Glow in the Park (Road to Bournemouth Week 3)

I started this week with a 10k run with just one days rest after running Brutal and this may not have been the most sensible way to plan my runs this week, as my knee was left very sore after I was done and I spent a lot of the afternoon with an ice pack on it before hitting Bootcamp in the evening. I’m still fighting the laziness that has crept in over the past few months this week, and after two days of Bootcamp I sacked off Wednesday’s circuits class and took an extra rest day, this is still a bit of a work in progress. A PT session and a gentle 5km run on Friday completed my training for the week and then it was on to my “race”.

Saturday evening saw me travelling to Maidstone with my husband, Mum, brother, sister-in-law and 6 year old niece for a Glow in the Park fun run. With our head bands and head torches, and painted faces we found the warm up space and got dancing to the music that was pumping.

Ready to glow

It was chilly as night drew in, and once dusk had fallen we were set off in batches of about 500 people (the race had over 4500 people in attendance) and we were off onto the dark course.

A sea of head torches

As you made your way around the 2.5km lap you went through arches of speakers pumping out tunes to dance to, disco lights, lasers and strobes. We soon reached the foam zone, where they were playing music and pumping copious amounts of foam into the air, my little niece was in her element, throwing handful’s of foam at us, in places the foam up to my knees, as we jogged off after this through more disco lights to warm up a bit, next we came to the paint zone, where people with big water pistols shot (very watered down) UV paint through the air (and if you were unlucky right into your face). It was cold and wet, but didn’t stick to your clothing so no running kit was harmed in the running of this race.

Disco lights

After this, more music, and then through a zone shooting fire into the air and pumping smoke, and then it was through a time tunnel complete with a DJ and more music, and onto the second lap.

On the second lap the foam zone had spread well beyond its area, with a sea of foam leading on from the area, the ground thick with white.

Foam everywhere

It really was starting to get chilly by now, as we weren’t moving particularly fast with my niece in tow (although she was now happily settled on her dad’s shoulders) and we were pretty happy to finish our second lap and cross the finish, where the MC gave little Bethany a high five, and we collected certificates and a pot of noodles each before making our way back to the car park.

Finished with the squad

We had a lot of fun doing this run, although I wish I had thought to stick my dryrobe in the car, it was pretty chilly by the time we were done, and it was really nice to do something like this as a family (my poor nephew was not happy at being left at home with Granddad as he is still to young to go, the age limit is 6+) So if you want an actual fun, fun-run to do with the family, check and see if there is one of these near you and get signed up.

Week 3 running total: 20km

Brutal Run Windmill Hill. (Road to Bournemouth Week 2)

I went into my second week of training coming off the back of a bit of heavy weekend, with too much drinking and bad food choices, leaving me feeling sluggish and unfit, and the scales being especially unkind, however on the Monday the training plan said 6km run, so 6km it was going to be.

I travelled out of Hastings to nearby Brede High Woods with my mum and went out for a very pleasant trail run. Kudos to my mum who I forgot to tell I wanted to run 6km to, and who despite falling over in the first 30 seconds of our run, picked herself up, dusted herself off and did the whole distance!

Mum running down a bluebell covered hill

It was stunning in the woods, with bluebells covering the ground, the sun shining through the clouds and it was a really enjoyable run.

Following from this it was a lay off from running until the weekend where I had my first race back since my knee enforced time out and I was heading to run another Brutal Run 10k, this time based at Windmill Hill.

After a bit of a shocking journey we ran the risk of not making the start line on time, but our luck changed and we managed to get our numbers just in time for the warm up.

I was joining my friend Jayne and some of her friends for this run, a gentle no pressure trot around some pretty trails, well, as gentle as it could be considering the hills in this race, some of which were alomst vertical!

Cresting a Hill

It was really fun jogging around in good company, enjoying the technical trails, it was warm and I was looking forward to the moment we would get to splash through some cold water, which came soon enough, somewhere after the 5km point, three nice cool water crossings to sooth the legs.

Laughing hard and loving life

Towards the end of the run my knee was starting to cause me pain, but I was pleased how long it lasted out before then. Hills were the worst, but I struggled on, and I always have loved running downhill and there were plenty of these too.

Soon the finish line was in sight and we picked up the pace for a sprint finish, crossing the line together and grabbing a photo before going to get changed, then all heading to a nearby cafe for a huge all day breakfast before tacking the journey home.

At the finish

Week 2 running total: 16km

Reset, Rebuild, and Start Training – I’ve a Marathon to Run!

Life’s a journey, but sometimes it’s easy to get a little lost along the way, especially without a goal to aim for, and that’s where I’ve been stuck for a while. Lost. Bouncing from this race to that race at random, no direction to my training, and a whole lot of injury.

I’ve had ankle injuries, shin injuries and most recently a very painful knee injury which stopped me running for a month while I attempted to let it heal. While on my self imposed rest I realised that I needed a new goal, something to work towards, and a proper plan to allow this to happen without me damaging myself any further.

I did some race research and picked out some that I would like to do, a mixture of road runs and trail races, and, crucially, I found myself a goal. The Bournemouth Marathon at the beginning of October. I also sat down and worked out a training plan that took me from sitting on my ass to (hopefully) being able to run this race, increasing my running slowly week on week to avoid further injury, something I’ve never done before, always being a bit ad-hock with my running and just doing what I feel like, when I feel like it.

Training plan – draft 1

I ran my plan past Adam, my PT, and he approved it, and it started this week with my first run in over a month. I taped up my knee and did a 5k jaunt around the park that I was under instruction to keep slow (although It didn’t actually end up quite as slow as I had intended, but I certainly didn’t push too hard either) It was tough going, the weather was warm, I had just come back from a holiday so I wasn’t very well fuelled and I was feeling a bit under the weather, but I got it done and it felt good to be out running again.

If it’s not on Strava it didn’t happen!

I supplemented this with a HIIT class later the same day, then made sure to ice my knee well that evening. It ached but wasn’t too painful.  Sadly that “feeling a bit under the weather” turned into something a bit worse, laying me up for a day or so, causing me to miss one planned workout, but the plan for running is still good, with a further 5k planned for Friday, and another run on Saturday to give me a weekly total for my first week back of about 15km, a far cry from what I was doing, but a good gentle start to build on.

Ice and Tape

I intend to blog my journey along the way, sometimes about training and often I suspect about the other races that are being booked in as part of the running plan, the first of which will be the next Brutal 10, building to a half marathon in June, and another in September and culminating in the Marathon in October.

I’ve needed to get my act together for a while now, it’s been obvious to quite a few people that I’ve been struggling, and having a goal to aim for should really help me get my fitness back on track, shift some of the weight I’ve gained, and help me get back into a more positive mindset, as running is good therapy and relief from my stressful job and anxiety. I’m looking forward to this journey, nervous about more injury, and my ability to complete a “proper marathon” one where I don’t stop every 5 miles, and wondering about my discipline to complete the longer runs once they start to come around, but this should be good for me, and will be a great personal achievement if I get there, so, watch this space…