What started as a bit of exercise during lockdown, a daily walk, a bit of a faster walk, then a bit more distance has added up to 34 Miles in May, and thats doesn't include the walks with the dog, mainly as I forgot to record them.
The weather today is another hot one so I went out fairly early, and by the look of it so ddid the rest of the world. It was like a normal Saturday out there and certainly does not feel like we are still in a global pandemic.
I am always careful to give plenty of distance between me and anyone else around, and even went on to the side roads as the main roads were just too busy. On the whole even where it was busy people were being sensible and maintaining distance, but I feel safer when its just me (and my headphones).
I guess thats just a caution thing, like washing the food after doing the shopping....I though I was a bit weird suggesting it, turns out other people do exactly the same.
Sometime a feel we (and by that I mean me) over think things....what if this happens....how will that impact things....This is not a bad thing and being prepared is a great skill but it doea play havoc with your head.
My Movembers Miles for Mates is continuing - you can still take part
Yesterday wasn't a great day. Nothing in particular, just a day when things don't feel great.
We were busy most of the day which helps to occupy the mind, a 5K walk, finish decorating the spare bedroom, grass cutting, a log burn up.
We looked at our planned holiday for this year which looks more unlikely each day, so maybe that was what was in the back of my mind, my knee twinged a few times but seemed to correct itself so or maybe it was just one of those days....
A fresh start today and out for a 5K walk/run, I tried a slightly different route figuring it would be around 5K - turns out it is 5K to my front door (result). Even though my time was lsightly slower than the other day I still did 40:34 - there are less downhill bit and more on the flat so I feel this is abetter representative of my time.
This route also gave me no Red sections on my map mainly Yellow and Green.
I have said it before music is a great motivator for me when running, but you do need the correct BPM - otherwise you can get carried away by the beat and then have to slow or stop. Today at just the point I needed I was joined in my ears by T Rex - I love to boogie (88 BPM) perfect to plod along to. I will have a look at other songs of s similar speed and make a new playlist.
Being aware of your mental health is so important and if you are not having a great day, then recognise this and ask for help, often just talking to someone can help. Movember Miles for Mates is as much about mental health as it is physical - thefixevents.com/movembers-miles-for-mates
Today was all about an experiment......
What would happen if I walk/ran my normal route but in reverse?
No I don't mean running backwards!
Just set off as normal but run down my hill nemesis instead of trying to run up it at the end of my run.
Well firstly, the bit before the hill seems to be a lot longer than I remember, making me thing when I get to the top of the hill normally I have lost all sense of direction and of the real world. Secondly the hill does look just as steep on the way down as it does on the way up!
I was careful not to over do things, I knew there would be a temptation to blast down the hill and then pay the price on my knees. So steady pace was maintained.
I have checked my map against the normal route and I can see my pace was a lot more steady, less green bits but much more yellow...and from what I can see the only red bits was where I was waiting to cross the road. Even with very little traffic around I still had to wait for probably the only car on the road.
Anyway the result: time reduced to 37:20 - thats more than 3 minutes faster than the other direction
I made sure I updated my record on my Movembers Miles for Mates tracker, and noted I moved up the board by quite a few places.....yeah Go Me!!
Movember is working to support guys in their communities with resources and advice to look after themselves and each other, it is so important to look after both your physical and mental health.
You can join the challenge at thefixevents.com/movembers-miles-for-mates
Today I tried out a new route, anything to stay away from the hill at the end of my route in the hope of saving my knees.
Linking up part 1
I remembered my friend telling me about a route he used and as he lives quite close I thought I'd reach out and ask him about it.
It was nice to have a quick catch up and touch base, turns out he hasn't been running for a while so maybe my efforts will encourage him as well.
New route stored off I went, with Cap on, and today with a training buddy, my wife, who is also trying Couch to 5K.
The new route is definitely less hilly and whilst we only walked at pace, I still managed 45.21 plus we talked as we walked and it was nice to have some company.
Linking up part 2
I have been making a note of my training using Apple products, and I remembered that back last year it was a case of choosing either the Apple workout or Strava to record things.
However, in the time of my injury it looks like Strava and Apple are now friends so when you record your workout via Apple, it automatically lets Strava know....
There is a few settings to do but a very helpful YouTube man sorted that for me.
So I am back in the world of Strava as well.
Physical Health and Mental health are important at the best of times but even more so as we all deal with whatever level of isolation/lockdown we are living with. Being able to get out of the house and walk/jog/run even for 45 minutes helps me to feel better.
Also taking time to talk to other or be together, even if it is virtually, can help people to feel connected
It really is more important than ever to check in with friends and family. You can make a real difference to peoples lives.
There is still time to be part of Movembers Miles for Mates - here is the link
I realise the picture and the title don't really match up.
The picture is from Movember 2019 in Nottingham where I was joined on stage by one of the Movember Ambassadors sporting a marvellous 'Mo', mine still had a way to go plus the chin bit had grown back. (yes that is Batmans house in the background again)
Today is now May, and the weather has somewhat imporved, even if we are all still working from home, furloughed, social distancing etc.
My Movembers Miles for Mates was a bit slower today (44.06), partly due to the warmer weather and partly due to me catching up with a friend during the first 2k.
The physical activity of the challenge, which is a pretty big challenge for me, is great for your mental health, also good for me, but in addition it is really important to keep speaking to epople.
Making a conection, having a catch up on the phone can make a difference to your own mental health and the others.
Since Lockdown started I have been looking at ways to keep myseflf motivated and catching up with other.
Zoom, is my new friend, something I had never used before. Yes I have done conference calls for work, and the occasional Skype call with friends overseas. But now I am finding lots of different ways to use Zoom.
We started with a weekly quiz, just a few people to see how it could work, and now we get around 20 teams each week, with lots of regulars. Yes someone has to win, but its much more about being with other people and a shared, communal activity.
Next up was a Saturday night party, with a bit of dancing,, laughter and a surprising about of 'disco; lights that people just seem to have at home, either that or Amazon did some speedy deliveries.
We even tried a radio show, but that one still needs work. The content was great, the technology not so!
We had coffee with friends in the 'cafe', trips to the 'pub' and even birthday celebrations with cake and candles. One memory will be seeing my neices face as she blew out the candle through the screen....now thats magic.
Whatever you do, keep talking to people. Ask 'How are you?" and if necessary ask again - sometimes people just need to be asked.
There is still time to join me as part of Movember's Miles for Mates - its not about how fast, or slow you go - sign up at thefixevents.com/movembers-miles-for-mates
Goto to dash - a quiz wont write itself!
Three Walk/Runs in and the time is coming down. today we knocked a further 2 minutes off so down to 40:51 now for 5K.
I spoke to Kerrie Aldridge, Marathon Runner, the other day and she gave me some great advice. To build up slowly, only go out every third day, I am watching my knees and noticing every ache in them.
I am making sure I keep to Kerrie's advice and not over doing things. I am finding I am able to run for a bit longer than walk which is good.
One thing I will need to do is look at my route, At present the main part of my last kilometre is up hill. this isn't great for my head, or legs at that point, so I will have a look on Strava to see what other routes are around.
The other rookie mistake today was what I was wearing. For the past few months the only walking I have done has been in normal shorts, so this morning I put on my running one, I felt it was important to be committed with my kit as well.
However, these shorts , whilst they have pockets, don't work for your phone. I tried holding the phone in my hand and nearly dropped it a few times. I improvised, pushed yup the sleeve on my long sleeve top and slid the phone in trapping it near my elbow.
Only issue then was half way around my long-sleeve top was making me way too warm
Note to self - phone holder - which was in the cupboard back at home.
MILES FOR MATES
Don't forget there is still time to be part of the Movember Miles for Mates - sign up here - thefixevents.com/movembers-miles-for-mates
Being physically distanced is the best weapon against COVID-19 for now but that doesn’t mean you have to disconnect socially. Physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your mental health
Some people often ask how I ended up hosting events, and the answer is....well by accident really.
Growing up I wanted to be a radio presenter, but never fully pursued it. Yes I have presented on volunteer and hospital radio, I have even won an award for my show but its not my job and actually if it was a job would I enjoy it as much?
I have DJ'd as along as I can remember and worked on a variety of productions and shows in my spare time. I volunteered at the local hospital station and it was from there I started hosting at running events.
A fellow presenter asked if I would make some announcements at an event they were doing for work, alway happy to help I went along to the event expecting a works fun day.....how wrong was I.
I was introduced to Louise and Jo the organisers who handed me a 'script', they asked 'if I could entertain people as they arrived' and let them know what time the race was happening.
They expected around 200 ladies to run a 5K. It was great fun and at the end they asked if I would like to do it again next year.
Those 200 ladies at that event were the first ever runners in Race for Life Cardiff, the year was 1996.
For the next 8 years I hosted for them and helped the local organisers increase the participation and gradually increase the number of events in Wales.
Eventually September 2003 I left my job to go and work for Race for Life full time, by now the Cardiff race was at 10,000.
I started to organise my own races, and commentate/host at other events across the Uk including at the flagship Battersea event.
As time moved on and career paths changed I left Race for Life, but very soon ther came an opportunity to host for a new event MoRunning for Movember.
I have often said, whilst there are many fun runs in the UK, MoRun is as close to race for Life as far as the inclusion and fun goes. It really does have a special feel to the event.
Gradually MoRun has grown and I have been able to go with the team to host in Cardiff, Swansea, Dublin, Bristol, Birmingham and Nottingham.
In addition I have hosted at Go Dad Run, Winter Warmer, The Poppy Run, Reindeer Run and more dinners and functions than I care to remember
I think being outdoors helping others to achieve their running goals is so important, and as long as people can stand to listen to me, often speaking for a solid 3 hours, then long may it continue.
I have been back and looked at my last post (September 2019) and wow so much has changed since.
Obviously the fact we are all in lockdown is one thing that we are all dealing with.
Then there is the fact that mass participation events, including running ones, are all on stop. London Marathon may or may not happen in October (personally I think not) 5 and 10Ks all being postponed and then often postponed or cancelled until next year. It seems likely that it will be 2021 before we see any large races again.
In the meantime virtual is the way forward.
Well we tried some more running in September and clearly it was too soon.
Sorry for not updating the blog, but I was focused on improving knee strength and blog took a back seat.
More physio was needed and then some weekly circuits type classes for knee strengthening. My measure of progress is how easily I can get up off the floor and how quickly I can come downstairs in the morning.
Through the end of 2019 I continued to work and support other runners, at Cardiff 10K and Cardiff Half. Hosting at Poppy Run for the Royal British Legion. And in Movember hosting MoRun at Cardiff, Swansea, Birmingham and Nottingham, at Batman's house no less, Wollaton Park.
As always these are my favourite races as the link to mens health both physical and mental is very close to me.
Into 2020 and battling the storms we managed to attend the slightly delayed Llanelli Half, and The Winter Warmer runs. The weather took its toll on the St Days Day Run....and then the virus arrived!
As someone who is close to the organisation of many races we were watching what was happening and we all hoped that things would be getting back to 'normal' as the year went on, but that looks unlikely now. Even if mass gatherings are allowed, who will come? People are wanting to do things but very cautious, and rightly so.
There has been a number of virtual events, plus the 2.6 challenge, set up to allow people to use their time, in lockdown, productively.
I wondered what I would be able to do.
Please remember, even though I have been at more running events than I can even remember over the past 20 plus years, I have not actually completed a race of my own for more than 25 years....probably longer.
My good friends at Fix Events (MoRun) launched a Miles for Mates, virtual race, Being physically active is great for your mental health, and now more than ever it is important to check in with your friends and family. We have all been dealing with Covid-19 in our own way, and nobody had the rules on how to deal with things.
So for my challenge, I chose to do the 5K. I baselined with a steady walk 47.56 and today improved to 42.49. Let's see what we can achieve as the month goes on.
You can be part of Movember Miles for Mates - HERE
Or if you fancy just trying to get me below 40:00 come and 'run' with me.
After 24 years of helping others to achieve their running goals - it is now my time.