Saturday, 12 March 2016

Downtime, Diet and New Gear...

The thing about running is that it's great when its over.  Yes, you heard me correctly, because running is actually hard at times.  I regularly find myself running along thinking WTF am I doing? It's raining, I haven't done my housework and this is supposed to be fun for God's sake!

Retrospective enjoyment is the best part of running for me - especially racing.  During the race its all about the pain and the internal battle with my body Vs my brain telling me to stop! Seriously, the achievement felt afterwards, and the ability to go over the best bits in my head (and all those euphoric endorphins bombing around my body) makes all the pain totally worth it.  Lots of my friends completed the Grindleford Gallop today - a 21 mile epic fell/trail run - and I am sure they would whole-heartedly agree with me on this right now!

Not feeling the love at all during the Famous Grouse race Nov 2015!
Yes, granted - it sucks running up a massive hill in a force 10 gale with bucket loads of rain lashing your face for good measure (and maximum dermobrasion) but the after effects make it so worthwhile! That feeling of standing in a warm shower knowing there's a steaming mug of tea ready and waiting for you is amazing!  Knowing you can eat shit loads of food and best of all eat cake without feeling remorseful is another major positive (don't go crazy though unless you've run a marathon - then knock yourself out).  
My homemade bruise removal device

I've been feeling a bit sorry for myself this week.  9 days on from my crash and I am more bruised now than ever and my right knee is giving me gyp too.  I've been hobbling around with a heat pack (fashioned from a wheat bag tied on with a dressing gown belt) on my bad leg - trying to get my circulation pumping to clear the bruising away.

Love our girls MTB sessions!

I did get out on my MTB on Thursday with the girls, we had a lovely ride around the Goyt Valley which gave me a boost.  

The feeling of not being able to run is really gutting.  Any runner will tell you - it's like an addiction after a while, I now understand people who run everyday - which I never did before.  

I'm struggling to run and bike in the time I have at the moment.  In my ideal world my training plan would include a swim every week, 2 runs at least with one speed/hills and one distance, and 1 - 2 bike rides as well.  Reality means I have to make the most of 2 runs at best and one bike at the moment, but it does keep me ticking over and I love getting out on the MTB with the girls.  The road bike is now back and ready for action so I will be adding some confidence building sessions in with Caz as the weather permits. 


Amanda is lending me her turbo trainer ( a device which turns your roadie into a spinning bike basically) to use in the evenings when Mr A is away so that will be a big fitness boost too hopefully.  

I read recently that another bloggers audience were asking about diet and it got me thinking that although I am by no means an expert, I have managed to keep my weight off since 2013.  How?  Well I lost my 3.5 stones in weight through joining my local Slimming World group.  It was amazing, I could eat loads and still lose weight.  I enjoyed staying to group each week and I really embraced the whole healthy eating lifestyle.  I still follow lots of the slimming world principles now, although I'm not as rigid as I was, and there are certain things that you just need when you start to exercise harder.  

I have been developing an interest in clean eating for sometime and have read about benefits of nut butters and protein shakes etc. in the world of fitness, but apart from the odd gel I haven't really tried any other sport specific foodstuffs.  

This week, I bought some Whole Foods 3 nut butter and tried it on a wholegrain crackerbread (slimming world Healthy Extra B) with slices of banana on top - OMG it was a taste sensation and my new go to snack after running!

I have also purchased some Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) to make a delicious sounding breakfast which I found on the POPSUGAR blog.

I have never really thought about protein shakes and the like - thinking they were more of a gym bunny thing, but when looking at the science of building and repairing muscle, I didn't fancy any calorie heavy shakes so I looked for a diet alternative and contacted my vitamin supplier - Natures Best, who do a range of sports supplements. They are sending me some of the Diet Whey in Chocolate for me to  review for them - I intend to use it as a recovery shake after very strenuous runs/ride and will keep you posted on progress!

New Proviz Jacket

Another product I have been sent is the Proviz Reflect 360 Outdoor Jacket which I am really impressed with already.  I have worn it a couple of times and had positive comments about it - but I have yet to try it at night, which is where it will really impress. I will be writing a more detailed review on this when I have had chance to test it at night and on my bike.  

Cross top brake levers
In other (totally irrelevant) news, I have named my bikes, my MTB is called Pearl - owing to the iridescent white paintwork and my new roadie is now called Ladybird - again, the paintwork (its red, white and black) and my new cross top brakes look like the antenna on an insect (thanks once again to The Bike Factory in Whaley Bridge for looking after me!). I was referring to it as Deathtrap but it seemed a bit negative so Ladybird it is!  - You can tell I've had time on my hands without running!

I have also bought some Inov-8 Roclite 280 shoes as an early birthday present to use for longer distance fell/trail runs as I've been finding my Mudclaws a little too jarring on any hard surfaces I run on.  I will keep you updated on my progress with these!

Tip of the day - use Vaseline between your toes to stop rubbing/toe smashing on longer runs.  It has often saved my toes and is really cheap!

Hopefully next week I can get back on track with my training schedule, and bring you gear reviews of the Proviz jacket and the Inov-8 Base elite top.  Happy running! :-) 

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