Monday, 30 July 2012

Summer Holiday

I'm not sure whether anyone noticed, but I haven't been around for a week or so. We've been in France for a fantastic family holiday.

France holiday

Now we're back home, but very much still on holiday. Needless to say I've been doing plenty of running, and in headline news, learning to overcome my fear of going underwater at the swimming pool! I'm also watching a lot of Olympics on tv - right now I'm loving the men's group gymnastics, and praying the GB boys can cling on for a medal.
UK holiday

Proper blogging will resume soon!

Thursday, 19 July 2012

The Olympic Torch Relay comes to town!

It started its journey all over the UK on 19th May, but this Tuesday (17th July), the Olympic Torch Relay finally reached our neck of the woods!

The children were given the afternoon off school, and spent the morning making flags and paper torches to wave in the street. There was some confusion though, as Robbie and Emma seemed to think we were attending 'the Olympics' that afternoon, rather than just seeing the flame.

There was a big party in a local park to celebrate, with free sports for the kids to try:

100m space hopper final
Robbie's version of the Olympic torch
Then we headed off to a less crowded spot to try to make sure we would actually see the torch as it went past.

We found a great spot, and waited for the convoy to arrive. First, the sponsors...

The children cheered and celebrated wildly at the sight of the Coca-Cola bus, and even got excited about seeing Lloyds Bank and Samsung. Then we waited for another 5 minutes or so and finally, there it was, strolling proudly down the road:

This particular torch-bearer was walking, not running, so we had plenty of time to have a good look at the torch and the flame.

And then, a few seconds later, it was gone and that was that! I'm so glad we saw it, as it has really made me, as well as Robbie and Emma, feel excited in anticipation of the games. Can't wait!

Monday, 16 July 2012

Last week was great because...

1. I had a better long run than the previous week. It was the same distance (10 miles), but my time was faster, and approaching the speed I ran before I got the lurgy a few weeks ago (9.08 min/miles rather than 9.17 min/miles).

2. I did my first hill run in a very long time. When we lived in Scotland it was pretty hard to go for a flat run, as there were hills in every direction, but here in Sussex there aren't so many slopes. On Friday though, I decided it had been too long since I'd tackled a proper hill, and found our nearest. It was just over a mile to get there, then up, down, turn around, up and down again and home. It felt really good and I must do that more often!

3. I ran my highest weekly mileage for a while. My aim since the start of June has been to run about 20 miles or more a week, but that plan was shafted by my cold. Last week though, I ran 23.2 miles, which I was pretty happy with.

4. I fitted in a good bike ride too! It was windy and slow, but good fun.

5. Robbie got his end of year school report! He is doing well in most subjects - and obviously behaves better at school than he does at home - but his reading is really good. He has started to really enjoy reading recently, and he's well above the standard that he should be, no doubt because he takes such pleasure in it. I don't mind that he's only average at computing...

Robbie reads to Emma, Granny and Grandad

6. Emma said to me on Friday after I picked her up 'Did you go for a run when I was at nursery?' She knows that's what I usually do. I said yes, and she said. 'Brilliant. Because that's healthy'. They have been learning about how to be healthy, and her teachers had confirmed that stretching, eating fruit and running were all healthy practices. It was nice to have Emma's approval!

Emma and a not so healthy drink

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

2012 Goals - review

So way back on 6th January, I posted a list of goals for this year. I was wary of being too ambitious or too specific in case of unforseen events (i.e. a return of plantar fasciitis or other injury). As we are now over half way through the year, it seems like a good time to see how those goals are looking so far...

1. P.B. at Half Marathon
Oh yeah baby! Totally nailed this one in March when I improved on my previous time by about 12 minutes - get in!

2. Go under 2 hours at Half Marathon
Oh yeah baby! That PB mentioned above was 1h58m38s, easily under 2 hours and one of my favourite racing experiences ever.

3. Run over 600 miles
Barring huge mishap, I should definitely do this. I set the bar pretty low, as injury only allowed me to run 405 miles in 2011. But touch wood, I've been lucky so far, and by the end of June, had logged 465 miles run. Now of course I'm wondering how close I can get to 1000 miles...

4. Run more races
Yes! Including 3 parkruns, I've run 6 races so far (compared to 4 in total last year). I was wondering about trying to fit in one a month, but I've decided not to overdo it recently, as I felt that I was dragging the family out to wait (often in the rain) while I ran, so I'm giving them a break, at least for this month. I've got a lot I'd like to do over the next 6 months though.

5. Keep up the cross-training
Ah, not great this one. The trouble with the cycling is that whenever I lose a chance to workout (usually due to a school holiday or having to work), it's the cycling that gives way. I've been running so well, that I've been trying to keep that mileage up and dropped the biking. However, I said that I aimed to 'cycle once or twice a week, depending on how much I'm running', and in 26 weeks I've totalled 22 bike rides, so not far off!

6. Do more Pilates and weight-training
A big fat NO! Again, this has lost out to running whenever I have the time, but it's something that I'm intending to address in September, when Emma starts school, and I have a bit more time. Probably. (I might just try and run more...)

7. Keep Plantar Fasciitis at bay
So far so good, through luck rather than judgement, and making sure I do plenty of stretching whenever I can be bothered. Whoop!

Garmin report 1/1/12 - 30/6/12

Those are my running stats up to 30th June. So I'm absolutely delighted with how my running has gone so far this year (and the Garmin's claim that I've supposedly burned over 45,000 calories is a huge bonus!). Fingers crossed that I can keep running at a similar rate for the rest of the year, and I promise I'll try to fit more cross-training in!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Running, Riding, Wimbledon

I got back on top of things this week, with a 10 mile run on Monday. This was after 2 weeks of shorter 'long runs', so I was really pleased to get those miles done. It was no better than that though, as the speed was NOT good! I could only average 9.17 min miles, when I was managing around 9 min miles for the same distance before I caught a cold.

Anyway, I ran three more times in the week, all before breakfast, and totalled 20.7 miles for the week, so back to the twenties - yay!

On Tuesday afternoon I went for a little bike ride. My legs were tired after Monday's run, and it was windy, but it was a new route, and I enjoyed it. The rain just about held off  until I got home, which made a nice change.

Finding a spot under the bridge before it rains

Less of that this week, as I've been feeling much fitter, but I have managed to watch a lot of the tennis. I follow Wimbledon on tv every year, and this year has been a belter. I'm typing this during a rain delay in the final - a men's final which includes a British player for the first time in 74 years. I love Andy Murray, and I really hope he does well, but Federer is a pretty formidable opponent. It's great to have a British player in the final at least. Come on Andy!

Picnic in front of the tv while we watch tennis!

Ran: 20.7 miles
Cycled: 10 miles
Watched: lots of tennis matches

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

June Rundown

I started June with high hopes of increasing my mileage, aiming to run a 10 mile long run each week, and average over 20 miles a week. Things didn't quite work out that way though. I started off well, but when I got a cold, I missed a lot of miles.

Altogether, I've run 5 times less than planned due to first the cold, and then a week of congestion-fueled headaches, followed by a week of just feeling tired! What a party pooper that all was. So although I still got some long runs done, I totally didn't hit my planned weekly mileage, and in fact June ended up being my second lowest mileage month, after May. It also included Half Term holidays, which didn't help, and I hardly got out on my bike at all. Bummer.

So much for the idea of building up the miles. I'm going to carry this goal over to July, and hope I don't get struck down by illness, injury, plague or other. The final week of July is our summer holiday, so I'm hoping to maintain some good running despite being in a cottage in France. No excuses!

Although the number of miles run is disappointing, June wasn't all bad. It seems a long time ago now, but at the start of June I ran a trail race, and won my first ever prize as 3rd female. I hope it won't be the last time I win something - as long as I keep entering really small races I'm in with a chance!

So that was June:

Ran 15x = 72.4 miles
Cycled 3x = 16.1 miles
1 Race
1 Prize - 3rd Female!

Onwards and upwards...

Wave goodbye to being ill!