Sweaty long runs and Running Heroes

Monday morning, hello again!

My weekend was nice and relaxed, which was lovely. Geoff, one of Netley Abbey parkrun’s event organisers, had given me the honour of being responsible for the keys for the Saturday run as he was going on holiday. I’m a regular member of the set-up and clear down crew so I felt very touched he picked me to look after the keys. With great power… 😉

This meant I needed to make sure I got there dead on time (8am) to help set-up. The keys opened the store cupboard with all the parkrun kit in it (cones, signs, etc.) and it also opened two of the gates that we run through as part of the course.

I’d decided a bit last minute to have breakfast before I left (usually I’ll wait until after, but I was meeting my mum later to go shopping and needed to eat lunch a bit earlier). I was rushing about so much and just before I was about to put my oats and milk in the microwave I knocked it over with quite some force accidentally. The oats and milk went everywhere. All up my legs, all up the walls, the kitchen cabinets, the floor, and even Alfie’s bowls! Argghhhh! I just stared at the carnage around me and could have screamed in frustration – so much mess. But with limited time I had to just get on and clean it up as quickly as I could (and as thoroughly as I could – milk is not a smell you want hanging around in the heat!). Bloody chia seeds are the most stickiest things in the world, I tell you. And those little suckers got everywhere. Alfie sadly missed his walk as I just didn’t have time but I promised to make it up to him later as I dashed out the door.

The set-up went fine and though the morning had begun quite cool it was now heating up. We were on the three lap course but I wanted to see how fast I could do it, having had breakfast. I felt quite confident…

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Photo credit: Chris Stapleford – Ahh the face of a happy runner

I actually felt really speedy and like I was gliding along at the start. Then I looked at my watch and saw this wasn’t computing into actual fast times. I was pushing so hard but wasn’t getting better than 6.45min/miles. Though these times are still fast for me, I was bewildered that the previous weekend I was running around 6.50s with no apparent issue for six miles. Surely I could run faster for just three?

FullSizeRenderPhoto credit: Chris Stapleford

I felt stupidly hot and it was a tough slog at the end. I managed second female with 20:48. Not too shabby at all but, I won’t lie, I was a little disappointed. I know in reality if I want to be speedier at 5ks I need to put some real work in to it, like sharp short intervals, but I just don’t have that desire, so I’ll take that time and be happy with it!

The clear down went smoothly and I was pleased to have successfully done my temporary job well. Netley had actually been very busy with our highest attendance yet at 314! Southampton parkrun has been cancelled so we got a lot of runners from there I believe.

Later on I met my mum for a shopping trip to find an outfit for a wedding I’m going to next weekend. Oh the pressure of finding an outfit…but I found a very simple but very chic black dress in H&M which I can jazz up with a statement necklace and a fascinator. I’m all about the accessories! I got two other summery dresses as well and in total paid under £30!! I mean come on, that’s such a bargain!

Sunday I’d planned a long run but didn’t know what distance to run. I have a dream trail race (*cough* marathon) I’d love to do in August but I’m not sure if it’s sensible or if my body will handle it so I’m judging things as I go for the next couple of weeks…

I stayed at my parents and decided to go a different route to incorporate a few hills and some off-road trail, but still get to run alongside the sea for part of it. As I headed out I knew I felt good. No niggles and no mental exhaustion like before…just plain sailing, relaxed running.

As I was on my second mile I passed a man with a young boy (probably about nine years old? I’m rubbish at judging small people’s ages). The boy started to run with me and at first it was funny. Then it was annoying. He just stayed with me. I got a bit worried because he was running further from his dad (I assume it was his dad). I said to him “you do know I’m running 10 miles, right?” hoping to scare him off but he replied “well my dad ran a half marathon”. Oh alright then! Cheeky bugger, I felt like replying “well I’ve run a marathon so there” but stopped myself as I remembered he was a small child and I’m an adult. Anyway he dropped off thankfully a few moments later.

The run went well. I really enjoyed it. Though I was drenched in sweat. I don’t normally sweat a great deal – that I notice anyway. But I was coated and my arms were chaffing because the sweat just wasn’t evaporating off me because of the high humidity. There was absolutely no wind either which was lovely as normally it can get quite windy along the seafront.

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(Ave. pace 7:51 min/miles)

In the end I did 12 miles and felt good. I felt like I could have gone further which is great because this shows me I’ve still got a lot of endurance left over in my legs from the marathon. Just need to make sure I don’t over-train or injure myself.

The rest of the day was all about enjoying the wonderful weather. Meaning, it was time for a BBQ!

IMG_1785 All those ribs were mine

My dad multi-tasked with setting the BBQ up and cooking while watching the Grand Prix on his iPad that was propped up on the table. Quite impressive really that nothing got burnt or under-done.

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I went for ribs (soooooooo good), a kangaroo burger and a garlic chicken skewer. With lots of salad of course. Delicious! I felt well topped up after the run.

And away from the weekend…

I’ve recently found out about a company called Running Heroes that went live in the UK a few weeks ago. Running Heroes are basically trying to encourage people to run by rewarding them.

They’ve built the largest running community in France with more than 150,000 members. The company have a lot of well known partners as well, such asNike, Spotify, Uber, Birchbox and many more. In the UK they already have 5,000 users and were named a “Cool Vendor” by Gartner (like Dropbox, Evernote, Instagram or BlaBlaCar before) in April 2015.

The way they reward runners is very simple:

  1. Runners connect their running app / watch to the website (Nike+, Runtastic, Garmin, Strava, Runkeeper, Polar, MapMyRun or Endomondo);
  2. The more they run, the more they gather points;
  3. With their points, they get access to exclusive discounts and gifts offered by our partners on our website.

It rewards your effort based on your profile meaning that it’s a fair distribution of rewards. So women gets 20% more points for the same effort as men, as studies have shown that they have to make 20% more effort for the same performance. There’s also a forum to exchange tips and experiences.

image Just a snap shot of the rewards you could get

They’ve set me up with a code for my readers and I to start off with 100 free bonus points, just go to « activate a bonus code » et type in “RunAnnaRun” if you want to join!

How was your weekend?

What do you think about Running Heroes? I’m quite intrigued by it and am giving it a go!

What do you like on a BBQ?

**Full disclosure: The company contacted me and asked if I would spread the word and in return received the code to use for myself and you guys.**

15 Replies to “Sweaty long runs and Running Heroes”

  1. Oh poor you with the milk! I had chocolate buttercream everywhere on Saturday and I wasn’t even in a rush! Your running is going so well though- it doesn’t seem like you needed any recovery time after your marathon.
    I like the sound of the running hero thing. I recently signed up to bounts- it automatically connects from strava and loads of other fitness websites/ apps, and you earn points to exchange for high street vouchers- I got my first one in the post this week which was very exciting.
    Maria @ runningcupcake recently posted…WR10K 2015My Profile

    1. I think my training helped a lot with recovery. I just need to be sensible and not get carried away…we’ll see!
      I’ve just checked out Bounts and now I’m signed up – love the different offers they have there as well!

  2. I am so far behind on blogreading! Stupid move and lack of internet. I’m going to have a binge right now though…
    Your conversation with that little boy made me laugh! When I was on a school trip to Africa a couple of Summers ago the local African children would run alongside me each morning I went for a run. I had to get up and go before 6am each day as it was so hot out there, and still found it tough running on the sand tracks, yet they would all be sprinting past me and laughing and chatting in their own language.
    Your long run splits are crazily consistent! I wish I could keep all of my splits that consistent!
    I’ve signed up to Running Heroes with your code, although I’m yet to have a proper look at it. School holidays starts for me tomorrow so I’m going to have a proper nosy then.
    Mary recently posted…A few more seconds over 5 milesMy Profile

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