Saturday, 26 October 2013

Shorts Were A Bad Choice

Agh, I LOVE Race For Life!!

At these events, we (i.e myself and a bazillion gazillion other lady folk) make a point of politely but firmly informing cancer that we're coming to get it. I can't imagine anything more terrifying than a few thousand women in tutus, jacked up on endorphins and mass hysteria running, walking, lunging, skipping, dancing and giggling towards you.  

If I saw it coming over the horizon, I'd get a shuffle on too.

Besides the gob-slackening amount of funds raised for Cancer Research UK each year by these races, there are lots of reasons why Race For Life gives me the warm and fuzzies. To name a few:

1. WIMMIN!! - women, in case you hadn't noticed, are bloody good fun! And when we get together en masse, especially at events like these, the atmosphere is completely giddy. The excitement is catching.  Dunno, maybe we're all buzzing our tits off on all the estrogen in the air or something.

2.  Race? What race?  - I don't know if others find this, but Race For Life is , I feel, one of the most pressure less, uncompetitive organised races I've ever attended. I'm always planted firmly in the "jogging" section at the start line (as opposed to walking or running), so I'm assuming things probably do get a little more heated up front. 

But at these races, I can forget to compare myself to others in terms of speed and endurance and all that other serious, over-thought crap and I'm reminded just how silly, and therefore how much fun throwing on some shorts and bouncing around outdoors is.  

3. Free crap! - medals! Shiny, shiny medals!!

Tonight, I went to Swansea's Twilight Race For Life...which is pretty much the same as the daytime

I know. Blew my mind too.

Just as many head boppers and neon pink leg warmers, but more glow sticks and and an increased risk of running into lamp posts.  I learned about the latter when I had to play guide dog/drill sargeant to my blind-without-her-glasses teen sister ("lamp post!... Puddle!... Lamp post!") this evening.

But, yeah, was good! Definitely an experience.  

Tonight, we had some freak (except not that freaky because it is Wales) torrential rain and early bitter winds to see us on our way.  Those of us who hadn't already frozen to death on the way in stood waiting in a field like a cluster of pink penguins to be taken through our "warm" up routine by a worrisomely enthusiastic lady who looked like she might have been off her meds.

I threw some Britishly noncommittal finger points out there and did some shuffles on the spot while my almost blind sibling crashed into me over and over. Not the most elegant spectacle.

Before I had any more time to beat myself up about having decided that flappy shorts were a marvellous decision, we were off around the marina.  

And it was even more fun than I've ever had during the daytime races! Squinting through sideways rain and splashing through puddles made the whole experience even dafter and more euphoric than ever. We warmed up, chatted and laughed all the way around and there was a sense that what we three thousand or so were doing on a rainy Saturday night was totally ridiculous and more than a bit funny.  It flew by.

If you've been thinking about taking up running and want somewhere to start from, or if you run a lot already but have never given Race For Life a go, then...just... Go to one! There are events all over the UK, so you really don't have a decent excuse to be missing out on all the fun! This isn't duck face.  We grimaced against the cold and the wind changed. I still look like this now.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Rubbish Runs & Temper Tantrums

I've read enough in magazines and bits of literature I've picked up about 'bad runs' (not of the gastrointestinal variety - not my kind of bedtime reading!) to know that they aren't the end of the world when they strike, and that I can and will KBO - keep buggering on - despite them.  

They are meant to be elusive and stealthy things bourne of over training, general unwellness, fatigue, stress etc etc... but I seem to have one on an almost fortnightly basis.  It's probably a clue that I've still got a long way to go to be able to call myself physically fit.

Well, thanks a crapload, body, as if I couldn't have worked that one out on my own!  

My not-so-great runs that have me wanting to drop to the floor and start rolling around in an almighty temper tantrum usually come in two varieties:

a. My legs start to feel kind of stiff and crampy to the point that "running through it" just makes me start lolloping along in pain, legs rigid like I've got no knees. 


b. My legs and lungs are doing fine, but my head has decided that it has better places to be.  And not in the nice, dreamy, letting your body get on with it while you float off somewhere else kind of way.  It's just decided that, despite all its desire to get me up and out into the world, it's now come to the conclusion that it's made a terrible mistake and must undo it by making every step feel like my whole being is just going no-no-no-no-no-no-nope-nuh uh-no

As a result, I feel I can't do anything to prevent myself from stopping dead and walking back to the car with a face like a slapped arse despite the fact that my dejected legs are wondering what they've done wrong to my brain for it to not let them do what they want.

... I experienced the latter type of bad run today.  And it was maddening.  I was painfully aware that after 3 measly miles, I had essentially given up on the 'long run' I'd intended.  I had been looking forward to a nice, long, slow shuffle around Swansea in the cooling drizzle.  But no. Brain wanted to go back home and sulk for no good reason instead. 

And what made me feel even sillier was the fact that I was wearing my Cardiff Half Marathon finishers T-shirt.  Ironic, much?  The evil gremlin voices in my head were telling me 

"Oooh, I bet everyone thinks you've just borrowed your boyfriend's T-shirt, loser!"

Ridiculous.  But that's how I felt.  I know for a fact that I can get around 13 miles - I can do it and have done it!  So why am I finding distance running suddenly so difficult since I've surpassed my expectations and achieved that?  

I have my suspicions:

Bad runs seem to happen to me when I'm focusing on slowing myself down.  I did this today because I thought I'd be going far and didn't want to over exert myself.  Perhaps forcing myself to run at least a 12 minute mile has gone from being my average speed to something my body now finds a bit unnatural now that I'm a little faster?  Is that a thing?

We'll see.  But in the meantime, if anybody spots my mojo (I imagine it to be a two legged, yellow puffball thing with sunglasses on... analyse that one), please tell the little sod where I am!

How often do you experience a disaster run, and how do you get over the emotional niggles that go with them?  I'd love to hear about it - if anything, so I don't feel quite so cack about myself!

kaythanksbye! x

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Yoo Hoooo!

Thought you'd got rid of me that easily, eh? Well, tough titties, I'm still here! I've just been busy doing...lazy.

As you can see, I've changed my URL and blog title to "Rebecca Writes & Runs" to forewarn people of a topic they can expect me to blather incessantly on about in many posts to come now that I've discovered the joys of getting off my squashy bottom. 

See, I've exhausted my supply of people who will listen to me about my recreational lolloping around the block without their eyes leaking their suppressed urges to hit me over the head with frying pans and other blunt objects... so I turn my attentions to you, my friend! Please feel free to imagine that I am standing a mere eyelash's length away from your face as I speak to you. 

Mmm.  So uncomfortably close. you want a neck rub? ;)

No? Okay, then.  I'll just tell you what's changed in my two whole moons of absence from Blogspot:

 1.  I've fallen (almost literally-I'm not the most coordinated wannabe athlete) head over heels (translate: arse over tit) in love with running.  Running really slowly, but still running.  I'm still overtaken by mobility scooters and people over the age of 90, but my head's in a different place.  I've gone full on geeky about it.   

2.  I've completed a half marathon.  I had to walk for some of it, but I lived to tell the tale to anyone willing and unwilling to listen. LOOK AT MY MEDAL!!  Look at iiiit....


3.  I've celebrated the fact that Krispy Kreme donuts are now finally available in Swansea by eating ALL OF THE DONUTS IN SWANSEA. 

4.  I also found out that every diabetic's favourite cereal Lucky Charms are also purchasable from a local supermarket after I thought they'd been outlawed in Britain for being too delicious. you can see, all of these massive life events are either running or snack based.  Not a lot has changed, really.

...Oh, and I got my first ever race t-shirt too!  Wanna see my race t-shirt??

....ohhhh yeeeeah....

...I promise that my next post will be a little more structured and feature less of my boobless torso.

Loveyoubye! xx