Training through illness

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July has been a busy month, with moving and my trip to Belfast, yet I’ve been doing quite well with actually getting the miles in this month. And Here we are at the end of July, the weather is more akin to that of the end of October and I think this combined with my ability to never stop has left me with the dreaded summer cold. 
I woke up on Sunday with a terrible sore throat. However I had not gone for drinks as invited on Saturday night, specifically so I could get up and go for a long run on Sunday. So even though I knew what might be coming, I got up at 10 (still catching up on sleep from the previous two nights  graduation based frivolities) and I ran 10 miles outside. The weather was actually ok, sunny but not hot and it was windy. I did this in 1.37 odd. I’m fine with this, I’ve still got plenty of time to train and that was the furthest I’d run since the half marathon back in May. It was more important to me that I did not stop to walk, than push myself to be fast. 

Then on Monday the throat felt worse. No problem, plenty of liquids consumed, got some powerade for my run and put away 5 miles on the treadmill, 4 easy pace and the final faster. The sore throat was fine, I just had to have more liquid than normal. 
Tuesday was a slightly different story. I barely slept on Monday night from having a blocked nose now too. I had to load up on lemsip capsules, taking 6 during the day. I was very grumpy for 8 hours at work, but I felt fine to run. In fact I ran 7 miles fartlek quite happily. It was arguably the best I felt all day. 
My right calf was complaining a bit during that last run though, so I took Wednesday off. I went shopping for some holiday stuff, then came home, did a covering letter for a job, and made dinner (Homous, falafel and spinach baguette, yum) then relaxed for a bit. Tomorrow I will be back on it (it being the treadmill assuming this rain keeps up) and raring to push through this silly cold… Here’s to hoping ‘sweating the cold out’ is a thing! 

Here is a picture of some feet in Northern Ireland at the giants causeway. Because feet are used to run and I mentioned my trip in this post. Super relevant.  

 

Cheap Workout Gear

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I really like shopping. I really like running and going to the gym.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE TWO COLLIDE?!

New gym gear. Yay!

Today I went into primark, spontaneously getting off the bus because the workout gear in the window I passed every day looked tempting. So I made the split decision that I needed new stuff to run in for marathon training, because new clothes are a great incentive to go out. Even if it’s just to go to the gym.

And I was rewarded for my split decision. 2 pairs of gym leggings, one pair of shorts, 5 pairs of socks, 2 sports bras and 2 tops. All for Β£28.50. Bargain! I mean I probably can’t afford to spend that much unnecessarily, but it’s not like I won’t use it. And I threw away three old gym tops when I got home. And I find it very hard to part with clothes, even ones I don’t wear/that are beyond being wearable.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my nike running gear. And I know that it’s way better quality than the cheaper stuff. But my two nike sports bras, the ticks are peeling off after 2 years. Not what you want really when you pay Β£20 for each item.

But hey ho. I’m excited to take my new stuff for a spin!

January gymers

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It’s that dreaded time of year again for all of us who hold the gym sacred. It’s the time of year when everyone has embraced the ‘New Year, New Me’ mantra and gone and got themselves a shiny new gym membership, or, polished that old one and vowed to actually make use of it. Thus, every evening, the gym is full of those people, who you know the majority of will have forgotten what a cross trainer is in 3 weeks.

I’m not saying people trying to take on a healthier life style is a bad thing, far from it. It’s just the fact that for one month the gym is over crowded. And I don’t like it.

For example, today I was doing my stretches, ab exercises and weights in the studio. I wasn’t in the middle of the room or anything like that, or even in the space usually occupied by the aerobic/Zumba/weird exercise dance classes that go on in the evening. And yet the class was so full that me and about 7-8 others doing similar things were asked to move out the way. We ended up squashed in a row at the side of the studio with barely room to swing our arms around our bodies. Not cool. And I couldn’t help but notice that the class was populated by unfit looking people in non-gym clothing. Which annoyed me. Don’t come and steal the space of the people who put in the effort all year round. Silly gyms and their desire to make money from these poor fools who half heartedly commit to a year contract in hope of forcing themselves to be fit.

To those of you who do stick it out, I salute you, and in a years time you too will have every right to complain about these new short-lived invaders. Happy gyming, and may the odds be ever in your favour when you want to use an unnecessarily busy piece of equipment!

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I caved and joined the gym

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Ok so I’ve been back in my beloved Leeds now for nearly a month. It’s been great and I am never leaving again. My running, however was almost non-existent. During freshers I’m not sure that can be helped, all time not at work was mandatory to be spent in bed.

I made it out for a run once, with the Abby dash looming over me, and the spirit of Leeds uni vs Leeds met (or Beckett as they have now decided) making me want to do some sporting activity, I set off. It was nice and autumnal, I ran round a pretty area of Leeds, with big houses and fallen leaves aplenty. It was nice, but the glorious autumn sunshine has rapidly since disappeared, to make way for grey gloom and endless rain. Action had to be taken.
On the plus side, all this rubbish weather means it’s fancy hot drinks season, and as I don’t have a relevant running picture, please enjoy the pumpkin spice latte I indulged in yesterday.

And so, despite my rant earlier this summer, I joined a gym. But you hate treadmills? Yes, that is true, but in this weather it seems to be treadmill or nothing in my brain. I’ve had my gym membership for a week and been 3 times covering a total of 10 miles so far. Not amazing, but a vast improvement on no running at all! And for Β£10 a month for all access membership I really can’t afford to complain. Plus going to a new gym is kind of exciting, and I’m sure the novelty will wear off. I’m generally impressed with the exercise4less chain, but I haven’t had time to go buy a padlock for the free to use lockers yet, so I do lament spending 20p every time I go on a locker! Alas, I will survive. So for now, it’s onwards and upwards!

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A slight set back

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Ok I admit it, I’ve failed the mile a day challenge. It wasn’t through laziness though, so don’t judge me too much.

How did I let this happen then? Well I went to Leeds yesterday to go house hunting. It’s a 3+ hour journey, so I got the first train to maximise available house hunting time. That train left Ipswich at 6am. I got up at 5am. I left Leeds at 7:45 and got back at 11:30pm. I thought that I’d have enough time when I got back to squeeze that mile in, but I underestimated just how exhausted I would be. I walked all over Leeds, and I just couldn’t do it. By the time I got home from the station at 11:45pm all I wanted to do was go to bed. So I did.

However since the failure to run was more down to inconvenient circumstances than a lack of motivation on my part, I decided I’d allow myself to continue with my challenge, as long as I went for an extra run today. So I ran one mile this morning and one this afternoon. Not like I have much to do right now since all my hours got cut for the week after I handed in my notice! And my gym membership has ended too. Set backs happen, and as the featured image so aptly puts it, this won’t be my only one. It’s overcoming the set backs that is important. So, on with the challenge I go.

In other news: Genuinely considering signing up to the Manchester marathon in April which a friend is trying to convince me to do, because goals give me a sense of purpose. And I’m bored. Even though it’s only for a week or so. 26 miles still feels like an awful long way though I must say. I don’t know that I could keep going for that long! I have however signed up to the pre-sale list for the Yorkshire marathon in October. That feels less intimidating, seeing as it’s over a year away. April is kind of soon…

And finally an update on my nike+ achievements. My next run should take me to 200K nikefuel so I can cross that one off. I also randomly got the year anniversary award. Which is odd because I joined in June 2013. Seriously, I’ve attached pictures! Also of my sign up and today’s two miles.

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No more tiny gym!

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So this mile a day challenge thing. So far it’s been four days and the drop in my average distance is making me sad. I’ve run 5 less miles this week than average, and since I have to do this for another 26 days, my average week distance will likely be effected. This is irking me somewhat. I don’t know why I care so much about statistics, especially when I’m the only one who sees them. It’s going to be a tough 3 and a half weeks to stick to my goal and restrain myself. Then I will have 8 weeks until the Abbey Dash, perfect timing to complete the Nike+ training intermediate 10K plan. Bring it on.

In other news, weird gym guy has now taken to hiding in his office every time I go into the gym when he is working. This is a vast improvement on his annoying attempts to make small talk. Fortunately for his pride, I am moving back to Leeds in 2/3 weeks (notice is in, and I’m off house hunting next week), beyond excited and it means I get to QUIT THE TINY GYM!!! And not run into people from high school on a daily basis. Whether I will be able to afford a gym in Leeds/ if there will be a convenient and affordable one near my house is a different matter. Time will tell.

Photos attached of my run records.

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Tiny gym

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This is largely a follow up post for me to show you all just how tiny the gym is.

This evening I was the only person in there from half 9-10 (it closes at 10) so I took some sneaky pictures between sets on the leg press.

The woman working in the gym clearly wanted to leave early but that gym is open until 10 and I was determined to stay. Largely because I got a lift with my dad who plays badminton with his friends every Tuesday night and that’s when they finish. But that’s not the point. I am paying for a gym which is open til 10 so I will stay if I want.

Annoying gym guy was mercifully not present. I haven’t actually seen him since his infuriating face wave that prompted my last post. I’d be worried that he’d seen it and been offended but a) he told me on one of his talking at me whilst I tried to cut the conversation and leave early ambushes that he doesn’t even have Facebook (what a weirdo) and b) I really don’t care.

I photographed the view from the corner where the leg press lives; one of the mat/weight section, and a general view of the room. The treadmills are behind the various strength machines, next to them are the elipticals and ski machine. Beyond that is the fountain and the cupboard that passes for the personal trainer office.

So here you go: tiny gym is tiny.

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Awkward gym situations.

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A few things I would like to say about the gym. I go to a tiny gym near my work. It has 3 treadmills, 2 elipticals, a ski machine (is that what they are called?!), 2 bikes, and about 15 different weight machines. There’s a tiny weight section with 1-30kg dumbells (no bars for squats/dead lifts) and there is space for 2 people doing mat work max. It’s sucky, but it’s convenient and cheap.

Today I did not have a good gym session. I went straight after my 9-5 at work today. Normally I like to go to the gym in the morning, and I did have to get up at 6:30am to take my brother to the station. Why didn’t I go before work, you ask. WELL, this personal trainer there keeps talking to me, which I find kind of annoying, because I’m in the gym trying to get in the zone and here he is bugging me. He also keeps trying to talk to me about philosophy (usually when I tell people that was my undergrad degree they look at me cluelessly but no, this guy LOVES philosophy. Yay.) which is a little intense when I’m trying to concentrate on my work out… This guy is late twenties and the other day he text his fellow personal trainer to get her to give me his number. just after he left the gym. Lame. Also I didn’t want his number. But she insisted I take it so she had ‘done her part’. Fair enough. I put it down somewhere when I got in and haven’t looked for it since. He tells me pretty much every time I see him that he’s in the gym most mornings.
Now you see why I waited til after work, having not been since this number incident on Saturday. I really don’t like awkward situations. Alas, HE WAS THERE. Why, tiny gym! Why must you be so tiny. Thankfully he was obviously busy with some training so I kept my distance (as much as possible) and headphones in on loud.
There I was minding my own business on the leg extension, I’m currently doing 5-10x 30 or 35 on that, so I was minding my own business, working really hard. Next thing I know there is a hand in my face waving.

….

A very curt ‘hi’ was all I could manage without losing my temper.
WHO DOES THAT?!
Uhhhhh.
That is gym rant number one. Moral of the story – don’t get dragged into unwanted small talk!

My second gym problem is also related to the teeny tiny size of this gym. Given it’s location, it’s hardly surprising, but I keep running into people from my old high school. People who I didn’t really like then, and would rather not be in a small confined space with whilst sweating like a pig now. Home town problems.
This applies equally to seeing locals from the pub. It’s just a little odd. It’s not that I don’t like seeing people I know in the gym, on the contrary it’s one of the things I loved at my uni gym. It’s awkward. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Final gym issue today comes from the fact that I somehow forgot to take a water bottle. I am an idiot. There’s something about running on a treadmill that just makes you crave water much sooner/more often than when running out in the open. I suspect this is some kind of psychological thing, combined with the dryness of gym air as created by the air con.

These are my issues from today alone. I could go on into a more general line of repeated issues, but I will leave that for another day.

CURSE TINY GYMS.
Grumpy gym toilet selfie sums up my mood for this post.

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Treadmills

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Ahhh treadmills. On the one hand a wonderful, magical invention that let’s us runners work out inside when the weather is bad, or if you are in the gym anyway, or want to do a planned and controlled workout without access to a coach. On the other, PURE TEDIOM. Yes. We have all been there, staring at the mileage/minutes wondering why it is taking so long to reach your target. Why treadmill, why must you be so boring. Today I was happily watching the Big Bang theory on the inbuilt tv of my treadmill in the gym on my post-work visit. Disaster struck, my earphones broke. I was left to run my last 10 minutes of my 4 mile run in silence. And when I say silence I mean the adverts of the local radio station being played and the repetitive sound of the track going round the treadmill over and over. It was not enjoyable, to say the least.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the existence of treadmills. I just wish they were a little more exciting. Nothing, for a runner, can compare to running through different landscapes free as a bird. Running in different environments is far more stimulating, and prevents running becoming dull.

Gyms should really invest in some kind of simulation, like a projection on the wall, so us treadmill users can feel like we are running outside, and allow us to embrace our love for running inside! Might even encourage those people who spend a very forced looking 10 minutes on the treadmill to venture outside and become passionate about running!

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