Tag Archives: cardiff parkrun

Berlin Marathon Training Week 9

Warning, this is just going to feature me moaning about being injured again, sorry! My new knee pain that flared up last week has continued throughout this week. The weirdest thing is that I barely notice it when I’m walking or doing other workouts, but it comes on about 2 miles into a run, and builds until I can run no longer.

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Mon: Rest 3.3 mile Walk + Yoga
Tues: 2.7 mile Walk + TFBR Upper Body Weights + Belly Shred
Weds: 4 mile Run + TFBR Leg Weights
Thurs: TFBR Upper Body Weights + Belly Shred
Fri: 6 mile Run
Sat: 8 mile Run + 2 mile Hobble + Yoga
Sun: 3.3 mile Walk + TFBR Plyo Blaze + Belly Shred

I took a few days off running at the beginning of the week after the horror of last week’s long run. On Weds I went out for a 4 mile run, I could feel the knee start to niggle about 2 miles in, so I called it a day at 4. It was so hot as I had gone out around midday that I had to stop at Whole foods on the way back for a coconut water ice lolly!


We went to Le Pain on Wednesday evening and had a lovely meal, I had a meal sized salad 😀 featuring lentils, fennel and chickpeas and finished with the coconut milk chia pudding which was delicious. Although expensive, Le Pain is definitely one of my favourite food spots in London, there is so much great Vegan food on offer, and Nick can get his meat fix too!


Friday’s run was the best I’ve had in ages (up until about 5 miles). I felt great, my legs felt fresh, and my knee was barely bothering me, until it gradually made an appearance and the last mile was pretty painful. I was so hungry by this last mile that I had to stop at the farmers market and buy some plums, which I demolished on the way home!

I was not overly happy about having to attempt my long run on Saturday (due to the hurricane forecast on Sun) as I’m trying not to run back to back days right now. I think from the outset I knew that it wasn’t going to go well, but I was trying to stay positive. I’d run less than a mile when I could feel the knee pain building, and by the time I’d got to Cardiff parkrun at 3.5 miles things weren’t looking good.

I stopped for a few minutes before parkun by which point my knee had totally seized up, I couldn’t bend it at all. After some stretching it felt much better, so I edgily headed off on a very gentle jog round parkrun. Unfortunately 1.5 miles in, my knee completely gave way (apologies for anyone who witnessed the cursing!) and I had to have a little stop and stretch, this then happened again and to be honest I probably should have stopped at either of those points but I carried on to hobble home about 8 minutes outside my pb. Not ideal.

I jogged back for about a mile post parkrun which was about all my leg could handle, as I then couldn’t bend it and could barely walk, although it had eased up by the time I hobbled home. 8 miles at this point in marathon training is just nowhere near good enough, I wouldn’t mind so much about the distance if I was running it comfortably, but I’m not, I’m in pain, and every step is a battle, which makes me wonder if I should bother trying to run at all before Berlin?!

I’m so aware and conscious of the injury now, and almost waiting for it to flare up, which I don’t think is a very good thing. I just don’t know how I can distract myself to not be aware of it before the pain comes on. I know pain is not a good sign, and I shouldn’t keep pushing through it, but I worry how I’m going to get round Berlin if I don’t get any kind of decent mileage in. Perhaps I would be better to just rest it, and actually be able to get round the race, regardless of running fitness. I’m not sure, I’ll probably regret whatever I decided to do.

Away from running, I started Phase 3 of the Fat Burn Revolution, the workouts have been shorter which is great, although they’ve been seriously tough! Incidentally I don’t feel any pain in my knee when I do these workouts, which I just find bizarre.


I guess I need to decide whether to rest the legs completely again or carry on trying to run. My mileage is so low right now that it wouldn’t make much difference if I didn’t run at all anyway. I still have a little bit of time, but that is quickly ebbing away, and I don’t want to be still dealing with this a week or so before the race. I just got new trainers, switching from the Asics GT-2000 to the Gel Kayano so we’ll see if that makes any difference once I try them out! Fingers crossed!

Ultra Training Week 15

So somehow it’s less than 5 weeks until ultra day- eek! I also found out this week that it is on May 24th not the 25th as I originally thought, which means my parents who were going to come to cheer on the day, now can’t come as they booked to go to Chelsea flower show for the 24th-never mind! Good job I realised, can’t imagine how disappointed I would be to miss it ha!

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This week I wanted to get in a really strong mileage week after a lighter week following the Manchester marathon, and it’s gone pretty well:

Mon: Upper Body Weights + 5 mile Walk
Tues: 4 mile Interval Run + 2 mile Walk
Weds: 6 mile Run + Lower Body Weights + 2 mile Walk
Thurs: 12 mile Run
Fri: 3 mile Walk + Hiit Circuit Training
Sat: Parkrun + 2.5 mile Run home + 5 mile Walk
Sun: 20 mile Run

I wanted to start doing some more strength training now I feel almost 100% healthy after the injury. I haven’t had any niggles for the last 3 weeks or so, and I continue to do my stretch/strengthening exercises for 40 mins everyday as maintenance, I really don’t want the issue to flare up again! I restarted Julia Buckley’s Fat Burn Revolution, which I had just started when I got injured last time. I’ve really missed weights, I used to lift 4-5 times a week when I had gym access in Dublin and I really miss that, and think it’s part of the reason why I got injured in the first place.


I reintroduced some speed work for the first time this week as well. After the injury I just wanted to get miles in, and didn’t want to push the body too hard, which was a shame as before the injury I was really hitting some good paces for me on my speed sessions. I did an interval run earlier in the week, and had a blast at Parkrun in Cardiff on Saturday as I really wanted to test the body. I decided to start comfortably and try and increase the pace each mile, which I did, so much so, that by the time I finished I felt really unwell and had to sit in a Tesco cubicle for 5 minutes as I felt really sick. I finally recovered and jogged the 2.5 miles home for a cooldown.

I had a pretty solid midweek long distance run, it was the first time I’ve been over 10 miles since the marathon, and my legs were really tired from the start so that was good practice to run on them. It was also extremely hot, I’m not good in the heat so I wanted to get some practice at getting my body used to running in it, not easy when the weather is so changeable right now.

I had an awesome run today, I set out aiming for 20 miles minimum, and the miles ticked by as I tried to catch up on marathon talk podcasts. I ran pretty much around the entirety of Cardiff, checking out all my old running haunts, and all the sights! It was not warm from the start, but when I got to the Bay it was even worse, the headwind was savage, and it was so cold and windy on the barrage that I couldn’t feel my fingers or squeeze my gel!

I actually felt pretty solid all the way through, I started off slowly, and had a problem with my shin/foot for the first 3 miles, to the point where I was seriously considering stopping, thankfully it went away shortly after and I felt OK for the rest of the run. Unlike in Manchester where I felt like I couldn’t continue after about 18 miles, I felt really strong here and felt like I could have continued for longer- which I would have done had I not needed to stop off home for a toilet break and decided to call it a day at 20 miles.

I really needed that run both physically and mentally, it’s my longest training run this year- having done 18 pre injury, the 20 mile race in Feb after which I got injured and of course the Manchester marathon where I had a bit of a nightmare. I have the Milton Keynes marathon in 2 weeks and I just needed that little boost to make me believe I can go the distance and restore a bit of  the confidence that Manchester had dented.


I’ve spent the rest of the day cuddling with Timmy who isn’t our cat but practically lives in our house, and begun to put a dent in the Easter chocolate.


Going to aim for another solid mileage week this week, probably drop it a little from this week, and hopefully get some more speed-work in too.

2013 Recap

Well 2013 was quite a year: Lovely trips, great races, moving to London. The year has been a whirlwind, and there have been plenty of high points.

Beetroot Juice

Health wise the year has been up and down. I started the year in January with a juice reboot- I felt absolutely great throughout, with loads of energy to fuel my workouts- although I did manage to burn out the motor on my juicer half way through the week! In May I started the Conscious Cleanse to try and get to the bottom of a myriad of health issues I was having but it didn’t seem to have any impact. I did another juice week in July to try and get myself back to health following a few months of feeling under the weather, and it made a huge difference. I really feel like I’ve found a nice balance over the last couple of weeks and that I am in a good place right now. I’m really enjoying cooking and creating new snack bars and energy balls to fuel my runs.


We had lots of lovely short breaks throughout the year including Cork and Galway, where we did some great day trips to Blarney castle, the Cliffs of Moher and the beautiful Connemara region. We also did a day trip to Belfast and the Giants Causeway which was stunning. We had a week in Gran Canaria in June which was a lovely relaxing holiday, I didn’t even run for the whole trip. We had a lovely weekend in Brighton in December and I can’t wait to visit again.


We had a few big celebrations this year as I hit 25 in March and in November we celebrated our 10th year together, we had a lovely meal at The Gate in Islington and he treated me to a Vitamix, which was an awesome surprise!

Home gym

I started the year with Tina’s Best Body Bootcamp to mix up my fitness routine. I really enjoyed the workouts the adaptability of the program. In March I started doing the Live Fit program and lifting heavy weights again, I repeated it through the year. I changed my routine after the move to London as we are now gym-less and I refuse to pay 89 quid a month for the Virgin Active across the road. I started doing more at home workouts like Blogilates. I also started Insanity in November, and am now onto month 2, it’s a tough program but I am seeing a huge difference.

Running wise, I didn’t really get going with racing until June which saw my first race of the year, the Flora Women’s Mini Marathon, it wasn’t a great race for me, I almost had to stop and walk due to the heat but I did get a PB of 56.30. Being part of a field of 40,000 women was pretty inspiring.


I had a great race in August at the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Dublin where I ran a new PB of 2.02.37 despite forgetting my Garmin and only training for 4 weeks due to illness. It was definitely my favourite medal of the year. I also went to my first Parkrun. I think I did 7 over the last few months in Cardiff, Dublin and London, scoring a PB for the year of 25.27. I ran the Cardiff Half for the second time in October, finally dipping under the 2 hour mark, for a PB of 1.59.09 on a roasting hot day.

In October we bid farewell to Dublin, our home for the last 18 months and moved to London. We feel very settled in our new home and area. I’ve been blogging a lot more regularly as I am currently on the job hunt. I had a few positive interviews before Christmas so hopefully something will turn up in the new year. I am also hoping to start a nutritional therapy course over the next few months.


November came with the good news that I had got into Berlin marathon for next year, can’t wait to revisit the city. I met lots of lovely new blogging/running friends, attended the fantastic Write This Run conference. I also scored a new 10k PB of 55.30 at the Running Show on a tough undulating course after less than ideal preparation! I did the Cafod Nativity Run in December which was a tough race but great fun with the girls from Team Naturally Run.


I had a lovely chilled Christmas with the family, plenty of vegan treats but not going overboard, has left me feeling great rather than sluggish. I’ve started to feel back in the groove with my running and my base building for next year. I’m also feeling in really good health right now, better than I’ve felt in a long time.


2013 has had it’s ups and downs, but I certainly feel like I’m ending it in a good frame of mind and ready to rock 2014.

Festive Fitness

Christmas time is my absolute favourite time of the year to run, except when it’s snowing/icy/windy/rainy!! I love the bright crisp mornings, being able to run with my brother, running in new places, and the friendly atmosphere out on the pavements/trails.IMG_0835

This week was a heavy training one as I got in my last week of base building before I start proper ultra training on the 6th Jan. On Monday I did Insanity Plyometric Circuit, I couldn’t do this last week thanks to awful cramps, so I fit it in this week, which marks the last workout of the first month- I’ll have a full recap on that coming soon.

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On Christmas Eve I went for a gentle 4 mile recovery jog and did Insanity Core Cardio and Balance. The run actually took me past last years running mileage of 826 miles. This is an Insanity “recovery” week, which means I have to do the same workout for 6 days! It’s not as high intensity as the month one workouts, but I was still in a pool of sweat come the end of the workout! There is a really tough hip flexor and shoulder burner section at the end, which is killer! I haven’t done as much walking as usual over the festive period but I did have a nice walk with Nick’s dog Lola in the afternoon.


Christmas Day started with Cardiff Parkrun. It was perfect weather conditions and I had a really good run, there was over 300 people there as well, which was such a great turn out. My brother bombed off and finished in just over 23 mins so I couldn’t stay with him. I pushed really hard as I was trying to get close to my sub 25 min goal. I finished at 25.38, 13 secs off my PB, but an official Parkrun PB as I forgot my barcode when I set my PB last time! I was pretty pleased with the time, especially as it was about 40 seconds quicker than last Saturday! We slowly jogged the rest of the 3 miles home before opening our presents! After Christmas lunch I had a nice brisk walk with the family and I wrapped up the evening with Insanity Core Cardio and Balance once again.


I had a beautiful run on Boxing day, it was a stunning crisp morning, and I headed down to Roath Park which was packed with runners/walkers/dog walkers. I did 8 miles including 3 miles of intervals in the middle 1.30 mins fast, 2 mins slow recovery. I did Insanity Core Cardio and Balance again, despite repeating the same workout for so many days, I actually really enjoyed it.

Friday I got up early and got in Insanity Core Cardio and Balance before heading to Cornwall to spend a few days with family there. I did some hip opening yoga in the evening, something I’ve been neglecting of late. Goal for 2014!


Saturday I headed out for my long run in Cornwall wanting to get in 14-16 miles, I only know the local area a little bit so I set off on a section I did know before heading into unknown territory. I did most of the run on the coastal path, which was off-road, and I guess my first ever proper trail run! It felt wonderfully freeing rather than road running. The route I ran was seriously hilly, and I actually had to walk up two hills as they were just too steep to run up. I think I only ran 2 miles under 11 minute pace, which is pretty slow for my long ones, but I’m not used to be being off-road, or running such an undulating route. My body felt knackered, and my legs had had it, so I stopped after 14 miles. I did Insanity Core Cardio and Balance in the evening, and the stretching segments felt really good my battered body!

Yesterday I headed out with my brother for 4 very slow recovery miles. My legs were heavy and tired, and need a running rest day now! I did Insanity afterwards the last Core Cardio and Balance one, I thought repeating the same workout for 6 days would be dire, but actually it hasn’t been so bad.


So that was my Festive fitness period, running/insanity repeat. I actually didn’t take a full rest day this week as I wanted to catch up on the Insanity workout I missed the week before, so I am craving a rest day now!

That was another 36 mile week, so I’m pretty much at the point where the base is built. I am taking a set back week now, dropping to 4 runs, no speed work and dropping mileage before I pick it up when my training plan starts on the 6th Jan. I am also starting Insanity month 2 today, which I am slightly dreading, as it sounds terrifying! Wish me luck!

14 miles for 2013

Despite telling myself that I was going to be taking an easier training week, I actually pushed it quite hard and came away with some really good workouts. I started to feel much better and back in the groove after illness.

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I’m increasing to 5 runs a week which I did earlier in the year when training for both half marathons and I found it worked quite well for me. I’m going to try and stick to a Tue/Wed/Thur, Sat/Sun split for runs, so use Monday as a running rest day to recover after the long one as the distances increase further.

Last Monday I carried on getting back into Insanity workouts after a week off with illness. I did Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs, the double day is so tough even though the abs video is only about 15 minutes long. I guess I better get used to this length of workout for the second half of the program!

I’ve decided to try and incorporate some speed work into my runs again, it mixes things up and keeps the runs interesting as well. Tuesday was a 7 mile run with 3 tempo miles in the middle (9.38, 9.06, 9.13). I was pretty pleased to be able to hold that pace for a training run as I really haven’t done any speed work of note since September. I also did Insanity Cardio Power and Resistance. I feel like the week off the program made me forget how tough it is- it feels like I am starting over!

Wednesday I had a nice gentle 4 mile recovery jog. Weirdly my splits for miles 1,2, and 4 were exactly the same- I could not do that again if I tried! I then did Insanity Plyometric Cardio, the second half of it totally destroyed me.

On Thursday I went out for an interval session: 5 miles with 3 miles of intervals in the middle alternating 1 min fast with 2 mins slow recovery. I also did Insanity Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs for the final time, it’s quite nice to actually be done with some of the workouts, although I think I’ll probably miss them next month when the new ones are so much harder!


Friday was a complete day of rest, although not so restful. I spent the entire day running around like a madwoman, cleaning the house from top to bottom, doing other chores, doing food prep for Christmas and packing to travel home to Cardiff.


On Saturday I headed off to Cardiff Parkrun, I absolutely love to go whenever I visit home, such a great atmosphere and a nice flat course. My official time was 26.15, so about the same as I ran in November. I’m not sure I’m going to hit my goal of sub-25 this year, I was so close with my 25.25 earlier in the year, and I might have to make it next years goal instead. I’ll give it another few shots though with some festive Parkrun’s on the agenda. I tried to do Insanity afterwards, but I started suffering with the most horrendous PMS cramps and nausea related to it so I just had to basically do nothing all day other than sit with a hot water bottle and writhe around in pain. Not fun.

After a horrible day on Saturday I wasn’t sure how I would feel for my long run yesterday. I didn’t feel outstanding, but went for it anyway. I was up and out early and for the first 30 minutes it was actually nice and bright, then it just started hailing out of nowhere and the rain lashed down for 10 minutes. I only had one other 10 minute spell like that later in the run otherwise it was fine and dry. I did get drenched and got pretty cold from the rainy spells though.

I didn’t feel amazing through the run, with minor cramps and a dodgy feeling in my tummy, but I just managed to get it done. I couldn’t take on much fuel or water as I didn’t want to upset my stomach, so I just slowly took on a Vega gel around miles 9.5-12. I ran 14 miles in 2.28 and was really pleased with the run, particularly as my splits for the last 3 miles were the fastest- I probably just wanted to get home!

Later I realised that the run was my longest run of the year, as I’ve just been training for half’s I hadn’t gone over the 13 mile point, so that was a nice milestone to hit to round off the year. I did Insanity Cardio Recovery afterwards which was a great stretch, although I forget how tough that workout is.

I’m not feeling too sore this morning which is a good sign and I’m very glad today is a running rest day and I don’t have to go out in the storm!


Hope you are all having a great festive period so far!