Two Lovely Miles

Last week I managed to run Two Lovely Miles.


It’s quite a thing for a starter-againer, like me, to be able to run further than the end of the street! I’m still running on the treadmill, but I’m slowly building up the distance and really enjoying the buzz of seeing more added each run.

Although I’m looking at the miles, I’m actually working in kilometres because my trusty treadmill, upon which I’m running exclusively at the moment, is all European and modern, like. Rather than try and convert things as I go, it’s easier to post in metric. Today I’ve just run 3km, which sounds much further than I actually ran!

I’ve discovered that I’m happier as a morning runner, rather than as an afternoon or evening runner, which is ok so long as I don’t pound the treadmill too much and disturb neighbours! A former neighbour actually once ran out into his back garden, wondering what the strange banging was coming from our cabin at the end of the garden and if I was OK! I must be heavy of foot when all the time I thought I was a fairy-footed! My Dad always used to call me Fairy Elephant for the way I went up and down stairs!


By this coming weekend I should be up to 2.5 miles, so now I’m wondering about the possibility of a 5k race to give me something to aim for beyond managing to run 3 miles. I briefly considered the Edinburgh Winter Run in January, but the fact that you ascend and descend Arthur’s Seat during the race probably isn’t really what my neurosurgeon meant  when he said run on level and even ground!

the-festive-five-1024x1024.jpgWomen’s Running magazine is running a virtual 5k called Festive Five, but I found myself faltering when filling in the application form and wondering if I wanted the medal or just the chance to run a 5k race and, perhaps surprisingly considering that I have a page here dedicated to my race bling, I actually think it’s having a chance to just run with others which is more appealing. I might change my mind, but I think I’d rather run a race and get a T-shirt than run a virtual one and have to prove I’ve done it. It’s food for thought.



Attending Gym

I maintain three blogs; this one (obviously), an arty one for my business and a motoring one for the club of which I’m secretary. It takes a lot of time of which, generally speaking, I don’t have much! I’m working my way through them this morning.

However,  here I am! And I bring with me tidings of reasonable cheeriness.

Since I last posted I have been attending Gym. I tried to approach it in a similar way as I used to my running, but I seem to have less inclination towards Gym as I did running through woods in the early evening light. The urge to Gym isn’t as strong. It’s more of a necessity than a dedication. With maybe a bit of determination thrown in.

Yes, that’s me, smiling as I cycle away. Believe that and you’ll believe anything.

On average I go to the gym three times a week. I walk, I bike and I swim. In that order too. I don’t know why, it just became ‘Routine’.

I started walking 1km on the treadmill at a slowish speed and now I can walk 1.25km at a less slow speed. Well, let me be honest here. I can walk 0.5 km, then I painfully limp the remainder. I’m just building up the amount of pain I can endure.

Cycling has never been an issue. I could stationary cycle 10km even when I was at my most injured; these days I’m following a walk with a cycle and sticking to 5km so that I don’t break myself. I’d hate for that to happen. Again.


Then, with wanton abandon, I haul my sorry ass to the pool. I love swimming, really love it, but I really hate getting changed. I’m longing for the day when I can step into a changing room like Mr Benn and, as if by magic,  emerge ready for the pool and then ready for home, without need for a soggy towel or a squirt of talcum powder.

Multimillionaire Duncan Bannatyne can rest easy; I’ve signed up for a year of Gym. The way I’m going, I can’t see me running through the woods any time soon!


I am still alive! 

Just in case you were wondering. 

I’ve been busy with work and, as a result, too tired to do anything when I’ve got home other than chill out with my feet up, in front of the box, with a large G&T.  To be succinct, I’m still in a state of invalidity. I’m hardly able to walk any distance, especially as the day passes, and when I do walk I do it with the aid of a stick. It’s a bit of a come down for me after celebrating half marathon finish after half marathon finish.

My chiropractor has admitted defeat; not in so many words, but he clearly had no idea how to help me when I last visited. I’m beginning to wonder if I should continue to see him at all at the moment. My NHS physio similarly doesn’t know why I’m still in pain and why I’m not responding to the treatment I’ve been given (albeit do the Clam and see how you are in two weeks). I’ve not seen my physio for over a month as she’s been on holiday and I managed to mix up the dates of my last appointment, arriving a week late! 

The next step seems to be referral to the Orthapaedic department at the local hospital and then wait for an MRI appointment. After that I can’t see any other options but to operate to remove the bursa, if it’s still the bursa causing the problem.

No one can be prepared for chronic long-term pain. It’s not just debilitating, it’s depressing too. Being in constant pain drains the life out of you and if the painkillers don’t work or make you ill, you just have to learn to cope with it as best you can. I’m trying not to eat too much, coming on holiday with a huge basket of fruit to munch on instead of biscuits, chocolate and crisps. As I type, I am sitting in the caravan awning with a punnet of strawberries and some flavoured water. 

This next few days will be for me to relax and not do too much. We are pitched overlooking New England Bay on the most southern tip of Scotland, within spitting distance of a lovely sandy beach. When hubbie heads out on his bike I’ve resolved to do some yoga and sit on the beach with my paints. Hopefully some inactivity will help the inflammation on my hip and the yoga will help to loosen some joints and muscles. 

I received my number from Women’s Running magazine for the 10k in Glasgow which I obviously won’t be running at the end of the week. It pained me to admit defeat and email them, but in the same email I volunteered as a water giver outer on the course. I get a sweatshirt and a goody bag in place of the medal and T-shirt and at least the sense of satisfaction that I’ve helped out. 

My plans beyond that depend on what the hospital says. I can’t run or do anything that aggravates the bursa, so I just need to be patient. I do have an ace up my sleeve in the form of a friendly physio who may be able to offer acupuncture. It’s something I now need to pursue.

I hope everyone else is enjoying their running. Honestly I do, you just don’t know what is around the corner. Run for me! 

My 3 Rs: Recovery, Reassessment and Reinvigoration.

After almost two weeks of enduring a cold and struggling to do much more than get through a day’s work, I’m ready to start running again.

At least I think I am!

I’m actually sitting here changed and ready to run, waiting on my iPhone charging before I head off…to the bottom of the garden and my treadmill. My cold is still firmly lodged on my chest and it’s causing me to cough, which of course affects my breathing. I frightened myself a week past Sunday when I ran the Fleetwood Half – I really shouldn’t have run feeling the way I did. But I did.

I’m heading out to the treadmill so that I am in control of the distance, the speed and the location. I’m trying to be sensible!

I’ve looked at my running programme and I’ve decided to follow the finisher’s plan again. I’m not in the right place (yet) to look at improving. So far every half I’ve done since doing the Great North Run in 2012 has been worse. I just want to finish one around the 2:20-2:24 mark. I’ve not been far away, but far enough to make me feel as if I’ve been running backwards for a while. And I realise that there are valid excuses for this; valid excuses don’t make me feel any better.

The cunning plan.

So my plan looks a bit like this! Long runs of 4, 12.5, 4, 14 and 5 miles before my race, all at 2:30/1 ratios and 11 min/mile pace hopefully giving me a 2:24 race time.

I’m trying to lose a bit of weight so I’m watching my calorie intake and portion size and plotting these on the My Fitness Pal app. If I lost a stone I think I’d be happier as well as lighter. I don’t look in the mirror wishing I was a stone lighter, I look OK, but I feel as if I’m ‘hauling ass’ at the moment. I’m naturally heavy. I don’t look my weight, I don’t think. People are generally surprised to hear how heavy I am and I realise that I am probably more muscly than a lot of the people who are surprised.

I know I need to tone my core; I do keep going on about that! I will try. No promises on that!


Lastly I am going to restart the Kinetic Revolution 30 Day Challenge in an effort to loosen myself up. It was working, but I had to stop. I will try and fit in the 15 – 20 minutes a day!

See you later!

Heading down to the gym, on a perfect running day – sacrilegious!

Resting with-in-tent

We’re safely installed in our wee trailer tent in the outskirts of Leith, just up the road from tomorrow’s race route. Today we did a dummy run to the nearest Park and Ride, which is 30 minutes away. It’s as well we did the dummy run because the satnav took us through a housing estate and a retail park, adding another 30 minutes to the journey! At least we know where we’re going!

I’ve prepared pretty much everything, I think. I’ve got my Camelbak full of 0.75 litres of water and a tablet and a half of  High 5 Zero hydration. My 33Shake chia gels are hydrating and I’m currently charging my Garmin. All that’s left is for me to charge my phone. Oh and sleep.

The bus is collecting us from the Park and Ride at 6am, taking us via all the other park and rides to the start at Holyrood Park for about 7am. The race starts at 8am, so I’ll have a bit of waiting around, although they want us in our corales by 7:45am. Working backwards we need to leave the campsite at 5am; we shouldn’t have any delays, but I’d rather being sitting in the car waiting than rushing about trying to get there! I reckon we need to get up at 4am to have breakfast and get ready, so I need to go to bed in about 25 minutes if I’m to get 8 hours sleep! Next time I’ll look for a later starting race!

It’s just started raining. It’s only light rain and it’s supposedly meant to stay that way until tomorrow afternoon, at which time we might be enjoying a thunderstorm. I don’t mind running in light rain. I just hope that the wind stays fairly calm. The last time I ran a half marathon in Edinburgh it was so windy the portaloos were being blown over and the after race concert had to be cancelled because the stage had been ravaged by gusts! Light rain would actually be a blessing!

I’ve had a homemade spaghetti bolognaise, high in carbs and protein, low in fat and salt, and I’m drinking a lovely apple, mango and passion fruit sparkling juice from M&S. I’m being as sensible as I can be; I’m taking as few chances as I can! I need to feel relaxed and prepared.

So next time I write I’ll have run another 13.1 miles, collected another medal and be wearing the technical tee-shirt. I’m looking forward to running this race. I’ll give it my best.