Tag Archives: running training

Uncompromised

Well it’s 2 days after my marathon debut. I had a rest day yesterday and just seriously took it easy. Yesterday was one of those days where you mainly watch back to back TV programs. This time it was Pretty Little Liars for me… yes yes I know how gay of me….

My joints were a little stiff when transitioning from sitting to standing etc but I stretched out a few times, and was generally feeling pretty good. No foot pain problems at all, they are my usual complaints over this last 10 months.

So I went out for a little run today. I just went out for an hour to loosen up the muscles, a recovery run. It was really pleasant. Having ran 26.2 miles only 2 days ago it was awesome doing this 6.3 mile slower run. It just felt like a walk to the convenience store. It almost felt as though I’d got back home as soon as I’d left the door.

I was completely just like zoned out while I was running. The ground was mostly dry and the route mostly flat, so I felt I didn’t need to pay much attention. I hardly looked at my watch and just went slowly so I could easily still breath through my nostrils. All I could think about on this run, was that I wanted to be out there again doing another marathon right now. My body called for another long run. I smiled and got shivvers down my spine… I knew that what I was doing was right. It felt good and I knew I’d be doing this for many years to come. This must be a true sign that I haven’t overdone it. It’s a sign that my body is in good form right now.

I’m now seriously looking forward to continuing to build up now with 7 weeks left until the JW Ultra 30 miler. This is on Saturday 12th September 2015. I know that I’m going to be more prepared for that run than any other 30 miler I have done so far to date!

I am….. uncompromised 😀

Love and peace,
-ScottyRunner

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30 Miles and 33oC. Birmingham-Stratford Upon Avon

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Yesterday (1st July 2015) was the hottest July day on record in the UK at 36oC. I certainly could tell when we were out there running 30 miles!

On the last day of June my friend Steve said he was going to go for a long run along the canal towpaths from Birmingham to Stratford Upon Avon. That day I was supposed to be running 5.5 miles on my usual circular route.
I asked if he would mind if I came along and he said I was welcome. Due to the distance I mentioned that I’d likely do 8 or 9 miles then run back to make 16-18 miles I didn’t think 30 miles was a good idea 3 days before a half marathon race!… in the end though I did the whole thing.

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We had arranged to meet at 9:05am by the Wast Hills Tunnel Entrance to the Towpath on the side that heads towards Birmingham City Centre. This was so I could set off at 9am. I did set off at 9am and I don’t know how I underestimated the distance as it took me longer than I thought. I was late and my first mile was done at a 7:45 minute mile pace lol. I certainly wouldn’t be carrying on at that pace for the next 29 miles!

Our plan was to go at about a 11 minute mile average and for the first 15 miles we where at a 10:20 minute mile average.
Obviously at this point I’d decided I was going to run the whole way. We stopped at about mile 13 in Hockley Heath and topped up with liquids. I remember wanting a Lucozade Sport Orange but noticed B6 in it and wasn’t sure if it was Vegan. It was only later asking my husband to check for me online I found out it was. At the time I just opted for old style Lucozade instead. I haven’t had that for years and when I sipped some outside I remember why. That stuff is nasty. I drank just about enough to stomach and get a sugar rush and threw the rest. VOM

After mile 15 we started to slow it down a bit and just enjoy the scenery and winding trail along side the canal. Occasionally passing over the odd bridge. We were lucky as much of the path is over run with trees which kept us a little cooler than being right out open in the sun. The sun was still sweltering though. We found it easier when running than walking. When running there was a bit of a breeze to cool us off lol. I checked the temperature on my phone which said it was 33oC.

As runners we all know what it’s like when you go out on a long run and can’t wait for the journey ahead. Then something, somewhere goes wrong! It’s always something that you would not have thought would go wrong. Sure the heat may slow us down, or my legs may be really heavy from lots of training lately, perhaps I wont fuel correctly and hit a wall or 2. Those weren’t the case. Annoyingly for Steve his knee copped out about half way. I was just as surprised as he was. This is the first time I have known Steve to get a problem like this on a run. I know he’s been contemplating what the reason behind it was since then. I wont go into too much more detail on that, as I’m sure he will be wanting to write about it in his own blog and not read it all on mine haha.

Amazingly though although he was limping from time to time, Steve continued to move forward the entire rest of the distance. He ran and he walked but he didn’t stop.

Around mile 18 we stopped at this little place in Wooten Wawden. They had craft, clothing and farm shops. We went to the farm shop to get more liquids and I also bought some crisps and 2 satsumas and on we went.

As the miles became less and less we were running a bit longer each time and finished the distance off on a run.
As we arrive Stratford Upon Avon we went to get some cash and then Holland and Barrett. I let myself down by getting 3 Veg Out Steakless Bakes and a Veg Out SOS sausage roll. As many of you know I’m trying to be raw vegan high carb low fat. My mind crave them after this run because that’s what I used to do after running 30 milers…. eat crap.

It wasn’t long before I realised my body was actually craving fruit. We took the bus most of the way back and stopped by Sainsbury’s. Steve’s partner met us there, and we all topped up with fruit and a big bag of ice cubes each. She was even kind enough to drive me home so that was very nice of her. It can’t be easy sitting in a car with 2 stinking guys who just ran 30 miles in that heat. Thank you 🙂

Well done Steve. I have done this distance a few times now and it’s taken me 6 or 7 to be “comfortable” with doing it. This I think was your second time running this kind of distance. Though limping a bit at the end you came through looking much better than I did on those first times!

The time in the end was 6 hours 50 minutes. I know without a shadow of a doubt that we could thrash that next time. This route we did is actually the same route as the JW 30 Mile Ultra which we are both doing in September. We did it back to front though. That time is going to be demolished on race day. We have discussed attempting it again before then too.

When I got home I filled the bath right away with cold water and sank myself into it waste deep, then poured in the ice cubes. REALLY cold but it felt really good and I knew that it would make me feel better the next day. After my bath I put the shower on cold. This felt warm in comparison to the leg bath so I could wash myself clean, but not rewarm my legs again.
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The rest of the day was spent lounging about and eating a nice big bowl filled with 1kg of cherries 😀
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To my surprise when I woke the next day I felt fantastic. It felt like I never even ran the day before and I’m soooo ready for my half marathon in 2 days time now.

I seriously believe that my high carb low fat raw vegan diet is helping with recovery. Also I think my HOKA trail sneakers are helping a great deal. I have the roadies version and they have helped keep ongoing injuries at bay and even given them a chance to recede. All other sneaks I have owned I have had an injury in some form or another every few weeks to months, which have kept me off running.

So on and up… half marathon on Saturday 4th July 🙂 That will be a doddle in comparison 😉
Peace and Love
-ScottyRunner


Great Midland Fun Run 8.5 Miles

I did the Great Midlands Fun Run today in Sutton Coldfield, West Midland. This is by far the busiest run I have done so far. I normally sign up to smaller events with a smaller field size. I thought I’d write a blog about my experience so I can refer to it in future.

The race was at 11am. I had to be there earlier and this was a bit tricky as it was a Sunday. I couldn’t get trains there from my house to be on time. I had to take a bus to Birmingham and then get a train from Birmingham New St to Sutton Coldfield. All in all about an hour and a half travel time.

The weather was not so bad. Yes it was raining but it was only drizzly rain. I bumped into some friends at the train station and we headed over to The Parade street where the race would start and finish. We found somewhere to put up a Dr Hadwen Trust Banner facing right on to The Cancer Research Charity Shop.

I then popped off to the loo and changed into my shorts and took off my jackets. When I returned the supports in our group not running, where nice enough to look after my bag for me so I didn’t need to run with it.

I believe there’s about 6,000 people at this event. I’m used to about 500 max. I had no idea where to stand in the line. It was somewhere about 3 quarters of the way to the back. There was a little noise and then by 11:15 people at the front began running.

I never realised how long it would take to pick up the pace. At the start my first lap pace was almost 11 and a half minutes per mile. The second mile wasn’t much better, but then it broke up a bit a and I was able to speed up a bit. I kept a pace I was comfortable with and knew I could handle for many more miles. I knew I would keep myself to roughly this same exertion level until after the half way mark.

About half way I started to pick it up a bit from 8:43 minute miles to 7:55 minute miles. I only had half the distance left to go and it was time. There was a bit of slowing down on a few hills but nothing too major.

At about mile 6 we had to run up, what is locally know as, Cardiac Hill. I slowed down and reduced my stride… I was constantly waiting around each bend, anticipating a steep big hill. Then the path levelled off and I had just ran Cardiac Hill. I’m not being all snooty in saying this… the fellow other Vegans at the end agreed that it didn’t warrant it’s intimidating name.

The rest from here was awesome because it was all mainly just weaving about in and out downhill. I got my pace up nicely and tried to leg it in for the last of the race. Eventually I saw purple and black balloons arched over the road and I kicked it to them thinking it was the finish… then I saw the finish further on. I pulled it together a little longer and got myself over the finish line. The time on my Garmin was 1:13:10 Hr:min:s with an average pace of 8:33 minutes per mile.
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When I do a busy run like this again in future I will start much closer to the start line. Perhaps about quarter of the way in or perhaps just a tiny bit further out. Throughout this race I felt like I was just constantly passing people all the time and not many passing me. I was kinda happy with this because I was wearing my Vegan Runners t shirt and a Dr Hadwen Trust Sticker on the back. I especially made a point to jiggle my behind in front of cancer research runners or the British heartless foundation runners as I swiftly passed them 😉

On the other hand, because I had to pass people so much I believe it pulled me back a bit and that first 11:30 minute mile was hard to recuperate later on, as the miles left became less and less.

We did some group pictures later holding banners for Dr Hadwen Trust and Birmingham Animal Action spreading our support. These were of course done in front of the Cancer Research and British Heartless Foundation Charity Shops.

After this I was kindly given a ride home by a fellow Vegan Runner and we stopped off at Cannon Hill Park for some Vegan Grindhouse Street Food Burgers 😀
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So next is Birmingham and Black Country Half Marathon and then the JW Ultra 30 miler. There may also be Shirley 10k in August too depending on how I feel nearer the time.

Cheers for reading.
-ScottyRunner


Tendonitis at the Insertion of the Peroneus Tendon (outer foot pain).

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Tendonitis at the Insertion of the Peroneus Tendon is an injury that is usually associated with pain of the outside of the feet.

I have been trying to work out for a while why I have been getting so many injuries. The latest being pain on the outside of my feet. Initially I thought it was plantar fasciitis which is a breakdown of the fascia along the bottom of the foot. This injury is slow to heal too. I treated it as such up until now.

Tendonitis by the Peroneus Tendon tends to be from people who over supinate. This means they land on the outside of their feet when running or walking. Most people over pronate which is landing on the inside of the their feet.

As you can see here very clearly by my sneaks, I have been landing on the outside. It’s more noticeable on these as these are the first pair of trail sneaks I have had. It is said those who over supinate tend to use their trainers twice as fast as other runners and need to replace them much more often. This definitely has seemed the case for me. These sneaks I have only had for about 200 miles.

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When I think about how I land it’s been obvious all along really. Not only do I run and walk on the sides of my feet but I also stand with my feet apart and almost balance my weight on the outside of my feet. I have been doing this ever since I began walking as a baby. These injuries only came about though over the last few years on and off.

The first advice as a runner I have found is to stop running fast. Luckily training doesn’t need to stop with this injury. So no speedy hills, no speed at all. At least not until the pain has completely gone. So I shall keep running at a slow pace and also focus on trying to stop over supinating and landing on my heels. I shall also focus on walking correctly and standing correctly.

To strengthen this area I shall do calf rises off the edge of a step so my heels can sink off of it. This shall be done daily even for some time after the pain has completely gone. I shall also place toes on the ground on tip toe (one foot at a time) and do 20 seconds on each foot of large circles. This shall be done 20 seconds every hour. These 2 strength training exercises will help strengthen and give flexibility to the affected area.

The foam roller may help by rolling out the calves, remembering that no pain no gain when it comes to rollin’.

To reduce inflammation I will ice my feet several times a day for about 10 minutes each time.

Hopefully I can deal with these problems and my injuries will go for good. It’s not been stopping me running lately but I still know it’s there. I’ll update with progress.
-ScottyRunner


Running on New Turf

Hey everyone
I went for a run first time in 3 weeks yesterday. This run went very well and so we decided to go for another run today on new lands I haven’t covered before.

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We have moved to a new area on the edge of many trails; including the North Worcestershire Path, which is a long distance path running at 35 miles through the midlands. Sadly we saw a notice saying that this path had been closed just near Wast Hills Lane due to slipperiness and erosion. This sign had been attached to a tree since Spring 2014. I hope that this sign will be gone some time soon as I’d like to follow this path. We decided to head back and follow some different public foot paths as there are many to pick from.
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Obviously with the time of year there was a lot of mud, I love running through muddy fields I think it adds a whole new dimension to a run, a lot of fun and a bit of a challenge. Sadly Philips Merrell trail sneaks weren’t up for the mud and he found it very slippery. He did admit he liked the challenge though so I think next time he needs some sneaks he will be looking for something with a bit more grip in them. Any recommendations would be much appreciated.

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It’s been a while since I have managed to get out in the country. I’m from the countryside originally I was brought up in a small valley on the edge of the Pennines. I forgot what the white fencing if for around farm land. I soon remembered when a bolt of electricity went through my hip and pushed me to the side haha! 😛 Needless to say we avoided any other fencing. They were obviously to keep these beauties out of harms way… I just hope to them it’s just a little annoyance rather than a shock like I got :O
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As always with new public footpaths and no maps it can take a while to learn which end of the fields the path continues on so we did a lot of running back and forward on this occasion, but that was welcomed over such lovely surrounds.

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This kind of surround is much better than running around the city center or just being stuck to the city canal towpaths. The canal paths are beautiful and I enjoyed much of my running there, but I prefer the more technical terrain.

Obviously I had to go out sporting my Vegan Runners top 😛 Nothing like shoving it in farmers faces. :O Although the farmers we came across were nice enough.

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Mucky 😀

It only ended up being 5 miles. I’m glad I didn’t do too much though having just returned to running and it being more technical terrain.

You always know when you have had a decent run when you get home and anything below the waist looks like this 😛 (although they do look a little cleaner than they were).

Good to ‘hopefully’ be back.
All my love
-ScottyRunner


Rise and Shine!

Rise-and-ShineWhether you are a runner, weight lifter, soccer player or even on a mission to write the worlds best book. You need this. Make this your morning watch ritual every day! Keep battling on keep pushing. Keep achieving. keep dreaming. Wow yourself. Wow the world.

One word. Watch!

“Rise and shine.

It’s 6am, and your hand can’t make it to the alarm clock before the voices in your head start telling you that it’s too early, too dark, and too cold to get out of a bed.

Aching muscles lie still in rebellion, pretending not to hear your brain commanding them to move
A legion of voices are shouting their unanimous permission for you to hit the snooze button and go back to dreamland, but you didn’t ask their opinion.

The voice you’ve chosen to listen to is one of defiance.

A voice that’s says there was a reason you set that alarm in the first place. So sit up, put your feet on the floor, and don’t look back because we’ve got work to do.

Welcome to The Grind!

For what is each day but a series of conflicts between the right way and the easy way, 10,000 streams fan out like a river delta before you, Each one promising the path of least resistance.

Thing is, you’re headed upstream. And when you make that choice, when you decide to turn your back on what’s comfortable and what’s safe and what some would call “common sense”, well that’s day 1. From there it only gets tougher.

So just make sure this is something you want. Because the easy way out will always be there, ready to wash you away, all you have to do is pick up your feet.

But you aren’t going to are you??
With each step comes the decision to take another

?You’re on your way now?

But this is no time to dwell on how far you’ve come. ?You’re in a fight against an opponent you can’t see?

Oh but you can feel him on your heels can’t you??

Feel him breathing down your neck

?You know what that is?? That’s you…?Your fears, your doubts and insecurities all lined up like a firing squad ready to shoot you out of the sky?

But don’t lose heart?

While they aren’t easily defeated, they are far from invincible?

Remember this is The Grind?

The Battle Royale between you and your mind, your body and the devil on your shoulder who’s telling you that this is just a game, this is just a waste of time, your opponents are stronger than you.?

Drown out the voice of uncertainty with the sound of your own heartbeat?

Burn away your self doubt with the fire that’s beneath you?

Remember what you’re fighting for?

And never forget that momentum is a cruel mistress, ?She can turn on a dime with the smallest mistake.?

She is ever searching for that weak place in your armor?

That one tiny thing you forgot to prepare for?

So as long as the devil is hiding the details, the question remains,”is that all you got?”, “are you sure?”?

And when the answer is “yes”. That you’ve done all you can to prepare yourself for battle THEN it’s time to go forth and boldly face your enemy, the enemy within
?Only now you must take that fight into the open, into hostile territory?
You’re a lion in a field of lions

?All hunting the same elusive prey with a desperate starvation that says VICTORY is the only thing that can keep you alive?

So believe that voice that says ” you CAN run a little faster ” and that ” you CAN throw a little harder ” and that ” you CAN dive a little deeper” and that, for you, the laws of physics are merely a suggestion.

Luck is the last dying wish of those who wanna believe that winning can happen by accident, sweat on the other hand is for those who know it’s a choice, so decide now because destiny waits for no man. And when your time comes and a thousand different voices are trying to tell you you’re not ready for it, listen instead for that lone voice in decent the one that says you are ready, you are prepared, it’s all up to you now. So rise and shine.”


Gutted!

I woke this morning just before my alarm set off. I got out of bed all excited about going for my long run with Philip.

Today was such a faff. When we got up I could hear the rain outside the window and cars going by our house splashing puddles along side the verges of the road. Rain never usually bothers me on runs. Actually I have been known to kit up and run out the door when it’s raining, just because it’s raining. The only thing is that Philip my husband runs as well now and he doesn’t have a waterproof jacket yet. I kinda felt guilty about wearing my Marmot Essence Waterproof jacket when he’d just be wearing a technical T-Shirt (albeit a techie with a great cause but wouldn’t keep him dry). I got over this and decided to wear it. I thought it’d be stupid for not one of us to wear it.

Next Philip decided to wear his boxers with his short shorts. It took me a good 15 minutes to persuade him to take them off because it looked so stupid. He did eventually after I took a few photos to show him how it looked from someone else’s angle.

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Next we faffed about with his bag. I bought him a Terra Nova Laser 20 Ultralite Bag. This bag is a waste of time. It looks half decent in the pics and it very light but very flimsy I find. Not the kind of quality and proof of good thinking I normally associate with this brand name. He also tried to attach a waterproof cover to the bag but it left a huge gaping gap the size of a grapefruit at the top, which rendered the whole thing pointless. I asked him to take the items out of his bag and passed him a large waterproof Velcro seal bag which he could then put into his Terra Nova Laser Bag. Alas it seemed we could be on our way.

I grabbed my Garmin and he grabbed his phone and then we had another problem with where his phone would go. Once we sorted that out we stepped outside to locate satellites on our devices. We closed the door behind us and Philip says “This is no good lets get on our tights, it’s cold and windy and wet”.
“Good idea” I replied. Golly did I really have to deal with all this stuff before I got all my proper kit? :O

So we both went back inside and changed into full length tights. The first pair I tried to put on the zip at the bottom broke away from the tights and I had to take them off and throw them to the side to deal with later. I put on a second pair. Phew I Was ready to go again. Meanwhile Philip then decides he wants to wear his short shorts on top of his tights! What the hell is wrong with this man!? I tried for all but 2 minutes to persuade him to take them off and realised I didn’t want to spend another 13 at it so I just left him to it to look a wanker HAHA.

Finally we are heading out the door again. We stand near the house to locate satellites, we find them and on we go! We ran for all about 0.10 miles. I stopped in my tracks. I stopped my Garmin. “Can’t do it my foot hurts”. I turn around and head back home. Philip said he might just go and do a 3 miler or something. I mentioned he should do the whole 12 miles if he is capable. I offered him to come home and try on my jacket for size so he’d be more comfortable. He agreed. We both came back into the house to sort the jacket. Thankfully I had returned because Philip hadn’t closed the door fully behind him and it was open slightly. When we went in our wallets sat right there on the table shouting “Please take us”. lol.

He tried the jacket and it fit well so he got ready again and off he went also using my Garmin for the course map.

I announced this week that I was finally able to say my foot problems were gone. I’d had this ongoing problem since October 2014. It first showed itself as I was at my shop working and on my feet I couldn’t stand in one place for longer than a few moments before intense burning and dullness set in. Over October, November and December this burning intensified and I found even sitting on a chair at the shop my feet still burned. Then even lay down it hurt. The only time it seemed to subside was when I was walking.

This last 2 weeks things were looking up. I had managed to get my walking up a little and the odd 3 miles or so here and there. Nothing intense and nothing too fast. I even did a Parkrun at a much slower pace than my PB as to not treat it as a race but more of an easy speed training session and a chance to show off my Vegan Runners T-Shirt.

Since I started running nearly 3 years ago I think the longest I have ever managed to run is about 4 months before getting injured and needed loads of time off. The average is probably 6 weeks. It’s a little annoying but I see it as a chance to learn about injuries, what they are from and how they are dealt with and prevented in future. I fidn myself often making the same mistakes but I do reduce time and time again when I return. I have spent more time off running than running due to this but I’ll get there so long as I never give up. I have done 198 runs now. So 2 more and I’m 200 strong and still not bored of it in the slightest. In fact ever more interested with every single day that passes.

I do think I might need to cancel my 40 miler coming up though which is annoying. I have entered 12 events since I began running and I have missed out on 10 of them. Gotta take some proper time to rest and recover. I keep saying this but obviously I am not taking long enough and not reducing intensity enough and distance enough. I think next course of action is leaving out speed training and long runs altogether. I will go out running 3 miles 3 times a week for now and only once my feet feel better again.

I think the hardest thing is that I work October through January with my franchise. I’d planned this year to do a lot of National Trails and Long Distance Walks by running/walking the entire lengths over however long it took to do it comfortably. I didn’t expect to be at home all the time nursing foot issues for running 20 mile weeks! It’s really hard for me to think about getting out there and working a regular job through the rest of the year. One because when I stand up or walk more my feet burn more but the biggest reason being I don’t do well in normal jobs. Every job I had had has ended up with me telling managers that they are complete tossers who need to treat people like people and not machines or robots and telling them to go do one. Then I get depressed and have suicidal thoughts and hallucinations. Of course I’m not suicidal and haven’t done that kind of thing since I was in my teens because I have learnt better coping mechanisms. Either way it still ruins me for several months.

Anyway blah blah blah hey? I know everyone has problems but whats’t the point in having a blog if you can’t share yours? 😉

So I’m going to sulk for all about an hour and move on and pick up the mess and try again again. Keep pushing on. I’m a firm believer that so long as we never give up we will always get where we want to be. All I need to do is focus on the positives now, bring happiness, peace, joy and good food and movies into my life to speed recovery and get back out there. 🙂

Thanks for reading and letting me offload today.

-ScottyRunner

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¡VeGaN ATTACK!

Me and my husband have been sporting our new Vegan Runners technical T-shirts recently with pride to support our cause. It’s funny actually because most times Philip feels he looks stupid for his incredibly short shorts he’s wearing. I keep reminding him that most people aren’t staring at him because of his sexy shorts but because we are running around displaying Vegan Runners!

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I somehow manage to ignore that anyone is even taking a second glance at me. I know they are in general because of the T-shirt and well because I’m running about but I don’t notice the attention that much. I’m out there doing my own thing and just so happen to be sharing our cause to the rest of the world while I’m at it. When Philip brought this up I started to notice that almost everyone was staring at us. People walking past us stared, I noticed some shadows of people we passed actually turned around to look at the back of us too… Just as well our T-shirts say “Vegan Runners” on the back as well. People at stopped lights gawped out at us with wide open mouths like they were Venus Fly Traps waiting to collect flies (Philips description). It seemed the only ones that weren’t really that bothered by us where peoples dogs and the odd cat sat on a wall or fence.

It made me giggle as I thought “Awesome if people are staring then it’s working in it’s own little ways”.

We cut off the street and headed onto the canal towpaths making an overall 180 to head back towards our place but on a different path. Now I’m sure we have all met this type.

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The type that has no space to speak. You know the type.The type who is smoking, struggling to move an inch let alone a mile. The type who is all to quick to tell YOU what YOU are doing wrong in YOUR life! The type who is all too quick to tell you what is right and what is wrong.
So we run by this kind of guy on the canal who shouts out to us “EAT MEAT…. ALWAYS EAT MEAT!”. I called back “Don’t eat meat, don’t support cruelty!”.

As we got a bit further up the canal Philip mentioned that it was such a strange thing to do. To say something like that out loud to us. I reminded him that when people feel like their choices are being threatened they don’t like it and will often speak out and attack! As a means of protecting their own choices and ego. In telling himself and use “Eat meat, always eat meat” he’s trying to tell himself that it’s OK to eat meat. If it didn’t affect him he wouldn’t have said a word.

No offense to the guy I just hope he one day realizes that what he’s supporting is cruel.

Have any of you ever had anyone say something to you while out there running promoting Veganism? I’d like to hear about it. Keep up the good work everyone.

-ScottyRunner

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My Special Ingredient For Speeding up Recovery

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My story as an athlete does not differ much from any other athlete. I may have only ran a few years right now but I have had the typical problems that come with running. Typical problems I never knew I’d encountered before I started running. Sure enough as far as I was concerned I’f run out the door, build up and have no problems. Injuries, form, sneaker type, speed, distance and all the many other variables didn’t even cross my mind. I remember the first problem being a sore pain in the ass! Then I had ‘runners knee’, next it moved on to a stress fracture in the interior right tibia, then I had shin splints, next it was a pain on the top of my foot and next came plantar fasciitis (a pain on the bottom of my foot).

You have all read numerous blogs about recovery and the steps you can take to enhancing a speedy one! You know the usual; Static stretches > post workout meal or shake > plenty of water > Good rest > Sufficient hours sleep. I’m not going into detail of those because you can find them everywhere and often do find them everywhere.

I do notice that one key important factor is often missed. It occurred to me yesterday and so I began looking over all my training so far to date. I made notes of all the times I was injured and how long it took to fix the problem. I thought about my diet at the time, my stretch routines, sleeping patterns and I noticed one key thing that seemed to make me recover much quicker (besides being Vegan of course).

The secret?

HAPPINESS

You have heard the saying that stress affects the body. If this is true then it stands to reason that happiness also affects the body. Of course we can not neglect the things that science already tells us will help us speed up recovery so keep on with those. Though I believe that if you can bring as much joy into your days as possible the smoother your recovery will be. Just try not letting that joy come from doing other strenuous exercise.

Here’s a very compact list of things that may bring you joy in-between sessions;

Watching Disney films or something inspirational or funny but not sad.
Listening to music.
Reading books.
Doing.
Coloring books.
Drawing.
Jigsaws.
Cuddling your children or animals you care for.
Eating delicious raw fresh fruit or vegetables.
Receiving a massage (if your lucky) or massage yourself.
A very easy slow walk in the park with lots of stops for Photos.
Drive by photo adventure. Here you drive around country roads and stop to take beautiful pictures along the way.
Meditate. Even just for 5-10 minutes on your days off.
Drink decaff tea or coffee.
Add fresh lemon or lime juice to your water for a refreshing and very pleasant change.
Have a mid day nap! or 2 if you find chance! This one can help a great deal!
Spend time with people who need help. Great happiness can be found in helping others rather than yourself.

The list could go on and on forever because there are unlimited things that we can do for fun and happiness. Just focus on bringing as much joy into your life as possible at all times. Even when you are at work. “how can I be happy at work?” I hear you say? That’s easy… by saying “I choose to be happy today and aint nobody or anything going to change my mind”. Be aware that if you are unhappy that is your choosing. Keep in control of your emotions unless you want to be unhappy. I don’t think any of us want that.
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This little ingredient has helped me to recover from injuries and between workouts much sooner I feel. Funnily when I finally accept I overdid it and am injured, I begin to realise that I’m actually very happy about it because I have given my mind knowledge about an injury and then know how to deal with it and prevent it next time. It means that while my lower limbs are worn out my mind has grown.

So go ahead and be happy and please while you are at it spread that happiness far and wide and pass it onto all whom you come into contact with… even your horrible bosses. Who are probably stressed out to high heaven by their bosses!

All my love.
– ScottyRunner


31 Mile Canal Path. Birmingham – Worcester – Why Use a Narrowboat?

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OK So I said I’d write a report on my long run yesterday of 31 miles so here we go.

The route was across the Worcester and Birmingham Canal Towpath in the UK. With 3 off path diversions. It starts just before Bath Row in Birmingham UK and ends just along side Worcester High Street (also in the UK).

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The distance was ran in 6:31:14 (hr:min:sec) which is a similar pace (12:37 min/mi) to first time I ran it. This was the 4th time running this route. Although there wasn’t much progress on the time the terrain was much more technical than the first time. There was a lot of boggy mud and there was enough ice to top back up the Artic. Not just little bits of lite ice you that you can plod along, but sometimes thick sheets on road downhills like this. There was also plenty of ice on narrow curving downhill stone paths under bridges on the canal in which one I went right on my ass and just decided to slide down to the bottom.
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This was a ‘luxury’ route because the actual overall elevation gain was less than the loss. The gain was 768 ft and the loss was 1 145 ft. This didn’t make it any easier to the end of the course though but it was welcome of course.
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The night before the event I had a nice portion of chilli con beans and rice. I eat this all the time and I never have problems with it so was perfect comfort food for me.

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On the morning of the long run I had a smoothie with 500ml water, 4 bananas, half punnet blueberries, half punnet raspberries and a large mango. I also tossed in a handful of spinach and a tablespoon of agave nectar to sweeten it more.

For the run I had a mixture of energy bars and fruit bags. I also had a packet of Vegan cola bottles. I don’t normally take sweets with me but rather what I fancy just before and I spotted these… they did the trick for later in the day. I bought coconut also for the fat but I forgot to take this with me. Never noticed and to be fair the bars are a blend of nuts and dates anyway. The fruit bags were ok but I didn’t realise that most of them were laced with sugar so I’ll get the whole dried fruits again next time rather than this overpriced candy!
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A word on gels because someone recently brought this subject up. They mentioned doesn’t food like this take longer to fuel you when you have it as a pose to gels? Yes they might, but you should never actually be allowing your body to get to the point that you must have energy right now or things will go tits up. Eating foods at regular intervals will keep you fueled much better without so many spikes. I have only ever hit the wall once when out running longer distances. I ate a bar an hour and fruit bags as and when I fancied something a little more as a treat. I have only ever used gels once and they were vile foul things! To me (and a lot of people) eating is one of the finest pleasures EVER and if I can combine my pleasure for eating along with my love for running. Well then I’m in ecstasy. Are your gels pleasing you? Well then maybe try something different. It might just work. Then again it might not. Not everyone can hold food down when running whereas I’m known for stopping at a store and buying a large pack of potato chips/crisps and eating them all in one go plodding along still running.

After the run there was a bit of a distaster with food. I ate a big pack of potato chips/crisps from the store at the end and then later had ciabatta toast and sunflower oil and then after this I had a vegan pepperoni pizza takeaway. I did keep up with my fluids though :O

For my equipment I took with me my WAA ultra bag 20L + 4L WAA front pouch. With modifications the 20L bag was 570g the cover was 40g and the front pouch was  185g making it 795g. I probably didn’t need a bag of this size for such a short distance but I am training with it as it’s the bag I will use for my longer runs and T184 Mile Endurance Race.
I also took a very basic home made first aid kit, a few sheets of toilet paper and an emergency blanket coming to 219g. I took my camera which was 100g and my phone to connect with you all when I finished 😉 Apart from these all I took was a little dinero for the train home, a thin fleece jacket, beanie hat and dry gloves to warm me up at the end. The overall weight came to 5kg without water. Then 1.5L water was all I needed.

The temperature was not much over zero or hovering around that. I decided to wear a base layer tight tshirt, a long sleeve running tshirt over that and then my waterproof outer shell jacket ontop of this. I also wore my buff as a beanie hat and wore long base layer tights. I know some people hate it but I did wear tight boxers under these too. My reason being because when I pee I don’t always manage to fully drain off when in a rush to keep going. This extra layer makes this less important. Probably something the girls didn’t want to know but I’m certain many guys have this problem too! My sneeks choice was a pair of Salomon Speedcross 3 Trail sneaks along with a pair of gaiter socks to keep crap out of them! Finally I wore a pair of cheap running gloves.
It certainly was a cold start at 7:45am just as the sun was rising. At about half way I did take off my gloves and then around mile 20 I took my hat off too.
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The morning promised good sunny clear skies to be had throughout the day and that was true for the entire journey. In fact it stayed sunny right until we got onto the train back home! Then it rained and it rained hard and was overcast!

The lack of clouds and rain didn’t make the ground any easier for running though. The mud and ice made things a bit slower throughout than we may have wanted to go. But we soldiered on and found this tricky terrain would give us a bit more of a challenge which ultimately allowed us to enjoy the experience even more.

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The first half of the run was a doddle really. We chatted and caught up on whats been going on in eachothers lives and work etc and ticked off the miles without hardly even looking at our devices.

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That’s David by the way. David hadn’t ran anything beyond 23.2 miles before this run and he said that shorter run nearly killed him. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t capable of this kind of distance though! If you ever saw any of his training runs and races he’s a pretty fast runner even when he hasn’t had much time to put in the training! He kept mentioning how he might have the speed but I have the endurance. So I was looking forward to showing him that if he slowed down a bit he’d find that wasn’t the case.

It was absolutely awesome watching us tick off the 23.2 miles and then the 26.2 mile achievements for him and then the 30 and 31 for the finish. He kept soldiering on and I’m really looking forward to seeing how he might do at this course on his own some time.

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About half way I wanted to pick up a Geocach in the local area as I don’t often get that far out in that direction and knew it would be an easy one right on our path so I picked that up and we signed our names on the paper and gave it a new sealed bag lol. I think this along with an electrolyte drink store stop and taking some snaps probably lost us about 15 minutes of the run but it wasn’t a race and these things added to the experience.
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Once we got to about mile 18 as per usual I began getting this real burning feeling on the bottom of my feet. Well actually it was only very mild at mile 18 through to about 23 then it was really bothering me. We reduced from running long stretches to running 5 minutes and walking 5 minutes on and off. We did this for a while and then at about mile 26 we began increasing the length of the runs by a minute or two here and there.

My feet where throbbing with a burning aching pain on the bottoms and David said that we should stop if it gets too bad. I tried to remind him that I aint stopping. I’m already in pain and might as well get a reward for it… as the inspirational speaker Eric Thomas says. “if I say I’m going to do something then I do it we are finishing this run at mile 31”.
My mind was ready for the long haul and the rest of my body was. But my feet cried. Which began to show on my face.

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So we kept going and then I realised I’d completely stopped looking at my Garmin GPS watch and when I next looked we were at 30.31 miles or something. As we got closer to 31 miles I picked up the pace and started legging it to the 31 mile mark as quickly as I could. My watch marked 31 miles and I stopped and threw my arms up in arm going “wohooo”. What an accomplishment for both of us and I believe David finished much stronger than myself.
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We then went to a local store to get something to eat on the train and to Costa to grab a quick coffee. I had a nice Americano with Soya for myself.
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Overall I know this long run doesn’t amount to a great deal. According to my training plan to prepare myself for the T184 endurance run I should be running this distance another 7 times and running beyond this up to 50 miles another 4 times. Though you need these little accomplishments to keep you focused on the bigger goals. To keep you going “hell yeah I can do this…. I have done 30 I can do anything!” This is not the case right away lol but that’s how my bipolar mind works. In fact I believe partly my bipolar helps me to keep pushing on and wanting to reach extreme levels in my running.

When I woke up today (the day after the run) I was worried I wouldn’t be able to walk much for recovery let alone a recovery run. I struggled on the last times I ran this distance. But my feet seemed to be better and I managed to get out and do a nice gentle 4 mile recovery run. I then came home and did my regular post run stretch and felt my body would benefit from an additional Vinyasa Yoga session this week to flex out my muscles and aid recovery.

Bring on the next challenge!
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