A day off from running yesterday and time to think about my choice of next goal.
I remembered that after my knee injury a number of people telling me that when they got injured it was an increase in speed that had caused it, so for me I have made the decision I am happy with my plodding pace so lets go for distance.
Next Goal - 10K
Had a look at some online training plans including this one - HERE
Have realised that I am already well on my way so can see if I can sue the plan to get me to 10K over the next few weeks. I am aim for the middle of July as a goal.
Today, accompanied by Chris and Eddie (in my ears), I set off just to see how I felt as I was plodding along. I decided to follow a similar route to my normal one, and just let my body tell me how I felt about how long to run for. I tried to consciously not look at my watch.
Very soon I knew I was more than 3K and added an extra bit of the park that I haven't run through for so long, it was great to see what changes they have made, I remembered last year they were beginning work in one area and this now seems to be nearly complete.
After that bit of the park I headed back this time retracing my route, to conquer 'The Hill' which I should stress is no more than an incline, but back last year when I started this journey it was one of my initial goals 'run up the hill'. Toady I sailed up there and just kept plodding until I had decided I'd had enough for today.
Check of watch - 6.13k complete
I did feel as though I could have gone on, but enough for one day, we don't need to do it all in the first week.
I have noticed my breathing recovers much quicker now, so had a look at a few more stats, and have noticed my Avg.Heart Rate has reduced from 177bpm to 166bpm - this has to be a good thing.
I checked my 5k time but there wasn't much change in it so haven't recorded it as part of my Movember's Miles For Mates. - there is still time to take part, support a great cause and do something amazing for your physical and mental health Here is the link.
According to the plan it's a quieter day tomorrow, so will see what Saturday brings.
Today was all about something new.
For the first time ever, I was part of a running relay. I have doen some walking ones in the past but never running. Builth and District Running Club organised a 15 hour relay, for teams to complete in isolation - send in your times via Strava or similar.
I am part of an online group, South Wales Running community and they organised 2 teams, split into half hour sessions. Complete a minimum of 30 minutes more if you want.
The sessions were allocated and I was on for 9.30 as part of Team B.
I had a trial run on Friday to make sure I could time my run, and also so i could test I culd run for 30 minutes....
This morning I made my way to my chosen start point, I needed to be somewhere flat, as most of my routes start down hill, which wouldn't be fair for my time.
I gave myself enough time to arrive, do my selfies and also a Facebook Live. There were loads of people out for their own runs, but I stood out in my Team B bib.
A few asked what I was doing, so it was nice to tell them about South Wales Running Community and the #BaDRelay15.
At 9.30 off I went, it was busy but I managed to avoid people and was soon into my stride. My playlist was keeping me on my 88 BPM time, so I wouldn't over do it.
For the first time since June last year, I completed a lap of Roath Park and very soon after my 30 minutes were up.
4.32K a whole extra 0.12K longer than my practice run.
Baton was then virtually handed over and I headed back home.
Great fun and even in these times when we acn't be with people it felt like I was part of an event.
(before, after and time)
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
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!
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.
After an enforced break from running, and walking for that matter, I am back.
The last time I added to my blog, the Doctor has told me it would be 2 weeks of rest before I could do anything. Well.... 2 weeks became 3 weeks and the 3 months, a lot of rest, a few pain killers, and an MRI scan later and here we are on the 26 September.
It seems ironic to me now that yesterday, the 25 September was the day the physio said "OK i think we can start some short distance walking and mild jogging, but not too far too fast!" when it was the 25 June when the knee injury happened.
A lot has happened in that time, and in some way not a lot. I'll leave politics out of it.
I had the pleasure of being invited to Vintage for Victory, celebrated a big birthday, saw 4 musicals in 2 weeks, met Michael Ball, stood on the Greenwich meridian, attended Invncbl and then helped to deliver the most successful Cardiff 10K so far.
It was incredible to see so many people taking to the streets of Cardiff and having a fantastic time. I knew I wouldn't be able to run, it is the one question as an event manager you get asked all the time....are you running. Well 'No' someone has to organise things!!
However, it did mean I met up with some incredible runners and it was lovely to have Kerrie join us as a race starter. It was also incredible to be stood on the finish line to welcome her home.
So what now? Tonight I pulled on my running shoes and stepped back onto the road. I took it slowly and didn't try to do too much.
2k in 20 minutes, I also took the 4 legged training partner with me, so I wouldn't go too fast.
The big question now is.....how will the knee be in the morning?
Another 5K (without walking) done.
Tonight I was joined by my speed coach, our Number 1 Daughter, as she prefers to be called, on my 5K run.
She is definitely faster than me, but unlike the last time we ran together I didn't try to keep up. Turns out it was a good plan.
Whilst she was 'Jeffing' with speedy runs and then walking, I was able to maintain a steady pace, catching her up and then being overtaken as she went back to a fast bit again. It did feel a bit like the Hare and the Tortoise.
I was really pleased to be able to keep to my own pace and completed another 5K without the need to stop and walk. My time remained constant, it is much more about the distance.
I am back on the look out for a running watch, I borrowed a Garmin from a friend but it didn't work that well for me. I think a more basic watch might be the way forward, but for now the research continues.
I am however, very happy with my choice of Bone conduction headphones. As someone who organises races I am not a fan of headphones at events but when you are training seem like a great idea - remember to pick a suitable speed tune though.
I have a few days off running as I have a busy weekend with events. I am looking forward to meeting some fellow runners at Swansea Half Marathon on Sunday. This year I can empathise with the runners, and soon I can aim for 13.1 miles.
Since around 2010 I have been a supporter of Movember and inparticular MoRunning. Well it does seem appropriate that I would be connected with an event that has running in the title.
I became more involved when the organising team were looking for a commentator for the Cardiff event.
"Our fathers, partners, brothers and friends face a health crisis that isn’t being talked about. Men are dying too young. We can’t afford to stay silent."
I have commentated for many years at Race for Life and know how great the ladies are at supporting each other, but for the men we are not so great at talking and supporting.
I had my own issues around 10 years ago, and made a recovery. Then in 2018 I had a number of issues that on their own anyone can deal with but once you add them together became a much bigger problem. I know my trigger points and for some reason I missed them all.
It could be the part of me that says 'I can do everything' or 'It will soon be better' but the point is it didn't get any better. I was lucky that at the last minute I realised I needed to take some action to get myself safe, and I did.
I have said before how when I was ill I challenged myself to be well enough to host the MoRun, for Movember. I did and told my story in front of over 1000 people.
For Movemeber there are 5 things to know, and do.
1. Spend time with people who make you feel good.
2. Talk, more.
3. Know the numbers.
4. Know thy nuts. Simple.
5. Move, more.
Find out more about Movember - Here
You can enter this years MoRun now and help celebrate 10 years of MoRunning. They are great fun events for everyone, and the more costumes the better.
To take part in a MoRun near you - NOW
I left the house this evening for my next 5K distance with one intention, to Run (well jog) as far as I could without stopping.
No coaching staff tonight, so just me and my trusty headphones for the evening.
I started off well, and chose a suitable playlist, nothing too fast and quite soon found I had competed 1K. Feeling good, and realising I was on the slightly down hill section I continued.
I mentioned before I have certain bits of this course I have tried to complete, even setting myself my own little finish line. This soon was upon me and 2K had passed - still no walking.
Sam2.0 had helped be deal mentally with the next part of the course, which in my head seems very long, but actually isn't that far. Plodding on, I was soon at 3K and still no walking.
Now my head started to ask the question - Can you do 5K without needing to walk?
I already knew that the 4th km had 'The Hill', well it's more of an incline but in my head its a hill. I have worked hard over the past few runs to make it up the 'hill' without stopping, and tonight in no time I was at the top, and 4K done.
Still feeling good and not too tired the thought of the final km started to move me forward. My head telling me, that with every step forward we were closing in on the 5K. OK I may have been overtaken by other runner but I was on my own little journey. 5K without stopping was in my sights.
Then, as if by magic it was done!
Without any running buddies or coaches to help me...so I gave myself a little high five to celebrate.
Technology however did let me down so I don't have a map or splits to show what I did, however 5K in 36.15 without stopping is what I know I did.
Yeah Go Me!
After 24 years of helping others to achieve their running goals - it is now my time.