Running, family time and fro-yo

How nice was the sunshine this Bank Holiday weekend?? Normally when there’s a long weekend we get a lot of rain. I realise not everyone gets the Bank Holiday in August (sorry Scotland) but hopefully everyone had a nice weekend anyway.

I had a really good one. I didn’t go anywhere or do anything too crazy but it did feel a bit jam-packed.

On Saturday morning I was finally back to my home parkrun, Netley Abbey. I went down early as usual to help set-up and jokingly re-introduced myself to everyone as I haven’t been there in over a month! A couple of weeks before I went to Austria… and then I got injured and last week went to Lee-On-Solent parkrun, so yeah quite a while!

A few days earlier I’d been suffering with a random flu-like illness (I had stomach cramps, was hot and cold, achy and super tired). I had to skip my run on Thursday night annoyingly but this was clearly the best thing to do because by Saturday morning I was fine again (whew!). It was very warm and the sun was shining but I was looking forward to running.

Photo Credit: Glen Tyreman

I felt myself get stronger as the run continued and gave my legs a bit of a turnover on the final lap. I saw a few of my running club friends ahead and tried to catch one of them but they got away at the end. It was nice though to have a burst of speed! My knee felt fine as well which was great.

What was not great was my friend Terry, who was celebrating his birthday, grabbing me in a big bear hug and drenching me in his sweat. I was rather disgusted but let him off because he said it made his day, ha! He’s a lovely guy, but yes rather sweaty post-run. I had to take off my top and let it dry on a tree!! Thank you very much, Terry! (I had a jacket with me)Afterwards I grabbed a cold drink in the cafe with my friends and we chilled outside in the sunshine.

Later on I met with my sister, Rachel, for Nando’s and a cinema trip. She’s 2.5 years older than me and we don’t get to see each other as much we’d like as she often works weekends. It’s nice to see her one-on-one as, though we’re SO different, we just slot into place and have a good natter and a gossip. She has so much more common sense and adulting skills than I have so it’s always nice to hear her take on something or just to have a laugh and a giggle.

We enjoyed some Nando’s chicken (she’s not quite a glutinous pig I am and had a far more reasonable order of a half chicken with some sides compared to my whole chicken and salad…).Despite eating stupid amounts I really fancied some pick ‘n’ mix for the film. It’s been a while since I’ve had some. You can’t beat some super cheap sweets in my opinion. Yes they’re full of awful ingredients and so much sugar, but sometimes you just need something basic.The film we saw was Logan Lucky and it was brilliant. If you like Ocean’s 11 then you’ll love this. It was quick, quirky and hilarious. Daniel Craig is fantastic. It’s one to see twice I think.

Sunday morning I had a lovely lie-in until 8.30am before meeting my friend Mike at 9am for a long run. I’d managed to persuade Mike to go a little later as I knew I’d have a late on the night before. Yes it’d probably be a little cooler an hour before but not hugely. It’d probably been best to go at 6ish if we’d have wanted to have beaten the heat but sometimes sleep wins!

The plan was to run 12 miles together and then I’d go on and run four on my own. Mike is now tapering down for the New Forest Marathon (that we’re running together) but I’m building up again as I missed so many runs when I was injured. It’s not ideal but it is what it is!

We both sensibly took water as it was so warm outside. Mike wanted to do the first six miles around 9.20min/mile pace and then the last six 9min/miles. I was happy with whatever! I was glad we weren’t going to be running much faster than that as my fitness isn’t in it’s best and I had a long way ahead of me to run.

Luckily where we ran there was a spot to refill our water bottles up as it really was a hot one. And Mike’s route (yes I’m fully blaming Mike here) was quite undulating as well. Oof the run was not an easy one at all!We struggled a little at the end. Mike was starting to feel a bit dizzy. I was now dreading my four solo miles, wondering if I should just call it quits after 12. It was very tempting. But I decided that when we stopped I’d run up to my flat, drink some cold water and grab my phone and headphones so I could keep motivated by listening to a podcast.

When we stopped Mike looked a bit concerned about how the run had gone. But I tried to convince him that it was ridiculously hot and he’d run TWENTY MILES the week before. Marathon training really does play with your head. When you’ve had good solid training, like Mike has over the past few months, it will catch up with you when you start to taper down. You just have to remember you’ll feel a bit more fresh come marathon day and everything you’ve done before will come into play on the day.My four miles went well. I suddenly had a second wind and was able to zone out to my podcast and focus on just getting the last bit done. I told myself just do three but went a route that meant I had to do four (oh the games we play to get through tough runs). I felt really good when I finished. Gave me a bit of confidence for the marathon!

I quickly got showered and sorted (how I DETEST blowdrying my hair when I’m still super hot from a run) and then grabbed some porridge to eat while my mum drove us to Southampton West Quay for a bit of retail therapy. I must admit, I felt shattered after sitting down! You forget how hard long runs are when you haven’t done one in a while. This is why it’s so important for me to do a couple before the big day.

We had a lovely day shopping (though a big disappointment when we found that the West Quay Starbucks had disappeared!). I got some nice things from H&M, my favourite clothes shop, and we had a cheeky frozen yogurt to finish the day. By this point I really was drained and had a terrible headache. I was staying at my parent’s house that evening (I haven’t moved in yet) and couldn’t seem to work out if I needed a nap, food or water. I was probably quite dehydrated. I camped out on my parent’s outside furniture with a Starbucks I’d bought on the way over, but also made sure to drink water as well.I text Mike and he said he had a bad headache too. I reckon we both caught a bit of sunstroke, being out in the sun for 2.5 hours. I’d never sunbathe for that long! Even after taking some headache tablets the headache still lingered. The next morning it had thankfully disappeared but god my legs ached. I am definitely not in peak marathon running shape!

That morning I headed to the gym for a bit of strength work and then my dad and me walked to the butchers to get some BBQ meat. We thought it’d be about a mile and a bit but it turned out to be almost 3 miles! And it was really warm. But it was a nice walk, and it helped shake my legs out a bit.

So I finished Monday up with a lovely family BBQ and feeling a little more confident for the marathon…in two weeks!

What did you get up to over the weekend?

Do you ever get headaches after a long run?

What’s your favourite clothes shop?

Getting fit with Oxygen Freejumping – Review

I was invited to try out the Oxygen Freejumping trampoline park in Southampton on Friday night. I was able to bring a guest so I decided to bring my sister as I hadn’t caught up with her in a bit and I knew it might be something she’d enjoy.

My sister, Rachel, is a little bit mental and crazy. She’s completely the opposite to me – she has stacks of confidence and can make conversation with anyone. She’s amazing. Entirely different to me, she has two beautiful daughters and hates anything to do with exercise. Despite this, she’s actually really slim despite her addiction to full fat Coke and penchant for unhealthy food (when we were growing up she literally lived on cereal and pizza and never gained weight). Slim but not necessarily healthy.

The Friday night at the trampoline centre had a fitness class so this sounded perfect for me to try out as I have already been to the general trampolining before (read about that HERE). I decided not to tell Rach that we were going to a fitness class and just that we were going trampolining for fear she might back out. I told her it would be best to wear something like leggings and a non-fancy top so she’d fit in to the class

Oxygen Freejumping has 150 connected trampolines on the floors AND walls. It has an area to play trampoline dodge ball, it has long ‘roads’ of trampolines so you can make several jumps in a row, it has a giant airbag that you can leap into safely and, my favourite part, the obstacle course (this includes monkey bars, balancing rods and ropes).

There’s loads of stuff you can do at Oxygen Freejumping. You can host parties, take little kids or actually train properly in trampolining. Or you can just go for an hour with your mates and bounce around. I’ve done this twice and it is really good fun. You don’t have to be a proficient trampoliner I assure you! Just bouncing around randomly is a good laugh. And jumping into the foamy pit is the best.

But we were doing the fitness class. No larking about for us, nope *evil laugh*.

Airborne Fitness is a high intensity but low impact exercise class. We started off with some stretching which I was a little narked about as stretching cold muscles isn’t great. But seen as how this seems to be fairly mainstream I won’t moan about it too much. We then began some normal bouncing, then jumping jacks, high knees and things like that to get our heart rate going for about 5-10 mins. We then did three different exercises, each for a minute, before having a two minute break and then repeating those exercises for a minute but working backwards through them.

The exercises including things like throwing a ball between two people while bouncing, sit-ups, press-ups, jumping jacks, bounding from side to side. It was a good mix of focused body weight exercises and then movements to get the heart going. Apparently jumping on a trampoline burns three times more than running (in an hour you can burn up to 1,000 calories) [Yahoo].

The fitness class lasts an hour but there are regular two minute breaks so it’s not hugely intense. I think it was really good that my sister came because it gave me a good insight in to how someone who doesn’t exercise at all would find the class compared to someone like me who does exercise quite a lot.

Without sounding my own trumpet here…I did find it very easy. Yes it got my heart rate going and doing press-ups and sit-ups is always a good workout but generally I wasn’t out of breath and didn’t need the two minute breaks. To be honest, I enjoyed the breaks as it meant I could natter on with my sister. But then I don’t think I’m the target audience for this class (it also required a bit of coordination which is never my strongest skill).

My sister however found it very tough. She was sweating, gasping and pretty much dying the entire time. I remember her saying at one point, “my shins are sweating. Is that even possible??”. She really enjoyed it though, saying it was nice to know you were only doing one exercise for one minute before you got to change. She had good fun. It doesn’t feel like a regular exercise class, like spin as there’s an element of fun to it and you can have a laugh. The instructor was really encouraging and gave good demonstrations of the exercises and reasons why we were doing them and what muscles needed to be focused on.

So big thumbs up from me for Oxygen Freejumping. Good way to burn some energy and have some fun with friends.

Have you ever done trampolining?

What kind of exercise classes do you prefer?

Do you have any brothers and sisters? How similar are you?

**Full Disclaimer: I was given a free session at Oxygen Freejumping with a guest in return for a review. All opinions are mine and my sister’s honest ones.**