Thursday, 31 December 2015

December 'Running' Challenge - Days 16 to 31

BOOM - Another December, another streak complete! This month I really have felt like I'm falling apart physically. I couldn't run for most of it (thanks to my foot which is now no longer sore), I pulled a muscle in my chest, we were battered by multiple storms and then came down with man-flu but despite all these obstacles, I still made sure I got out there for at least 30 minutes every day!

I've really loved this challenge as regardless how bad my eating habits have been this month, and despite the umpteen excuses I could have pulled out of the bag, I walked my way through December and loved it! I feel sorry for CJ who'll be really missing our daily walks once I get back out there running but I'll make sure he still get plenty of walks/selfies :) 

I clocked up 64km over the last half of the month, bringing my December total to 128km (mainly walking). I came nowhere near my end of year goal of trying to reach 5000km but I'll cope. That 5000km milestone will be waiting for me to grab in the new year. 

Monday, 28 December 2015

The Fields of Athenry 10K

I'm running three years and this was my third Fields of Athenry. There is some kind of beautiful closure to the running year with this race that I know so many people in Galway love. In 2013, I PB'd (45:09) and closed a fantastic first year of running. Last year, I hit the same time (not a PB) but loved it all the same. This year was different - I hurt my foot last month and hadn't done any running since. I semi-reluctantly turned up in Athenry on the morning of Stephen's Day as I was going to 'test' running on my foot.

Myself and Aisling before the race

Myself and Aisling headed into the registration hall where we met a few people we knew before heading back to the car to ditch the extra layers we had on (it was so cold!). Each year, the Fields of Athenry freebie is a different coloured hat - this year it was bright pink. The start line was a sea of pink heads which was kinda cool. My goal was to take it easy and come in under the hour mark. Aisling said she'd run it with me so we both positioned ourselves between the 55 and 60 minute pacers.

On your marks...

The race started bang on 11am and we took off with the 1000+ others running the 10K loop around Athenry. My foot felt fine as myself and Aisling chatted and the KM markers passed us by. I was conscious of my pacing as I really didn't want to push myself so was happy with the consistent 5:45/km pace we were maintaining.

I've never really paid attention to the crowds at this race before but as I was taking it easy, I had more time to notice everything going on around us. Other people were chatting, some laughing. Runners were encouraging each other on or high-5ing the kids who were standing on the side line. We had known the course was water logged (by passable) at points but that really didn't help when we had to go through two large puddles. Heavy wet feet are not happy feet but still, people laughed and shouted in shock at the ice cold water as they passed through.


We hit 8km at 45 minutes which was interesting as that has been my finish time the previous two years. I still wasn't interested in finishing in a certain time, I was more interested in finishing having run the whole thing. My foot was holding up and I felt good. As we passed the 9km mark at the top of the hill by the GAA pitch coming into Athenry, there was great banter with the other runners. The lady to my right was nearly 6 months pregnant while I said I felt 6 months pregnant after all the Christmas indulgences. Myself and Aisling crossed the finish line together with a race time of 56:43.

BOOM! First race in weeks done!

I'd forgotten how much I love running, a love running shorter races. In the past six months, I've stayed clear of shorter races as I'd been marathon training but really, I love pushing myself for distances shorter than 42km. I have a few races signed up for next year but nothing further than 10k. I'm looking forward to getting back on my feet and pushing myself to get some new PB's!

Friday, 18 December 2015

December 'Running' Challenge - Days 1 to 15

For the past two years I've taken part in Amphibian King's RunStreak - There is only one rule and that is to get at least 30 minutes running in for each of the 31 days of December. This year I joined the Marcothon December Challenge, similar enough rules but it allowed for walking/cycling as well as running. On December 1st, I went out for my first run in two weeks (since the Sixmilebridge Marathon on Nov 15th) and my foot just didn't feel right afterwards. 

Following consultation with myself (sure why would I bother seeing a professional about this), I decided to lay off my food and just take it easy - so for the next week I went for walks instead. My foot is ok in that I can still take part in Bootcamp twice a week but I have been afraid to go back out on it. I really should probably get it checked out. Anyway, here is the update - Days 1 to 15!

So there you have it - 65.25km clocked up (which would have been much higher if I were running). I really miss going out for runs but I think its more important to give myself time to recover. I'm loving having the challenge though as its really motivating me to get out the door every evening despite the temptation of just collapsing on the couch after work. The dog doesn't know what hit him he is loving all the outdoor activity he is getting!

Friday, 4 December 2015

Tips for staying motivated/on track this month...

Apparently today (9:58am) is the time and date people are most likely to throw their healthy eating habits out the window until after the Christmas period [link]. I'm guilty of succumbing to these fleeting thoughts of how amazing it would be to just throw in the towel and really indulge this Christmas but then common sense kicks in and I know it really wouldn't be worth it! My Weight Watchers leader always says: The days you feel like you don't need your weekly class are the days your class needs you. Likewise the days you need your class are also the days your class needs you.

So on Monday I asked the people who know best... you guys. We are all in the same boat - motivation can wane, especially with the weather being so manky and the window of daylight getting tighter. I absolutely loved all the tips so I've put them together and hopefully something might click with you.

Thanks for all the motivation you guys! Anyone got any more tips?