Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Last run of the year!

This morning I went out for my last run of the year! I got up to go for a run yesterday but I decided not to go out when I heard the wind! Determined to fit in another run before the end of the year I got up early and went out for a run today instead.

I didn't have a lot of time as I was meeting my friend for a cup of tea late morning. I decided a short run was better than no run though! I ran for 3km and overall it was good. I walked for a short part of the run after 17 minutes, but it was mostly running. I was full of energy when I got home and I'm so glad I went out! I still find running difficult but I am impressed with my progress in the few months since I started! I struggled to run for 30 seconds at a time when I began and now I'm doing a 5k parkrun most weeks :-) I am hoping to do the Newcastle Parkrun on Saturday :-)

I still cannot believe how much my life has changed in a year! This time a year ago I never dreamed that I'd be a runner, yet here I am..funny how things turn out. I absolutely wouldn't change it for the world. I've found a new hobby, made new friends and have new (running!) goals for 2014! I can't wait to see what the new year will bring for me!

Wishing you all a year that is filled with happiness, love, laughter (and running!)

Saturday, 28 December 2013

South Shields Park Run

When my alarm went off at 7am this morning I was so tempted to turn it off and go back to sleep! I couldn't understand why I had agreed to do another parkrun when I could have stayed in bed where it was nice and warm. I'd agreed to pick my friend up and meet my sister and some other Great North Run Beer Tenters at the parkrun in South Shields so going back to sleep wasn't an option!

Rachael and I arrived in South Shields bright and early (8.20am) and I enjoyed seeing the beautiful sky as the sun was rising! It made getting up so early on a Saturday much more worthwhile :-) Joanne arrived not long after us (I text her to tell her we'd arrived) and she came and sat in my car with us while we waited for everyone else to arrive and the Parkrun to begin!

Pretty sunrise
As more people started to arrive I began to get excited to be running at the coast. I recognised Sarah from the Facebook Group (who suggested we do the South Shields parkrun today - thanks Sarah!). I also saw Kelly so we got out the car to say hello. Andy also arrived and we took some group photos. We knew Dawn and Alex were coming too but they hadn't arrived in time for this photo - they're always fashionably late ;)

Group photo before we began! Thanks Joanne for taking the photo :-)
Joanne and I headed to the back of the runners and waited for the whistle to blow! I set my Garmin and began to run! Just as we started, Dawn and Alex got to the back and went running quickly past us - just on time! :) Joanne and I set off slowly - I'm still not fast and Joanne said she would stay with me. South Shields is Joanne's local run and it was nice to be able to run it with her!

There were lots of puddles and mud and a few more inclines than I was expecting, (I thought maybe I'd got lost and ended up doing cross country ;) but Joanne's persistent encouragement kept me going!  She reminded me of the cup of tea waiting for me at the end of my run which also helped!

The little bit of hill training I did at my last running group session helped with the inclines. The run is currently in reverse for the winter so there were more downhills than up. It was a difficult run and at times I felt like giving up. If it wasn't for Joanne's encouragement I think I might have done as there weren't many volunteers today so I wouldn't have known where I was going and it would have been quite lonely!

The scenery is beautiful and I am glad I decided to get up and run this morning! Joanne told me when we could see the finish and I've never felt so relieved in my life! It still felt like quite a way to go but I was glad I could see the finish line! We were right at the back (Joanne was my very own tail runner - there wasn't one today) so we were last across the finish! The final stretch was the most difficult - running through sand! I didn't think it was ever going to end!

We met up with the others in the club hut and got our bar codes scanned. I came in 86th place (out of 86!) with a time of 39.40! This is quicker than the last Parkrun I did which I wasn't expecting as it was a more difficult run. I think I did better as I walked less (due to Joanne's brilliant encouragement). I am so proud of myself and can't wait for the next one!

After the run we went for a cup of tea!  I also had cake (as a reward for running!) - I'd like to point out that I had already had breakfast and this was my mid-morning snack ;)

We got another group photo and chatted about the morning's run! I had a brilliant morning and am looking forward to running again soon. I still find running difficult (and my left knee has been sore all day) but the sense of achievement I feel is worth all the pain!

Group photo (this time with Dawn and Alex :)

Well done everyone! Lovely location, lovely people and lovely morning :-) hope to see you all again soon!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Christmas presents!

When I woke up this morning Santa had left me a stocking of exciting presents :-) along with the usual sweets and CD I was super excited to find it also had a pink running hat, pink running gloves and an armband for my phone. Thank you santa! (I'm never too old for a stocking!)

When I opened the rest of my presents I was delighted that my friend had bought me a pink running t-shirt (notice the theme...) and my parents bought me a Garmin! I was super excited by this! I didn't ask for one so it was totally unexpected! I can't wait to try it out...maybe tomorrow?!

This time last year I wouldn't have been at all impressed with running presents as I didn't run - can't believe how things turn out! Merry Christmas everyone! Hope Santa was kind to you too :-)

Lucky girl :-)

Sunday, 15 December 2013

My First Park Run!

I can't believe how long it is since I sat down and typed an entry for my blog! I have still been running but I haven't had time to write about it.

Yesterday morning I completed my first Parkrun! I am so proud of myself and I am pleased I took part but I did find it difficult. I've only run 5k a couple of times previously so my aim was just to get to the end!

I picked my friend Rachael up early yesterday morning and drove to Newcastle. I felt a little nervous, partly as it was something new and partly as I knew I had to run 5k!

Once parked, we headed into Exhibition Park ready to run! We started off near the back (as I didn't want to go too fast). I encouraged Rach to go ahead of me as she is a faster runner than me and I didn't want to hold her back.

I still find running pretty difficult and 5k is definitely challenging for me! I started off well and was feeling positive. It started feeling like a struggle and I thought I must be half way so was most disappointed when I saw the 2k sign! At this point I decided to walk as my legs were hurting. I soon started running again though. I slowed to a walk again further along the course but I did do more running than walking overall.

I was very excited to see the 4k sign and know that I only had 1k to go! Though at this point that felt like 1k  too far! I was determined not to give up and knowing that Rachael was at the finish line waiting for me kept me running. Also, I knew I was going out for lunch with my friend Katie and her gorgeous boys (Benjamin and Joshua) which inspired me to get to the finish. Joshua enjoys running and I am going to be his accompanying adult in the mini GNR next year :-)

Joshua and Benjamin in front of my Christmas after a lovely lunch!

As I neared the end, Aidan (from the Great North Run Beer Tent Group) came to check I was ok and ran the final stretch with me.

I was so pleased to cross the finish line and was pleased with my time of 42.06! I found it difficult but a few months ago I would have laughed at anyone who said I would do a parkrun before the end of the year! I look forward to doing another one again soon and hopefully as I continue to improve I will enjoy it a little more. I do love how happy running makes me and the sense of achievement after I've finished though so I'm not planning on giving up! My running niggles are definitely improving and I am recovering much quicker!

Me crossing the finish - thanks to Rachael for taking the photo! :-)

I will be at my running group tomorrow night. The last few sessions have involved some speed work so I look forward to finding out what tomorrow has in store for me!

Monday, 18 November 2013

I ran by the light of the moon..

Tonight I ran by the light of the moon... Well this isn't entirely true as I was in Cramlington so there was also a lot of light from street lamps... But I'm feeling a little poetic and the moon was beautiful tonight!

I went to my running session tonight; If you read my post yesterday you may know that my enthusiasm for running this past week had drastically diminished. However, I took my running kit to work with me this morning to go to the session on my way home as I'm not one for giving up!

Once I finished work I was quite looking forward to going for a run and hoped that wouldn't change once I was running in the dark and cold. I noticed quite early into my run that it was more difficult to breathe than it was last time I went out and it was clear I'd lost a little bit of fitness. I'm still fitter than I was when I started and I am super proud that I ran a whole 5k (3.1 miles) WITHOUT stopping!! My running enthusiasm has returned and I have remembered why I enjoy it so much.

I am not sure if I will get out running this week due to work and a weekend trip to London! I will be be running again next Monday at the running session. I still can't quite believe that two months ago I struggled to run for 30 seconds and tonight I ran for almost 45 minutes without stopping!

Couch potato to 5k is complete! I aim to do a park run as soon as I have an available Saturday as I want to be able to run a 5k with more ease than I did tonight. I still had my usual niggles tonight (numb feet, sore ankle, sore hip) but none of it was unbearable and not as bad as usual. I will make time to do some strength exercises this week as I won't even need to leave the comfort of my lovely warm house for those!

I really enjoyed tonight; there were a couple of moments I was ready to give up and walk but I am so glad I didn't as I can now say I can run 5k! I absolutely feel like a runner now and that's not something I ever thought I'd say.

I love the moon and it was so pretty tonight, making my run more enjoyable! I took a photo of it but the camera on my phone didn't capture the real beauty.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

No more excuses...

Really enjoying my new job! But with a new job comes a new routine and I still haven't quite managed to balance this particularly well with running.

Two weeks ago I went to my running 'group' - (still just me and the coach!) I was surprised to find that I ran for 2.2 miles (33 minutes) before I slowed to a walk. I had to slow down as my left ankle began to hurt but I was super proud that I had managed to run for this length of time. I was also still able to breathe!

I didn't get out running the rest of that week due to work/dark nights (and socialising). I met up with Dawn on the Thursday and we went for food and a drink. It was lovely to catch up with my new friend and we had an enjoyable evening :-)

Mid week drink with Dawn!

 I went out for a little run with my friend Rachael last Sunday. It was just a gentle 1.5 mile as I didn't want to over do it for my running group on Monday. I found this run difficult as my left ankle hurt and so did my right hip. I did run most of it but I walked the last bit home.

My right hip/thigh was painful the rest of the day to the point I struggled to walk. I had a bath with muscle soak in it which eased it a little bit but it was still painful when I got up on Monday. My coach  sent me a message on Monday to say he was poorly and the session was cancelled. I was a little disappointed but also glad I didn't have to run with such a painful leg. I think my right hip is painful due to me over compensating due to my sore left ankle. I've still been trying to foam roll (as my calves still feel tight when I run) but this has also lapsed slightly over the last week as I'm super busy!

 I need to get myself more organised with running as I've lost all enthusiasm at the moment! I was going to go out for a run yesterday but had a couple of drinks too many on Friday night so didn't feel up to it. I went Christmas shopping instead! I really need to stop making excuses and just get running! I'm going to running group after work tomorrow but I am not feeling as enthusiastic as usual. I'm also a little bit worried that running will cause my hip to hurt again as it took 4 days to feel better last week! However, I'm not ready to give up and I'm sure I will enjoy it once I'm there. I know I will be glad I've done it and hopefully my enthusiasm will return!

A little bit of running enthusiasm did return this afternoon when I spent time with my sister and brother in law (my inspiration to run as they are so good!) Also, Craig told me that he came first at the Harriers on Thursday! Super proud little sis :-)

Friday, 1 November 2013

Halloween Running

On Monday night I went along to my running session straight from work. Still the only beginner mad enough to start running at this time of year it's still just me in the beginners running group! I'm really enjoying it and improving more each week! I was so impressed with myself when my coach said I'd run for 11 minutes before stopping! All together I did 3.2 miles in the session and I only slowed to walk a few times for a minute or two at a time so definitely much more running than usual!

Keen to get out for a run again I went out with my mam last night when I got in from work. As I was going to a Halloween party at Rachael's house afterwards, we only went out for a mile and a half. I amazed myself by running for 15 minutes before slowing to a walk! My new job is keeping me busy so I'm not running as much as I'd like, but going out for a mile and a half is better than nothing!

When I got home there was a knock at the door and it was my friend and her two little 'monsters' for a 'Trick or Treat!' I gave them some sweets and told them their costumes were fab. Still in my running clothes, exhausted, they might have thought I was dressed for Halloween too! Haha!

Me, before I went out for my run (didn't wear the hair band running!)

My calves are still feeling tight when I run and my feet still get numb. My coach thinks that the tingling in my feet may be linked to my tight calves so I am foam rolling every night (it hurts but I'm persevering!)

I've ordered myself a digital watch to help me time myself better when I'm out running, as using my phone hasn't been ideal. Hoping to go swimming tomorrow, and will be running at my 'group' again on Monday.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Blaydon XC

Yesterday afternoon Dawn text me and asked if I wanted to go and spectate at Blaydon Cross Country. Enjoying my new found love of running and loving last minute plans, half an hour later she picked me up and we headed to Blaydon!

Once we got the car parked we arrived just after the men' s heats started and I was looking forward to cheering everyone on, particularly my brother-in-law Craig! Joanne told us she was standing next to the blue tent. Dawn and I thought it would be easy to find her but it turned out that most of the tents were blue! A quick phone call and navigating our way under tape without running in front of any of the runners, we found our way to the tent Joanne and Toni were at :-)

Well done Craig!

Joanne and Craig

We cheered everyone as they passed us and it wasn't long before we saw Craig. We took photos of some fellow beer tenters as they passed also. We then headed over to the finish line to see the runners as they reached the end! Everyone did really well and it was great to be there to support my fab bro-in-law!

After the race we got some photos with some other members of the Great North Run Beer Tent Group :-) then some of us headed to the metro centre for some food! Another fab day involving running (one of these days it will be me competing haha - though not cross country!) how my weekends have changed hehe!

Running with Rachael!

Yesterday morning my friend Rachael and I went out for a run. Rach completed the GNR last month and I'm super proud of her. Yesterday was the first time we went out running together and I really enjoyed it.

Before our run!
It was a lovely day and Rach was super supportive when I was struggling. I hadn't been out for a week and I felt it. We ran slowly and completed 2.45 miles in total. I ran slightly further without slowing down to a walk but then didn't run for such long durations as I kept getting cramp in my calves. I bought a foam roller last week but haven't been using it much! Definitely think I need to get into a routine.

Rachael ran all the way and I kept walking in between (same pace as running) and it was nice to have some company as I ran. I do think I talked too much and struggled to keep my pace as slow as I'm used to and therefore think I overdid it a bit :/

When we got back to my house we had a delicious snack of Nutella on toast and strawberry  milkshake (and felt like children again! :)

My thigh and hip are hurting today as I don't think I stretched enough when I got back yesterday (too busy chattering and thinking about Nutella!) Rachael was really supportive and I am glad we went together. We will be doing it again soon! :)

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Gibside Fruit Bowl

On Sunday I went to Gibside with Joanne, Craig and Toni to support the Gibside Fruit Bowl. I'm a National Trust member but haven't been to Gibside previously so I was looking forward to it.

We got there nice and early and met up with some of the Beer Tenters, which made a good photo opportunity!

Once the race started we cheered the runners on and took some photos. Once they ran past us (the first time) we took the opportunity to take in the scenery and explore. It was quite a nice day for October and we enjoyed walking around while waiting for the runners to pass again. Toni had lots of fun running along (in her wellies) and seeing how long it took her to run between trees! I raced her, but even in her wellies, she beat me!

We watched the runners finish the race and then headed to the cafe for a nice cup of tea with the beer tenters. We had a lovely morning and it was great to support the runners. I haven't been out running much at all this week as I've started a new job and am settling into a new routine. I am going out for a run with my friend Rachael on Saturday morning and I am really looking forward to getting back out!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Moving forward!

I didn't run as much as I would have liked last week as I went to Birmingham (to find out why click here!) so I was happy to be going back to my running 'group' on Monday. It's not much of a group as I'm still the only one there but I really enjoyed it!

I would have thought I'd have felt uncomfortable being the only one going but it means that I am getting really good coaching and the session is tailored to me. I ran for 6 minutes at a time on Monday (walking in between) which is the most I've done so far! In fact I didn't even think I could run for 6 minutes yet! Just goes to show what you can do with the correct support. All together in the session on Monday I ran 3.1 miles (a 5k!) with a little bit walking in between! Words cannot describe how proud this session made me feel!

I had my new trainers on (for the first time) and although my feet did get slightly numb towards the end of the session I think they might be better than the other ones!

This morning I got up with the intention of going for a run but I really couldn't be bothered! I decided that giving up wasn't an option so I got my running gear on and went out!

After the success of Mondays session I didn't know which week of the podcast I should listen to so I decided to go out without my iPod. I ran until I got tired then walked. I was impressed to see that I managed to run for 6 minutes again (and did so a number of times!)

I really enjoyed my run. The other day I didn't like running on my own, but today that was just what I needed! I enjoyed not having my iPod as I was able to listen to the tweeting birds and monitor my own breathing better. There were quite a few people out walking their dogs when I was out this morning. I went for a run round the lake and people said morning and smiled (I always love how friendly people are when round the lake!) One older man said hello the first time I seen him, then when I passed him again (we were going opposite directions round the lake) he smiled at me "keep going!" This was at a time I was almost ready to give up running and walk again, but his supportive words gave me the motivation I needed to keep going a little longer! :) I was so proud of myself once I got home and I'm really glad I went out. It was only a 2.1 mile route but I ran most of it so I'm happy! Looking forward to going out again in a couple of days!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A weekend of running good fun!

On Saturday morning I went out for a run with my mam and we followed the podcast (my iPod worked fine, unlike Tuesday! So that was good).

We completed two miles (combination of running and walking) and I really enjoyed it! I don't mind running on my own but I much prefer running with someone. I tend to go too fast when on my own then can't do as much. When I'm with someone I like to keep talking (who'd have thought I like to talk!! Haha) so I can't go so fast if I want to still be able to breathe!

Joanne, Craig and the children came for lunch and we had more running related conversations! What did we talk about before running?! Haha. After they left I got ready for an exciting night out! On Saturday evening I met up with some of the beer tenters for a social gathering. Dawn and I arrived together and we ordered cocktails from happy hour whilst waiting for the others to arrive. We had a brilliant night, chatting, laughing and dancing! Some people were driving as they had the Newcastle Stampede the next day, but it was fab that they still came out! We all had a lovely evening and it was nice to meet some more new faces.

Some of the group that were out - me, Dawn, Sarah and Adelle
Dawn and I decided to go and be a two woman photography/cheerleading squad at the Stampede on  Sunday! We took lots of photos and then met up in the Border Minstrel after for a drink. Dawn and I opted for Tea as we were so cold from cheering everyone on! It was a great day, though I still have no desire to do it next year! Well done to everyone who completed it! We then went for lunch in Gosforth and talked more about running :-)

Kelly, Kelly and Alex!
Dawn and I went to the metro centre to take my trainers back as my feet get numb after running a couple of miles. After trying nearly every pair of trainers in the shop I finally came out with a new pair! Hopefully these will be better (but they did say it could be because I am new to running, so I guess I better stick at it!) :)

All in all a fabulous running themed weekend! Enjoyed every second :)

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

What a difference a month makes!

This morning I went for another run, with the intention that I would be listening to week 3 of the NHS podcast again. However, a few minutes into my run my iPod started shuffling itself (despite being locked) so I decided to turn it off and just 'go with the flow'.

I was still walk/jogging as with previous runs but I found it really difficult today. I think this was partly due to the lack of guidance/other people to motivate me, and partly due to the sun being so bright and so low in the sky. Normally I wouldn't complain at all that the sun is shining brightly, but it doesn't make for pleasant running conditions (not when it's so low anyway!)

Also, my legs started hurting today and I couldn't feel my toes on either of my feet by the end. I did about two miles (run keeper stopped before I got home! Grr) and normally my feet are fine. I think my trainers might be too tight across the top of my feet (either that or I've started running differently). I made sure I didn't tie my laces so tight today after my sore toes on Sunday, but this doesn't seem to have helped.

Today was definitely a difficult run, but I don't regret it. In fact, I'm still rather proud of myself for getting up and going out! Making the most of morning runs before I start my new job (then I will be running in the dark!)

Off to Birmingham tomorrow for a conference on Thursday (Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists) and have a busy day on Friday, so unlikely to get out running again until Saturday! I can't believe how much this bothers me haha. As little as 4 weeks ago I still hadn't even been for a run! What a difference a month makes!

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Sunny Sunday running!

This afternoon I went for a run at the beach with my sister (Joanne), brother-in-law (Craig) and some of the lovely people we met on the Great North Run Beer Tent Group on Facebook. We had a lovely time!

I lost my phone on Friday and have been feeling pretty fed up since. I almost didn't want to go out this afternoon but decided the fresh air and nice company would do me good! I am so pleased I made myself go as I am so proud of my achievement today!
GNR Beer Tenters :) (thanks to Aidan for photo)

Before the run

We started off running along the beach, but as the tide was on its way back in, the sand wasn't firm enough so it wasn't long before we had a group vote and ran on the path! I was glad, as running on the sand was hurting my ankle (I sprained it back in March), and it doesn't hurt when I run normally.

Joanne stayed with me as I was slower than everyone else since I'm a newbie runner! I definitely did more running today than I normally do! (My big sister is a mean personal trainer! Haha). The weather was lovely although perhaps slightly too hot for running!

After 1 and a half miles we stopped briefly to discuss the rest of the route. Kelly, Joanne and I all said we would head back the way we came and everyone else went further along before looping back round to join us. I was almost ready to give up a number of times but Joanne and Kelly were so supportive and encouraging! Also I didn't want everyone else to catch up since they'd gone further than us (they still did though! Haha). It definitely made me push myself further than I usually do as the atmosphere with being out with other people was great!

Towards the end of the run, I couldn't feel my toes in my right foot (not sure why as this hasn't happened before) and my calves were quite sore, but I'm ok again now!

Once we all got back we went to the pub for a cold drink and a chat, which I really enjoyed! It was lovely chatting to everyone :)

I then spent the rest of the afternoon and evening with my family (and had lots of running resulted conversations with Joanne and Craig!)

I've had such a lovely day today and it made me realise that although it's annoying and inconvenient that I lost my phone, a day like today is priceless! This afternoons run really made me feel better (once I got my breath back!)

I'm so glad I didn't give up (and that other people wouldn't let me!) and I'm super proud I kept moving for 48 minutes! (my personal best!)

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Autumn Jog

First post of the month. First jog of the month!

This morning I decided to go out for a jog to start my day. After my success on Monday evening I decided to skip week 2 of the podcast as week 3 was closer to what I did at running group on Monday (I know you aren't supposed to skip weeks but I want to challenge myself a little and didn't want to do less than the last time).

After the warm up walk I had to jog for 90 seconds, which felt like it was over no sooner than I'd started. That made me feel good, as last week I struggled with 60 seconds!! After my next walk I had to jog for 3 minutes. I struggled slightly with this but pushed on through, after the walk the cycle repeated. The second 3 minute jog was very hard! Partly as I was getting tired and partly as I was running into the wind. Part of me wanted to give up and walk at 2 minutes (and let's face it who would have known if I did?!) but I kept going until the lady on the podcast told me I could walk again. I was so proud of myself for not giving up! In total I walked/jogged 2.27 miles (as run keeper tells me). I was pleased with this and felt energised for the rest of the morning. I still can't believe that I am enjoying jogging so much! To think that just a few weeks ago I would have laughed if you'd told me that I would get up and go out for a run!  This just goes to show that Henry Ford was indeed right.. "If you think you can or you think you can't, you're right" - I used to say "I can't run" which is exactly why I didn't. Now that I have decided I can run, I am proving to myself that is true! (And enjoying it in the process!)

I enjoyed being out in the autumn air this morning. The leaves are falling from the trees as the season changes. I love the autumn colours so I took a photo of some fallen leaves.

Also, following my mam's suggestion I used a safety pin to attach my front door key to my clothes and found this to be rather successful! Saves me buying anything fancy for now haha (though I am buying running things quite often - including a health and fitness magazine from asda last night - think I'm going a little mad hehe!)

Monday, 30 September 2013

Upping my game!

I completed week one of the Couch Potato to 5k podcast on Saturday (with a hangover...never ever again!!) I'm super proud that I made the effort to go out when I'd been feeling so out of sorts. At one time I would have used that as an excuse not to do anything active but I was determined to go out as planned (it was just a little later - afternoon rather than morning!)

I started at a beginners running group in Cramlington tonight and I really enjoyed it. It was the first beginners session and I was the only one there this evening so I had one to one tuition which was fab. I walked/jogged 2.7 miles which is the furthest I've been - I even jogged for a full 3 minutes! I definitely worked harder tonight than I do when listening to the podcast on my own but I feel better for it. I also learned lots of useful tips about my running technique :) I've been bursting with energy since I got home and am looking forward to next week! (Hopefully some more people will have heard about it by then so it will be more of a group! Www.dynamicrunningfitness.com)

 Here's a picture of me all ready to go out to the running group earlier this evening, equipped with new clothes! ( I looked almost as happy when I'd finished too!)

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Running bug!

I've been poorly with a cold all week but am slowly on the mend :) This morning I went shopping to look for a hat to run in - I get head colds pretty easily in cold weather and wouldn't dream of going out on a cold day without a hat. Therefore I needed to get something to keep my head warm when I run. I didn't like the look of any of the woolly hats and was worried they'd make me too hot. Then I spotted a piece of 'multifunctional headwear' (Nevica Skuff) - it was pink and purple (and very me!) so I decided to buy it.

I went out for another jog earlier and listened to the couch potato to 5k podcast again. I almost didn't go out as I needed a nap this afternoon (due to feeling poorly) but I'm glad I made myself as I feel better for having done so! There was a time when I'd use any excuse to avoid exercise - and today I wouldn't let my cold stop me! I love the new me :-)

My new headwear kept me nice and warm and was thin enough to not feel like I was wearing a hat. It didn't look very good - but who said running was sexy eh? Lol

I did 2.11 miles tonight and really enjoyed it (I found some of the running a little bit difficult as I didn't have as much energy as I thought) but felt better for having gone out. I am looking forward to going out again on Saturday as I think I've definitely caught the running bug!

I've also signed up for a running group in Cramlington which starts on Monday and I'm really looking forward t it! :-) I've almost completed my first week of the podcast! Just one more run to go and I can move onto week two :-) I'll be fitter in no time!

Monday, 23 September 2013

No More Couch Potato!

This morning when I went into the office my colleague said she'd seen my new blog and asked if I had heard of the Couch Potato to 5K podcast. I hadn't. So when I got home I downloaded it to and was keen to try it out with my brand new trainers.

I've felt a bit poorly today (think its hay fever!) and when it came to feeling motivated to go out for a jog, I didn't feel motivated at all. I decided to go out and see how I felt as I didn't want to sit in the house feeling sorry for myself!

I'm so glad I decided to go out as it made me feel energised and I am proud of myself for being out for 30 minutes. Last weeks attempt (with no real idea of what I was doing) was 15 minutes.

I enjoyed listening to the podcast. After my 5 minute warm up walk, the first minute of jogging felt like it was never going to end! Surprisingly the jogging got easier rather than more difficult, though I was glad to hear the podcast lady say that I had completed my final minute of jogging and could do my cool down walk!

I was impressed with my new trainers, so glad I got properly fitted. I am looking forward to getting out again soon! The music on the podcast kept me motivated too and run keeper told me I did 1.94 miles (much better than the half a mile I did last week!) I definitely feel like I had a workout this evening and felt energised after.

I would never have described myself as a couch potato as I am not a lazy person, however I know that I do (did!) not fit enough exercise into my life. I am pretty excited and proud of myself that I am already doing so well. No more couch potato!

Here's a photo from my jog tonight (on the way home)! Such a beautiful sky. It made me feel so happy to have chosen to go out and get some exercise and fresh air, and take in the beauty of the world!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Happy Feet!

This morning, after breakfast my mam and I decided to go for a walk as it was nice and sunny. I didn't want to jog/walk today, as I reported yesterday my trainers aren't comfortable, but I knew that I would be fine just walking. We went on a brisk walk round the local lake and the weather was lovely. We walked two miles in total and really enjoyed it. I did manage to sting my hand on a nettle though (talking more than concentrating on how close I was to the foliage!) but it hasn't deterred me!

This afternoon after lunch we went to the metro centre and I got properly fitted for trainers (and insoles) so I feel like a proper runner now! The lady in the shop said it was really sensible to get fitted with trainers before I properly start my training as there's less chance of injury :-) thank you to everyone who highlighted the importance of this to me. I want my feet to be happy! :)

I can't wait to get out for my next jog to try them out! I was hoping for pink trainers (as its the Giving Voice and NETA colour) but I do like my blue trainers very much!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Overcoming Obstacles...

I went out for another short walk/jog yesterday morning and really enjoyed it (though the sun was a bit low in the sky, making it difficult to see where I was going, so not quite as enjoyable as my first walk/jog!) Also, there was no one at home so I had to take my house keys with me which wasn't very easy as I didn't have a pocket (not well thought out!)

When I got home, I had a very productive day as I was feeling so energised and enthused! Definitely think this is something I should have done years ago, but better late than never!

Few teething troubles and things I need to consider for proper training (things I need to invest in soon):

* arm band for my phone
* new trainers - the ones I have aren't as comfortable as I thought!

*also need to decide what to do about keys?!

Thanks to everyone on the Great North Run Beer Tent Group for all your help and tips :-)

I am still feeling good about my new adventure and looking forward to starting properly. I shared a bottle of wine with my friend Rach last night to celebrate her first GNR success :) made me more excited and I have a running buddy! (Though it will be a while before I am as good as she is!!)

We went to The Alnwick Garden together today (and did lots of walking:-) and here's a photo of me 'running!' Fun times :-)

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Everybody starts somewhere

Hi. I'm (Jolly) Julie and this is my new blog!

I've been a spectator at the Great North Run a number of times now (supporting my brother-in-law) and always really enjoy it. The last three years (including this year) I have been on the sidelines handing out oranges and jelly babies to the inspirational runners. I used to think I would like to run it, then realised this involved running 13.1 miles so never did anything about it and discovered my forte was handing out jelly babies! (Check out my other blog Julie Giving Voice to find out more)

I'm a speech and language therapist and have been fundraising for the North East Trust for Aphasia (NETA) since being a student at Newcastle University. I've been working with NETA as an assistant for the last 5 months and it has been an absolute pleasure getting to know the members. Seeing them overcome adversity with such a positive attitude has been inspiring me to continue fundraising for this fantastic charity which helps people with communication difficulties following a stroke or other brain injury. 

My sister (Joanne)  and brother-in-law (Craig) both ran for NETA this year and it was my sisters first time at the Great North Run. Joanne (the wonderful members of NETA, my good friend Rachael, and all the fantastic runners) inspired me to run next year! 

Running is not something I have ever done before, and I used to do everything possible to avoid PE at school!! So deciding to run, is something very new to me!

I went out tonight for a half mile jog/walk as a start to my training and I really enjoyed it, can't wait to continue! I emailed NETA yesterday to be on their mailing list about running on their team.

I am a determined person and when I set my mind to something I always work hard to try and make it possible. I am very excited about my new jogging (running?!) adventure and after all everybody starts somewhere.