Thursday, June 30, 2011


No Cop, No Stop, I Don't Care *Explored*

Still not able to exercise. My knee can go from being almost normal to making me hobble and sound like a chimp ("oohh! ooh! aahh!") for no apparent reason. Even though I figured it would be futile, I went to the medical centre this morning. Rest, elevate, ice and heat, painkillers, bandage, come back on Monday if it's bad, yada yada. At least I got a free tubigrip, but even that keeps rolling down.

I am going stir crazy. I really hope it's eased enough to allow a swim (with pull buoy to avoid kicking if necessary) tomorrow.

Photo: No Cop, No Stop, I Don't Care *Explored* by Sean Molin Photography, on Flickr

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ouch :(


What the...? I woke up this morning, and my knee hurts. (That sounds like the start to the worst blues song ever.) I feel like I'm not going anywhere for a little while.

I had a good night's sleep despite the 20°C temperature, don't think I was tossing and turning too much, but when I turned over first thing there was a definite OW moment. It seemed to settle down, I was able to get up and get myself to work (favouring one leg on the bike - SPDs would have been very handy), but after sitting on my arse for a couple of hours, it's bloody painful and I'm hobbling around like Long John Silver. Feels like I have twisted or otherwise strained it, rather than a bruise or knock. Barely any swelling, if at all. Hmph.

Until this point, it had been a good week. Well, possibly until last night, when I forgot my socks but decided to run anyway. Bzzt, wrong answer. Heel blisters threatening after 2 miles, and a walk home, with bare feet on the grass when possible. They don't seem too bad today but that's because I have a knackered knee occupying my thoughts!

The weekend got off to a good start with a gentle Friday run and then a guided river swim followed by a barbecue. Nothing on Saturday but a good day on Sunday, starting with 20 miles in the forest with Trish on her spare mountain bike, and then the usual circuit in the evening on the road bike with Clare and Alice. Followed by a cheeky dip in the river because it was bloody hot :) Feeling a tad saddle sore after all that, but a good day - biking the trails is fun, but hard work.

Photo: Pink by *Kicki*, on Flickr

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Successful outing for the stripes

Stripes @ Wollaton Park, Nottingham

My Conac club vest (not pictured above, but similarly stripy) had its second outing at the Broadland 5k series tonight. The rain poured just before and after but stayed off for the race (although with plenty of puddles around to ensure we got wet one way or another). I ran without a watch, not necessarily by design but it worked well - all I could do was go for it and not be tempted to slack. I ran a good strong race for the first half, including the hill just after 2km, and hung on to 3km but as soon as that downhill ended I ran out of steam a bit. About 4km I found a bit of energy and kept going right up until that last hill when (guess who) Mr "I'm going to take it really slow tonight" Mark appeared on my heels. Grrrr. He obliterated me on the last corner to beat me by 5 seconds, and I had nothing left to come back at him. SO ANNOYING! Still, I was a minute faster than the previous race, so I am well pleased with 26:40. But one of these days I shall have my revenge... (and in any case my age graded % is better than his, so ner)

Alice ran well at 25:35, and Claudia was under 30 minutes so pleased with that. Andy picked up an individual and a team prize, so a succesful night all round. Especially as Sue brought cake! Just not sure whether some people went to the wrong pub...

Since last week, I've mainly been running - Friday lunchtime (Bowthorpe marshes), Saturday parkrun (28:52 - nice easy run), and Monday (also lunchtime to fit it in around other stuff). Sunday was a rest day, including a massage and lots of lounging around at the spa/pool at Sprowston Manor :) On Tuesday it was back to aerobics again, definitely not a very high impact routine at the moment but Sarah did have us doing the old run around the room in the middle of the set, which helped raise the old heart rate. The final abs work felt very hard at the time, but there's not too much sign of that a day later! So on the whole I felt much fresher and more rested than I did for the last race, and it showed, but I need to sort out that last km for next time, dammit.

Photo: Stripes @ Wollaton Park, Nottingham by timparkinson, on Flickr

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Get lost!


I tried a little trail run* with the orienteering club tonight - not only did I not get lost, but I won a prize :) And (carto-geek alert) I got to keep the map.

It was great fun, although it somehow feels a little bit like cheating to know the area well beforehand - the paths were 99% ones that I run often at lunchtimes. There was only one that I hadn't been on, which I did miss first time around because it was deceptively narrow, but it didn't make a big difference to the route. Nonetheless I had to do the distance like everyone else, and think on my feet. It was an interesting experience to find myself catching up with people who were clearly much better runners than me, while they were standing looking at their map (usually followed by them overtaking me a few seconds later). However, on an unknown course that would undoubtedly be me scratching my head, so I consider myself to have enjoyed it while it lasted.

It was an informal affair, with a small number of edible prizes (I am liking this orienteering lark more and more already). My Mars bar was gained for "fastest lady over the final stage, barring those who already won a prize or went home before the presentations". My time (over my own personal route of 3.3 miles) was 32:26 or 9:49/mile average. Given that I ran out of steam at one point, that's not bad going. It was a good strong run but better than that it was bloody good fun. I think I shall do more when the season starts in September. Thank you, Norfolk Orienteering Club!

Since the last update, I have been a busy bunny and am feeling on top of the world. Friday saw a social run with Tally and Alice, a nice steady pace after Thursday's efforts. After helping rather than running at parkrun on Saturday, I went out for a bike ride around the usual loop with Kerry and Clare in the evening sunshine, which was lovely, and then when it rained (finally) on Sunday I did the without-weights bit of my strength/core circuit from the gym. However, on Monday my legs were pretty stiff from the lunges etc. so I hung out at the back on the club run and walked the last bit with Hannah and a couple of newer ladies. On Tuesday I made a return to aerobics and thoroughly enjoyed it, especially since I found I could cope with both the routine and the intensity - but only some of the abs work at the end. I think I will keep that session up for a few weeks. Then today included a swim as well as the trail run - my first foray into the pool since Waveney, I think, so just 30 minutes getting reacquainted with the water and seeing how my technique has fared. Not too bad, I think, but a more structured session next time will tell.

Photo: IMG_5802 by timbobee, on Flickr
* no, this is not an actual control point from the UEA course...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Not quite ten thousand men...

Oh, The Grand Old Duke Of York..

...and I'm not quite elevating Nigel to the aristocracy (king of efforts though he may be). But yesterday there was certainly a lot of up and down hills going on, essentially just for the sake of it, but then again we know it's good for us. Over at the playing fields, we did 2 sets of 3 easy-ish hills to warm up, and then the last "set" was a cheeky surprise consisting of three hills per lap. I was in the "two laps" group, needless to say.

I just wish I hadn't decided to add weights to my squats in the gym the day before. Lazily (!) I started with 7kg each side, because that's what I use for the bicep curls in between lunge sets and I didn't want to be swapping (or hogging) 2 sets of dumbbells. I dropped down to 2 sets of 10 static lunges each side, and was certainly feeling it a day later if not at the time. Poor old quads... It was a good progression session (ha) overall, as I did 3 x 40s on planks, 3 x 15 on twists, and 3 x 20kg triceps.

Other than that, my week has involved a round the (Ketteringham) block cycle with Clare, a commuter-bike ride to Wroxham and back (24 miles), Monday night club run, and Friday lunchtime run with Natalia and Alice (actually a good gentle stretch for my tired legs). Not too shabby - plans are now that the weekend will see another bike ride and maybe a swim.

Photo: Oh, The Grand Old Duke Of York.. by zawtowers, on Flickr

Friday, June 3, 2011

Shady ladies

Through trees

Bloody hot again for a lunchtime run - mad dogs, Englishmen, yada yada. Natalia and I stayed in the trees as far as possible. A surprisingly comfortable run given it's #3 in a row for me, but probably because it was slow, only about 3 miles (although it's hard to map the twists and turns in the trees so maybe it was further) at 11 min miles.

Photo: Through trees by Autumnsonata, on Flickr

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Back to efforts


Thursday night efforts, in Eaton Park with Nigel at the helm. Two 1-2-3-2-1 pyramids, a minute in between each effort and 3 minutes between the two sets. It was my first club effort session for, oh, a million years or so. But... I wasn't at the back. I was kind of at the front of the back if that makes sense. I don't have any handle on pace, really, but I tried to imagine what I'd like to be able to run a 5k at (looking at it in terms of realistic aspiration rather than pipe dreams).

It was a hot day and it was hard, sweaty work turning myself into a human beetroot - but that's the point of efforts. I'd describe it as tough but do-able, so I reckon I pitched it right... calf cramp was threatening on the way back to base but it didn't appear during the session so that's good. I did wish I'd taken a drink - I was probably dehydrated by the end, which can't have helped.

I haven't done anything other than running since the lake swim at the weekend - the next day my nose/head was totally stuffed (allergic reaction?) and so I gave it a rest. Now I hear there's suspected blue-green algae at the lake, so I wonder if that's what it was?

Photo: sweaty. by dearsomeone, on Flickr