A parkrun DNF!

How is that even possible? A 3 mile run and I don’t get to the end! In 14 years of running my first ever DNF, I have many DNS before due to injury or to thinking an event was on a Sunday when it was on the Saturday, but never a DNF.

Storm Callum was cancelling parkruns all over the South west and I laid in bed waiting for confirmation that Killerton was going to go ahead. Once the thumbs up were given I was up out of bed, in my kit and out the door, but my stomach was churning and even warming up was tough. I talked tactics with a fellow club member, should we follow the 27 minute pacer and then blast it at the end, or hang on to the 25 minute pacer for as long as we could. I boldly announced the radical approach of running to how I felt, which to be fair was probably the 30+ minute pace, but least I would be guaranteed to enjoy it. It was definitely not going to be a PB morning and with the weather and ground conditions how they were that was probably for the best.

Slightly late after all the announcements, we were off. At about 3/4 a mile I was aware of a young boy running by me, not much older that 5 years, he was breathing heavy, clutching his chest and moaning. I asked if he was ok and if Mum or Dad were near by, he had obviously down the ‘stranger danger’ course or the ‘beware of the mad running lady in the woods‘ course and shot off like Usain Bolt to catch up with his responsible adult, I smiled to myself and cursed his turn of speed. Then disaster struck probably due to lack of concentration, I stepped on a rock that was covered with a damp leaf and went over on my ankle. Now this happens all the time when I am running off road and my go to fix is to run it off, but the instant this happened I knew there was no running this one off, there was a crunch oh and it hurt like @$%+! I stopped immediately and was checked on by runners around me, I assured them I was fine, biting my lip and waved them on. Then commenced the walk of shame heading back to the start passing all the runners, so many of them taking the time and breath to check on me. Considering I had run less than a mile it took flipping forever to get back to the start, but I was in time to see friends get to the end. By now I knew the ankle was swollen, I could feel the trainer and sock were getting tight, but I was too scared to look. The drive home was interesting.

I removed my trainer and was greeted my the sight of my ankle looking like it had been surgically enhanced with a tennis ball and it was all very stiff. Out the window went the food shopping trip, the pop to the bank and the baking session, instead I became very friendly with my ice pack and the couch and blasted through all the TV programmes I had on record oh and managed to finish a baby quilt so not all laziness.

I desperately wanted to be greeted with an ankle full of rainbow colours this morning, after all what is the point in spraining your ankle without being able to post colourful photos on social media? Sadly I have slight discolouration, quite a bit of swelling and a whole bunch of stiffness, but no purple-yet.

Last Friday I entered a run for next weekend- 16 miles on Exmoor, got to admit that is looking doubtful, but I have volunteered to help out at Killerton, in a way to thank everyone for being so nice to me.

Cross your fingers everyone that this heals up quickly.

Posted in Devon, injured, parkrun, Running, trail running | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

To Prussia With Love

Some mornings go smoothly, sadly today was not one of those days! Having spent most of the week waking early and not getting back to sleep (in fact one morning I got up at 4 am as wide awake!) this morning I woke up early but kept falling back to sleep, I knew I couldn’t do that as had a two hour journey to Cornwall ahead of me. Eventually and later than I should, I parted company with the Duvet. I then discovered the hydration pack I had put in the freezer had leaked everywhere and knew I could not take it with me as would make me a sticky mess on the run. I convinced myself that it was not needed as only an 11 mile run, in theory this is doable without too much hydration. The trouble is I am a bit like a baby, or female relic (hers with alcohol) I like to sup on demand!! This was a eco friendly, non plastic event and knew we would be given a collapsible cup we could use at water stations, so all was not lost I hoped. On the journey down I realised I had forgotten my rain coat and my banana, lack of sleep rather than being ditsy is obviously to blame for this! I hoped the run would go smoother.

The weather was foul on the way down and even worse on arrival in Marazion, I braved the public loos and then the walk to registration and then retreated to my car, the wind was awful and of course my coat was at home. The umbrella was dangerous and I didn’t fancy doing a Mary Poppins, so a sit in the car it was until just before the off.

I love a pre event brief. I love even more a pre event brief with humour and this one was defiantly of that kind. The best line was when we were advised that the there would by food at some of the aid stations ‘but only a little, after all this is a trail run, not your Nan’s 80th’! It was a lengthy brief, but worth it.

Finally we were off, Marazion to Prussia Cove along the coastal path (except for the eroded bit), and back. In fact this is my first ever out and back event and I quite liked it. Every up I was thinking this will be a down next time and every down I was think **** I’ve got to go up this in a bit. I wasn’t a fan of the part on the sand dunes that we did twice, near the start and near the end, soft sand is a mare to run on especially when you are wearing trail trainers that resemble open toed sandals!! By South West standard the ups and downs were quite genteel, some of the styles and steps and rocky paths made things interesting, stone tracks should be approached with caution when you err on side of clumsy as I do, damp stone riddled paths with trail trainers meant I ran with my heart in my mouth for most of the 11 miles, which actually of thinking about it might be the reason I was breathing like a Buffalo!

Another great thing about an out and back is it breaks the run up and the view is different for the return leg, oh my and with St Michaels Mount to look at along with the lovely Cornish Coves, it was delightful, except for one thing – THE WIND – it was horrendous on the return leg.

The miles actually flew by, not something that happens often, it was not too strenuous a run, had a variety of terrain and I got some awesome bling and an eco cup for use on my next event, so all in all a great time was had. Now I am often to enter my next one!!!

 

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Trying to get back on it!

The running has dropped off to a trickle of late.This is not good enough, not when I have big plans next year, big, big big plans that training for needs to start NOW! So this week I have tried to get out there more and get back to running 4/5 times a week. It’s going to be tough with winter on its way, I may need to be inventive to get the miles in.

Monday night, after a wet dreary weekend, I ceased the chance and ran right from work in the sunshine. This is a better technique than the usual, drive home and think about going out whilst sat of the sofa, which I have been doing of late. I ran 12 miles on the Green Circle a footpath that loops Exeter. I think city running might be the way forward so I can run under the street lighting. No need for it Monday though as it was a lovely evening and I adopted a hydration method that I used when I lived in Essex and that is the ‘take cash and buy drink at a convenience store en route!’ In Chelmsford I used to pop a pound in my glove, now its fiver in my pocket, inflation and all that. I have run The Green Circle many times but usually on a Sunday morning and barely see anyone, this time I went through the Uni grounds just as they were kicking out. This meant weaving round intellectual youths, who gave off an aroma much like Debenhams at Christmas, glad their grants are subsidising the major fragrance brands. Next was the College grounds where the youths were more gormless than intellectual and not as strongly perfumed-fortunately. Then I hit Riverside with all the dog walkers and drone (please don’t get my bum in that!), maybe it was all the action Im not sure but the miles flew by. I must do this again.

This morning I did a wee interval session in the village, slightly hazardous as the street lights are not all on yet and my head torch is out on loan, but I did manage to keep upright so I call that successful training.

Im off to enter some events, so many to choose from in October!

 

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Purbeck16

The 29th of July I ran the Seaview17 (really 20 miles) that was over 6 weeks ago and was my last event. At some point after that my ankle started to play up, I reduced my mileage and in fact for one whole week did not run AT ALL. All of this is very shocking but in my defence was probably best to rest and I have been trying to cycle, swim (not at the same time) and stretching after running.

I have been very good and held off entering anything, but last week took the plunge and signed up for the Purbeck16. This starts in Swanage located on the south coast in Dorset. I arrived two hours before the start which gave me plenty of time to have comfort breaks, register and chill in the car.

Definitely one of the most scenic starts

The first four miles were along the coast, this was undulating but runnable, like a gentle rollercoaster for the under 5’s, unlike the Devon coast where the hills are massive, more like a rollercoaster for the hardcore thrill seekers.

Just as the course started to head inland I was shocked to find my name being called out by a couple just off the path. I turned to find if was some fellow running club members who were out on a group walk, amazing considering we were all almost two hours from home! Quick hugs and waves and off I went, nice to have some surprise support. At this point I met a lady from Haling Island, we would spend the next 13 miles playing cat and mouse, she glided by me on the hills, effortlessly and I would romp past her on the downs, each time we caught up with each other we would have a little chat, certainly made the miles pass quickly. Soon we were heading towards Corfe Castle……

and then away from it

look at the difference in the sky over maybe an hour! The views from the top were stunning, I missed taking a pic of the Poole Harbour, but did capture this looking over to Swanage and the finish

I was looking forward to the down after huge climb pretty much from mile 11 to mile 14.5 but sadly it was a rocky down where I wasn’t able to gather too much speed and when we hit the road for the final descent, I had had enough and was feeling decidedly green round the gills. Totally to be expected with the lack of any kind of training, but the ankle held out which was the main thing and the reason for giving this event ago.

I had a sports massage at the end which actually was a real blessing, the Achilles was very tender but it had taken a battering.

Great event, very professionally organised, good value, fab scenery, great marshals, plenty of water stations and the most perfect weather, I will definitely return for this one.

 

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Montacute Parkrun

Last time I did parkrun, my ankle gave up after 1 mile and I dragged it to the finish. You know you have achieved an awful time when the time keeper sees you coming and checks his stopwatch twice! I am not convinced it is the Achilles anymore, more something inside the ankle but have yet to seek professional advice preferring the rest and ignore technique. Resting has helped and as it was beginning to feel normal and less crunchy I decided a Saturday 5k was doable. I wanted to do a new one, where I could plod. I opted for Montacute.

Montacute is a National Trust property in Somerset 45 minutes away. Is an hour and a half total driving for a 5k too far? Still not sure on the answer to this. Montacute is a fantastic setting though, as I drove in to the car park I had a deja vu feeling and then realised that yes I had been there before, last time I was dressed a giraffe participating in the Yeovil Half Marathon, it was nice to return as me.

Not a bad back drop to the start is it?

Taken from parkrun FB

The course itself is butterfly shape!

Ok so maybe close one eye and it will come to you! It was all off road but the ground was so hard and bumpy bit like running on the surface of the moon if it was made of concrete. It had its fair share of undulations also but I must admit I enjoyed the route and will return next time with hubby to drag him round the house and gardens.

The run director told us at the start to right three things in the visitor book

  1. Our Name
  2. Our Local parkun
  3. The fact the their parkrun is the best

If there hadn’t been a queue to write I would have written

  1. Shaz
  2. Killerton/Exeter/Seaton/Exmouth
  3. Montacute has more sheep poo than anywhere I have run before

 

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The End

Friday was awful-weather wise. We packed the car up in between torrential downpours and set off in search of the M6. We stopped for Brekkie at the first services and decided then to head home without the detour to Ross On Wye. The rain was incessant and hubby was doing a good impression of a pirate with a wooden leg minus the parrot. The journey home took 9 hours due in part to holiday traffic and the M6 being one long roadwork. It was a long day and by the end of it I came with my own health warning!

It was a nice few days away, all over too quickly.

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The Lakes Day Five

The day did not start so well with hubby getting a flare up of his gout, something WE suffer from every once in a while. Believe me when I say it’s painful for us both! This was not helped by the meds not making the journey with us from Devon.

We carried on with the planned walk around Aira Force, waterfalls just down the road from where we are staying. We contemplated tying our good legs together and proceeding like a three legged race as we must have looked a right pair with our limps!

The Falls were lovely helped by the fact we were there before 9 am and everyone else was still in bed, I would imagine it is not so nice when it’s busy

Our Pod neighbours had recommended Grasmere so this was our next port of call. It was very nice. Oh and the Gingerbread was amazing and I don’t even like the stuff!

After lunch in a cafe on Ullswater we continued over to the other side. The sun even came out. The plan was to walk up Hallin Fell, I executed this on my own leaving the invalid in the car.

The views were stunning

The weather less so. The rain blew in and I got drenched. We returned to the Pod and I was thrilled the sun came out for its longest appearance yet.

Last night it poured ALL night and I am surprised the Pod has not floated down the valley!

Today we will pack up and head to Ross on Wye to spend the night in a HOTEL! Oh my can’t wait!

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