Tag Archives: knott kinetics

The Road to London #Week 12

Biking and swimming isn’t like running. It just isn’t. This week, like a crazed animal, I’ve tried to up my effort levels to try and feel as if I’m working my body. At the beginning of the week I tried running for a mile but my ankle felt a little sore as each minute passed so I turned around and went home.

Getting retaped @Knott Kinetics

Getting retaped @Knott Kinetics

Tuesday I decided on a bike-swim-bike, which felt good and I so wished I could add a mile or two run on to the end. This would have been foolish so I didn’t, what I did was a roundabout route to the pool with a steep hill, 9 x 50m efforts then zipped home as quick as I could. It was short but momentarily my legs were on fire.

The news wasn't great at the physio

The news wasn’t great at the physio

Wednesday I felt itchy so drove to the Mountbatten Centre pool in Portsmouth as there are two Olympic size pools and one is deep at both ends. I attached my trusty flotation belt round my waist and ran in the water, with a warm up, 4 x 6min 40secs (to replicate my 4 x 1 mile on the road) then a warm down before dashing to get Sienna next door from the gymnastics centre where she trains. It’s really hard to judge perceived effort in the pool as I didn’t have my heart rate monitor on, but I tried to push myself for each rep so I was out of breath the whole time. I felt a little bit shy as I trundled very slowly up and down the lanes while I puffed – most of the deep pool had the swimming club in for training. I caught a few glances from lifeguards/swimmers who were obviously thinking What is she doing? I just gave them my ‘I-have-to-do-this-as-I’m-an-injured-runner-obsessed-with-doing-a-marathon-next-month’ smile.

Biking bliss

Biking bliss

Thursday it was a really hard, short session on the turbo that gave me jelly legs. It really helped burn off my I-can’t-run angst, for a while. Coach David (more aware than most of my inner turmoil and tetchiness?) the duathlon demon wanted me to work hard (give him a break?) so gave me:

10 mins warm up with
– 3 mins in the first gear
– 3 mins in a harder gear
– 3 mins in a harder gear

1 min easy spin
5 x 30 secs hard with 30 secs recovery
2 mins easy spin
2 mins on a hard gear out of the saddle
60 secs recovery at 150bpm
2 mins hard out of saddle
60 secs recovery at 150bpm
30 secs flat out
60 secs recovery at 150bpm
5 mins warm down

I love this session!

I love this session. Kind of…

I did some S & C exercises focusing on my gluteus straight after. I loved/hated it; the second two minutes out of the saddle were crazy!

The awesome Friday runners

The awesome Friday runners

Friday I couldn’t run with the group so I cycled alongside. It was a quick session of 6 x 600m after a slow warm up to our starting point. I zipped around the circuit, trying to motivate everyone as much as I could. They are all stars, it wasn’t hard. Then I popped along to the physio, hoping (wishing?) that Lawrence would tell me my ligaments were much better and I could go and race a 10-miler on Sunday. Of course he didn’t. I’ve got another week of rest, with some daily exercises, before he decides on whether I may have a chance of making the marathon. I tried not to cry. And just about managed it.

Keeping myself entertained

Here I am again…keeping myself entertained

In the past I would have stopped exercising with an injury and started wallowing in self pity. If I wasn’t injured and not running I’d say I was feeling really good at the moment! I’ve truly learnt the importance of preventative exercises to keep injuries at bay and am staggered how little trouble I’ve had from my left glute since last summer.

Girlie sleepover in my room - I didn't get much sleep!

Girlie sleepover in my room – I didn’t get much sleep!

I say I don’t really like swimming and biking but I guess that’s not really true. I like them. I just don’t LOVE them like running. Maybe there is a little triathlete/duathlete hidden away inside me. Both have really kept me going through the winter, even when it’s been icy cold I’ve taken to my bike and I’ve never wanted to do that before. I think I need to keep learning to love both activities.

Saturday I repeated Thursday’s turbo session and put everything into the efforts… the highest I got my heart rate up to was 166, though it was really hard to do.

 

I swear she was in the same position when I left the house two hours earlier

I swear she was in the same position when I left the house two hours earlier

Sunday would have been my endurance run. My training plan said an 18 miler. What I wanted to do was 2.5 hours of running in the pool to try and replicate the effort. However, it was my middle daughter Amelie’s birthday sleepover Saturday night, and I don’t think she, or her friends’ mums would have appreciated me going off for about 3.5 hours. The next best thing was a long bike and this week I decided on two hours. It was so much warmer than last weekend and it was a pleasure to be outside doing endless reps along a bus route a few miles from my house.

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I wasn’t focusing on pace, rather heart rate and effort, and managed an average of about 75 per cent of my maximum heart rate for the two hours. My issue is that I wasn’t out of breath once. Even a bit. I can’t see how this can be boosting my fitness though of course I know it is. Running is much harder on my asthmatic lungs. Biking in comparison seems so easy. I hope there was some transference of fitness. I didn’t have the time for any longer – there’s a limit to how long you can leave your kids on their own, even when they are getting older (and especially when the youngest gets easily bored and is quite demanding). I left my eldest, Lola in charge, however, I’m sure Sienna didn’t move off the sofa the whole time I was out!

My fav fuel and recovery drink

My fav fuel and recovery drink

I’ve done about six hours of exercise this week. I would never normally do so much mainly due to time pressures. But it’s all on my own and I’m really missing going to my weekly club session and seeing my club mates. Still…I’m not ready to give in yet!

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The Road to London #Week 11

Everything’s gone Pete Tong.

What should have been a pivotal week, with my longest run so far involved no running at all. My plan was to start the week off slow after Brighton Half, do a few easy sessions, then end it with a long run of 16 miles. Instead I’ve done four hours on the bike (about 50 miles) and a swim.

Another turbo session

Another turbo session

Monday was always going to be a rest day, as I don’t overstretch myself after a race. My ankle didn’t feel too sore, and I definitely wasn’t in pain. Tuesday it felt about the same though, a bit sore and I was reluctant to try anything on it, so instead I sat on the turbo in the evening while the girls were doing their homework, and as winds and rain battered the house.

Lawrence testing my ankle ligaments

Lawrence testing my ankle ligaments

Wednesday was another rest day, and Thursday I was pre-booked into seeing my physio Lawrence at Knott Kinetics, based at Absolute Running in Gosport. I explained how I had stepped on a tiny wooden stake at the beach, which cricked my ankle a bit, felt nothing much for the rest of the session, then had ended up in agony Friday night. I felt recovered enough to race two days later, but Lawrence thought I had some minor ligament damage on the outside of my left ankle. He gave me some ultrasound, strapped it up and recommended no running for a few days at least. We devised a plan. It didn’t really work, but for a while it made me feel better. Instead of 16 miles on the paths I would cycle 32 miles trying to keep my heart rate at 80% of my max. Could this be equivalent to a 16 mile run?

On to ultrasound

On to ultrasound

I’ve never cycled that far as I tend to get a bit bored on the bike, but I went home at least feeling I would be doing something. Thursday evening I sat on the turbo for 40 mins, Friday, with enforced rest, I couldn’t lead my group but did lots of strength and conditioning at home.

Look away if feet make you squeamish, especially chicken feet

Look away if feet make you squeamish, especially chicken feet

So. Saturday it was miserable; freezing and raining (on and off). I was miserable. I knew I had to try for 32 miles on the bike, but first I had to do everything a mum has to do at the weekend, which involved a lot of running around and plenty of stress I’ve got no time for. As the hours passed I got grumpier and grumpier. With everyone. Including me. No one was giving way so that I could get the mammoth (for me) bike ride done; I had to wait a long time before I could go out. By which time it was sleeting and about three degrees Celsius. Worse, the roads were wet. I should mention I am a scaredy-cat cyclist when it comes to fast downhills and wet corners. This is due to going over the top of my handlebars once when I was a kid, then again at university (I have two scars on my chin where the road kissed me deeply).

Playing hangman whilst doing my one-legged squats

Playing hangman whilst doing my one-legged squats

I started, and even though I wasn’t feeling the love I am very stubborn, and decided before I began I had to go for at least 80 per cent maximum heart rate. The whole way round. Then I got on with the ride, had rain, a little hail, and sleet, sunshine, but all I can really remember is my feet being so cold that as soon as my watch clicked over to 32 miles I stopped and started walking to try and get my circulation going. The last five miles or so the cold had crept up my legs to my thighs and I feared hypothermia. How will I run without feet, I thought? Surely they are going to drop off, I hadn’t felt them for so long. But the feeling had returned by the time I walked home, I just then had to wait another few hours before I had the time to have a bath to completely defrost. Motherhood brings a whole new dimension of patience into your life.

Fuelled this week by fresh eggs from Marina's chucks

Fuelled this week by fresh eggs from Marina’s chucks

Did I feel like I had done a long run? No. Was my worry pacified? No. Am I beginning to fret a) I’m not even going to make the marathon now – especially after such a key session (I should mention here I’ve done this so many times before, got to about 16 miles and something happens. Yes. I’ve gone on and ran a marathon with only 16 miles done in training and *No* I don’t ever want to do that again). And b) Am I going to have to run 26.2miles with my longest run being 15 miles about two months before the run? Yes I’m beginning to worry.

Feeling the love for my bike

Feeling the love for my bike

What’s 32 miles on the bike really worth? Probably about 10.5miles running, if I’m really lucky, according to Dr Edward Coyle of the University of Texas, who devised a formula for estimating the caloric equivalence between running and cycling.

What’s really scary is, if I take his formula, and if I am supposed to be running 18 miles this weekend, I will need to cycle approximately 53 miles. Shit. I don’t even like cycling. Like everything else in life (except running) I can’t really do it – my legs are at least 12 inches too short. They’re also too narrow – you can’t spot my muscles. They’re just so delicate.

And after... still smiling

And after… still smiling

Sunday was Mother’s Day and I was a bit low after a week of not running at such a crucial stage of marathon training. I started feeling lost. Do I know where I live? Check. Am I secure in my family? Check. I think I know who I am, anyway. Yet, here it is again, already, that feeling of starting to lose my identity.

Why does all of me have to be so tied up in this running game? Why can’t I enjoy a more easy, sitting down kind of pastime – crochet, painting, chess… I’ve been asking myself this all my life. But running comes before me, from my family and it’s imprinted in my DNA. I can’t unpick the strands of who I am and create a more convenient, less energetic me.

So my running week was non-existent and rubbish really. I’m dreading where my running will be next week already.

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