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Monday morning hurts

13 Jun

If you’ve ever put petrol in a diesel car you’ll know how my legs felt this morning.

Egged on by twitter power from @alanjslater @Runningthetube @kaz_wright I made an uncharacteristic morning gym visit.

Hopping on the treadmill I was feeling pretty smug – look at me eating healthy breakfast and exercising BEFORE work.

Only the exercising part didn’t go so well due to shin-splinty legs and a weird pain in my thighs.

I don’t quite know what went wrong, but it really was painful and I decided to stop running before I did some damage, instead walking 3k just so I didn’t feel like the whole trip had been a waste.

That made the legs feel a lot more normal, so I had a bit of a crosstrainer session as it meant no pounding my bones into the floor.

I still feel cheated though – all that effort to get there and all legs can do is splutter to an undignified stop.

This is either (a) due to the fact I never run in the morning and my body was in shock, (b) I have been working too many crazy late shifts at work and need to calm things down or (c) I’m a person who doesn’t exercise enough trying to exercise everyday.

A, B or C? I think I know the answer…


Don’t stew on it

2 Jun

The full taxidermy story is explained here

It’s not everyday that I write a news story which involves taxidermy, but today was one of those rare days.

It’s tomorrow’s front page so I can’t say any more, except that my working day which should have finished at 3pm spiraled into a 12 hour marathon ending not when I left the office, but an hour later once a contact had given me the go-ahead to send a photographer to get pictures.

So when my thoughts turned to Juneathon day two it was 8.30pm and I still hadn’t had dinner and tomorrow’s 5.30am alarm call was already looming on the horizon.

Hettie our new puppy had been home alone for an hour and was going crazy when I arrived back, giving me the sad puppy eyes treatment when she saw my trainers. To make matters worse I could smell stew was wafting from the kitchen.

But as the taxidermy saga had been stressful with everyone in the newsroom wanting an update every five minutes I was surprisingly up for a run to draw a line under the madness of it all.

The idea of concentrating on something – anything – else was suddenly very appealing.

Because of the whimpering puppy (she’s only eight weeks old) I kept it short, but the sun was still out and George Michael and I had a little singalong to Faith as I chugged up the hill towards stew and dumplings. Lovely.

Distance: 1.3 miles
Time: 0:10:00
Pace: 07:41

My big fat Janathon effort

25 Jan

It was blowing a hoolie out this morning, so I wimped out took the  decision to reorganise my run until later in the day.

Which then meant there was the small question of work and my French class to take  care of before trainer time.

Ray, our long suffering French teacher, today exacted his revenge by  springing a surprise test on us. He’ll regret that when he marks my  paper.

So with thoughts of French vocab, a pleasing smugness that Sky Sports has acted upon its HR policy and the incentive of another compulsive episode of My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding if I ran fast enough, I set off.

Tonight I opted for three miles along a straight out and back route – not the most inspiring choice, but I wanted to run further than 1.3 miles, and in the dark I prefer to stick to main roads.

I’d be lying if I said it was a really enjoyable run, but it was OK, especially once I got past the escape route diversion and was thus committed to the whole lot.

A runaway puppy provided a bit of drama – I helped to herd “Scamp” back towards its owner who was chasing it across the road in her dressing gown, so that’s my good deed for the day.

Turning back towards home, running against the clock to see what kind of criminal frocks the show would serve up this week was very motivating and I made it back with 12 minutes to spare – just enough time to stretch, shower and assume position on the sofa for the jaw-dropping BFGW experience.

Distance: 3 miles
Time: 0:32:00
Pace: respectable

What a difference a day makes

13 Jan

I went to bed a defeated woman last night – so today I was determined to win at something. Anything.

Regular readers will have noticed that yesterday I was scraping the barrel to find something to blog without lapsing into a humourless wallow in my own woes.

But that was a different day.

Bent on turning things around I set my alarm super early, washed my hair, troweled on makeup and a smile, made really good, strong lavazza coffee on the hob, indulged in a crumpet and scratched the cat’s tummy all before leaving the house. Watch her go!

There was no looking back.

I made a running date with the charming @lyndsay_young who I knew would spur me onto greatness.

She and I are two thirds of a trio running the Southport Maddog 10k at the start of February – so this is shit is serious now.

We met at the Pump House on the Albert Dock and ran all along the waterfront.

By day or night it’s the most beautiful route because on the way out you have gorgeous views over the River Mersey to Wirral. On the return the city’s greatest hits – the three graces, Liver Birds soaring highest, Anglican cathedral, the space pod of radio city tower and the Catholic wigwam cathedral are all laid out before you.

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If you don’t like running there, then you don’t like running anywhere as Samuel Johnson almost once said.

I used to work in the same office as Lyndsay so while we still had the breath for it we got a power gossip in before lapsing into a companionable silence, during which my thoughts drifted off down the river to a vague happy place.

Oh and inspired by MrLumpyBadger and his ability to blog FROM the treadmill I took a few wobbly dark photos along the way.

We warmed down, stretched and parted ways after a magnificent 10k – I had no idea we’d covered so much ground – extremely satisfying to map afterwards.

I hopped on a bus back home and then got off with the intention to walk the short distance back to the house, but the ipod gods selected Muse at random, so when I got to the top of the hill I thought ‘sod it’ and ran downhill to my front door.

Now I’ve conquered the world I’m just about ready for bed. Night.


6 Jan

In a fit of fluey delirium I have signed up for Janathon.

I know I’m six days late to the party and have spent the past two days under a heap of blankets with a raging temperature – but why miss out on all the fun just because of that?

My sickbed update is that at 4pm today I was able to eat a plain digestive biscuit without suffering any unmentionable side effects and my temperature seems to be held in check by the paracetamol.

Therefore I’m of the opinion that it’s a 48 hour bug whose time is almost up – and better still NHS Direct agree. I had a day off scheduled tomorrow anyway, so assuming I continue to feel better my grand plan is to eat breakfast and then go outside (for the first time in two days) and get some fresh air with a very easy one mile circuit of my home – walking.

I’ve checked the rules and walking is permitted, and frankly I think for the sake of my mental health I need a change of scenery. If I walk in a circle around the house I will never be more than two minutes away should I have a funny turn, but I don’t think I will.

I’m bored, ravenously hungry and need something to look forward to. Hello Janathon.

Sick day

5 Jan

I’ve got the lurg and had to phone in sick today – really annoying for three reasons:

1. I don’t want to die of swine flu

2. I was supposed to be covering a fascinating court case and now someone else gets to do it

3. I had to cancel tonight’s run along the Liverpool waterfront and let someone else down.

So I’m feeling sorry for myself and counting down to my next dose of paracetamol. The only good thing about today was watching the drama Eric and Ernie based on the early years of Morcambe and Wise under a pile of blankets on the sofa.

If you didn’t see it over Christmas I implore you to do so before it vanishes from iplayer. Daniel Rigby is excellent as Eric and the clever script avoids dodgy tribute act territory and instead captures a real sense of the fondness the pair had for one another. Not quite a cure for the lurg, but nonetheless a bit of sunshine for the soul.

New year, new trainers

3 Jan

My assault on the January sales went like clockwork.

I am now the owner of so much day-glo I could be a convincing backing dancer for Cher Lloyd on the X Factor tour.

My best work was done in Sports Direct where everything was really really cheap – hurrah! I came out with two pairs of lycra running leggings, one of them allegedly for men but as they fitted me I decided it was a case of mistaken identity and nabbed them for £8.

asics trainers

As I was leaving I spied a luminous yellow shower-proof running jacket for £6. Sold to the lady who likes to run. To refer to it as “high vis” would be an understatement.

RAF brother made fun of my current running trainers. “Them?” he asked with a tone of derision in his voice which can only be described as patronising. “Yes.” I said defensively, “Them.”

But on reflection the pink beauties displayed proudly at the top of this very blog were coming to the end of their natural lifespan and it was probably time we went our separate ways.

So out with the old, in with the new. A smart pair of Asics 2150 gel trainers are now mine for half the price in the sale.

I’ve always been sceptical that trainers or other kit makes any difference. If you’re a slow runner, you’re a slow runner, right? Wrong.

I took them out for a two mile test run and I zipped around noticeably faster but without any noticeable increase in effort. You know those pictures of rain drops pinging back up from the pavement in Indian monsoons? Well that’s how my feet felt. And as quickly as they rebounded I put them back down and before I knew it my two miles were done. The gel soles were recommended by RAF brother, and I can see why.

Before I left Liverpool there was just time to pop into Blacks where I was delighted to find North Face hyvent waterproof trousers for half price too. No, of course I’m not thinking of running in them – but I will be taking them out on some nice long rambles which must count as “training” in some way. Surely?

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