Posts Tagged ‘#useyourrun’

Ok. So as it turned out, that New Balance prize (for writing about my rubbish runs) I was expecting – the ‘head to toe’ New Balance kit (which clearly was near enough a guarantee of a onesie), turned out to actually be ‘neck to toe’ (admittedly a less well-known english phrase) and included shorts, two running tops…  

…and a shiny new pair of Fresh Foam Zante running shoes…

  

So I’m not complaining! To be honest, if I take that little step back and take a deep breath, I would probably even go so far as to admit that, as a whole, this collection of kit is probably more practical than a onesie would have been, anyway.

I know I will have upset some people by making that statement, but please, we are all different, with different needs, wants and expectations. Please respect my views on this matter, even if your own may differ.  Thank you.

My best kit is now no longer that purchased from my local charity shop. No offense intended by that either, it has been great quality and served me well. But this stuff is super light, quick-dry, comfortable, and the shorts come with (and this is obviously important) a well placed zip-up pocket large enough for my phone, positioned so as not to bounce around too much during my regular* super-speedy interval sessions.

*(Once a year is still regular)

Furthermore the tops have this weird thumb thing…look…
  

I don’t personally find that my long sleeves on shirts automatically roll themselves up my arm without this design addition. Perhaps because generally the rest of my arms are bigger than my wrists. BUT I have seen that this is definitely a ‘runner’ thing so if I need a little hole in a shirt for my thumb to make me aBitMoreOfaRunner then so be it. Bring it on.

Now the shoes. They are super light. On first wear I’m wasn’t sure I would want to wear them for really long runs… I feel like I want a shoe that weighs approximately 20% of my own body weight in order to trust that it won’t collapse in on itself after two strides. But I’m looking forward to doing speed work (it’s all relative) in them. They have ‘5k PB’ written all over them!*

*(they actually have ‘fresh foam’ written all over them**)

**(not really ‘all over them’ so much as ‘on the heel’…and maybe inside a bit)

This time next week Junethon begins. Daily exercise and blogging = daily randomness. Can’t see me lasting the month, but I’ll enjoy giving it a go again.

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No. Not a typo.

If there has been any progress at all, it has been very weak.

It seems that in order to lose the 10kg I want to before I will allow myself to enter the Nottingham marathon, my body has decided it would be easier if I first gained a bit of unnecessary weight first. Hmmmm.

I blame my children.  Well one child in particular. My son. It was his birthday, you see and he wanted me to eat loads of bbq food – two types of sausage, chicken, burgers, steak, spare ribs ( + the usual extras) all in one sitting.  And then he didn’t want all that cake and those crisps hanging around for too long afterwards, of course.

I’m obviously being very unfair to him there. It’s not his fault. He didn’t buy all the food. He didn’t choose to be born.

It’s clearly my wife’s fault.
But all blame aside. I’ve not been very well this week either. Just colded up, not breathing well, sleepy, sore throat, etc.

I’ve not done parkrun for ages for various reasons but I think I’ll give it a miss this morning too. I’m supposed to be playing in a tennis match this afternoon and it is my son’s school’s 5k run this weekend too. I think those activities might do me in enough on their own.

It’s amazing how little I have run since the marathon, actually. An element of ‘post-marathon blues’ is there, I’m sure and I’ve got out of routine.

Here are a few things that might help with motivation though:

1) Juneathon is coming up again! If you are uninitiated then click the link and have a look.  Basically, it’s an activity/blogging challenge requiring some form of activity (and activity reporting) each day in June. 

2) Bounts. I came across this fairly recently. It’s a website/app that links to various fitness apps/gadgets and awards you points based on the exercise you do. When you reach a certain number of points you can trade them in for various £5 gift vouchers in their ‘shop’. In addition to the points, for every activity you do, you get a credit to spin the reward wheel – and in doing so have a slim chance of gaining extra prizes.  It’s totally free (unless you want to pay to get extra points per exercise) and if you exercise regularly anyway, it is essentially something for nothing.

They are doing a bit of a reboot of systems at the moment so if the website is down then just try again in a day or two.

(If you do sign up however, use the code ‘avery1132‘ and we’ll both get a few extra points!)

3) Do you remember that rubbish run I did a little while back? …which was followed up a few weeks later by another rubbish run ? Well those lovely people at New Balance decided they liked it as part of their #UseYourRun campaign and so have informed me that I have won ‘head to toe’ New Balance gear. Nice eh?

Of course, I don’t know what ‘head to toe’ entails. Possibly it’s a New Balance  onesie, I have no idea, except I know it does include their new ‘fresh foam’ running shoes.  I shall let you know when it arrives and let you know what it’s like.

So there you have it – my weakly weekly update.

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At 94kg I am a bit further away from my 82kg marathon-entering weight. 

(This isn’t going to turn into a weight-loss blog, I’m just doing this at the end for a little extra accountability/motivation)

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Another rubbish run – not referencing my recent marathon in Huddersfield (an update for that can be found here shortly), but instead a follow-up on MY OTHER BUBBISH RUN that I did in March (partly inspired by the New Balance #useyourrun campaign).

In that post I went a little further than the usual ‘putting few bits in the bin’ as I run and I’d taken a couple of carrier bags to clear a beautiful area nearby that I use for hill training. But on arrival it was worse than ever, so the plan was to return…with bigger bags.
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So it was that yesterday, while my son was at his cub scouts group nearby, I ran to this area again but this time armed with larger bin bags and a reinforced, stronger bag for the glass pieces I knew I’d seen last time. Oh… and gloves. Definitely also with gloves.

I had to work pretty quickly, as I only had 75 minutes before needing to collect my son again so I didn’t take loads of before and after photos, but I really feel I made a difference.

Three very full bags – including one full of glass bottles (broken or intact) which alone, weighed in at 6.6 kg
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(I figured as I had gone to the trouble of separating the glass, I may as well take it home for recycling too)

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It was a beautiful evening. I felt good having cleared this area. The workout was a good one. I was absolutely dripping with sweat, especially after carrying the bags most of the way back. Thursday is bin collection day so I borrowed some space at the top of the locals’ bins that they had set out already, but that still meant carrying all three bags for a mile or so and the glass one all the way.
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Drip sweat, drip sweat, drip sweat.

I’ll leave you with a pick of this little fella (or ‘filly’…I obviously have no idea)…
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…that I found while clearing an area just off the path. It seems their defence mechanism is just to stay really, really still, in a sort of ‘kids in the car versus the T-Rex in Jurassic Park’ kind of way. It allowed me to get super close, anyway and snap that albeit poor quality picture on my phone.

Job done. Had fun. Nice one…

#useyourrun

Today I was planning to do some hill repetitions.  It didn’t go to plan.

There is a decent hill near to where I take my children to school. It’s about a mile away, down the road and along the canal path to get there. 

It used to be an artificial ski slope in its day and I’m still waiting for a decent snow fall so I can grab the sledge and head out (I suppose, taking the kids with me if I must).

Trail shoes on… At the start line…



Ok. This is admittedly not a start line but the car park bay. It’s my start line, though.

Today, it wasn’t snowing. It wasn’t sunny. Or rainy. It was just one of those typical, English, nothing-in-particular, dull days. But it was also hill rep day… and in the village it was rubbish bin collection day.

Something I try to do on my runs is definitely in line with that quote, 

“Take only pictures. Leave only footprints.”

Where I can though, I think it’s nice to leave a place even nicer than I found it. 

This all fits in well with the current New Balance ‘use your run’ campaign. You may have seen the advert incorporating the folks from @goodgym where they fix up a park.

Well it got me thinking how I use my runs and if I could use them more.

I will often, when out on a run (especially if there’s a bin in sight) collect the odd bit of rubbish, chuck it away, and carry on.  This post was intended to be one of those, ‘let’s all do our bit’ sort of posts encouraging us runner types to take literally a few seconds out of our runs to make our own environments a little better.  

It certainly started out that way. As I ran down the road, before I even got to the canal, I was popping a few bits of rubbish in the bins. Thursday = bin day, so it really was dead simple and I didn’t have to carry anything (although I did have a couple of plastic bags stuffed in my pocket just in case). 



Excuse the ‘rubbish’ photography… Sweet wrappers, cans, take-away cartons, etc – binned.

Then I got to the canal. Rubbish along here seems so much more out of place. I mean… I don’t like it anywhere, buit seems even more incongruous next to the water, juxtaposed with the trees and wildlife (get me and my big words, today).



This is where the bags come in handy. 

And this is where things change slightly.

You see I came here today with the intention of clearing some rubbish on my way to my favourite hill, but there had obviously been some sort of ‘gathering’ here and folks had just chucked stuff left, right and centre.



It spoils the view somewhat, don’t you think?

I certainly wasn’t able to clear the area totally, I won’t go near anything that looks sharp or dangerous, and I only had two bags, but something’s better than nothing, right?



Now, I know this isn’t practical for every run. Apart from anything else, I ended up only having time to do a couple of hill repeats…

…but it felt much better, doing them on a cleaner hill…

…and the run back to the village was a good arm workout too… but it was as though the world was a slightly sunnier place on the return journey…



Also, thankfully there were plenty of bins available.

It was, afterall, bin day. 

#useyourrun