Tag Archives: running

Excellent news, not so excellent news and a lazy training week

Hi,

I found out today that I got into Berlin marathon! WOOOO!! I’ve tried twice before and haven’t been lucky so third time’s the charm. To make it even better, my friend Minna also got a place so Berlin it is in September 2016 ๐Ÿ™‚

berlinmara

I would normally celebrate with a run but the not so good news is that my knee is back to being painful… The training recap from last week involves little running and lazyness.

Here’s how it looked like:

Monday:

-6km run, pace, 5:29

Tuesday:

-Off

Wednesday:

Circuits at home (30min) + abs

Thursday:

Hill repeats x 3, about 5 km run in total (Garmin switched off).

Friday:

Gym, 30 min bike, 15 min cross trainer + legs

Saturday:

Gym, 30 min cross trainer + arms and abs

Sunday:

1 hour walk, 45 min stretching

I went for a run on Monday even though I had run on Sunday. Since April I’ve had injuries and niggles and I haven’t run in 2 consecutive days at all, just to try and keep my legs as injury-free as possible. I really felt like running on Monday night, and I only had mild knee pain towards the end so I thought I’d be fine especially as I knew I wouldn’t run until Thursday. Tuesday was off day, I was just so tired. Wednesday I did some circuits at home, which was quite intense and got my heart rate high. Since my circuits only involved plank directly for abs I added some extra abs afterwards too.

running7

On Thursday I decided to try hill repeats after a looong break. There’s a nice long hill near me so I did just over a 1km warmup and was planning on doing 5 repeats but I left it so late and was rushing to work so I only managed three. After the third one my garmin switched itself off. That’s never the sight you want to see after your run. I think in total I ran about 5km or just under. I thought that running uphill would be good because it kind of helps with your form because you can’t overstride for instance, and I’ve also noticed my knee doesn’t really hurt uphill. I guess what I forgot was that I also had to run down and that must’ve aggravated my knee because at the end of that run my knee was really sore.

blankgarmin

I went to the gym on Friday and thought my knee would be fine but it mildly hurt even on the bike. On Saturday my plan was to run on the treadmill for half hour ish because it’s a nice softer surface. My knee randomly started hurting at work in the middle of my shift and even walking to the gym it was actually painful. I walked on the treadmill for 5 minutes just to see how it is but it was so sore that I couldn’t run. I was so grumpy and went to the cross trainer instead but was really moody the whole time not really bothered about the workout. SO frustrating. Just when I thought it was getting better it’s back to square one. It’s almost 2 months since my marathon and I’m running out of patience..

This was meant to be a sad face ๐Ÿ˜€

On Sunday the weather was horrandeous. It was the stormiest I’ve seen it but I would’ve liked to run in it anyway. Because of my knee I couldn’t and I really didn’t want to walk to the gym to get wet ot blown away on the way so I was lazy all day. In the evening I felt a bit too lazy and since the wind had calmed down I went for an hour walk. Even on that walk I could feel my knee not feeling alright. Came home and stretched for a while and that was that week.

stretching

I could sort of live with the knee pain for a bit if I was still able to walk, bike, and cross train without pain but at the moment even walking and cycling hurts a bit so that’s really getting to me as it’s limiting my options.. But let’s stay positive ๐Ÿ™‚

Two photos from Bath Christmas Markets as well. We went there with Maddie yesterday and the only exercise that day involved was lifting the mulled wine cups.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

bath2bath1

xx

Training week (w/e 22/11/15) And an Important Question

I started the habit of posting my training recaps here so I’ll continue that…

But first, I got featured in this last week by monitorthebeat, I was so excited and I like that quote too! Their account is amazing for running photos and quotes, you can check it out here.

monitorthebeat

So back to last week, I din’t do much and my training is still a bit ‘aimless’ as I’m not back to normal running yet and have no specific goals. But here’s what the week included:

Monday:

-Stretching

Tuesday:

-5km run in 30 minutes, pace: 5:56

Wednesday:

Off

Thursday:

5.57km run in 30 minutes, pace: 5:23 + abs, arms and back.

Friday:

-Gym: 45 min session on crosstrainer; 10 min warmup, 10*2 min hard (1 min recovery), 5 min cool down, 15 min bike + legs

Saturday:

-Gym: 30 min bike + abs, arms, and back

Sunday:

5.56km run in 32 minutes, pace: 5:44

The week started off with a rest day but I did a longer strecthing session. I don’t normally include stretching in the recap if it’s the normal basic everyday stretching but on Monday I probably spent 45 minutes to an hour stretching my whole body as opposed to just the main quads, hamstrings, calves kinda thing..

On Tuesday me and JP went for a run together. This happens like once in aย  blue moon. The weather was pretty extreme all morning, gale force winds and rain but we were brave (Well I was and JP didn’t have a choice ;)). It actually didn’t even rain until we were almost home but the wind was preeeeetty strong. We took it quite easy, JP was shocked that we didn’t see any other runners for the first 10 minutes as there’s normally loads around the park. He was convinced we were the only ones out but we did end up seeing 3 others. My knee started hurting a bit towards the end but because of the weather I didn’t really want to walk home so finished the run anyway to make it 30minutes.

JPrunningrunning5

On Wednesday I was meant to do circuits at home but I got caught applying for a job that had a deadline the next day and I was filling that until 11.30pm. Circuits didn’t happen and it was a rest day instead.

I attempted running again on Thursday even though my knee had been hurting a little bit during the day. I probably shouldn’t have but I did (because I’m stubborn). I ran 30 minutes again, this time a bit faster than on Tuesday. Knee was a little bit achy towards the end but not too bad. Finished it off with some core work and weights at home.

roathlake

Friday and Saturday I went to the gym. On Friday I thought I’d get my heart rate up on the crosstrainer. I did 10*2 min hard plus warmup and cool down, then some legs, and 15 min easy bike to finish off. On Saturday I did just 30 min bike plus abs, arms and back.ย  I had no desire really to be at the gym on Saturday I just went for the sake of going so I didn’t feel like I properly worked out.

bike

On Sunday I attempted running again. It was a very cold morning (3 degrees) but it was nice and refreshing. I took it very easy not looking at the pace at all. I ran 32 minutes and there was NO pain in my knee. I was so happy ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe it’s finally starting to get better. My aim is to stay patient and take it slow. So next week I’m still not attempting more than 35 minutes of running just to be on the safe side.

shoes

And now the question:

I am in the need of new running tights and wanted to know if anyone has experience of compression tights such as Skins and 2XUs? Are they any good/noticeably different than normal tights?

 

 

 

Weekly training recap (w/e 15/11/15)

I mentioned in my previous psot that I’ll start writing weekly training recaps. This is something I know a lot of other runnnig bloggers do and I like to read their weekly training schedules so I thought I’d start it as well. It’s also a way for me to go back and look at the previous weeks to see what I actually do, where I’ve improved or what I could change etc..

At the moment I’m still not fully back at running with my knee so the recaps will include more crosstraining but that’s even better for me so I can analyse later and see how long it took me to run longer runs pain-free etc.

running3

So last week’s training:

Monday:ย 

-Gym = 30 min bike, 15 min hill walking (treadmill) + legs and abs

Tuesday:

-3.91km run in 22 minutes (10 minutes, 1 min walking and 12 minutes), pace: 5:38

Wednesday:

-Pilates

Thursday:

-3.76km run in 20 minutes (10 min, 1 min walk, 10 min), pace: 5:19

Friday:

-2km swim in 1 hour

Saturday:

-Off

Sunday:

-Gym: 4.57km run on the treadmill in 25 minutes, pace: 5:28, 1%ย  incline, 20 min bike + legs, arms and abs.

Monday’s gym was an easy session. I didn’t really do anything exhausting but rather just went there for the sake of doing something.

Tuesday I went for an evening run which I haven’t done in a while. It was so dark and cold but so refreshing after a work day. Managed 22 minutes pain free so that’s always good.

garmin

Wednesday we had the Imagine Dragons gig to go to so I wanted to something during the day to justify the drinks ๐Ÿ˜€ I ended up going to pilates which was eactly what I needed. Some classes are very gentle, easy, and relaxing where others are actually hard and you leave feeling it in every muscle you didn’t even know you had. Wednesday’s class was the latter. So good!

Thursday I went for a little run to shake off the headache from previous night’s gig. I was a bit stressed about my first ever sport psych workshop as well so the run was a good way to get some fresh air and clear mind.

roathpark

Friday I felt like swimming so I hit the pool and swam for an hour. I can only do breaststroke which always makes me feel really embarrassed and slow at the pool next to everyone else who looks like they are professionals. One day I’ll learn how to swim properly, it’s on the to do-list.

Saturday was a day off and Sunday I went to the gym to work on those muscles I tried to ignore all week. I managed a 25 minute run on the treadmill which I was super happy about. The pain free runs are coming back slowly. Then I did some cycling and legs using the leg press and leg extension. On top of doing the leg things with both legs I’ve now also started doing them individually using lower weights and just one leg. It’s crazy to see how much weaker my left leg feels doing leg press for instance. Finished it off with some arms and abs so I could leave the gym very sore and ready for the next week ๐Ÿ™‚

plank

How was your training last week?

 

 

 

Pain or not? And what do I do when I’m not running…

Hi again,

If you’ve read my blog or follow me on instagram you might be aware that I’m still struggling with a knee injury. It started in May but because I kept ignoring it the marathon at the beginning of October made it a lot worse. It’s been almost 6 weeks now since the marathon and I’ve gradually built myself up to running about 20 minutes. It’s been the slowest recovery process I’ve ever experienced. Even with the broken ankle once the boot and crutches were off I was almost immediately back to running 20-30 minute runs whereas this time I’ve had to start with little 5 min segments.

running

With the last few 20 min runs I’m not sure if they are pain-free either. I don’t know if anyone else gets this but when you’ve been injured for a long time or had an ongoing niggle can you almost feel it on every run? I’m not sure anymore if I have pain or is it just normal sensation on the knee or is it just because I’m so used to the pain that I think it’s still there? Does that make any sense? With my previous ITB injury I had the same thing; when I started back running I could “feel” the ITB on every run, it wasn’t pain but I was very aware of it for a long time. At the moment my knee isn’t hurting in a way that I would need to stop and it’s not uncomfortable but I am not running without noticing it either. Weird. Maybe that’s just me.

Anyhow so what have I been doing to keep some sort of overall fitness and more importantly how have I justified all the chocolate eating in the past 6 weeks?

The answer is gym, swimming and pilates.

gymbike

At the gym I’ve mainly focused on just maintaining fitness rather than pushing for improvement. I’ve done a lot of cycling on the bike, hill walking on the treadmill and crosstrainer. Plus this time around I’ve actually tried to do legs, arms and abs as well which I normally tend to ignore. I do find the bikes and crosstrainers quite boring, however, so occasionally I’ve done some intervals like 10*2 min hard with 1 min recovery for instance, just to keep the exercising a bit more exciting and exhausting.

I’ve also been going to pilates. I try to go once a week but it hasn’t happened every week just because.. well life.

pilates

As a new thing I’ve started going swimming. The pool is really far from where I live plus I lost my swimming suit so I haven’t been going before but I do like swimming because of the low impact. I originally went there because I wanted to go aquajogging; my favourite way to crosstrain, but turns out you need to bring your own belt. In Swansea the national pool let you borrow theirs and In Finland you can use theirs as well so I was a bit disappointed. Looks like I’m going to have to invest in one.

swimming

So an example training week for me:

Monday: Gym. Hard effort on cross trainer (plus warmup and cool down), legs & arms.

Tuesday: Hill walking + abs.

Wednesday: Off

Thursday: Gym. Easy 25 min bike, 20 min crosstrainer, legs & arms.

Friday: Gym. Easy 30 min bike, 30 min walking uphill on the treadmill, abs + back.

Saturday: Off.

Sunday: 2*5 min of running plus walking, total of 7km.

The following week included small attempts of running on Monday, Thursday, and Sunday, swimming on Tuesday and Gym on Saturday.

autumnpicture
I miss this weather already!

As you might notice, the training is quite easy and not as frequent at the moment. I have big plans for next year runningwise but for now I’m focusing on getting my knee better. I have no pressure to be exercising I’m just doing it to keep myself happy and half-fitย  (and to be able to continue my chocolate-eating habits).

It’s completely normal to have a chocolate cupboard like this right?

chocolatecupboardP.S. I have to mention that my brother came 15th in his age group of up to 8-year olds in a Chess World Youth Championships in Greece last week! ๐Ÿ™‚

(And I don’t even understand the rules of chess).

My runs in 2015

Hello,

Since I’ve figured that I won’t be racing anymore this year (thanks knee!) and at the moment I’m unsure whether I’ll even run properly this year, I thought I’d share with you my runs so far this year in between my injuries.

In January I was training for Paris Marathon and on one of my longer runs my right ITB got extremely sore and from then on I battled with that pain on and off for few months.

I still ran a Bath half marathon in March even though it wasn’t my wisest of decisions (when are they ever?). I really wanted to beat George since we had pbs that were few seconds apart (mine was faster ;)) and I really liked Bath half the year before. My ITB was super sore from the start but I somehow finished in 1:39, which I was disappointed with at the time but thinking about it now, I hardly trained the 2 months leading to the race and I was only 2 minutes off my pb. George ran 1:36 something so I still have to beat him.

BathHalf

Two weeks later my ITB wasn’t any better but there was an annual Swansea Trotters 5k event where current and graduated Swansea University students race against each other. The two previous years I’ve been too injured to run and I thought if I’ve managed a half marathon with the pain I can suffer through 5k. I managed 21:06 which ended up being my 5k pb. Very surprised again since I had hardly trained. I was happy with that time but it left me very eager to try and get sub 21 next time.

marina5kMy ITB got worse and worse and I eventually realised that Paris marathon in April was never going to happen. Everything was booked for me and Minna already but she got an injury too and neither of us could run it. The disappointment was massive since Paris Marathon is meant to be amazing but I think because Minna couldn’t run it either it helped to share the disappointment. We went to Paris and even to the marathon expo and had a great time just minus the little 42 kilometer run.

My ITB slowly got better when I actually let it rest and strengthened my glutes/hips etc.. I started back running in April and entered my first 5 mile race at the start of May; the Cardiff Bay 5 mile. I hadn’t done much longer runs (think longest was 10k up to that point) and the 5 mile race (8k) proved quite difficult. I ran it in 35:27. I hadn’t run a 5 mile race or even 10ks before so didn’t know what to compare it to really so I was pretty happy with that.

cardifbat5mile

Around this time I started getting my left knee pain (which is still an ongoing issue)… But few weeks later I ran my first ever 10k at the women’s running event.ย  I had started my blog by then so I actually have a race recap of that here. It was my first 10k so a guaranteed pb. I ran 44:17 which I was disappointed with timewise as I thought I could do closer to 42-43 minutes but I got a third place so happy overall. And I remember my knee didn’t hurt which was a bonus.

10kraceMiddle of June I ran my next half marathon, the Swansea one. I did it last year too and had high expectations as I knew it was a great flat course. Also, I thought I was in a lot better shape than for the Bath half in March and was 99% sure I could get a pb. The race recap is here. In summary, it was my worst half marathon ever. It was a warm day, I felt nauseous and dizzy and had to stop twice (first time in a half marathon). My time was 1:44 which I was majorly disappointed with because of my own high expectations. The only positive thing was that my knee held on and didn’t ache.

swanseahalf

I wanted to race more so I signed up for a 5k race in Port Talbot in July and was looking to get that sub 21. Unfortunately that didn’t happen as I ran 21:17 on a very windy day (excuses).ย  Race recap here.

Disappointment from the Swansea half left me looking for another half as I was convinced I could run a pb for that distance this year. I ended up doing the Severn Bridge half at the end of August. My knee pain was on and off at this point, it was very sore the week of the half but not during the race. The recap is here. I ran 1:37:38 which was 16 seconds off my pb. If I was disappointed with Swansea half I was definitely disappointed with missing out on a pb by so little. I do have to say that the course was extremely hilly and I had to walk up the steepest hill, plus I started off too fast so my own fault too.

Always happy to finish.And then it was finally time for the marathon. Gutted for missing out on Paris I decided to opt for a more “local” race in Chester on the 4th of October. My knee pain had made training difficult at times but I felt ready enough to tackle the distance. The race recap is here. It was a pb by 9 minutes and overall a very successful race. My knee hurt at the start but then eased off and I was very grateful I managed to run it. I had a major runner’s high for a long time after the race but my knee decided to have an all time low…

chestermaraIt has been just over a month since the marathon and I’ve tried very gentle running but it still hurts. Yesterday I managed 2 times 5 minute-segments and thought it was getting better only to notice it was worse afterwards. So no more races for this year but plenty planned for next year which I will tell you more about later (after I know I can actually run again).

Overall, I am quite happy with the year despite missing out on Paris and some pbs I still managed few good runs in between the injuries.

Let’s hope next year is faster and more importantly, injury-free!

Have a great week guys!

ratinassa33

 

 

Breakfast, Herbalife & Pre-race fueling

I’ve always been a huge breakfast fan and never understood the people who can’t eat in the morning. Like how?? I wake up hungry every morning and I don’t think I need to tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

When I lived in Australia I got into the habit of going out for breakfast as that is a very popular thing there. On the weekends people go and enjoy breakfast together, be it with your boyfriend or catch-up with friends. I used to love it, especially after a run or gym you’d build up the hunger even more and it was amazing to go and eat all these delicious bircher-mueslis, eggs or creamy porridges..ย  I prefer breakfast dates over dinner dates anytime.

Breakfast
One of my lasts breakfasts in Perth with Kate.

In Wales breakfasts are a thing as well, but unfortunately you don’t get that nice weather to go with it and you can hardly sit outside when you are enjoying your morning meal.

When I got back to Finland, I was pretty shocked to find out that some cafes were closed on Sundays or opened at 10-11 o’clock with no breakfast selection. I think in the last couple of years it’s become more of a popular thing and I’ve seen people going out for breakfasts more now.

Cimbaporridge
A cafe I worked in had this amazing panela sugar porridge with cream and poached pears AHHH! (picture from: https://www.facebook.com/officialperthfoodies)

But what I wanted to talk about was breakfasts before running. My most common breakfast has probably been muesli, and always included coffee. Before my first half marathon I had no idea what to eat in the morning and I was given advice by an older (very experienced marathoner) gentleman that I should skip the muesli and have toast with jam, and not have coffee but tea instead. I listened to him because I didn’t know better and had toast and skipped my coffee. I’m no expert and I don’t know the science behind this but I’m pretty sure coffee isn’t that bad for you before your races. Most people probably have coffee before they run and I think it’s all to do with what you are used to. If you’ve always had a coffee in the morning (like I have since I was 15) you shouldn’t not have it just because some people say it dehydrates you. Pretty sure I’ve read somewhere that caffeine boosts your performance as well… In addition, I know of very successful athletes who have weetabix for breakfast before they race so I don’t think you have to have toast in order to race well. At the time I had no clue what to have and wanted advice but now I know that you know your body best. Some people can handle a British fry-up before they race, others need a proper porridge and a banana and some can hardly eat before. You just need to find what works for you.

I used to do runs up to 15km without breakfast and only eat if the run was longer than that.ย  Before my long runs I got into the habit of eating peanut butter on toast (because I heard somewhere that’s what you should have) and banana, because, well, every runner has bananas before they run right? ๐Ÿ˜› The only problem with this was that I’d have to wait 1.5-2 hours before I could actually run because otherwise I was feeling too full. This obviously meant that for my long runs I had to get up super early and also the 2 hours when you are just waiting to go for a run are annoying as I always used to lose motivation to go while waiting to go. If that makes sense.

However, you guessed it, Minna helped me out again and suggested I try Herbalife’s milkshake before my runs. Minna has been using Herbalife for years now but I never really got into it until last year. I’m still not a huge consumer and have only tried few products but I have to say that the milkshake is my favourite thing!

Herbalife

Basically this milkshake contains about 220 calories (when made with milk) and loads of good vitamins and minerals. When I have it in the morning I only need about 30 mins (45 if I’m doing speedwork) until I can go for a run because it digests so quickly. It has saved my mornings big time. Now I can get up, have my milkshake, and while I get dressed, scroll through my instagram (priorities), and pack lunch for the day the 30 mins have gone by and I can go.

Because of the low calories I thought I’d be hungry very quickly but it’s quite the opposite. Even on my long runs I don’t get hungry and I have the milkshake before marathons too!ย  Toast with peanut butter and banana used to be about 500 calories yet I got hungry on my long runs. So it’s not the amount of calories but the quality of them that counts. On marathon mornings I do have a banana and Herbalife’s sports drinks in addition to the milkshake just to get enough energy.

Some people might associate Herbalife with weight loss and yes, the milkshakes are used as meal replacements when trying to lose weight (combined with a healthy lifestyle) but I personally use them for different purpose. For me they are the perfect fuel for my morning runs. I couldn’t imagine running hungry anymore, I have to have the milkshake before every run now and even on the days I don’t run it’s the first thing I have. I used to always get hungry 2 hours after breakfast even if I ate things that are meant to keep you full for longer (porridge, eggs etc) but with the Herbalife milkshake I can easily go 4-6 hours without being hungry. I don’t suggest not eating for that many hours, I prefer eating more often but sometimes due to work/uni you can’t get a meal and Herbalife has kept me full when needed.

I know people who’ve found that the milkshakes make them more energised and have less cravings for sweet things. The latter definitely happened to me; my enormous chocolate cravings have decreased (which I didn’t think was possible).

The milkshakes come in variety of flavours (my favourite is surprise surprise chocolate :P) and are a good breakfast/snack/meal replacement for anyone.

herbalife2

This wasn’t meant to be an advertisement for Herbalife even though it sounds a bit like it but I just wanted to share my views on breakfast and what works for me with running. As someone who used to love big breakfasts I’m now quite happy with just my milkshake in the morning. However, I do still LOVE going out for breakfast!!

If you have any questions or want to know more on how to order them I’m more than happy to answer.

What is your favourite breakfast?

 

A word or two about physiotherapists and other experts (plus few totally unrelated photos)

I don’t know what it is with me and medical professionals but I don’t like to seek help until I absolutely have to and genuinely think I might be dying. It’s the same with normal doctors as well as with sport specialists.

When I first started running I trained for a half and then full marathon without any niggles or injuries. I had hardly any muscle soreness after my runs and I remember thinking I must be some kind of special person who just doesn’t get injured (I was wrong).

margaretriver
Pretty ugly beach (near Margaret River, Australia)

I broke my ankle on New Years Eve 2012 (not even a cool accident but high heels and too much alcohol) and that’s when all the troubles started. I snapped bones on both inside and outside of my foot and had to have a surgery where a metal plate and 7 screws were placed in my ankle. Happy New Year to me! I had to be off running for few months but I was told it won’t affect my running afterwards.

crutches
This was NOT cool. Flying and Travelling all day on crutches is by far one of the worst things I’ve had to do.

Obviously after I got off the crutches I should’ve strengthened and mobilised my ankle first but instead I rushed into running almost immediately. It took about two weeks and a weird hip flexor pain appeared. After couple of weeks of resting the pain was still there even worse than before.

I went to see a physio (I have to say here that this was a free walk-in clinic where the patients are seen for about 15 min) and she told me I needed some movement on my leg and I should go to the swimming pool and walk around the pool and kick my legs in the water. I did that and you bet I looked stupid ๐Ÿ˜€

The pain didn’t go anywhere, it appeared as soon as I tried running. So I went to see an osteopath but they couldn’t figure it out either and told me to just rest more and alternate hot and cold compressions on it.ย  I did and it didn’t help. By the summer 2013 I had had this pain for about 2-3 months so I was getting slightly frustrated.

Fitzroy Island
Another beauty (Fitzroy Island near Cairns, Australia)

In Finland my friend Minna (who I’ve told you, knows everything) suggested I go and see a specialist who treats your body holistically for all sort of imbalances in your bones etc (For Finnish readers: Jรคsenkorjaaja). It’s kind of like a chiropractor but milder version of that. I don’t know what it’s called in English but it’s a type of bonesetting or body joint manipulation (the one I went to here). She looked at my body and knew immediately what was wrong; my spine was twisted and was pressing on the nerve which then reflected on the front of my leg causing the pain. She said I had a mild scoliosis and it had all started when I fell and hit my tailbone really hard back in high school. The vertebrea had shifted then and due to my ankle operation I had been running with a slight limp (as I was still careful of the ankle) and that had twisted my spine even more. The treatment involved few hours of gently straightening my back and few days of resting afterwards because you are not allowed to lift anything heavy or twist and turn few days after the treatment. As soon as I went for my first run there was NO pain. After about 3 months I was finally pain free. Had I been listening to the physio and osteopath I would still be kicking my legs in the pool and putting hot/cold compressions on it ๐Ÿ˜€

marina5k
I remember racing this with a very sore ITB.

In all fairness to the physio and osteopath, I’m sure if I had spent longer time with them they might’ve been able to help too but I am very impatient and want to get help immediately and not wait for many treatments. Because of that experience back then, everytime I get an injury I just google the symptoms and diagnose myself now. It has worked at times. I went to a physio this spring with an ITB issue because I really wanted help but all I got from there was a diagnosis I already knew and he told me to book another appointment for advise on some exercises. (I didn’t, I used google). The common answer to most running injuries is that you have weak glutes and they aren’t firing properly but the worst is when you pay to see someone and they tell you to just rest.

Giraffe
Once upon a time I was pretty close to a giraffe (Tanzania, Africa)

What I actually wanted to say with this post is that my faith in physiotherapists has been restored with my recent visit to a physio. I decided that my knee pain that I’ve been on about for a while now needs to be assessed by someone. I heard pretty good reviews about this particular physio in Cardiff called Andrew Seary so I booked a time to see him. And he is amazing. I instantly got the feeling that he knows exactly what he is doing. He checked everything and told me that my weak ankle that’s lacking strength and mobility has caused the trouble in my knee by shiftingย  my knee cap out of alignment. My flat feet, overpronation and leg length discrepancies don’t help the issue either ๐Ÿ˜€

The best thing is that he gave me diagnosis (that google couldn’t tell me), different exercises to do for my leg and for my ankle, recommended me some shoes, and showed me how to tape the knee. I was so happy that I finally got some answers and actual help so I could leave the appointment knowing what to do. It wasn’t expensive at all, and I’d been happy to pay even more for that sort of treatment.

Unfortunately he had an operation on his knee so he is away for few weeks now but if anyone in Cardiff ever needs a good physiotherapist then Andrew Seary is the person to go to (his clinic website is here).

Next time I get an injury I might actually get it checked before 3 months goes by in pain now that I know there are people who can help you immediately.

Broomesunset
One of the best sunsets I’ve seen (Broome, Western Australia)

 

P.S. Can you tell I miss the summer and beaches and travelling just a tiny bit??

Life after the marathon?

I’ve discovered there is life after the marathon. Last week I wasn’t sure of this; every plan I made was related to the marathon or only concerned the time before Sunday. Even food I bought was with the frame of mind that “I won’t eat this before the marathon anyway so no point of buying it”. As if I would never eat again after Sunday. Ha. Quite the opposite.ย  I don’t know if anyone else gets like this but I just get so focused on an important event and forget that life goes on after that as well.ย  (Life hasย  moved on but my legs still remind me that I’ve run a marathon everytime I take the stairs!)

Anyhow what are my plans now after the marathon has been done?

School wise I really need to get my ass in gear and focus on my dissertation. Also, I’m a maid of honour for my sister’s wedding this December (which is super exciting!!!) and that involves some planning and bits and bobs I need to sort out before.

But what are my plans for running?

ratinassa1

Before the marathon I was struggling with a serious knee pain and very unsure if I could run the marathon at all. I made a deal with my body then that if it will let me run the marathon without any major knee pain, I will let it rest from running for 2 weeks or a month. (I think I promised month but I have modified it to 2-3 weeks now :D). I really don’t want to not run, however, my body did let me run the marathon and I don’t want to let down my promise of giving it a rest.

I’ve been extremely injury prone for the last few years but I tend to ignore injuries and run through them as much as I can. This knee pain has been a problem since May so I think it’s time for me to take it seriously and actually rest and recover properly. I am also going to the physio next week to get it diagnosed as it has been extremely painful today and I think it’s time to get professional advice on it.

Any races planned? Yes and no. I wrote down a 10k race and a half marathon for November couple of months ago but I really don’t think that is wise. Chester marathon was the main aim, and although I would like to get a half marathon pb for this year there will be plenty more races next year and I think I can live with “just” a marathon pb until then. The smartest thing I can do is not rush into running but heal my knee and every niggle before I go back.

It’s hard when the Autumn weather is designed for running though.

autumn2

The plan is to focus on strengthening my body and make it injury-proof (if that’s possible). I’ll be going to the gym for some cardio to keep up fitness but also use the equipment to strengthen my body overall. I’ve been neglecting ab workouts and upper body workouts (can probably tell from my puny arms :D) when in marathon training so I’ll change the focus now to maintain the strenghtening exercises for legs plus add abs and upper body in now that I have more time.

I’ll probably still continue going to pilates because it makes me happy (and I tell myself it helps with injuries). I might look into yoga classes as well and see if I get hooked into that. Also, more stretching. Definitely more stretching. I’m actually planning on setting myself a very challenging goal related to stretching but I’ll tell you more about that next time ๐Ÿ™‚

Happy exercising to you all!

10k race recap

I did my first 10k race on Sunday and thought I’d post my first race recap here.

I have raced a 5k twice and half marathons and marathons a bit more but never a 10k. I sort of had a feeling it would be a tough distance to run and my lovely friend Minna kept telling me that too and warning it’s gonna be afwul (thanks :D). And she was right, it was afwul. Maybe it was the fact that my knee had been playing up and I had to take a week of running prior to the race or the pacing or both but it felt tough as.

It was an event in Bute Park organised by Women’s Running Magazine and despite the rainy and windy conditions the whole organization and race was great.

I started off very excited and very quick at the start together with 3 other women. I looked at my watch and realised I’m running faster splits than my best 5k time but was too ambitious to slow down at first. I hang on with the first three runners for about 1k and then passed the third one. After about 2k the front two runners were starting to disappear to the distance and I thought they must’ve really picked up the pace. Looking down at my Garmin I realised it was me who had slowed down drastically. At around 4k mark I was completely done, I felt afwul and literally just wanted to give up. All the typical negative thoughts in my head telling me how I can’t cope it’s too hard I won’t even stay third the person behind me will overtake me soon I won’t get my goal time etc etc.. Until the marathon runner and a future sport psychologist in me remembered the power of positive self-talk and how it’s all in the head, eventually starting to repeat the “I can I can I can”.

Whenever the wind got tough I also reminded mysefย  that everyone else has that wind too, it’s not like it’s just me who will be affected by it and there’s no point in worrying about the external things you can’t control. A cyclist who went past me at one point informed me I’m third (which I knew but in a way gave me that extra boost I needed). JP was there to support me as well and because it was running laps I saw him three times which definitely helped.

I slowed down massively towards the end and my 1k time between 8 and 9k was slower than my average time for a half marathon last year, showing how badly my pacing went. I really should have stuck with the slower pace from the start but oh well.. Live and learn aye.
My goal time was 42-43 minutes (quite ambitious I guess) and did not happen. It was windy and had some very steep U-turns and some running on the grass which added to the time a little bit but excuses aside, the main reason I didn’t get my goal time was just the lack of fitness and afwul pacing ๐Ÿ˜€

Ended up running 44:17 and managed to keep my third place. Lucky for me all the “real” and elite runners were in Bristol doing the 10k so I got on the podium. Got awarded with bottle of Prosecco and a pair of Skechers which definitely made up for not running my goal time.

A little video of the day and my short interview at the end on this link: http://womensrunninguk.co.uk/wr10k-2015/cardiff-race-report/

Not impressed with how they spelt my name though.. Pille-Piinn?? Haha.
Couple of photos from the day too:

Getting to the finish. Apparently that woman just stepped in front of the picture right when JP was taking the photo. (I think he just doesn't know how to use the camera :D)
Getting to the finish. Apparently that woman just stepped in front of the picture right when JP was taking the photo. (I think he just doesn’t know how to use the camera :D)

 

Getting my Skechers prize
Getting my Skechers prize

 

Very excited to be on the podium
Very excited to be on the podium

 

Have a great week!

xx