Category Archives: Health and Fitness

First half marathon! DONE!

I did it! Yesterday I took part in the BUPA Great Birmingham Run. A whole half marathon. 13.1 miles. It wasn’t easy but it was pretty amazing. It was a personal challenge of course but I also raised some money for Kerrang Radio’s Cash for Kids. You can still donate here if you’d like to top me up!

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Before the run. Nervous but ready.

The streets of Birmingham closed off to make way for over 18000 runners of all abilities. The crowds were so great and hearing strangers calling my name out and cheering me on was quite overwhelming. I had a few ‘moments’ as I was running around because there was just so much support. Small children holding their hands out to be high fived, students banging on saucepans, different bands all along the course of all ages. So many people! It made me very proud of Birmingham.

My first 10K (6miles) was pretty easy, I had metal in my ears to keep me going, in fact I could’ve probably run faster but after all the scare stories about the hill at 10 miles I wanted to conserve the energy in my legs. I told myself that once I got to Cannon Hill Park at 9 miles then I would be nearly done (I was wrong on that one!). As I ran through the park I had a packet of sport’s beans I had finished and even though there was all sorts of race litter like bottles of water everywhere I couldn’t bring myself to drop it so I ran over to a woman cheering me on and asked her to get rid of it for me. I hate litterbugs! Haha. My mother and father in law were in the park waiting for me to go past so it was pretty ace to see them.

Then things got a little more difficult. I was running through residential roads in an area I wasn’t familiar with, it was a little quieter and the impending hill made it bit more ominous. As I got onto the main road I could see an incline, I ran as much as my little legs could take and it was OK for a while although my language may not have been the most ladylike. Rounding another corner at about 10.5 miles it got steeper and although I kept my arms moving as if I was running my pace slowed right down and I started to feel the burn. I had to push myself to keep going and I was relieved to see the 11 mile marker. Even though I had run 11 miles I thought to myself, ‘I can run 2 miles easy’, so I went for it, down into the dip and up onto Broad Street, kept on going, then lo and behold in the distance I could see the finish line! A beautiful finish line.

200m from the finish line and the moment I saw my awesome man and family cheering me on. Amazing feeling.

At the 200m marker I heard familar voices shouting my name and I saw my man, my Mom, stepdad, brother, sister in law, Nan, Aunt, Uncle and cousin all cheering me.  Best thing ever. I ran over the finish line and my eyes started leaking. I couldn’t believe it was over and I had done it, I so was overwhelmed by the whole experience. There was quite a walk to get my medal and goodie bag before I could find everyone to get some hugs and I broke down, it was all too much! I felt so chuffed but so knackered.

Walking back to the car park near Moor Street station was a challenge. When we got home the bath was most welcome. I made the mistake of lying on the bed afterwards and then it was game over for a couple of hours. I woke up tired and still quite emotional. Then I heard the news of the runner that passed away at the finish line and I felt very sad.

So that was yesterday. I woke up this morning after a long sleep and it all seems unreal now. I had so many messages of support on Facebook and Twitter too and there have been some brilliant photos taken to remind me of my day. If you’re reading this thinking ‘I could never do that’ then think again. Look back at my first running post when I could only run for 1 minute at a time. Anything is acheivable. Literally one step at a time.

Thanks for reading and for everyone who has wished me well.

Love & hugs,
Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

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Progress & deciding on a charity

It’s all going well!

I got  a personal best  for 5K at Brueton Park Run a couple of Saturdays ago so that’s one of my August targets done. I’ve actually weirdly enjoyed my longer runs more than the 5K’s though. It’s been a hot couple of weeks and I find myself hoping that it rains when I’m running! On Tuesday I managed to run 7.5 miles, that’s 12K. Each week I need to improve by 1k. Well, I would like to. Apparently you only NEED to be able to run about 10 miles before the day but I want to get as close as I can to the 21K 13.1 distance! Seem like a big ask at the moment but then I just have to remember that a few months ago running for 5 minutes none stop seemed like a big achievement. Just got to do my best and hope all keeps going A OK.

Targets remaining for August:

Personal best 10k

Be able to run 13K by the end of the month

Do-able? I hope so.
In other news after much umming and ahhing I finally decided which charity I’m going to run for. I called a nice lady called Kerrie at Kerrang Radio and I’m going to be raising money for their Cash for Kids charity.

Read this page all about it.

I’ve set up the Just Giving page too so start me off if you’d like : )

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Stace’s Great Brum Run
Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

Keep on running – Half marathon?!

I haven’t posted about my running in a while. I have kept up my running although in the month after my first 10k race I found my motivation was affected by not having a goal and I just ran the odd 3 or 4 miles here and there.

At the end of July it was my birthday so for my present I asked my Mom to register me for the Bupa Great Birmingham Run half marathon in October!

Bupa Great Birmingham Run

Now I have another goal set I’m back on the case. My plan is to fit in three or four runs a week and each Sunday do a long run and up my distance 1k  further every week until I can get close to the 21k distance required for the half marathon. It seems like a big task at the moment but then it seemed that way to be able to run 5K and then 10k and I did it so I may as well give it a bash.

Last week I wasn’t too well so my mileage went right down but I’m determined to make up for it. I even got up early Monday & Tuesday to run 5k. I’ve also got another sport’s bra so now I can wash one wear one rather than not running because my bra isn’t dry yet, haha. Now I have a Shock Absorber and a rather nice one from M&S which was a bargain.
I’ll try and keep my blog up to date as it’s another thing that will keep me motivated.

So here are my goals:

Personal best 5k & 10K

Increase the distance I can run to 13k by the end of August.

I’ve typed it now so I have to do it.

Fingers crossed!
Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

My first 10K race – Race for Life

Well I did it! Yesterday on the 24th June 2012, I ran the Coventry and Warwickshire 10K Race for Life at Stoneleigh Park in Kenilworth. The Solihull one in July is nearer but as it is 5K I wanted to set myself the challenge to run further so I decided to sign up for a 10k.

This was my back sign.

We lost my grandad to cancer when I was little but in comparison to some of the other runners I felt lucky that I have not lost anyone since and I hope I never do. My father in law has been doing very well with his chemo and I wanted to mention him too. Whenever my mother in law Pam asks him to do anything he says ‘I’m ill you know’ to get out of it. He is, but not quite ill enough to get out of the vacuuming : ).

I wasn’t quite prepared for how sad it would make me when I was writing my sign. It hit me why I was doing a race for charity. When my Nan saw that I had put my grandad on it it made us both cry. Seeing other people’s back signs whilst queuing at the start line I had to pull myself together. I realised how lucky I am that I haven’t had to experience some of the heartache that others have.

I had run the 10K distance only once before so my aim was to complete the route without stopping. I had good support from my man Ban, my brother Rick and my Mom, Stepdad and Nan came too. It was nice to see them as I passed them on the way around.

I made it round the 10K route and bettered my previous time by ten whole minutes. I was very chuffed.

Here is me afterwards with my Race for Life medal and a chuffed face.

It’s been exactly four months since I took up the running challenge and started Couch to 5K. My journey to 10k actually felt a lot easier. My plan now is to get a bit faster and improve on my distance even further. I’ll tentatively say I’m quite keen on entering the Birmingham half marathon in October!

Now for the important bit. With the kind donations from friends and family I have so far raised £335 online for Cancer Research UK and another £40 offline taking the total to £375! Smashed my target of £250!

You can still sponsor me though! : )

Be Ace Sponsor Stace to Race

Mahoosive thanks to all who supported me by being there, tweeting me, messaging me and of course sponsoring me.

Big love

Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

10K Race for Life – It’s tomorrow!

Tomorrow I am running my first 10K race! It’s a Race for Life for Cancer Research.

I began running 4 months ago and initially did the NHS Couch to 5K and have since run a few official 5K Park Runs and upped my distances with each run too. Read my previous posts about my Journey to 10K

I am excited about tomorrow but nervous too. I have my brilliant man and family coming to support me and I know this time tomorrow I’ll feel great. I just hope to complete it without walking and maybe get a time a little bit faster than the first time I actually ran the distance. If I do it in 1hr 15 I’ll be happy for my first 10K.

Watch this space for race report and pics.

Stace x
Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

7 stone 6, a healthy weight?!

Since I’ve started running I have lost 1/2 stone. I’ve always been someone who when I mention eating more healthily or exercising people respond with

‘but you don’t need to’.

I’ve never been bothered about my weight or obssessive but maybe since hitting 30 and gaining a bit more bum I have been a bit more aware of keeping check on it mainly for health purposes.

With so many people experiencing difficulties and insecurities about weight I feel lucky.

Keep reading! This isn’t a smug self satisfied ‘look at me aren’t I great for being a healthy weight’ post.

At 9 stone 1 with a BMI of 22.5 I am according to the NHS website, a healthy weight.

I then stumbled on this website weightlossresources.co.uk and I input my details on their calculator…

In answer to the question ‘Do I need to lose weight?’ the advice is very different with regards to my ‘healthy’ weight.

Losing 1 stone 9lb could apparently make me feel better!  That would make me 7 stone 6!

Anyone think that losing nearly TWO stone would make me look and feel better as they suggest?

Just another thought. I am a size 10. If I lost 1 stone 9lbs what dress size would it make me? Size 6? Size 4? Healthy???

There’s also a big discrepancy with the calculator. If I input 7st 6 as my weight it thankfully tells me that I would be underweight (similarly for all weights from 7st 6 to 8st 1).

BUT

When I input 8 stone 2 it tells me I could think about losing up to 10lbs! I think you can understand the danger here.

Eating disorder anyone?

Despite some other good resources on this site I can’t help wonder how dangerous calculators like this could be to young people and those with lower self esteem, people already battling body dysmorphia and eating disorders etc.

What are your thoughts?

Stace

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

Lurgy running break did me good!

After a week of sneezing and coughing and stressing my fitness would suffer all the worry was unfounded. I had my 24 hour ECG fitted on Thursday I still felt rough but needed to give my heart something to do. The problems were that it was tipping it down outside, I couldn’t get the ECG wet and I was full of cold. What to do? Well I called my local Fitness First who very kindly gave me a free day pass. Off I went to use their treadmill. I’ve never really ran on one before and never let go whilst on one! I can’t say the experience was a good one. The staff were very lovely and the gym was nice but I was already running a temperature and it was too hot in there for my hot blood. Also a problem with a gym is people! Sweaty people. Nope, I decided I much prefer running outside. I only managed 2.5 miles for the sake of recording something on the ECG and trundled back home hotter, feeling poorly, deflated and frustrated. Reluctantly I decided that I would have to give in and leave it another couple of days.

 

Yesterday (Sunday) I was determined that I was going to get back to it. My previous best distance had been 5.1 miles before the lurgy set in so I was fully expecting to be able to maybe do 3. Then a weird thing happened. Although slow my legs kept running! I ran around the quiet Sunday streets deciding on my route as I went along.  As I neared home I checked my Endomondo on my phone and I had done 5.5 miles! As my target to get to before my Race for Life is 6.2 miles (10k) I just thought ‘sod it’ and carried on. The result? 6.25 miles AKA 10K two weeks before my target and despite the break in training due to the lurgy! As you can imagine I am quite pleased! So now I have two weeks to keep my fitness up and maybe improve my time (with the help of @Runningonline).

If you’re reading this and have a quid, or £3.42 or whatever amount then sponsor me pleasey! It will help my motivation of course and will convince me that all this Couch to 5k and Journey to 10k has been worth it to make some money for charidee mate.

Cheers!

Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

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Upping my distances, trying to be cool

About time I wrote a running update for your eyeholes to read. After completing my first 5K Park Run with the ‘grown up’ runners I’ve been trying to up my distances. I improved my time at my second Park Run and felt a little more confident. Since then (two weeks ago) I’ve been gradually upping my distances and running every other day. The best run was on Sunday when I managed a full 4.25 miles. Very pleased with that! My dodgy ankle has also been behaving  just about.

However, this week that big ball of hot stuff in the sky has scuppered my plans somewhat. Lovely as it is I didn’t realise how a rise in temperature could make such a difference. After a sleepless night on Monday night my attempts to run in the sun on Tuesday proved difficult and for the first time I had to give in. I tend to be quite hot blooded anyway and I’ve already found getting too hot a problem above any other even in cooler weather. I tried again yesterday morning and went out earlier. It was still quite warm and I just did 5K. I’m going to do my third Park Run at Brueton park in the morning and then (weather pending) just keep working on my endurance and getting that distance closer to the 10K mark. I have one month until my Race for Life. Eeek.

The good news is that yesterday I won a competition on Twitter via AXA PPP Healthcare. Just the boost I needed. I won an online running course from this great website Up and Running who you can also follow on Twitter @runningonline

They have all sorts of courses to help runners and I’m looking forward to getting some more inspiration and keeping my motivation levels high.

I’ll keep you posted.

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Stace x

Follow me @StaceInspire

My first official 5K Park Run

This morning, one week after graduating Couch to 5K I ran my first Park Run in Brueton Park. Park runs are officially timed runs which go on all over the country for people at all levels (thankfully!). You can find your nearest one here.

It was a bit early for me on a Saturday morning. We usually just sit in bed and watch cookery programmes! I got up early enough to have a cup of tea and a Digestive biscuit. My Uncle who runs marathons said he would come with me and so I picked him up and we made our way to Brueton Park. I’m not used to running with anyone at all so when I saw so many other people it was a bit scary! My brother popped up out of nowhere to support me which was a nice surprise. Once we’d started it was fine although it took me until about three quarters of the way through to fully believe I was going to finish, despite it being my 4th 5K! Must keep the faith. I was very pleased when I had done it.

Just finished! (Photo courtesy of race photographer Kevin Baldry)

My shady ankle behaved until afterwards when it was very stiff but I’m going to just keep it elevated after each run and hope it strengthens. At lunch time the results were put on the website and I was pleased I had actually beat my personal best by 3 mins 26 seconds.

Click to see the route on Endomondo

I’m glad I did it. Next step is to start the Bridge to 10K on Monday and start training for my 10K Race for Life!
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Stace x

Follow me @StaceInspire

Week 8 – One week to go!

For the three runs of week 8 I ran the same route just so I could compare my times and distances. At the end of week 7 I was doing 2 miles in 25 mins. Here at the end of week 8 I can now do 2.5 miles in 31 minutes. I think this week has been the best so far. I’ve actually felt more like a grown up runner. Run 2 in the rain was great and I actually felt disappointed today when it didn’t rain on me. I’m feeling more confident now that I have exceeded the 30 minute target and so fingers crossed I can make up that half a mile or so this week to get to the 5K mark. As soon as I do I have my next goal in mind which I’m planning to share as soon as I have graduated and run my first park run on the 5th May.

Stace
Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

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