Bouldering (Birthday weekend–part 2)

Having the birthday that I have (19th June) means it often falls on or is around Father’s Day. I was actually born on Father’s Day and my dad always says it was the nicest present to have gotten (ha, take that Big Sis Winking smile).

Since I did most of my celebrating the day before and my dad and me had done a dual celebration a few weeks ago (Nando’s and cinema – two of our loves), we hadn’t planned anything concrete for the actual Sunday. My dad and me had a nice walk down the beach with the dogs while we waited for my mum to finish at church (my dad and me aren’t religious). Then, with my mum, we went for a little mosey round the shops and they treated to me to a Starbucks. They also got me a brand new travel coffee cup as well as I broke my last one (I’m notoriously clumsy and dropped it).

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It’s cool that Starbucks sell smoothie drinks now with ACTUAL fruit in them. You just take a plastic cup of the fruit to the till and they blend it up.

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My dad had one of those while I had my usual Americano. My parents each had a slice of cake but I resisted the temptation, which actually wasn’t that hard as I was still recovering from the mammoth meal the day before…

Then I went on my merry little way to my bouldering induction. After my booking fail of last weekend I was really keen to make this one! Though not actual rock climbing (with harnesses) it was the next best thing I could do within a short notice (I’ve got rock climbing this weekend).

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It was based at a place called Red Spider in Fareham. I paid £15 for a one-on-one introduction to bouldering session (lasting an hour). The instructor who took it, a lovely guy named Chris, was really good. Very friendly and thorough, especially with safety which is obvious paramount as you don’t have a harness and you are climbing fairly high!

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Yes there is a cushioned mat underneath the wall but that minimises the impact rather than acts as a safety net. You’ll still get injured or cause yourself damage by falling or dropping incorrectly from the wall.

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Anyway he got me to warm up by following him through the kid’s climbing area which was highly amusing. We were going up and down these twisty passages (which were actually quite narrow!) and then up slides and things like that. Seemed random but I understood the logic – bouldering uses pretty much your entire body and scampering up and down the kid’s play area was working all our muscles dynamically but safely. Then we started on a wall that was standing height so I could get used to the grips and foot placing. I seemed to do alright and he said my technique and strength was good so we moved quickly on.

IMG_2307After the session on my own

The climbing wall has lots of different ‘problems’ (routes to climb the wall) and each problem is categorised between V0-V5, V5 being the hardest and they’re indicated by colours. You then follow (or attempt to follow) the colour of the holds (the things you grab onto and/or put your feet onto). You can only use the colour holds that are for that problem. So obviously we started on the V0s to get used to climbing up and down. I found this quite easy (not to beat my own drum!) and we moved on to harder ones.

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It obviously helps that I have a fitness background – being a runner means I have strong legs and a high endurance for effort and all my gym work has improved my strength, especially in my arms and core. I also like to think that since my grandad was a proficient climber (he’s written two books about it and is in Wikipedia!) that something may have trickled down into my genes Winking smile

I still found it tough though and on the tricky ones he would explain or demonstrate how to do certain routes, which gave me a range of skills that I could learn and work on. Though obviously I know rock climbing and bouldering has a lot of skill involved, it was fascinating to realise it was a lot more than just having a strong grip and strong arms! There was so much core strength and mental ability required to work out the best way to navigate up. Using your hips as a centre of gravity and twisting your body to get the right balance to get to the next grip. A lot of balance and stability was required.

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Anyway I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I got a super pump from it and I was buzzing. It was amazing how quickly it became a tough workout as well when you went from the easy problems to the harder ones. And the genuine fear of falling was always there. After we finished the session I carried on by myself for about half an hour doing the ones we’d gone through.

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What I also loved about it was how social it was. There were lots of other people there climbing and everyone was so nice. When I got stuck trying to get past a problem, someone was always there to help me out and explain the best way to do it.

I left buzzing and wanting to go back as soon as possible. I’m going to try rock climbing as well but bouldering seems a bit more accessible as I don’t need to worry about having someone to help with a belay. But I’ll see what the rock climbing is like. This is something I really hope to continue. Don’t get me wrong, I obviously still love running but for my sanity I need something else I can enjoy when I can’t run. I like going to the gym but it’s not exactly something you can go and do for fun per se. Bouldering is definitely something I can go off and do on my own and enjoy myself on afternoon.

Have you ever done rock climbing or bouldering before?

What are your hobbies?

What’s your favourite coffee shop? I know it’s so commercial, but I do love Starbucks.

Birthday weekend–part 1

And just like that I’m another year older… I turned 28 yesterday. I’d like to think that I’m wiser and have it all figured out but I absolutely don’t. But I’m happy and enjoying life so I’ll take that!

For the Saturday I had a few of my university friends down. Kate and Jamie (I went on holiday last year with them to Orlando) came down earlier so they could join me at parkrun. Now this is a BIG DEAL. This is the couple who laughed at me for going to parkrun when we were on holiday together. They were the least likely out of all my non-running friends to want to do parkrun. But, major kudos to them, they’ve started running and eating better in order to lose a bit of weight and get a bit more healthy. Jamie has lost FIVE STONE and Kate has lost (I think) over two stone. They’ve both also been doing the Couch to 5K programme and Kate had timed it perfectly as to use parkrun for my birthday weekend as her target.

They got to mine just before 8am and we headed down to Lee-On-Solent parkrun. Ordinarily I do Netley but Kate wanted a nice flat course and my dad was going to do Lee as well as my friend, Mat, who was down from Cheltenham for the week so it made sense.

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It was a beautifully sunny day. I was a bit worried about my hamstring but I’d done a quick tester run when I walked Alfie in the morning and it held up OK. Not perfect but alright.

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I’d planned to take the run nice and slowly and stop if at any point it became bad.

IMG_2216My dad rocking the England shirt

It was quite amusing to see Jamie and Kate’s reaction to parkrun. They tend to run very early in the morning and never with other people. They genuinely thought they’d be about 12 people at parkrun. Jamie said he was shocked that one minute there were a couple of people and then the next there were hundreds. They were literally taken aback by the amount of lycra and colour about.

The start was a little bit hectic I must admit. There was over 300 people and we were all bunched together. It involved a lot of negotiating around people and trying not to trip over anyone else or be tripped up. But eventually it evened out and there was enough space.

I found a nice easy rhythm. I wasn’t pushing it or feeling out of breath and the hamstring felt OK. I was surprised to see I was running around 8 minute miles.

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Lee’s a good course as you can see runners ahead and behind so I could cheer people on and spot people I knew.

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I’d say the hamstring felt 80% OK. It niggled slightly towards the end but there was no pain, just felt uncomfortable. It just annoys me though as it doesn’t make for a great run as I’m constantly thinking about it and not wanting to push myself to go fast because I don’t want to annoy it. But least it was better than it has been! I finished in 24:15 which felt nice and comfortable.

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Mat had already finished in a great time of 20:50 so we walked together to walk my dad in. He was power walking the course and desperate to beat his last time of 51:12. He was finding it tough but the tail runner was apparently really good at keeping him going.

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Towards the end, he picked up speed, overtook another guy and sprinted to the finish. Everyone cheered him in and it was lovely.

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And he completed it in 50:16 so almost a minute off his time! He was made up Smile Kate squeaked under her goal of sub-35 by getting 34:57 and Jamie got 33:58. The absolute best part was hearing how much they loved it. Kate and Jamie are now full-on parkrun converts. On the way home they were already planning their next one (depressingly their local one was Little Stoke so now their nearest one is about 20 minutes away). Jamie was already commenting how he felt he could run further when he finished as well. YES!!! Converting my non-running friends one person at a time Winking smile

We got back to mine, showered and then my friend Shell and her fiancé, Rob, showed up to join the fun. Again, hearing them tell Rob and Shell how good parkrun was just made my day. A year ago there was nothing I could say that would persuade them that running could be enjoyable. People have to find out for themselves.

I had booked my latest favourite restaurant for lunch and we were all pretty excited. After catching up and walking Alfie and Kate’s pug, Doug, we headed to Sadlers in Southampton.

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As I’ve mentioned before, Sadlers is THE restaurant for meat (though they also have a strong vegetarian section of the menu too). The last time I went was INCREDIBLE. My friends love BBQ food too so it made sense to go here. I decided to go for the ribs rather than the platter this time as, though the platter is amazing, I was really craving ribs. And they did not disappoint.

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HUGE chunks of meaty ribs on top of chips, salad, coleslaw and cornbread. I didn’t even touch the chips. There was just too much meat (which, by the way, is not an issue).

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So tasty. Shell and Rob also went with the ribs and Jamie and Kate shared the platter.

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Ridiculously (and foolishly) Shell, Rob and I ordered sides as well. Shell and Rob went for some pulled pork and I went for some chicken wings and we ordered the bourbon BBQ sauce to go alongside. (Greed took over sanity here as you can probably tell…).

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Yeah I didn’t even touch those wings. There was just far too much going on my plate. And, amazingly for me, I couldn’t finish the ribs. I was beaten! Everyone was. Happily Kate and Jamie said I could take their leftovers home so I took a swan of shame back with me.

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Needless to say my freezer is now joyfully stocked with some smoked turkey, gammon, wings, hot link sausages and pulled pork. Happy days!

As we sat there afterwards chatting and basically recovering from the meal, the waitress appeared with a cake with lit candles and they all started singing happy birthday to me. It was such a surprise and so lovely!

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To be honest, I think the last thing we all wanted was a slice of chocolate cake. But you gotta take one for the team right?? Winking smile

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The chocolate cupcakes on top were filled with delicious buttercream. We were literally DONE after having a slice.

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We spent a long time at my flat just laying around chatting and digesting. We probably could have napped! It was such a great day. And to top it off they got me some super cool Superdry workout gear.

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Because what else would you buy me?? So, an absolutely perfect Saturday.

What is your perfect way to spend your birthday?

Have you converted any non-runners to runners?

What’s your perfect birthday gift?

Conwy parkrun and family time

And I’m back in England again after a flying visit to Wales this weekend. I travelled up to North Wales, Llandudno, with my dad to see my grandparents. Originally my mum was meant to come too but for various reasons she couldn’t unfortunately.

My dad and me drove together straight from work on Friday evening and got to Llandudno just after 10pm. After a quick catch-up with my grandparents I headed to bed – after over four hours of being in the car! The next morning the plan was to head to the very local Conwy parkrun. As it was just a five minute drive from the house it meant we didn’t need to leave until 8.20am and even then we when arrived we sat in the car for a little bit to keep warm. It was such a luxury to not have to get there early to set-up the course! (Though I did miss the social side of Netley parkrun).IMG_8338

The parkrun is located just next to the RSPB Nature Reserve (which I visited a few years ago on a different visit). It was easy to park (for free!) and the views were fantastic. It was a beautiful crisp and clear day and you could see out to Conwy castle and the surrounding areas.

IMG_8341The gate is where the parkrun begins, Conwy castle in the distance

My grandad and dad had come to support me which was lovely. I think my grandad was a little shocked that I wasn’t wearing warmer clothes but I assured him that within a few minutes of running I’d be lovely and warm – especially doing a 5k! He used to be a mountain climber and guide so proper equipment and clothing is vital to him.

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My plan was to give it a blast but not be stupid due to my long run planned tomorrow. But I did want to make the most of the flat course to see where my fitness was sat.

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I also had my music with me for a change to help motivate me to run fast. After a gentle warm-up and the race brief we off. Annoyingly I should have started a bit closer to the front as I had to weave in and out of people. It’s always tricky to judge where to start at a new parkrun!

The route is very simple, you head out alongside the Conwy River on a compacted dirt track, have a brief moment of pain as you go over the footbridge over the main road, then turn left to do a quick out and back to the Conwy Castle, then continue alongside the river before turning around and going back over the footbridge and back to the finish. It’s super flat (bar the bridge) and great to stretch the legs on. It was a little windy but nothing major. I’d say I felt comfortably steady for 80% of the run but had to dig deep and ride the pain train for the last stretch.IMG_8387

Photo credit: Steve Jeffrey Photography

I knew I was second female as I’d seen the first female ahead of me on the out and back but I managed to catch her up a little bit and she finished 20 seconds ahead. She was wearing a hoodie which leads me to believe she might have been taking it easy!

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My time was 21:40 with an overall place of 17/202 (one of my best finishes!). I also managed another royal flush negative split which continues to surprise me!

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The Conwy parkrun was very friendly and welcoming and had a fantastic course really showing some beautiful scenery. I’d definitely recommend it if you’re in the area. There’s also a lovely cafe at the Nature Reserve to go afterwards (we didn’t, we went straight home as we were cold).

The entire weekend’s weather in Llandudno was really good. Beautifully sunny though very cold. Conwy parkrun wasn’t that windy (though the next day it was), whereas at Netley, my usual parkrun, it was cold, wet and miserable. Apparently it wasn’t a pleasant experience. Very odd that for once Wales had the better weather!

The rest of the day we spent doing some odd bits of shopping and walking around Conwy. Conwy is known for its mussels so I had to take a photo of the HUGE bag I saw next to the water. They’re sustainably hand-raked.IMG_8356If I lived in Conwy I think I’d be eating them all the time! Anyway, it was a nice relaxed day.

That evening, as a normal tradition when we visit my grandparents, we went to their favourite Indian restaurant. Perhaps not the wisest choice before my planned 18 miles the next day but I know exactly what to order that won’t upset my stomach.IMG_8357

Tandoori chicken and an onion salad – my usual! With poppadum and a mixed kebab starter. Half way through the meal the owner of the restaurant came over and presented us with a bottle of champagne. We all looked at each other a bit confused as we hadn’t ordered it. He said it was because we were celebrating a special birthday. Well, we were – it was my dad’s birthday the next day, we were just confused as to how he knew! And then at the end of the meal he brought over a chocolate cake with candles and they sang him happy birthday. Though it was obviously very nice, we were still confused as to how he knew.

My dad then received a phone call from my mum saying she’d planned it! How lovely! My dad was so touched. Strangely though, my mum hadn’t paid and when my dad tried to pay they refused. How bizarre!

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Obviously we all had some chocolate cake to finish off the meal.

I’ll do a recap of the next day (well, the long run I had planned) as this post is getting quite long and I have a lot to say about the run. But as a synopsis for the entire weekend, it was fantastic. I love seeing my grandparents. My grandad is very similar to me in his personality and how much he enjoys staying active and being outside. He’s 83 years old but he’s not stopping yet!

Have you been to Wales before?

Do you enjoy seafood?

Have you ever had a birthday surprise?

You can never have too much cake

This weekend past was pretty damn good, if I do say so myself. It was a great balance of being ridiculously busy and then nice and chilled.

Friday night was a casual Christmas drinks evening with some running club friends at the pub. Annoyingly this pub was walking distance from my new home but I had to house(dog)-sit for my parents while they were in London over the weekend, which meant I had to drive instead. Anyway it was a great evening with most people wearing Christmas jumpers and just having a nice natter.

Christmas jumper

There was even a Michael Jackson tribute singer so a few of us had a boogie. Don’t blame it on the sunshine…

The next morning, as usual, was parkrun at Netley Abbey. The weather was ridiculously mild, albeit a bit windy. We decided to get a photo of our usual set-up crew which was lovely. A few us had our parkrun Volunteer 25 t-shirts on as well which worked out nicely.Netley Abbey parkrun volunteers

I love setting up parkrun with these guys. They’re all just so lovely and we have a good laugh. They were all really supportive when I had my rough times earlier in the year as well. There’s something about running that just brings people together in a good way.

There were loads of guys from the running club running as well because it was our club’s Secret Santa. It was great to see so many familiar faces. At the start I was quite concerned that I was stood next to my super speedy friend, Michelle, but she assured me she was taking it easy having run eight miles already. I think I stayed with her for all of about 100m before she was like a blip in the horizon! Even my friend Chris who I used to be faster than pre-injury zoomed away despite being hungover having not left the pub last night until 1am. My ego got a bit of a kicking 😉

Even splits

However I was really chuffed with some very even splits. I got 22:59 which I’m over the moon with. I really kept my mind focused on the effort. It’s funny because I’ve stopped listening to music at parkrun now. I’ve found it distracts me and makes me feel claustrophobic. I think if I was really pushing for a specific time I might wear some motivating music, but at the moment I’m enjoying ‘naked’ runs. I’ve taken a minute off my faster time from a few weeks ago. This is definitely progress!

I did do some investigation on Strava to see what my fastest time on this course was and found it’s 21:57 in March this year. Jeeze that’s a challenge! Maybe in a few months…

Secret Santa was good fun as well. We all crammed into the café and exchanged gifts.Secret Santa

Thanks again to my official blog photographer, Mark, for the photo 😉

My label said Anna Jayne Smith (*sighs*) so the person didn’t know me that well but they knew me well enough to get me very posh Strawberry and white chocolate cake and a Christmas pudding shaped chocolate slab. Very pleased!!

Afterwards my sister, her fiancée and Meg and Ellie, her two daughters, met up with me so Ellie could run a children’s fun run which was happening in the park at 10.30am. It was a charity race for Ben’s Heroes and entry was £3. Such a good cause. Ellie is almost six years old and has been doing Junior parkrun quite a bit lately with her dad. I’d love to do it with her but it’s a fair distance away from me and I haven’t been able to get there so I was really excited that I was finally able to see her (and join her!) running.

My heart melted when Ellie said she wanted to be a runner like me and run marathons. I’m beyond proud. Obviously this might be a passing trend but for now I’m over the moon she’s so into it. For Christmas I’ve got her some really funky purple Nike leggings.IMG_6852

I’m jealous! I want a pair! But they are TINY.

Back to the race, Ellie was really excited and kept sprinting off and showing me how fast she could run, bless her.Children's raceIt was two laps of the cricket pitch (our usual fast summer course) and the race organiser said the kids could run one or two laps depending how they felt (there were some quite young children). She held my hand and chatted the entire way round. She even told me that running was good because it made you “live longer”. I’m not sure Ellie should be worried about her mortality at this point in her life but it made me chuffed that she associated running with being healthy. I was careful not to run too fast and kept to her speed andsaid we could walk if she needed to, but she was adamant to keep going. In the end we did the two laps (her choice) and she did an amazing sprint finish at the end.IMG_6850

She got a little goodie bag and a lovely medal. She was really pleased with herself and looked like she had so much fun. I was also so proud of her when she offered her goodie bag to a little boy who didn’t get one because they ran out.

The rest of the day was a mad rush of getting myself sorted, checking on my parent’s dogs and then getting back to my flat to have a catch up with my friend Louise and her husband Tom. We’d arranged a kind of afternoon tea gathering as I said I had a panettone I was reviewing for the blog that would be great to share with them and Lou said she might bake something.

Well, they turned up with some very nice artisan bread, loads of different filling choices for sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, jam and a huge freshly baked carrot cake! Afternoon tea indeed!
Home-made afternoon tea

I had a delicious brie sandwich with onion marmalade, a pallet-cleansing slice of panettone 😉 following by a clotted cream and jam scone and then finished nicely with a slice of carrot cake. All washed down with tea obviously. They brought their little one, Jake, over and we had a lovely time stuffing our faces and chatting away. I’ll do a full review of the panettone in another post but honestly we were all pleasantly surprised at how tasty it was. It was the perfect level of sweetness for such a sugar-frenzied afternoon.

I then had to rush to an opticians appointment and then rush to my friend Mike’s surprise 40th birthday party (honestly, there was not one single thing I was on time for the entire day). I took with me some sticky garlic and honey chicken wings and breaded paprika chicken tenders that I’d rustled up earlier. Mike was really surprised when he got home and saw us all there after being told he wasn’t allowed in the house until 5.30pm. It was lovely to see how chuffed he was (I might be over-using the word “chuffed”…).40th birthday party food

Sheryl’s photo of her amazing cake and my own poor quality photos below (chicken wings bottom right)

Now you might think that considering all the food I ate earlier would hinder my process in making a dent in all of the buffet food on offer here. You would be wrong. My capacity to eat a lot of food still astounds me. Sheryl made this amazing cake and she let me have a taster piece before she sent out slices to everyone – you know, just to make sure it was tip top quality 😉 I then proceeded to have another slice afterwards. As if I hadn’t already eaten enough cake for one day…40th birthday party

The birthday boy (Photo credit to Sheryl)

It was a lovely evening. Towards the end after some people had left, there were just a few of us and we just sat around chatting about all things running and funny stories. Such a great party!

That night I woke up in the middle of the night not feeling well at all. That’ll teach me. I never learn though. I regret nothing! If you can’t enjoy good food with good friends then something is very wrong.

I was going to recap Sunday but this is far too long now!

Have you ever been to a surprise birthday party?

Are you good at being on time? I am awful. I never leave enough time or contingency time when things invariably go wrong.

Have you ever run with a small person?

Grumpy running, good snacking and a leg workout

Brrrrrrrrrrrr!! It is cold! Sorry to state the bleeding obvious but it really is. OK we don’t have snow and I know we’re far better off than you warriors up North or in countries with lots of snow, so apologies for my pathetic moaning.

Saturday morning I optimistically put on my shorts for parkrun but after taking Alfie for a quick walk I realised this would not be a wise move. It was so much colder than it had been in the week – and very windy.

I had intended to wear all three of my new running tops and take one off on each lap (as I mentioned, jokingly, in a previous post – then people actually wanted me to do it) but it was too cold for short sleeves! Before realising how cold it was I did put them on with the intention of wearing them…IMG_6151Top layer was to be the Bournemouth finisher’s t-shirt, then the Marathon Talk t-shirt, then finally the parkrun 50 t-shirt.IMG_6153It was going to be so good… Then I stepped outside with Alfie and thought “yeah this isn’t going to happen”. There was no way I’d want to strip off any layers when I was running!! Instead I put on some leggings and a long-sleeved top.

I got to parkrun to meet the other set-up crew guys and we were all pretty miserable and cold. It was windy and wet as well as stupidly cold. As the minutes ticked closer to the start I started to feel more and more apprehensive and, well, moody about the whole thing. I was so close to just going home. My muscles all felt really cold, creaky and just niggly. I was worried about my knee and worried about needing to stop.

I did a quick warm-up with some of the guys and I just felt myself sinking further and further into a bad mood and was certain I couldn’t run the whole parkrun.

At the start my friend Mark realised I wasn’t in the best of moods and, bless him, he tried to pull me out of it by running with me and chatting. At first I just wanted to stop and give up – I gave him fairly blunt responses to his questions and conversation attempts. I was so cold and I couldn’t warm up. I couldn’t seem to run any faster either, and I was nervous to push it anyway because of my knee, which was feeling uncomfortable.

Mark realised how cold I was and gave me his jacket mid-run which was nice of him and did help. Possibly because I wasn’t running very fast (for me) and how cold the wind was I just didn’t get warm until the 3rd mile. By then I had started to come out from my dark place and actually be a nice human being to Mark. He was very patient with me and I wouldn’t have blamed him to have left me!parkrun splits

 

 

 

In the end I ran 27:18, my slowest parkrun in a long while and possibly one of the worst in terms of enjoyment. We were also on the winter course which is worse anyway in terms of hills (and wind). I was so glad when it was over. My knee didn’t hurt but it was uncomfortable, but given the conditions I’ll take it!

I was in such a better mood afterwards as you can imagine. I was warmer, relaxed and just glad to have got it done. And there was cake made by my lovely friend, Sheryl, who was celebrating her 150th parkrun!!IMG_6154

Mar bar crispies and Malteaser bites

I was in my happy place once again 🙂 The hot drink in the cafe afterwards was much needed as well!

Later on my friend, Tom, was celebrating his 30th birthday with a Mexican and Cowboy themed party. His wife, my close friend Louise, had made some really tasty cupcakes and an immense Cactus cake. There was a spread of nachos and dips and a chilli slow cooking as well.Cactus cakeThere were churro cupcakes (with cinnamon sugar and a doughnut texture) and piñata cupcakes that had Smarties in the middle!! I can attest that both cupcakes were very tasty 😉

I also brought round some popcorn I’d found in Budgens.IMG_6156For 99p and buy one get one free I call that a definite bargain! Marshmallow popcorn?? Yes please! To be fair though, it actually just tasted like sweet popcorn with a slight marshmallow hint.1 I think I was expecting chunks of marshmallow stuck to pieces of popcorn (what an idea, eh??) and the salted popcorn was basically sweet and salty. But tasty nonetheless!

I didn’t do a very good job at the fancy dress by just having a checked shirt so Louise did my hair in plaits for me and lent me her hat 😉IMG_6167I couldn’t stay for the evening sadly as my parents had invited me over for a meal with some friends, which also meant I didn’t see the main cake being cut 🙁 Lou, the lovely friend she is, said I could pop over the next day to pick some up. Always need friends like that in your life!IMG_6194After seeing Lou and Tom on Sunday morning, I headed to the gym for my leg workout. I don’t know if you guys care to see what I did but here it is anyway…

  • Squat: (warmup sets first): 4x 65kg, 6x 62.5kg, 8x 62.5kg x3, 10x 60kg x2, 8 x60kg
  • Box squat: 12x 60kg, 12x 65kg, 12x 70kg, 10x 75kg x2
  • Deadlift (warmup sets first): 6x 65kg x2, 8x 62.5kg x2, 10x 60kg, 10x 55kg x2
  • Hack squat: 12x 47.6kg, 12x 57.6kg x4
  • Sumo squat: 20x 10kg, 20x 20kg x4

Followed by some glute kickbacks/sidekicks on the cable machine and ab work. It’s a lot quieter on Sundays than Saturdays so it was nice not to feel crowded. The hack squat was a new machine to me, which focuses primarily on the quads. I prefer the leg press machine but it wasn’t working annoyingly. The hack squat machine was quite painful on my shoulders and left marks, despite there being cushions on it. It wasn’t a fun experience!

Anyway the rest of the day was same-old same-old: Alfie walks, housework and watching a new-to-me TV series, True Detective. The first episode was soooo s.l.o.w. I’m hoping it’ll pick up. My physio leant me the box-set so I need to get through it fairly quickly (I feel bad hanging on to borrowed things for too long).

What’s your favourite popcorn flavour?

What machines do you like to use at the gym?

What’s the coolest shaped cake you’ve seen (in real life, not on the Internet!)?