Saturday, 23 February 2013

Devine intervention

Friday morning...Run to work...With running mojo back intact, I bounced out of bed at 5:15am full of excitement (if you believe that, you'll believe anything!)

Today I would be running on empty, after fasting through the night, like everyone does (unless you're the secret lemonade drinker....I think only older UK readers will get that reference!) The purpose of today's run was to fat burn, and use stored body fat for fuel (and there's enough of it!) You have to be careful doing this and I wouldn't recommend this to inexperienced runners.

I had a big drink before I left to start hydrated (that's important) and off I trundled. I deliberately kept the pace slow, and headed off to the Basingstoke canal, that would take me the 13 miles to work. I was meeting friend and work colleague Brian enroute at around halfway.

After meeting Brian and running on for a few more miles chatting about our favourite subject (surprise, surprise...running) the conversation turned to our other regular subject of food!

Now Brian has been doing this fat burning run for a while, he's like a camel! No he's not disfigured with two humps on his back, but seems to be able to run on very little. He rarely eats or drinks on runs of this type of distance and uses what he has stored in his body.

Now let me get to the main part of the story. Friday is treat day. We have an amazing snack van that is set up right near the office that does the best breakfast sandwiches etc.

At about mile 10 we were both really hungry, but a colleague who regularly uses the van (he even gets discount) told us the day before that the van would not be open today.

As we knew this information our thoughts turned to poor substitutes of what we could eat instead once arriving at work, which is basically porridge, something from the snack box or something very inferior from a van that turns up at 9:30 in the morning.

Feeling disheartened as we approached the office we came off the canal and got on the road for a short distance to the finish of the run.

As we got on the Tarmac path I noticed that the snack lady had left her advertising sign up on the path of the main road. This was a real kick in the teeth, and a tease as two tired and hungry runners ran pass.

We turned into the road on our work estate and was greeted by a waft of cooked bacon. This must be coming from a nearby house we thought...another kick in the teeth!

But of my greatest moments in running...we ran past the snack van which is permanently stationed in the building centre...SHE WAS OPEN!!!...She was not meant to be open but there in all it's glory the snack van was in full flow and cooking breakfast...The clouds parted and the sun shone down on two runners weeping and dancing with glee (OK that bit did not happen but we were very happy!)

I'd never felt elation like this on any run before, runners high comes nowhere near it!

Within 10 minutes of finishing the run we were sitting at our desks washed and changed tucking into a well earned breakfast!!!

Hallelujah there is a God!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Lost Mojo

Thankfully it did not last long and it does not happen very often, but I lost my running mojo.

I was still happy to read, tweet and talk about running, I was still in love with running, but I just couldn't actually motivate myself to run the big miles.

I was getting out every few days for 4 miles here and there, but was not running nowhere near consistently or long as normal.

I was eating more crap and having the odd tipple more than usual. I don't drink huge amounts anyway but I was letting my hair down and eating and drinking more.
And do you know what, I think that's what I needed to do, relax and take the pressure away from running. I'd had my best year running in 2012 and now it was time to reflect and recharge.

Something that I never do is have some down time and cut back the running. I run the same miles week in week out for 52 weeks of the year.

But its been a long cold winter and the motivation to get up and run on a cold Friday morning to work, had been used up.

To start with it was nice staying in bed to normal o`clock rather than stupid o'clock. It was nice having some lunch breaks not running, but then as easy as I lost my mojo, it came bouncing back. I was missing my running routine.

As Ive said, I'm now fed up of the winter cold runs and am looking forward to feel the sun on a run once again, but the winter is still upon us, but I'm back where I belong.

To help me re motivate myself, I changed a few things.

One of those things was to listen to music on the run. Now I would never put music on when doing a long trail run, there is no substitute for listening to nature's song when you're alone in the middle of nowhere, but for those long runs into work on a dark cold Friday morning it was a great pick me up. I brought myself some new running headphones, the ipod went on shuffle and was kind to me picking out favourites from Jason Mraz, John Mayer and Eric Hutchinson.

The ipod went on shuffle and was kind to me picking out favourites from Jason Mraz, John Mayer and Eric Hutchinson.

I've also been running with different people which has been amazing. I run with @bsmithy100 and @jedirider from Twitter every week, but recently @starterfour10 has joined us which gives another dynamic to the run.

Last Sunday I headed out over the North Downs with new friends from Twitter, @thompson_sj, his friend Marshall and @stuartleewhite

Even Twitter itself is a great motivation tool chatting with like minded people.

Running has become as much as a necessity in my life as eating. Its something I just do and will always do till my legs cant carry me no more. I'm sure along the journey there will be more loss mojo moments as well as inspirational running moments, and it's those moments that I will hold onto to carry me on.

Thank you for listening. Enjoy and appreciate every run good or bad, till next time....Ian

Monday, 4 February 2013

Athletes foot: Itching to get running again


If you've had athletes foot before you will know what I'm going through....if not watch this short video below:

Yep, that's what it feels like....It is burning, burning, burning!!!

I've had athletes foot before, but not like at the moment as it has become infected so I am on antibiotics, and using a cream and a powder.

I'm going through hell so I'd thought I'd share a few tips on prevention.

Do not itch, I repeat DO NOT ITCH, and believe me, you will want to itch! By itching too much I damaged the skin which became infected. Athletes foot itches like mad and having a good old itch will temporarily relieve the annoyance...but be warned.

Athletes foot is a fungal infection. It loves warm moist places, it loves athletes! With running especially in wet conditions, make sure after your run, that your feet are dry. I would suggest that you use an everyday talc on your feet. Keep it in your kit bag and use after each run or after you shower.

So how does it start? Usually between the little toe and the one next to it. If not treated, a rash can form on the bottom, sides and top of your feet.

For treatment I've been using a cream and a powder. As well as clearing up the condition they also give great relief to the itching. I am using Canesten dual action cream and Scholl foot talc twice a day. This should be effective in the treatment of athletes foot especially if you start using on the first signs of the infection. If like me you leave it and ignore it you will pay the price, become infected and it will stop you from running. It can also spread to other parts of the body, including the palms of the hands which I have suffered from too.

I haven't been able to run for near on a week now due to my foot swelling and being incredibly sore to walk on.

So that's two weeks of low mileage now, and I've generally been feeling sorry for myself, eating more than usual and eating all the wrong things. It's amazing how I've taken running for granted. I've only missed a week of running but it feels like an eternity. I feel lethargic, bloated and ITCHY and it's been horrible. I just cant imagine a life without running now, it's just something I do, and with less than five weeks till my hilly 21 mile race, I need to get back to doing!