A new Strategy!!

Posted on: 23 Mar 2016

Well another month has ticked by since my last post & really can't believe how quickly the time is going. I have only managed to pop on here over the past few days to catch up on other blogs so apologies for my delay in commenting. No real excuse for this apart from life has just been hectic and doubly hectic at work and as I'm sat at a desk most of the day and a lot of it is computer work I have abandoned the ipad when I've got home as my eyes have just been so tired to sit & read or write!!  

If you have been keeping up with my (sparse) blogging you will know that Mr B has had a dodgy calf so was advised not to run for a few weeks, he was getting a bit stressed out about it as he didn’t feel it was getting any better & so I was getting stressed as thought I might be running London alone......eeeeeek!!

A couple of weekends ago I had a 15 miler planned & as he was told that biking would be fine on his calf Mr B borrowed a bike off my nephew so he could join me (which was quite handy as he could carry the water etc in a rucksack). We were going to cover the route we had mapped out for the 13 miler (plus 2 more obviously) where his calf originally went as we knew it was suitable for both running and cycling.

We managed to set off quite early on the Saturday morning (probably because the rugby was on in the afternoon!!!) and as mentioned in my previous post I intended to use the run 5min/walk 1 min strategy (hence the post title!) 

We set off at a nice steady pace and used the run/walk right from the start, whereas I used to start to feel tired after the first 3 miles until my legs got used to the pace, using this method seemed to be much better on my legs & I felt much stronger. The run itself was pretty uneventful apart from the fact we seemed to go through every weather condition possible!! Also thankfully Mr Bs calf was holding up well and he felt that the cycling was doing it some good. Now I'm sure you all know that I am not the quickest of runners but was pleased that the 15 miles was completed in just over 3 hours & I felt pretty good at the end of it as well & it was actually the first run I'd really enjoyed in a while so hopefully the run/walk method was paying off?

It was mother’s day the day after I ran the 15 miles which was a bit of a difficult day to get through. First we went down to take flowers to my Mums grave and then we popped up to see Kieran’s Nan as this would also be her first Mother’s day without her son Rory (Kieran’s Dad). As much as it was awful without my Mum my heart went out to her as it must have been so dreadful for her without her beloved boy. It didn’t help the sadness of the day that she was bed-ridden with a nasty tummy bug, she looked so poorly & it had really knocked her sideways. We didn't stay too long as she was so tired but there must have still been some of the little bugs flying about & they managed to find me as I spent most of Sunday night in the bathroom (won’t go into too much detail here!!) & by the Monday morning felt as rough as old boots so didn’t make it into work for a couple of days! I managed to get back to work by the Wednesday (probably more due to the rubbish daytime TV than anything else!) but the illness totally sapped me of any energy and didn't get a run in for the rest of the week as shattered & still hadn't really eaten properly!!

Mr B was still resting his calf until he went back to the physio later that week but was given the all clear (yaaaaaaaaaaay!) so we planned a 10k for the weekend, still using run/walk as he didn’t want to go straight into a longer run as he was a bit nervous about his calf going again but thankfully held out OK. He'd recently purchased (on advice from the pyhsio) some Skins compression socks for his calf and said these really helped so have ordered some for myself now as often get calf niggles on longer runs!

The following week our shorter runs were fitted round our 2 day trip to London as we had tickets to see Adele. We were going with some friends so headed up on the Tuesday lunchtime to our accommodation for the night (remind me never to drive into/through London!!). Our friends had found a place in Greenwich (Stay City Apts) which were basic but clean and comfortable and only £90 for the night with the added bonus of secure parking!  We booked in, opened & finished off the 2 bottles of Prosecco our friends had bought with them and went in search of food!! On advice from the receptionist at the hotel we went to a fantastic little gem of a place in Greenwich called Cooperage which is part of the Davys Wine Bar chain. It was situated in original wine cellars so all exposed brick with a lovely old fashioned feel to it. The food was absolutely scrummy and I treated myself to a fillet steak followed by yet more prosecco - would we ever get to the concert!! Well thankfully we did and Adele was absolutely brilliant, an amazing voice, not a note wrong and a really fun personality, it was so refreshing to listen and see someone who didn’t take themselves too seriously. So a fab night had by all.

The next Saturday was our planned 'long' run of 18 miles. Tony had mapped out a route around Bicester but I just fancied getting off the tarmac so we decided to run the ridgeway route we ran last year. He re-jiggled it to add the extra miles in so we would park up nearer RAF Benson and run the 3 miles onto where we started from last year, doing a 9 miles route in and back again.

Again we adopted the run 5/walk 1 min method but it seemed for the first 8 miles or so it was all uphill and it just sapped my legs of energy. I suppose some routes are like child birth, they say you tend to forget the pain until the next time, hence why I forgot how bloody hilly the ridgeway run was!! All we appeared to be doing was going up, which I guess it was as heading UP to the ridgeway!! Nothing like stating the obvious eh!!

After this it seemed to even out a bit more with the odd slope (hill!!) chucked in. It was lot busier this time with more walkers (not the Walking Dead type thank goodness although I felt & looked like that by the end of the run!) & cyclists and mercifully it was a lot drier than the last time so not negotiating the mud & carrying 10lbs of it on our shoes!

As I said it was meant to be an 18 miler but at mile 9 and almost at the turnaround point I really needed to go to the loo, now this is a bit easier for blokes who can just nip behind a tree, but not so easy for women when not much foliage on the trees/bushes, wearing a high viz jacket and loads of people traffic going by. I remembered from the last time we ran the route that there was a portaloo a mile or so further on so suggested to hubby that we continue on so I could use the loo (just praying that it was still there!) - what I again forgot that this was another really hilly part of the run so once more I was starting to flag and thinking whatever possessed me to suggest a blinking hilly run when London is so flat!! I was relieved (excuse the pun) to see the loo was still there, so nipped in and all was well again, well it was in that department, sadly the legs still felt like they wanted to drop off & we still had to get back. A quick drink & gel break and we turned around and headed off again.

Well I'm not going to say I enjoyed any part of the run back as I didn't, the undulating terrain of the run out had taken every bit of energy I had and it was a hard, hard slog back. At one point I just wanted to stop and give up, especially when we went past the place we parked last time we ran the route, don’t know why but that was a mentally challenge bit - I expect my body just wanted to stop there?

As I was plodding along swearing & chuntering to myself (well probably rather loudly in fact!) Tony reminded me of why we are doing this so this gave myself the slap I needed and although it wasn’t easy and sometimes felt like I was running through treacle I finally managed to get back to the car and darn well chuffed through my knackered haze to see we had completed 21 miles.

I was going to have an ice bath when I got home but just couldn't face it so after lots of stretching I immersed myself in a nice warm bubble bath with a cuppa! I went round a friend’s house later that evening for a ladies get together for food & drinkies and even managed to get on my bike and cycle round which stretched out the legs a bit more. (although I got a rather cheesed off call from Mr B to say our street had a power cut right when the England rugby was on - not sure what he expected me to do about it but thankfully it came back on about 15mins from the end of the game!)

On Sunday we popped into Oxford and bought new running shoes each. I tried 4 or 5 pairs on the treadmill and settled on a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 19 (did try to attach photo but not working on work computer so will try when I get home!) & Mr B got a pair of Brooks Ravenna 7. Tested them out last night for a shorter run and felt OK. Were as bit concerned we bought them a bit later than we should but we still have a few more weeks to run them in for London so fingers crossed they will be fine!

Apologies to all of you that are running in Manchester. Me & Tony were hoping to get up and support you all along but its my sisters 60th Birthday the following week and she is planning on having a family meal that weekend so Kieran come join us before he heads back to Uni, but you can be sure I will be tracking you all & cheering you on from back home.  

Anyway I think I have bored you all enough by now so will sign off, I hope you all have a lovely Easter and enjoy your running plans whatever they may be.

Bevlar :-)

***Post blog note - Just found out that Bicester now has its own park run (how did I miss that one!) so if anyone fancies a visit sometime we are within walking distance of it :-)





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