Niggle begone and a newbie gym goer

Last week I hugely surprised myself by not panicking or fretting about my foot niggle that had cropped up during the previous weekend’s long run. Perhaps this is because I’m so used to getting injuries and niggles that they no longer surprise or frustrate me or perhaps it’s because I know how to deal with them, having had them so often.

As I wasn’t limping and there was no sharp pain, just a dull ache and a persistent niggle when I walked, I knew I was relatively safe from a serious injury that would keep me out of the game for weeks. But I also knew that jumping back into running immediately because it didn’t feel so serious would be a huge mistake. I gritted my teeth and took five days off of running. I was tempted to run Thursday (a usual day I run) as it felt pretty good but I withheld a bit longer as I really wanted to make parkrun (I’m still 2nd on the points table!) and possibly a long run on Sunday.

I carried on at the gym doing my weight lifting thing as usual (though no explosive plyometric moves obviously). When I woke up Saturday morning my foot felt pretty good and I went to Netley parkrun with the intention to run. I’d bitten the bullet earlier in the week and bought a new pair of trainers (identical to my old, trusty Mizunos) and was ready to see what would happen. I could feel a slight niggle when I walked but I carried on as usual setting the course up and then having a warm up.

Luckily my friend Mike had run a long run the night before and fancied an easier parkrun so I ran with him at an easy pace (well, it was easy for me but apparently didn’t feel so easy for him and his tired legs it turns out!)


My foot didn’t feel 100% awesome at the beginning but by the end it felt fine. IMG_8525

I finished in 25:32 (and 100th position – nice number!) and with a foot that was no worse than before. Hurrah! It actually continued to feel better and better throughout the day. Huge sigh of relief!

One of my friends, Julie, from the running club (who also did the Cakeathon last year) was celebrating her 100th parkrun (sorry, brief tangent – could you imagine getting 100th position on your 100th parkrun? How cool would that be, but nearly impossible to orchestrate. But I have 10 weeks to figure this out…). She’d made a whole bunch of cakes which all looked amazing. She’d even made some GORGEOUS cake pops. I think cake pops are my new favourite cake. OK size-wise they do leave a bit to be desired but icing to sponge ratio is absolutely spot on. I just need about six to be satisfied…IMG_8526

Luckily she still had a few left by the time we headed to the cafe after closing down the course so I could sneak another one to have with my peppermint tea. Divine.

That evening I went out for dinner… *coughs* on a date. I won’t talk too much about it because it’s not really fair on the other person who I don’t think knows that I have a blog. I will talk about the food though because, well, it wouldn’t be right not to on my blog! Winking smile

We went to Relentless Lobster and Steak House in Port Solent. We shared a baked Camembert and then both had surf and turf with a rib eye steak and half a lobster. I had my steak medium rare with blue cheese sauce I didn’t take any photos because I didn’t want to be that weird on a date but it was delicious. Probably slightly unwise to have had cheese for both courses, both of which were quite rich, but it tasted great.

For pudding I had brownie with chocolate sauce and ice cream. Now I’ve had a fair few brownies and chocolate fudge cake puddings in my time (as have been well documented on this blog) so I’m a pretty good judge on them now. They’ve got to be just the right amount of firm but also gooey, soft in the inside with a slight bit of a crunch on the outside, nuts are optional but always a nice addition for texture and it OBVIOUSLY has to be warm. Ice cream is absolutely essential. This brownie is right up there as one of the best I’ve had. Oh it was heavenly. I tried not to look too much like a weirdo in my brownie heavenly bliss.

I planned to have a lie-in the next day before deciding whether to run or not and if I was running how far I would run. Alfie however did not fancy a lie-in and checked on me (nudged my face) every 20 or so minutes from 7.30am to just before 9am. I took the hint and got myself up and walked him. My foot felt good. The run was on!

I decided not to try and do the 18 miles I missed doing the weekend before (that would be stupid post-niggle). Instead I decided to do a standard six mile loop and then judge how I felt at the end. It also meant I was never in a position that I’d be miles away from getting home if I needed to bail. The run actually went really good. I could slightly feel the niggle but in a way that suggested it was on its way out. By the end of the six miles I decided to do the loop again.

I’d love to say the run felt amazing however it felt pretty crummy. The richness and large amount of food the night before and the glass of Prosecco I had (I rarely drink) really weren’t doing me any favours. Potentially not having run all week probably didn’t help either, nor did the wind and the unseasonably mild weather. In capris and a long-sleeved running top I was sweltering (probably sweating off cheese and brownie…nice).IMG_8598

But I refuse to complain (ignore the above…) as it meant I was back in the game and getting some needed miles in the marathon bank. 13 miles to be exact!


(Ave. pace 8.12min/miles)

My tummy felt pretty retched at the end and it took a long shower before food to be even near possible. Best to stick to ribs or Indian food in the future Winking smile

I met up with my mum at her gym after eating breakfast (well brunch/lunch at this point). She’s joined in the effort to help her back (as she had a back operation a few months ago) and to help lose a bit of weight. So far she’s lost nine pounds through Slimming World since October and I’m very proud of her. But she’s quite nervous about using a gym so wanted a bit of support and help for her first visit.

Her gym (at the Solent Spa & Hotel) is very posh compared to my usual gym (PureGym, open 24/7, cheap as chips). For starters there’s free fruit!! The only thing free at my gym is a possible bacterial infection and lechery stares. But you get what you pay for. To be honest, I do prefer my gym as it’s HUGE and has all the weight equipment (squat racks, barbells, cable machines, etc.) I want, whereas my mum’s gym is a bit more cardio-focused with a few weight machines and some dumbbells. But it was rather lovely. Check out this water dispenser.IMG_8604

We both tried a small cup, expecting it to be some ridiculously sweet fruit concoction that would probably negate everything you’ve just done… but it was like unsweetened, weak squash. Weird.


My mum did a power walk on the treadmill and some time on the recumbent bike. I did a bit of walking next to her, some rowing and used a couple of weights machine.

IMG_8609But really I was just there for my mum. I was actually freezing in the air conditioned gym in my shorts and vest!

She’s going to become a regular now apparently. With that, Pilates and swimming she’s becoming as exercises obsessed as me! Winking smile After that we had a nice coffee in Starbucks. A pretty good Sunday in my eyes!

Do any of your family go to the gym or keep fit?

How posh is your gym?

Have you ever had cake pops before?