Monday, 16 November 2015

6 days to go!

Well I'm really in countdown mode now.  It's Monday and my first half marathon is this week - this Sunday!   Excited and terrified all at the same time.

This weekend Michelle and I had planned a 10km run on Sunday morning when disaster struck! Michelle has injured her back.  I'm so gutted for her, as she's so desperate to do this for me after training together all the way.  I don't want her to feel bad at all but I do feel so sorry for her.  She is under strict orders to rest.  There is a tiny chance she may feel better enough to run next Sunday, but I'm carrying on this week on the belief that I am going to have to do this alone. (Sob sob sob!)

Although that does make me panic slightly, I am not as panicked as I thought or might have been, because... I went out yesterday, on my own, without Michelle and ran that planned 10kms.... and I did it!  And I know I could have kept going.   I did it all alone. No music, no running buddy. I just ran!

That in itself is a massive massive achievement for me.  Some weeks I can't run a 5k on my own. Even a few months ago I couldn't finish a 10km run without some walking.  Seriously.  For me to get over all my mental demons and keep going was amazing.  I felt epic afterwards, even though i wasn't even very fast, my target was just to do it. Without walking. On my own. Result.

It was so windy, but a decent day - no rain, not too warm and not too cold.  I managed to find a good flat out and back route.  Since running these longer runs I've started to really enjoy out and back routes - i like the physical marker of turning around and running back towards home, knowing that the miles left to run are getting shorter with each step.

I ran from my house, up into town, through the parkrun park and was passing 5kms and ready to turn back before I realised it!  I won't lie, i did have my usual negative thoughts for quite a few stretches of that first 5kms but I just kept using all the mental tricks Michelle has taught me.  I would focus on being positive, slow right down when I started to get out of breath and panic, break down the route into chunks in my head.  Then play little games like, I won't look at my tracker on the phone until after that traffic light etc, to stop me getting down-heartened about my pace or miles to go every 5 minutes. I tried to focus on everything around me, and enjoy seeing the city, peering into windows, smiling at parents walking in the park, saying hello to other runners.

I actually ended up doing 10.5kms to get home.  It took me 1 hour 12 minutes.

And then I had a little epiphany.  I'd spoken to a few people about the half marathon and many of them were surprised I wasn't fundraising.  I had said I wouldn't, partly because I didn't want to tell lots of people I was doing this challenge, in the fear that once I started to tell people there was more pressure and more chance of things going wrong or me failing (oh the silly mind games we play!).  But I realised that there is a very very low chance that I will ever do this again, and a few of my friends, on being told I was doing this wanted to support me and asked if I could choose a charity to get sponsorship for.

So I've caved - I've set up a justgiving page for a small charity that works in South Africa that i have been closely linked to for 15 years.   Here is a link.
I don't want to set a target to raise lots of dosh, but any donations will help keep me mentally focused on the day.  (Especially if I do have to run without Michelle! Sob sob sob!)

So what for the week ahead?  Not a lot, as I know I need to rest to ensure my hip and bum muscles don't get too sore ahead of the long long run on Sunday!  I'll have a little 20 minute run tomorrow and the same again on Thursday, and I'm planning lots of lovely food for before and after.  He he he!

In 6 days time it will all be over!

Monday, 9 November 2015

The day after long run day...

Oh my goodness I'm useless today.  I actually want to lie down on the sofa and cry because I'm so mentally and physically exhausted.    Yesterday I ran the furthest I've ever run in my life.  11 and a tiny bit miles!

And the weirdest thing... is that I could have kept going! And actually I'm not in pain or too stiff... so my body is stronger than I thought and has really grown in fitness with all the training I've done. I can see and feel huge differences... and yet still, I'm now 1 week and 6 days away from my first half marathon and I feel like I want to pull out!  I'm dreading it!

My mind is always my biggest problem when I run... as you can see from this summary of yesterday's run...

Woke up, having been looking forward to long run day all week, I woke up terrified and wondered if I could come up with an excuse to get me out of it.... Obviously not, so I went and met my lovely running coach/buddy Michelle, and hoped that she would be injured or ill and want to stop!

We started, I felt great, (we ran downhill for the first kilometre! that always helps).   I tried really hard to slow right down as my biggest downfall on other long runs is going way too fast at the beginning.

It was all going fine but I was struggling with breath due to going off a bit fast.  Got to about 2.5/3 miles and decided I hated running.  My mind was all over the place thinking of ways to stop the run.  Could I trip myself up so we had to stop and limp home?  I started to feel sick! Sick! I've never had exercise induced nausea before!  I can't run while I feel sick.  I could never run 11 miles. I can't even finish 3!  Look at all these other fast runners coming past me looking all smiley and fit.  I bloody hate running.

45 minutes in, time for a drink and an energy gel.  Thank god we got to walk for 2-3 minutes ... maybe we should just keep walking, walking is nice... start running again, slow slow slow.  oh my god we're going up a hill. I can't run up hills. I hate hills. Why did we stop?  I can't get my head going again, I had just got over my mile 3 nausea panic!!

1 hour... ah the gel is kicking in.... I'm starting to find my stride, I'm actually enjoying this.  Why did it take an hour of hell to get here?   Bloody hell another hill ,,, I think I may die. Oh dear that disgusting gel has made me feel nauseas again.  I can't breath, maybe I'm having a panic attack? Am I actually going to be sick?  Have we even run 5 miles yet?  I hate running.

And on and on like that, while the wonderful Michelle just kept chatting to me, all sorts of random rubbish to keep distracting me and keep me going.... she is an angel!

6 miles!  Hooray, we only have 5 miles to go, I've already done 6.... 5 is nothing!  We have turned around and we're on our way home now....

... and suddenly we're 7.5 miles and I'm ok! I'm OK! I'm doing this.  I've found my stride, we're having lovely random chats! Everyone is smiling at us.... look at those other runners - i'm just as good as them!  (Well, maybe not as good as the man with the Ironman Austria t shirt whose calves look like bronze statues of greek gods!) Ok so my legs feel like lead and my hip is as stiff and sore as anything but I'm in the zone and my legs are just going. I love this! I could run forever

Then ... Stop for another little walk to have another gel and a drink.... oh no. Can't get going again.  But only 3.5 miles to go... just a bit more than a park run... how hard can that be?  But I can't....

I have about a mile of decent running before I think my legs may just be glued to the ground, and then need another little walk and a talking too.  It's ok says Michelle.  Isn't it better to have 1 minute of walking and then go on to finish 11 miles rather than just give up at 8 or 9 miles?

Don't know how... but we got going again!

Then we had to run over two hump back bridges... HILARIOUS! The steep humps really really hurt my hip so I had to walk up the bridges and the steep down side really hurt Michelle's calves so she had to walk down them.... while we're both moaning and complaining like a couple of old grannies!

And then at almost 10 miles the most hilarious thing.... we run past Costa and Michelle says, ooooh I could murder a hot chocolate. And I said... I have a tenner in my pocket!  Let's do it!  So we agree to run up the road for 1/2 mile and then run back to costa and we'll be at 11miles and we can have a hot chocolate!!!! That thought is like rocket fuel.... fastest mile ever! And I feel great!  And actually, once we got up to 10.5miles we talked ourselves out of the Costa!  Because we realised that if we ran back there, we'd then have to walk or run another Kilometre back to Michelle's house and my car after our treat!!!! So we just kept going and ran home instead, which was just as rewarding (and cheaper, and without having to sit in Costa RED AND SWEATY and scaring small children!!!! lol).

And although I was stiff and my hip was complaining and I was shuffling and going sooooooo slowly really... when Michelle said, ok, stop, 11 miles.....

I felt like I could have kept going... so I did! Well, not really, maybe another 0.2 of a mile just to get myself back to my park bench where I like to stretch.  So I ran over 11 miles.  Ta dahhhh!


So, in spite of all my moaning and moaning. It was a great run.  And I felt epic.....

And then.....

I got home, still feeling nauseas, and tired and thirsty and hungry.
Quick cold bath (whose stupid idea was that?!?!?!) then a Long hot bath, banana, chocolate milk.  Wonderful.

Was pretty useless the rest of the day though.  Very stiff and sore, very very tired and nauseas all day.

Today I'm fine. It's a bit ouchie walking up and down stairs but nothing serious on the pain front.  My mind is more shattered than anything.  I just can't concentrate on work. I want a nap.

1 week 6 days.....

Sunday, 8 November 2015

It's long run day!

Just getting ready to go and do my last long run before the race. My first half marathon is two weeks today!

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Short and sweet! Run report 3rd November

This will be short and sweet as I have a tonne of work to do!

Haven't managed to run for a week due to half term and being away but thankfully managed to get out with the lovely ladies at Chelmer Roadrunners (Tuesday group) this morning.

A lovely, slightly damp but crisp Autumn morning, perfect running conditions. Not too cold, not too hot.  Lovely.  We ran a new route around Galleywood, slightly hilly which was tough, but kept up a decent pace (averaged 7mins per km) and managed to run 7kms, partly because we weren't sure where we were going!

The only annoyance is that my hip started to ache again for the last kilometre.  To be fair I have not done my physio exercises for 5 days now either due to being away over half term.  And over the weekend I walked miles and had started to notice my hip aching at the end of a long day of walking around a foreign city (coupled with sleeping on a hard uncomfortable sofa bed at a friends house!).   Going to work v hard on my exercises this week and next.  Seeing my physio man again next Monday for the last time pre race.

Loved it again today, and it's made me excited about my next (and last pre race) long run which will be on Friday.

Oh yes, and I got home from my travels last night to my race number!  My race number and info for my first ever half marathon has arrived and it is all real now.  Gulp!  2 weeks 5 days!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Love run run! Run report 26/10/15

Last night I went out for a run with some of the Dynamo girls and we ran just shy of 9kms and I flipping loved every step!  Hooray!  Such a relief after the tough long run last Friday.

The course makes a big difference - we ran a different route that I haven't run before, so it was interesting to see different things and have the element of surprise, plus the course was pretty flat, a couple of very slight barely noticeable inclines and some great downhills.  Compared to the very hilly route I ran last Friday it felt so much easier running on the flat.

The people make a huge difference - we ran and chatted, talked about other runs, other races, our families, what we were doing for half term, about the film 2 of us saw last week, about the restaurants and bars we were running past, etc etc.  It made the time go quickly.

And the pace makes a difference - yes! It's all about the pace!  We didn't race, we were running at a pace where we could chat so it felt manageable and not too hard work.  Just had a nice little race/sprint for the last 200 metres.  Also great fun!

In the end when I reviewed my stats we hadn't actually run too slowly, averaged 7 minutes per kilometre, which is a good 10km pace for me and shows me that my fitness and pace is improving, I've just been unlucky to run my races this year on some really really tough hilly all terrain courses, which slowed me down.

My glute muscles did feel very tight by the end and again this morning, but no pain, so feeling positive that the old hip niggles are calming down too.

Love love love running today.

Hooray. back on track.  3 weeks 5 days! Waaaaaaaaaaaa

Friday, 23 October 2015

Long run report 23/10/15. Mind over matter

First half marathon in 4 weeks 2 days!!!! Gaaaaaaaagghhhhh why did I agree to this?

This week has been a lot about resting my legs and doing my glute strength exercises since my great 8 mile on Sunday. I did another circuit/kettle bell type of class on Wednesday and even did 20 fast mins on the treadmill as my warm up - the idea of the short run was to keep my legs in the game without fatiguing them. And I fared much better, thank goodness, with the class this week - no where near as much stiffness or pain the next day!

All good. Until today's long run - we said 9-10. We did 9.5miles. But my god I think I hated running 8.9 of those miles 😭😭

Foolishly we decided to try a new route and we seemed to pick the hilliest roads in town. I kid you not that the first 4.5 miles was mostly uphill. And they were some seriously big never ending and in parts very steep hills. It was miserable. The hills triggered off my hip/thigh pain. I felt like I was running through treacle. I could not get my breath, no matter how much I slowed down, I felt panicky as I couldn't slow my breathing, I even felt a bit sick at one point. Could not run. 

Perked up slightly after a gel and a lovely flat downhill section until about mile 6.5 when I really really had to talk myself into every step. Even during the "easier" 4.5-6.5, downhill section, I still just found it incredibly hard to keep going, even downhill, as my right leg muscles were twinging and tightening with every step and my legs felt heavy and my whole body felt drained.  

I don't know how I kept going, we tried to chat, I kept losing my breathing. We tried saying lets just run slowly for ten minutes and see how we feel, and then setting new mini goals. It was a mind over matter run today. My mind was all out convincing my body that it wasn't going to die and just had to finish. I do not know how my mind triumphed because I was so close to giving up for so much of the run!

We even had an awful bit near the end where we just couldn't work out the best route home avoiding hills and yet still being long enough to get over 9 miles. Hilariously we ended up  doubling back a couple of times and down then running up and down my road three times to get us to 9.5 miles in the end. 

I still don't know where those inner reserves came from to keep going those last few metres. Sore sore sore tonight, but proud of course!

Monday, 19 October 2015

Back in the zone - 8 mile run

Yesterday, Sunday 18th October I managed a good long run to get my head back into the half marathon training.

Before going out I had been dreading it, and convinced I wouldn't be able to make it more than 5 miles.  However it went really well which has really helped me regain my confidence about this half marathon... which by the way is now 4 weeks and 6 days away! Gulp.

I was feeling very stiff and achey from an exercise class (kettle bells and squats) on Friday which I really regretted doing.  So I was not expecting the run to go well, and when I met my running buddy she was also in pain and her toe was still throbbing from her Royal Parks Half Marathon the weekend before.  So it didn't bode well, however we started off on another beautiful sunny Autumn morning and there was lots to catch up on to hear how her half marathon went last week so a lovely chatty run.

We set off on an 8 mile route, but both us said we would have been happy to achieve a 10km (6 miles). The first 3 miles was really tough, as always, I felt like I was wading through treacle and I honestly thought that even achieving 6 miles was going to be impossible.

Thankfully as usual, around mile 4 I got into a groove and was pleasantly surprised that my hip felt fine, and the stiffness from the kettlebell class was actually calming down, as though the run was loosening and waking up my muscles.  10kms passed and all felt good and I started to feel that actually, 8 miles was completely do-able.  And so we did it.  The last half mile was really hard work, and my hip, thigh and lower back was starting to get stiff.  However, despite that struggle, hilariously we ran the last 3/4s of a mile at a pace I usually save for a fast 5k race! I think having the end in sight, and wanting to get there quicker just pushed me along!

I felt ecstatic - really really pleased with myself and I can't tell you how important that run was mentally to feel like I can achieve this half marathon and that training is back on track.  If I had not been able to achieve this run  I would have been feeling behind and struggling to get my distances back up.

It's still going to be a push - We think we only have time for 2 more long runs.  Later this week on Friday we will have another long run, hopefully 10 miles but then it's half term the week after, and I'm going to be doings thing with my little Monster, including a weekend visiting friends in Spain, so a long run is not possible.  We then plan to have our final long run of 11-12 miles the first week of November, before resting for two weeks before the event on 22nd November.

And this morning?  Well my hip and bum are still incredibly stiff and uncomfortable.  I'm not sure if it's still the after effect of the over the top kettle bell class that I shouldn't have done on Friday!

Feeling positive about running though.  Back in the zone!

Friday, 16 October 2015

Not running!

After my stress earlier in the week... Decided to rest the hip until Sunday so didn't run Wednesday, or Thursday. It's so hard to judge though as the hip feels fine in normal life.

But then this morning I found myself doing 3kms on a dreadmill (warming up for a kettle bell session).  I was fine.  Absolutely fine.

The kettle bells were another matter.  I can't actually walk downstairs any more.  What was I thinking!

So I'm definitely not running again today, or tomorrow!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015


Stressing and worrying about my hip this evening and the upcoming half marathon. I don't know if I should rest it. It's difficult to decide since I feel absolutely fine at rest and walking and even when I start running I have no problems at first at all. The niggles just start after I've run 3-4kms at the moment.

Part of me wonders if resting might help it to heal, but I also know I had a week off running after my 10km race and it made no difference - as soon as I started running again the niggle was back. 

So what if I rest and it's all for nothing? I'll be missing out on vital training ahead of my first ever half marathon.

I know have managed to run up to 10.5- 11 miles before, (depending on which watch/app you believe lol!) but that was 3 weeks ago now and I haven't run more than 10kms since. So I'm panicking that I don't have enough time to get those long runs in again.

The half is on 22nd November
The plan was for - 
- 8-9 miles this Thursday or Friday
- 10.5 miles next week,
Then a rest week with just short runs due to it being half term and going to Spain,
- Then two weeks before the race 11-12 miles long run.

Then taper.

So if I don't manage to do the 8-9 miles this week I'm worried that I'll really struggle to make the leap back up to 10 plus next week. And I'll only have two long runs before the race. And I've never run this distance before. Until August I'd never run further than a 10k!

I just don't know what to do for the best 😫😩😫😩

Anyone got any advise or experience?

Run report 13th October 2015

I went out to run with the Chelmer Roadrunners this morning. It's the first time I've managed to go with them on a Tuesday. Was interested to see what would happen with my hip running two days in a row. And it was nice go run somewhere different.

We went for a little 5km, not too fast, plenty of chatting and it was a joy to be running again on another beautiful sunny but chilly Autumn morning. I think this is my favourite time to run! All going fine. Hip started to twinge slightly from 3.5kms and again it was when we were running up a long gradual hill that it felt worst. But I found that it was manageable, it wasn't painful just twingey, tight and pulling. I have to learn to run though that I think, until my strength builds up. 

By the time we got past 4kms my head was focused on finishing so it takes my mind off the hip niggles and I just speed up to get home faster lol!

I almost had a serious fall though! I had to get up one big curb at one point, misjudged and didn't lift my knees high enough and went toppling forward! One of the other girls had lightening reactions and managed to catch me! What a star. If she hadn't been there I would have had some serious grazing, probably would have fallen on my face! Pretty. I find it amazing, touch wood, that I haven't fallen over in 2.5 years of running as I'm usually the worlds clumsiest person.  Lucky escape. 

So... Did 5kms in just under 35minutes. Home for a hot bath now and some more strength exercises. And Michelle just called me, bless her, while I was in the bath, to see if I was ok. She's worried about my hip too and doesn't want me to overdo it and then struggle with the half marathon. I'm lucky to have such a caring friend. 

Monday, 12 October 2015

Negativity (and run report 12 Oct '15)

My morning started with my second trip to the physio. I'm in a proper grumpy mood at the moment. Have been for the last week.  I was stressing about having too much work on and had a few nights of bad sleep last night and now the stress and exhaustion has just turned into a black mood.  I can't shake it. Even though the sun is shining and I had a great, if busy weekend. I just feel grumpy.

So I went to see my physio man for the second time today, feeling grumpy.  Since I saw him last week I have only managed to run twice (planned three) and they were both shitty runs.  I've done all the exercises he set me but when I run I still felt the hip pain and it started to come on earlier (at 2 miles instead of after 3!). I felt like I was going backwards and felt crazy and that there is no way I'm going to be able to run a half marathon in 6 weeks.  Shit.

He was pleased. My range of motion has improved he thinks, and it will just take time for the strength to build up so I just have to keep running.  And he gave me more exercises to do too.  I told him that I really wanted to do a longer 7-8 mile run this week as part of my build up to the half marathon and he said that's fine, just see how it goes.  He didn't say whether I should stop if it hurts though. I forgot to ask him.  I think I just have to run through the niggles and pain a bit and man up and wait for the strength exercises to start having an impact.  Hey ho.  

And then since the sun was shining and it was a beautiful Autumn day I decided to stop off and run in the park through the city centre.  I was going to come home, do some work and then run before school run but I realised that that would never happen - work always squishes my time and once I'm in the house it's harder to go out again.  So I did it.

And I was in my mood so despite the gorgeous surroundings and the perfect crisp and sunny conditions I hated it.  I realised that it's an incline that sets my hip strain off.  (which makes sense since it started to really bother me after we did our super hilly 10km race in Finsbury Park).   I ran up a little hill and partly because I was out of breath from the hill and partly because I felt my hip start to niggle, I decided to reward myself with a little walk until I got my breath back.  I managed to get going again and was trying to force myself to enjoy it and just keep going but my head was not in the game... until, I was heading back to the start and decided to look at the app on my phone.  Until that point I had been trying to ignore it and just enjoy the run.  I realised that I was at 4.25kms and in good time and that if I pushed myself a bit I might get close to my 5km personal best.  Unbelievable.  That just really pissed me off - imagine if I hadn't walked!!! Why didn't I push myself a bit more?!?! Stupid negative woman :(

So I went for it. I put my heart and sole into that last 750metres and although I didn't beat my personal best I got very very close and felt great for pushing myself! And for about 30 seconds I felt proud of a good run...

I then walked a bit to get over my "sprint finish" hehehehe, and carried on jogging again slowly back to the car.  I hadn't worried about my achey hip while I was pushing myself for a good 5k time. Silly mare. I probably need to run with headphones in to distract me and stop me being so negative.

So in the end, the run report should say that I had a great work out in glorious surroundings and perfect conditions, AND that in the end I ran a total of 6kms including a fast (for me) 5k of 32mins 14 seconds! And my hip is ok. I'll live ha ha ha.

I so need to kill this negative attitude.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

What was I thinking?

Serious doubts kicked in today.  What was I thinking signing up for a half marathon?  I can't run!

I had a really really shitty run today. Woke up in a bad mood, feeling exhausted like I hadn't had much sleep. Went to run with Chelmer Roadrunners and was pleased than an interval session was planned, rather than distance.

But I just couldn't do it.  We ran about a mile as warm up, but because the 6 or so of us were all trying to stick together we went off way too fast, all trying to keep up with the fastest lady and she was seemingly oblivious to the rest of us struggling. Then we started our intervals - was planned to be 30 seconds faster (not sprinting, just increasing cadence) and then 2 minute recovery jog, repeated 8 times, and then finish off with another mile plus as a slower cool down run.   I don't think we managed that many intervals.  4 out of 6 of us were all so tired from going out too fast that the 30 second faster bits seemed to last forever and ever and ever and got slower and slower and harder and harder.  I think I did 5 well-ish, although starting to flag, and then on the 6th I started to feel queasy and had to walk my recovery rather than jog it.

And by that point my bum and hip were starting to hurt too :(  Oh woe is me... crappy crappy run.

Once I'd walked for a minute I did try to get back into it I really did but just couldn't! I wanted to keep going for a mile at a slow pace to cool down but actually managed less than 1/3 of a mile before the nausea kept bubbling up in my throat and I started to get really worried about hurting my hip.  So I decided to walk back to the start, and thankfully there was another lady, Emma who was also struggling and very happy to walk with me.  We put a little slow jog on for the last 1/4 mile and had a lovely chat about finding work that fits around children and school runs!  I've never felt queasy on a run before so that was a new, not very welcome experience for me.

In the end we ran less than 5kms and I hated every minute of it and I now hate running. Full Stop.  I really hate running and I hate that I seem to have hurt myself.   What an idiot to think I could run a half marathon... ( in 6 and a half weeks!!!!).... when those long training runs have broken me and I now I can't even manage 3 miles :( I want to cry.

I am keeping on with the glute strengthening exercises that the physio has given me but also finding them very hard and it's too early to see any difference yet... I wish someone could magically fix my running.

I'm off to eat some chocolate now and wallow in the self-pity of a shitty run.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Monday night rainy run with the Dynamo ladies

I wasn't going to run last night since I ran on Sunday and having seen the physio in the morning.  But then my husband came home from work early and I thought, if I don't take this opportunity and run tonight, I'm going to struggle to get 2 or 3 runs in this week.   So I went out to join the Dynamos at 8.

It was raining as well, so I nearly changed my mind.  The old me would have stayed on the sofa and watched TV ... I have  no idea what happened to change me... but I went anyway.

It was strangely warm in spite of the rain and it being October.  Once we got running the light rain was actually nice and cooled us down.  There was just three of us in the main run group (and loads in the beginners course!  Very impressed with those ladies - if I was a beginner I'm not sure i would have made the effort in the rain and dark.

So we set off on an easy 5k! Yeah right, its never easy.  The pace felt fast but manageable and we went a slightly different route to usual to mix it up.  Finished off at 5.8kms in 39mins.  So not that fast, but not slow either...

HOWEVER.  The hip was not happy again.  It started to niggle from 2kms.  Maybe because I'd had the physio prod, plus I had managed to do some of my exercises yesterday too ... even with a 4 year old trying to hang off me and climb under me as I held a one leg bridge!  Once we finished running it was sore for a little as I walked it off, but thankfully it is fine this morning.

A day of sitting in an all day meeting today so I will have to squeeze my exercises in this evening.

Have a good day of running all
Lisa x

Monday, 5 October 2015

Double run day and first time physio!

Yesterday was a beautiful day.  Started off cold and crisp, and bright and sunny and my son and I headed off to Junior parkrun full of excitement and with a spring in our steps to enjoy the sunshine.  The leaves are just starting to turn and the park looked so pretty and by the time we started to run, it was surprisingly warm.  The last gasp of summer in October!  As he is only 4, bless him, junior park run for us is more a fun thing, with lots of walk breaks, and chasing and racing from tree to tree and playing tag.  He adores sprinting over the finish line though, and yesterday he was much faster than usual because he had a batman t shirt on!

He runs the 2km (1.5mile) course in times ranging from 18-20 minutes.  Some of the over 10s at junior parkrun are amazing and finish in 7 minutes!  My aim is not to push him into running or being competitive at all at this age.  To me it's just important that he enjoys some physical activity and being outside, and it's nice to enjoy it together.

After dropping him at home I was off on my own run with my running buddy and by 10.30am it was positively tropical out!  Such a nice sunny day for a run.  As usual we went out all excited and feeling great, and went off far too fast (10m30s per mile!) so by mile 2 I was really out of puff!  We had a plan to run for about 45 minutes, and we had said we would go slow and take it easy but we start talking and just speed up and even when we tell each other to slow down we do and then forget and speed up again!

It's good for me though, as if I ran on my own I would plod and never push myself.  With Michelle I push myself to keep up with her.

After mile 3 my hip started to niggle again :(  we kept going but decided not to push for an extra little loop around a park we like, and head back for home, with a plan of running for 40 minutes instead of 45.  In the end we completed 6kms (3.75 miles) in 40 minutes and I was happy with that as it was faster than my usual pace, given that I hadn't run for a whole week and was recovering... however by the end my hip and butt cheek was very unhappy.  I spent the day stretching and hoping this wouldn't turn into something serious.

However my biggest issue at the moment is that when this happens, I'm afraid to tell my husband, because he's so negative about me running that he will use it as an excuse to try to put me off running.

Likewise, I had not told him that I had an appointment booked in with a physio this morning....

Fast forward (through coffee shops, cooking, homework, mowing the lawn and Downton Abbey) to today (Monday) ... After the school run I had my appointment with a physiotherapist who specialises in sports and had been recommended to me by other runners.

He was brilliant!  He obviously sees a lot of people with similar issues and was really positve.  He concluded what I had an inkling of myself - that I lack good muscle strength in my body and in particular the muscles in my hips and thighs and bum that are the main controller of running, lack strength.  This is fine if I just keep running comfortably up to 5-6kms but once running regular 10kms and more, my muscles are struggling as they don't have the strength to keep me going for runs over an hour without causing pain.

He showed me how, as a result, my knees are bowing in, to over compensate for the tightness and strain those muscles are feeling which is in turn making the hip hurt more, slowing me down, causing me to waste energy.  After lots of questions, watching me stand, walk, stand on one leg, bend my knees, touch my toes etc, then he spent about 20 minutes manipulating the muscles in my right thigh, hip and bum to try and loosen up the muscles.   It was EXTREMELY painful!  But, it helped a lot, the mobility in that leg and hip improved immensely as a result by the end of the session.

He then took me through two exercises that I have to do twice every day for the next 6 days to start to build up my strength.  He also thankfully said I should NOT stop running, but just stick to 3mile runs for the next week, as that is the point at which it starts to suffer.

His theory is that with perhaps 3 sessions with him and 6 weeks of exercises (and he said he will change and add more exercises each week), my hips will be a lot stronger, I will be able to run longer without pain, and ultimately run better with less after effect.

Very interesting talking to him and I'm feeling more positive now about tackling the half marathon next month.   Just have to make sure I do these exercises twice a day now! Oh, those exercises if you're interested are:

Single leg bridge, 10sec Left, 10 sec right x 10
Side leg race (lying on left, raising right leg) hold for 30seconds x 10

And finally... last night, running buddy Michelle sent me a plan for our longer runs for Norwich. Our aim is to get up to 12 miles before then.  So off we go!

Lisa x

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Fear of injury

It's Saturday night and I haven't run since last Sunday when I did the 10k race at Finsbury Park. Until Tuesday I was very stiff and sore particularly in my right hip and so I had to take it easy.  By Thursday I felt fine and wanted to run but a busy work and school and social schedule has meant I just haven't managed to.

I think this is probably for the best. My legs are now properly rested. And hopefully when I do run again in the morning my legs will be fine and I'll have no pain, aches or niggles. Fingers crossed.

The problem is that now I've signed up for this half Marathon on 22nd November I've started to feel really really paranoid about potential injury.  I've never had any problems before, but since I started to run the slightly longer training runs over August and September I'm noticing more niggles. And thankfully so far they are just niggles but I don't want them to develop into full injuries in the next 7-8 weeks.

When we ran 9 miles I had a groin twinge in my left leg from mile 7 which was fine the next day and has never bothered me since. I've had a tender left shin on and off since we started the longer runs, which funnily enough doesn't bother me when I'm running but is very tight and sore for the day after a run. And then after my 10km run - the right hip and upper outer thigh was making me limp. 

So, possibly prematurely I am going to see a physiotherapist on Monday. I would rather have his assessment before I start the long runs up again, and hopefully prevent anything getting worse. He was recommended by a running friend and he (the physio) is a sport and running specialist. Let's see how that goes!

Before then though I'm really looking forward to tomorrow. My morning of runs is beginning at 9.30am with my little boy at Junior Parkrun and then I'm meeting my running buddy for a 45 minute run. 

Will report back!
Lisa x

Friday, 2 October 2015

Time for a new challenge

This week I have signed up for my first ever half marathon. YIKES!  I said I would never do that.... my sneaky friend Michelle, who is a run leader with the Dynamos and has recently qualified as a Running Coach and set up the Chelmer Roadrunners group, made me do it.

I have been toying with the idea for a while but never dared say it out load. And I really didn't think it was something I could or wanted to do.  Michelle started training for a half marathon in the summer (she's run other half marathons and even the London Marathon before, but has been struggling with injury and getting her fitness back.   I offered to join her on the longer runs, just to test what my body could do.  I didn't want to sign up to a race and put that pressure on myself... but was curious.

So over the summer we started doing longer runs on a Sunday morning.  7 miles, 8, 9, 10 and even made it to 11 two weeks ago, although I really struggled with 11 and I'm not sure I ran very much of the last half mile!

I started to think that maybe it's possible, with a bit more training, to get up to that magical 13.1 miles of a half marathon.

While we were on a high from our Women's Running 10km race last Sunday we talked each other into it and booked ourselves onto the Norwich City Half Marathon on 22nd November.  EEEeeeeeeeek.  What have I done?!?!

I can't believe that this time 3 years ago I was massively overweight and hadn't run since school, and now I'm happily paying out money and giving up my weekend to run 13.1 miles or 21kms.  Freaking out a bit now actually.

So this week I am resting a little as I've had a sore right hip since running the hilly 10k on Sunday. It's now Friday and I haven't run since Sunday which has been tough ... I'm itching to get my trainers on. I may try and go out for a gentle couple of miles this afternoon or evening to see how my hip feels.

On Sunday my running buddy and I are going to run 4 or 5 miles to test our legs again after the 10k, and because she has her first half marathon next weekend she can't do too much this week.

Then after that, we will be back onto those runs again later in the month, and I look forward to posting my training diaries.

So here I go... wish me luck. Half marathon here I come.

Lisa x

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Race Report - Women's Running 10kms WR10K in Finsbury Park

Last Sunday I travelled up to London very early in the morning by train, with two running friends from the Chelmer Roadrunners in a race!  

I'm quite confident about attending these sort of organised races now and see them as a great fun and social occasion - with the post race adrenaline buzz for free  I did my first 10kms in July 2014 and over the last 15 months have now completed a total of 9 races.  But I remember my first and how much I hated it, even though I was with a friend.   I remember them all, all slightly different with different courses, some on the road, some trail runs on National Trust properties, some in the rain, some in the too hot sun.  I've had varying degrees of success but I'm glad I did them all.  I find that signing up to 10km races pushes me to do a bit more and get out of my comfort zone, and keep me running.  This is because to run a 10km race, you can't just turn up.  It's short enough to be achievable but long enough to mean you have to push yourself a little bit more than you might.

Anyway, back to Finsbury Park, late September 2015...

It was a gorgeous sunny Autumn day (actually felt a bit like summer!) and it was lovely to take part in this event that was organised by the Women's Running magazine just for Women.  They have organised 10 such races during the year, up and down the country. This was the last race of the year.

It was a brilliantly well organised race featuring a secure place to leave bags and coats, sponsors giving out freebies, a warm up from a Parolympic Swimmer, pace makers to help people get good times, a well sign posted course with lots of marshals to direct, support and cheer, and best of all at the end we were rewarded for our efforts with a medal, a bottle of water, a t shirt and a bag with some snacks in.  One of the best goody bags I've had at a race. (Don't get me started on the one where I won an ugly mug (for tea!) and a mars bar! a mars bar! really healthy - yuk)!

The course itself was tough.  I was so so glad to be running with friends as I'm not sure i would have managed to run all the way if run leader Julie hadn't been encouraging and threatening me (!) ... especially up the hills... and there were some huge hills.  I had been to Finsbury park before but I'd forgotten the three steep and long hills... mountains!  And the route was two laps of the park... so we did those 3 hills twice ... sob...!

I started off, as usual, far too fast for the first 3-4kms, because I was buzzing and felt good on fresh legs.  I found the middle a real struggle, especially slowing down a lot up the hills and feeling so tired.  But once we got past 7.5kms and I knew the end was in sight it all melted away and I just wanted to get to the finish.  And it was wonderful to be able to manage to speed up and spring finish over the line with Julie, while my other Friend Runcoach Michelle (who is amazing and finished 10 minutes ahead of us), was there cheering us on.

So, not an amazing time due to slowing up those hills, but one i was proud and happy with because I ran all the way. And that's an achievement for me!  I will never run in under 45 minutes.  Probably I'll never get close to running an hour for 10kms... I'm just happy to be running.

After lots of obligatory selfies with our medals... off we went to the pub.  I can't take alcohol in the middle of the day so I rewarded myself with a coke. Rock and Roll!

I hated the race while I was running up those hills, but I love love love the adrenaline rush afterwards and the amazing feeling of satisfaction and achievement from completing it.  

Will I be doing Finsbury Park WR10K again....? no chance.... not with those hills.  But I will be doing something... very soon.  I'm about to embark on a new challenge because this running and racing lark is addictive.  More of that to come in future posts

Thanks for reading
Lisa x

Passionate about parkrun

Anyone who knows me knows that I love parkrun.  I am a parkrun evangelist!  

The first time I went to Chelmsford Central parkrun in summer 2014 I was terrified and I'm not even sure whether I managed to run all the way. There were over 300 people in the park, ranging from babies to pensioners some fit some not so fit, but all wanting to challenge themselves on a Saturday morning.

It is daunting going to anything the first time, and lining up with all those people at 9am and waiting for the 3, 2, 1, RUN! and not knowing which way to run (there are marshals and signs, I didn't get lost!) and finishing that 5kms and feeling exhausted!   

But I have come to love parkrun and everything about it.  I sometimes run with my son in the buggy (well, jog walk now he's getting so big and heavy and tough to push).  I sometimes run on my own and attempt to get faster (pb is 31m44s).  I regularly volunteer when I can't run, as volunteering is just as much fun as running. My son likes to high five all the runners and tell them to keeeeeeeeep running!  

I have made friends through park run, and I have introduced friends to parkrun.  A saturday morning without parkrun is a sad saturday for me.  I even do parkrun in other locations - when I visit my parents, or when on holiday.  Every course is different but they are all the same - 

a free, 5km run, every Saturday morning at 9am in a park near you, brilliantly organised by super friendly volunteers... and usually featuring a coffee and a cake afterwards!  

Again, as with my running clubs, parkrun is very inclusive.  There are people who will really push themselves and race around in 15-20 minutes and there are people who really push themselves and race around in 30 minutes or 37 minutes, AND there are people who want to walk, are still training so run/walk.  It really is for everyone.  

My favourite volunteer role is as Tail Runner.  The Tailrunner jogs or walks at the back of the pack to make sure everyone gets around safely, and is always the last over the line! 

You can run or volunteer any week any where, just don't forget your barcode!  You register on the parkrun website and get a printable barcode.  They scan that for you at the end of the run so you can receive a text message or e mail with your time on.  

It's not a race in the traditional sense, but most people are racing in their heads, against themselves, trying to get quicker than last time.

We've just started taking our son (age 4) to junior parkrun some Sundays too.  That's for children under 14 and is a shorter 2km course, and mums and dads run with the little ones.  A great way to get your children active and have wonderful family time.  

Give it a go.  parkrun makes me happy :)  Where do you parkrun?  Click here to find your nearest parkrun event.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Finding my way again

A few months after we moved to a new town and I had let my running drift a bit and dribble on without purpose or real effort, I found a running group, the Dynamos.  I decided to give them a go because they seemed relaxed and friendly, not a very serious running club. There is another running club nearby that includes all those guys who run parkrun in 15 minutes... soooooo intimidating and not for me.  So I found it very reassuring to find that not all running 'clubs' are super competitive and full of fast marathon runners.  There are lots like that, and they are great for some people.  I even have friends now who run with said super speedy professional running club, and they are lovely too... but it's just not for me.  I can't be and will never be that serious and don't want to be intimidated.

I want to run with other people like me...!

Dynamos are run by women, mostly other mothers who are passionate about running, health and fitness but also balancing that with the school run, feeding hungry kids, having a social life (oh yes, we also have the occasional tipple together!), fitting running around work and into a busy family life and so on.  Perfect. Some of them are really good, experienced and/or fast.  Some have run marathons and others are complete beginners and everything in between.

They are also incredibly friendly and welcoming.  The first time I went to the Dynamo Monday night session I was absolutely terrified.  I was so convinced I would turn up and find loads of super fitties who could knock out 10 miles in their lunch break and I'd never fit in.  I sent a message to the organisers and got a text message immediately encouraging me to join them and making me feel welcome before I even arrived.

My first run was tough I won't lie - I had to push myself, which I would never do when running alone.  I joined a 5km run with no stopping and slightly faster than I was used to, but I kept up, and did it and couldn't quite believe it!  I discovered that running with people has so many benefits including:

- We chat on the way around so the miles go faster
- You can't just stop and walk if you're struggling as you feel you don't want to let the others down, so I always run further/faster etc when running with others.
- You always turn up and run, as others are expecting you, so you can't just chicken out and sit on the sofa.
- Making friends! Learning about what's going on in my community... (discussing the best primary school to apply to! hee hee).

But best of all, by joining a group I became a better runner.  As well as sometimes just leading simple 5-8km runs where everyone runs at their own pace, the run leaders will other times lead us in different training sessions - I started to take part in (still relaxed, informal) training sessions doing hills, intervals, running further, running faster, adding strength and core exercises to build my muscles. I didn't expect to enjoy that or be able to do those sort of things. But I did, and I did! I also learned more about running from talking to others more experienced than me.

And I never ever felt like I couldn't run and didn't fit in.  I started to feel like a runner. I became a runner.  There were (are!) people at every level in the group, from beginner to marathon runner, slower and faster.  But we all encourage each other and thrive off seeing each other's achievements.

I still run with Dynamos now most Monday nights at 8pm (if Hubby gets home in time or I have a babysitter), and I also run with another similar and lovely group, Chelmer Roadrunners.

Chelmer Roadrunners are an offshoot of the Dynamos, but they run on week day (Tues and Thur) mornings, so the runners are all women who come to run after dropping the children at school.  Both groups regularly run beginner training courses to help those who have never run before or want to get back into running.

When I first started going out with the Roadrunners I would take my son in a running buggy.  Now he's at school thankfully I get to run on my own which is a lot easier! Some of my running friends know me as the buggy lady though! There was another lady last year who used to run with a double buggy and three year old twins! Awesome woman.

Both of these groups, and the inspiring ladies that lead the runs have given me so much and helped me to really love running, by helping me to get better at it.    When I ran my first 5kms at the end of following a c25k app alone, it took me 37 minutes, and now my personal best (pb) is under 32 minutes.  Thanks to these groups I have now run some 10km races too.  I struggled through my first with lots of walk breaks, but this year alone (2015) I have run 7 10km races so far, road race and cross country, and seen that distance get easier and more comfortable.

So... now the big question is... what next for me?

What's next for you?

Lisa x

Losing my way

So I finished c25k and I was about to run my first ever event - the Race for Life 5km race.  I managed to run almost all the way - just walked about 2 minutes up a very steep hill, and finished in 37 minutes.  You see. SLOW.  But that was fine for me because having started as someone who couldn't manage to run for 1 minute non-stop, being able to keep going for that long and complete 5kms was a huge achievement!

And I achieved this all on my own. I felt very proud. My husband and son were proud. My friends were amazed by the transformation.  I was on cloud 9!

At that point I kept running a little now and then, but lost my way.  I had nothing to aim for.  Life got very busy and stressful. We were moving house, or attempting too, and the sale fell through, we lost a house we were in love with, ended up living with the in laws and super super stress abounded.

And then winter came in and I found it hard to keep myself going in the cold and dark and wet, although I did occasionally still venture out and jog a little, slowly.  I didn't have anything to push me on.  I didn't know if I was any good.  I didn't know if I should attempt to run further, or how. And because I wasn't running regularly with any consistency I never found it very easy to keep going.  I started to fall out of love with running a little bit. I started to find it really hard to keep going mentally and physically.

But finally, we moved into our new home in November 2013, had a lovely Christmas, and as the Spring (2014) started to peak its little head up, I started to discover new running routes around our new town.

Running is a fantastic way to get to know a new place.  Whether you move house, like me, or are on holiday or visiting friends.  I know my town now, and all the lovely riverside footpaths, back passages (oooer mrs) and cut throughs. I know the fields and the roads and I know exactly how long each park is and how long it will take me to run from my house to the pre-school and back!  I thoroughly recommend running as a great way to fall in love with your town or village too.

I have had lovely runs where I've bumped into people I know and ended up chatting or walking a while with them.  I have had runs where I've got completely lost and had to run fast as I freaked myself out that I'd get more lost as night fell!  I have had runs where I've experienced nature at her finest, migrating geese over sunsets and stumbled across lone deer and foxes... and I've even had a run where I accidentally surprised the local drunk being sick behind a bush.... nice!  Most of all I've high fived, and said hello to lots and lots of other runners.  The running community on the whole is amazingly friendly.  And there are lots of people out running all over the place these days.

But still I struggled, and I never felt like a real runner, just someone playing with it. I was lost and I lost my running mojo.

And then I found a running group. My running group(s) and running friends are wonderful, I've made friends and acquaintances, I've improved my running, had great fun, learned new things, and pushed myself to achieve things way beyond my imagination.  I recommend running clubs to everyone. They seem scary yes, especially to a beginner, but you have to do it if you want to really enjoy and get the most out of running.

So I will write in my next post about my first experiences of joining a group!

Do you run with others or alone?  Let me know!
Lisa x

Simple strength training at home for runners

2.5 years into my running journey and 2.5 years of saying that I have no time to exercise I have finally accepted that if I want to get better at running and, crucially, stay injury free, I need to do some other form of exercise to develop the muscles I use for running.
I've read lots of running magazines and put myself together the following little routine. It takes me about 10- 20 minutes (I don't do all of it every time - so adapt to suit the day) and I try to do at least 1 or two of these each day as a minimum. Perhaps a few leg raises and donkey kicks just before I have a shower or a few squats while I'm boiling the kettle etc.
Any serious runner would do something a lot more intensively and seriously but let's be honest, some days I don't have time to brush my hair!
You don't need any equipment and you won't get particularly sweaty so you could even do it while the kids play (my little boy likes to join in!) or while you've got half an eye on the tv!
So if like me you are time poor, and have a jelly belly from baby bearing ...  but want to do some strength exercises to help with running...  here's a few things to try out...
PS you tube has some other good work out examples - a good place to look up if you don't know what these names mean as well.

Classic Plank 15s (build up to 30s) and build up to repeating this.
Lie on side - side leg raises (15-20 each leg) (either straight leg straight up or bent leg scissor motion)

Donkey kicks (15-20 each leg) 

Bird dog (15-20 each leg) yeah I had to look this one up to. Might take practice as you need a little balance too!
Squats 10, rest and repeat, build up to more reps  (add arm raises when confident) 

Lunges (15-20 each leg) (add arm raises when confident)

Russian  twists (15 -20) - this is also really nice for rolling out a slightly stiff lower back.

What others would you recommend that are quick, easy and need no equipment?

How (and why) I started to run

I didn't really believe I could learn to run. I hated it at school and in the 15 or more years since leaving school the most exercise I had attempted was the odd Zumba class, a leisurely swim and a few hikes.
So I didn't tell anyone. And I downloaded a c25k app on my smart phone and started doing it either first thing in the morning or late at night when no one was around - that was February 2013.
Running was the only option I felt I had open to me at that stage in my life. I hated gyms, and even though is lost a lot of weight by then, going from a size 20 to a size 14, I still didn't feel comfortable enough in my skin to exercise in front of other people.  I also had an 18 month old child and was squeezing my growing freelance work in around raising the boy, nursery hours, help from the Grandparents and everything else that goes with Motherhood and life. I just needed something that was quick and easy. At the time I lived in a pretty little village - lovely for running and walking down the river, but a drive to a gym or pool or exercise class.  So running just seemed the only option.
I set myself the target of a Race for Life 5km run in late May 2013, and just went for it.
I vividly remember those early sessions. Cold dark mornings, trying to avoid bumping into anyone. I would lap the village cricket field until the man with the ride-on-mower showed up, and I would aim to get home before the commuters came out to head for the station, in case anyone recognised me.  
I remember the first few sessions where I jogged for 90 seconds and felt like my lungs were on fire, a band was tightening around my chest and I would never ever do this. I kept going. I have no idea where I found the motivation from! 
I remember weeks where I just couldn't do it, couldn't pull myself out of a warm bed, couldn't manage to keep going for a whole 5 minutes, couldn't get my breath, couldn't find the time. It took me 16 weeks to do a 9 week programme as I just kept having to repeat some sessions. 
But as winter became Spring, something clicked.  I remember running around footpaths skirting wheat fields as the sun came up and birds sang and bunnies scattered from my path and realising that I could run for 20 minutes without stopping! And I LOVED it. I felt euphoric. 
I never expected that to happen. I fully expected to fail, expected to hate it and give up. 
My aim in posting this is to show that anyone, yes even you, can learn to run. The c25k programmes are amazing, building you up slowly from less than nothing really quickly. Whether you join a running club and follow a programme with a coach, or do it on your own as I did... You can do it. It's not easy and yes at the beginning you will find it very very very hard work. But any one can do it. 
The key (here's my top tip)... It's all about the pace! (Did you wonder why the blog has this name?!), well wonder no longer. I am slow. Although I'm a little faster now than when I started I'm still never going to break records. And sometimes when I struggle, I slow down even more. But that is ok. Because when I'm slow and in control of my breathing, I love running and feel like I could run forever. It takes me to a happy place and my spirits are lifted for the rest of the day. 
When  you're starting out, it's ok to go slow. Slow enough to be able to chat is the main guide. Speed can come later.
And using a c25k programme and following this top tip you too will be running 5kms (3.12 miles) in no time. And maybe even further... Which is what I'm now doing. More of that to follow ....
Thanks for reading 
Lisa x

In the beginning

In the beginning there was a fat girl who worked hard and played hard but never found time to eat healthily or get any exercise.  In the beginning there was a girl who took up music and joined the band and the choir at school so she could get out of P.E. Lessons. In the beginning there was a girl who had such bad asthma she relied on inhalers and could barely walk up stairs without needing a puff (and with creaking knees). In the beginning there was a fat girl who was disgusted with her body and struggled with low self esteem. 
And then she had a baby.
And although at first it was hard to put herself first because the baby cried and kept her awake and demanded her time so she ended up surviving on gallons of coffee, coke and chocolate biscuits... the baby changed her.
She realised that she didn't want to be looked down on anymore as she made new mummy friends. She realised that she didn't want her child to be embarrassed of his fat mum. She realised she wanted to set an example and raise a child who loved to be active and wasn't addicted to sugar. She realised that after years of depression and low self esteem that something had to change.
And she changed. Something inside her changed. 
At first she joined a well known slimming group and ate lots of home cooked veggie based meals, had one portion of dairy and one portion of bread each day and counted her syns. And the weight came tumbling off.
And as the weight dropped and her love for herself and her body grew, the girl decided that she could do anything...
Any thing ..
Including wearing leggings and running  in public. Well at first she ran in the dark, and tried very hard to find places to run where no one would see her.  She followed a c25k app on her smart phone.  It was tough, incredibly tough. (There will be another post about C25k to look out for that will give more detail).  But she kept going and kept going all by herself. And she ran 5kms 3.5 months later. Ran. 
She still doesn't think she's a runner though... And her journey is really only just getting started.
I hope you enjoy reading the rest. 
Head up, shoulders down,
Lisa x