Woolcombe Dunes Parkrun

I am not one for Parkrun tourism, or for traveling 90 mins to run 5k, but Saturday I did both. Woolacombe Dunes has just opened for Parkrun business and is on week 4 and with the new job meaning Saturday working it was time to utilise this last free Saturday and make the most of it.

The original plan was to incorporate the run in a family day out but like so many plans involving the madams, this did not pan out, this coupled with hubby not taking his gloves, literally meant drive up, run, drive back!

The road to the coast is to a Roman Road as I am to Paula Radcliffe and as I am not the greatest of passengers I arrived feeling a little green around the gills. We stopped at the beach so I could use the facilities but sadly these were barricaded up for the winter! We continued up the hill working on the theory that there might be a loo in the car park, on checking with a volunteer it appears not. Now there was no way I can run without first having a comfort break and that is after usually travelling 20 mins, after 90 mins it would be disastrous, dam those kids with big heads. A bush was suggested and off I went in search, harder than you would think!

Woolacombe is one of our pre Devon living days favourite places, something to do with the massive beach!

Beautiful and simply the best place to be with three young Madams, however my love for this place was about to be tested.

The run started well, down hill on a concrete if somewhat rocky road before sharply veering right on to a dirt track, still going in the right direction (downwards) (found myself wondering if we would have to climb this bit later, we did) then it was a left turn on to a track on the dunes. Ever tried running on dunes? Well my advice would be don’t, you can live a fulfilled life without this experience so don’t add this to a bucket list. Half a mile on this before we hit the beach. Phew, that will be easier now I thought.

I love to be proved wrong (no I don’t really but anyway) oh and I was wrong, some of the sand was compact and great, but a majority of it was slightly soft (well under my post Christmas tonnage it was) so all the time you are going backwards working hard to propel yourself forwards. If I was to try running up hill in treacle I would imagine that it would feel just like this, but more sticky and messy obviously. I must admit at this moment though a lump formed in my throat, like I needed that, but presented with the scene above, I thought this is just like being in Chariots of Fire (cue the slow mo part) if I could have hummed a few notes I would have but instead swallowed the lump and suppressed the tears and tried to live in the moment for the WHOLE MILE.

Next obstacle on the 5k run was the Sand Dune mountain! Like whose bright idea was this?

Please note the quality of the photo brought about by the need of a defibrillator at this point. Not sure how I got up there but I did and was very grateful for the levelling out of the course but not so much for there being more sand dune running followed by an up hill finish! Seriously thought someone is trying to kill me off here, now I know I am not at my fittest at the moment but that was one of my slowest Parkrun’s EVER, I am hoping that others find it tough also.

Personally I can’t wait to go back, despite all the moaning I loved it, the challenge on the best beach in the South West, the scenery, truly one to do for the experience rather than the PB. But next time I will get that PB, not that, that is going to be too hard though!

 

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My life in pics

The ankle is mending but the above captures my feelings on it perfectly. Granted it has not been 7 years, but it has been way too long for my liking.  (However I did run a total of 10 miles at the weekend-so maybe I should stop moaning.)

Christmas is on its way-in case you did not know so much time has been spent preparing for the big day, including the erection of this

Prelit tree with Ikea type instructions resulted in a two-hour build! But anyway its up, shortbread has been baked, the list of other things to be done is endless!

On the work front things are set to change in the new year and this picture captures my feelings on this

the words I would use are deliriously happy! Not willing to impart details just yet but will dish the dirt in 2019 and I might even unveil my big running plans at the same time!

See you in 2019, going to be a year of adventures big and small, I hope.

Happy Festive season and all the best for 2019

 

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Healthy Eating

For the past 6 months I have eaten like I have been running 50 miles a week, when sadly the reality, due to one thing or another it is less than a third than that most weeks, not surprisingly this has added curves to my curves. You know its bad when not even your elbows are pointy anymore. So two weeks ago (in line with the running ban desperate measures were needed) I started to eat better. No cake, no biscuits and a reduction in carbs, a fortnight later I am still battling on.

The battle is real, not helped my hubby and work colleagues…………..

  • Bad news at work meant chips being ordered at lunch time, did I want some? No thanks
  • Hubby went food shopping- want a jam doughnut? No thank you I’m eating healthy.
  • Line manager was away, work colleague purchased me a Dairy Milk bar to celebrate -I put it in my bag and brought home for Madam
  • Hubby “lets get Chinese takeaway on Saturday night to save you cooking” Nice thought thank you Darling but no thanks I am eating healthy, remember?
  • Sunday morning the weather was lush and hubby suggests a walk and then cake at my favourite cake place (favourite due to its location and epic cake portions!) I removed my hands from his neck before I squeezed too hard and agreed to a cup of tea only! (Although I placed the order and left proximity of the cake QUICK before I caved)

Amazingly despite all the temptations put in my way I have resisted, which to be fair is nothing short of a miracle! But needs must and at some point when I get the all clear to run miles I need to be able to run rather than roll!

On the running front, I have managed 10 minutes on the treadmill, and was then allowed to up to 20 mins. Its a start but must admit, its getting on my nerves now, I want to get out to the fields and run, fingers crossed that will be soon.

 

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It was going well

When I last blogged I had been on a run and came back feeling positive, the day was cold but bright and the run went well, so much to be positive about. Sadly this attitude did not last long.

The next morning I got up early, eager for a long run, lolloping over the countryside of Devon, however I racked up my shortest run EVER. I got to the end of the cul-de-sac, the pain on the inside of my ankle was unbelievable and I turned the early morning air blue with a long stream of expletives and walked back home, goodness knows what the neighbours thought of that.

Having previously helped the physio pay off his mortgage, clearly now was time to contribute  to the conservatory! I fired off an email quick, after a negotiation with work I managed to make an appointment for later that week.

As it was a new injury, I underwent a thorough interrogation question session first, when did it happen, where does it hurt, have you RICED and how soon after did you first run. It was going so well to the last question, although he did not look up from typing I could read his thought process and it went something like this ‘you stupid @£%!’

There followed some inspection, prodding and poking and the diagnosis of torn deltoid ligament not to be confused with the deltoid muscle in the shoulder the ligament is located on the inside of your ankle. He zapped it for a bit with his laser, massaged the calf and then put me on the antigravity treadmill, this basically involves getting strapped in some very unflattering shorts and then zipped on to machine before being inflated with hot air! Interesting and wrong on so many levels. The idea is that it takes the weight off your joints and then you can exercise and keep fitness up, however the 5 minutes I was on there is not going to do anything for my fitness, obviously, but I guess it could be something I do (at a price) if I was worried about loosing fitness. For the record, I’m not worried YET!

He issued his orders-a list of exercises to do oh and the dreaded ‘no running for two weeks’ order. I am 10 days through this almost and must admit going better than expected. By that I mean I am still married and so far have resisted putting Madam under the patio so I classify this as a positive and a miracle.

Back to physio on Monday fingers crossed he gives me the all clear. Hoping normal service will be resumed shortly.

 

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Injury Update

So two weeks ago I sprained my ankle at parkrun, a leafy rock was to blame and a lack of  concentration on my part.

If you are squeamish look away now but this was the ankle three days after the event

DSCN3124.JPG

the word elephant was widely used in relation to my ankle, on way too may occasions for my liking by my nearest and dearest. The ankle never developed a glorious purple bruise, sadly all I had was a yellow tinge which made it look like I had jaundice or had been chain-smoking with my toes for 20 years, very disappointing!

Pressured by the relics and CJ I did swing by A&E on my way to work one morning. I was slightly worried by the fact there wasn’t any magazines to read while I waited, but there was a book-case full of paperbacks, not a great sign. Fortunately I was x-rayed and processed in an hour, the doctor informed me the bones were all in tact but seeing as he was 18 years old I am not sure I can believe him. He did say I could run once I could walk in a straight line, so have given up wine and seem to be managing fine!

This morning I ran the lanes of East Devon, it was freezing with clear blue skies and gorgeous autumn colours, my favourite running conditions, I am hoping for more tomorrow with an extra hour to play with. Might be time to break in my new trainers, new sports bra, new high viz top, that’s the problem with not running, leaves too much time to surf the web.

 

 

 

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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.

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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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