Category Archives: Diet and Fitness

Couch to 5k Finished

I did it! I actually finished the couch to 5k programme. I’ve started it a number of times but never got further than week 6. I said in a post a while ago that I would run parkrun, without walk breaks, when I completed the couch to 5k so today was a continuous run parkrun.

It was hard going, for me, and, as usual, Adam was running with me asking questions like “is it nice weather for running?” or “are you ok?” He also asked if it was a slow run! It wasn’t. The pace was actually similar to our pace a few weeks ago but, obviously Adam is able to go a lot quicker!

Anyway, we were going along nice and steady when Adam decided he wanted to take a walk break. I think he was just bored rather than needing the walk but it meant that I ran the last 1.5km on my own.

According to parkrun, I finished in 30:49. Adam finished in 32:10 so I think he must have walked for at least a couple of minutes.

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As I have already said, the pace and time is similar to what we have been running recently. However, as we are training for 10K events in July and August, we will be going back to run/walking. I will be increasing the running intervals during parkrun and training though so when we do the events and reduce the run, and maybe the walk breaks, we can, hopefully, finish in a faster time.

We were lucky with the weather yesterday too. It didn’t start raining until we’d run home.

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Elvington Flyer 5 Mile

Happy Mother’s Day! Or Mothering Sunday if you prefer. This will be published in a few days as I just realised that a post I wrote earlier this week was still in drafts so I have posted it before writing this one.

This morning, the Man, Adam and I ran the Elvington Flyer at Elvington Airfield. I only entered to get the medal.  Look at it, who wouldn’t run for this:
I ran with Adam and, as usual, he kept me going with his usual repetitive questions/statements. I could have done without him asking me if it was hard every minute of so as we were running about 2 miles into what I’m sure would have been a gentle breeze if we hadn’t been on an airfield. It was a lovely run with one little lap, about 1 mile, followed by one large lap, 4 miles. The windy part was the return straight of the second lap, about 2 miles.

As my runs have been going well and most of my parkruns this year have had an average pace of under 6:30/km, I was aiming for a finishing time of 56 minutes or an average of 7:00/km. We actually finished in 53:03, according to my watch. As I have never done an actual 5 mile event before, this is a 5 mile PB 😊.

Couch to 5K, again!

I’ve tried to complete the Couch to 5K programme a number of times but never seem to get past week 5 or 6 because I have found that I complete parkrun, or any other event come to that, faster if I “jeff” (run, walk, run method from Jeff Galloway).  I mean, I achieved my parkrun PB of 29:21 in February 2015 by running for 4 minutes and walking for 1 minute.  So why would I want to run the whole thing?  Actually, I can I just can’t keep up the running pace for as long without the walk breaks so my times are about 2 to 3 minutes slower.

Anyway, I digress.  This year I have decided to try the Couch to 5K programme again but this time I’m going to complete it and when I do I’m going to run all the way round parkrun.  The completion of the Couch to 5K is going to be some way off as I am only completing one, maybe two, runs from the programme each week as my third run of the week is always parkrun which I am still “jeffing” and doing incredibly well at if I do say so myself.  Take a look at my times for this year!

parkrun results for 2019

Apart from a couple of weeks, each week has been faster than the previous one and the times slower than 32 minutes were when I ran with the Man.

If the Man is off on one of my running days during the week then I will run with him rather than doing my Couch to 5K run.  So, despite starting the Couch to 5K programme in January, I  am only up to week 5.  My next run will be my first continuous run so on Tuesday I will be running for 20 minutes.  We’ll see how I get on.

I won’t be doing a fast run at parkrun next week either as I will be volunteering as a run/walk pacer before the Man, Adam and I complete our first running event of the year.  We’ve entered a 5 mile run at Elvington.  It should be good and the medal looks amazing 😀

York 10 Mile 2018

Wow! That was hard!  I think I said that last year too but I’ve slept a lot since then so I can’t remember.

So, today was the Yorkshire Marathon and 10 Mile event and Adam and I entered the 10 miles.  Let me start by saying I didn’t put as much training in for this as  I should have so, needless to say, found it very hard going for the last 2 to 3 miles (especially as there is a long-ish hill at the end).  My training had been going great for the 10K earlier this Summer and I did quite a few 7k+ runs.  Then Summer happened and, as I work at what is effectively an out of school club, getting the time to get my runs in was harder, not impossible, but harder.  Also, the days that I would have done my long runs, the Man was on his rest day so I ended up running with him on a shorter, slower run.  However, that is just an excuse.  I mean, I could have continued to run after he’d finished I just didn’t.  After the Summer holidays, we had 3 weeks before we jetted off on our holidays and we got back with a week to go before today’s event so only time for a shorter run.  It was my own fault.  I had good intentions and trained well up to the 10K in August and then got lazy and let things slide.

Anyway, the first 5K was easy, after all that is just our usual run in the parkrun.  The second 5K was OK, there was a steep bridge over the A64 during this section (between miles 4 and 5) but we got up it OK.  After about 6 miles (10K-ish) the route merges with the marathon and that is where, like last year, I started to struggle.  Not because I couldn’t keep going but because it is so hard to get past other runners as we are constantly reminded to keep to the right of the road.  That’s fair enough as the marathon runners don’t want to try to get around the slower 10 milers.  However, today it was raining!  Not just a little drizzle, which would have been nice, but a proper “you’re going to get soaked” rain.  Rain = puddles, lots of puddles, and where were most of the puddles?  On the right side of the road.  So, very wet (soaked to the skin) and feet which felt like they were swimming in my trainers which meant my feet started to feel very heavy.  I was fine until we got to the 7-mile marker and then my legs decided they were fine when I was running but my hip started hurting when I entered the walk break. Huh?  Unfortunately, as Adam needed the walk breaks, I needed to take them.  I think Adam would have been fine to continue running but if he has walk breaks built in he has to take them (except in the final km).  My breathing started to get the better of me in the final mile but, thanks to Adam, I kept going and finished in our slowest 10-mile time yet – 1:55:53.

After we finished, my hands were so cold I couldn’t open the packet which had the silver blankets in.  Fortunately, a running friend was also in the finish area and she opened Adam’s blanket for me.

Last year, we hung around to watch some of the marathon runners and the last 10 milers come in as well as take photos.  This year, we went straight to get the bus back to the city centre and then another bus home – we were so cold and wet.  Lesson learned, if it is raining take a spare set of clothes to change into when you’ve finished.

I told Adam that that was my last 10-mile event which is unfortunate as when I asked if he’d like to do it again (regardless of my decision) he said he’d like to keep doing this event.  Ah well, I have time to change my mind, IF I get the training in I might do it again next year.  If I don’t then I won’t be putting myself through it again.

Now that we are home, warmed up and fed – got to love the slow-cooker – I am finally sat down writing this and will take some time to review the draft posts I wrote while we were on holiday.  Disney posts will be coming in the next few days.  I think there are 9 in total.  Some are more or less written, others just have bullet points in so I could remember what we’d done.

30 Day Breakfast Challenge

I’ve always struggled with eating breakfast.  I find it especially challenging on mornings when I go running.  You see, I love my bed and hate getting up any earlier than I have to so going for a run at 8.30am when I’ve only got out of bed at 7.30am doesn’t give me a lot of time for a good breakfast.  Especially when I’m running around making packed lunches too.  Anyway, during May I am making a conscious effort to eat breakfast every day.  This doesn’t mean I’ll be eating a lot but a banana counts!

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So, how have I done so far?

  1. Weetabix, berries and milk
  2. Porridge with berries
  3. Banana
  4. Bagel with banana
  5. Banana
  6. 0% fat natural yogurt with honey
  7. Forever Ultra Shake with berries

What do you have for breakfast?  I need some ideas for quick, easy and light breakfasts.  Bananas can get boring.

Active 10

On Wednesday evening I watched The Truth About … Getting Fit on BBC One (it is available to watch on up layer until the beginning of March 2018). It was interesting and tested the theory behind 10,000 steps and whether or not aiming for 3 brisk walks of 10 minutes each day would be better for health gains. The small experiment they did showed that, yes, doing 3 10 minute walks, where you get your heart rate up, is better than aiming for 10,000 steps. The programme also mentioned the One You Active 10 app which measures your walking and “encourages” you to get your walks in each day.

I downloaded the app and set a simple goal of 1 10 minute walk each day. Unsurprisingly, I got the first day as it was a running day anyway. I even got a “reward” for achieving my first goal 😊.

REDJanuary is over

It’s done, January is finished and with it my exercise challenges. At the beginning of January I signed up for REDJanuary – run every day. I didn’t plan to run every day, but rather, I planned to exercise for at least 10 minutes every day including running, walking and yoga. 

Guess what? I did it! I exercised every day! I ran at least 3 times each week, sometimes 4 and recorded 74.5km of running on my Garmin. On the days I didn’t run, I walked for at least 10 minutes. I also completed a 30 day yoga journey True with Yoga with Adriene.

As I am more interested in improving my fitness rather than losing weight, weight loss wasn’t a goal. Just as well really as I didn’t lose anything. However, thanks to the regular exercise, I have actually lost inches round my waist, hips and belly. Actually, my hips and belly are the smallest they’ve been for 24 years!

So, what now? Do I just stop because January is over? Tempting, but no. Now I’ve got the consistency of exercising every day, I want to keep going. I am aiming to run 2 to 3 times a week and keep up the daily yoga practice. I’m also going to add one strength training session each week with a long term goal of strength training twice a week. One small change each month should make them easier to incorporate and maintain in my everyday life.

Today was a good start to February with a 4k run. 

Did you reach your January goals? What are your goals for February?

It’s Saturday so …

it must be parkrun day 🙂 I’d like to say it was a lovely parkrun day but it really wasn’t.  There was hail!  At least I think it was hail, if it wasn’t it was heavy rain which hurt like hail.  At least Poppy Coffee were there for post-run tea (for Adam), chili mocha (for the Man) and hot chocolate (for me).

After finishing 2017 with two good runs of sub-31 minutes, I was a little disappointed to run 32:08.  However, as I only went for one run this week instead of the planned 2-3 and I reduced the running interval to 3 minutes, we have been doing 4 minutes, with a view to running faster (the rain and wind meant the running interval wasn’t faster) a 1:20 drop in time for 5k wasn’t too bad.

I got Jeff Galloway‘s Run Walk Run book for Christmas and have been reading it.  I’m a great believer in run walk run and all of my running PBs have come from run walk run intervals and Adam has never completed anything longer than 1 mile as a constant run, and his 5K PB is 30:18!  From reading the book, it looks like a 7-minute mile pace is achievable on 3 minute run, 30 second walk, that would be around 21 minutes for a 5K! I don’t think I’ll ever get that fast but I’m going to work on bringing my intervals down to that and then aim to get the running part faster.  Next week, I’m going to try 3 minute run, 55 second walk.  I’ll be borrowing the interval timer I bought my husband for Christmas for that 😉

After getting cold and wet at parkrun, we walked home and while Adam and my husband were having their showers I thought I’d do day 5 of True (Yoga with Adriene).  I’m loving this “me time” which I have created by doing the yoga.  For the first 4 days, I made a conscious effort to turn off the TV between 9.15 and 9.30 pm so I can do the day’s practice before going up to bed at 10 pm.  I’m hoping this will become a regular routine which will continue after the 30 day journey/challenge is over.

So, this is also day 6 of REDJanuary completed 😀

Are you still meeting your goals this week?

Motive …

Yesterday was day 1 of Yoga with Adriene’s new True 30 day yoga programme with the theme of Motive.  If you sign up to the programme via the website, you get a daily email to help you get the most out of the practice (today’s theme is Trust).  In yesterday’s email, and through the 24 minute practice, Adriene asks:

What is your motive for joining True?

Now, I hadn’t really thought about it but, having followed 9 days of one of the previous 30 day challenges in the past, I know that daily yoga helps me in so many ways.  It isn’t only the stretching, although that certainly helps, and it is more than the self reflection.  It helps my mood, my running, my posture, my body has less aches and pains.  It’s time for me to concentrate on me for anywhere between 24 and 40 minutes before I go to fight with Adam about bedtime.

I also find that yoga practice also complements, and maybe even enhances, all the other changes that I have made/am making to my life.  I am, usually, careful about what I eat.  I don’t eat “clean” but I don’t overeat and I don’t eat cakes and chocolates as much as I would love to.  I exercise on a regular basis with running or walking most days, if not every day.  I am aiming to add strength training back into the mix too but at the moment the yoga will have to fill that void.

However, this time round, I think my main goal/motive is to get further than day 9 and, maybe, even get to day 31!

If you haven’t done yoga before, or even if you have and haven’t found Adriene yet, check out her youtube videos.  The runners’ post run practice is a must for me and, when I have time (and I’m not doing a 30 day challenge) the runners’ yoga is great too.  What I really like is that Adriene tells you to do what feels good to you, you don’t have to stay and hold a pose with out moving, if you want to wag your tail while doing cat/cow then do it!

Day 1 of True was completed last night.  Bring on day 2 this evening.

York 10 Mile

Today was Yorkshire Marathon day and, as they have for the last two years, the fantastic team at Run for All events added a 10 mile run for those of us who wanted to experience the atmosphere of a marathon but don’t want to run that far. The previous 2 10 mile events were fantastic and this year’s event was just as good.

This year we got to the start area in time to see the start of the marathon. We then had 30 minutes to walk round the university campus (the start and finish is at University of York) and go to the toilet before the start of the 10 mile run.

As usual, due to wanting the toilet, we started at the back. Next year I think we should at least try to start a bit further forwards.

For the past few weeks, we have been running parkrun using 5:1 run/walk intervals so reduced the run interval down to 3 minutes. The reduced running interval was really comfortable and we averaged just under 7 minutes per km which was just over 11 minute mile pace. We were doing really well and I had hope to be able to pick up the pace a little from the 7 mile mark – it’s only a parkrun to go when we get to 7 miles 🙂 Unfortunately, at 6 miles the 10 mile route merges with the marathon route and we had to keep to the right side of the road to let the faster marathon runners through. This wasn’t a problem from 8 miles or so but before that the road was a country road and quite narrow making it hard to pass other runners. As we walk at regular intervals, I don’t like passing runners if we’re going to walk within about 30 seconds if they don’t have enough room to get past us easily. So the pace slowed a little for a couple of miles. Still, it was a fab run with a lot of support round most of the course.

As I have for the past 8 years, with Adam since 2014, we were running for Snappy Want to sponsor us?

Bring on next year 🙂