albany for some lovely food and very fine company.  Yoda and Liam, Debra and Richard were all wonderful coming along to support me – it made such a big difference to my race experience.

One big target smashed… one more to go on April 26!!

14 shades of pain…

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Sunday saw my longest run yet as I upped the ante from 12 miles to 14 miles.  I am playing a game of physiological warfare with myself, whereby if I think I can do, I always can but if I doubt myself I’m finished.  So ahead of my Half Marathon this weekend I decided to make sure I was happy running 13 miles by adding an extra mile to my previous long run… thereby proving I could definitely run the race comfortably.  Make sense?  I cannot understand my mind either but so it is.  The good news is Sunday was a very tough run from Lewisham to Petts Wood and back; so I’m hoping the forthcoming run should go much better.

This love-hate relationship with my long runs is starting to annoy me now, as I just want to run consistently well and continue developing my stamina and fitness both physically and mentally, though I think every tough run I have prepares me for a better run to follow.

I was fine all the way to mile 7, the half-way point at which time my right buttock cramped up and hurt like hell.  Terrific.  I was tempted to jump on a bus home but decided I would NOT let myself do that, so soldiered on.  I am not, now, convinced that this was the best course of action to take as subsequently my right leg has been very unhappy which has prevented any running at all so far this week, ahead of my race this Sunday.  I could barely walk by the time I returned home and my leg could only be persuaded to function by some uber stretching and a hot bath, which Lady Catherine promptly reminded me should have been a COLD/ICE BATH!!!!… she was absolutely right of course and my muscles did not thank me much for the hot bath.  Damn it.  If only I’d remembered the cold one.  So I have made a note now that if in doubt I must sit for 10 minutes in a cold bath come hell or high water post all further long runs, especially as I am now getting to those rather uninspiring double figures.

I simply could not get into the run on Sunday; I had trouble settling into a rhythm and easily bored of anything and everything available for audio stimulation… I went through Stephen Fry both bio and novel (The Stars Tennis Balls), Reel Big Fish, Glee, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, Bon Jovi and Bryan Adams.. all my favourites.  I am addressing this ahead of the next run by updating my music as I have discovered that though I do like running with an audio book, I actually run faster with music playing which is much to be aspired to in my current endeavour.  So I am taking Mr Haythorne at his word and uploading Green Day’s American Idiot, not sure how I feel about Justin Timberlake though… haha.  Plus a few other upbeat Jo-style-karaoke-running tunes such as the Hairspray sound track !  WOOHOO!

It felt like a very slow run and I was surprised it was only14.5 minute mile, felt MUCH SLOWER than that.  I did the 14 miles in 3hrs24 which wasn’t actually too bad.

On the positive side I did actually like the energy gels and shot bloks provided most generously by Lady Catherine for me to try along with her very fetching modernised sporty bum-bag… Yes I know, I did say bum-bag!!!!!  (As modelled by moi in the dreadful photo above, sans make up!  Lovely!).  Contrary to expectations, I LOVED the bum-bag and could actually come around to them… oooh CONTROVERSTIAL!

Looking ahead Yoda and I will be running the Hampton Court Half Marathon on Sunday 22nd February and there will be comedy photos for you to enjoy including one of us sporting our medals, which disappointingly no longer feature Henry VIII which naturally I’m sad about but hey ho, it’ll be one step closer to the big day and afterwards I’ll hopefully have a projected Marathon finish time.  I am hoping to complete the Half in c. 3 hours…so fingers crossed.  I am much better prepared for this race than my last which was the 10k in Regents Park (which I hated), so just need to stay mentally strong, not get distracted by everyone around me and run my race.

To be continued…

What a difference a week makes – 12 miles in glorious Welsh sunshine!

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I had a great time in Wales this weekend; rugby (but we’re not talking about it, are we Rebecca?), Caerphilly Castle, great friends and a lovely 12 mile run by the canal in the lovely sunshine.  Who thought I’d EVER describe a 12 mile run as ‘lovely’?  Just four months ago, the very idea would have truly, absolutely and utterly horrified me(!), I guess that is what they call ‘progress’?  It was great to be out of London to take in the beautiful Welsh hills, complete with sheep and the quaint little bridges (which I love) over the canal – weather and landscape made all the difference!

As also, I think a pre-run banana and half cup of tea did (courtesy of Mr Rhys Smith, I thank you).  Even despite not getting anything like the appropriate amount of sleep (it was just one of those wonderful weekends) and many more inclines than usual, I did not flag in the same way I did last weekend in chilly London.  So will note that for future reference and try to stick to the same thing ahead of next weekend’s 13 mile run… still being planned.  I think the large glass of water before bed helped me to be hydrated… oh this sounds like it could be a good pre-run routine…?

Wales gave me varied terrain and running surface along with the spectacular views, and I worked hard to control my stride with my abs and gluts to ensure I wasn’t unnecessarily overloading my knees as I zoomed downhill on the way back singing Bon Jovi at the top of my voice… it was all most enjoyable.  I did, at points, when I hoped I was adequately secluded, allow myself to flail my arms about too and really get into the rock n roll action… there might have been a little head banging too.. hahaha.  I had Me First and the Gimme Gimme’s Musical covers too as well as a bit of the first series of Glee but needed to pick up the pace, so gave Reel Big Fish a go and came across a hilarious song called ‘Ar5ehole’, it is very very funny.  I MUST put Green Day’s American Idiot album on there, I have it from a good source that it is a good fast pace which might help propel me along.

I have booked myself in for a lovely massage on Saturday which I am very much looking forward to!  

Happy Monday to us all!

Did someone say karaoke run?

As I have been extending my training runs I seem to have developed a bit of a love/hate relationship with (for me) long distance running… I know 11 miles isn’t actually that far in the scary world of long distance running, but for a novice such as I, getting into double figures is some achievement and I enjoyed (as much as one can) the 10 miles last week, much more than then 11 miles this week.  I will tentatively attribute this to three things:

1)        The weather (it was very very cold)

2)        The route (too many hills)

3)        Stephen was going through diary entries from 1997 (dull dull dull)

I planned my route strategically to include some of my usual Blackheath/Greenwich run taking me through Charlton but to extend a bit more and make my final destination Pricey Mansions to see the wonderful Mrs P, I had to go ALL THE WAY up Shooters Hill, zip through Welling, nip through [read: got stupidly lost in] the suburban dream which I found to be Falconwood, through Avery Hill and down to New Eltham.

The two big hills did not amuse me (nor my gluteus maximus) Charlton Church Lane (never running UP there again, down is fine) and of course the top part of Shooters Hill, which did provide a truly spectacular view over London and always makes me chuckle as it’s where Geoffrey Chaucer (of Canterbury Tales’ fame) was once mugged when Lord Chancellor for King Richard II whilst on his way to London with a small fortune! Poor Geoffrey, haha!  No idea why I find this funny, I just always have…  It was half way down the other side of Shooters large Hill, that Stephen (Fry – audio book of his biography More Fool MeThe Fry Chronicles was better) had gone way beyond grating upon my brain and I simply had to invoke a higher power to drive me through the forthcoming 4 miles.  I turned to Me First and the Gimme Gimme’s and hence Karaoke Running was born!!!  I’m not sure it’s that great for your running though, as breathing is probably easier if you’re not singing… but for me it was incredibly inspiring and got me through.  As the opening bars of a rock-punk style version of The Beatles All my Lovin’ it was as nectar to my soul, I was immeasurably lifted and loved belting out song after song at the top of my voice as I merrily jogged along.  This was admittedly a little unexpected among passers-by and I did rather scare one chap in Falconwood quietly going about his business as I cheered when I found the right road! Haha!  There were a few startled passers-by but all part of the fun.

Things I learnt  (which is always one of the best things about exploring your local area on foot) is that there is actually (what looked like but is it?) a working farm on Shooters Hill with sheep and everything(!), there’s a Greenwich Equestrian Centre to rehabilitate horses after accidents and such like.  I rather admired a Victorian bench which had been erected in the 1880s as a memorial to a loved one, ornate and very sweet and even found a sign to

Severndroog Castle (a folly in Oxleas Woods) which I’d seen on a restoration programme years ago and very much want to visit.  I’ll go back without the running tights and bobble hat another time for sure!

I managed 11 miles in 2 hours 44 minutes which is a little quicker than I did the week before (14.9 minute mile, rather than 15.5 minute mile), but to be honest I was just glad it was over.  It was freezing to the point I had to wear a bobble hat… really?  I am just not really a hat person, and had to hunt high and low through three or four cupboards before a hat of any description was forthcoming.

Other issues which are now obviously things I’ve realised I need to think about considering when doing longer runs are:

1)        Hydration (Water)

2)        Energy (Snacks for during my runs)

3)        Public toilets (see #1)

I got a stitch because I needed more water, I bought a bottle of water then needed the loo.  I tried a runners gel which was allegedly banana and strawberry flavour but tasted so sickly-sweet, I have decided if I must have sugary sweets (of which I am not a fan, preferring chocolate of course), I will try haribo or my own version of crack cocaine which is actually JELLY BEANS!!!!  I banned myself from eating them last year after I had the best part of the worlds largest pack… however if I can portion them out I’m thinking this could be a win-win situation.. let’s hope I don’t scoff the lot at home!!  Which knowing me, is entirely possible.

I have been told by the good Lady Catherine that there are toilets along the marathon route but not to use them as it will screw up my time.  I am expecting to be running for at least 6.5 hours so I have a feeling I may have to enjoy the facilities, but I can only hope for a cool marathon day, if it’s hot it’s going to be rather challenging from all perspectives.

In terms of distance I am on track for the half marathon on 22nd February with Yoda and am looking forward to a Welsh canal run this weekend!  Woohoo!

Cats and dogs the musical

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Torrential rain is never really conducive to anything (in my experience), least of all dashing along for a quick 3 mile river run at lunch time… before you set out you are full of the joyful [read: misguided] optimism of a cool day with a glimmer of wintry sun gliding gently over the reaches of the river and glinting on the buildings of Canary Wharf in the distance as you effortlessly jog along taking in the views and enjoying Stephen Fry on audible.  Pah!  Dream the f%*k on Jo… the reality of last Wednesday’s run not only tested my fortitude (as indeed this training seems to do at almost every turn) but I believe could have exemplified the thoughts Edward du Bois had when he spoke of “Gods own country” (though admittedly in his case, he was referring to the Wicklow mountains).  Nothing could have prepared me for being exactly at the half way point of my run (fabulous timing) – King Edward’s Park, when the heaven’s not only opened but indeed cats and dogs literally started throwing themselves from the sky for the pleasure of crashing down upon me, in a manner so offensive as I could barely see where I was going.  Don’t get me wrong, it made me a little faster and I did achieve a Personal Best (apparently runners call it “PB”) of 38 minutes door to door BUT to be honest I think I’d have rather had a more pleasant jaunt than the horrors of such January weather, resulting in a beyond sopping mess, completely bedraggled by the wind and saturated to the point of hair stuck to my face… attractive.  Yes I was indeed the personification of such.

It is at times like this I wonder exactly what it is I think I’m doing.

King’s College Marathon Session

IMG_1311Being myself a complete novice in the area of running, training, exercise in general; I knew not what to expect from a Marathon Training session with my King’s College running team mates (now there’s a phrase I never thought I’d have occasion to use!)  It is true that we do have a Facebook page to chatter merrily amongst ourselves, but without having actually met these people in person before; it is easy to imagine they are all six billion times better at this than me, that no one else could possibly be running their first marathon and that they are all well seasoned Mo Farah’s just doing their bit to raise money for charity.  I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that Paula Radcliffe didn’t turn up but instead some very lovely ‘normal’ (can I say that about marathon runners?) lovelies did and we had a great time chatting through how to prevent injuries with an amazing Physio from Guys and St Thomas’s, the sister to King’s College Hospital.

The good news I took from this session, is that in line the current research around marathon training (as our wonderful Physio was extremely knowledgeable) I appear to be doing the right thing in terms of running three times a week; speed, short, long runs and incorporating some body conditioning sessions.  I do need to confess that I have spent some time reading the Runner’s World website and furthermore (gee this is hard to fess up to… so I’ll say it fast…) I have subscribed to Runner’s World magazine !!!!!  I know.  Where is the real Jo and what have I done with her?!  However, do need to thank three inspiring and incredibly generous ladies for their guidance and support which has helped form my training programme and put me on the right path to success; so Lydia, Lady Catherine and Yoda, I thank you indeed as without you I would never have ventured out on that shockingly grey, rainy day in October to take my first baby steps in this this incredible journey.  I hope I can make you proud when the time comes.

Marathon training tips from the Physio (who’s name escapes me but I will advise, I promise)!

1) See a Physio before you start training to correct any possible injury threats

2) Go to Runners Need for a gait assessment and good trainers

3) 3 x Run, 2 x Body condition

4) Use a foam roller on the outside of your thigh as there is no real stretch for this area

5) Use dynamic stretching pre runs (loosening of joints and flailing of arms) and static stretching after runs (the usual calf and quad ones used in gym classes)

6) Eat to fuel your training, jelly babies or haribo on the way round can help

7) Find out what energy or gel products will be given out at your particular marathon and incorporate them into your training so that your body gets used to them, otherwise stick to water on race day

Following the shocking revelation that 70% of women fall victim of knee injuries, I am keen to ensure I can keep training as much as possible so will be popping along to see the good people at Guys for an MOT once-over to assess if I have any potential injury threats and discuss how to avoid them if I can.  I do have the annual BUPA health check on Friday to look forward to as well and am hopeful that it may be an improvement on the last one…surely I must be much more flexible and fit that last time so the stretch test and bike sprint should be easier? …she saids crossing her fingers!  I might have to practise that stretch test tonight just to make sure, hahaha!

One further confession to make, following my good start to the new year with menus and new recipes, the last two weeks I have been very naughty and for some reason I can’t quite fathom, I have simply failed to plan my menus and have gone a bit ‘wild card’ on the whole affair!!  This is definitely NOT the attitude and I will be rectifying this situation.  Though my go-to lazy meal of toasted English muffin with half an avocado sliced on top with a bit of ham (and fresh basil when available) is delicious, I will endeavour to pull my proverbial socks up and continue as I mean to go until 26 April!  Next time we all meet, we are hoping to have a presentation and good chat about nutrition which obviously being hugely interested in anything edible, I am very excited about!  Bring it on!

First 10 mile run

10 miles This Sunday I completed my first 10 mile run which was by far the furthest I’ve gone by about 2 miles.. it was tough after about 5 miles as all I could think about was chocolate about a mile.. haha.  I think I could really have done with a nice sugar burst, so might have to start thinking about running snacks/gels, not to mention there were a number of hills I wasn’t expecting(!)… but it was a very interesting run through parts of my local area I rarely visit and even less likely to do so on foot !  For a very nosy person like me, this is one of the best things about running (except the guilt free food of course)… there is so much building and redeveloping going on, it was fascinating to see things repurposed; such as the former ‘Welcome Inn’ a slightly better class of Harvester which had been the scene of those occasional happy family meals out (on Woolwich Road), which has now been turned into residential homes, likewise the formershooters hill police station Shooters Hill Police Station has also been transformed into very smart looking accommodation with an extension on the back still in the lovely very red brick of the original building which is good to see.  There are some new flats too being built further down Shooters Hill behind the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, which is long overdue I think and probably a symptom of the successful development of the Brook hospitalformer Workhouse and Old Brooke Hospital and former Royal Herbert Hospital. royal herbert I like it how these hospital developments have to keep their original clocktowers, not sure why?  Presumably they are listed?  As the same was done at Hither Green many years ago.  I enjoyed running down Charlton Church Lane as this gave some lovely views over the river and after a long dash along the Woolwich/Trafalgar Road I was back in Greenwich and nearly home (as far as I was concerned anyway).  I’m finding that mind over matter really does help with this running, as often I think there is no way I’ll achieve something; be it a particular distance or speed but as long as I keep positively pushing myself I do always get there.  So it was fairly plain sailing from then on in, although obviously Croomes Hill was rather trying… no surprise there.. but Stephen Fry did get my through it was an amusing anecdote about the Prince of Wales visiting him on New Years Day at his home in Norfolk many moons ago and the uncertainty as to whether it was Hugh Laurie or Rowan Atkinson hoovered the Drawing Room.  Haha.  Took my mind off it all.

Slightly sore knee, so I rested that on Sunday and seem to be one week ahead of training, so might be able to try out a 13 mile run the week before I’m running the Half Marathon with Yoda in about a month… hoping to get slightly faster, as on the basis of 10 miles at 2hr 35, I should be able to comfortably do the 13 mile run in 3 hr 17 which was the slowest time last year… with a bit more practise and speed training I might even be able to push myself to a nice 3hr finish.  Fingers crossed!!