Hill running, Nike gear and keeping things interesting

I can’t quite believe what I’ve signed up to this weekend…camping and running at Ultra 12.

I’m not a great camper. And it’s not because I’m particularly high maintenance and “omg dirt” but it’s because I like my creature comforts and routine. A good night’s sleep, feeling warm and having a somewhat unlimited kitchen full of food. And not only this but I’m heading to Bristol Friday night to visit friends and have a BBQ before leaving for Ultra 12 on Saturday afternoon. So I have a lot to think about when packing, especially as I plan on doing the Bristol Little Stoke parkrun Saturday morning as well. Hmmm. In true Anna style, let’s make things really complicated and as difficult as possible!

On the plus side though, Little Stoke parkrun is apparently super flat and only a mile from my friends’ house. Thankfully my friends know what I’m like and don’t think I’m weird for dashing out in the morning to go to parkrun (these are the friends I went to Orlando with).

I’m not sure really how Ultra12 is going to go though. Running multiple laps throughout the night with gaps in between…I’m nervous to say the least. I recovered really well after my half on Sunday and felt good running Tuesday evening.

Post run selfie Right pic: Stretching my calves on the stairs at work post-run

The run went really well. It’s my usual hilly 5.3 miles round where I work.

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It includes one really nasty hill (12% incline for 0.2 miles) that I do twice, once at the beginning and once at the end. There’s a Strava segment for it and my last PB for running that segment was back in April so I was really chuffed to find I finally beat it (only by 2 seconds mind you)!

image I’m a Strava stats geek and proud!

It was tough, but I do love my hill runs. I’ve found it’s really good at improving my form, building strength in my legs and strength in my mind. The lactic acid build-up is quite intense but keeping your mind focused on powering up and keeping your form good (high knees, pushing off strong through your glutes and your eye line ahead not down) helps keep your mind off the pain…sort of.

I was able to test drive my new running gear that I bought as well. I’m a self-confessed Nike addict so I couldn’t help but indulge in some sales a bit on sportshoes.com (not an affiliated link, I just like their website and they have good deals).

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I always trust Nike to be of good quality and long-lasting. The shorts are very comfortable, don’t ride up and have an inner lining. Also there’s a small zipped pocket at the back which is handy. The yellow top is also nice fitting and feels very dry when wearing it, despite the recent humidity. The other items I haven’t tried yet (though the black top is exactly the same as the yellow).

I’ve still been maintaining my 2-3 times a week gym visits as well. The new gym renovation has made the gym a slightly more exciting place (OK less dull) with a lot more weights, space and the stepper machine (apparently called “Jacob’s ladder”, thanks Autumn).

IMG_2286There’s the face of someone really happy to be there 😉

I’ve also been playing around with the self-timer camera on my phone because gym selfies can be a bit samey! Plus I think it’s cool 😉 I can also see when my form is appalling (bottom left photo my arm is far from underneath my shoulder, not good!).

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I suppose it’s quite lucky I’m at the gym so early as I guess self-timing photo taking is not normal gym behaviour…but then these days, what is?? I’ve seem some very funny things at the gym.

I do my harder gym routine either Thursday morning or Friday morning now rather than Monday, like I used to, as I’ve been finding by doing it Monday it ruins my legs for my hill session Tuesday. My Thursday night run is now with the running club so it’s far more social and less about a specific pace so it doesn’t matter if my legs ache a bit. My harder strength routine usually includes deadlifts and squats which I’ve been consistently upping the weights on and I always, always ache the next day. I also hate it but it’s a necessary evil for me to avoid injury (*touch wood*).

But I find it sooo dull and hard to get excited about. In efforts to make things more interesting I’ve been listening to the Game of Thrones unofficial podcast (Cast of Kings) while I’m there after Chelsea recommended it and I’m addicted. I read the GoT books but a couple of years ago so my memory is fuzzy (and the books are unbelievably dense with a zillion characters – you think the programme is hard to keep track of all the different people, ha!) so the podcast is great for inside knowledge and analysis of what’s going on. I’m a self-confessed geek, I won’t deny it. So listening to it alongside working my way through season five is great (I’ve got two episodes left – how scary was that seen with the white walkers!? I watched that before I went to sleep and it freaked me out).

Anyway, if anyone has any great tips for making things exciting at the gym…let me know! 😉 Or running an all-night event…good grief.

What podcasts, if any, do you listen to?

Are you a Game of Thrones fan?

Where do you buy your gym/running gear and what’s your preferred brand?

6 Replies to “Hill running, Nike gear and keeping things interesting”

  1. Enjoy Bristol and the racing- I am not a camping fan either- I used to love it when I was little, but I just hate waking up all hot, and also I hate toilet blocks- I don’t need a hairdryer or things like that, but I like an actual bed now!
    I listen to lots of podcasts now- I have the pocket cast app which I love, and every now and then search through and add new things- there is a good one called Science Versus- I just listened to them talking about the paleo diet , also the Infinate Monkey Cage is back and doing a US tour- that’s always good for interesting things. There is one called Fresh Air which is american but they talk about TV shows or films and things, that can be quite good depending on who the guest is. Or the Richard Herring Leicester Square podcasts- I haven’t listened to them all but when he has someone I like, it i worth it. The Russel Brand one was totally crazy though- left me with some images I can never get out of my brain!
    I like Nike clothes too- I bought some capris in the January sales and I love them because they are not too long, but I can’t seem to find the exact pair to buy another one.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…Ware 10 miles- race number 45!My Profile

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