Welcome to my Blog!

A bit about me...

Just over ten years ago, I didn't run. Well, unless you count the 'dreadmill' at the gym, for maybe just a half hour. I was inspired by an old school friend to 'get outside' and I joined a group that would set out regularly from my gym. I remember my first few times and I'm not going to lie, it was really hard! I signed up for my first Cancer Research 'Race for Life' 5 km race in Warwick, so that was the goal. However, I loved running outside so much that I ended up getting carried away with training and decided to enter a local 10km race before the 5km one. I think that just about sums me up in a nutshell.

Jumping forward... I've been immersed in running club land, I've captained at a running club, I've set up my own running group and I've participated in six different marathons and what must be over 100 different running events. Events have included National cross-country, fell races, triathlon, team relays, orienteering races, night races and fancy dress races! No ultra races yet... but never say never!

The races that excite me most are ones which include rude ascents, some fun descents (bordering on uncontrollable), breathtaking views and surroundings which allow my spirit to dance. The dark and echoing tunnels in big City marathons which take you down and away temporarily from the roar of crowds is one of my weird guilty pleasures. I just enjoy that peace and quiet where all you hear is your breathing and trainers striking the ground... and races with space between participants suit me very well indeed.

I also love rabbiting on about running...whilst running, before and after! And, I love team spirit. Slight contradictions to my running solitude but I take that as a sign that I am not merely running to control my otherwise rather chaotic mindset but because I ACTUALLY love it. It has become a big part of me.

Nothing is more satisfying than that post-run/race feeling, and sharing those moments enjoyed in a race with others, to inspire, chuckle at and also wince over (especially when accompanied by a large glass of wine!) So instead of just chatting, I'm writing!

Some of my proudest moments;

- When Ladies Captain at Kenilworth Runners, part of the winning Masters team at the Warwickshire Cross country champs 2012
- Winning the Tempo Events Ilmington Series Vets prize 2015/16
- Setting up Run Warwick and organising the very successful and popular 12 Miles of Christmas Events

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Take my Breath Away

Ill-health and injury can play a big part in ruining your otherwise 'well-thought out' race training plan.  I'm sure this is a very familiar tale.

The Berlin Half Marathon offered everything you could want. A fabulous flat course, reliable (proper) Spring weather and a course cutting right through historical landmarks and inspiring architecture, as well as (I would discover) uplifting crowds and awakening drums! So, something had to go and f%$k it all up.

Ros' top lessons learnt at Berlin;

1. Just Say No... to overly challenging races just 2 weeks before an A-goal race. Even if it's not a marathon... the Cleevewold 14 in hindsight was a bloody stupid idea (albeit a mega accomplishment).

2. Take care with tough sessions.  In the same week as you can't even walk down steps for two days following (point 1) race, don't attempt a brutal interval session... with long rests standing in torrential cold rain...especially when you've previously had chest issues.

3. Listen to your body and your mind, especially when you are run down mentally from other exhausting life events. A week of considerable work-related stress did not help. Give yourself time to heal mentally as well as physically.

4. Recover as seriously as you train. Even eating all the fresh fruit and veg in the World with maybe some Easter chocolate.. as well as 'resting' will not resurrect your health to perfection. Repeat point 3. about listen to your body.

5. Plan stress-free travel - Lufthansa 4, Ryan Air NIL.  The German Airline totally rocks with FREE snacks and drinks (inc. wine)! However, top tip, if you're transferring at Frankfurt, save some energy to manage the transfer across the vast airport(!) Who knew - it's the third busiest airport in Europe!

6. Get to the Expo as early as possible! 
Tackling the Expo on the Friday was a good shout.  Berlin's Expo was held at the Flughafen Templehof, the former airport and a historically protected landmark, one of the few remaining Nazi era sites as well as a symbol of freedom due to the airports role in the 1948-9 Air Lift.

7. Break-in your trainers - properly! That means, run more miles in them than just a Parkrun, a club circuit and maybe a couple of other short runs/walks. Also, after getting them soaked through in puddles, then drying them out on a radiator - wear them in again!  #crispy

8. Stop at every water stop and take every energy gel on offer!  Especially when it is unusually warm!  However, expect anything (especially abroad!) A small cola gel handed to me was thick and unpleasant tasting like warm liquorice! Yuk!

9. Open-top City bus tours FTW!  I wholeheartedly recommend an open top bus-tour - especially the day before a race.  You can sit, relax and explore so much - then when you race, you can remember the stories behind the sites.

10. Don't treat the week-end as though your Race depends on it.  As long as you stay well-hydrated and you don't exhaust yourself too much the day before, certainly don't deny yourself any treats!

Race day
I'd spent couple of days feeling very achy and tired with a strained chest and voice, but I was taking regular paracetamol (following the docs advice) and I was eating very well.  The splendour of the City and the excitement of participating in the race, clouded my judgement though and having collected a number and memento T-shirt, it didn't feel right to not even try.

My race number pinned on my new club vest and the chip was on my shoe.  Surprisingly.  The jog to the start from the hotel was a good indication of whether I could actually cope with this. It was warm and I was excited but anxious as we passed the steady flow of runners along the wide and traffic-free Unter den Linden.  My feet were in some discomfort though, warm and encased by my crispy new Asics, resuscitated from a very wet Parkrun!

Tim was happy to run with me at my pace as his main goal is the London marathon, so this was just a very scenic easy long-run for him.  Luckily his pace is not too different to mine.

Following a teary wobble in the start pen, made slightly better by a cuddle with the big fluffy race mascot fox 'Friddolin' Frink' (I fondly nicknamed 'Fiddlin' Frank)... I decided;

- The first mile would almost pass close to the hotel, I could retire if in trouble.

- If I pulled out later on, I had a travel pass in my pocket and could make my way back at the hotel.

First Half
Following the start of the in-line skating race to a very rocky AC/DC chiming bells countdown and guitar/drum intro. which made me grin, our start pen moved forward.  Our pen had some quite serious looking club athletes...so I fully expected them to stampede ahead.  However, I felt comfortable as we moved out, in the warmth of the sun along wide, flat roads, lined with well-wishers.  I thought to myself "just get to halfway, just count down the kms." 

We soon passed the Berliner Dom and moved out west along the long, wide Unter den Linden to the Brandenburg Gate.  It was then onwards to the Victory Column with it's bronze 'Victoria' sculpture visible straight ahead at about 5km.  Uplifting beats of drummers and the crowd support was typical of a big vibrant City. There was a tunnel with birdsong pumping out on speakers and green glowing lights! 

Second Half
We approached the Charlottenburg Gate and its larger-than-life bronze statues of King Frederick I of Prussia, and his consort Sophia Charlotte of Hanover, then made a left turn, and another left and back east!  As we headed back towards Potsdamer Platz, I felt reassured that I could finish, but the pace slowed considerably, so an energy stop came at the right moment!  However, it came in the form of a thick, 'cola' gel and was revolting! However this was soon forgotten as we turned at Kochstrasse and went right through 'Checkpoint Charlie', the historic border crossing between East and West Berlin that permitted foreigners passage.

Onwards through the final crowds to the corner of Karl-Marx Allee and I could see the Finish in sight - at least the roar of the crowd was increasing.  Having not even checked my Garmin once, for fear of demotivating disappointment, I was relieved to see on stopping it, I was only a few minutes over my London time (a month previous).. 1:56:59. Greeted with a medal and a cup of luke-warm sweet tea - the finishers moved past a long bar offering pints of refreshing alcohol-free beer.  We collected an official certificate and returned our rented chip devices.

Main lesson learnt, don't cram 'tough stuff' just before an 'A-goal' race. We only found out about the planned attack at the race via some BBC alerts which flashed up later that day.  I certainly felt very safe with all the armed police officers visible around the City, but at the time I didn't think anything of it and took it as that was just standard.  It's always sad to hear these things but you just cannot let these things worry you and put you off.

I'll visit Berlin again - possibly even tackle the marathon, but with much better planning! Now rest.

Monday, 2 April 2018

A week of very big ups and downs

I feel it would be very reader-friendly to summarise the past week's highlights.

1) Last Sunday, I ran the Cleevewold 14 - a beautiful and frantically undulating 14 mile multi-terrain race, organised by Cheltenham and County Harriers, which starts from medieval Postlip Tithe Barn near Winchcombe. The route weaves up to Cleeve common and returns via Belas Knap neolithic burial mound. After about 3 miles of grueling ascent there were rewarding, panoramic views right over my home town of Cheltenham. Contrastingly to the previous Sunday's unexpected snow day, which had still left some snow drifts in some of the highest parts of the race, it was a lovely, bright sunny day and we weaved up and down fields of newly born lambs and calves. I would totally recommend this race to anyone who enjoys a low-key, friendly, well-organised, TOUGH, HILLY and unpretentious race. No medal or T-shirt, just a chilled bottle of Cotswold beer with memento glass at the end.

2 ) I managed to squeeze in a 9 x 800m session around Victoria Park as a final 'tough session' before the Berlin Half next week-end...eeek! My hope is to try and get a time under 1 hour 50. I would "really" like to get closer to 1 hour 45 minutes. My Vitality 'Big Half' marathon in London a few weeks ago followed a week of weather turmoil which hindered training, and Berlin is apparently flat and fast!  I really hope the past couple of Sundays' longer and more challenging runs will have bridged some gaps in my endurance and the increasing intervals sessions will have sharpened my speed. FINGERS CROSSED!

3) I've been offered a fantastic job, with a fantastic local charity, which puts on fantastic events... but more on that soon! Having decided to leave my previous job - it was the first interview I went for and I REALLY wanted it, which I think must have made a huge difference. I'm overjoyed that I turned a negative situation upside down. This has really done wonders for my motivation and self-esteem.  I can't wait to start working with my new team.

4) I was third female in the local parkrun in Leamington and first in my age category! I literally woke up half an hour before...(!) It was very muddy... and in my haste to get ready, I put on my new Asics road shoes (in crisp, minty blue) - only to have mud splattered all over them just walking to the start! By the end of the race, mud was (right) up my legs, across my arms and even on my face! It was also a fellow Run Warwick member, 'Kevlar's' 100th parkrun, so he was adorned with a brown '100th parkrun' tabard (which may have been white when we started!)  It was good to see another regular Run Warwick member, Billy on the course, passing me just after the hill but this kept me hanging on right up to the end (I finished just behind him).  Abi, James and Sue were also there, Abi and Sue on bar-code scanning duties. It reminded me, I really should volunteer again soon!

5) I need to work out WHAT IS GOING ON with my training and my body.  I am intrigued to know what approach will help my running and where I might be going wrong.  I have dabbled with kettle-bells, core strength work-outs and read up on different training plans and strategies, and listened to the advice of others. However, I feel like I've hit a plateau, without any informed learning to really move forwards and improve. Admittedly, I was just enjoying getting back in the saddle and really enjoying running again and even though I'm not sure I could ever reach my PBs again, it would be nice to try and not just put it 'down to my age'.

I am really excited to have an opportunity to explore learning about my fitness genes and have a more methodical and structured approach to training and nutrition based on exactly how my body works it all out. It's all about 'Fitness Genes' and I am thrilled to have the little DNA collection kit in my possession to start my own DNA journey and understand how I can really make improvements to my running and fitness. I will be sharing that journey with you!

Monday, 5 March 2018

There’s ..snow business like Mo business

It had been quite an unusual few days of inclement weather. If you needed to get out and run (and some of us, even non-Marathon training, still really do), fiercely icy winds meant extra grit (and layers).  Thursday brought snow... a good dollop of it... and then there was even more on the Friday. I was getting anxious about travel to London for the inaugural Vitality Big Half.  Created by London Marathon Events Ltd, The Vitality Big Half was billed as ‘a new one day festival centred around the half marathon, aiming to be truly global and uniquely local in a celebration of the wonderful cultural diversity of the great city of London.’  Well, with that organising, and elite runners like Sir Mo Farah fronting the field, what runner could resist!

There had been several cancelled races pop up on my social timeline, including my local Warwick Half, the Leicester 10km and every nearby Park run I can think of. An email from the race organisers confirmed the route was snow-free - so it was GAME ON.  My transfer back to Kenilworth Runners was just confirmed on 1st March, so I borrowed a Kenilworth Runners vest from a club mate in the village (where I was marooned) to wear come Sunday!

Sunday morning greeted London with fresh blue skies, and at the Tower Hotel, chosen because of its close proximity to the start area on Tower Bridge, swarms of runners were hustling around the breakfast area. Pinned up, shoe tagged and layers adorned, I set out to join a field of around 15,000 runners, minus those stuck up north in snow.  It was nice to hear the organisers had allowed runners who couldn’t attend, could record their own 13.1 miles and claim their medal with the Strava evidence.

Right. Now to it. There was a delay as the different waves surged forward from different converging roads near the bridge, but we were entertained by top tunes including Mr Brightside and London Calling whilst marshals darted about collecting disrobed bin bags and jumpers...then we were counted down.  The route passed through the boroughs of Southwark, Tower Hamlets, Lewisham and finished in Greenwich with a ‘Vitality Big Festival’ showcasing International cuisine and music to reward the weary runners.  

Now most road races I’m pretty zoned out, trying to hold onto a decent pace so my memory of details around me are very random and patchy... but some parts I can recollect. 

  • A chance passing of Sir Mo himself as he came out of Canary Wharf, in a lead pack of 3 and us outbound runners  cheered him on as we passed.
  • A mile long tunnel about 2 miles in... the Limehouse Link Tunnel to be precise. I don’t think I’ve ever run through quite such a long one!
  • Cobbles along Wapping High Street
  • Over the Tower Bridge at the 7.5 mile point... (below)
  • A sign at mile 10, saying ‘It’s only a Park Run to go’
  • The fantastic crowds in Lewisham cheering for the final mile...
  • The Cutty Sark greeting us in the final stretch

Would I recommend the Vitality Big Half?... Yes!  In the run up to the London Marathon, it’s a great warm up for the main event.  Great T-shirt, unusual medal and the rare opportunity to share a course with the International Elite in a much loved City.  The course had some minor challenges...the cobbles and incline from the tunnel exit but I can’t really grumble about 525 feet overall elevation gain.  My time was 1:53:19... a bit quicker than the Kenilworth Half the previous September (1:54:37) and close to the Warwick Half the year before that (1:52:52).  Seem to be a bit stuck in a groove, but onwards to Berlin Half next.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Second Place :o) ..and a good week.

Well this week, was a good week. Training going well, and although the JD plan said 70% of highest mileage week..ended up doing almost 50.. when I thought it was 45! I think it must have been the double. I think building in a double at least once a week will be my only way of keeping the mileage up, and next week will be one of the 100% max mileage weeks(!) *mama (sucks thumb)*

I did what I thought was the prescribed 1km intervals in the week, alongside fellow club mates doing 200s and 400s (they were told to 'ignore' me! Lol!) I really enjoyed the session and managed to stay at least 10secs within the target time.. and the drive up and down Stoneleigh was undulating - especially up and over the bridge so I didn't think it would be easy. What I hadn't read is that the session should have included 10km AFTER the intervals... I just didnt read that bit, and after initially feeling pleased with my efforts - I then felt the session was a big fat FAIL. But then, weighing it all up - maybe the extra mileage I did in the week was enough to make up for this 'missing 10km'..although I just want my body to be doing the right things to gear up for my best time possible in Snowdon. Am I expecting too much of myself - punishing myself for not paying attention to a plan like it is Gospel. I mean people have to work, have to fit plans into their life, the plans have 'fat' built into them for possible injury and just 'life'...so yes it was still a good week. This was definitely made smilier by a 2nd female place in a local race which I didn't exactly plan for. Thats probably the reason why. I was relaxing Friday night.. watching late night TV, drinking wine, with the vague plan on entering on the day. Found myself waking up early...probably not even that well hydrated, drinking coffee and getting my kit together. So this was mainly XC... but the ground was dry, so I opted for my normal Lunar Glides.. comfort was paramount! I did a bit of a warm up, a couple of kilometers just to warm the legs. So after a briefing - which scared the shit out of me, because the words 'Look after each other' seemed to echo around my head.. steep hills and the fact my friend who runs 34 minute flat 10kms, won the race in 52mins on the last race of the Series (this was the 3rd..) So we started off on the road line - myself and about 40 or so others... including what looked like a very quick lady (you can just tell these things)...who pushed in front of my female lead after about a half km or so. I had it in my head - I dont normally lead, this was bound to happen, and with the course ahead, plenty of time to move back ahead. I guess I really dont believe I am 'in that place' in the leading female position yet. Anyway - another girl pulled ahead of me as we pushed around a corner and up the first steep hill. And this was not just an 'undulation'...this was a HILL. Almost as steep as the last hill I faced in the Hilly 100 relay race, and that almost brought tears to my eyes steep! So I remember Rich's words 'it doesnt make much difference at this point if you reserve a bit - as there is a good downhill to make up for it'... but I had been doing tons of hill training, and I found it 'OK'... challenging, but not scary. I pushed ahead of the girl that initially passed me, but the other was finding this hill 'OK' too.. and she looked like she had more muscle strength in her legs.. so I kept a safe distance between us - using my arms to power up but short strides and quicker turnover. We got to a flatter part where I pushed ahead of the guy who had been shoulder to shoulder with me... and then up the second section of the hill (it was not over yet!) Then finally the descent ... like a surfer caught in the perfect wave, I went with it quickly, and almost wanted to cry out with the fun of it... quick down through woodland, roads, not looking around, keeping the other girl in range. It was a really enjoyable section until reaching around the 6-7km point where we followed a trail to a grassy hill which steepened, and I could see the runners 200m or so ahead all slowing to a walking pace up to the summit! OK the other lady could not be seen behind me (I never normally look behind in a race - but as there could be a walking section I thought I would bend my rules!) So OK I just had to take this with as much energy as I had left - after this it would be downhill to the finish. My quads were pushing exhaustively and I just looked ahead to see what the others were doing... walking. I thought I would run/walk/run to try and break up the pain but kept an eye on how far the other lady was behind.. she was running - but a good minute or so behind. Finally it was coming to an end... the top of the hill - a corner and the road went down... muscles released and my lungs relaxed.. then a kissing gate (slammed this shut) a quick field - and again - and I could see the 1st place girl almost one kissing gate ahead.. and I could not hear the one behind me going. I tried to move up on her... but she was as strong as me, I guess the addrenalin of being in first is more powerful than fighting to get there... but I gave it everything I could until the final kissing gate and the field to the line, where I was given a shout of well done 2nd female from my club-mates! Wow what a seriously enjoyable race... a thinned out field, a tough course but NO stitch and 2nd place and the training is making me stronger :)

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Serious Training - Lessons learnt

So almost at the end of week 15 - and starting to feel the lactate heaviness in my legs now.. but a week-end of serious 'recy'ing' the Snowdon route and do my long run on a 19 mile section of it, incorporating the first two hills. Travelling along the winding mountain road early on Saturday morning, I was concerned about my running on these blind corners, being exposed to the traffic as well as the elements... and this was a typical Welsh drizzly morning. Wearing my racer-back vest top and capris - I looked nervously at the fully weather-protected walkers, covered in Gore-tex jackets and hoods, large rucksacks and over-trousers! I did have my thin Montane ligthtweight luminous jacket in case the wind was too harsh. The plan was to do 19 miles and I was dropped off just before the point of the actual start of the Snowdon marathon, a mile or so just outside Llanberis... I started off quickly.. best plan is just to do it (as Nike says!) So started up the first incline which was a really pretty route through Pen y Pass winding through rolling fields of very bemused looking sheep who seemed to be staring at my mad little scurry through their Country.. also the odd cluster of tents just off the road with hikers just awaking to the smell of coffee and camp-fire bacon smells wafted over in my path.. as the incline was starting to get steeper but a gradual creeping up steepness, and I could only see up to the next bend and then beyond where the road curved back around again - but not how high the road climbed as anything further was shrouded in mist... it was just a case of letting the pace slow and digging in. It was getting tougher and tougher despite the very inspiring views.. but then a beacon of hope after around 8km a shiny white YHA which seemed to be the top of the road as I could see the cars parked opposite were disappearing down the other side. YES - the top.

Here is my biggest lesson... for this race... dont get carried away at the this point...its a MARATHON. I let my legs go full steam ahead as I have done in shorter races with a steep descent, trying to make up for the slowing pace up the hill before. Big mistake, and this caught up with me later on... so although I enjoyed this (a lot!) Especially as I was passing walkers at some pace... I knew there may be some serious runners out on the road - making their own way to the Fell Race which was happening later on in Llanberis.. I had to show them what I had! (What show offs we runners can be! :)) So this downhill went on and on for around 12km in total and as it flattened... so did my pace. My buttocks were starting to ache and I thought the downhill pace may be in there.. but this section of the route was the prettiest of all - looking down on a very pretty lake then making my way through a woodland covered section of road, with twisty tree trunks.. the breeze which had been quite cold on the steep decline was now evening out to a very pleasing cloak. I continued with only the odd car passing, and started wondering where Pete would catch up with me ..it wasnt long before I saw a very familiar looking runner coming the other way (thank God I was starting to drive myself mad with my usual musings and struggling with the running now).. but he said 'hiiiii!' and carried on!!! What?!? I thought he was going to run with me! I carried on a bit annoyed at this... but then heard his familiar breathing behind me.. as he caught up the time now went a lot quicker - up to the village of Beddgelert, and then out on the second long slow hill... which really caught my pace by surprise! It really slowed.. despite not being the steepest hill I had ever faced, but Pete who was quite fresh and encouraging kept me pushing into it. We got up to the village of Rydd Ddu and the road flattened out as we made our way out to the Snowdon Ranger and lake beyond which the car was parked... my pace returning (thank God!) I even did some strides at the end... but there were definite lessons to be learnt on this run! My fuelling seemed to work fine - and no stitch which was the BEST thing!! But I think I really need to ease up on that first downhill.. and the race really seems to comprise of a number of distinct sections. It will be easier with a field of runners around me - and more training in the legs, plus the taper.. and I will have to save something for the final hill... but I feel a lot more confident.

My pacing on this run - not quite as even as Amsterdam... this is not going to be the same sort of marathon in any shape or form.. I will have to really think about this..

Saturday, 17 July 2010

Back on a plan...and it feels good!

... a bad patch with running, an unfinished race, stitch, feeling what is the point with these tough goals, I mean what really is the point. Friends gained and lost and the real ones, my fellow Kenilworthians, always there, always supportive. I feel I lost my way a bit... the harsh heat recently, a skin rash from heat, a fall in nettles and stinging sweat in grazes... just an exhaustive business and the rewards for it... were not coming. The mileage going up, building up the ever important base for the plan to start, so I could build in more sessions with different benefits... it was hard going. My hydration levels were probably not good either, it teaches you to be on top of the game... respect the conditions and prepare. So a couple of 'not so good' races... a 6 mile in heat with several strong ladies after building up in my head that I could be in a strong finishing position...only knocking a minute off last years time. People saying knocking any time off is good - but not to me as I knew I had raced better. Then another race where I get stuck behind a pack - the frustration of not getting out strongly enough - but it just didnt work for me on that day... again high expectations and the delivery was poor. Then the third and final blow... evil stitch at the 7km point on a race I thought could ease the wounds of the previous two.. I was going well - encouraged by a voice behind me... someone pushing me on, telling me to pass others and as I did I found the strength - the racing strength I had buried down inside my aching heavy-miled legs, to pass more and then more.. The stitch almost took my breath away and I groaned as I couldnt fight it.. it slowed me to a stop and I stood on the side bending over - another voice behind passing my sorry stopage, said 'you're better than that!' It really hit a nerve... I knew I was. I had never stopped and given up - but I walked over to the Finish to cheer in a fellow runner and good friend... and that was my justification - stitch had stopped my chance of redemption of another PB. It was what I thought would make it all better...but it taught me something. I needed more time and I needed to do it properly before taking another shot... then the rewards really would come. It was almost at the best time as well - just as the Jack Daniels 16 week marathon plan started. At last a PLAN - I can take a plan as gospel - I mean almost religiously follow a plan and get the confidence from doing everything in it. It was starting to all settle my mind. A good week at work following a tough time and sresses there too... and I was on the plan. WEEK 1 - involved the 3 key ingredients I will be building in every week now... TECHNICAL, TEMPO and LONG RUN. Technical this week - km intervals.. tough and not quite at pace (only 10 seconds or so short - and can put that down partly to obstructions on the path)... Tempo... a 7.5 mile club run.... very encouraging as I was able to push at a good pace the whole distance, and tomorrow the long run which has built in different paces. It feels like it really is the start of something strong again.. my affair with running is resumed and feels right. Made more exciting by a run in almost tropical rain conditions in the week - one of the most enjoyable recovery runs I have ever done... waves (literally!) splashed over me from cars on the road - drivers laughing as I raised my arms up and enjoyed the total submergance in water 'wooping' like an excited cheer-leader! I have never been wetter or with as big a grin on my face.... enjoying the fact maybe the car driver that thought he had annoyed me could see me almost ecstatic from the shower he gave me and the ankle deep splashes along the road. Then tonight - new tunes on my I-Pod (which I thought had shorted out from the rain in the week!) I was really enjoying my new music downloads and singing out loud along to them - not caring - not caring if I was heard (probably out of tune!!) I'm ready for the next week, if it is half as good as this one!

Friday, 25 June 2010

Secrets of Success

Tonight I learnt from the legendary Jack Daniels... 5 elements of success for a runner. I believe I have the five...
Ability - getting there, but I think I have more of a 'long distance' frame
Motivation - bags of it... and no distractions
Opportunity - belonging to a running club and with many local races and beautiful places to run nearby, I have this
Training - I think of all the criteria, this could be where I need some help - most of it is what I believe from experience works, and trying different things... but trial and error is what the experts recommend
LUCK! Well it seems that other than avoiding injury, and getting all the ingredients of training right for improvement, apparently this could be another competitor's misfortune in a race that puts you in advantage... this had happened a couple of times now, and it does help when the Ladies field is thin... and you are one of the few serious ones.

Thats the thing I do feel like I am one of a few female of the species - taking this 'seriously'... especially at my age, when I guess the majority are sprogging up or going down the career route. But in the interval training last night, I was one of 4 ladies doing the session - about 15 men (3 of us were probably about halfway up the pack pace-wise). Most of the women in the club had decided on an 'easy 4 miler' on one of the familiar routes... I guess this is what separates the 'women from the girls' - I understand it is hard... it hurts... and after all, maybe for them running is about 'me-time' and its not about serious racing...which is their choice at the end of the day. But then you get the moaners...'I don't seem to be getting any faster'... Hmmmm.

I have always look up to strong women... I do like to be perceived as determined and strong Sarah Connor or Starbuck type... even Paula (of course), who I look up to. I like it when it rubs off on the others... and I hope our Ladies start getting some prizes to put out alongside the mens.. This running makes me feel energised, sexy, confident and strong. Feeling like this makes me confident when I 'go into battle', so I draw on this 'Sarah Connor' inside, and as soon as the race is over, its Ros again. But this is what works for me.


One of my favourite artists, Van Gogh....'Noon: Rest from Work'. I wish I could have rested at noon.. but I wonder given the temperatures at the moment (which are most unfavourable)...we could demand a siesta?

A siesta (Spanish pronunciation: [╦łsjesta]) is a short nap taken in the early afternoon, often after the midday meal. Such a period of sleep is a common tradition in some countries, particularly those where the weather is warm. The word siesta is Spanish, from the Latin hora sexta – "the sixth hour" (counting from dawn, therefore noon, hence "midday rest").

Well maybe the heat and some hard training had earnt me a rest, but despite my mileage target, I decided to take one this evening. Finding myself 'Home Alone', what did I do..? A couple of year's ago... Bridget Jones? How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days? .....a bit of American Psycho even? A phone call to a relative? A tub of Green & Black ice-cream and a large glass of wine? None of the above... what is happening to me? I sat down with a beautifully steamed salmon and vegetables, to watch 'Jack Daniels, The Art and Science of Running'. No disturbances... OK so I had treated my neglected face to a face-pack before...(which was nice and cooling)... and I did treat myself to ice-cream flavour chewits and a Milky Bar. I am taking this seriously, I think people that don't know me very well, maybe don't get this?