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I’m bored now

The novelty of  my enforced change in exercise routine, because I can’t run, has worn off. 

I’ve been good for a whole week. I’ve been to Physio, I’ve  done all my physio exercises and a few more, I’ve cycled lots (and met people for coffees so the kcal consumed exceeded the kcal burned in some rides – oops!) and I’ve not run. 

But I really want to go to BMF, train for my half marathon, run some more parkruns towards my 50th and run my 25th different parkrun venue.


I have at least one more week to be patient. I’m not very good at being patient and I’ve still got a wait until my new bike (to tempt me to ride further afield)  is built. 


Time to really get stuck into the online gym I’m trying this month and volunteer at parkrun. 


Every cloud. Janathon day 13. 

Being signed off running yesterday was not so bad. 

I’m still allowed to cycle. 

Plus, I knew what was planned for today. 

This year I have a big birthday coming up. A BIG one.  I have also planned a few long cycle rides this spring/summer.  Add to this a little good news work-wise for my OH and he suggests we go and order my promised BIG pressie. My forever* bike. 


Just 6 weeks to wait!  The overexcited jumping up and down will be good exercise. Actually, that may not be good for my Achilles. 

Janathon day 13. 

Cycled to the bike shop and back, 13 miles total. Plus, plenty of pedalling on the bike fit rig as we found the right frame size, saddle, bar width, height… So many decisions!

(Not my new bike,  Image borrowed from Total Women’s Cycling)


Signed off. Janathon day 11 and 12. 

So I finally made it to the Physio. 

Probably just need a good massage and a bit of advice, I thought.  


To cut a long story short I have some damage to my Achilles tendon (tedonosis) which will require some help to heal and some strengthening. The cause, as well as a bit of over use, goes back to my hip alignment (cause of a previous injury) so I also need to revisit my hip and glute exercises. 

Back to rehab for me. 

And NO running for the foreseeable.

At least I can cycle. 
Janathon days 11 and 12. 

One appointment at the physio, two walks to the shops and back,   3.8 miles cycled. 


Janathon catch up

Last week I promised to not run again until I sorted out my Achilles and sought  some help for it. So over the week I have (amongst other things)

  • Foam rolled and stretched lots
  • Taken 3 days off running
  • Felt my Achilles was much improved 
  • Not got round to getting a sports massage or seen a physio
  • Cycled to 2 BMF classes and found it was all ok as long as I stuck to a steady pace and didn’t go mad and sprint or try and race anyone 
  • Manage not to be an idiot and didn’t run flat out at those 2 BMF classes (most of the time)
  • Been for a 6 mile easy run and managed to run easy pace
  • Spent an excellent Saturday morning at Fulham Palace parkrun in the company of friends 
  • Blast out a parkrun PB on a busy course (record turn-out) and go sub 24 for the first time according to my Garmin. (still got 3 seconds to lose officially)
  • Have a sore Achilles again
  • Spend another Sunday evening foam rolling my calves….

Hey ho… Here we go again. 

Janathon days 4-10

14.2 miles run.  16.7 miles cycled.


Being Sensible. Janathon day 3. 

It would have been nice to run every day in January. 
However.  If I don’t take the next couple of days off running I will definitely be on the injury list.

After yesterday’s parkrun I was limping and this morning even after a liberal application of ibuprofen gel I still couldn’t walk naturally. It’s all self- inflicted. I’ve been nursing a few niggles for a while,  which I’ve ignored. Then a few hard sprints plus trying to race people faster than me at BMF before Christmas made things worse.  I then carried on parkrunning and not stretching enough. 

Although I’ve had rest days and cut my mileage since my marathon, at the end of November,  the benefit of marathon training left me enjoying much improved pace which I was unable to resist!  So I’ve not allowed myself to recover fully and could do with adding  some ‘easy’ back into my running plans. Especially if I want to be fit to run a good 10K at the end of the month and half marathon in February. 

Time to be sensible.   Plus I’m probably not great to know when I’m injured and can’t run (not to mention the boring winging blog posts). 

So my Janathon activity for the next few days will be stretching, squats, lunges and all my other physio exercises and foam rolling. I will sort out a sports massage and not run again until I get my calf muscles into more flexible shape (and be able to walk properly). Promise. 

Well that’s the plan…

Janathon day 3. Boring squats, single leg squats and calf raises plus lots of lovely (if that’s the correct word) foam rolling and massaging my legs with a sadistic spiky ball.   

My Achilles is feeling much better already…



parkrun. Janathon day 2. 

No sulking today.  parkrun day. 

It had been blowing a gale all night so I did check Medina IOW parkrun’s news and Facebook pages first thing to check it wasn’t cancelled before I committed to being fully awake at 7.30.  There were no notifications and a peek out of the window showed it was still very windy but dry. However in the time it took to have a cuppa, eat a banana and get dressed it had started raining. Nice. 

Over the past few weeks I have been back to some of my close to home parkruns in London which I’ve not run for a while because I had been enjoying a bit of parkrun tourism for variety.  Today I went back to IOW parkrun for my 5th run there.  

In the two years (I thought it was only one! ) since I last ran there* the course has changed so it was like a bonus new parkrun venue.   What was two laps of playing fields has changed into one lap (out and back) to avoid as much wet muddy grass as possible and use the newish cycle track along the river Medina which  has a netted gravel surface. 

* (I have tried twice since but one time missed the venue change and another time it was cancelled)

It was very wet and muddy over the unavoidable grass sections and I decided to practice trying to run faster on mud (or anything that isn’t smooth Tarmac really) but my Achilles didn’t want to play that game so I eased off and switched to guess how deep that puddle is which kept my feet and ankles nicely chilled. 

A miserable wet and windy day, a friendly bunch of parkruners, an OK (bloody Achilles) run on a good course. I must come back in 2016, I think it could be fairly fast on a dry (underfoot) day.  Thanks Medina IOW parkrun. 

Janathon day 2. parkrun. 3.1 miles run. 


Sulking.  Janathon day 1. 

Happy New Year!

Hello Janathon, here we go again…

I didn’t set my alarm and lay out my kit for parkrun this morning because there wasn’t one. 

Not that setting my alarm and laying out my kit always results in me making the start of a parkrun, but today I really wanted to. I’d been excited when the Christmas and New Year parkrun events were posted and was planning all sorts of potential doubles for New Years day. But then Christmas plans got made and I realised we would be on the Isle of Wight over New Year and worse still the local parkrun were unable to hold an extra New Years Day event. 

I had a few fantasies about making the trip to some on the south coast but a 30 minute drive just to get to the hovercraft  (if it was running in the high winds) or to an overpriced car ferry before I even made it to Portsmouth made it unrealistic.  

So this morning I slept in. At some stage I had a peek at my Strava time line and there were already a few parkruns posted. I dived back under the duvet to sulk a bit more. By 10.30 another peek showed more and Facebook was full of parkrun double talk. Agghhhhh!  I finally figured I could sulk in bed all day (not very Janathon like) or get up and do some bloody exercise. 

An ‘any one fancy a bike ride’ got no response (yesterday was probably windy enough) so a run it would be.   I grabbed a map to find a suitably parkrun sized section of  off road cycle path to run and then procured a lift to the start point and pick up at the end so I could run point to point. 

My route planning was pretty spot on although I did stop my Garmin at 5K  a little short of the end of the path.  My own personal New Year ‘parkrun’ done.  (Maybe I should have planned to run back to complete the double…)

Janathon day one,  3.1 miles run. 


London Winter Run

Janathon might have technically finished on Saturday but I ended it in style on Sunday running the Winter 10K with Alma and Giselle.  This was my first race since September and the longest I have run since then.  A comeback run.

So far this year I’ve not run further than 5K so I had planned to get a 6 mile training run or two in before the race but that didn’t happen for numerous reasons.  In an exchange of texts with Giselle about pace I thought an aim of 9 min mile was realistic for me although running under 55 minutes would be a good goal.  Giselle’s aim was to get as close as possible to 50 mins (I said I’d love to be back there and would be with her at that pace for a mile or two tops!) or practice pacing at 8.50, to which I agreed I should be able to manage for most of the race.

The start of the race wasn’t as organised as it could have been and the published ‘start waves’ were more a ‘guideline’ about what time to shuffle out of the loo queue towards the start. We joined the queue aiming for the latest of the times we had together at 10.02  but in the crowds up the embankment it was a matter of first come first served, all participants mixed up together.  While waiting to start and trying to keep warm we all began to worry about the race being a bit chaotic. I suggested it might be hard work to try and run together in the crowds.

Fortunately it all turned out better than feared. The crowd was good-natured and there was music and a warm up to keep us motivated. Although we didn’t finally start until 10.17 we were fortunate to be close to the front of the start pen and so when we finally got going the 8 minute gap between waves meant that the race was spaced out and we had a lovely clear run up the embankment.  I caught up with Giselle and joined her to run at her pace after all.

She was an excellent pace maker.  I watched the mile splits clock by at very consistent pace just under 8.40/mi.  Giselle told me to stop looking at my Garmin and just stick with her.  It’s true, it is all in the mind and when you just have to concentrate on running with someone your mind can’t contemplate the pace and pass on ‘I’m tired’ messages to the legs.  Her cunning plan was to slowly up the pace in the second half.   I lasted until mid way between the 8 and 9km markers.  The combination of an 8.08 min 5th mile, the slight slope back up to the embankment and the lack of miles in my legs were finally showing.  I convinced Giselle that she needed to keep pushing and I really did have to just hold average pace to the end. I followed her up the last km of the embankment at an increasing distance and managed a modest sprint past a few others at the finish line half a minute behind her.

I was very chuffed to have run 52.52. With a little help I proved to myself that I’m not so out of form after all. Come back race an enjoyable success. Big thank you to Giselle.

So I’m signed up for next year, and a half marathon while I was at it. I’ve decided winter races suit me because apart from a few shivers waiting to start I find the cooler temperature kinder when trying to up the pace. I also don’t have the hassle of carrying water and on Sunday nor did we have to pause to grab water en route.

An excellent race. A little disorganised towards the start but the 8 minute staggered starts worked well at spacing out the race. We coped ok starting further back than planned and having to weave through runners when we caught up with waves in front.

There was a good atmosphere, a perfectly organised bag drop and a lovely bit of Bling at the end. Plus hugs and photo opportunities with polar bears if you’re into that sort of thing. At the start we were more interested in stealing a polar bear suit to keep warm!




Another Janathon is over. Rather too quickly as usual making me feel I’m still in catch up mode. I haven’t run or exercised as much as other years but have hopefully re-started some good habits which I can build on and continue rather than going for broke and spending February recovering.

This week I’ve run a bit less due to some mild niggles in my hamstrings and piriformis which feel worse when it’s very cold  so I stuck to alternate days exercising.

Today, the last day of Janathon and being Saturday it was parkrun time. I’ve been using parkrun for the past few months as my way back into running so for the last day of Janathon, I gave back and volunteered and did finish token duty. My exercise was therefore just cycling there, a bit earlier than usual, (and in a snow/sleet shower) and back. Unless walking round and round in circles while looking after all the bags and trying to keep warm waiting for runners to finish counts. I do have a 10K race tomorrow to make up!

Day 30. 1 hour BMF class 2.7 miles run, 5.5 miles cycled.

Day 31. 2.4 miles cycled (part in snow) 1 parkrun volunteered at with a few circles paced, in the freezing cold!



Shuttle sprints.

At parents evening tonight I “ran” shuttle sprints between my sons school library, the hall and main corridor. This was because my thoughtful younger son had booked us back to back 5 minute slots so we could see all 11 teachers in as short as time as possible but without taking into account differences in location.

Fortunately his school is on a fairly compact location and he’s a good pupil so he and I were spared protracted discussions and made it out the school gates in just over the hour with GCSE predicated grades and A level choices signed off.

Job done, one worn out mother who’d earned her glass of wine.

I did also go to BMF today, and cycled home against strong winds in the rain. No wonder I’m tired tonight!

Janathon day 28.

1 hour BMF class, 3.1 miles run. 5.4 miles cycled.