Autumn – Let’s be Having Ya!

New Look for A/W 2013!  Waddya think? Don’t I look the professional blogger type? So shiny!

So with that, I am very pleased to announce I am back in training. New shoes, new look, new races in the diary – and the weather is near perfect for it. Cold, windy and a bit wet. As they say, if its not raining, its not training. This is also my excuse for not updating the blog, I have been outside, RUNNING! Yes you heard right, I’m back doing decent mileage too. It’s been bloody brilliant.

Monday’s finds me training with RDCWest, clocking up about 5 pretty steady miles with the crew. I’m not pushing myself too hard as I am incredibly paranoid I am going to injure myself for a 3rd time in less than a year – which would just be plain stupidity and I don’t think BUPA would be terribly sympathetic. I’m reminding myself that speed is not the priority right now, time is irrelevant, its just about getting out there and getting my endurance and fitness back up to scratch.

Thursday’s I’ve joined RDCWest’s very own track mafia. Last night I survived my very first taste of track and did not puke, pass out or cry. I’m taking that as a massive win. I do have a slightly niggly knee, but the physio assures me that’s not the end of the world, and a bit of ibuprofen and MORE FOAM ROLLING will do the trick.

Brand Spanking New Trainers (they even squeak)

CREW! Hitting Little Venice

Happy Endorphin Running Face = Mash Up

If all that wasn’t enough, I’ve started sampling the free weight section at my local gym. The wonderful Jim Murphy  has designed both a lower body and upper body work out developed to support my running, and get my upper body stronger. Its pretty killer. I couldn’t walk for about 3 days afterwards and discovered what DOMS stands for on fitness blogs. Yes those. I had them. D.O.M.S.

Serious Buns of Steel. OUCH

I am hoping the additional time in the weights room will pay off when I am hauling myself over massive walls and running through London Mud (ew) in the Survival of the Fittest event I am competing in on Nov 16th. This deserves its very own blog piece, but involves me and five other  kick ass ladies kitting up and showing the boys how its done. Or at the very least getting covered in mud and having a really good laugh making total asses of ourselves. New hobby it would seem.

So with Survival of the Fittest and Movember 10K taking me into the festive season, and the Brighton and Berlin Half to prepare for in the Spring, I’ve got plenty to keep me occupied, and hopefully, injury free!

Huge thanks to Michelle Allan for the awesome new header – she’s a super talented design lady and all round bad ass running hero who is also raising money for Tommy’s – check out her site, great offers on designs for a limited time, for a fantastic charity.

Climbing the Walls

Over the past month or so, my friend Christina and I have taken to the ropes and started climbing the walls. Many walls. Walls that are very very high. I’m not entirely sure what possessed me to say yes in the first place, I am terrified of heights. Given I’ve jumped out of a plane, a tad odd. But that feels totally surreal and, as it was a tandem, I had little influence of what happened. So you kind of have to just go with it!

Climbing is a different story. You tie your own knots, or you’re belaying for your climbing partner –  so it’s pretty imperative you know what you’re doing with the rope – you know, to stop yourself or your partner plummeting to the floor. The height thing is VERY real. You’re only a few storeys up, so you can see the floor and it looks very far away and very very hard. It’s you and the rope and a few small blocks on a wall, and with my fear of heights, very sweaty palms.

I must be honest, I still find it totally totally scary. I’m enjoying it, but I’m not yet all that comfortable on the rope, although I’ve done the test falling, actually missing a hold when you don’t intend to, or slipping is completely terrifying. I’m sure the more I do it the less nervous and anxious I’ll be. Which is one of the reasons I am doing it. Literally confronting pretty visceral fear, and climbing through it.

Today, our third private lesson, we climbed in the Horseshoe which is more structured, but with no incline and slightly harder routes. Each route is graded on difficulty (lower the number the easier the climb). I’m still tackling grade 3 or just grabbing whatever I can get my hands on –  literally! What I have really noticed is that is much more of a head sport rather than a brute physical strength sport. Sure, strength and flexibility will help, but its the strategy of getting up and over and thinking what goes where and at what angle, that really uses the grey matter. And that’s why I am enjoying it.

I had my first taste of proper fear of being stuck today. I managed to get half way up and just couldn’t figure out where to go without falling, and my right leg, (which is currently running injured) was shaking like crazy. I very nearly threw in the towel. I remembered a trick I have picked up from running. Breathe, don’t panic, just breathe. And found the next move. Its hugely rewarding to get to the top. I’m sure this is good for my head, and the adrenalin is pretty cool too.

The next stop is Stina and I passing the competence test and actually climbing on our own without the instructors and building our confidence on the more challenging  routes.

Smashed it!
Hanging around