An expensive little run

Today has been a funny day. We were both in funny moods and didn’t quite know what to do with ourselves. We lounged around in our PJs watching the replay of yesterday’s olympic action. As they were counting down to Mo Farrah’s 5km race we said we really should go and do something. We were supposed to do half mile repeats today according to the training plan- oh and we all know how I love those. Unfortunately for me (or fortunately maybe) Kath asked how far Saltaire is from here – maybe because I had suggested going for lunch a while earlier just to get out of the house. It’s not quite six miles from home and we figured we could do the half mile repeats going in that direction, have a little look around Salts Mills and then get some food.

So that’s what we did. I wore my new crop Nike running tights I reviewed yesterday and my new Salomon trainers I reviewed the other day. Hm. Ok the pants are fine – they stayed up which is always a bonus and they were comfy. However, there is a seam that runs round the inside which sits just under the draw string and that has chafed a little. I have had a bath and sat for a while but it is still red now – not sore though. I felt it most as we were walking home towards the end. The shoes are a different story. My feet were not happy, not happy at all. As I started running they felt uneven  and achey almost immediately so when we stopped I loosened the left one a little. The next interval was’t better – feet were really quite sore. After the third my feet were in agony, I think I cried a little. After the 4th I loosened both as much as I could but it didn’t really help. The shoes felt stiff rather than supportive and every step was painful.

Somehow I got to 6 and then 7 and then I thought I might as well finish. The last one actually wasn’t so bad – maybe because it was the last one or maybe because my feet were finally getting used to the trainers. There was no way I could push the pace though – it took all my focus to just keep running.

The distance was perfect for running 8 x half a mile with 3 minutes between each. We finished the last walk just a few steps away from the entrance to Salts Mill. We had a little look around and bought a few books and cards and then headed over to Don’t Tell Titus for some food and more importantly water. We sat and enjoyed their punjabi nachos, pita bread and hummus and some halloumi. Then we set off to walk back home but got drawn into a lovely little art gallery/shop and bought some more cards, earmarked some gorgeous prints for future purchases and then Kath bought me these gorgeous little earrings. I so rarely see any I like and I was drawn to these (they’re hard to photograph!).

So anyway, we spent a small fortune in Saltaire – I blame whoever designed running pants with credit card sized pockets for that one! It was too nice a day to bugger about with trains and/or buses running to a Sunday timetable so we decided to walk back home. It was a lovely walk along the canal. We saw mostly ducks and a swan or two but also a heron, a few wrens and other small birds and one very happy spaniel-type dog playing in the canal. There were other dogs too but this one stood out because it was so excited and happy to be playing in the water. We can learn a thing or two from that!

We went straight to our sheep rather than going home first because we thought we wouldn’t get going again if we stopped.We needed to move the girls to their bigger field as they have eaten the one they’re in now right down so we thought we might as well do that now. Luckily they were all in a good mood and were happy to follow me and the food bucket. Well when I say follow, once they realised where they were going they shot past me and I had to jog on behind! So in addition to our 5.2 mile run (well 4 miles of that were running), we also walked about 7 – probably a bit more- miles. My feet were fine once we’d had a little rest and on the walk home they felt very well supported and not at all achey. I’ll try the shoes running again but if my feet are painful again then they’ll be relegated to walking shoes and I’ll try and get a pair just like the previous ones which needed no real breaking in and were comfortable from the first run.

Right I’m off to do some yoga and get an early night. Happy running.


New Pants – Nike capris and crop tights

Well while we’re in review mode… here’s another one. My adidas capri running pants are beginning to disintegrate at the seam  along the inner thigh- age old problem for someone with my size thighs. So I needed to think about getting new pants. I hate – absolutely detest – buying running pants. The idea of going into a sports shop is bad enough – seeing all the stuff for skinny people, looking at sizing that suggest that a size 10 is getting a bit on the porky side, being asked by some young springy, bouncy little thing if I need any help (yes actually but I think you’re out of your depth with me), watching women pick up and consider a bit of fabric masquerading as a sports bra is enough to make me feel quite nauseous. Taking that a step further and actually going to try something on – probably the only thing in the entire shop that is supposedly in my size  (and will therefore undoubtedly be in black) but still unlikely to fit – urgh.

Now I have braved this experience once or twice and was appalled at how grateful I felt when I found something in my size. Come on sports shops – us fatties need exercise gear, too! As for the big brands, well I can almost cry with gratitude when their stores stock something that fits more than one leg, never mind if there’s something there that fits my hips. Sometimes it feels like if you’re fat you don’t deserve to have nice gear – you have to make do with cheap crappy stuff. Anyway, on one of the more successful outings I found a pair of Nike capris. Yes Nike. I also found the adidas ones which are now disintegrating so clearly  big brands do  occasionally make stuff in bigger sizes – thanks.  I can’t even remember where I bought them but they fit really well. This means, theoretically at least, that I don’t have to go into those ridiculous shops because I can simply find the same ones again online and order them! Or not.

It seems impossible to find the exact same type of running pants again online. It’s impossible to tell which are the same and which have some subtle but potentially disastrous differences. I didn’t know what to do but in the end I ordered online rather than braving the shop. I ordered a pair of capris and a pair of crop Nike running tights from The crops are these: NIKE WOMEN’S PRONTO ESSENTIAL CROP RUNNING TIGHTS, the capris I can no longer find online – typical.


Anyway, both pairs came and they look great. Lovely bright colours for a change rather than my usual black. I compared the size with my existing ones and they were about the same – the new ones maybe just a little smaller – ok they were enough of smaller to make me put of trying them on for a day or two. I have tried the capris on a little run and they are lush. They fit snuggly without feeling too tight. They have a drawstring but one which sits flat so there are no ‘edges’ that might cause chafing.

They have a zip pocket in the back which easily fits my keys and another little pocket that sits on the left hip which would do for bit of small change or something (or a gel or something like that if you use them).

I got size L and that seems to be true to a  UK 16/18 fit. I have to say I was surprised that L was big enough. So often in sporty clothes L is like a 12/14 which is just silly. The capris are a lovely length coming just down over the knee far enough to not ride up at all. I’m really happy with them. I haven’t run in the crop ones yet but tried them on and they fit exactly the same as the capris apart from obviously being a bit longer. They also have a pocket at the back for keys etc (the pockets would comfortably fit a credit card or my bus pass or something like that too).

I really would recommend these based on my experience so far but I suppose the question is: how long do they last? My adidas ones aren’t old and I haven’t worn them that much and yet the seam has gone. We shall see.


Long walks, kit check and not doing the long run

Right now I am supposed to be roughly 4 miles into a 20 mile run (from Leeds to home along the Leeds-Liverpool canal) but that’s not happening. Apart from it being a change of plan I am ok about that. We were trying to catch up with the training plan but that turns out not to be very sensible. It would see us do 3 really long walks on Saturdays and long runs on Sundays for 3 consecutive weekends (the training plan actually has 2 ‘easy’ weeks inbetween). It’s too much and today our  bodies let us know. Kath has a twinge in her left knee which feels a bit like her right knee did just before it gave up the ghost for a while and if I am totally honest about it, my right calf muscle is screaming for a rest. So we did the sensible thing and turned this weekend into an ‘easy’ weekend and called the 10.68 miles walk yesterday it.

The walk was nice though. We walked from home along the Leeds-Liverpool canal to Skipton. We weren’t striding out  – just walking along nicely and the pace ended up being about 19 minutes per mile. We stopped at the post office on the way and had a couple of stops early on to watch the kingfisher whizz up and down the canal alongside us and then to watch a second kingfisher further along. It was cold, there was a dusting of snow on the hills and in places the wind was biting. It was nice to be out though. I wouldn’t say it cleared my mind but it stopped me thinking about anything at all. Once in Skipton we went into a pub for food and enjoyed a lovely beef stew before having a little look round the shops and getting the train home. So not much running news!

Skipton walk small
View on way to Skipton with flooded washland and snow capped hills

Last week I went through all my running gear and also bought the last bits and pieces I might need. So I now have a choice of kit to take. I tried the Salomon trainers I hadn’t worn yet on a short run and they were great. I will try them for one long run and providing they’re ok I will take them and my New Balance ones and see how I feel on the day. I have 4 pairs of 3/4 length running pants (including a new pair and a pair I have had years which I can now fit into – for the first time since 2013 and fit in easily for the first time ever!) and I also have a selection of t-shirts and vests to choose from. I will have one last trying on session before I pack but it is looking pretty good. I also have a new Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Sports Bra (catchy name!) which I am not 100% sure on yet. It is comfy and it eliminates bounce completely but there is something comforting about wearing an old worn in (out?) sports bra – like taking an old loyal supportive friend with you… We’ll see. Maybe the new one and I will bond over a long run next weekend. So the kit is sorted bar the final decisions about what travels with me.

It’s weigh in day. I have lost 2.4 pounds. I am really chuffed with that (it puts me on a round number) and it means I have now lost exactly 2.5 stone this year – that’s 35 pounds – that’s 15.8 kg. With every pound that comes off the running gets a little bit easier – there’s less of me to drag round and that in turn makes it easier to keep the weight off and keep losing a bit more. I’d love to shift another half stone before the marathon to make it a round 3 stone loss on 2015. That would be great but I am just going to keep going as I have been – running, eating relatively healthily and doing yoga most days.

I don’t quite know what to do  with myself today – the plan was run 20 miles which was going to take most of the day… I’m not good with changes of plan at the moment so I am on my safe sofa for now. I’ll do more yoga later, more blogging, more Disney planning, more writing… more anything as long as it means I don’t have to leave the sofa or engage with people



Wet weather running

Well it hasn’t really got cold yet  – cooler yes but nothing that swaping short sleeves for long sleeves doesn’t sort. It’s the wet I am struggling to get my head round. Wet means a number of things:

  1. Wet means clothes get properly wet rather than just damp from sweat and wet means clingy and clingy means t-shirts don’t hide my wobbly bits which means I feel stupidly self conscious. Yes I know that when I am running there is actually no hiding anything but I can’t see myself running – I can feel clingy clothes
  2. Wet also means getting cold far more easily. This isn’t a problem while running but it is a problem immediately after as we rarely start and finish at our front door. There is usually some walking back or some walking and then driving home involved so wet is not good.
  3. Wet means slippery surfaces and I am already pertrified of slipping and falling. I am not at all sure-footed when running. Rain soaked paths and tracks make this worse
  4. Wet means mud which I actually don’t mind apart from mud meaning an unpredictable kind of slippery – see above.
  5. Wet means that the temptation to stay in and dry is so much stronger.
  6. Wet means grey, wet means low visibility, wet means muted colours and less to see. Wet means the wildlife is hiding and trying to stay dry…

I could probably go on. Actually the last point may be a bit unfair – there isn’t less to see. What there is to see is just different! I’m sure as I get used to running in the grey and wet I will see more things that I don’t yet see and which are not there or look very different in the sunshine. The things to see argument isn’t really a valid one.

I’m trying to combat the other issues. I usually run in trail running shoes round here. I can’t remember if I have blogged about my trainers before. You may have realised that I am not particularly fashion conscious about anything and that includes running shoes. I buy what is comfortable and does the job. I’ve been lucky so far – I have always been able to find really good shoes in the sale. Currently I have a pair of Salomon trail running shoes (XT Hornet if anyone cares – can’t find them on their website now – probably because they’re not current season but there are others there which are very similar!) which I really like. They are perhaps a little heavy – and noticeably heavier than my New Balance road running shoes – but they make me feel as sure-footed as I probably ever will and nicely support my feet. They have a pretty good grip and running on the wet canal path as well as the grass and mud track in the sections where there is no track has been ok so far. I am always a nervous wreck going downhill in the wet but I don’t think I can blame these trainers for that. I bought another pair of Salomon trainers (X-Scream City Trail) in the sale. I haven’t tried them yet but I am thinking they might work really well for the marathon because they feel like they might give me the same stability as the others but they are slightly lighter. I’ll be starting to use them on a couple of shorter runs if and when it is dry and we’re staying on canal path or road. So the wet = slippery issues I’m just going to have to deal with. Any help or advice?

We had a lovely trip to Saltaire a few weeks ago and were just walking round Salts Mills looking at books and other stuff and also popped into the Trek and Trail shop they have in there. I have got so used to being too large for their largest size that I rarely even bother looking properly. However, that’s no longer the case. On their sale rack they had a Ronhill very light waterproof jacket. It was reduced from £150 – reduced significantly – more than 50%. It was a size smaller than I would have normally even looked at but Kath reckoned it might fit. I tried it on and it fits perfectly. I can zip it up and it’s not tight anywhere. I bought it. Well this week was the first time I used it. I had it on during our Sunday run and it is great. I hate getting too hot when running and jackets often make me too hot and sweaty but not this one. It really is breatheable – yes I was hot and sweaty at the end but no more so than if I hadn’t worn the jacket. You can see it on the website if you’re interested. I’m really happy with it – I think it’ll get me through a wet and even a cold winter and it is so light and packs so small that taking it with me on longer runs in case I need it isn’t going to be an issue! I love the fact that it doesn’t cling and it doesn’t ride up. It’s purple – a bit close to pink for me but other than that, perfect really.

So what are your must haves to get through wet weather running?

Trying to stay positive – more Disney than running

Well I am a proper little snot factory. I have needed to take yesterday and today off work – I have a slight but persistent fever, a nasty cough,  the runniest nose ever and at the same time my sinuses are completely blocked causing my face to feel like it has been punched from the inside. Urgh. I can’t walk upstairs without a major coughing fit never mind run. I’m grumpy about it. I have been trying to cheer myself up with thinking about our Disney holiday and previous running successes. So just to remind myself that I now have two half marathons under my belt – ok so they are 2.5 ish years apart but never mind – here’s the proof

And to remind myself that there will be a fantastic medal at the end of it, here’s us showing off the bling after the 2013 half.

Half Marathon Medals 2013 (and a silly pose)
Half Marathon Medals 2013 (and a silly pose)

I’m excited about the holiday now. I paid the balance yesterday and now it feels real. I just printed off some bits and pieces – the final invoice showing the 0 balance, the tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba and all the dining reservations we’ve made so far. While I was looking for a couple of pictures from the half marathon I got sidetracked looking at the Disney pictures generally. Actually many of the pictures we have don’t really show the place – there are loads of us but here are some of the

places that I am very much looking forward to seeing again.

In other news, the weather has got autumnal. We lit a fire earlier for the first time and the change in weather has made me think about running through the winter. Unless it gets stupidly icey we are planning on going the distance outside. Neither of us likes the idea of training on a treadmill. I don’t want to miss the changing landscape and the chance to see winter wildlife going about its business.

I am a little concerned about clothes though. I have a couple of long sleeved runing tops and one which is a winter training top which I think will be ok and I think I will just need to get used to layers and taking something off part way through. Any tips?

Anyway, the only thing running here today is my nose so enough of my rambling