Thursday, 26 April 2012


On Sunday I ran past the entrance to Alice Holt.  Alice Holt is our local forestry commission woodland.  A beautiful place that plays host to the annual Bolt Round The Holt, picnics with children, walks with dogs and where many a local child has learnt to cycle.  As I plodded, painfully and slowly, towards Farnham I mused that Alice Holt could make a good parkrun venue.  There are loads of paths through the woods, plenty of car parking but the requirement for a place to have coffee left me wondering if the rather basic 'Forest Centre' would be able to accommodate the needs of many ravenous runners.  From looking at the website, it appears that the café has had a bit of a makeover recently, so maybe it would be just the ticket!

Yesterday evening I received my 'parkrun newsletter.'   In it there was a call for people who might be interested in volunteering to set up a new parkrun at Alice Holt.  A parkrun 4 miles away from me sounds ideal!  And being involved in setting up a new parkrun would be very exciting.  But Basingstoke parkrun feels like home to me! I've made so many new friends there and been made to feel part of a community in a way I never imagined possible.  Of course the same thing might well happen at a new venue that I choose to attend on a regular basis, but I'd always wonder what was going on over in Basingstoke.

I think I've decided what I'll do.  I will be enthusiastic about helping to get this parkrun off the ground.  I will tell all my local running friends about it.  I will most certainly run the first run.  After that I will run at Alice Holt once a month, and volunteer there on occasion too (how else will I get to know people?) but keep Basingstoke as my home run.

All this presupposes that I can still run!  After an 8.5 mile run on Sunday, which was painful for almost every step of the way, I didn't run again until this evening.  I had a sports massage on Tuesday and felt really good afterwards.  I was advised not to run on Wednesday (by the masseuse) which was fine as I was out for supper, so tonight was my first run in what seems like a long time.

It still hurts.  In fact my legs seem to be developing more aches and pains than ever before.  I managed 3.3miles - just!  It seems I have made the right decision not to run the Bracknell Half Marathon on Sunday.  In fact, I don't think I'll get a long run this weekend at all, as it is my youngest son's birthday on Sunday.  I may manage parkrun on Saturday, but whatever happens this is going to be a very light mileage week for me.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Not a happy (Easter) bunny

It is Easter Sunday, the weather is cool and dry if a little overcast.  Perfect running weather.  There are no shops open to distract me.  The children are happily occupied with cramming as much chocolate into their faces as they can.  Husbando is doing 'stuff' at the shop and I am free to do what I want.

Or I would be, if it wasn't for a wee bit of pain in my right leg.  I want to go for a run.  I need to go for a run.  But I can't.  I did parkrun yesterday morning and it hurt.  I've not been 'right' since I fell over three weeks ago, and during the week I'd noticed some niggles in my right thigh, but nothing I couldn't 'run through' or so I thought.  But yesterday was different.  Not only did I get overtaken by a man pushing a three year old in a buggy, my leg hurt like hell all the way around.  I should have stopped, but that doesn't seem to be in my nature.  Not only did I finish (poor time of 24mins 57secs), go back to run with and encourage my youngest son to get a new PB, I also ran 2 miles from shop to home later in the day.

This was not the cleverest thing I have ever done!  I've just terrified myself by reading about hamstring injuries on the internet.  I don't want to think about how long it could take to get better.  I have a half marathon booked at the end of this month that I really want to do, and instead of getting a 12 mile run done today I am in bed with an ice pack.  It hurts to walk, it is more painful to run than to walk and I want to wave a magic wand and make it better now.

As I type this, part of me can't believe how upset I am about not being able to run.  That's the part of me that had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, out of the door when I started running 3 years ago.  The part of me that hated PE at school and who would have sold her soul for a note that said I couldn't do PE for 3 weeks!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Running rituals and other musings.

A while back I blogged about running superstitions.  Mainly because Husbando has a habit of running in certain directions, touching various lamp posts etc.  and I admitted to one of my own.  I have since discovered another running ritual.  While waiting for the Olympic Park Run to start on Saturday my friend, who used to compete as a show jumper at an international level, admitted that at many venues she had a 'lucky loo!' She'd wait ages for this loo - even if other loos were free!  She was adamant that I must have some sort of ritual, and she was absolutely right - I just hadn't thought about it as a ritual.

After every race I put my used race number back into my box file of 'running stuff.'  I leave the four safety pins attached to the number.  I only take them off on the morning of the next race when I attach them to the new race number.  I reckon these same four safety pins have been used on every race I have entered.

I'm still on a high after Saturday!  I found some BBC video of the day here that gives a flavour of the event.  My next challenge is the Bracknell Half Marathon.  I had forgotten about this, or not so much forgotten, but put it to the back of my mind.  I certainly haven't been training with it in mind - and have been beset with set backs over the last few weeks.  I need to build my distance so that I can at least finish the 13.1 miles!

With this in mind I did 7.75miles on Sunday afternoon.  Beautiful running weather, sunny but cool!  It was a slow run, but everything seemed to be working and I really enjoyed my hour and a bit to myself in the early evening sunlight.  Today has been action packed.  I wonder how I manage to find time to go to work when there are so many other things that need doing.  I've done loads of laundry, met a friend for coffee, done some food shopping, met up with Husbando and an associate of his for lunch, changed the sheets on the beds, taken a child to a birthday party, picked up Husbando from work, picked up a child from a birthday party, cooked supper for the children and then later for Husbando and me.

In there, somehow, I managed to shoe horn in a bit of exercise!  I ran just over 2 miles to the gym, then did 3.3km of speed work on the treadmill (intervals 10kph/15kph) and then, as I was waiting for Husbando I did another 2.2km of hill work - just to try out the settings.  Hill work on a treadmill is much easier than on the open road - mainly, I think, because you can't see the hill that faces you!

I've come home to relax in front of the TV and try to stretch out my ham string, which is tighter than a tight thing in a tight place!  I have a sports massage booked on Wednesday - it can't come soon enough!