Monday, 28 February 2011


This past week has involved a certain amount of persuasion. Badminton on Thursday was great fun but persuading my muscles not to ache afterwards was futile, as was persuading myself not to eat cake. I persuaded myself to enjoy a gig on Friday and persuaded myself to do parkrun in the mud and rain yet again on Saturday. I wasn't able to persuade myself to run 10miles in the rain on Sunday but I did manage to persuade the OH that he really needed new running shoes. I would have classified his current ones as "fashion trainers" and it was not wholly surprising when he announced that a 4 mile run had left him with a blood blister the size of a twopence piece.

So off to Moti it was, followed by a second opinion in Sweatshop then back to Moti to actually buy a pair of Saucony Progrid Triumph 8's. This was followed by a trip to Decathlon to buy some sportsocks that didn't have holes in. I almost managed to persuade him he needed new shorts and a long sleeved top too but we couldn't come to an agreement on that. Apparently his Hawaiian shorts and cotton t-shirt will suffice.

Today's quote...

The question isn’t who is going to let me; it’s who is going to stop me.

- Ayn Rand

Wednesday, 23 February 2011


I have really enjoyed the climbing and bouldering I've done (which isn't much) and am in awe of people who have this kind of strength and belief. I couldn't do this, I don't have the coordinated strength or lack of fear of falling. But I very much enjoy watching other people do this sort of thing.

Better Than Chocolate : quick peek from Haroun Souirji on Vimeo.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Old shoes

Old shoes are hazardous. I went for my long run on Sunday and frustratingly not only had to cut it slightly short at 7.5 miles but also had to walk a good part of the last mile and a bit home due to my trainers creating a blister under my left arch. Very sore indeed. The rest of the run was pretty awesome though, having people ahead of my to follow on my route, managing to run up hills/inclines I'd previously struggled with and maintaining a ten minute mile for the majority of the distance. I do wish I'd take a) a plaster and b) gloves. Next weekend I plan to do 8.5 or 9 miles.

Parkrun on Saturday was at Reading, despite Shruti wussing out because it was "raining and muddy". It wasn't raining but it was muddy. I managed to come 95th with a time of 34:37 compared with 111th with 28:18 previously. Running on grass does leave me feeling rather as if my energy has been sapped. I feel that I at least get some of it back from pavement. I slipped around and got horribly muddy though. My trail shoes and running socks are actually still in a bag in the boot of my car because I've not been brave enought to deal with them yet. Shruti was kind enough to let me get her shower temporarily muddy before we went out for brunch though.

So my runs have left me feeling a bit frustrated as I've still had energy left at the end. Also feeling bloated. I blame the OH's chocolate and ginger cookies yesterday. The food diary continues to be enlightening! I shall leave you today with this quote...

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, 14 February 2011

This week I have mostly been eating...

I've started keeping my food and exercise diary, in paper format, since I went to the Moti session last week. It's quite eye opening. I wouldn't say I eat badly but there are certainly things I can cut out that will help matters. For instance I probably eat a couple of biscuits and/or a piece of cake everyday. I could cut those down and eat more fruit. Easy! There are things I eat that aren't bad but could be better. It's an exercise I shall be continuing.

Speaking of exercise it was the Frimley parkrun anniversary and Valentines event on Saturday. It was also my first OU tutorial in Reading at 10.30. It takes an hour to get from Frimley to Reading. The announcements at FLP took until 9.20. You can do the maths. I wasn't able to run. I go to hear all the announcements and see the crowd, witness the lanterns being sent up, see the prize giving but I'm unable to run 5km in 10 minutes. If I'd known it was going to be like that, sad as I'd have been to have missed the event I'd have run at Reading instead so as to clock up one more in my tally towards the 50 marker. I did do intervals when I got back from class though.

On Sunday I went with mum to a Zumba class. It was my first ever but I've some history in dance so I found I was able to follow the moves pretty well, and although I got pretyty hot, I didn't feel exhausted in the way I do after running. It was great fun and best of all the mirrors in the studio made me look thin! I do actually think my thighs are getting slimmer which makes me very happy (I know I'm not fat by any stretch of the imagination but there are parts of me that I don't like).

So this week I'm planning intervals, hills, parkrun (my "tempo run") and a minmum 6, possibly 8 mile run. Let's see how I manage.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011


Last night I went along to the Reading Half Marathon coaching session at Moti. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, whether there'd be a proper run involved but I went kitted up in case. Just as well as there was about 20 minutes of technique coaching at the start which involved us running around in the space outside the store and concentrating on exaggerated arms, upright bodies and cycling legs.

After that we had advice about injury prevention, types of training we should be doing, nutrition and stretches. We got the chance to ask questions and chat to the team afterwards about specific things. I asked for more advice about my knee which was really helpful. I came away with a little goody bag of sports nutrition and leaflets, some stretches and exercises to address my knee and the idea of keeping a written food and training diary. I've started these before in soft copy but I like the idea of using one of my many many lovely notebooks for the task, especially as they were trying to flog skinny versions for a fiver last night.

I've written in my stretches and technique notes at the back and am dedicating a page to a day for food and exercise notes.

Tonight I did my 6 miles. OH came over and ran too but he doesn't reckon he can tackle that sort of distance yet so we set off at the same time but in opposite directions. Felt a bit strange doing that. On Sunday I ran possibly the darkest run of my life so tonight I took my head torch. It's pretty bright but I didn't think it was bright enough to blind motorists... in any case a couple of them flashed me. I Audiofuelled with Adrenaline Junkie and then Rollercoaster and for some tracks I tried practicing the techniquies from Monday. It did feel a little odd but I'm pretty sure it helped. I got home with an average pace of 10:12 and feeling as if there was a little more in the tank which is exactly the sort of run I *really* enjoy.

Even better OH had made dinner!

Monday, 7 February 2011


Last week was a bit of a non-event in terms of exercise. Apart from the run with OH I didn't do much despite having signed up for 3 lunchtime classes at the gym. Due to weekend plans I didn't do parkrun but did go out for the darkest run of my life last night. It was only about 6.30pm but it was cloudy and so even though I was running on main roads, in the areas where there wasn't any street lighting it was pitch until a car passed, and even then that was sometimes unhelpful, blinding as opposed to illuminating.

But it was an excellent run. I did about 4.3 miles and plugged myself in to AudioFuel's Rollercoaster. Or Rocks Off. I can't remember. It's the one that has two sprints in it which I didn't do. Anyway I was going to try and do 6 miles but my leg started feeling sore so I didn't carry on after the first loop (I have a second I add on to form a figure of eight). I did my minimum though and I felt so zen. If it hadn't been for the leg I'd have gone on for ages more.

This week I will do a 6miler by hook or by crook (and possibly by headtorch) plus parkrun at Frimley on Saturday as it's the anniversary run. Wet wipes, fresh t-shirt and school books at the ready to dash to my first OU tutorial of the year directly afterwards.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Must try harder

Well Janathon is over and the winners have been announced, congratulations to you all, I'm most impressed. I'm not regretting having dropped out. There's no way I could have run enough to have got a prize and really think it would have been very demoralising to have run every day and not stood a chance of getting anything. It's not as if the winners were anywhere the same league as me.

I'm really happy for those people who exercised every day, that was a sterling effort and I know that the motivation for a lot of people was to lose weight or hit a personal achievement target but I couldn't find my motivation there, not strongly enough. In fact motivation all round is dwindling at the moment.

I went for a run with the OH last night and did ok seeing as we both got stitches and I was still quite sniffly. I ran in new shorts (Howies) and discovered the pockets NOT to put my keys in. We were only a bit slower than the last time we ran. I'm scared about distances still and I know I have to get over this and back up to substantial miles. I think the thing is that I lack time to just take my time. I've got training runs on Sunday and Monday so I'm really going to make an effort with those.