Monday, 25 May 2009

TEN MORE RUNNING TIP’S

These tips are not based on fact or science I am just sharing what works for me. I hope I do not come across as if I am preaching, I have learnt the hard way that dieting alone is not a good thing, that weight gain, being unfit or both can effect self confidence and body image and how you feel about yourself and effect what you can achieve on a day to day basis. (Running for a bus, train or tube is so much easier now).

I have also learnt the only person who can help you to change is yourself. I want to break this negative cycle I have adopted over the last few years of losing and gaining weight. Most importantly I want to be healthy, regardless of dress side. I write this blog also to keep me motivated and to keep reminding myself of how far I have come and what I need to do to continue on this journey which is life long.

I still have weight to lose and fitness to gain, and once I reach those goals, I will carry on, I do not want to go back to being heavy and unhealthy and deep inside uphappy with the way I look and feel.



1.PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE

Try and be patient, everyone is looking for a quick fix, but when it comes to running you have to give your body time to get used to your new routine, you will start to see the benefit soon enough, but remember it is not what you do after one week, it is what you do over months that matters. It took a while for me to see the change in my body and my fitness, and at times I would get frustrated but I kept at it, kept trying no matter how challenging I found it. No I was not perfect but I done what I was supposed to do exercise and food wise 90 percent of the time and eventually the changes started to happen.

2.RUNNING LOG
I found keeping a running log really useful it does not have to be anything great maybe just write how far you went, how you felt, that way you can chart your improvement and keep a track of your training. I found it very motivating to look back over the log see what I had accomplished not just physically but I also wrote down how I felt and it was great to see how my moods changed over time,how much confidence I gained and how much quieter my negative voice became.

3.CONSISTANCY
Be consistent, consistency is the key, set yourself a task to meet each week, wether that is run two times, three times, four times or more, and stick to it come hell or high water. Bar death, family emergency or something of that nature, do this for yourself and no one else. Let everyone know that when it comes to your running do not mess. To me my running is more important that anyone elses needs, without running I would not be such a positive person,or healthy person I think we can all find a little time in our day to dedicate to ourselves, regardless of wether we are mothers,grandmothers have partners or are carers.The healthier and happier we are the happier those around us will also be.

4.FIND A FRIEND
Meet up with a friend once a week if you can, or more, running with someone can make the time and miles go quicker. I am not a member of a running club but I know people who are and find them very helpful and motivating. Since completing the London marathon I have been joined on some of my runs by my partner and I cannot lie it is lovely to have the company, I still like to run alone as well,find it is a great time to clear my head, be creative or just be me, but company is never a bad thing either.


5.SIGN UP FOR A RACE
.Book in a race a 5k is a great way to start, it will give you something to work towards and help you set a goal, the thrill of a race, will help to motivate you and get you out of the house, even if you do not feel like it. Plus if you manage to drag in a few friends it can become a goal that you all work towards. I have booked in 3 more half marathons, a 16 mile run, two 5k's and 2 10k's from now until October. I know that the races will keep me on track,focused and force me out of the house even if I do not feel like it, But to be honest as long as I do not have to face, the wind the rain and the cold of winter just passed I don't think it will be a major struggle.



6.TRUST YOUR BODY

It is important to trust your body, it will become stronger you will be able to run for longer times and you will become faster. It may not happen overnight but it will happen. Be aware that if you have not exercised for a long time or if you are carrying a bit of weight your body will need time to adjust. If you are very overweight or have health problems it is worth getting yourself checked out by your DR before embarking on an exercise regime, just to make sure everything is in good order, before you fling yourself into your new routine. It took my body a while to respond one day I could just about run 3 miles and a month or so later 3 miles were not problem and I was running 6,8,9 and so forth, It will happen.

7.EAT WELL
Be good to your body, make sure you eat foods that are going to fuel your body, if your exercising, eating lettuce all day is not going to give you the strength you need to run. Extreme diets we all know work for a small amount of time but the weight usually goes straight back on. I don’t know about anyone else but I am sick of gaining and losing weight, for me this time it is all about health and to run I need to eat properly and not be so restrictive I don't have the strength to train. For me being healthy and athletic is more important that being skinny so that means a combination of regular exercise and eating a healthy diet.

8.WATER
Water drink loads of it, it’s your best friend, I try to drink 1.5-2 litres a day, I don't always manage,but I try, be aware your bladder will protest at first and you’ll be visiting the toilet quite a lot or you may find yourself doing your old childhood wee, wee dance until you find one, but once your body gets used to the new intake of fluid it will settle down. Water is great not only for your skin, hair, nails, e.t.c but it will keep you hydrated when you run and also fill the gap when yourhungry as sometimes we think we are hungry but we’re we just thirsty. Now before I reach for the snacks I reach for some water and usually it works.

9.GETTING HOT
The weather is heating up, I wear a cap all the time to be honest helps me to feel a little anonymous, and keeps the weather off, sunshine, rain or snow, sunglasses are great for keeping flies and other critters out of your eyes, and again help you to feel anonymous on a run, just be careful if they are dark, watch your step. If it is very hot, watch your pace no need to kill yourself by going like Speedy Gonzales, and drink, carry a small bottle of water, I find drinking small sips help, large gulps always give me a sloshing belly which is not a great feeling.

10.EATING BEFORE A RUN

If I head out first thing in the morning I tend not to eat, but for anything longer than 45 minutes I would have a something, that could be a banana, porridge or an apple at least an hour before I run. For a lot of us it is hit and miss finding what works for us, some people find eating too close to a run gives them a stitch, other people can eat close to a run and be fine, some people cannot run without some food in their stomach others do not need to eat at all. This is where keeping a running log can help as writing down wether you eat or not can give you an idea of what works for your body, what doesn't and adjust accordingly.


HAPPY RUNNING

KINESIO TAPE






A lifesaver, I had read about this tape previously, but when my left Achilles started to play up during a 9-mile training run the week before a half marathon I knew I had to find something that would enable me to run but also keep me injury free.

Kinesio tape was the answer after scouring the net for different things this seemed to make sense, I could also use it on my knees, It seem unobtrusive unlike the knee supports I had been wearing which although worked seemed to restrict blood flow.
I could also continue to train, which was very important to me.

I rushed in an order praying it would arrive before the half marathon and yep the Saturday before the big day a much welcomed packet was pushed through my letter box.

It comes in a roll, the colour I chose was black supposedly there is no difference between the colour’s but the black one is meant to be more water resistant and since I like to shower at the least once a day if not more I thought that would be the better option, plus none of the colour even represented my skin colouring so black it was.


Closely following the runners world video’s of how this so called magic tape should applied I carefully put some underneath either knee, and also followed the direction on how to tape my left Achilles.


POSITIVES

The tape worked, the usual ache in my knees was a lot less bothersome and my Achilles hardly twitched at all, I made it through the half marathon with no injures, and my niggles that were there already did not increase.
It is unobtrusive.
You can wear it under clothes without anyone seeing it.
It just feels like a plaster.
It does work.

CONS

It is not cheap, about £7 plus a roll, but to me it is worth every penny.
It is meant to stay on for 5 days, but this does not always happen, the rough and tumble for everyday can make it come off more quickly than that.
If you’re hairy, it may be a little uncomfortable to pull off, but we’re runners hey, and used to a little bit of discomfort.
You have to put it on properly according to the injury your treating, but once you get the hang of it, it gets easier.
You will get comments from people, wondering why you look like a cyborg.


Like everything I recommend on my blog, they are only things that I have used and that have worked for me, this tape worked in conjunction with a stretching routine and regular use of a blue foam roller. I take my aches and pains very seriously as I did not want anything to stop me from taking part in the London Marathon and now I have caught the running bug I do not want anything to stop me running.

I do not know if it works for everyone but for me, it really helped, and I now tend to run with it as a safely measure, my knees no longer ache, I ran a half marathon yesterday in 2 hours 15 minutes, (I don’t know about you but for me that is a long time to be running) with no knee pain, this is the girl whose knees were so bad back in August 08 I ran the NIKE 10 in 1 hour 33 minutes due to the pain when I can usually complete a 10k in just over an hour. My Achilles I handle by stretching out my lower calves whenever I run and continuing to use my blue foam roller, to be honest I wonder if I even need the tape any more but for the time being it is a comfort and gives me confidence, so I won’t be turning my back on it just yet.

Kinesio tape is not a miracle cure it should be part of a care routine that you use to ward off injury or help alleviate injuries you already have.

I personally swear by it and would not run without it.
Remember to get any injures checked out by a doctor, best to have a professional opinion and not self diagnoses, taking a break from running for a few day's is better than being sidelined for months because you ignored a problem.


I have added links that explain how it works,
Links to videos to demonstrate how it is meant to be used and links to the UK companies that sell it.


HOW TO APPLY THE TAPE

http://www.runnersworld.com/video/1,8052,s6-1-0-5,00.html?bcpid=2888993001&bclid=6520521001

WHAT IT DOES
http://www.kinesiotape.ca/whatitdoes.htm


WHERE TO BUY IT


http://www.kinesiotaping.co.uk/?gclid=CNHJotrH15oCFZwA4wod6xa42w
http://www.vivomed.co.uk/listproducts-KI1000/Kinesiology_Tape.html
For any Americans reading, Kinesio tape seems widely available in the States so just google it and you should be able to find a good number of outlets and a good price, UK readers the two links above are the only two sellers over here for the moment that I could find.

Happy running.

Sunday, 24 May 2009













WOKINGHAM HALF MARATHON SUNDAY 24TH MAY 2009


So today was a big test for me my first race since the marathon.

I have been training, running at least 4 times a week from a week after the marathon, the first week I was down and out with a cold, but as soon as I felt strong enough I was out of the house like a shot hitting the streets again.

RACE PREP
I managed an 8 miler last Sunday so I felt confident that I had 13 miles in my legs, I had been eating well, meaning pasta and drinking lots of water for the last few days I knew it was going to be hot and I did not want dehydration to be a problem.

LAST NIGHT
Found it hard to sleep, nerves were getting the better of me, and I then went on to dream or should I say have a nightmare, that I forgot all my race gear, my garmin (my watch which lets me know how fast I am going and how far I have gone, it really helps me to set my pace) my gel’s, my jelly babies the whole lot, basically I was not ready and the race was horrific!

THE MORNING
When I woke up I thought the race was over, luckily it wasn’t and I had a chance to put it right. I made sure I packed everything that I need, Garmin, Carb gel, Jelly babies, tissue, Vaseline and anything else I could shove into my small bum bag, which I put around my waist. 13 miles is a long way you don’t know what you might need. (No not fashionable would not wear it on the street, but for running it’s fine).

The start of the day was 15 degrees so as soon as I stepped out of the house I knew it was going to be a hot one, and it was said to get even hotter. Obviously running in Trinidad and Grenada has prepared me well for running in heat, but each day is different and 13 miles as I keep saying is a long way. I decided to wear shorts, no not short short’s they come down to my knees, and a racing singlet I knew was great in the heat from having worn it in the Caribbean, Sunglasses, cap and made sure my feet and in-between my thighs were well greased with Vaseline to avoid chaffing, put on my kineseo tape and went about my business.

Rob (the other half, drove us to Wokingham and from his place it only took about 45 minutes,) we found somewhere to park and then headed off. First thing I needed to do was find a toilet, my stomach didn’t feel great, nerves always get the better of me so a trip to the toilet before I race is always a must. I took some Immodine afterwards to ensure my stomach did not play up on the way around.

You never know how your going to feel until you take your first step, and with the heat and the fact I did not know if the marathon was still in my leg’s I headed to the back of the crowd thinking caution was best.

THE RACE
Well in my world it was not really a race, its just Kat against the world, I leave the racing to the Gazelles and Cheetah’s at the front of the pack. Bottle of Lucozade in my hand, a quick chat with a few girls around me, wishes of good luck the horn went and that was it I was off.


MILE 1-4
All good, it had started to heat up but I was coping the field started off fast, well it was fast in my eyes, I was planning to start at an 11 minute mile then build up but I got swept along going a bit faster and since I felt fine I kept going, talked to an older white couple for a while who were both very sweet, felt strong so moved on up. I now have no fear of running by myself in fact in race conditions I prefer it, there is no pressure to keep up with anyone or slow down for anyone or worry about anyone else, I just concentrate solely on me.

Had a chat to a girl who was doing a walk, run strategy, guessed that was what she was doing, as one minute she was running past me and the next she would be walking, then I would be running past her. I have never tried that strategy myself but if I felt I needed to I would. We both just wanted to make sure that we did not get picked up by the sweeper van, which would be plucking people from the course if they did not reach 6 miles in 1 hour 15, or ten miles in 2 hours, pressure man pressure!!

The funny thing is I had booked this half to run before the London Marathon as part of my training regime, but due to the bad weather it was cancelled then rescheduled for today, not sure what I would’ve prefer snow or sunshine.

I have a stitch as always but I ignore it, breathe it out, berate it and demand that it behaves.

MILES 5-10
I’m surprising myself, I’m feeling good, started so far back I am now passing people, who either started earlier than me or who are slowing down, my pace is not too bad, I am trying hard to keep it between 10:30 and an 11 minute mile, determined to save something for the end, I want to finish nice and strong.

The sun is beating down, and the water they are handing out is in cups, I stop only for a minute to fill up my lucozade bottle with water, it is way to hot not to run and sip water constantly I try not to guzzle too much or my stomach will start gushing and make for uncomfortable running. I have eaten a few jelly babies already and taken one gel, my energy levels are fine, I just need to keep focused, I am still passing people.

I am waiting for doom to befall me, sure my achilles will play up or the knees will start to ache, or my groin to throb. I am waiting to twist an ankle or be struck down with heat stroke, but so far it has not happened. The marshal's are very encouraging and although there are long stretches without people and only fields of yellow rapeseed for company, when supporters do appear they are very enthusiastic.

Quick chat with a girl who is running her first half, she is sweating profusely, her hair is stuck to her face and her cheeks are red, these are the moment when I bless the Lord for dark skin, I too am hot I just do not look it.

I give Rob a quick call I am running faster than we anticipated, I yell at him that I am at mile 9, he asks how I am doing, I say fine, got to go. A man running next to me says he is impressed that I have energy to run and talk on the phone at the same time. I reply that I am a women I always have energy to talk regardless of what I am doing and run past him.

I am still passing people moving strongly thorough the crowd as others falter I keep running, keep moving on up, there are long slow inclines which hurt in the sun but I keep going, determined to push myself, but also weary of the impending disaster which I am sure will befall me.

I pass a couple who have t-shirts on stating they are running to raise money for a charity, I later find out the man was running even though he is dying of terminal lung cancer, I am humbled.

MILE 11-13.1
Mile 11 turns out to be my hardest after almost 2 hours in the heat I am starting to flag and it takes me 11 minutes 9 seconds, my slowest mile yet then on the horizon I see an Angel a women in her driveway holding a hose, spraying a lusciously cool waterfall, I stand in front of her and let her spray me all over, savouring the instant cool down, I thank her profusely and move on, now it is time to dig deep, I pull out my IPOD, time for the ragga, I need something to make my feet move quicker.

Music on, skin cooled, I keep moving, keep passing people, my stitch has gone now, not sure when it went but it is no longer bothering me, so my pace picks up further, I know I am not far from the finish line I know I can run two miles, two miles is easy, two miles is nothing, I could piss two miles I tell myself, as my body tries hard to carry me just a bit further, we have doubled backed on ourselves, so I know I am heading back to the finish, I smile and give encouragement to other runners, but still I move forward aware that if nothing goes wrong and if my pace stays like this I will run the fastest Half marathon I have ever run.

Half a mile to go I see Rob, long basketball arms stretched upwards at 6ft 2 he is always easy to spot, he takes a picture, we high 5 and I move on, no time to stop, I got a half marathon to finish, half a mile, half a mile, half a mile is a damn long way.
I keep on. A girl is crying holding her side, a man who is with her encourages her on, these are the people I respect those who have to dig deep, who have to find that extra something to pull through but they keep me going.

Today I do not struggle as I have done in the past, the training for the London Marathon has toughened me up, I am no longer that girl who started training last September, I have experience to pull on, 8 months of running, training, crying frustration, and determination that makes me know without a doubt that I will make it to the end, nothing bad has happened, luck is on my side, I pick up the pace eager to finish in style.

There it is the end, a blue arch, my medal awaits, I cross the line, Rob is on the left, congratulating me,I was not expecting to see him, but he managed to cut across a field Meet me at the finIsh, I almost run straight past him. Finally I can stop, finally my legs can relax, finally I can stop running in this heat. I put on my medal and Rob treats me to an ice-cream with a flake an strawberry sauce, I am instantly my 5 year old self again, having just been bought an ice-cream by my mum, I am happy.

2 hours 15 minutes 13 seconds and I am done, all limbs intact, no injuries, and a personal best time, beating my last half marathon time back in March by 13 minutes.

Today was a great day for running.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

THE LONDON MARATHON POEM







THE START

NERVES GRIP MY STOMACH

BUT IMMODINE PLUS HAS MADE ME CAST IRON.

FEMALE URINALS, HALIROUS,

BARE BOTTOMS BARED

SQUATTING SHAMLESSLY, LIKE SPORTY CRABS

A CONE SHAPED DEVICE

CREATES A TEMPORARY PENIS,

ORANGE TUTU COVERS MY BLUSHES.

 

MY NAME IS PRINTED ON MY CHEST

I AM A CRAZY LOOKING BROWN FAIRY

RUNNING ALONG LONDON STREETS

I FEEL FAMOUS

I SMILE, SMILE, PAY NO HEED TO THE MILES,

MY FEET FLY.

 

DISASTER

A WOMEN EAGER TO SAY HELLO TO CHEERING FRIENDS

CUTS ACROSS MY PATH

AND KNOCKS ME DOWN

I LAND ON MY HANDS AND KNEES

SHOCKED

I AM HEPLED UP BY A COUPLE

WHO SMOOTH DOWN MY RUFFLED TUTU

AND SEND ME BACK ON MY WAY

NO HARM DONE.

 

BIG BURLY MEN SCREAM MY NAME

WOMEN OOH AND AHH AT MY OUTFIT,

I HIGH FIVE THE HANDS OF MULTIPLE CHILDREN

I AM FREELY OFFERED JELLY BABIES, JAFFA CAKES,

SLICES OF ORANGE,

I MUNCH MY WAY AROUND.

 

I DO NOT RECOGNISE LONDON

THE WARMTH THE LAUGHTER- ALIEN

THE ENCOURAGEMENT-ALIEN

THE SUN SHINING-ALIEN

I DO NOT RECOGNISE

THIS CRAZY LONDON

I LOVE LONDON

TODAY AND ONLY TODAY,

NOISE AND CROWDS ARE A WONDERFUL THING,

THIS IS A WHITE VERSION OF CARNIVAL,

NO FLOAT’S ONLY RUNNER’S,

NO ANGRY POLICE ONLY HAPPY MARSHALLS.

 

I SPOT A BROTHER, DARK SKIN GLISTENING

MUSCLES TAUNT WORKING HARD

FACE CONCENTRATED

LOCKS FLYING

HE IS AT LEAST AN HOUR IN FRONT OF ME.

 

MILE 19 FRIENDS FOUND,

HUG’S ENCOURAGEMENT,

I AM GREATFUL,

COMFORT, A BIT OF LOVE

RUN

KNEES THROBBING

STICH NIGGLING,

GROIN ACHING

I AM STILL RUNNING,

THIGHS CLENCHING,

ACHILLES PINCHING

TOES PROTESTING,

BLISTERS APPEARING,

I AM STILL RUNNING

I AM STILL RUNNING

I AM STILL RUNNING

26.2 MILES IS A LOOOONG WAY.

 

I AM PASSED BY 4 RHINOS. BAT MAN,

PAMELA ANDERSON,

A BRIDE AND GROON,

I AM PASSED BY SPIDER MAN,

ROCKY AND 2 BANANAS,

I AM STILL RUNNING,

 

365 YARDS TO GO,

5 HOURS 23 MINUTES LATER,

I FINISH,

HAPPY, MEDAL,

SMILE, RELIEF,

JOY.

RELAX, RECOUP.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

TEN WEIGHT LOSS TIPS.

Don't know about you but I love food, which is why I have found myself, unfit and overweight, here are some things that I have found works for me. 

ONE: First thing I had to do was accept my weight problem, it was very easy for me to bury my head in the sand and ignore the weight I was gaining, even though deep down inside I knew I should do something about it. Especially when I found myself stretching my knickers so they would fit, and struggling to find anything in the wardrobe that made me look half way decent.

TWO: Forget the fad diets, they may work for a short time, but you always end up putting the weight back on. I’ve tried them trust me, healthy food and exercise is the way to go.

THREE: Short cuts don’t work, I’ve found that out the hard way by losing then gaining weight, it takes hard work but it can be done. The times I have tried to find an easy way a quick fix, the results have never lasted.

FOUR: Fruit, is your friend, learn to love it, easy to carry around, and good for you. Fruit salads with a bit of yogurt are a great thing to have especially if you have a sweet tooth like me.

FIVE: Vegetables get to know them, try different ones and try to include as much as you can in your diet. Butternut squash soup, and vegetable soup, has been a God send, low in fat,filling and can bulk up a meal.

SIX: Do not deprive yourself, I don’t know about you but anytime I eliminate anything from my diet that is the thing I will crave more. When I done the Atkins a few years back, everything around me started to look like bread, the shopkeeper, the bus driver, the children I teach all started looking like crusty rolls.

SEVEN: On an average I lose a pound a week in weight, it adds up, slow and steady is the way to do it. Remember a long term fix is better than short terms gains which do not last. Since September I have lost 26 pounds, only two pounds away from two stone, at first I felt I was losing way to slow, but piling on the muscle due to running, has meant the scale moves slowly, but that all over I have lost 19 inches and gone down two dress sizes from a 16 to a 12.

EIGHT: Weight Watchers worked for me it’s not for everyone, but it was what has helped me to lose in the past and has worked again this time. What I like about it, although it encourages you to eat healthy, I can also have treats, I just don’t go mad. Find something you can stick to a realistic healthy plan that does not make you obsessed with food, but encourages you to eat well, without depriving yourself.

NINE: Weigh yourself once a week, measure your self-monthly and take monthly pictures in a bikini or shorts so you can see the physical changes.

TEN: Learn to cook, fresh food is a lot better for you than processed food, and you can cook more than you need and take some into work, college or university with you.

For those of you from the Caribbean, West Indian food can be high on calories, learn to make low fat versions, or save it for a treat.

I also make low fat versions of Shepherds pie, apple crumble, Lasagne, Bolognese, bake my plantain instead of frying it. Even ackee and Saltfish is low in fat if you cut down on the oil and have a smaller than usual portion of rice.

Saying that the hard food in Grenada and Trinidad, kept me going on those long runs in the heat, when I was on holiday earlier this year part way through my London marathon training, and I did not put on any weight. but try not to eat it everyday unless you to are training for a marathon, or doing some kind of hard labour on a daily basis, or you may just start looking like a dumpling!

Fish is the only meat I eat, and I have found that soya mince and Quorn products are great as they are low fat. Just get yourself some good seasonings and it tastes fine and is a lot lower in fat than real meat.

A lot of people do not like fish but there are so many different varieties I am sure you can find something you like. You have to start taking responsibility for what you put in your mouth. I found it hard at first, but after while you get used to it and it becomes second nature.

Watch out for ten more weight loss tips coming soon.

Good luck

Friday, 15 May 2009

TEN REASONS I LOVE RUNNING


ONE: Running has been great for toning me up, I have dropped 19 inches since October. My bum is as hard as a rock and my thigh's feel as if they are made of steel.

TWO: Great way to manage weight especially if you like to eat as I do, although it is not good to yam and yam just cause your running, it does mean you can indulge once in a while as you know you will burn it off. Word of warning it is easy to gain weight whilst running as many people over estimate the amount of calories they are burning and eat way to much. 

THREE: Great way to keep fit as it burns more calories than almost any other exercise.  

FOUR: It’s free, okay not a lot of fun running in the cold, but you get used to it and in these hard times, who can afford to have a gym pass they don’t use? And when the weather is good it's great. 

FIVE: All you need is a decent pair of trainers and you’re on your way. 

SIX: It can slip easily into your life; even the busiest person can find a little time to run. 

SEVEN: It has lifted my breasts up, even though they were pert before they now stand even taller and prouder due to the developed pectoral muscle underneath.

EIGHT: Running gives me a chance to clear my head, and have a little me time. 

NINE: It has given me an athletic body, which is strong and healthier than it has been in years.

TEN: Great for your sex life, as you feel stronger and healthier and in turn become more confident, flexibility increases if you stretch after each run, (enough said).

Thursday, 14 May 2009

BEGINNERS RUNNING TIPS: PART ONE

Quite a few people have been asking about my running and how to get started, so below I have written a blog containing beginning tips, these are just my thoughts and feelings about running, my personal opinion not a professional one. It is actually a massive compliment that people have noted my achievement, and appreciate my weight loss and healthy new life style and if I can motivate anyone else to adopt a healthier happier life by writing about my experiences and passing on what I have learnt then all the hard work that got me here has been worth it.

Please note I still am learning, still have weight to lose, still seeking to get healthier, setting new targets,and pushing my body my journey has not finished in fact I feel as if it has only just started, so for those of you who are just starting out, learning to redo what we used to do so naturally as children, welcome and feel safe in the knowledge that we are all trying to achieve the same thing and I hope you learn to love running as much if not more than I do and that running brings you the health benefits both mentally and physically that is has bought me.

TRAINERS

Top of the list, should be a new pair of trainers. Get your gait (posh runner’s chat for the way in which you run) checked at a specialist shop, they will put you on a treadmill and film you running. Then recommend a really expensive pair of trainers!

Jokes aside it’s worth doing, the right pair of trainers can stop you from picking up an injury. Pounding the pavement is not kind to your legs so it’s worth investing in a good pair.

You will probably have one of three running style, Neutral, underpronater or overpronater this website explains it all a lot better than I can http://www.runnersworld.ltd.uk/pronation.htm



RUNNING MADE EASY

 A fantastic book available on Play and Amazon, http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1843404346/?tag=googhydr-21&hvadid=3176978253&ref=pd_sl_7bb2ha6zym_e

http://www.play.com/Books/Books/4-/3509753/Zest-Running-Made-Easy/Product.html

It is a great book for beginners and beyond with wonderful stories from female runners, will inspire anyone, and a great plan to get you from running to walking.


START SLOW

At first you should start very slowly, don’t go out and go crazy, leave the fast running to Usain Bolt. If your running with someone you should be able to talk easily and not be out of breathe. 

At first you should start very slowly, don’t go out and go crazy, leave the fast running to Usian Bolt, if your running with someone you should be able to talk easily and not be out of breathe.

Many of us start too fast, burn out, huffing and puffing like a steam train, within ten minutes, and give up as they think running is way to hard. Slow and steady is the way to go.

Speed will come later once you’ve built up your stamina. Even if people are walking faster than you, don’t worry you will get faster once you build up you stamina. Remember in the end the tortoise beat the hare!


HAVE FAITH

If you’re consistent, you will see improvement. I was surprised at the quick improvements I made when I started running again, how much following a programme really helped.  The first part of a run can feel terrible, sometimes It can take 10-15 minutes or so for me to start feeling good, so just give it time if you don’t feel to great at the start of a run, it will get better.


BE CONSISTENT

Try to run often, consistency is the key to becoming healthier and fitter, and also to weight loss if that is what you are trying to do. Running is great for weight loss as it is one of the best calorie burners, but for those of you not looking to lose weight, but to get fit, you could not of picked a better sport.

A friend of mine who is very slim took up running and the increase in appetite caused her to put on a little weight, it was not fat but muscle and she is very happy with her new slightly fuller, stronger shape.


MAKE RUNNING PART OF YOUR LIFE.

Make a commitment to running, promise yourself your going to run a number of times a week, if you can’t find the time make it, I run to the bank put a cheque in and run back home, run to the mechanic to pick up the car. Run home from a school I’m teaching at. Sometimes running first thing in the morning can be great, you get it out of the way and it’s done. If you really want to do it, you’ll find the time.


BE SAFE

If you do not feel safe to run alone, (we don’t all live in nice quiet leafy suburbs), convince  a friend to join you or join a running club.

If you wear headphones, keep the volume low, or do not wear them at all.

Watch out for dogs they love things that run.

Watch out for dog mess!

Take a phone out with you, try not to use it unless you have to, for safety reasons.

Take a pound coin with you, you never know when it might come in handy.

Think carefully about where your running, no lonely places,

Try not to put yourself in danger.

Be aware of your surrounding,

Watch out for cars, bikes motorcycles and even people, basically anything that moves and even things that don’t, broken pavements, potholes e.t.c.

Bring along your oyster card, especially when you first start that way if anything happens or you get tired you can jump on the bus home.


READ UP ON RUNNING

Whilst training for the marathon I devoured everything I could on running, books, website, magazines

http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/

Runners world was my bible, you can go on the above link and subscribe or use the website. The magazine is full of tips information, product reviews, and so forth.


HEALTHY EATING.

For those of you who wish to lose weight, combining running with a low calorie diet is the best way to do it. Make sure you eat enough of the right things to support your running, things that are healthy and will fill you up.

Even if you are not looking to lose weight a healthy filling diet will aid your running.

I've lost a stone and a half in-between October and April, my weight loss slowed down in the last few months before the marathon, but that was because I found I needed to eat more to fuel the amount of miles I was running, but I never gained weight and still lost inches. In retrospect it was not a great amount of weight but I out on so much muscle and toned up so well, that I lost a lot of fat, and I actually look a lot slimmer than the scales would suggest.

Running does make you hungry so it can cause you to munch, which can be counterproductive, but if you stick to law fat options like fruit, veg, salad, home made soups, raisins, nuts, pasta, porridge, you should be fine.

Saying that the extra running can give you that little bit of buffer, just don’t go mad and you’ll be fine.

I love food, which is why I put on weight in the first place, yamming without exercise recipe for disaster. Running allows me to eat without putting on weight and to be honest what you may find, as you get fitter, you no longer want to eat crap.

I still have more weight to lose, but I am now confident with the running and a low calorie diet I will continue to lose.


Clothing sites

Below are three great sites for running clothes, very reasonably priced, I have bought quite a bit of gear from them, I love a bargain and all three sites have some cheap but good quality gear.

http://www.mandmdirect.com/

http://www.startfitness.co.uk/

http://www.sportsshoes.com/?utm_source=PPC&utm_medium=Google&utm_term=sportsshoes.com&_$ja=kw:sportsshoes.com|cgn:sportsshoes_com|cgid:1314903930|tsid:9815|cn:01_sportsshoes|cid:37121190|lid:1362341167|mt:Phrase|nw:search|crid:3518611620

You don’t need to spend loads, but if you think your ready to commit yourself, then why not treat yourself to a couple of nice pieces of running clothes to make yourself, feel and look good.

Running tights are great, you may not feel confident enough to wear them in the beginning, but if your brave enough buy a pair, they will make you feel like and look like a runner and they feel as if they are a second skin.

If you live in an area where wearing skin tight gear may bring out the wrong type of attention, then put on anything you feel comfortable in, save the running tights for the running club or a race.


CHALLENGE YOUR SELF TO A RACE

It will give you a goal to work towards and help to keep you motivated. If I was not training for the marathon and the fear of not being ready was not at the forefront of my mind, I can assure you I would not of been running through the streets of West London during one of the coldest winters in almost 20 years, I would have been tucked up in my bed, or chilling on the sofa. The marathon kept me going, kept me focused and forced me out of the house, on the coldest, rainiest of days.


WEBSITES

 http://running.about.com/nnnh

http://www.runnersworld.co.uk/news/article.asp?UAN=815

http://www.running4women.com/

http://www.timeoutdoors.com/



GOOD LUCK AND HAPPY RUNNING.


Thursday, 7 May 2009

RUNNING ON THE RYE



I ran again yesterday, taught in a school in South London. left the house at 7:07., living in West London I was paranoid I would arrive late, ended up getting there an hour early. I was teaching contraception to year 10 and 9 for an hour each but I had a big break between the two classes. I bought my running gear with me, and ran around Peckham Rye for 36 minutes. The Rye is beautiful, with a large pond, and beautiful gardens I never knew it was so nice. Tired afterwards still had an hour left until I taught again so I had a snooze in the car. I know crazy, but it was nice to fit a run into something I was already doing. That is what I need to do to ensure running stays a part of my life, try and meld it into my everyday activities.

My legs still feel a little heavy, but nothing to write home about, I may do weights and the bike tomorrow depending on how my legs feel.

Wednesday my 20 year old cousin called me half way through a run, to say she was running, she sounded out of breathe but very excited, that she was running said she had been so inspired by me doing the marathon  she feels compelled to run. That is what I like to hear, made me feel very lazy as I was actually half asleep on the sofa after coming back from work! I know, I am still a bit tired taking naps in the afternoon, you would never now that I had run 26.2 miles less than two weeks ago!


Tuesday, 5 May 2009

THE IDEA

It started with a tiny whisper of an idea,
which implanted, 
a stubborn seed into a strong mind
but a weak body.
winters day's spent mummified
fighting angry elements,
fingers frozen,
arthritis garnled and cold,
old lady shuffling feet,
slow mile after slow mile.
Stiches!
An angry cobra,
attacking a right side,
biting deep into fleash,
as breathe became shallow,
and painful
forcing a tortoise pace. 
Knees ached, a dull thobbing pain
which called for more cold,
frozen veg, leg's up on sofa,
wondering why I was doing this to myself.

Monday, 4 May 2009

BLUE FOAM ROLLER: SELF MASSAGE DEVICE AND A RUNNERS TRUE FRIEND.


One of the things as a runner I have found I cannot live without (after  8 months of continuous running I now class myself as a runner. Runner, jogger,whatever who gives a damn as long as you put one foot infront of the other on a regualar basis your a runner. If your the Gazelle at the front of the pack busting a 7 minute mile or the penguin at the back struggling with a 13 minute mile or more your still a runner.)

So one of the  things I could not of lived without was my blue foam roller, a blue round cylinder, about 3 feet long, a one foot wide, which I ordered from the following web site. 

http://physiosupplies.com/acatalog/Round_Foam_Rollers.html#aBP_2dTE02042

It is a self massage device, highly recommended by a personal trainer I saw a few times, during my marathon training. Lord my knees were aching so much every time I ran, I had to grab a bag of frozen veg from the freezer and put them on my knees after each run. 

Now I hate the cold, so it was torture, anyway my Personal Trainer reckoned it was because of tight muscles in my calves and thighs which were pulling on my knee's. Well she done herself out of a job as the blue foam roller worked so well I never went back to see her again. (Not really, to be honest at £40 an hour and gym fees for the month I couldn't afford it).

Now I use it religously after each run, long or short, just go on the net and there are loads of exericses to choose from to loosen muscles all over your body. You can even find videos on YOU TUBE demonstrating how to use it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJLxruO3su0
That is just one example, please be careful when trying anything new, you don't want to do more harm than good, best to get someone who knows what they are doing to show you first then take it from there. The personal trainer I was talking about showed me what to do in the gym first then I bought one and felt confident enough to use it at home on my own. Slowly is my advice on using a foam roller, there is no rush,take your time.

I cannot praise the virutes of this piece of equipment enough and at £20 you can't really gripe about the price. My knees no longer hurt as much,yes they still ache a little bit sometimes but what do I expect runinng, 13,14,16,18,20, 26.2 miles! But they are no longer the problem they were.

It was not just the running that was messing up my kness in fact there was a problem before I started training. I had tried my hand at basketball earlier in the year and taken up an intense dance class a combination of these two things, plus being unfit and over weight put stress on my kness so they were in trouble before I took up running again.

The blue foam roller allowed me to run and allows me to continue running. I really missed it when I went to the Caribbean for a month back in February and could not take it with me.(If I could've squeezed in in my luggage or sneaked it on the plane I really would've).

In  fact my knees are in better shape now than they were at the beginning of my training, due to a number of reasons, religously streaching, but I will talk about that in another post, kinseo tape, again I will talk about that in another post, being 24 pounds lighter. I am sure my knees are greatful not to have to carry around so much weight, and do not have to take such a pounding everytime I step out to run, generally being fitter, so I am a lighter and more effcient runner. My knees are very greatful for all those things.

After a run I ensure I spend a little bit of time streaching and the blue foam roller is part of this routine it is worth taking the time to do it, even if it means doing a shorter run to fit both a run and a streach in, you won't regret it.

If you have any major concerns always see a Dr, but a lot of aches and pains and injuries, can be sorted or prevented by a good streaching routine. The net is a great place to find videos and examples of streaching exercises, you can do with or without a BLUE FOAM ROLLER just have a good hunt and I am sure you'll find what you are looking for.

I am the most unflexible person in the world and it has really helped to loosen me up. Even in my dancing days I would be very jelous of other dancers who could do the splits on a whim I had to work for every piece of flexiblity I had, and well here I am in the same position again, but this piece of equiptment helps, and since I aiming to be more of a Paula Radcliffe or Kelly Holmes than Darcey Bustle I no longer need to be able to do the splits of try to put my legs over my head, just a nice level of flexibilty will do me fine and this is one of my secret weapons for acheiveing this.

I am not a GP, sports scientist, physiotherapist or anything else inbetween all I am aiming to do is pass on tips, and knowledge I have gained, during my 8 months of marathon training. I have been running on and off for about 5 years now. Last September was the first time I took it really seriously and somethings I've learnt the easy way and somethings I've learnt the hard way. I am using this space to share,hopefully inspire and keep myself on track, running is no longer a passing fad for me, it is an important part of  my life I wish to keep doing, until the old bones are too old to do it anymore.

Happy rollling.

Links 

http://pilates.about.com/od/buyingequipmentetc/a/Foam-Rollers.htm
http://sportsmedicine.about.com/od/flexibilityandstretching/ss/FoamRoller.htm

FIRST RUN SINCE THE MARATHON

Well I have been struck down with a cold since Friday, and that has to be the longest bout I have had in years,usually I am down and out for a day and that is it, but this time I had to conceed that it was a little bit more than my normal cold.
Well I went out for a two miler and it was lovely to streach my legs, even if it was raining,in fact the rain felt quite refreshing.

My body held up well, a nice slow pace made me feel comfortable,hard to believe just over a week ago I ran a marathon. Plan this week is to run a 3 miler and 4 miler then a 6 miler over the weekend to ease myself back in. I am desperate not to lose any fitness gained. I have been itching to run since last Wednesday to be honest.


I ordered my pink tutu today off ebay an pink version of the orange one I wore for the London marathon,I shall be wearing it for the Race For Life on the 31st May, makes running so much more fun and enjoyable. I'm not saying I shall wear it for every race, but if and when appropriate I shall don my tutu and run with pride.

I have decided to use this blog not just to chart my journey but to pass things I have learnt so far and to give encouragment to others who may be struggling with weight and fitness, which can be two different things. Running has been great for me both physically and emotionally and if anything I have learnt can me of use to anyone else I am happy to share.

Thats it for now

Kat

Saturday, 2 May 2009

DOWN AND OUT!!!!

Well, there goes my plan to be out and running again by the end of the week, picked up a cold yesterday which has knocked me out, was feeling great all week. a bit tired, but no major stiffness or problems, and yesterday woke up feeling crappy, mad sneezing, sore throat, sore eyes and even today, my neck and back hurts and I am exhausted from being up during the night due to a blocked nose which made it hard for me to breathe, and after sleeping during so much during the day, I could for love nor money get back to sleep!

Oh well it was bound to happen after pushing myself to the limit, no harm done, I will just use the weekend to recover then get back on track next week, I have the Wokingham half marathon to train for which is on the 24th May, I know I'm a nutter but like I keep saying the marathon was the beginning not the end of my journey, I still got at least another stone and a half to lose, and time now to work on speed, I was getting stronger and stronger by the end of my training and I am ready to start doing some speed work and pushing my times. With 4 half marathons, a sprinkling of 10k's 5k's and a 16 ,miler spread out till the end of the year, I need to be up and training again soon.

Hopefully I will be back on the road next week, I won't run if I don't feel up for it, just like when I was training for the London Marathon I know it is important for me to listen to my body,even if my mind is telling me to run, run,run. The Wokingham half was meant to be held back in February but was cancelled due to the spell of bad weather we had, it was rescheduled so to be honest I had no intention of running a half marathon again so soon after the marathon and can only go on how I feel I am 90 percent sure I am up for it or I was before this cold hit me, fingers crossed it does not take too much from me and I can be back on track again very soon.

Below is a list of my races.

Wokingham half marathon: Sunday 24th May
Race for life, London: SUNDAY 31ST May
African Caribbean leukaemia trust Marrow-thon: 10k Sunday 6th June
Race For Life:10k Blackheath Sunday 5th JULY
Down tow, up flow, Thames tow path, half marathon Sunday 26th July
Hackney Marshes Half marathon Sunday 23rd August
Adidas womens 5k challenge, Sunday 6th September
GREAT NORTH RUN Sunday 20th September
Running 4 women, windsor 8k Saturday 26th September
Kingston Human race: 16 miles Sunday 11th October


Yes it is a lot of races but I am on a mission now, given up the gym membership, the other half bought me a set of weights, and he has an exercise bike, I'll pop into my local leisure centre when and if I need to to take a yoga or pilates class, but from now on it's me an the road 4 times a week, if I can train through one of the coldest winters in years I feel confident that running is now a serious part of my life and not a passing fad, it is not something new, I have dipped in and out of running for at least 5 years but have never taken it very seriously. well I'm serious now, and hopefully it will help me to lose the rest of the weight I am trying to shift.

I now value my health so much more than I ever have living with my sister Emma for the last 6 years, it does niether of us any good if I am unhealthy and over-weight, caring for her and witnessing first hand her deterioration and everyday struggles just to walk, I shall now run for the two of us, and for brother Dan that's three so that is a lot of running I have to so, but I do it with joy and a love of life and greatfulness that I can, walk, run, shuffle and sometimes even fly,muscular dystrophy has not destroyed my family only changed what it could've been,I run in defiance of that.

Thats me for now the computer is starting to hurt my eyes and I need some more rest.

nuff love

KAT