Blue Runnings

Race Reviews, GPX files and more from North-East England

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on 11 March 2017


I suspect with the number of fitness-related things bouncing round my head at the moment this is going to be a little convoluted and subject jumpy – bear with me 🙂

I am taking a ‘do something’ attitude to exercise at the moment; as long as I’m out (or in!) doing some form of exercise, this is a positive. So far in the last week I’ve done 2 runs (5 mile and 2.7 mile), 1 walk (3 mile) and a cycle ride (12 mile – once again into a headwind the whole way home). Thursday was originally going to be a home workout day, but I spent most of it doing millions of steps and ladders at work and my knees and arms had had quite enough for one day, thank you very much!

I’ve also been working on improving my eating – namely, a lot less cake and chocolate (most of the time!). About 2 years ago I tried an eating approach called ‘paleo’ – essentially a pretty low carb diet with lots of veggies and meat, and for weight loss it was great; I lost about a stone in a month and didn’t feel hungry at all, so I’ve been trying that approach again for the last few weeks.

I was talking to P about struggling for energy (not feeling hungry but run down) today, and I thought it was because I was upping the exercise and reducing the carbs at the same time. He reminded me that I hit burn out when I did it last time and put myself into a ketosis state (you start burning fats instead of carbs, but it can also make you very tired and irritable, and going too far so you’re producing lots of ketones can be dangerous), which wasn’t my intention.

This time I’ve been trying to make sure I get some carbs in my diet so I don’t go that far (sweet potatoes, root veg, etc.) but I’m still feeling really tired – possibly justifiably: I’ve had a busy week with exercise, work and adjusting to a new eating regime over the last 2-3 weeks, but also possibly not… When I hit a really low-ebb crash I’m hitting the sugar – which will be see-sawing me between fat and sugar digestion which is making me feel slightly ill…


So, as that doesn’t seem to be working for me at the moment I think I just need to go back to some carbs (pasta, rice and potatoes maybe), and keep the mental discipline – which 90% of the time I’ve been really good about (no cakes at work at all!) and keep the junk food a at a low ebb and keep focusing on the exercise.

My exercise plans for this weekend have taken a bit of a skew: I’ve been really looking forward to going out with a walking group today for about 7 miles around Wylam (they keep scheduling walks on weekdays – curse all these retired people! Why aren’t I retired yet?!), and then going for a run on Sunday. Yesterday I was booked in for steroid injections on my chest, where I have keloid scars. I had completely underestimated how incredibly painful this was going to be. It was sore but bearable while it was being done, but about 15 mins later it was like my chest was burning up. This lasted several hours (fortunately reducing with painkillers but it felt horrendous for about two hours) and I just crawled into bed when I got home hoping I could find a position where I was as comfortable as possible and doze until it hopefully calmed – it did (blessedly quickly by the sound of other people’s steroid experiences but it felt awful at the time) and I slept through the rest of the night relatively undisturbed. I’m not in a particular rush to repeat the experience…

This morning, I really wasn’t sure whether it was going to flare up again when I started moving around and opted for pootling round the Metrocentre with P & A rather than risking being out in the middle of nowhere with mostly strangers and hunched over trying not to claw out my sternum! P & A have kindly agreed to come and do a Treasure Trail walk around Wylam with me tomorrow, so I will at least get my walk (3 miles instead of the original 7 but I’m having it anyway!), and hopefully when effectively strapped up in a top-quality sports bra for minimal bounce all will be settled enough for me to do a new class on Monday.

You remember those wonderful bounce shoes I got for my birthday last year? No? Let me reacquaint you.


It turns out, some people actually do dance classes on these. So next week I will be trying my first Kangoo bounce class. It may be my last depending on how badly I pull or break something but it sounds like fun anyway 🙂 And I get it cheaper because I have my own boots 😉 I’d have to do a lot of classes to justify the cost of said boots, but if I have them anyway I might as well make hay with discounts if I can get it! The racket of even a few people is loud enough so I imagine a full class must sound like a full drum group session!

One of the reasons I’m trying to mix up my exercise types is because at the moment my running stamina is still climbing out of bed and an hour of anything seems to be my limit, so I’m trying to get it back by ‘cross-training’ I guess, and it stops me feeling like every fitness thing I do involves me being more rubbish, slow and tired than I used to be! I’ll get it back but in the meantime I’m going to mix it up a bit 😉

I’ve also been itching to get out on a hiking trip again – I did several days on the Wicklow Way with S just shy of 2 years ago, and I loved it. S, not so much as she’s had over a year of horrendous back problems since…she might forgive me one day. I’d not long done the Liverpool R’n’R half at the time and was about as fit as I’d ever been – I relished the challenge of the mountains and being out and about on my own two feet .


(this photo was taken on day 1 and we actually started at that lake in the valley that’s growing out my ear – and we were probably not even halfway to where we were going)

I am under no illusions about my fitness not being where it was then, but it’s something to work on – and I don’t have to go out for multiple days at a time over long distances. X and I have 2 legs to do of the Hadrian’s Wall Walk – both 20 milers but I might see if I can cut them down a bit or build up to it! I really enjoyed the leg from Housesteads to Vindolanda too, and really want to redo that every time I come back along the A69 and see the hills stretching out – it’s quite empowering seeing it stretching out into the horizon and knowing you walked all that and further in one go!

I’ve got my eye on a couple of routes around here – I’ve been wanting to build up to running the Red Kite Trail, which I haven’t done yet ( apart from a few short stretches of it on the Gateshead Trail and my pootles round Swalwell) and I know is about 10 miles, but there’s nothing to stop me walking it. There’s also stretches of the Penine Way not far from me…the Cleveland Way, Ullswater Way, West Highland, Great Glen, any random bridlepath that disappears off over the fields…wanderlust hitting in possibly 😉

For now, I’ve filled my calendar with almost every local 10k going – I’ve gone from a year of races every weekend, to a year of minimal races at all, back to races every weekend again. Moderation is apparently not my thing! Hopefully it’ll keep me moving 🙂 I think there’s also a trip to Start Fitness or somewhere in my future – I keep getting blisters at the moment and I’m not sure if it’s my trainers (they’ve already/only done 100+ miles so shouldn’t be worn but should also be worn in if you know what I mean?!) or if it’s maybe my socks…not sure but it’s certainly not helping me get my mileage up.


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