Tag: HokaOneOne

Donning my SIU hat – 10 weeks to Pilgrim

It is time to catch up, get a grip, suck it up and do whatever it takes. The Pilgrim Challenge is, in training terms, just around the corner. I think this might be an early mistake of mine for the new year. I’ll let you know. Meanwhile, I’ve just realised it is merely TEN WEEKS AWAY and I’m struggling to run 5km. This does not bode well but miracles can happen. Nah, scratch that. Miracles WILL happen. If I discovered ultra-running in 2012, well 2013 is going to be my year of ultra-exploration (within my own limits, of course).

Now, I haven’t been sitting on the couch ALL the time these last couple of months. Since the Paras 10 I’ve taken time out and I’m now attempting to crawl back to something resembling running. I’ve done loads of cross-training and strength work so my problem isn’t going to be fitness. My problem is just my bloomin’ knees – but that’s about to change. I have now donned my SUCK IT UP hat and we are MOVING!! Besides, I need to be running these days. Stress! What do you do when you’re stressed? Well, run, of course! And when you’re sad/confused/pissed off? Run! And when you get up in the morning and have a crick in your neck? Why that’s easy …… Run! I guess I’m not the right person to ask if there’s something wrong and you’re looking for a quick fix because running is sort of my cure-all for everything. These days I’m even hoping maybe it’ll turn me into a better parent LOL Three solid weeks of being told every single morning that you’re the worst mother in the world and that your child hates you is not good for the soul  At this stage, I’m almost starting to believe it, but at least I know how to escape from it – RUN!

No point rambling on with details. I did an easy 7 miles the other day. Started fine, Mr ITB came to visit quite quickly though and really pissed me off. That’s when I put on my SIU hat. Out again this morning – another 7. Enough with this rehab stuff. The strength is there, everything’s there and I think at this stage that many of my ITB woes are in my head!! I could be wrong, of course, but we’ll see. This morning I went back to old tactics – I did a run/walk. Right now I’m interested in time on feet and getting a wee bit of distance in on at least a regular basis. 7 miles will do for now and knee feels GOOD!! The walk/run strategy seems to work for me so I’m going to stick with it, increase the distance and gradually drop away the walking bits – rather than the other way around. Feels good to have a plan!

Meanwhile, had a great session with fellow runner Keith Jackson on Brighton’s Jacob’s Ladder – one of my favourite ‘alternative’ outdoor playgrounds  Ten times up and down the 153 steps makes for a great glute-firing workout. It can be death-defyingly boring on your own but doable all the same. The trick, of course, is to add an ‘element’ to every second ascent – so pace and strategy are varied. Yes, yes, I know, to the Killian Jornet’s of this world this wee set of steps is akin to climbing to the top of your kitchen stool, but for us mortals it’s quite a challenge and 3000 steps makes for a great leg blast. Of course, neither Keith nor I were expecting an impromptu sprint interval in the middle of our session. There’s nothing like surprise to add fire to your workout and when you spot a gentleman 153 steps below you disappearing into the middle distance WITH ALL YOUR GEAR, it’s time to step up the pace a smidge!!! *Note to self: Don’t leave backpack at the bottom of the steps* You might well say ‘serves you right’ – but those steps are hard enough without carrying extra. Besides, we were the only people there apart from this man who, I might add, passed us on the steps on his way down and even said Good Morning and made a comment about our efforts!!! What, you think it was too hard to put two and two together? You really believe he saw all our stuff and didn’t for a second think it might belong to the two people he’d just passed??
Well, anyway … takes all sorts, I guess, but jeez I took my life in my hands coming down those bloody steps. We’d spent the first couple of descents trying to push a lot of the wet leaves to the side, half the steps are broken, they were all wet (it was raining – is it ever not raining?), so the entire flight was pretty scary. Anyway, I flew (how could I not? I was in my Hokas!!!!! Attn. www.hokaoneone.co.uk) and then I sprinted and all I could think was ‘Shit! I don’t have a plan! Shit! I don’t have a plan!’ … I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do when I caught him – only that I was definitely going to catch him.

To cut a long story short, catch him I did, grabbed my jacket, my backpack (complete with phone, car keys etc. etc.), hurled a few non-too-complimentary words in his direction and went back to complete the workout! Couldn’t be arsed with any more involvement. Need to save my energy for another two flights …

Why is there always a drama when I’m out and about? I think I’m jinxed.

Did I mention that on this morning’s run I got locked in the public toilets? And since it was chucking it down outside do you think there was anyone within miles to come to my rescue? #hadtoclimbovertopofdoor

Of inspiration, motivation and Hokas

‘Run with your eyes closed.’ So says Kilian Jornet (article in Trail Running magazine – Oct/Nov 2012). Come on. Really? That made me truly laugh out loud. I mean, what planet is he living on? Well, certainly not mine. Jeez, doesn’t he realise that most of us have enough trouble running with our eyes open? Complete nutter!! He goes on to suggest one should try running for 5m blind. Erm … I’m hoping that’s not 5 miles! Oh – and let’s not forget that he’s talking about running downhill and, of course, one must remain ‘relaxed’. PAHAHAHA  It’s articles like that – and quotes like that – that confirm just how brilliant these elite runners are at what they do, not to mention completely crazy. Mostly, though, they’re just fantastically inspirational. I love reading about runners really ‘running’. It constantly reminds me that what I do barely stretches to be called running. And when I read how far the ‘real’ runners push themselves to achieve what they want to achieve, it definitely motivates me to try just a little bit harder – even if that means, in ‘my’ world, running to the next telegraph pole instead of collapsing at this one!

But enough about the elites. You don’t have to be an elite runner to impress me. I’m motivated every day reading facebook posts about people I know (or about friends of people I know) who are running HMs and marathons, 50k, 100k and 100-mile races every other weekend. Does it make me want to give up because I discovered this passion far too late in life and I’m so far behind? Like hell it does! I LOVE reading of their successes, their hiccups, their training … Their triumphs – YOUR triumphs – simply make me want to run another few kilometres tomorrow – and run them I will, be that 5k, 10k or a little more. I guess the world really is full of crazy people – and some are definitely a little (or a lot) crazier than others.

Today I managed my first 5k in a while. In my bid to hold back on the running and rebuild my knees, I’ve been avoiding anything to do with running. I’ve managed a few Run 60 secs/Walk 60 secs sessions to ‘test’ my grumbling joints. Not as niggle-free as I’d hope, but easy does it. This morning, though, in fine drizzle and my new Hokas  http://www.hokaoneone.com/en/catalog.html. I couldn’t resist. I decided to do a wee lap and just go with it and see what happened – and I flew!! I have to say they do just what they say on the box, these Hokas! Definitely my new ‘go-faster’ shoes (bearing in mind that most people walking backwards could overtake me – I’m that slow!!). I flew along (it’s all relative, all relative haha), chanting ‘Follow the Hoka One trail … Follow the Hoka One trail …’. I wish I was clever enough to play with photoshop and the image I have in my head of those Hokas on Dorothy’s feet … But seriously, for someone plagued, as I am, with unrelenting PF which has moved from just a ‘morning’ thing to all bloody day (!) … my new trainers are a godsend. Yes, I’m converted and will be looking to get my hands on some trail ones very soon *thinks  ‘Christmas is coming’!*

Otherwise, on the training front I’m really pleased that to the sweet sounds of Amy MacDonald I had the first run that I’ve actually enjoyed since the High Peaks 40. ‘Enjoying’ a run, for me, means that I suddenly realise I’ve been running for 10+ minutes without being aware of niggles in my knees. Yes, they started to bother me a little in the last couple of hundred metres and some might say I should’ve stopped immediately – but how the hell do you stop 200 metres from a finish line??? I still puzzle over that. I still can’t believe that man with the walking poles in front of me at the High Peaks 40 … climbed the gorge just ahead of me, reached the final checkpoint together and … with 3 km to go he pulled out. Of course, he must’ve been gutted and had all sorts of reasons – but I only have what I heard to go on. I’m sure there was plenty more, but the argument with his friends – who were urging him to get those 3km done to the finish – was that he was ‘too tired’. Yes, yes, I know – that’s probably harsh and I’ll go to hell for saying it but

Dear God, could you please grant me just one race where I can simply say close to the finish that I’m ‘too tired’ – without having to refer to ITB, PF, pulled muscles, cuts, bruises, throwing up blah blah blah blah? I’d be ever so grateful.’

Meanwhile, I shall just have to defer to my current favourite quote (not sure who said it):

I don’t stop when I’m tired. I stop when I’m done.

My new go-faster shoes 🙂  They do to feet what hot choccie does to the soul (especially when the boiler’s broken)!

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