Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Turning into a love/hate relationship...

Very much developing a love hate relationship with running. I have managed to sustain 2 running injuries in the same about of weeks, as well as a trainer hiccup! The actual running itself is going well, I am really enjoying it and feeling good whilst out. The problems hit in the recovery period, and always after a long run.

This was the 1st culprit. about 10 minutes after getting back I developed a dull ache in the lower outer side of my left knee. I kind of expected to develop a knee problem at some point as I damaged my right knee about 10 years ago. I was very surprised to then get problems with the other one! I was particularly worried about this one as Scott hurt his knee at the end of January which gave him problems for ages and he still occasionally complains about it. Luckily for me, I rested for a few days (apart from a swim) and very quickly it went back to normal. Obviously caught it before it became a real problem.

After spending a lot of time looking into training plans, I signed up to Endomondo Premium. Not sure if its any better than anything else I have seen but I was intrigued. Though maybe I should have taken it a little more seriously. The runs in the 1st few weeks were between 1 and 4 miles. My shortest was 2,4m (still being wary of my knee) and my longest the one 7.6m (the one above). To me, I thought I was at a higher level than it had started me off at. Which to an extent I still believe. But it's quite obvious really that the reason I am injuring myself is that I am running too far too quick. Endomondo also gives you an average pace to aim for - even at my slowest pace on my accidental 9 mile run, I am quicker than what it wants me to run.

In many ways I don't think having lots of data is that helpful. For example, my last run (above) is my quickest longer run to date. I was coming upto an hour and knew that I was quicker than my previous best distance in an hour so upped my speed to make the improvement even better.

So basically, I am making all the typical mistakes; running too far and too quickly before I am really ready. It's frustrating.

Anyway, after the last run, I felt absolutely okay until the next morning (day before yesterday), when I woke up with a bit of an achy ankle. I didn't think much of it to begin with, it slowly got worse during the day but still nothing that awful. However, waking up this morning was a bit of a downer... My plan calls for a 5 mile run today, however a nice swelling and inability to put full pressure on my foot quickly ruined that.

After consulting Dr Google, I believe I probably have peroneal tendonitis. Which could be a bit of a bitch to get over... Anyway after turning up at work last night unable to walk properly, I went to A&E to get it checked out. After a 6 hour wait and 2 X-rays, they don't really know. Apparently I could have a stress fracture. If it's as painful in another two weeks I have got to have another X-ray because apparently stress fractures are difficult to pick up until they start healing. As time has gone on I have also started getting pain underneath my foot which may be because I am not walking on it/moving it properly. Another condition they mentioned at A&E is plantar fasciitis which looks like it affects mainly the bottom of the foot. If I do have this I think it's probably secondary/related to the 1st injury rather than being the sole (haha) problem.

Regardless, I am not going to be running for a little while!! I love an excuse to sit of my arse but as soon as I have to I can't sit still!! HELP!!

I don't really want to say it, but I do have to wonder whether my trainer change has anything to with it. I went and had gait analysis and spent A LOT of money on a new pair of trainers.

My first run out of them I did them up too tight and ended up with a bleeding toe and more blisters. I knew within about 10mins that they were too tight but carried on running anyway so thats my fault really. The second run in them is the one that gave me the foot injury. However, on that run they really did feel good and definitely more supportive than my Nikes, so I'm convinced it's user error rather than equipment.......

Monday, March 28, 2016

New Running Goals

Post my previous blog about my running success, I have made some running commitments!! As in I am taking part in some organised runs. First of all I started rather small by signing up for a 10k run around Westonbirt Arboretum on the 24th May. I can already run 10k fine so thought that I could handle that easy...

But then I got thinking... If I can already run 10k then  where is the challenge? It will be hillier than I am used to but even still, there't not a lot of challenge in that is there. I am also trying to raise some money for a lovely charity called 4Louis who donate memory boxes to hospitals to give to bereaved parents. No one is really sponsoring me yet so I thought I should up my game and push myself a bit more.

Therefore I have now signed up for the South Coast Run; a half marathon!!!! 13.1 miles..... WHAT?! It's okay though, it isn't until the 10th July so I have over 3 months to train. To be honest, I am not that worried about it either, It goes along the seafront right where my dad lives, its beautiful and nice and flat so hopefully will be enjoyable for my first. I was looking at doing the Bristol Half but it is on while we are in America in September., I know what I would rather do!

I have been looking at training plans. I know I should follow one but they are all consisted of short 3-5 mile runs then 1 slightly longer one a week. I just want to run it all straight away! I think I am asking for trouble...

Before we went Skiing I ran a decent 6.4 miles and pace and felt pretty good after.

Compared to my last it is very similar but something I can improve on none the less. Went for another run yesterday, and certainly to begin with things were looking on par (I did have a weeks holiday in between where I ate anything and everything!).

But then I hit a MASSIVE wall. from about 4.5 miles the wind was by biggest killer, but I still managed to keep the pace, I then went the wrong way which committed me to running further than the 8 miles planned. On my 6th mile I got a massive stitch which then basically crippled me for the rest of my run. That with the wind and I may as well have given up. But I was determined. Stupid really as I didn't prepare myself before running properly either. The rain was meant to be coming so when it was dry I rushed to get out, having only eaten a banana and drank a cup of coffee. Too soon to leaving.

I need to look more into the preparation before a run. I think If I am going to successfully run further I need to do more to manage it. If anyone has any tips then please let me know!!!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Running Success!

To motivate myself and try and make better progress, in November, I set myself some goals. Bit of a silly time to set goals as everything went out the window in December.One of those goals was to run 5 miles, What seemed like a big task as I have never been a keen runner. It seemed even more crazy as I didn't bother to run even! Wen't a few times but as I got into spin, I was preferring the warmer climate of the gym rather than the cold(ish) outdoors!

The few runs I have done recently were okay but my trainers kept giving me blisters. They were only cheapy ones from Sports Direct (own brand) and although they are perfectly fine for in the gym and at spin (will probably still wear them to spin), I really wasn't getting on with them for running, or in classes really. There are soooo many trainers out there I didn't really know where to start so for a long while, couldn't be bothered. However we went shopping for ski stuff the other weekend and I saw a pair of Nike Free 5.0 Trainers in the sale so tried them on. I loved them but for some reason didn't buy them at the time. Instead I spent all evening googling them until I could find a pair at least the same price as I saw in the shop. In the end I actually got them in a nicer colour for £10 less, but I had to wait for them to come from Germany...

I somewhat took myself by surprise yesterday.. I had booked to go to spin post night shift, I went home for a sleep and had my alarm all set to get up and go. The alarm didn't go off but lovely Charlie Man (my doggie) came and woke me up just 10mins later than I should have got up anyway. I hauled my groggy arse out of bed, went downstairs, decided to ditch the spin idea, preferring a coffee and mong on the sofa. Then I saw my band new trainers sitting there, just asking to be taken for a run...
Just a lap round the block I said. Just enough to make me feel I've achieved something...

An hour and 8 minutes later, 3 laps round the block and 7 miles, YES 7 WHOLE MILES later and I was home again!! I can't friggen believe it!! So chuffed with myself.

I thank a good pair of trainers and my obsession with spin. Double my previous best distance! Okay, it's all either downhill or flat but even so!! I don't think my pace was too bad really either. I only really faltered on the last mile when I got a bit of a stitch so had to slow down. Once I got over the initial hump at the beginning - where I always want to give up - I found, cardiovascular wise, that I was pretty stable throughout.

I became aware of the impact through my feet at about 3.5m in but come the end I only had one small blister on the ball of my foot which I think is related to the way I run rather than the trainers. They simply molded to my feet and let me go on and on!

I have felt the burn though post run! I kept waking myself up last night whenever I rolled over as my groin muscles felt like they were in spasm, and I decided to skip spin/body con this morning too as I was walking like an old woman. I'll be fine tomorrow, it feels loads better already! I dunno what I was thinking really, casually banging out a 7 mile run and would have no aches and pains after! Feet feel good though!!

I have lost weight recently which hasn't really been my aim but there have also been some changes body wise, albeit slow.. I wan't to gain muscle not loose weight really. I haven't lifted so much though either so I can't expect it all. In fact I did a quick sesh in the gym the other day and was disappointed that I couldn't lift as much as before - which wasn't a lot to begin with. I don't think body conditioning classes and spin alone is going to be enough!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Found an App

So after spending ages on my silly spreadsheet which was meant to make graphs, then my computer skills failed me. I accidentally came across an app which does it all for me! It's called FitNotes. Basically you input all your info into it and it logs it and makes graphs out of it!

I know, I am incredibly sad.

This is the calendar view showing the days which information has been added. all the dots are colour coded for different types of activity. I don't know which colour is which yet. 

And heres my graph! The red line shows your general trend. You can change the graph so show you what you want. This one is showing max weight. The other options are; estimated one rep max, workout volume, total reps and max reps.

When you add each exercise it look like this, and when you add a new one it shows you your last inputted weight for each exercise. This, I think, will be ultra useful as I always forget what I did last time. I think that partly why things have been a bit stationary in terms of progress recently.

I don't think it's quite as good for the cardio side of things. It's good in terms of tracking distance and time. The above have been my runs which is good. Recently however, I have been doing some of the gyms fitness classes. you can input the time but obviously there isn't a distance to add as such so it then doesn't really tell you anything other than the fact you went.

But on that note and moving on, I went to spin for the first time today! Last week I went to body conditioning and saw my neighbour, Lou there. I think that day was the day that I started to come down with my cold (I was ill all weekend) and found just the body conditioning itself really hard; and I ached for 2 days after! Lou had just done a 45min spin class then made body conditioning look easy too! I felt like a tit! Then, for some reason, I agreed to join her this week! First to do Bootcamp yesterday - which wasn't too bad actually despite still being a bit coldy, and then doing the both today! 

I think I could get quite into spin. The first 10 minutes I was regretting it. Couldn't see how I would get though a whole 45min session... But then... I loved it, I kept up, pushed with the rest of them and sweated my arse off! I even got a bit overzealous at one point and nearly fell off when going from sitting to standing. The motion got ahead of me and I nearly pulled my foot out of the pedal. Towards the end my legs were full of jelly so standing and cycling became increasingly difficult... I made it to the end though!! Just about! 

We then did a lot of leg work in body con....

I've sat on the sofa in front of a film for the rest of the day...

Sunday, January 10, 2016

December flop, January motivation toys!

I decided to start writing this blog in the wrong month really. I wasn't too good at going to the gym in December and I am now having to start from scratch again! Indulging over the Christmas period wasn't too detrimental to the scales but it didn't exactly keep me on track either.

Since my run in December I have had good intentions in terms of going again, and that was my main plan for when at home. I managed to go once..... HA! At least once was better than not at all, specially as I couldn't go to the gym at home. I went with the boys who completely ran the socks off me; Ben ran ahead (he's 13!) and Luke (16) stayed with me for moral support. It was embarrassing how bad I was!

Luke had since done the same route again in 34mins.. only about 10mins quicker than me! Nevermind, something to aspire to! That run was a pain in the arse really. As I am sure you have probably realised, I don't like to do anything unless I can log it and I am a bit of a tech geek. I tracked that route with the Endomondo App which is great but I didn't have any pockets so had to hold my phone the whole way round. This wasn't great; there was a particularly muddy track we ran along which I decided to throw my phone on the floor and then Luke kicked it... dirty dirty phone! You can also do it using the Fitbit App but with my Fitbit One, I still had to have my phone for GPS and the Fitbit App not only needs a continuous internet connection (I live in the dark ages and don't have unlimited data), but also drains battery something awful! Luckily my phone has a pretty hefty case on it as I'm well known for being clumsy but this got me thinking.... It really is a pain having to carry is whenever you go on a run or anywhere you want to track..

A Few people got Fitbit's for Christmas so my friend list has grown! Jamie got a Fitbit Charge HR. I've looked at these and been really interested as I would like to have a heart rate monitoring device, but because it's a wrist tracker I have never gone for it because I can't wear it to work. However, seeing his did make me start thinking about it again. I have also wondered whether heart rate tracking would improve the accuracy of calorie burn when at the gym. I didn't research this but assumed that it would be more accurate and therefore went out at brought a Fitbit Surge! A bit spur of the moment but I love it!! I went for top of the range one in the end as I figured that buying the Surge was basically the same as my one but with the heart rate monitoring whereas the Surge has GPS tracking so no more dropping my phone in the mud! You can have two trackers assigned to the same account so I still wear my One to work and then wear my Surge the rest of the time.

I even ran round the block like I said I might..!!

Thats 3.2miles of the 5miles I wanted to achieve. I am happy with that so far! My average heart rate was 170bpm! I liked the watch GPS as it vibrated every mile and told me that my average pace was for the last completed mile, a good motivator!

I wore it to the gym this afternoon. It's calorie burn total compared to what the gym equipment suggested was pretty interesting..

This was the Surge's breakdown of my activity at the gym. The bike machine thought that I burned 147 calories, the watch 156. Not a lot of difference so that's probably relatively accurate. However, the weight machines totaled up suggested that I burned 457 calories, just a little different from the watch! Up until now I have just logged whatever my end calorie burn is at the end of my work out. In this instance this would have been 604 calories. But my Fitbit reckons it would only be 425 calories. using Fitbit's result, that would be 5.6 calories burned per minute VS. 7.9 calories a minute using the gyms result. Whilst out for my run, Fitbit said that I burned 9 calories a minute. So, I would guess that actually, my fitbit is far more reliable than the gym equipment  surely theres no way I can burn nearly as many calories a minute weight training as when out for a run!

I read an article which states that calculating calorie burn whilst strength training is really difficult and not that much. Therefore, I think listening to the Fitbit is definitely the way forward. Quite scary really because all these months I have been calorie counting based on what the gym equipment has told me. This means I have probably fluffed up my eating! Not that it has mattered too much, it's not like I'm actively trying to loose weight. But still! It's irritating!