Recovery to Run

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My new trainers, bought specifically for my half marathon training.

However, it is with great sadness that I return to the blog! Not because I don’t want to write but because at the moment I can’t run 😥

This has been a massive source of frustration for me! I’m not entirely sure what happened but it appears I have slipped a disc! Rubbish timing as it happened 7 weeks before my 1st Half Marathon…gutted does not even cover it!

Rewind a bit. Progress was going to plan. I was steadily increasing my mileage, doing 2 short runs(2-3 miles), a 5-6 miler midweek and ramping up the mileage at the weekend, I never thought I would say this but I loved my long runs!!

8 mile weekend was great, beat my 10k record in the process and felt great (Garmin record 8.3 miles) and survived. Stretch session done and uneventful use of energy gel to boot, good news! Followed up by a dog walk, energetic day! Then came Monday….

As the day progressed my mobility worsened, an intense pain had settled in my lower back…bam! And that was it, Tuesday was agony but the desire to continue training was bigger. Emergency phone call to Physiotherapist!

It was Friday before I could be seen, sensibly I didn’t run on the Wednesday! By the time Friday came my back was a solid wall of knots/ muscle spasm 😁 It was so tight the physio couldn’t really identify where the issue was!! I begged him to fix me so that I could keep training 🙏

So, I followed advice and only ran 2, very tentative, miles on the Sunday (should have been 9) and returned, hoping for good news, on the Monday!

No change 😠! A bit of manipulation and away I went, the words “Tread carefully but keep going” ringing in my ears! 4 miles midweek, more physio, long run planned for weekend!

I did it, double figures! 10 miles in the bag and I could still walk, talk and breathe!! I felt AWESOME!

Wednesday, twinges again 😩Planned run shortened to 3 miles, the last mile of which my training buddy said “You’re limping” I was trying to ignore it!! Sadly that was the last time I ran, now over a fortnight ago!!

I had to be realistic, sensible and rest (mostly because Mr W said so…I hate it when he’s right). So with tail between my legs I hobbled to the GP to see if they could help…why on earth would I think that??!!

To cut a long story short, painkillers (some of which resulted in me vomiting in a dog poo bag on my way to work, a particular high point) and more physio, for which I have to wait 4 weeks which will be 8 weeks from initial onset and the admission, mostly to myself, that I would not be able to participate in my Half Marathon which was supposed to help me celebrate my 40th! Incredibly disappointing 😔

So, after 2 weeks of feeling thoroughly miserable, I have decided to get a grip and focus on the best path of recovery to ensure that before the end of the year I can run a half marathon, I have even had someone offer to run it with me!! (Thanks KF).

imageThis post marks the start of my new attitude, I am going to motivate myself why writing about my progress as I am only going to move forward from this point onwards…regular updates to follow!

Have you suffered an injury? How did you recover? Did you come back stronger? I’d love to hear your stories

L x

Resignation and Race Reports!!

 

First I must apologise for my lack of posts…life just got in the way and SO much has happened!!

As you have possibly gathered from the title change is afoot in my household! I have only 7 shifts left at the hospital and then I shall join the fabulous team that is The Joshua Tree, the charity I am raising money for by doing my Running to 40 Challenge. I shall be part of a team setting up an essential support service for children and their families, whose lives have been affected by Cancer or Leukaemia! I am incredibly excited, it is going to be an amazing project to be part of and will have such a positive impact on those we help!!

Secondly, I have completed my first challenge, The Major Series, and threw a surprise 10k in the mix too, which was brilliant!!

The Major Series  – featuring Sarah Murray-Smyth and Claire Duncan.

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I have never laughed so hard for so long whilst all of my orifices fill with Mud!! This was my chosen 5k challenge when I set out on my mission to get fit before I hit 40! It was a great choice! Apart from difficulty finding the venue (satnav opted for cross country route…tricky in a Corsa) and then actually locating the start point it is an event I would gladly repeat!

We were the last wave at 1130, there were about 50 or so of us, (I am actually rubbish as guessing numbers so who knows) and we all did a bit of a warm up (Burpees included) and all we had to remember was to turn left at the top of the hill, easy!! The first 1.5k was straight running, up hill, down dale but no great shakes! First obstacle we think should have been an ice foot bath but, due to the unseasonal heat, it had melted so we got off lightly! Next we queued in a stream, after a run through a forest, why queue in a stream? Well obviously so that you can commando crawl under a load of barbed wire at the given point. Now, here’s where I discovered my lack of ability to keep both my head and and my bottom down, with near disastrous consequences, that barbed wire was really sharp! So, after having to put my face in the stream to avoid being unhooked by one of the British Military Fitness guys, a fate worthy of Bridget Jones, I clambered out, up the muddy bank, intact! Phew! Sarah and Claire were close behind and we were off in pursuit of our next hurdle, only slowed down by our attempt at a running photo (S and C) which ended with them both in heap on the floor!

The Wall, not in the Marathon sense of a wall, but a whole, real stone wall, with a big(ish) drop on the other side. Sarah got the prize for the most stylish combat roll off this one! Next, a wooden wall with lots of mud as a landing spot, deep thick mud, churned up by all the previous ‘waves’! Please God, let my shoes stay on!! After this came water after water obstacle, kind of lost count, especially when we met 2 girls who were filthy, we looked passable at this point, who decided we were too clean!

So, now filthy, with mud everywhere, we continued, our trainers now feeling like they had a forest floor in them! As the course progressed the water got deeper and the mud thicker and there was a big, slippy hill to conquer to! The Stench Trench was the final mud/water hazard, and it lived up to its name! The end of the race was a little disappointing as the water had been turned off the big slide that really marked the end of the obstacles, except for the paint balling men you had to get past. And then a short run to the finish line. Times were not important, good job as I clocked up 1 hour 31 minutes, having fun and completing the course was and I am proud to say we all did!!

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My first 10k, Run Winsford, which was actually the week before The Major Series, totally took me by surprise, almost as much as my husbands ex-wife turning up at the start line did! (She was there to support the eldest, Lauren, who I was doing it with). I signed up very last minute, the Thursday as the race was on the Sunday, but thoroughly enjoyed it, despite the heat and the fact that I’d only run that far once before, on the Wednesday!! It was a beautiful course and very well organised, I would definitely do it again but think it clashes with Equinox 24 run next year… But that’s a story for a different day!

If  you would like to sponsor me as I head towards 40, I am running my first Half Marathon on the very day, please follow my link

http://www.justgiving.com/Lisa-West3/?ut…

 

Thank you xx

The reason I am doing this…

Ok, so, not many people can pitch for custom at a funeral but the day we said “Goodbye” to my Gran proved to be an opportunity to raise awareness of my Running to 40 Challenge! Not instigated by me I hasten to add!!

My Dad has obviously been spreading the word amongst his walking buddies and Fridays gathering was the first time I had seen them. After what I, and my family,  thought was a lovely service, well attended and the Vicar had spoken sincerely about my Gran and what a ‘character’ she was, we got together to celebrate her life. It was here that the subject of my lunacy was broached!

My Gran and my Mum and Dad are part of an incredibly strong church community, a community that Lynda, founder of The Joshua Tree, spoke to back in April. When I said this is who I am raising money I got a fantastic response and was offered space on their website…brilliant, my publicity campaign begins!

I am now the proud owner of a The Joshua Tree T-shirt, have got contact addresses for the Church, am going on the charity’s website and hopefully the local press!! I need to raise my game to raise some money!

The charity is heading for some really exciting times, times that I am proud to be part of in more ways than one, if my ‘running’ can help their incredibly worthy cause then even better!!

So, in amongst my training, work I now need to find time for publicity shoots…all I know is The Joshua Tree is more than worth the effort…

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Now it really starts…

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New school year resolution…Must Try Harder!!

My Running to 40 challenge becomes a reality this month, my race number has arrived and I really need to focus…not sure where to begin!!

Issues I am struggling with

a) Distance – I have improved my time on my 5k run, I’ve knocked 4 minutes off my first Parkrun time in 2 weeks, which I am pleased with, but I am finding it so tricky to run any further! When I am out on my I am so ready to get home…I think I need to push myself more, run 3k away from home and then I’ve got to run back?? Any advice??

b) Decision making – what to focus on? Triathlon? Duathlon? Mud runs? Obstacle races?…..

c) Fundraising – how to improve my campaign!! The Joshua Tree is such a fabulous charity and I want to raise awareness of them as well as raise money for them.

d) Training plan – I think I know this answer to this already but all advice greatly received, focus on 10k first then move up to Half plan? Cross train, particularly if Tri/Du are focus? Upper body strength improvement tips?

e) Quality time – spend more time doing and less discussing on social networks!! I feel I talk a good job at the moment and even my Teen, whose phone is never more than an inch away from her hand, thinks I’m being, and I quote, “Anti-Sociable”…I must be bad!!

The last few weeks have been tough but along with my son, who asked if he could make a new school year resolution, I feel I must now raise my game, pull my socks up and get a grip!! My next blog will be full of positive…

Work gets in the way…

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So, after our eventful summer I sadly have had to return to work! After only three shifts, two of them nights, I am already finding it not conducive with the lifestyle I have carved out for myself over the last five weeks whilst Harry has recuperated!!

Nights kill me, end of!! I do not sleep well inbetween my shifts and only had three hours after my last one, although that was because we were off to watch ‘This is us’, the film about One Direction,  it was fabulous despite having to wear my 3D glasses over my normal glasses!!

Sorry, back to the point! I am struggling to find my get up and get go today, I don’t think I should be too hard on myself as I am fully intending on going to Delamere Parkrun again tomorrow, hoping to improve on my time again!!

Last weeks Parkrun was a bittersweet result as, sadly my Grandmother passed away whilst I was running, this is what will spur me on tomorrow, she was a tough little lady who fought hard until the end, which at 97 is no mean feat!! Over the last week people have been very kind to us as a family and lots of ‘virtual’ friends have, independently, told me that, because of the timing, this makes my Gran my running angel now! I hope I can make her proud! I think she would approve of my motives for running, to raise awareness and money for The Joshua Tree, but she would also give some backhanded kind of compliment about whether or not I should be doing this sort of thing at my age!! On days like today, tired days, I feel like I agree with her!! 

I know from all the #MOTR comments on Facebook and Twitter that we all need a helping hand getting out of the door from time to time so I am not going to beat myself up, I am going to stay focused on the challenges that lie ahead, which now may include, in true butterfly style, a Duathlon at Oulton Park! The craziness continues…

 

Slightly above average…

So, having spent my whole life being pretty average I am now pleased to confirm that I am slightly above average in one category…age!! No great surprise there then!

I know this because I read this article…

http://health.yahoo.net/experts/yourbestfitness/perfect-workout-40

The timing of this article was perfect. I had just been part of an interesting post on #MOTR discussing this very same topic, Triathlons not age, it actually started out about a choice of tattoo but who cares! What this conversation sparked in me was the strong belief that what I am aiming to achieve is not a ridiculous whim, that there are plenty more ‘me’s out there, all looking for a challenge but having to accept, at the same time, that we are not what we once were! At this point though I have to point out that I think I am at my fittest in 14 years (since I had my daughter)

My husband has been a rock, never doubting my ability to achieve what I want and, as always, offering me encouragement, support (eg cheering me up post-rubbish run and buying me a Garmin watch), working out new routes for me as my ability to run further improves and putting up with me being on Facebook and Twitter with my fellow #MOTR every evening, ALL evening… His biggest piece of advice has been to focus, stop flitting about from one idea to the next every time I see something new or somebody posts about what they’re doing… Focus is something I struggle with, I’ve always been a ‘Butterfly’ even at primary school it was mentioned, and even in my slightly above average age is something that still eludes me!

One thing I do know is that I’m loving the feeling I get from this new lifestyle, even the children are starting to think about joining me in some activities, Kate has said she will run in Lanzarote where no one knows her and now Harry is back in the saddle he is joining me on cool down rides or quick 5ks (on rest day…oops)!!

So if this is what slightly above average feels like I will quite happily settle for it, thank you kindly!! L x

 

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Rest Days and Mums on the Run

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So, having  started on my training plan for Challenge 1, The Major Series, I already have a day off!! This seems daft, and, when you’ve made the decision to start something and are chomping at the bit to go at it, somewhat frustrating!!

However, I do understand the importance of rest days, it allows you to restock your fuel levels, build strength, reduce fatigue and risk of overuse injuries, avoid mental burnout and help your body to repair itself! Pretty busy for a ‘rest’ day!

The slight issue I have with this is that, as my passion for all things health, fitness and fundraising has consumed me, my rest day has been full of all the ‘stuff’ I should be doing when I’m not googling events or following leads on Twitter and Facebook, Mums on the Run UK you have a lot to answer for!! Washing, shopping, changing beds etc, we have had our first family day out since Harry’s accident, this included a quick game of crazy golf and I’ve walked the dogs…again, pretty busy!!

Since I have started all this madness it is reassuring to know that I am not the only ‘Nutter’, as my husband so kindly puts it, in an affectionate way, out there!! I came across a Facebook group, the aforementioned Mums on the Run UK (#MOTR)!! Without sounding too gushing it is AWESOME!! I have found it an endless source of information, motivation and inspiration, not to mention hopefully acquiring some dazzling compression socks in the very near future! It has just over 650 members, from all walks of life, ranging from c25k runners to those who are competing in Ironman competitions and Ultra-marathons, like I said, inspirational!! The group brings people together, I have already hooked up with a fellow #MOTR who lives in the very next village, less than half a mile away, amazing considering the size of the group!! I discovered Parkrunuk through this group and have had support and advice regarding my asthma (post for another day) There is a website http://www.mumsontherunuk.co.uk if you are interested, again offering information, competitions, social events and more! This has been invaluable to me as I’ve started on my venture…a BIG thank you ladies!!

So, although I have physically rested from training, mentally I have now planned a possible sprint Triathlon for 2015, something I mentioned to my husband at the start of all this and something I’m hoping he will join me in, I have been in conversation (virtually) with RunningStories.com as I am going to be a contributor to their website, if I ever sort my untechnological-self out, and have, whilst composing this post received an email from another company who I may blog for!! All this and potential ambassador applications for various women’s fitness groups….watch this space!!

L x