Bristol 10k 2019 is Round the Corner

With less than a month to go it’s time to start training …

Not what one usually says with the lead up to a 10k race.  Life has been a bit of a curve ball lately …  Few spanners in the works to bounce back from.  After Athens I took a break from my training, hence the silence on my blog.

So, to catch up …

I haven’t been doing nothing though.  My first step was to get my weight down.  Due to a health scare I mostly comfort ate over Christmas and gained a couple of stone as I couldn’t exercise whilst I recovered.  I was out of action for two months.  I’ve managed to get from 10 stone down to 8.9 stone through a combination of Huel and Slimming World.  My racing weight is usually around 9 so I’m happy getting back on track with this.

Image may contain: flower, plant and drink

Instead of running I’ve been throwing my exercise efforts into Zumba and Yoga.  With a spot of weight training at the gym. 

At the end of April I’m taking a course to be a Zumba instructor … that’s an eight hour day of Zumba, one week before the 10k.  Who needs to taper, eh?

Thankfully I know that I can run a marathon on a good day.  A 10k is a piece of cake and pint of beer afterwards.  It’ll be fine.  It might not be a PB or my best day, but I’ll manage it and it’ll be a fun run with my mates.

Let’s see what I can do with a few weeks of good training.

Eleanor

xxx

Race Report: Athens Marathon 2018 – Marathon 10

Tags

, , , , ,

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted a blog.  Apologies for that.  Life got insanely busy again.

I’ve mainly been keeping quiet because I’d planned to run Athens Marathon.  I didn’t want to spend the summer worrying about my training on the net.  I have chronic fatigue, an undiagnosed bowel condition, a slipped disc that flares into my sciatic nerve, two broken toes and arthritis in my right foot fracture that I gained in 2016.   Instead I simply got down to it and knuckled in after the family triathlon in June.

I used my MoveGB membership to do at least two different fitness classes a week.  Mostly Zumba which I totally love now.  Tried out some different forms of Yoga.  I even gave Pole Dancing a go, Tai Chi and Spin Class.  I tried all sorts of things I wouldn’t have bothered with with a standard gym membership.  It’s important to find your groove for when it’s not okay to run as we all need a break and to cross train other things.  I ran two or three times a week and focused on a weekend long run.  My longest training run was half marathon distance.

It seemed logical that my return to racing start at Athens Marathon, having been twice before there is something about that race that keeps me coming back.  I travelled to Athens with my partner Jack.  I managed the race in just over 6 hours which isn’t my worst time or my best but is still a middling time and an achievement to having done my 10th marathon.  It feels pretty great to have finally got to 10 after having had to cancel Portsmouth Marathon last year.  I was ripe with anxiety and doubt!

I also raised £290 for the Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal charity for the Bristol Children’s Hospital. Image may contain: one or more people, people standing, sky, cloud and outdoor

Now I have done 10 marathons the question is what next?  I’m not sure I’m built to be a fast marathon runner no matter how much training I do.  I might switch up to trying to become a faster 5k or 10k runner and make HM’s my focus for 2019.  I can’t bring myself to say the words ‘no more marathons’ and I still like the idea of an ultra.  I’d defo need to get my marathon time to a more comfortable place before I tried even the shortest ultra-distance. But who knows … maybe one day.

Happy running

Xxx

Eleanor

Race Report: Blenheim Palace Triathlon Family Sprint

A blisteringly hot June 2nd sun shone over competitors and spectators alike at Blenheim Palace Triathlon.  The event spread across the grounds of the palace.  The lake, the race village, the kit area.  Scope so wide that extra mileage was done just nipping to the swim start or the cycle start to see so and so off on their venture.

There was plenty for spectators to be occupied by.  A children’s race went on in the race village field.  Geese padded around in their flocks.  Rides, coffee, pop up bars, cuisine vans of all kinds building a lovely atmosphere.  I spent a well parted with £10 on an excellent back massage whilst waiting for my running start time.

The family was here to participate in Sprint: swim 750m; cycle 19.8km; run 5.4km.  We were two groups.  My dad did the swim (two, in fact), my brother the cycle and myself the running.  They joined me in the last stretch when I’d planned a sprint finish so got a bit of a surprise when I sped up.  10/10 for maximum family effort.

Afterwards I was gifted with a non alcoholic beer, made up for with Prosecco at the family gathering dinner afterwards.

 

Of course, they are already asking, ‘so, next year Tri?’

Well, I can’t say that seeing all these wonderful people race Triathlon isn’t inspiring because it very much is!  Some people were doing triathlon the whole weekend until they could triathlon no more which is incredible! (Weekend Warriors were they called?)  I did try to adapt to cycling a few years ago but I didn’t get on with it.  Admittedly, this may have been due to immediately going for an expensive and uncontrollable Mountain Bike and trying to do city cycles with it.  Anxiety got the better of me and after a few months of it sitting in the shed I sold it to a friend.

I could invest more time in swimming again and do the swim stretch next year, perhaps, or set my sights on an Aquathlon.  We’ll see what happens, but … maybe.  Not a straight off no which I probably would have said a few years ago if asked.  Funny how fitness obsessions change you as a person.  Before I started running I would have said no to someone asking me to run to a bus and now I’m saying maybe to more than running.  Where has running taken you?

Happy running,

xxx

Eleanor

 

Race Report Bristol 10k 2018

I’ve been running the Bristol 10k every year since 2013.  I woke up feeling awful, either a cold or hayfever.  I nearly caved.  Ten minutes to go before the bus would be due I changed my mind.  I donned my gear and ran for the bus.

It was a brilliantly bright day.  I had my heart set on that elusive sub 55 minutes that I’d been aiming for since I started running 10ks.  I’d talked myself out of it in early morning mental gloom thinking why bother if I cannot reach it due to this illness?  The answer was simple.  It’d at least be a nice long run with a medal at the end.

Image may contain: food

Each Bristol 10k story is different.  That first year I raised over £200 for Wallace and Gromit, finishing a Couch to 10k program, starting out in my training to run my first marathon at Porstmouth that December.  This year the goal was just to enjoy it and have some fun.  Bristol 10k 2018 wasn’t part of a larger training plan because I’d already done the Frenchay 10k in April.  I’ll be trying to run Athens again in November so this years goal is simply getting back into racing more.

 

I finished in 1:06:15, 1 minute slower than Frenchay (not a PB, boo!). I had a great r

Image may contain: drinkace and enjoyed it despite feeling rough.  So I sensibly didn’t push speed and just got into a comfortable zone. Enjoyed victory PieMinister with friends and a free pint at the Hatchet in the sun with partner afterwards.  I’m glad I got up and did it – I’ve not missed one since I started running!

Next up – running leg of a family triathon on June 2.

Happy running,

xxx

Eleanor

 

Race Report: Frenchay 10k – A Return To Racing

Tags

, , , , ,

After a year out of racing I planned to do the Frenchay 10k on Sunday 15th of April. It was spur of the moment as I registered last Sunday.  I spent the first half of the weekend exploring humid and sunny Nottingham doing six miles of walking each day.  Then travelled back down to Bristol for the race.  I woke up to a typical cloudy (and later on, drizzly) Bristolian weather Sunday feeling rather groggy.  Two days of six mile walks had indeed caught up.  Yet that night my mantra had been, ‘I will not find an excuse to cop out today. I will not.  I will not.’  I couldn’t let another race pass me by due to my own nerves and horrendous levels of self-doubt.

FrenchayStartline.jpg

I made the decision that if I could manage a few runs per week perhaps I could switch up those runs into a race on the weekend.  I’d run what felt good training wise during the week, most of my runs ended up on weekends recently anyway due to having more time to get out.  I’d try not to obsess over plans that would see me exhausted and beat before I got to the start line.  With CFS and a slipped disc I need to be very aware of my body when doing fitness.  I only had one new medal to hang up last year.  I needed a comeback race.

Since I was 7lbs over my old race weight I tried to carboload by not necessarily adding in any extra food.  I just changed the proportion of carbs in my snacks and meals.  For weekday lunches I made a ridiculously hot veggie chilli as I find rice less stodgy than pasta and left Italian type meals to the evening.  I ordered a new set of Gaze boxes in bulk to try out to keep snacking controlled.

It was a great choice.  A race ran by a local club for charity.  The registration, start and finish were in the Glenside Campus, only about a mile from home.  This meant that travelling was no reason to cause any anxiety.  Inside race HQ it was completely packed out.  It was quick and easy to get my race number. I’d forgotten how long the queues for toilets get at racing!  I’d forgotten to bring spare pins and had to run with two pins due to a lack of them.  Next time I’ll remember to bring my own pins, something I used to always do when running races was a frequent habit.  I even have a small decorative pot of them somewhere at home just for races.

Despite not being at events for so long I could still recognise a lot of faces from local running clubs past and present.  This was a nice feeling.  Things hadn’t moved on so far in my absence that the field was completely unrecognisable.  I wore my Southville colours to shouts of ‘Go on Southville!’. There were wonderful pockets of support.  The race looped the Glenside campus, went down to Oldbury Court (where I’d done a lot of my winter training long runs) through the fields to Frenchay and back down to then finish with Blackberry hill in the last mile, a beast of a finish.  I only stopped to fix my race number in the field after it got too hot in my waterproof jacket.  Throughout I kept a steady pace with no walking to manage 10-12 minute miles.

Frenchay10kcup.jpg

Incredibly I even managed a sprint finish to lots of cheers at the end.  The race gift was a red Frenchay 10k mug.  It’s not always about the medal. I’ve had all sorts of things other than medals in the past like coasters, bottles of signature beer, ice creams.  Those moments will always be in your head regardless of what you get given afterwards.

Perhaps, I needed this time out to give myself a year’s rest.  After battering my body with a schedule in three years that included nine marathons, multiple halfs and 10ks with no prior fitness base. 1 hour 5 mins. 7.19 mins over my last 2017 flat Bristol 10k race and only 10 minutes over my 2016 10k PB, I think if I try hard on the day for the Bristol 10k in May I might be able to beat my PB set in 2016.

Afterwards I ached but only in that I needed to take breaks to walk around and have the odd paracetamol.  It didn’t completely destroy me.  I walked in the drizzle which promptly turned into torrential rain to Grounded for a lovely lunch of Spanish Potatoes.  Then I slept for a solid two hours.

SpanishPotaoesGrounded.jpg

I’m looking forward to putting more races on the calendar across the distances.

PS: Remember to stretch and foam roll!

PSS: Try not to go off too fast in the first mile!

Happy running,

Xxx

Eleanor

A mile to inspiration

Tags

, , , ,

It finally feels like winter is starting to lose it’s dramatic battle with spring.

On the first day that felt a little spring-ish I dashed out for a run during my work from home lunch break.  Just a mile along my home road in the clear air with bright sunshine.  Warm sunshine would have been better.  The weather was such that if I had gone another mile then the tedious extra layers of the winter season training gear would not have been needed.

The mile had to be quick enough to get home in time to scoff a bacon sarnie before getting back to the computer for a meeting.  10:30m.  A mile is all it takes, isn’t it?

Just like sometimes a date is all it takes to fan a spark into romance a mile is all it takes to ignite a runner.  To free that runner from the darkness of winter training and propel them into what could be considered proper spring training.  Having only managed a few miles a week since New Year I felt I needed a push of inspiration especially since I’ve been feeling fatigue free of late.

That first spring mile logged on Strava was all it took.  It’ll become easier to be motivated as the light returns.  Easier to tie those shoes up in the morning.  Time begins to free up as nights are brighter.  As someone that presently has no time or cash for a comfortable treadmill this has deeply effected my training abilities which has meant my only options have been dark drizzly mornings or weekends.  I’m looking forward to the bountiful fitness options that spring and more time in natural light offer.

XXX

Eleanor

Recreation and Resolutions

Tags

, , , , , ,

2018 has been pretty good to me so far.  In January I started a temporary position with the Forestry Commission for HR Events running 20 transitional events across England’s woods and forests.  It’s a lovely environment to be in and I really hope that the job lasts long term.  It’s refreshing to be working within recreation.

The funny thing is working in recreation doesn’t mean one has all the time for the world for it.  I often leave early and come back late.  This means my activity has fallen by the wayside a little.  I do have to focus on making the best of this assignment though as I know it’ll be beneficial in my future.  They liked my like with parkrun and that I run events in my spare time.

I love events because I’m passionate about bringing something to peoples lives that will leave an impression.  A slice of time that people will walk away with that you helped personally deliver in their timeline.  It’s a wonderful feeling to know something that you’ve put together can have that affect on a person.

I’ve managed the odd morning run since, I’m still running one run a week.  Last week was an exception because a bad fall on the weekend meant it took my arm a long time to get back into running shape again.  I know it’ll be easier to get back into it once the light returns.

MMushrooms

At the very least I’ve been managing to eat right.  Nutrition is something that can fall by the wayside in office jobs with all that cake.  I’ve been bringing in fresh fruit salads, yogurt and Graze snacks.  I’ve made a habit of Sunday or Monday meal prep lunches.  Please feel free to share your favourite recipes for meal prep in the comments! Above Moroccan Mushrooms and couscous.  Below Greek Salad.

GreekSalad

Another of my favourite Sunday tasks is to Bullet Journal for the week ahead.  I like Bullet Journaling because it blends art with lists.  One of my resolutions for 2018 is to parkrun once a month.  I made this parkrun tracker to help me keep note of my parkruns.

parkrunbulletjournal

Happy running,

xxx

Eleanor

2017 in Review

I’d hoped to finish 2017 with Portsmouth Marathon.  However, due to being let go the week before Christmas I had to shelve the idea of a weekend away which was emotionally battering for me.  I’d spent so much time planning Portsmouth even down to the trial race day and I knew that if I spent 26.2 miles worrying about whether I would get paid the following week that my head would not be in the game.  Being in a positive mindset is so important for a marathon.  The decision did not come easily as I’ve ran a marathon every year since I started running.

2017 was a year of fair weather running.  Running when it suited my pain levels.  The big benefit was getting Acupuncture in November which has removed the pain from my slipped disc allowing my long runs this half of the year to progress from 6 miles to 11 miles.  I just know I could go marathon distance in the right mindset.  I spent the lighter parts of the year on 6 mile runs creating a good endurance base. With more long runs than any other year despite the pain.

The only race I did, the Bristol 10k, was sadly not a Personal Best but I did finish it.  There were also more parkrun’s than any other year.  Another parkrun highlight was helping set up Eastville junior parkrun.

2017 has been a bit of a mixed bag.  Yet the base I kept up will hopefully help me reach for better efforts in 2018 with a pain free body to work with again.

https://2017.strava.com/en-us/videos/6a7bc24f28535c744f68c4a989d1ad0fb78d70f5/

The Strava year in sport feature is lovely and includes all the stats I’d usually type up.

Distance 314.2 mi
Time 62h 7m
Elev Gain 17,014 ft
Runs 106

Lots to build on in the next year!

Happy running

Eleanor

xxx

Trial Race Day For Portsmouth Marathon

Tags

, , , , , , , , ,

Evaluating other attempts at running marathons I decided to change things up a bit and throw in a trial race day.  Not just a long run.  Basically, just a long run in which I pretended it was the Marathon.

It was the last long run before Portsmouth Marathon.  The morning of December 3rd (yeah, this blog is late).  It was the second longest run of 2017.  The run totalled 9.11 miles.

It went like so;

24068044_10160032766960001_966192014098185000_n
Woke up at 8am to breakfast and drink coffee,
9am volunteering as time keeper at Junior parkrun,
9:30am set off from that start line of sorts to run along the Snuff Mills trails,
2.5 miles in turned back due to a steepass muddy as fudge decline at a tremendous height that made brain nope,
5 miles in stopped at the fuel station known as the house for hydrate,
7.5 miles in best run snacks of Jelly Beans by the mega handful,
8.6 miles in … 8 point … 6 … fudge 8.6. Keep at it!
9 miles in. 9 miles. Sprint finish home. HELL YES.

I felt fantastic.  When I got home for a cup of tea, a hot lunch and a steaming bubble bath after showering all the mud off it was a relief having done it.  I know it wasn’t 26. miles.  Nearly 10 is a good bench mark of how I will feel on race day.  I felt like I could do more, indeed I considered a second lap but didn’t want to over do it too soon.

JellyBeans

I found Jelly Beans as a running snack worked better than gels with my stomach so I’ve stocked up on lots of these.

Now to rest and carboload before Portsmouth Marathon.  I’ve done nothing but walking and yoga in the evenings.  I’ve bulk bought soups and healthy snacks for my workday lunches.  Of course, the odd Cherry Bakewell is unavoidable this time of year.  However, it’s still easy to eat balanced and just add the Minced Pies in as your afternoon snack instead of because of it.

As I write this Portsmouth looms at the end of Sunday.  I haven’t chickened out yet.  There are no health excuses worth cancelling for.  The weather might be a bit of mischief.  Yet, adventure calls.  The coast and it’s gales, the roses and their dew, the Pyramid Center and it’s Expo.  The runners and their lycra.

This will now be a staple before any race taper going forward in 2018.  It’s helpful to find the zone that gets missed sometimes with ‘just another long run.’  Make your long run work for you.  Make it special.

Happy running,

Eleanor

xxx