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.