Run long #MixUpYourRun

Sunday was long run day, 5 minutes at 7:57/km, 70 minutes at 6:54/km. I plotted out a route to cover the 10.8km, laced up my ASICS Gel-Glorify and headed out nice and early at 8am. I generally run at this time on a Sunday as it means there’s plenty of time later in the day to get the weekly shop done and squeeze in a recovery nap or two.

The Gel-Glorify feel completely different to the 33-DFAs, you can feel straight away that the drop isn’t as great and the heel cup is really padded. I was looking forward to giving them a good session to see how they performed. Being so early it was a bit frosty, and they felt slightly skittish in places. That’s no different to any of the other trainers I have run in though, so no complaints there. The first 5km was mostly uphill. The first section on pavement, the second frozen grass. All felt good, the heel was holding well and I had no numbness issues. A very positive start to things, although it could be that I was slightly distracted listening to The Chimp Paradox by Prof Steve Peters. The downhill section started and almost immediately I started to feel pressure on my left big toe. Not so much on the end but on the top where the nail sits. Of course once you notice something like this it just sits and nags in the background. It wasn’t painful, there was just pressure there. I could have stopped to readjust my lacing but that would have meant stopping. I was feeling strong in my run and didn’t want to do that, onwards I pushed. It didn’t get worse over the next half of the run but I did get some slight tingliness in the balls of both feet.


I have a feeling that the ASICS Gel-Glorify may be a touch on the narrow side for my feet. The Boyf is a massive ASICS fan, and from our experience with snowboard boots it is pretty much guaranteed that if a boot make fits him then it’s too narrow for me. If a boot is comfy for me, it’s too wide for him. I am going to give them another session and see if lacing them slightly differently holds my foot better so it doesn’t end up pressing on my toe, but at present I don’t think I’m brave enough to wear them for my upcoming Hugin Challenge. Having managed to avoid black toenails so far I am not sure risking them on a 6 hour run is the right thing to do. That said apart from the toe niggle they were really comfy, I really want to like them and have them work for me so I am not going to write the off just yet!

Check back in for further posts on how I fair on the long run with the Gel-Glorify, and why not check out your closest Intersport and try on a pair to see if they suit you!

This Girl Does

I am very lucky, I am full of self belief, yes sometimes I am afraid, but I believe I can do anything I set my mind to. I am also pretty confident in how I look, I don’t love my body, there are bits I could improve (and sometimes if I can be bothered I try and improve them). The key thing is I don’t let those worries stop me doing the things I want. I wear short skirts (my legs aren’t stick thin), I run (bits of me jiggle, even with compression wear), I mostly can’t be bothered to put make-up on (it never lasts more than an hour), I don’t let being a girl stop me (I snowboard & do tricks, lots of girls don’t freestyle).

Not everyone is as lucky as me, not everyone has the confidence to do what they want, wear what they want, do the job they want or the sport they want….Sport England are currently running a campaign, This Girl Can, to encourage more women to be active and to show them that there are people out there playing sport & exercising in all shapes and sizes and there is no reason not to get involved and give it a go.

Body issues aren’t just a girl thing of course, and so I encourage men and women to watch these videos (This Girl Can & Behind the Scenes) and then get active. Whether you think you are too fat, too thin, too weird looking, it doesn’t matter. No one cares and if they do then tough, you mustn’t let it affect you! Get out there, get active and have some fun and show them that #thisgirlcan

On that note today’s Janathon has seen me do 30 mins of cardio at the gym over lunch, 75 squats, 27 press-ups and once my McDonald’s has gone down I’ll be doing my 130 second wall sit (my legs may drop off).

 

Finally back on a mountain

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2013 ended well with our first trip to the mountains since March 2010. The Boyf and I decided to go away for Christmas and so we hopped on the Eurostar and headed to Les Arcs. It was the first time we had been to this resort and we had a great time, even managing to get some powder on Christmas Day & Boxing Day (on piste or just to the edge). We treated ourselves and stayed at the Mercure Les Arc 1800 (review here) and we were really glad that we went for the half-board option as it took away the stress if self-catering (pasta every night gets a bit boring but options are generally limited when you have one hob ring and one saucepan to magic things up with). Breakfast was a buffet with a good mix of meats, cheeses and carby things if you fancied them and dinner was more of the same with extra meat & veg options…..we certainly didn’t go hungry!
We would definitely go back to the resort and the hotel, hopefully we’ll get that chance before go another 3.5 years without getting a mountain snow fix!

Some photos here, I will try and embed a slideshow when I am on a browser that plays nicely with Flickr.

How should you advise against killing a golden goose?

Goose

I’m currently studying a module at the Open University, E233: Sport & Exercise Psychology (a case study approach) and as part of the unit I was studying yesterday I read an interesting paper on the dropout rate of adolescent athletes from sport (Fraser-Thomas, J., Cote, J., & Deakin, J. (2008). Examining Adolescent Sport Dropout and Prolonged Engagement from a Developmental Perspective. Journal Of Applied Sport Psychology, 20(3), 318-333.).

The summary of the paper given in my OU Study Guide, “In summary, the chances of dropout from youth sporting programmes can be increased by specialising at too young an age and by unrealistically high expectations on the part of parents” , served as a useful conversation starter on Facebook, and the thread has received some interesting “likes” and comments from parents I know. I always find it quite interesting to observe the interaction of others in social forums and it’s especially interesting when you broach the subject of pushy parentage. Very few people will admit in public that they are pushy, and in fact I think it’s one of the hardest (nay impossible) issues to raise with someone.  Admittedly not having children myself it would be easy to say that I am unable to understand the nuances of parenting and whether a comment or behaviour is actually pushiness or just that of a loving and supportive parent. I disagree though, some behaviour is so obviously pushy that a blind monkey could spot it. Of course pushy parents are not blind monkeys and hence they remain oblivious to the distress they cause their child, and the concern they raise in observers.

While Googling to see if I could find a linkable copy of the paper I read to share with you all (I couldn’t find one but feel free to shout if you’re really interested and I’ll let you read my copy), I came across another interesting post on this subject. Tips for Being a Winning Sports Parent on the Sports Podium Journal website not only has some good examples of parental behaviour and the effects this can have on the child, but gives 10 tips to help parents raise happy, healthy athletes. Well worth a read whether you are a parent, or are just interested in observing them (perhaps in a virtual parent zoo).

Back to the non-blind monkeys though…..has anyone got any good tips on how to gently highlight to a parent that they are killing their child’s love of the sport? Again as a non-parent it seems that you don’t have the right to comment on someone’s parenting skills, but that doesn’t prevent you spotting pushy parenting and wanting to somehow give them a gentle heads-up that maybe they might want to take a different tack when “encouraging” their golden goose.
Feel free to post your thoughts and ideas in the comments below, or join the conversation on Facebook.

Wham Bam, Yes Please, Jam

Kat on lift

After an early start of 5:30am on Saturday 22nd, we arrived in Castleford in plenty of time to grab a quick breakfast from McDonald’s before heading in to register for the Wham Bam Thank You Jam (AKA the British Indoor Snowboard Championships). The new format seemed to be eagerly anticipated by the riders & there were about 70 snowboarders taking part over the course of the day.

After registering I bumped into fellow SNO!zone team mates Jade Walsh & her dad and we headed out to the slope for Jade’s age category comp…..this year all the under 16s had the chance to fight it out amongst their own age groups with 2 judged runs, before joining the rest of us in the jam session. Jade rode really well and was stoked to find out at the end of the day that she had placed 3rd!

The main jam session kicked off at 10:30 and we all shredded the 4 zone course for 90 minutes, they then made the first cut. As there were less of us all the girls made it through to the first zone session, only 22 guys made the cut though. I was especially pleased that 9 year old SNO!zoner Will Gilmore made it through though as he’d been riding well above his age level!

We then had half an hour sessioning the top of the slope, typically this was my least favourite section and not having the guts to hit the gnarly side on rails I resorted to working through my trick list on the pyramid box. Not the easiest of boxes to really get styled out on as it has quite short sections but I was pleased to get some nice switch tricks laid down including a switch-frontside over it. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to get me through to zone 2, but at least I know what I need to work on for future comps. If I can keep progressing on the side hits then I may stand a chance of holding my own against the youngsters.

The cuts kept coming with 50% of the riders being culled at each stage until only 4 remained in both the men’s and women’s category. In the end the style & experience of Becky Menday & Andy Nudds won out and they were crowned champions.

Kat Switch Nose Slide

It was a really fun day and I think it proved to be a winning format, the youngsters not only had the chance to face the pressure of 2 runs and beat their peers but everyone got to session a really good course in the jam section for at least 90 minutes (much longer if you we’re good enough to make the cuts). It was definitely the most riding I have done at any British Champs since my first one 9 years ago….in fact a couple of the youngsters were moaning about being tired they had ridden so much (of course this tiredness didn’t stop them beating me!).

So now it’s back to practicing, let’s see if I can build on my current skills and beat a couple of the kids in Tignes.

Results

Massive thanks has to go to VitaCoco UK who sponsored me with a months’ worth of coconut water….it really did help keep me hydrated throughout the comp and kept any major girly-leg moments at bay!