Saturday, 28 January 2012


It's your birthday, it's your birthday, we gon party like it's yo birthday.
Well as it is Maid In Cornwall's birthday I celebrated in style - by going out for a wonderfully sunny long run today. The weather could not have been better, clear skies, slight chill in the air and a lovely 13 mile loop planned to take in the amazing countryside.
It has to be said I did not pick a flat route but when can you when you live in these parts?! At 4.5 miles the altitude changed from 150ft through to 500ft within 1.5 miles. Think these mud runs are helping my training so much as I just kept ploughing on up, neither wanting or needing to rest up.
I went along country roads, only saw 1 cyclist and no runners whatsoever. I did however go right past Avril's home @eightsmd and stopped for a quick chinwag! Then off up the mighty hill.
Views along the route were amazing:

No iPod, no running buddy, no distractions and I have to say I enjoyed it. This time of year is somewhat prominent for me as 9 years ago I grew from being what I can only describe as "the old Lara" to "the new Lara". A heart wrenching experience had to help me along the way and yesterday's anniversary never gets forgotten. It helped me to grow as an individual and helped me to understand alot about myself and my relationships with others. Basically it sent me back to my core, it was hard, so very hard.

Day's like today make you feel the simple joys, the joy of your body getting stronger, your mind overpowering those thoughts of stopping as you incline a tough hill and for the ultimate pleasure of just being. I have my family who give me so much love, support and joy. Two boys I am privileged to share my life with and a man who continues to encourage and support me in all that I do without stifling me. Friends who "get me", as well as a sister, nieces, nephews, in laws, mother, father & extended family members all near.
Blessed - me, yes I think so.

Friday, 27 January 2012


Myself & Janathon were getting along just fine until a week or so ago when my neck randomly decided to go into muscle spasm overnight.
It has taken a week for me to feel "normal" again and able to exercise in comfort.
I'm afraid not only my neck suffered but my Janathon jogging, blogging and logging suffered too, I neglected you and now feel like I did you a disservice.

It was great while it lasted though, thoroughly enjoyed the encouragement and general support from other Janathoners on Twitter as well as the feeling of getting my training off to a great start. With my marathon on 6th May and a half marathon on 26th February and 4th March I was into my stride.

So even though I have not executed Janathon as it was intended I still feel I gave it my best whilst I could. The hardest part for me was the blogging each day, finding something of interest to say about my activity that day was sometimes harder than others. There were days when out on a run that I had the opportunity to show readers & twitter followers the gorgeous sections of our coastline that I have been lucky enough to run throughout January. I filled blog posts with the sheer joy of running our lovely North Cornish coastline.
There were days when swimming a mile in the pool could not be expanded much further than just documenting that detail.
Nevertheless I enjoyed the experience while it lasted, a short but sweet experience.

Today has been a weird one really, as I was taken to task by a parent whilst doing the school run (for matters relating to a PTA event I am helping to organise), missed my pilates class for one reason or another and then had to re-organise childcare for TJ as my mum could not collect him after saying that she could!! I did however get to have lunch with friends, celebrating Mrs C's birthday and enjoyed a wee Bucks Fizz - in the middle of the day I might add!!!!

All in all an early night is on the cards, looking forward to tomorrow as a long run looks set to come to fruition and it is MY BLOG'S BIRTHDAY!!!! It will be 1 year old tomorrow!!

Friday, 20 January 2012


I apologise in advance for the whingesome content of this post, but I am in pain.

Although it is not all bad. My recently purchased bread maker made it's debut loaf throughout the night and this morning we awoke to that most gorgeous of smells, freshly baked bread. This is my pleasure, simple I know, but that's me!


Pilates this morning was a nice break, I was unable to do one side of a side plank although I did manage the rest of the class so that was an hour of core strength work done.

The rest of the day was spent baking banana bread and generally getting the painkillers out!! Even being on the computer for any length of time takes it toll, hence the short blog post and very infrequent tweets these last 2 days. TJ was at a friends house so I had a very relaxing day.

Through the medium of Twitter I am able to keep up to date with all you wonderful Janathoners, to hear how well everyone is doing and I am optimistic that tomorrow I will be slightly less crooked. I am seeing my sports masseur for an early morning appointment to try and iron out some of the muscular spasm located around my neck. Fingers crossed.

I have 13 miles on the training programme for Sunday and I am really enjoying the training so far, so by the power of healing hands I hope to be back on track soon.


For now I bid you good night.

Thursday, 19 January 2012


Ahhhh, things were going so well this week, training was going just as the training plan had on the cards, adding a cheeky mud run in just for fun. Then I go and wake up this morning with a right royal pain in the neck. I spent a good half hour after the school run on the floor of my lounge, working through various pilates moves, hoping to alleviate the tightness in my neck and left shoulder.
Unfortunately I have had this neck pain before, where it is literally frozen and my head is tilted to one side and it is painful when I tilt it back & forth and try to look to the left. The last time was some 13 years ago and it was diagnosed as torticollis. I am hoping, rather naively, that I will wake up tomorrow morning with all functions working as normal, if not I do have a massage booked hastily this evening for Saturday morning, so fingers crossed.

I am hoping that this blip will not keep me from training and Janathon for any length of time, but I am guessing only time will tell.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012


Yes, those familiar with the drill of the Maid In Cornwall blog will be bored to tears and realise it is Wednesday and therefore MUD RUN day.

Legs felt good after a social run last night with the club, today's run was looking like it might be a tad different in more ways than one to previous ones.
The weather was set to change, warmer but wetter, yuck! The route we were to take was in Mrs F's words very muddy, so if she was saying it was muddy it was going to be extremely, up to the ankle deep muddy. The met office was correct and so too was Mrs F's warning of more mud. It was the muddiest run I have ever encountered.
We were slip sliding around at various intervals, there was the most enormous, long climb up just after the border into Devon and to top it all no photos for me to show you as the mizzle was dense and not so picturesque!!
The company again was brilliant, all levels of runners out in the countryside together having a real laugh. You can't tell me that I am not regressing as I think even my young sons would question some of what I was up to today.

Feel young, live young.

Now to clean the trainers............

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


Awoke to this sky, lovely.

A day with TJ was on the cards with Music Train making an appearance which is always a welcome break in the day. TJ even got a chance to make some noise with a trumpet - noise being the perfect way to describe it!!

This evening was a social club run, this is always around the 5 mile mark which is perfect for me at the moment as I am taking a liking to the mud runs which take place on a Wednesday morning. Tuesday night runs always seems to get my legs ready for the next instalment, just hoping the ITB is ready!!

It felt positively balmy out tonight compared to recent runs as it was 4C, I know that I was running and that increases my body temperature ( to put it mildly) but I was finding it very warm and I didn't even bother with a base layer tonight.
Not sure what tomorrow will bring with the mud run but I know it's going to be a toughie and very very muddy. This is the photo that Mrs F sent us to indicate what we would look like after - ahhhhhhh!!!!


Yesterday started in a truly gorgeous fashion. Sunshine, a day with my boy and no plans. I needed to catch up on some PTA duties that I had left over the weekend and needed to get back on to, that was the morning pretty much taken care of. The sun was pouring into the lounge where I was beavering away on the computer. It was calling us.
TJ and I decided it was just too nice to stay put so hatched a plan that involved a beach walk and lunch at Rosie's. We needed some company so what better company than in the form of Mrs D and her gorgeous Ol Bol. They duly accepted our invite, Mrs D was catching up with accounts, so no wonder she wanted a swift exit!!
The beach only had a handful of people on it and just a few surfers braving the water. TJ was happy building a fort for his Toy Story army soldiers to protect and I was taking in the beauty of where we live. Mr T had reliably informed me that morning that it was supposed to be the most depressing day of the year, this almost made me rebel instantly. I have been known to suffer from what I can only think is SAD at this time of the year and Mr T has had to bear the consequences! Since I found running I have found that this time of the year is much easier to bear and with days like today it was hard not to be anything but happy.

There have been events happening recently to some very good friends that bring everything back into perspective. My friend's 3 year old twin fell out of a bedroom window on Christmas Day morning, with major injuries to his skull. He arrived home on Thursday last week and has done amazingly well. He had a fractured skull and was sedated for nearly 2 weeks before he could stay awake without the pressure in his brain becoming too high to be safe. In the last week of his stay in hospital his progress came on in leaps and bounds, a few words were said, his memory seemed to be intact, there was no paralysis within any part of his body.
I have to say since hearing about the incident on Boxing Day, I have thought of them constantly, getting updates via text regularly. Christmas was just not as joyful until we heard on New Year's Eve that all appeared to be going the right way. I am pleased to say he is doing so well and is enjoying being home with his family and his beloved Thomas the Tank Engine!!

The beach looked a little something like this:

The beach to ourselves.

After the children had had their fun and Mrs D and I had put the world to rights, we headed off to Rosie's, where you can get a very fine burger and chips I'll have you know. As Monday is the day of swimming in our household I knew I wasn't going to get a chance to cook a meal this evening so that was my excuse to pig out at lunch.

The boys both enjoyed their swimming lessons and are doing well in their stages. JT has a most wonderful technique in the water and TJ has great confidence which is so lovely to see.

It was my swimming night tonight which consisted of 50m, 100m and 200m drills as well as drills of kicking. This is when my blood runs cold!! My kicking is nothing short of atrocious, I pretty much slow to a snail's pace when I am just kicking, I need to rectify this as once arms are included I am not a slow swimmer, therefore my feeling is if I get my kicking technique then that will only strengthen my swimming. If anyone out there has any suggestions I would love to hear how I can improve!!

Our 2000m session left me feeling strong and with a sense of having pushed myself, with room for improvement with the kicking. So all in all a great day.

Sunday, 15 January 2012


Last night after arriving home at a fairly reasonable time, before the van turned into a pumpkin, I felt ready for my long run - 11 miles was on the cards today. Picked my route which took me down country lanes, the beach and then along the canal with a few inclines along the way!!!
What a wonderful day for a run, it was crisp out so utilised my base layer as well as a long sleeved tee, gloves and nutrition at the ready.
This was a view from a climb early on in the run, looking right over to my final destination.
What a view

Taking me into Bude I chose a route which took me over the downs in order to make sure I took in the sea, it was beautiful, several surfers and even some paddle surfers were out this morning. I just had to stop again to take a photo. This is the stuff that makes running so emotive for me, it's when you really know you are alive. Your body is tingling with the endorphins pulsing through you and at this point I always feel like I could run forever. The brain then returns some level of sanity and says something different!!

Overlooking Barrel Rock
Needless to say I didn't run forever, I did however feel strong throughout and felt really comfortable. I arrived once again at the swimming pool to meet my family and then decided to have a wonderfully chilled day. A day of the children drawing, playing out ad generally enjoying some home time.
Food is always a great motivation to have a long run and today was no exception. A lovely chicken, apple and cider dish with roast potatoes & veg were on the menu, so too was Nigella's delicious Chocolate and Pear Pudding. Isn't this what all Sunday's should look like?? In my book it couldn't really get much better.


Today was a day that was planned to take in an 11 mile bike ride, that turned into a day that involved catching a 30 minute turbo training session before heading out for the evening to a party at a friend's house.
It was purely down to the fact that I was stood in a freezing cold children's theme park for near on 3 hours, where I could barely feel my toes that halted the attempt at cycling home - roughly 11 miles. I had my bike and all the kit in the van ready to do just that, but I felt so cold that I couldn't imagine getting changed and then heading off down the A39 in the chill that was yesterday.

The guilt, oh the guilt, it kept hammering away inside my head for the rest of the day. Not another failed attempt at Janathon it was saying in a somewhat sarcastic tone. I had to stop this voice inside my head. The turbo trainer was my only way out, it was inside, easy to access and allowed me to participate in a 30 minute session before showering and heading out.

I wanted to make this one count as it was a short one, so ended up doing 5 min warm up then 3 min climbing with 2 min spin x 4 then 5 min cool down.

I suddenly felt the voice leave me and a halo suddenly appeared, I felt virtuous. To top it all I had a wonderful evening, catching up with some lovely friends and generally feeling full of the joys of...winter. Tomorrow was my long run, so I didn't drink and felt ever more virtuous once awake and ready for the day 15 attempt.

To be continued....

Friday, 13 January 2012


Friday's are my pilates day when my core gets a fantastic leap back into life, although I have to say since going off road more my core muscles are feeling it more!!

We have an hours session where my glutes and core are worked with quality over quantity being the aim of the session. I come away feeling strong from the inside out.

Tonight I am enhancing my core workout with an evening of pizza and alcohol, no I know not the best thing but a much needed catch up with "the ladies" is called for. We may well be having a viewing of Bridesmaids, which I have seen, but am happy to watch again as thought it was brilliant.

The only other thing to say about today is that I got the most lovely card and book from Mrs D for no other reason than she is delightful.
Don't you just love the book - my 7 year old read it after tea and said "that is a really good book mummy, there are lots of them in the series. I think we should get them all!" I think we may be hard pushed JT but what a lovely thought.

Thank you Mrs D!!
Wishing you all a wonderful Friday 13th!!!

Thursday, 12 January 2012


After the epic mud run of yesterday, my ITB is a little tender to put it mildly. Going downstairs ensures that I look like I have aged 20 years, say no more.

Tonight I took to my turbo trainer for a spin session to ensure I was not going to do too much damage to an already painful ITB. Whilst buying black trail socks for my mud runs ( my white socks are white no longer!), I also purchased a foam roller as I am sure this will not be the first time that an area of my lower half will need to have acquaintance with such a piece of equipment. Therefore to keep my legs working with less impact I went to greet my bike.

iPod on and a cadence workout set, I was working my way through the rear cog with 10 mins at each cog working my way towards the smaller one. Once my cycle computer is set up I will be able to see exactly what my cadence is doing but for now I use a rhythm in my head and check my cadence every now and again by counting the reps.

Tonight my heart rate monitor came along for the ride and was showing me a time of 50min 22secs with 446 calories burnt. Average heart rate was 146 with maximum at 161. It was a sweaty affair but then when is it not when it comes to turbo training.

I will keep this short and sweet as I have a date with my book now, it is an amazingly compelling read Forgetting Zoe by Ray Robinson. Unfortunately I have no idea how some people can read whilst spinning but it gives me an excuse to snuggle down for what is left of the evening and become engrossed in my book.

Good night.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


.....squealing, laughing, talking, cursing, you name it it was probably happening in those there hills and valleys!!

Day 11 of Janathon went rather well after the blip yesterday. The aforementioned lodgers will be getting iradicated tonight and will have a second zapping in a weeks time. So that is getting sorted.

Today was another day of mud, mud, glorious mud. Several of our club members are running the infamous Grizzly race in the next couple of months, hence the regular mud runs taking precedence now. They are slowly increasing in mileage for all those doing Grizzly. I decided to take myself on the mud run today as I am really enjoying being out on the softer ground and the camaraderie is wonderful. There are all levels of runners doing these runs so it is a fantastic way to run with people you don't always often see in the normal Tuesday and Thursday night club runs.

Today, we met at the viewpoint at Millook. Millook is a 1 in 3 hill which is hard enough to get your car up let alone run!! This is also part of the route for the Cornwall Tor in April, which Mr T (@TrewinDesign) did last year and has entered again this year. Just this section of road leaves me breathless, he then takes on a further 99 miles of elevations on top of this one - so proud of him.

Back to our run, we started our descent from Millook weaving our way through valleys and tracks towards Crackington Haven. There were plenty of vantage points for me to stop - only to take photos you realise - and I made the most of those points. Mrs F who organises these runs always carries enough sweets for everyone and we have various points within the run where there is a natural sweet stop! Now you are getting more of an idea as to why I LOVE these runs! ;) No speed records were broken today but there were plenty of laughs and the sun shone, yippeeeee!!

Overlooking coast line

Millook Haven

The result!

There must have been about 12 of us out and about on the coast paths and trails today and it really makes you appreciate what we have on our doorstep. I know that if you had told me 3 years ago that I would be doing this I would have told you that you had mistaken me for someone else. Today I even surprised myself with how much I was looking forward to this run, it also helps that Mrs D, Avril (@eightsmd) and Janine (@landscapinglife) were there ensuring a great time was had by all.

To top it all off I have been reliably informed that we did around 8 miles instead of my Garmin's total of 6, I did forget to switch it back on at various points along the route where we stopped and waited, enjoyed a jelly sweet or just generally nattered. Hoorah, I did even more than I logged. That will account for the legs feeling somewhat tired tonight, sleep will come easily this evening I think zzzzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, 10 January 2012


I didn't think I was capable of failing on both plans this evening. I failed particularly easily it has to be said. Plan A was a club run with the RATS, which then change to Plan B once I had decided that the mud run tomorrow was going to be a goodie. Plan B was a turbo training session on the bike this evening. Once the children were in bed I would head down to the depths of the garage where the oasis of the Pyrenees awaits ( in my head obviously). I do love to imagine myself on those beautiful, French roads which Mr T had many wonderful sessions on whilst in France/Spain over the summer. If I try hard enough I can imagine climbing those Cols whilst listening to my iPod. This song especially brings back memories of our time away in the van last August.

I digressed. Basically JT was scratching his head incessantly this evening, so I was checking his head for the dreaded critters and yes, there was one of the blighters. Hence my evening consisted of removing bedlinen, putting on clean linen. Washing, conditioning and sectioning JT's hair to ensure I had at least taken most of the little buggers out. Let's face it 7 year old's are not known for their ability to sit still for any length of time, let alone a good 30 minutes or so that it takes to ensure a whole head of hair has been vacated.

I was then, inevitably, itching and scratching my own head. Mr T then spent another 30 mins or so checking my head, I then checked his in return!!! We looked like a pair of gorillas  grooming, thank god the Tesco delivery guy had already delivered our groceries otherwise he would have had something to tell his colleagues at the end of his shift.

I have failed today with the activities of choice, I have however walked at least a mile. The school run is always walked, TJ and I walked to Music Train from where we parked the car and again the school run this afternoon was walked. So I guess there has been a level of activity but nothing compared to what I had planned. Hey ho, at least we will be nit free. Still you are now too!!!! Sorry ;)

Sunday, 8 January 2012


I do like Mondays. Mondays are very much about swimming in our household. TJ started his swimming lessons today and JT has moved up into the "big" group ( at the deep end). I also get to have my sessions as we started back this evening after the Xmas break. I really do enjoy these "Elite training" sessions as they are named, Mrs D and I did have a giggle initially when we thought of ourselves as elite!! There are certainly some amazing swimmers within the sessions and we are appropriately put into lanes of ability. I am hovering around the middle section right now, but learnt an awful lot over the first term and look forward to my session weekly.
It also works perfectly into my marathon training. My long runs will almost always be a Sunday, therefore a Monday swim helps to give my legs a lovely non-impact workout. Just what a sports masseur would prescribe!

Tonight's session was a great start. 1600m freestyle, with 50m and 100m intervals thrown in after a warm up and cool down. We were also given some help with our strokes, mine was to reach further out before bringing my arm back in, giving me more power from the front. We did 200m pulls and 200m kicking. Kicking is not mt forte but I have to say I have improved immensely since attending these sessions.

A great way to end a Monday evening, I always sleep so well on a Monday night - I wonder why??!!!


The first complete week of Janathon has come around and I have to say I am enjoying it. My run today was my first long run on my marathon schedule, a 9 miles was in order. I felt prepared, I felt confident and I was looking forward to it.
Rob Herron from Muscle Finesse had kindly sent me some free samples of High 5 Advanced Sports Nutrition to try and review. As this was a run that would enable me to take added nutrition, I popped a Berry Zero High 5 tablet into a bottle with some water as well as taking another bottle of water in the other pouch. I was planning to meet the family at the swimming pool so knew I would need some extra for after the run.
I started taking the drink with the High 5 in by around mile 3 and took it throughout the run. Felt fine and really enjoyed the berry taste, I have Cherry-Orange and Citrus to try also. Was a welcome relief from the stickiness of some gels I have taken in the past!!!! I do also take Jelly Babies with me as they have helped me on many occasions, especially when going for a PB in half marathons last year! I drank about half of the High 5 drink throughout the run and then drank the rest upon finishing.

The run took me along country roads, small tracks, villages and into town. Didn't fully get into my stride until mile 5 as I was wanting to keep within the region of 9 min miles, which I am finding harder at the moment as I have been working on my speed for the last half of 2011. I know that I wouldn't want to go out too fast on a long run, I do like to have something left in the tank for the finish. My average min per mile looks like I was working quite well when it comes to that, so happy with the way it went. 8.55 average overall :))

Saw very few runners out and about, in fact I passed just 2. Very unusual for a Sunday morning but maybe they were all in Exeter for the First Chance 10K. I know many of my twitter pals were there and doing very well by the looks of my timeline!!! Well done especially to @supermu62 @KariAnnWebb and @Lisa_run, there were also quite a few from Bude RATS going so hoping they all did themselves proud. I'm sure they did. So a fairly quiet run this morning, thanks also to my Sennheiser earphones finally giving up the ghost :(( The podcasts (The Moth) will have to wait I'm afraid!!
Mr T and the boys were at the local swimming pool for our usual family swimming session - literally our whole family turns up!! I planned to finish my run there and wait for them to finish, instead I got my cossie on and went in, really wanted to give my legs a bit of a stretch and the water was fairly cold so knew I should get in. Twas bliss!!!

This afternoon looks set to be a DVD filled one, with the N Cornish mizzle having descended only minutes after I finished my run (perfect timing). Hoping everyone is having an equally lovely Sunday, looking forward to what the new week brings.

Saturday, 7 January 2012


After a lovely excruciating sports massage yesterday, my quads were feeling slightly tender to put it particularly mildly. Today was going to be a "bare minimum, just for Janathon"run as I wanted to keep the legs as fresh as I could for my long run tomorrow.

Tomorrow is the first long run of my marathon training, have done a few longish ones in the last few months, but am so excited about having started my marathon plan that I don't want to jeopardise my first one with fatigued legs.

Today was a short one around a very familiar route for me, The one I always use if I want a short, slightly challenging one. As I live in N Cornwall, you are hard pushed to find a 4 mile route with anything other than at least one hill in. This route has the killer West Street in - a mile of ever increasing elevation- which in days gone by I would walk up and feel that it would have been impossible.

This morning I went half way up and then walked the rest of the route, so a 3.5 mile run was followed by a 0.5 mile walk back home. I was feeling slightly tired as I hadn't had breakfast before leaving, also those quivering quads were going to be saved for tomorrow. The run did however give me a chance to run of some of the aches and pains a sports massage can bring out. My quads feel refreshed now and after a good night's sleep I will be energised to take on my run tomorrow.

I have also been looking at me nutrition in the last couple of days, I'm happy with my gels, etc that I take whilst running the distances but it is my day to day intake of balanced nutrition that I am working on. I find I do not eat enough protein once I ramp my training up a gear, so this is being looked at before it becomes an issue.
I absolutely LOVE eggs so they are a great source and my lunch of choice is a bagel with mayonnaise, avocado and sardines on top, sardines being a great protein provider as well as giving me some much needed omega 3.

I will see what tomorrow brings but am very much looking forward to getting my iPod on (downloaded the podcasts of The Moth - recommended by Mrs D, of course!) and getting some lovely miles in.

The protein pack ready for action!

Friday, 6 January 2012


Today was a day of taking it down a notch or 2 as I had a wonderful maintenance sports massage booked straight after the school run and intended on ensuring I got the most from it by taking it easier today.
The morning turned out to be surprisingly different to the mornings I have experienced so far in 2012, meaning there was no howling wind and no driving rain. Perfect.

TJ was only at pre school in the morning today so I planned to get out for a walk with him after pick up and take the Geomate with us to find another cache. Mrs D and her little Ms D joined us for our hunt. We took ourselves out to a lovely little church only 3 miles away, which I am ashamed to say I had NEVER visited before. Why is it that places closest to you are often overlooked when you travel miles to see others treasures??
Can safely say, WE FOUND THE TREASURE and I managed to log a mile of walking. I definitely made the most of the massage and made sure I was active without busting a gut.
On our way to precious!

Our starting point

Logging our find
This weekend is set to be a good running one as my legs feel revitalised and I have also got another addition to the family who will help me get out there.
My Brooks Ravenna's have re-produced!!! Another set of these babies arrived in the post this morning, with all the mud runs and mileage I am hoping to clock up soon I like to alternate between my shoes. I have in the past gone for different trainers to switch between but my Ravenna's have been such a hit that I am sticking with them.

My little "treasures"
All set for an active weekend of running, am really looking forward to it. Although I will have to make room for Mr T  (@TrewinDesign) to get out there on his bike. We will be juggling training plans soon as he is training for the Cornwall Tor 100 mile sportive challenge in April. A busy couple of months in this household I foresee.

Thursday, 5 January 2012


I attended my club's Thursday night session this evening as I intend to work on my technique in the months leading up to the marathon and this is precisely what the club do on a Thursday - technical sessions.
You never know what you are going to get, could be tempo run, fartlek training, intervals or hill reps. The only consistent here is that you know you will be working outside your comfort zone and you will feel it!!!
That said I am very much up for increasing my strength and am looking at increasing my pace through these sessions. The proof is in the pudding really, since I started with the club I have managed to get a PB in a 10K race with an average 8.16 min per mile pace which I was very happy with. If I can see results why wouldn't I keep on going back for more? According to my bible Garmin my max pace was 5.21, yes, really feels like it as well!!

Tonight was an interval session in relay pairs. We paired up with similar paced runners and took to the streets around Flexbury. The session consisted of us doing 5 laps of just over 800m in distance to then tag our team mate, who would in turn then run their leg of the same route. Laps 1-3 were intended to be moderate to hard with laps 4 -5 to be an all out push.

Well as I learnt tonight, if you go out too fast on laps 1-3 you crash and almost burn on laps 4-5. Yeah I know the hare and the tortoise fable, but I'm certainly no hare and I can't be accused of being a tortoise either. But yes, I should have paced myself a little better perhaps for sure. All lessons to take with me for next time.

After having a little chat with myself I know where I went wrong and how I can improve next time, I believe this is what it is all about at the end of the day. Learning how my body will cope and how I can best set it up for success is half the battle I think. So lessons learnt from tonight and I expect some sore calves in the morning but then I do have a wonderful sports massage booked so all is going to be good in the world as of lunchtime tomorrow.

Hope you fellow Janathoners are enjoying your experiences, so good to read all the tweets and comments. We can do it!! Jog, blogged and logged. That's me for today, I'm pooped!!

Wednesday, 4 January 2012


After yesterday's epic reunion with the North Cornish breeze, I decided today's Janathon activity would take me to the pool. I was feeling the effects of 3 days consistent running with plenty of hills within those few days, therefore the pool was the perfect option to help give my muscles a non impact day.

Got in to an extremely warm pool, most people were commenting on it being like a bath. Not ideal when you want to do some moderately, hard workout. To add to this there were only 2 lanes instead of 3 meaning more people to manoevre around. Was looking like it might be a short session, thought I would just go for a quick 800m session.

As I got into my stroke and into a rhythm, the other 4 swimmers and myself abided by the etiquette that comes with lane swimming and made way for those that needed to pass. It made for a very smooth session of freestyle swimming, so much so that I wanted to make sure I went for 1600m instead of the initial 800m.

Felt good as do my legs, another club run tomorrow evening is on the cards now.....

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


Well as I struggled to sleep last night due to the swirling winds around the house, I took comfort in the fact that I was not planning an early morning run and that I would be going to the club (Bude RATS) later this evening for a Tuesday night social run. There was I, smug, thinking the weather would change and it did this afternoon. It became fairly pleasant in comparison and I was looking forward to getting out there with the usual bunch.
The problem being was that 3 hours ensued and the winds decided to pick back up. The meeting point for the club is only a few hundred metres from Crooklets Beach and the wind was coming straight off the Atlantic. Just walking to the hut was effort enough.
Had a good 5.49 mile run taking in some hills, can't really get around here without them and ensuring I came back home with a whole new hairstyle. I personally think the La Roux look could be the way forward for me. Need to lose the head torch but I'm pretty much there tonight with the look.

La Roux - I was working this look!

Another day of running accomplished, tomorrow I'm back in the pool for a little cross training. Swim lessons start again on Monday so best get my swimming head on.
I don't know about anyone else but I am enjoying this Janathon idea, this is the time of year when it is oh so easy to duck out of club runs, early morning runs, etc. With motivation and support from all the Janathoners & Running Tweeps it helps to know that others are working just as hard as you with a common goal in sight.

Here's to all you Janathoners.

Day 3 Janathon - club run by lara37 at Garmin Connect - Details

Monday, 2 January 2012


The magnificent Cornish coastline
An earlier start this morning (7.30am pick up) enabled me to make sure I focused on my run the night before. Getting my kit ready so as not to have to fumble around for various pieces in the darkness. Head torch, gloves (to ensure minimal freaky fingers!),carry pack (jelly babies, iTouch, etc) then the basics - L/S top, capris, Skins calf support socks. I was ready for the next instalment.
Mrs D, she becomes a regular feature here me thinks, had text me with a route the night before. Needless to say it was a muddy affair!!! The route took in the most wonderful part of our coast line as well as some wooded trails which we did in semi darkness - a little spooky but we are big girls now so we were cool.

I must just explain the freaky fingers reference. I suffer with raynaud's syndrome, finding an extreme in temperatures especially warm to cold, renders my fingers numb, tingly and "freakishly" white - enhance the freaky fingers reference. I digressed.
At more than a few points on our initial 2.5 miles we were unable to run in places due to the sheer lack of grip we were having on the ground, this enabled many chances for me to use my new gadget ( my iTouch) to capture some of the snapshots from the run.

Once we hit Woodford we became slightly more unsure of our route, even though I had actually run this section in our club's relay run in the autumn, I had clearly not taken enough notice of stiles and exits within fields to help us navigate to an exact location. Hence we made up a few extra miles by detouring ever so slightly in places!!! Adds to the fun.
At one point Mrs D commented on the fact that she would never have done anything like this in her 20's, I agreed. This is still a fairly new pursuit for me ( 3 years of consistent weekly running) with off road running being an even more recent acquisition to my running repertoire, I am still a novice when it comes to downhill running on slippy, muddy paths.
I am sure at points I am regressing! It may be something in my subconscious to do with a big birthday ahead or it may just mean that running and doing so with a like minded group of individuals helps you to shake off some inhibitions and let's you enjoy the activity to it's fullest.


Another fantastic run, no mud fights but plenty of mud. Sunshine and beautiful skies alongside bleakness and a short, sharp hailstorm. The best part as always is the company and the friendship I share with Mrs D and the ability to feel so much excitement from such a primeval activity.
Definition of psychological regression: Reversion to an earlier or less mature pattern of feeling or behaviour.
For those who may have witnessed us on our recent mud runs, they would not hesitate to agree with the above statement from the dictionary.

And so it goes on............

Sunday, 1 January 2012


DrDoo - Google images
Well here we are, the beginning of a new year and the beginning of Janathon. Jog & blog each day in January, day 1, done.
What a wonderfully, exhilarating, muddy, hilarious run I had. For starters I had the best running buddy next to me who takes to mud like a pig in... well you know what! Only 400m into the run she jumped straight into a puddle of oozy (love that word) mud in order to plaster me in the stuff. The bar was raised and I knew I would take my revenge.
We weaved our way through wooded paths, streams and took on particularly slippy, muddy hills. Many stiles and gates later we came upon an area of path that was covered in the brown stuff with numerous puddles - well, as detailed previously Mrs D can't resist it, so again I am plastered but this time I failed to close my mouth in time for the soaking. Yes, mud straight in my moosh, I'm ashamed to say, inevitably a mud fight ensued. We were in stitches and managed to run the remaining mile and half looking less than desirable.

The run itself was only 4.3 miles but felt a whole heap longer, at points we were unable to run sections as they were too slippy to gain any footing on. My average pace per mile took a drastic tumble but my spirits were sky high.
If you ever need to ask me why I love running, just read this post, come for a mud run with me and then you will have your answer.

Running has been part of my life for the last 3 years and runs like these help to keep it fresh and exciting. Thank you Mrs D, thank you janathon and thank you to my body for enabling me to do this.

I'll see you tomorrow........

The mud runner Mrs D.