How’s everyone this morning? If you’re from the UK, then hopefully you’re not still damp from our rather soggy Sunday! Feels all rather autumnal to me. Winter is coming…
Friday night I stayed over at my parent’s house. I wanted to try out the new Lee-On-Solent parkrun that had started a few weeks ago and it’s about three miles from my parent’s house. It runs alongside the beach on the promenade and is really flat. It’s actually part of my long run route when I stay at my parents.
I hadn’t run since Ultra12 last Sunday as I was concerned about my shin/calf (I say shin/calf as I’m actually not sure where the ‘issue’ is – it’s just a general discomfort and tightness of my calf that then aggravates closer to my shin, if that makes sense). In the week it was feeling grumpy and niggly and the last thing I wanted to do was annoy it further. I ran 20 miles over 12 hours (and a parkrun a few hours earlier) so I’d definitely pushed it out of its comfort zone and I needed to give it time. Check me out being all sensible.
My plan then on Saturday was to drive down to the beach car park about a mile away from the start and run down. This meant that I could judge my leg before I got caught up in any parkrun buzz and adrenaline and could walk back to my car if it felt rubbish. At Netley my warm-ups tend to be very quick and I knew if I went I wouldn’t bail on the run as there were so many people I know there and I’d have been embarrassed to have dropped out last minute (stupid, I know).
Annnnyway, I did some dynamic stretches and then began running down. Everything felt fine. I literally had the biggest smile on my face running to parkrun. Thank god.
Beautiful blue skies and the parkrun start ahead
I got to the start in more than enough time and chatted with a fellow Hedge End Running Club member. It was nice to see a friendly face, though to be honest everyone was very friendly and lovely. But then all parkruns are welcoming! 🙂
This parkrun is very flat and with few turns (it’s an out and back twice…you run along one way, then turn to go back, then run past the start/finish area, turn and run back) so it’s ideal for those wanting a PB, if the wind isn’t too bad. Because of my recent niggle I wasn’t looking to go crazy. I just wanted a quickish run to get the legs turning.
As I started I felt good and my legs felt nice and fresh. I was listening to music but not my usual “GO GO GO” music on my Running Playlist that encourages me to go faster. Instead I just put on music that was in the charts that I was liking lately as I didn’t want to get lost in the moment and push myself too hard. Basically I was looking to enjoy myself 🙂
Photo credit: AmandaLou Hall and Ethan Gee
The first mile was great. Despite not setting out with the ambition to smash the pace I felt very comfortable at sub-7min/miles. I just went with it. I noticed there weren’t any other females around me and felt quite content.
At the turnaround I checked to see if there were any ladies in front of me (I say I wasn’t racing, but it’s always nice to know your placing!). There was a young girl storming ahead and that was all. As I turned to go the other way the full force of the wind smacked me in the face. Ah so that’s why my first mile was so lovely. I was being pushed along nicely! The second mile was therefore a lot harder and a bit of a grind. My pace dropped but I didn’t mind (a completely different story to last week’s parkrun – what a difference a change in mindset makes).
At the next turn around point, where we would then head back to the finish, I passed the girl. She was really struggling. Again the wind was now behind me and it was suddenly easier again. I sailed nicely to the finish.
I finished in 21:37 as first female and I was chuffed. A hard but enjoyable run.
Sadly I’m an absolutely idiot (this might not be that much of a surprise). I sat down and caught my breath. I went over to the young girl who finished second I think and said well done. I chatted to a few people. Then headed over to the barcode scanner. Oh wait, where’s my finisher’s token?
Arghhh, I’d put it down somewhere! Despite spending a good amount of time searching the area with the help of a few kind people, I couldn’t find it. It was very windy so I was worried it’d blown away. I spoke to the marshal in charge who took my name, my Garmin time and my barcode number and promised to sort it. I felt terrible though as I know they’ve had a few problems lately with tokens going missing. Long story short, after a few emails they managed to get me on the results on Sunday. I was mortified to have caused such a faff and felt suitably guilty. I donated £5 because I felt so bad. It costs them £70 to buy 100 new tokens (they can’t buy them individually).
I ran back to my car as a cool down, which was also a great way to check how my niggle felt post-run. Things felt fine! Hurrah. I still think I need to be careful and I’m now including calf raises into my strength training because clearly this is a weakness I have that keeps cropping up. I regularly change my trainers so I really can’t think what else I can do (apart from not go crazy with jumping up my mileage).
Later in the day I went shopping with my mum and decided to do something I’d been considering for a while. I’ve always liked the thought of having a tattoo but can never really make my mind up on what or where I’d have it. I also know I’d probably regret it later. And I’d just look stupid. Years ago I used to have my belly button pierced but I let it heal over. My belly button, I think, is really quite ugly so I thought what better way of improving things and doing something a little bit (for me) crazy.
You can see where the plaster had been on my tummy
It didn’t hurt as it was numbed beforehand and it was very quick. I’m very pleased. You only live once!
I also splashed out on a new outfit that I could then wear to the meal my parents and me were going to that evening. I bought this beautiful long skirt from Monsoon, and then paired it with a very simple strappy top, a white cardigan and a necklace in the sale all from New Look.
How pretty is that pattern and those colours? The skirt is of really good quality – there is a lot of material there and it fits beautifully.
The restaurant we went to was called Beefy’s in Southampton. It’s located in the Hilton hotel at the cricket grounds, The Ageas Bowl. It’s rather posh and very lovely.
The service was impeccable. They were so attentive, pleasant and friendly. And the food was gorgeous. Yes it is expensive (relatively so – mains are around £12-15 but can go up depending on what you choose, obviously. My dad had a steak for £30!).
You choose a type of bread to start (I went for olive bread) and then I had a sharing platter with my dad of hummus, feta, olives, bread, roasted vegetables and local watercress. For main I had a char-grilled sweet chilli chicken salad. My dad and me joked that we’d both expanded our culinary choices by me choosing that salad and not the Caesar salad and him having a Porterhouse steak rather than a rump steak. Small steps. For pudding I had sticky toffee pudding with ice cream. It all tasted amazing. Definitely worth a visit!
And then the weather turned and I woke up to stupid amounts of rain the next morning. Originally I’d planned to go for a long run with some guys from the club but I didn’t know if I was going to stay at my parent’s again or not (I did) and I was still being cautious about my niggle. The last thing I wanted to do was go for a long run and ignore any discomfort. I wanted the option of just cutting things short without feeling the need to explain things to people (I know everyone would have been lovely about it but I would feel awkward). So I went solo.
It was absolutely tipping it down and I only had shorts and a sleeveless top. It wasn’t cold per se but it was miserable out there. My run felt fine. There was an awareness of my niggle at the start but nothing to hinder me or make me feel I was “pushing through” discomfort or pain. Then for the rest of the run it felt fine. I actually felt really good and fresh (despite being soaked to my skin).
I did get yelled at by a driver though. I was running along a relatively short road where there were no pavements and he pulled up next to me and yelled that it was a stupid place to run. There was more than enough room for the both of us (and cars the other way) and I had made sure I was in full view of any oncoming cars. *Sighs*
The run felt good but I still don’t know where my head is at for the Cheddar Gorge marathon in a few weeks time. I’m 90% certain I’ll do it. The only thing that will halt me will be if that weekend is really rainy (because it will just be a mud bath and I want to enjoy it) or if my niggle becomes anything bigger.
And I’ll leave you with the joys of running in the rain with long hair.
I’m sure it’s so much easier being a man…
How was your weekend?
Have you got any piercings?
Have you done anything stupid at a race before? My life is full of stupid moments…