About Me

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Wife (to Shaun), Mother (to Danni), Dog walker of Archie the JRX, improving cyclist, reformed gym bunny, broken runner Collector of exercise DVDs & equipment. Cake is my weakness together with cider (Westons only thanks)and brandy. Noisy spectator of running & cycling events. Owner of Tribby the campervan

Monday, 30 December 2013

Review of 2013 & Looking Forward

2013 finishes as it started - with me being injured and unable to run.  Fortunately I am able to do some stuff, like sit on a static gym bike or my road bike on the turbo trainer, unlike January where I only got through the first few days of Janathon and then re-pulled a muscle in my back.  I can also swim, use the X trainer and do practically any exercise that does not activate my calves.

Race wise I started the year with a half marathon

setting a 10k pb in May, and finished in July with an extremely slow (but not quite personal worst) 10k.

And of course, there was the Color Run - the happiest 5k on the planet.  I've not laughed so much in ages - Color Run should be on prescription, a must do for everyone!

I haven't booked anything for 2014 yet - although it does look like I will be taking part in Heroes Run again in May (only 5k this time).   I am registered for Brighton Half but there's no way I'm going to be running that!  Fingers crossed that I can run soon and experience the feelings I had in May.   Cheering, supporting and volunteering at races has fulfilled my need to be around runners - Brighton Marathon, L2B Ultra, RISE 8k, Brooks 10k and Portsmouth Coastal Marathon.  A chance for me to do what I do best - make a lot of noise.   I did try it when I supported Shaun at a cycling sportive this year - cyclists are an ungrateful bunch!

I've been very lucky during 2013 to meet (and run with) some amazing people who I hope I can now call friends - too many to list individually but you will all know who you are.  Thank you for your friendship, love and support this year.

Apparently I'm taking part in the cycling London 2 Brighton in June - that's if I ever get to use my new Dawes road bike on the road.  Don't think training totally on a turbo trainer will prepare me for the undulations of the route south!  Shaun also wants me to take part in sportives with him - although we will have to find a few very short ones!

2013 came with confirmation of mother in laws Alzheimers and my own fight with SAD.  Hopefully the latter will be helped this year by a new lamp bought for me by my parents for Christmas and the advice I picked up at the Winter Blues seminar I attended.   We've also had to cope later in the year with the sudden and unexpected death of a close friend which has prompted us in to making Wills - the packs are here they just need to be filled in!   Something we must do very soon.

2014 is going to be a massive year for us - Shaun and I celebrate our Silver Wedding Anniversary (25 years) on 1st July and Danni reaches the grand old age of 18 in April.   In February she's off on her trip to Lapland with Senior Section.   She's going to have an amazing time and there are lots of activities she's going to be doing, including igloo building and dog sledging.  They're also staying at the Ice Hotel for 1 night.

Unfortunately it seems she's going to be out of range for communication so I'll have to put up with random updates on their Facebook page to find out what they've been up to.

It's also my parents 50th wedding anniversary - looks like 2014 will be party year.

Shaun and I have quite a lot planned too - we're going back to Roubaix to watch the Hell of the North and in May we're off to Belfast to watch the start of the Giro d'Italia.   In July, to celebrate our wedding anniversary, we're off to York to watch the first few stages of the Tour de France.   Hopefully we'll be able to watch the Tour of Britian too.

So here's to 2014 - Janathon starts on 1st January and my first gym session of the year is on Friday.

Happy New Year one and all x

Friday, 27 December 2013

#Run With An idea 8 - My biggest running achievement of 2013 / My biggest running disappointment of 2013

This week's discussion topic is a review of 2013 - highs and lows!

So my biggest running achievement has to be "running" my first half marathon at Brighton in February.  I'd been training really well and then injured my back on Christmas Day.   Following some physio and a 3 week break from running I managed to get up to 9 miles just before the half.  I had to adjust my finishing goal (I'd already set a 2 hr 30 min finish time) to just get round.  I didn't run all of it - there were a couple of walk breaks.   However my proudest moment of the day was crossing the line ten minutes over my original finish time and I beat Batman!   Gutted I won't be able to run it in 2014.

My biggest running disappointment has to be accepting my shinsplint injury and missing 4 races because of it.  I can't believe how stupid I was running through the calf and shin pain (my final 10k event in July was barely running I was in so much pain).   I've learnt rather a big lesson through this whole thing.  I have to warm up properly before running and I have to stretch and foam roll after, and do some kind of strengthening work alongside the running. 

Something which disappointed me at the time was my slow run at Bedgebury (although it's not surprising now I know why) and my near personal worst at South Coast Run.

I've not booked anything or set any targets for next year yet - just to get back running and enjoying being out on the roads and I have changed my mind about joining in with Janathon and I've set up a short term membership at LA Fitness!

Let me know what your highs and lows were and head over to Run with an Idea to see what everyone else's achievements were!

Friday, 13 December 2013

#Run With An Idea 7 - Why I Won't be Running on Christmas Day

The discussion blog #Run With An Idea is back!

This week's topic is a double header, although I've chosen the "negative one" - Why I will be running on Christmas Day/Why I won't be running on Christmas Day.

The last two years I've been super motivated to run over the Christmas break.  Unfortunately last year I pulled a muscle in back on Christmas morning getting dressed (yes I know, stupid way to pull a muscle!)  I couldn't have run Christmas Day anyway because we're always travelling somewhere for the festivities, but the previous year I did manage a Boxing Day run whilst staying at my parents - which was great.  A fresh place to run and a trip down memory lane all in one and a good way of burning all those excess Christmas dinner calories.

Unfortunately this year I won't be running on Christmas Day as my trip to physio on Monday means that I'm still not running until the New Year at the earliest (Cathy's not back at work until the 6th January)!  The shins are still too sore to contemplate running so instead I'm stuck with cycling (either in the gym or on the turbo), X Training, swimming and walking.  I'll also be dusting off the gym ball and free weights, and maybe the Davina DVDs will make an appearance.

If I had the opportunity to run on Christmas Day I think I would take it with both hands - what better way to set you up for the over indulgence.  Obviously some will say they'd never run on Christmas Day - it's time to spend with the family, relaxing and having fun.  However, I do think if it's your way of dealing with stress and you feel the need to run then do - even if it's only a couple of miles.  You'll de-stress, burn off some calories and be far more relaxed than you would if you hadn't been out!

So, would you run on Christmas Day?   

Are you dead against the idea and would rather spend your day doing family stuff? 

Come and join the discussion on Run With An Idea where you'll find lots of other people discussing the same topic.

Discussion blogs will be back in 2 weeks with a fresh topic.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Keeping Your Motivation Over the Winter Months

I've been approached by the team at SportsShoes who want to encourage people not to completely neglect exercise during winter, to give my top tips for maintaining exercise and diet over the winter months. 

We all know it's difficult to find the perfect time to run in winter - it's dark until 7.30/8am and by the time you get to 4pm it's dark again.   Most of us would prefer to stay in bed until it gets light or in the evening curl up on the sofa and watch TV.  When it's wet, cold and dark you really don't want to be outside running.  

A couple of weeks ago I attended a seminar on coping with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  I've known for years that the best way to keep on top of my SAD is to exercise, outdoors as much as possible. 

So this post contains ideas for some of the things that have helped me in the past.  

If You Can Cope With Exercising Outside 

Any exercise in winter is better than none, even a 30 minute walk.  This was one of the reasons for getting the dog - not something that suits everyone but it's perfect for me as it forces me to go out even if I don't want to.  The dog has to be walked so out we go.  In fact some of our best walks have been in the winter, especially on snowy days when it's been a bit too slippy underfoot for running.

For the last two years I've taken part in Janathon - a great way to keep you motivated by pledging to run or exercise in some form every day  for the whole of January, logging on Running Free and blogging your achievements on a daily basis.   There's a leaderboard showing who's doing what and that certainly motivated me - targeting other participants to beat in miles or time spent. 

This winter I was hoping to take part in Jantastic (run by the guys at Marathon Talk) but that's not going to be possible now.  Pledge to run a certain amount of miles throughout January, February and March as a member of a group and log it on the Jantastic site. 

Exercise kit is also important during the winter months - after a couple of winters of getting it wrong and overheating and looking like the Michelin Man my top tips for clothing are as follows :-

  • Compression wear under normal long sleeve running tops and tights.
  • Long sleeve tops with another vest top over that on the coldest days
  • A running jacket - mine was a cheapy from Karrimor - good for keeping tissues and discarded gloves in pockets
  • A head torch is on my essential kit list - last winter I managed to run further and only because I bought a head torch for running through those dark, unlit areas of town
  • a buff, or similar scarf
  • high vis kit - a bib and snap bands
  • A headband to keep your ears warm or a beanie if you can cope with wearing one!
  • Gloves - although mine usually come off after 5 minutes

My top tip though - get yourself a training partner!   Someone who has similar goals and fitness level.  There will be no excuse to not run!  I have however learnt that I prefer to train alone.

Booking a spring race could keep you motivated to keep training - I booked Brighton Half Marathon for last February and it certainly helped to motivate me to get out as and when I could.  I actually found out I enjoy running in the rain, providing it's not freezing cold.

If You Really Can't Cope with Going Out Out! 

There's nothing wrong with exercising at home.  There are some great bits of kit - I bought an Airwalker (like a X Trainer but takes up far less room in my attic room).  Last Christmas I bought my husband a turbo trainer for use during the winter months and I will be using that as well during this winter as part of my recovery and fitness build up.

I've also got a small library of fitness DVDs and the Wii has been known to come out during the winter months when I really couldn't face going outside, and of course there are swiss balls, free weights and kettlebells. 

If you're feeling flush and can cope with it - get to your local gym.  Personally, I'm not keen on gyms in January, they're full of New Years Resolutions.  In the past I've spent more time waiting to use machines at the gym than I've spent working out, and there are always lots of classes to choose from.

I'm no expert on diet (I know what I should be doing but I find it hard to lose weight when I can't exercise properly) - I'm trying to follow all the rules of avoiding refined sugar and processed foods but it's very hard.  I try to eat as much fruit and veg as I can and have protein at every meal and eat a small amount of carbs.  I found out at the SAD seminar that the current recommendations for daily fruit and veg intake is between 5 & 7 different vegetables and 2 pieces of fruit.   I find the best way for me is to not deprive myself of anything - if I fancy some chocolate or a glass or two of wine I have it and worry about it later. 

So there is actually no need to lose fitness over the winter - workout indoors if you really can't face it and run outside at the weekends if you can.  

Friday, 29 November 2013

Time to Go With The Flow

At the end of last winter  I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or the Winter Blues. Since then I have been taking Vitamin D3, Vitamin C & Zinc and Magnesium supplements as well as attempting to beat the winter cravings.  The latter has been totally unsuccessful even during Spring & Summer and now I haven't run since August thanks to the flipping shinsplints, I've piled on weight and am 2 stone over where I feel comfortable.

On Tuesday this week I attended a seminar about coping with  (SAD) run by Brighton & Hove Wellbeing by the Sea set up by Lucy (LGM Nutrition) & Marco (Open Mindz).  What absolute brilliant timing, although I have been feeling low on and off since September.  There was only a small group of 5 ladies (including my friend Nik) but this meant there was plenty of time for questions and for the session to be quite informal.

One of the things that came out of the evening is that I have to learn to "go with the flow" and not sweat the small stuff.  That's fairly  easy at the moment, although following a mini meltdown on Monday I may be talking too soon.   I think now that maybe my problem last winter was the pressure I put myself under whilst training for the Brighton Half Marathon.  Hopefully the shinsplint injury will be cleared up soon and I can get exercising properly, being able to get out and run or cycle and obviously walk the dog will help.  We'll just have to hope we have lots of cold, clear and crisp days between now and March and not gloomy, damp miserable ones!

Nutritionally I know most of the right things to eat, it's just putting it into practice.  I'm still struggling with the snacking after work and this has got to stop.  Although I did learn that eating a couple of Kiwis before I go to bed to boost my Magnesium level.

I'll also be starting back on the meditation - there are some free podcasts on Itunes to download and also Headspace have an app which I have downloaded to my phone.

All in all I'm quite hopeful that this year I am going to keep on top of the depression.  I have all the tools I need and a fantastic support network of friends and family who now know and understand the situation.

Tonight I went with Dani to watch some of her friends in a production of Macbeth.  It was held in Newhaven Fort and was absolutely brilliant, a lot of walking to each scene throughout the fort but it was very atmospheric with drummers and torches (the flame variety, not the battery operated ones).  Not the usual way to spend a freezing cold November night - but I don't think it would have been anywhere near as good in the daylight during the summer months.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Still Hanging On In There !

It's been a busy old weekend - the kind you like at the time, cos you're constantly on the go, but then hate Monday morning because the weekend went way too quickly and you didn't get time to relax, or do any jobs around the house.

On Saturday we got up earlyish to get into Brighton to pick my new road bike up from Evans.   When I say new road bike, I actually mean the replacement bike for the second hand mountain bike I've been using.   Shaun wanted me to get a road bike so that (a) I could keep up with him and (b) once I'm confirmed fit enough I can actually get out on a bike and next year we can ride Sportives together.   There is also another reason for getting a bike, I need to shed the 2 stone I've put on over this year and he thinks this is going to be the best way to achieve it - we shall see!

This is my new bike

Isn't she lovely?  I didn't really want a girly bike, I was quite happy to have something in blue or black, but this has lovely pink tapes and pink flashes on the paintwork.   Now we're hunting high and low to find kit to match so that I look the part.   Good job Christmas is coming up - although Shaun has bought me the bike as my Christmas present, but it looks like the rest of the family will be buying cycling kit too!

On Sunday I was supposed to be running Brooks Brighton 10k.   This is one of my favourite local races which I ran last year.  Unfortunately I'm still not running (yes I know - it's taking aaaages!)  What's the next best thing to running a race - yes that's right marshalling (or as I like to call it runners payback).   I've already missed the RISE Undercliff this year thanks to the stupid shinsplints, and marshalled at that in October, which I thoroughly enjoyed.   They're a great charity and it was nice to see how things come together on race day.

Anyway, I digress.   Sunday was an extremely early day - I had arranged to meet Nik, Michelle & Sam at 7.30 for a coffee before heading down to the volunteer briefing on the seafront at 8.  Having been given our duty for the day we were handed a token to get a bacon butty and a hot drink from one of the little cafes under the arches.  We sat around for a bit chatting and eating and then headed down to the car park area with our "supervisor".   I had hoped we'd be up in the action of the start line so we could see friends beforehand, but no we were in charge of car parking (which was actually the best deal of the day as you'll see in a minute)!  

After we'd spent an hour sorting out the car parking our next job was to stand on the running course making sure the runners stayed on the right hand side of the road ready for their return back up to Hove!   It was amazing standing there, shouting at them to keep over and clapping and cheering on our Bosh buddies and other friends who were running.   The scary bit was when they all started coming back the other way - with runners on either side of us.   It was a great atmosphere though and we got lots of thank you's.  

Once the last runner had gone through on the return we made our way back to the finish line where we were due to help out in the baggage drop.   As we were walking back we heard that the first runners had finished - I couldn't even run 5k in 30 minutes so the fast finish times were amazing!   The bag drop was a bit chaotic - the bags were in some kind of number order but it was hard work trying to find them.  Lots of our Bosh runners came over to find us and it was great to hear so many had got PBs.   That's the one thing I love about Brighton 10k - plenty of opportunity to PB.

After baggage we then helped out with the clear up and litter pick - crikey runners are a messy wasteful bunch - lots of banana skins and undrunk water bottles!   It wasn't long before it was time to head to the presentation at a local Hotel and then lunch.

It was a wonderful way to spend a Sunday (apart obviously at home with Shaun and Archie), we had such a laugh - I can't wait to do it again.

I've been to physio today and progress is apparently good.   Still in a bit of pain on the shins but apparently this is because my soleus is still a bit short.  

3 weeks Cathy (who has now taken over my treatment for now) gave me lots of calf stretching to do.   The gastroc stretch is going well and the muscle is much less tight but I still have some work to do on my soleus before she'll let me run!  I've had acupuncture - something I've always wanted to try but was sceptical it worked.  I can report it is the most amazing treatment in the world (that I have experienced so far).   In my opinion it beats any painkilling drug I've ever had to take.  Cathy also suggested orthotics to assist my appallingly flat feet.  That has made a fantastic difference, although I'm only wearing one pair of shoes (actually my clod hoppy Adidas trainers).  I now have practically no pain in my feet or heel which also helps with the pressure on the calves and the shins!

As well as the calf stretches I've got a list of glute exercises too - apparently I have no muscle in my backside!  I am now allowed to cycle - just for 5 minutes at a time and then stretch building up to 20 minutes and then in 2 weeks time I'm allowed to go on the cross trainer (same as the bike).  I'm also to carry on with the swimming, which is lucky as I have a groupon deal to use at LA Fitness for the next 5 weeks.  I am over the moon at the news that I can start exercising, not only for assisting weightloss, but because I'm going slightly nuts only swimming!   Cathy did say today she reckons another month of rest and stretching and I will be able to run - WOOHOO

Friday, 4 October 2013

#Run With An Idea 6 - What's the big deal about running a marathon?

Last week social media was alive with rejection and acceptance for Virgin London Marathon 2014.   Most of those rejected were inconsolable and outraged; others were relieved and some were astounded to receive rejection packs as they couldn't remember signing up in the first place!     Those accepted were overjoyed and overwhelmed - this weeks discussion subject is 

What is the big deal about running a marathon!

I did comment that in the current situation of everyone receiving rejections this weeks subject should be sub-headed "Light the blue touch paper & run in the opposite direction".  

We also had a big marathon weekend last week - Berlin, where the fastest ever marathon was run and Loch Ness, a very popular event if Twitter is anything to go by and so is this weekend with Chester and Bournemouth to name but a few!

Running a marathon, to me, is a huge undertaking.  Hours of training, getting nutrition in the run up and on the day right and it's a flipping long way.   I've only done one half marathon and that was enough.  How anyone can run 26.2 miles is beyond me.   I have absolutely no intention of running a marathon, I'm not sure I could even walk one without stopping off at a pub for a pint!   I have numerous conversations with people about having run a half and it being time to step up to the full distance and even take it further.   Non runners do not understand the commitment it takes to run long distance, they think you run a couple of 10ks, a half marathon and then off you go - smash out a marathon in 4.5 hours!  They don't understand that you have to spend weekends running between 15 and 20 miles in the run up to an event.  

Runners are a little more understanding, if they've trained and run a marathon they will be encouraging but do back off once you get into conversation about the commitment.   Marathons are not for everyone.

So what is the fascination with marathon running.   It's obviously challenging and extremely satisfying.  Not being a marathon runner I thought I would ask my brother's opinion.   After all, he is a marathon runner now having run several Brighton, London and Loch Ness - his response was 

"The big deal about running a marathon I guess is you versus the 26.2 miles and the level of training and commitment to get to that one day, ready to run; and then on race day believing in your training and knowing it will probably hurt.   The whole  thing from day 1 to the finish line is a mixed bag of emotions from dread to elation"

I have to admit, having spectated at several Brighton Marathons it is extremely exciting to see everyone run past and the atmosphere is amazing. Readers of my blog will know I'm not the quietest of spectators, but I have been thanked on many occasions for the support I have given at a crucial part in the race.  I'm not sure whether the excitement comes from the energy pouring from the runners, or if the spectating public are just in awe of the sheer determination of those running past them! 

Of course all sporting events are a great way to raise money for charity and marathons seem to strike a chord with people who sponsor/donate. 

Why do you like running marathons?  

Leave a comment and enter the debate - your comment could win you a prize.

Head on over to Run With an Idea Debates and see what the other bloggers are saying.   

Thursday, 26 September 2013

The Long & Slow Road to Recovery

Yes I'm still recovering from shinsplints - it's been 4 weeks now.   I've had 4 weeks of physio with various treatments - massage, ultrasound and 3 weeks of taping !

Week 1 - Calves
Week 2 - shins
Week 3 - shins (to go with my Color Run outfit)
Week 4 I've no tape - quite a relief in some ways, some of the comments I've had and the staring won't be missed.    I was sceptical that the K tape worked but not having it on this week I can feel there is a difference!

I'm still swimming, and thanks to Groupon I have swapped this

 for this, for 10 sessions.

I may go back to the public baths for a couple of swims a week because it's difficult to get to LA Fitness at the weekends.

I've also been given the thumbs up to find an exercise class and to get on the bike.   I haven't quite found an exercise class (may have to dust down Davina or the Wii!) but I have tried out 15 minutes on the static bike at the gym - I think I did it for too long as the shins on Tuesday night were a bit sore.  However, that could be as a result of Saturday's activities - standing around in Guildford High Street 9.30am waiting for the Tour of Britain to arrive from !

No physio this week - instructions are to wait til next week and then assess how the legs are feeling!  The calves are feeling great - no tightness, no soreness.  The shins are a different story - the soreness is going, but it's still there, niggling away.  Just need to keep my fingers crossed that I am repairing and it's not going to result in a visit to the useless GP for a referral for a scan!

Friday, 20 September 2013

#Run With an Idea 5 - Fitness - Just A Trend?

Welcome to Post 5 of the Run With An Idea debate 

Fitness - Just A Trend? 

Whilst thinking about this post I did look up the definition of fitness :-

 *A set of attributes (qualities) relating to people's ability to perform physical activity.

Experts agree that physical fitness has many dimensions and levels. It has been further broken down into two categories of components that, collectively, help define it:

*Health-related: cardiorespiratory (aerobic), muscular strength and endurance, muscular flexibility, and body composition.
*Skill-related: agility, balance, coordination, power, reaction time, and speed.
Any definition of fitness may include health-related and/or performance-related components, and they are not mutually exclusive--they overlap. You cannot develop power without training for speed and strength. Agility is comprised of speed, strength, power, flexibility, reaction time, balance, and coordination (skill), so sports training to improve one component also improves others. 

I really did not know where to start with this week's debate post so taking it from a personal perspective - I don't think fitness per say is a trend, although within the fitness industry there may be some.   We've seen some ideas of fitness come and go, and we've seen some evolve.

Personally I've always been into "fitness" - as a teenager I was a keen hockey player and was lucky enough to play for a season with a local 2nd XI - I wasn't that good but I was as keen as mustard!  At 19 I did an induction at a local gym - that didn't last long but I'd also found the mass exercise class popular in the mid-80's.  A chance to dress in lycra leotard, leggings and a pair of legwarmers!   The classes in those days seemed populated by young women of my own age.   Go to a mass exercise class these days and you'll find all ages - maybe those ladies are the ones I was working out with all those years ago.   The women of the 80's have maybe passed on their love for fitness to the younger generations - I have certainly been known to attend a Zumba class with my own 17 year old daughter, and we have taken part in Race for Life together and recently the Color Run.  I'm a firm believer in setting a good example to kids - if they see loved ones exercising or taking part in a sport they enjoy they may be motivated to do so themselves!  My participation in sport/fitness has certainly changed over the years.  From those early days jumping around in an aerobics class I've done Legs, Bums & Tums, Step, joined a gym and used free weights.  I've been running for 6 or 7 years and lately, due to injury, I've taken up swimming.  As soon as I'm able I'll be getting on the bike to try my hand at cycling, again, and once the shinsplints are sorted I'll be back on the road running! I've also been known to wear sportswear when I'm not taking part in fitness!  Does that make me trendy?

Yoga in the good old days seemed to me to be a bit hippy but nowadays just about everybody is doing it, not only for its own sake but as a complement to other sports, including running.  One example of an activity evolving over the years.

The wealth of sport available to the "ordinary" people is staggering - from Archery to Zumba, there are no limits - apart from your own bank balance!    My daughter is a keen karate ka - not the cheapest sport in the world with it's competition entries, travelling costs and working through the belts and levels.

With the growth of the worldwide web the fitness industry has found ways to involve people from all walks of life.   There's advice about healthy eating, online weightloss sites and places to buy accessories.   I'm not sure that people see fitness as trendy - although some of the clothing available from the top sports company can make people look "sporty" without them actually taking part in any sport or fitness regime.  Sportswear has become trendy as "everyday" wear.

Of course there are always going to be those "who don't", as runners we've all had those conversations with non-runners and people who think fitness is walking to the shops to buy a pair of trackies, and fitness trends are often vilified in the press.  Maybe we are just trendsetters!

 So, what do you think.   Do you think fitness is trendy?

Visit the Run with an Idea website and see what other contributors are saying and join in the discussion - your comment could win you a prize!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Color Run Brighton - The Happiest 5k in the World

It seems like ages ago since I signed me and Danni up for Color Run at Brighton - the time finally arrived to don our Tshirts and headbands, and head out the door dressed appropriately for the "happiest 5k in the world".   We bought white cycle shorts (which Danni later refused to wear), white pumps, shutter glasses and tutus to bling it all up a bit.  We later realised we hadn't blinged enough but that's noted for next year!

We met up with fellow Boshettes, Michelle & Nik and then walked down to the start area, meeting up with Sam and Hannah and Marie on the way.
It was quite a trek to the other end of Madeira Drive - Volks Railway were offering free rides  down to the start - but we decided to walk!   The start area was a bit crazy so  we just slotted ourselves in - gave Shaun the bags to carry and the very important camera!

Ten minutes late starting, not sure how far back we were but I think we were in the second wave of 500.  Crossing the line walking felt a bit strange - I'm still banned from jogging/running but I'll save the injury update for another day!   We were headed towards the "pink" area but were smartly turned right up the slope towards Marine Drive, then back down to Madeira Drive - we were finally at the first color section - PINK !

The "colorists" were shouting drop & roll at us - no way I was doing that in the first one - I'd never get up again, I saved that for later!   Buff up to mouth & nose, glasses down & slowly walked through screaming liking a bunch of loons! 

We're in there somewhere!

 After PINK was PURPLE ! 
We did the whooping & arm waving a lot!

Still whooping, waving our arms & grinning like loons!
 After PURPLE was yellow - this was my favourite & I was ready to drop and roll - well actually

 It ended up as paint angels, front and back - whilst trying not to get trodden on & bash my legs!
 That was so much fun!

 YELLOW done we're heading for ORANGE! 
 and Michelle was rolling around like there was no tomorrow - so glad Shaun caught this shot! Me?  I was shouting "Color me" at anyone holding a paint bottle!

 The walk from ORANGE back to the finish was a bit boring but a great chance to recap what a lot of fun we'd had
 and to have some PINK envy on the way past - we really should have dived back in!  Lesson learned for next year.
 Back over the finish and yes we're all still laughing and smiling - Danni, Sam & Nik going for the sprint!
 After the finish we made our way into the finish festival - basically every one standing around waiting for the 15 minute "paint trolls" which give the infamous paint cloud associated with Color Run.
 Another chance to get absolutely smothered - including any spectators!

so that's it - the inaugural Brighton Color Run - DONE 

4 happy smiley girls !
Not sure what I'm supposed to do with this lot!

I honestly think everyone should take part in this race - it's for just about everyone - big, small, old, young, men, women, children, people in wheelchairs, on roller blades, scooters and even dogs!    

The happiest 5k in the world - hell yeah.   

Actually it's not 5k, it was a bit short but who cares - it's a fun run, time to go naked & not give a monkeys about PBs and pace.    

Our only complaint, not much atmosphere apart from the start/finish and the color areas, it could do with some music of some description - a Samba band or DJ would be great.

Do it again - try stopping me!  Color Run should be on prescription to be taken daily !

Monday, 2 September 2013

Swimming - an alternative to running!

Following on from my injury confession post I had an interesting weekend - I went swimming, in the local public swimming pool.   I haven't swum in the local public swimming pool since Danni did swimming lessons - which is a fair old time.  I have, however, swum in various pools on holiday and during the summer had membership of LA Fitness and swam in the spa pool twice a week for 5 weeks.

The difference between the different types of pool are huge - the ones you swim in on holiday are rarely regular shapes or size and there's no chance of lane rage as there are no lanes and you can leave your towel on your sunbed - all very civilised!  Oh and they are always freezing cold.

The only downside of the holiday swimming pool unless you get up at the crack of dawn is that they're always packed and there's always an idiot with an inflatable that takes up the whole pool!

The gym "spa" pools are a lovely experience - the one at LA Fitness Brighton isn't huge, has 3 lanes for different speeds of swimmers and you can hang your towel on a hook.  There is no lane rage at this type of pool, everyone swims as instructed (up on the left, down on the right) and in the correct lane for their level/speed.   There was also very few people, if any, in the pool!

The water is always a constant temperature and it's rarely noisy - apart from Mr Speedy swimmer.  Also you can have a proper shower and the changing rooms are single sex!  I paid £19 for 10 sessions on a Groupon deal!

Swimming in a local public swimming pool is the complete opposite of the above two experiences.  

The difference starts the minute you walk through the door - for one thing it's £4.25 per person to swim!  Next is the communal changing rooms - "Mummy" side cubicles, "Daddy" side cubicles, "family cubicles".   Guess who nearly went on the wrong side!  So off I went to the pool having got changed, put my bag in the locker and went to find somewhere to put my towel - hah!  "The wall" is the only place to put your towel, and if you dare put it in the wrong place it gets moved.  Getting into the pool on Saturday morning was pleasant enough - there were only a couple of other people swimming and the water was like getting into a bath.  There were also children's swimming lessons going on.

Actually swimming on Saturday was a doddle.  Instructions from Matt to mix up my stroke - what I hadn't told him was that I only "do" breaststroke, however that's only my arms - my legs do a mixture of leg strokes, sometimes breaststroke legs, sometimes crawl legs - so hopefully that's as mixing it up as I needed!   I swam gently for about 45 minutes and then got out and showered.   Saturday was easy - Sunday was a bit different.  For one thing there was no room on "the wall" for my towel, and secondly the water was freezing!  I'd made the mistake of going 15 minutes later too so it was a bit busier and the likelihood of getting in someones way was high!  One thing which I did find annoying was one young couple who got in, walked up to the halfway point and then sat chatting for the half hour that I was in there - honestly go to Costa buy a coffee and chat away, it's cheaper and you won't get wet!

I actually quite like swimming - apart from the local swimming pool thing but it will do, for now!  One of my Facebook friends suggested one of these
The Endless Pool - I actually want one!