Saturday, 29 December 2012

A Trail of Three Pairs

First Pair - Bag Feet

The clock struck 7.30am so I went into the porch  donned my trail shoes wrapped my crusty muddy feet in bags and waited for Jerry who pulled up just moments later. I hopped in and off we went towards Knockholt. 

Second Pair - Monkey Feet

Immediately we were onto the trails and swampy muddy boggy fields... 'this could get messy' were the thoughts running through my head as Jerry bounded along shouting 'I love my monkey feet' every few steps. 

As we approached a farm we were approached by a happy, friendly little pup who gleefully welcomed us. Before long he was joined by another (not sure a white poodle cross breed is the best farm dog) who jumped around giddily wanting to play and followed us through the mud. We waved good morning to their owners - who were tending their donkey in a shed, how very seasonal - and went on our way, although they did try and follow us for a while. The dogs, not the owners. 

As we found our pace and trotted happily along we opted for a new pathway (much to Jerry's dismay as it meant we couldn't run where he wanted along a disused railway track). But every cloud as they say... we passed a bridge that along with a large dolphin mounted out of the water, also a small monkey hanging from the bridge, much to Jerry's monkey-footed delight!

We passed a pub which we had attended along with badgers on a previous night run, not the witches cottage though - this can only be found after dark under a full moon. Onwards we continued towards Chevening Church where Jerry had a chat about the geology of the area with a bewildered looking old fella, while I caught up then patted his dog.

The terrain began to get more hilly as we headed back towards Knockholt and the car. I was beginning to struggle with my bruised ribs still giving me a little gip. Jerry was edging ahead up the hill but came to a stop to wait for me, I saw my chance... unable to talk for being out of breath I walked towards him holding out a Reisen chocolate chew (this would slow him down). Jerry took the chocolate and I encourage him to eat as we walked up the hill. There are not many who can chew a cold toffee and run up a hill. It was a sneaky little tactic but I was not covert in my mission I needed the break and it worked!

Third Pair - Muddy Trail Feet

We passed over the infamous stile from the ORR Chevening run and I imaged all the runners queuing to get over and thought how lovely it would be to have a little break at this point if in the group running up the hill.

We were now well and truly homeward bound with less than 2 miles to go. We emerged onto a road and Jerry began scanning around. It was clear he was up to no good and I asked him if he was about to sneakily add on additional miles, he denied this albeit with a sheepish look on his face.My fears were unfounded though as we crossed the field and emerged back by the car. Nine miles done, covered in mud but thoroughly pleased to make it out. 

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Just think of the cake..... mmmm cake

Mmmmm Family Recipe Christmas Fruit Cake!
Slipping nicely back into a good exercise regime, post illness, post Christmas I am feeling good and positive about regaining my fitness.

After the run yesterday morning I coped much better than I thought despite the heavily laden belly I now carry along with me. It was my second PT session tonight post illness and after last weeks performance I was confident I would be fine.

Little did I know that tonight Emma's sadistic side would emerge and she would enforce the same pain on me that Sammi (her sister) had forced on her yesterday in some crazy aussie, power session... my legs were jelly. Not to mention that my arms were already shaking furiously after a set of arm work. Maybe last weeks success was a fluke or maybe Emma was taking it a little easy on me. Either way I need to get back on with it and push hard, at least I have done it before and can do it again.

We couldn't handle the cake yesterday so I had promised to bring along some of my famous family homemade super duper brandy soaked christmas cake (see above). Finally after the session the cake and a cuppa were in sight and did we need it... did we ever!

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Boxing Day Run

Our bellies were bloated and our legs filled with prosecco but our will was strong and a slightly later start of 9am helped us to keep the motivation to go for a Boxing Day run!
I went to the meeting point and moments later I say a crazed Emma D bounding down the hill, arms flailing and shouting Merry Christmas... this may be tougher than expected!
We set off into Scadbury Woods and before long came across a few fellow PWRs, we stopped to wish each other the tidings of the season before commencing our runs through the woods. With plenty of runners and dog walkers out on this lovely morning we were constantly waving and calling greetings to one and all. We headed off into Petts Wood and then via Sainsburys to collect a few carrier bags to protect Emma's car from our muddy feet on the way back. Run 4 back into running after my rib problems and I seem to be going well, lets hope I can keep it up.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Rib Crack Away

Oh the Deadwood Stage is a-rollin' on over the plains

With the curtains flappin' and the driver slappin' the reins
A beautiful sky, a wonderful day
Rib crack-away, rib crack-away, rib crack-away

On my previous post I mentioned a severe pain in my side as I felt my rib twang. I was later to discover that this meant my rib had popped out of place due to all the aggressive coughing that had been going on over the last few weeks. This Christmas morning as I turned over in bed I felt a loud pop from deep within my right side. The rib was back in place... thank you Santa for this Christmas miracle!

Monday, 24 December 2012

Twas the day before Christmas

...and all in the house nobody stirred, oh except the 3 who had decided to get up early and go for a muddy run in the woods!
Within moments we realised that this mud was perhaps not the most conducive to speed but as we were running the trail and included a few hills it was determined that this was good following the weekend's indulgence and more to come later as we were running a slower fat burning pace! 
We looped around Scadbury before emerging onto the road for the last mile, at which point we decided to divert and add another mile to take us up to just over 4 miles. 
A lovely morning run to get the blood pumping and metabolism going before we headed off for day 3 festive eating and Turkey dinner number 2.... yum!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Bromley Parkrun - Christmas Traditions

For the past two years myself and my brother have together gone to Bromley Parkrun on Christmas Day morning and run. This year was a little different as he wouldn't be here on Christmas Day so instead we opted for the Saturday before Christmas and also another participant joined us, his girlfriend.
I had awoken to the sound of rain at 4am and thought to myself I hope they don't want to run it will be very muddy. But at 8am when I knocked on the guest room door to wake them they were both still keen to run and stick with this family tradition. A PB had been on the cards but when seeing the weather we knew this was probably a real long shot as much of the course would be waterlogged. 
We finished in good time although not quite a PB for my brother, we were muddy, wet, hot, sweaty but happy we had ventured out despite the weather and kept the tradition alive.
II'll see you two next year, and hopefully for a PB bro! 

Thursday, 20 December 2012

18 Days Later

I had not exercised for 18 whole days, following the unwise decision to do a long run in the cold I was attacked by every vrius and infection going, leaing me bed bound, miserable and unable to sleep. It was a bad time. But today I was back and my first session will take place in doors as I headed of for my personal training session with Emma. 
Unsure how my body would react I arrived early and started a 15minute warm-up run on the treadmill, feeling good we then went into intervals and lots of other weights before more intervals and another set of weights and core stability. Don't get me wrong it was tough and I worked really hard but I absolutely loved every minute of it and was bouncing off the walls for another couple of hours upon returning home. 18 days without exercise is too much  I was ill there was nothing I could do about it but now I am back and must ease in sensibly so as not to waste the enforced rest my body has undergone. 
For those who have commented on the lack of Fibre Runners I do apologise as you will now be bombarded as I update all my runs over the xmas period.
Happy running everyone. 

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Snap, Crackle and Pop

Today was the first day in many I had actually started to feel like myself again. I didn't want to risk a run but I did do a few household chores. Now through my coughing I had managed to bruise my ribs with the victorious wretchings my body was subjected to. 
So despite my cough easing, today as I reached over for some washing and coughed simultaneously I felt a sharp twang and massive pain in my right side. I had popped out a rib and by golly did that smart.
Looks like another few days before I will be able to run again, gosh darn it. 

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Practise what you preach

I had been coughing now for a couple of days, my head was foggy and my chest ached, but I had arranged a lovely early morning run which started as Me and Eleanor, then came Jerry, Emma G and Karien. I woke to a frosty morning and not feeling great but hating to let the others down I donned my kit and headed to our meeting place. I was determined to run and felt that if I couldn't make the full run I could always do an out and back.

We headed off down Leesons Hill - in Jerry's immediate running excitement taking the wrong road immediately - we were soon back on track and heading up a road I had never before run. After a mere 2 miles I was coughing my way up a hill but thought it would clear soon enough, my legs and stamina were fine if only this blasted cough would leave me be. 

Another mile further on we reached a scabby old corrugated iron gate that was hanging off its hinges  Jerry named this Liz's Gate -charming!

Onwards and upwards we went, through fields, over railways bridges and deep in the countryside before popping out in Crockenhill at which point I declared I was heading back home. We reached a white post and Jerry explained to us all about how these were Coal Tax posts and they were situated across the valley, we thought maybe that would be a good goal to find them all and provide a very interested route for a run... maybe not one for today though. 

After a momentary discussion and Jerry saying he'd take it easy I was easily swayed into continuing. As we entered a filed rutted and frozen solid I knew it had been a mistake, then as we circled it again I was sure... I need to be home but another 7 miles lay ahead of me. Oh dear, we continued on but by now my coughing was ridiculous and Eleanor had hurt her knee negotiating the frozen ground. 
By the time we were nearly homeward bound I had the brainwave to head to the burger van in the Homebase car park for a bacon butty and a cup of tea.... it was the only good idea I had had this morning. We ate them and started towards home being passed by a surprised looking observer in a car - I suspect he may be from the club and wondered why so much lycra for bacon butty's! The final mile was a slow plod fuelled by bacon and tea.

So to summarise when you feel ill, take the rest day, take the bacon butty but do not go running for the best part of 14 miles. Thanks for looking after me guys!