Friday, 25 January 2013

Cool Runnings

Q. What’s the difference between the 1988 Winter Olympic Jamaican Bobsled team and me?

A. Nothing – both of us were stupid entering ourselves into competitions far out of our reach!

So seriously now, since entering for this Marathon I have succumbed to an ankle injury (ok, so it wasn’t training-related granted), dealt with the fact Xmas and New Year festivities fall right slap bang in the middle of crucial training and got my head around dark miserable nightime running. So what does January bring me by way of thanks? SNOW! Blistering, freezing weather conditions, icy winds, dangerous ground to run on and did I say it?….SNOW!
Research lately indicates that after you have been for a long run, jumping into a cold shower or an icy cold bath can do wonders for your sore muscles, help reduce the impact of swelling and stiffness etc blah blah… basically … just stay outside then Trish as it’s FREEZING out there.

To take a quote from this, one of my favourite films… "Cool Runnings" means "Peace Be The Journey." Nothing peaceful about what I’m encountering though I can tell you.
Take the woman de-icing her car last week when I was out on a Friday night run. Yes folks, FRIDAY NIGHT…whilst you’re all probably having a nice drinkie somewhere, I was out pounding the streets.  There I am, just minding my own business, running up a local side road, trying not to throw up etc…when I hear “excuse me” and then again almost immediately “excuse me, you in the road”. I assumed she wasn’t talking to herself as she, too, was standing in the road de-icing her car so I slowed slightly to look at her. “Why are you in the road?” she says to me. Me, slightly bemused…(do I know her? does she know me? why is she talking to me? Is it the police AGAIN?) didn’t immediately answer and so she repeats “WHY are you in the road?, there are cars on the road don’t you know!” and she was just standing there begging an answer from me. So I answered “You know, I didn’t know that, about the cars…THANK YOU so much for enlightening me, much obliged” and continued to run. There were other less-sarcastic responses I wanted to use, the only problem was they were also somewhat rude – so maybe best I couldn’t get my ‘cold’ little head around her interruption.

The thing is though, running in the road is actually the safest place for me to be. Obviously, not out on main roads amongst the traffic…I mean that IS just asking for trouble, but on my local side roads I feel far safer running in the street itself rather than on pavements in the dark alongside little alleyways and nooks and crannies as I fear ‘baddies’ lurking ready to pounce on me. Ok, so they’d have to defrost me first before they’d be able to steal my blackberry from my frozen solid hand – but still.
So anyway, I decided to look up some tips for ‘running in the cold’ as this weather looks set to stay at the moment and got the following ‘top 10 tips’ from Runners World:

1.     Get motivated

Well I decided to run to Kaede’s swimming lesson on Sunday and meet Jamie and the kids there. So I set off in advance and was so frozen within 5 minutes that I had to leave my bottle of water by a tree as could no longer hold it. Halfway there and struggling on uphill terrain, I was suddenly ‘beeped’ by a passing car. No, I wasn’t in the middle of the road again. It was actually Jamie and the kids bypassing me with BIG waves and smiles and the music blasting. Motivation for me is wiping that smirk off of Jamie’s face at some point in the future J

2.     Arm Your Feet

Not quite sure about this one, I take it they mean wear suitable running shoes and not attach artillery of sorts to my trainers? Although then perhaps, I could aim my feet ‘towards Jamie’ and well… you get the picture J

3.     Get Dressed

Naked running is quite frankly – NOT for me. This one I can accomplish easily.

4.     Be Seen

What if I don’t want to be? What if I want to skulk?

5.     Warm up Prerun

This one is easy for any Parent quite frankly. I am up and down those stairs so much I’m surprised I’ve not been given a loyalty card.

6.     Deal with Wind

Er…how very rude.

7.     Forget Speed

What? And all other narcotics too?

8.     Change Quickly Postrun

I can do this so quickly now that I’m aiming for Britain’s Got Talent next year. I can put that ‘Quick Change Act’ to shame.

9.     Deal with Rain

This is quite funny advice for someone who lives in England. I’ve been dealing with rain now for 41 years!

10.  Go Someplace Warm

Why thank you. I’ll get my passport ready now J

So there you have it folks! Easy eh?

Now before I sign off, I’d like you to join me in my running prayer à la ‘Cool Runnings’ style:
Our Father, who art in Woodford
London Marathon be thy name
Thy Marathon done
My medal won
in Pall Mall, as it was 10 years ago
Give me my day, as you did back then
and forgive me, if I must stop at times
as I forgive those who stop in front of me
and lead me straight to the nearest pub
and deliver me a large glass of wine! Amen.



Tuesday, 8 January 2013

New Years Run-olutions…

So somehow we reached 2013 whilst I blinked. 2013 full of new year promise, full of people on diets, full of people making resolutions they won’t keep and full of Marathon training for moi!

For the umpteenth time, I ask…WHAT possessed me?
The really strange thing for me was the ‘desire’ to go for a run on Christmas Day. Never experienced that feeling before and swiftly pushed it into the brain compartment marked ‘don’t ever flipping think that again’. ‘Friends and Family’ were all like-minded in their Christmas gifts towards me….clearly they realised I would need a lot of Marathon-related gear going into this year for sure.  I thus swiftly received several crates of ‘fizz’ through the post. Hmnnn, perhaps they were thinking of post-marathon related gifts in retrospect. I wasn’t convinced though and have always been told you should never look a gift horse in the mouth…so clearly I drank it all.

So I now have an awful lot of headway to make.
On the approach to 2013 my basic plan was to:

·         Get some trainers

·         Find my old running stuff

·         Go ON an actual run

·         Try to maintain this 3 times a week

·         Cut out alcohol

As we go forwards my plan now looks something like this:

·         Go running

·         Stop drinking

·         Go running again

·         Cut down drinking considerably

·         Go running even more

·         Confine drinking to weekends


It’s just a clear basic fact that my only real plan going forwards IS to just get out there and keep on training as much as possible. This is invariably hard when mornings are eliminated for you (school run), daytime is eliminated for you (work)  and nighttimes ‘should’ be eliminated for you (kids, eat, kids, watch telly, kids, bedtimes, kids AGAIN (get back in bed) and did I say it….kids?)
Don’t be telling me to go running at lunchtimes as I’m just NOT that kinda gal. I can’t do the whole get changed, go running around the city looking like a plum in broad daylight, get back and get washed and changed again and then RE-apply flipping make-up before promptly returning to my desk out of breath and fit for nothing. There ‘are’ some women who can pull this off with ease….I’m just not one of them unfortunately. I’m more a kind of skulking around in the dark, panting out of breath, running at my own pace without fear of being recognised kinda gal…which will probably be why I got police-checked last week (totally true). Jamie (my ever loving Husband) wondered if this was them simply trying to see if the ‘face matched the bum’. A) I hope not and B) I hope not!

I am trying to ‘jazz up’ my running plan somewhat too. I play little games along the way like:

·         Count the houses up for sale on my route

·         Spot the best house exterior and make mental notes on how to copy it

·         Pull the funniest face I can whilst running face on towards people

·         Pretend to have really cool conversations on my mobile mid-stretch as people walk past me

·         And pre-Christmas I tried to do the whole route several times with non-stop Christmas Carols – out loud!
I’m not going to deny that this IS hard though. I jest, but it’s seriously hard to get home from work having missed the little ones like crazy and then tell them Mummy has to go out again for a run. I am trying to do nightime ones either during their dinner or just after they go to bed. At weekends I’m trying to go straight out and do it as soon as I’m up so that I’m back before they finish breakfast (my kids eat a lot!)…and in the main this is working for me. I even flipping drank soft drinks at my mate’s 40th birthday last week as I’m trying to prove to myself ‘I can do this’.

The thing is…I CAN do this.  My new year’s resolution sorry ‘run-olution’ is to stop berating myself so much on this score. I am if nothing, a stubborn cow …and I reckon stubbornness will get me through 90% of that London Marathon.
The last thing I wondered was if I could do my training indoors on the Wii-Fit?

No? Oh well….off to play ‘Knock Down Ginger’ then…it’s a great running game apparently!