About Me

My photo
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

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Back to it - Nearly!

This time last week I was in a fair amount of pain after I pulled a muscle in my back at the weekend.  Having been to the GP that evening and got some tablets, and following a discussion on Twitter about seeing a physio to get me back on the road to Brighton Half Marathon, I made an appointment to see Matt at Studio 57 on Friday afternoon for an initial consultation.

He assessed the situation quickly and following a fantastic half back massage, he released the tension in my back muscles and moved on to some strengthening exercises.  Strictly NO RUNNING of any description until week 3 of the rehab plan.  Lots of tilting, bridges and one legged dips morning and evening for one week, and then week 2 some more exercises with hopefully a view to start jogging in week 3.   Also in week 1, bending down has been banned.  Not helpful when you have an active Jack Russell cross who loves to chase after a thrown ball - yes bending down to pick the darned thing up is essential!  I had to purchase one of these from Poundland :-

The only thing I didn't think about was picking up the poo, so lunges & bending at the knee had to be adopted (sorry Matt if you're reading this), but I am a responsible dog owner and I would be mortified if I had to leave it for someone to tread in, or worse.  It's one of my pet hates as a pedestrian.  I also didn't take into account that I'm one of the clumsiest people around and am forever dropping things - got quite annoying for poor Mr B over the weekend.

So how is the back - well the back is great, none of that flinching pain as I move around, just a small spot where I think the damage is, at the top of my hip.  That is gradually going and every morning when I get up it feels a little better.  I haven't taken any painkillers all week (what a waste of the Diazepam I paid for!)  I've got another appointment with Matt next Tuesday to run through week 2 exercises, apparently he wants to look at box jumps, multi planar lunges and band walking.   I've looked all three up on You Tube and I think I'm going to be in trouble.   Still, if it gets me running again, I just have to go with the flow!  

It's been a very long week, mentally.  I'm not used to being stopped from running, or exercising.  I'm now worried about how my aerobic fitness will be affected, I just have to hope that I can build it up from next weekend gradually to get me back to some decent distance where I feel comfortable attempting to run 13.1 miles on 17th February.    Somebody at work said to me today that I'm way to competitive for my own good, maybe they're right but surely that's what keeps us running.  Without that demon inside that says "run" or "exercise" we wouldn't.  I've been quite down today, but once again my Twitfam have been more supportive than anyone could be.  Thank you all.  

All I need to do now is get through the weekend, see Matt on Tuesday and get some details for week 3's exercise (I won't call it running yet!)

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Moving Forward, Slowly

So, the back pain is getting no better, I now have a really bad pain at the top of my right hip.  Visit to the GP and a prescription for different painkillers to the ones I've been taking (Mr B's) and a couple of days worth of Diazepam to relax the muscle spasm.  Luckily my GP is a runner and was sympathetic to what I needed.   He's given me some stretches to start this weekend, no running for at least another week, with a self arranged visit to an osteopath/physio he thinks I may be able to run Brighton Half, but no chance if I wait for NHS referral. Through Twitter I have had an offer from a local Sports Injury Clinic for a half price initial consultation so I'm making the phone call tomorrow morning to hopefully be looked at next week.

Earlier in the week came an offer from Dashing Divas to win a FitBit exercise tracker and smart scales through Money  All I need to do is blog about my experiences of how exercising makes me feel, so here we go .........

As many of my readers will know, I've only been running "properly" for 5 or 6 years, having been inspired by  my younger brothers success.  Having spectated at many running events I saw many shapes, sizes and ages taking part and thought maybe I could too - an asthmatic, overweight middle aged mum.   I've always been interested in exercise and joined my first gym at the age of 19.  Previously at school I loved playing hockey and thanks to my PE teacher was able to train with East Grinstead Hockey Club for a season and throughout my childhood I canoed, thanks to my godfather.

I'd done aerobics during the 80's craze for mass classes at local sports centres and have always loved the way getting sweaty and out of breath made me feel, and the achey muscles being the tell tale signs that I'd worked hard.   Even during a difficult pregnancy I swam as regularly as I could.    During my pregnancy I put on a shed load of weight, not helped by the pre-eclampsia which saw the early birth of my lovely daughter.  It was suggested by the Dr that I get exercising again to bring down my high blood pressure instead of staying on beta blockers - guess what it only works!   Hubby signed me up for the gym and was an absolute diamond helping with preparing healthy meals for us all.   I did manage to lose a whole load of weight and dropped 3 dress sizes, however to keep this going you really need to keep an eye on your diet and exercise.  My big failing is going on holiday - I always put on lots of weight, probably down to the alcohol and constant grazing!  I got bored with going to the gym and that's when the love of running kicked in and since then I've never looked back.

Running gives me time to think, listen to some music if I feel like it, and generally de-stress.   I've also made some friends through Twitter who being runners and exercise mad are very supportive, some I've met in real life.   There are also some great challenges to be had on the internet - Janathon, Juneathon, Jantastic & Tribesports.  I've also taken part in two Park Runs and hope to get back to Eastbourne soon.   It's a great feeling to go faster, proof that training is improving performance, and ultimately fitness.

Here's hoping a visit to the physio sorts me out and I can get back to training for the Half Mara - my number one challenge for 2013.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Janathon Day 5 - Drop Out

First things first, if you haven't got your Christmas decs down yet, today is the day.  If they are still up tomorrow you are in store for bad luck, apparently!

Happy birthday to the gorgeous Brad Cooper who was born today in 1975
- famous for the Hangover films, the A Team and my favourite Limitless.  I first spotted him years ago when he played Will in the TV series Alias with Jennifer Garner.

So on to the Janathon business part of the day.  Many of my Twitter followers will know that on Christmas Eve I pulled my back getting a t-shirt out of a drawer.  I spent Christmas Eve walking doubled over, Christmas Day sitting on the floor or on a hard chair trying to get comfortable and by Boxing Day it was starting to feel better.  I didn't run at all but took the dog out for his walks - some days twice!   On New Year's Day I did my first run of Janathon and the back felt good, even on my evening run on Thursday it felt fine, and using the Airwalker wasn't affecting it either.  Unfortunately this morning whilst I was cutting my toenails prior to my planned long run a muscle on the right hand side of my back went into spasm.  I ignored it and got ready for my run - stupid I know. I left the house and walked to the end of the road, started my Garmin and picked up my pace - absolute agony, I couldn't get a proper breath and the pain was unbearable.  Run abandoned.  I must have looked a right plonker, all dressed up for an 8/9 mile run and heading back home without breaking into a sweat, walking like a 90 year old woman.

Mr B has now forced me to drop out of Janathon and rest for a while (he said 2 weeks but we'll see - apparently running ain't the be all and end all!) - no dog walking over the weekend so I can't even use that as my sole exercise until I'm ok to run!   All this is terribly frustrating, my Half Mara is looking less likely unless I can get back running in the next week or so.  Not the best preparation but if I can get to 10 or 11 miles the week before I may be ok!

Good luck to everyone for the rest of January, I'll be here reading blogs and commenting; hopefully my next blog will be the one where I review my first Half Marathon!

See you all in June otherwise!

Friday, 4 January 2013

Janathon Day 4 - Strictly Mr Nasty

Today's birthday wishes go to Australian born Craig Revel-Horwood of Strictly Come Dancing fame.  Born 4th January 1965.

It felt very strange at work today, kept on completely forgetting that it was Friday and the weekend was upon us.  Today's dog walk was very enjoyable and Mr B joined us for the first time in ages.   I'd already decided that if it wasn't raining we were going to do the woods/sheep field walk .  We haven't been that way since the summer because once again it's just been far too muddy and being on a hill was quite dangerous to walk up!   Also during the summer the field is full of sheep (hence the name) which is quite stressful for us to walk across because Archie would love to chase them, unfortunately the farmer  doesn't appreciate us being there, even on the lead, so we tend to steer clear!    The view below looks out towards where we walked yesterday, with the Downs further on.

And this shows how close we are to Beachy Head!   Unfortunately, I forgot to check the battery situation in the camera before we left, otherwise there would be more photos of the Downs and our route up through the woods.   A lovely 5k walk which took us about 1.5 hours.  Archie loves it because he gets to chase the gamekeeper's pheasants (oops!)

My HM Plan says today is a cross train day, so back up to the attic and 40 minutes puffing and blowing and sweating buckets on the Airwalker.   I was going to use the Wii or join Davina but no chance of wrestling the TV screen from Mr B!   

Long run tomorrow - woopeeee.

Day 4 stats :
Running : 0
Walking : 3 miles
Cross Training : 40 minutes Airwalker
Naughty food eaten : 3 maltesers (woohoo)  and a slither each of Brie and Wensleydale with cranberry

Total Janathon Stats 
Running : 9 miles
Walking : 10 miles
Cross training : 50 minutes
Time spent exercising : 8 hours

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Janathon Day 3 Meet My New Running Buddy!

Firstly, I must confess to having eaten a Peanut Cookie post-blog last night, oh and a piece of Soreen (without butter).

Contraversial entry in the "fact of the day". Today is the birthday of Mel Gibson, born 3rd January 1956. Mel Gibson is of course famous for films such as Braveheart, Mad Max and Lethal Weapon. He used to be one of my favourite actors but I've kind of gone off him a bit thanks to the bad publicity he has received over the past few years.

Day 2 at work and the dreaded "during Christmas break birthday cakes" have arrived. Unfortunately I did succumb to a 200 calorie doughnut ring but I am hoping that I can now avoid the rest! However, my favourite diet saboteur did tempt me with a Syrup Sponge pudding and custard after dinner tonight. Diet fail on Day 3 - I need to stop giving in.
Today's dog walk Archie and I ventured on to the piece of land locally known as The Dump, it is just that, an old landfill site which up until now has been given over to nature, and lately some huge puddles and mud!

The pathway takes us down on to the banks of the River Ouse (lately subject to a flood warning)

and we have lovely views of the South Downs.

It was good for Archie to be able to play ball today, not something we can do walking the roads, on the lead!

Controversially this land has been sold for £85,000 by our County & District Councils to Kuwaiti Developers Round Table Entertainments who want to build the world's largest indoor waterpark, on the edge of the South Downs in a see through dome akin to the Eden Project, together with 400 bed 4* hotel and car park.   Enough of that, Janathon is supposed to take my mind off it!

I have no idea how far we walked as the settings on my Garmin went a bit haywire, but according to Running Free my total walking is 7, which means we've walked only 1 mile. I'm sure it's further than that but hey, it was a nice walk, and it wasn't raining.

After the dog walk I took my new running buddy for a spin. Hubby bought me this headtorch for Christmas. It's a Silva Jogger.

The Headlamp has 3 Light modes (maximum, minimum (or dip as Shaun likes to call it) and
flashing and emits 45 lumens of light, with a lighting distance of 32 metres. It has a large on/off button that is easy to operate and the battery lasts between 20 and 50 hours and the whole unit weighs in at 82g.   It's easily adjustable and felt quite comfortable on my head, atlhough I did have my headband on, wouldn't want to run with it on my skin, I think I would end up with some horrid marks on my forehead. 

I did a circuit of the industrial estate and then headed out to the "exercise path" to test the 
headtorch. Normally in the pitch black I wouldn't go near the place as it's totally unlit and on the "crapping myself scale of 1 to 10", I would probably be on about 12, but tonight with the 
headtorch and a quickened pace I was only on about 5 or 6. 

My HM Plan said 5 miles so that's what I did, all alone, in the pitch black with my new mate.

Day 3 stats :
Running : 5
Walking : 3
Cross Training : Zero - back tomorrow!
Naughty food eaten : 1 ring doughnut, 1 syrup sponge & custard & 2 maltesers

Total Janathon Stats 
Running : 9 miles
Walking : 7 miles
Cross training : 50 minutes
Time spent exercising : 6 hours

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Janathon Day 2 - Back To Work

Today was the first day back to work - let's hope it's not as much of a trial as last year's return!  So far so good, I have a jar of Quality Street on my desk from a contractor but it's still sealed.  None of the Christmas/New Year birthday cakes materalised either!

Anyone who has read my Juneathon blogs will know that I like to provide a fact of the day (useful or useless is for you to decide!)   Today's fact is that on 2nd January 1979 Sid Vicious of Sex Pistols fame was put on trial for murdering his girlfriend Nancy in 1978.
Nancy & Sid
 A month later, at the age of 21, he took a dose of heroine which killed him.

Today's Janathon exercise consisted of a 2 mile very wet walk round the streets with Archie.   We've run out of nice places to walk thanks to the disgusting weather we've had since June last year.   All the places we love to walk (apart from the beach where we went yesterday)  is just a saturated, muddy puddle.

The second part of Janathon saw the return of the Airwalker.   My Half Marathon training plan has 2 cross training sessions a week and other than joining the gym this is the next best thing.  For anyone who does not know this fabulous piece of kit lives in my attic, along with lots of other exercise kit and a hell of a lot of toot!  So, back to the day's exercise.  Plan said 45-50 minutes so I slogged my way through 50 minutes with the assistance of my Ipod!   Shaun took these delightful photos, along with a video which I won't be adding, firstly because he filmed it on the side and I can't turn it around and secondly it doesn't run properly and at some points I look like I'm about to take off!

Update 3/1/2013 - You Tube video added

Janathon Stats  Day 2:
Running : Zero - back on the pavement pounding for Day 3!
Walking : 2 miles
Cross Training : 50 minutes on the Airwalker
Total time spent exercising : 2 hours (according to Running free)
Naughty stuff eaten - None

Total Janathon Stats 
Running : 4 miles
Walking : 6 miles
Cross training : 50 minutes
Time spent exercising : 4 hours

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Happy New Year - Janathon Day 1

So the day has arrived - the first of Janathon!   Welcome to all new readers, hopefully the following 30 blogs won't be too boring.

Firstly I would like to wish everyone a happy New Year - I hope that 2013 brings you health & happiness.

Cathy (@jogblog) has arranged for some Janathon goodies via Cafe Press.  

There are some lovely t-shirts with the logo on as well as mugs, bags etc, even a babygro.   I quite like the PJs, would be great to slip into those after a hard days exercise and sit & blog in!

So on to today's Janathon exercise.   I've been unable to run since Christmas Eve as I pulled a muscle(s) in my back getting a tshirt out of a drawer - one of those really stupid injuries that catches you by surprise, so no run Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or Boxing Day which was really frustrating.  This has had a big impact on my confidence in getting to the start line of Brighton Half, but hopefully during January I can salvage something.  Lots of advice on Twitter suggesting rest etc so I've given into it and only walked the dog all week. 

This morning, however, and despite a huge headache caused by a sugar overdose from a whole bag of shrimps consumed at the cinema last night, a bottle of Cobra beer and half a bottle of champagne, I decided enough was enough and set out for a run along the "exercise path" as it's fondly known.   My HM plan said 4  miles but I'd previously re-jiggled the plan to do 5 or 6 today.   When I got to the 2 mile point my back didn't feel too bad but it was at that point I decided perhaps I should play it safe and stick to the HM plan rather than do any damage.   Lots of people out enjoying the winter sunshine, mostly walkers and cyclists and only a couple of runners.   

At 3 o'clock I took Archie down to the beach  where we spent ages playing ball on the helipad!  It was really busy on the beach, lots of dogwalkers!

So that's day 1 done and dusted.

Janathon Stats :

Running : 4 miles
Walking : 4 miles
Cross training :Zero - that's for another day
Time spent exercising : 2 hours
Weigh in at 1st Jan 2013 : 66.1 - that figure will hopefully get less not more ;)