Tag Archives: Snow

Giving it some welly

7 Jan

Drugs. That’s what it took to get me out of the house for day one* of Janathon.

I’m still feeling rotten with this unshakeable fluey/gastro/fever thing so my Janathon exercise for today was a brisk walk to the chemist in a snow storm.

I layered up and then layered up some more and then dug out the wellies as the snow flakes were falling thick and fast.

Just as I was about to leave the house I remembered the amazing hatphones so went back for them too. For those of you scratching your head and mouthing the word “hatphones?”  they were an inspired gift from my friend Portia.

It’s what you get when you cross a bobble hat and its cosy ear flaps with a pair of headphones – perfect for snowy weather.

In the pharmacy I was cheered by the sight of people who looked more ill than me, until the thought dawned that I was probably inhaling their germs so I made a swift exit with what will hopefully prove to be healing medication.

As I plodded up the hill towards home I saw paramedics scooping some poor sod into an ambulance and thought “I hope it’s just a nasty sprain”.

The playground of the primary school near my home was completely empty as I passed it, which seemed a shame as there was so much potential for snowball throwing and snowmen building. Instead there were two middle-aged men in high-vis vests probably worrying themselves about health and safety.

Distance: 1.5 miles
Time: 0:25:35
Pace: trudge

*technically day seven

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Shock and thaw

29 Dec

I was over the snow: First it was pretty, but it quickly became slushy, then grey, then slippy and it stopped me from running for ages, leaving me with no choice but to eat a third helping of Christmas pud, a bag of chocolate pennies, mince pies…the list goes on.

It pretended to thaw a few days ago but then froze up again overnight so that even running on grass was to reenact Todd Carty’s contribution to Dancing on Ice (the Youtube sensation below).

Anyway, the rain came down and the snow gave up and now, finally, I can go for a run.

Which is good news firstly because I was fed up of trudging to work in these conditions.

Snowy conditions in the Swiss Alps

Laura trekking in the Swiss Alps

And secondly because I have NEW trainers. In fact I’ve got a heap of new running kit courtesy of the January sales.

I’m off out now to put it all through its paces.

Family run fun

24 Dec

My younger brother is in the RAF, he’s home for Christmas and he likes to run. Brilliant.

RAF brother’s arrival is the perfect kick in the proverbial. I’ve been absent from the gym all week because of work and today with ice and snow on the pavements and Christmas looming a run wasn’t looking likely either.

Until the brains behind this operation came up with a plan. RAF brother said interval sprint training on the field nearby would be a good idea. It’s grassy, so the snow wouldn’t be dangerous and slippy and although it’s still freezing we’d do just six shuttle runs so there wouldn’t be time to get cold.

We sprinted 400m resting for 1:30 six times over, so roughly a mile and a half. The idea was to go flat out and then recover quickly, thus improving fitness.

I started too fast and had to walk to complete the first stretch. The field is very uneven – we weren’t running on a track, but on grass which was covered in about three inches of slushy show.

Learning from my mistake, I ran slower – but still at the top end of my normal running range – and didn’t have to resort to walking again. By the end my legs weren’t at all tired, but I could feel my heart hammering away – proof that it is a great aerobic workout.

“When you get to the bin it’s the final stretch so give it some beans,” RAF brother advised as we set off on our last 400m. Perhaps he thought I was holding back. I wasn’t. I was knackered. It was so cold our breath was freezing – apparently running in low temperatures like that is very dehydrating.

Afterwards he admitted: “Normally I’d do this on a running track, this was more like running in sand, up hill.”

Still, I felt like it did me good and so we’ve agreed to do the same again on Boxing Day.

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Nothing running

20 Dec

We journalists love a weather cliché and today was the perfect excuse to wheel them all out.

Have you ever noticed that as the “Big Freeze” grips the nation “Travel Meltdown” always ensues? Freezing and melting? At the same time? I mean if it were melting we wouldn’t be in this mess would we? We just get carried away with the sub-zero-cold-snap-record-low of it all – the Daily Mail is always the worst offender.

Transport was a disaster all day long with the rail network floundering into life for just long enough to get everyone’s hopes up, before icing to a standstill again. Some buses battled on, some didn’t leave their depots and others went home early, presumably exhausted by the hysteria of it all.

So I didn’t go for a run at the gym, on the grounds that I had a short window of time to make it home before becoming a Snow Chaos Commuter Misery victim.

Had I gone to the gym I’d have probably had to sleep there.

When the weather outside is frightful

19 Dec

Normally I’m not a fan of the gym – I see it as a preening palace and swine flu risk.

But with treacherous conditions underfoot I decided there was nothing else for it but to make use of my membership.

I have already mentioned that motivation (or a lack of) is my running nemesis, so having gone to all the effort of starting this blog and finding a whole world of twitter runners I wanted to capitalise on that momentum and start training again.

And to my surprise I really, really enjoyed it. I don’t know whether it was due to the snow or a last minute Christmas shopping panic but I practically had the gym to myself (no peacocks, no life-threatening disease – result!) which put me in a good mood.

The other key to today’s success was not pushing to soon. I erred on the side of caution after a three month break and ran 5k on the flat in 31min 30sec. I started at 9kph working up to 11.5kph and felt comfortable at all but top speed – I’ll take that.

There’s nothing worse than walking out of the gym feeling beaten, it makes it ten times harder to summon the desire to go back. I’ve got that lovely afterglow now and am looking forward to my next date with the treadmill.

Snow excuse

18 Dec

So no run today on account of icy snowy conditions. Well, that and a hangover.

Last night was “Mad Friday” and so it came to pass that the work Christmas party took place in Liverpool despite blizzard conditions. Flakes the size of 50p pieces were flying everywhere, it was hard to believe we were in Merseyside. I’ve only ever seen snow like that before in the Alps. I’m not sure what was falling to the floor faster – women in inappropriate footwear or the snow.

Anyway, weather aside it was fun. For Liverpool types the venue was the new Clove Hitch on Hope Street – formerly El Macho – its fairly new and it was pretty good.

So I was a bit hazy of head this morning, with the start of a sniffle and when faced with the prospect of falling over in the snow or being pelted with snowballs (inevitable) I wimped out. Which means that there’s only one thing for it: Tomorrow it’s treadmill time.

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