Feed me!

The Boyf and I thought it would be good to share some of the food related creations he comes up with, as I know people often struggle for ideas for smoothies, healthy snacks and recovery food.  I’ll be posting these up on my @iamkatruns Instagram as and when he makes them, but will also try and do a regular round-up on here for those of you who don’t do Instagram or miss them in the daily flow of random stuff!

So here you go!  I hope this gives you some good ideas.

 

Competition: Join me on LEJOG

#LETJOGFor the last 3 years I have participated in a Facebook challenge to cover the distance from Lands End to John O’Groats via my training runs and races (thanks @Loudmouthman for the intro).  I fell short in 2014, but in 2015 I smashed it and look to do so again in 2016 assuming I can stay injury free.  I currently have 89km to go!

It’s no surprise that when I found out about the Conqueror Events virtual LEJOG that I got involved straight away.  This is a virtual event that allows you to input your runs, bike rides etc (basically any forward motion) and race your way through LEJOG.  Keep reading and I’ll give you the opportunity to win a Bronze level entry (you can top up to Gold if you want to).

What makes this different from what I have been doing up to know is that you get an added virtual environment, no more will I just tick off the kilometres with no real concept of distance and location….now I will be able to “see” where I have been running as the app and website let’s me check out the actual route via Google Streetview.  I’ll also be able to share my virtual journey by sending online progress postcards.

You can sign-up as a team, or an individual and chose how long you are going to take to cover the 1084 miles (from 3 months to 1 year).  I’ve going to be solo-ing and have given myself a year to do it. As you know I am focused on training smart, not hard and so don’t want to put pressure on myself to do the distance in 9 months just in case my plans change and my training volume drops.

Image - t-shirt and medalSo who fancies joining me?  I’m giving away a free entry at Bronze level which gives you access to the challenge, use of the app and website and a prize draw entry.  You also get a downloadable certificate once you have finished LEJOG.  If you fancy getting a great t-shirt, or a medal (along with extra prize draw entries) then you can pay a little top-up to the Silver or Gold entry level.

You can read all about it on the website, use my affiliate link and you’ll get £5/$7 off the entry price.

Why not get a group of friends together and enter as a team?  Use it as a way to motivate your Coach to 5 km group, or be crazy like me and commit to going it alone!

All you need to do to enter is provide me with your email address using the entry form below (how else am I going to tell you you have won?), you can also gain extra entries by following Tailfish on Twitter, or visiting the Tailfish Blog Facebook page.  What are you waiting for?  Get Clicking! And if you can’t see the form below then go here instead.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Entries will close in plenty of time to let those of you who weren’t lucky enough to win a chance to sign up via https://www.theconqueror.events/go/tailfish.

How to be an ultra-runner

Posts are pending, 2 marathons completed, 2 marathons that aborted at the halfway point and a giant mosquito blister have all occurred and I will write them up soon.
In the meantime enjoy this video from Trail and Ultra Running on how to be an ultra-runner…..thanks to the Boyf for spotting and sharing this with me on Facebook.

I am off to count my hand-helds and hunt down a book on animal tracks!

Race Review: Spitfire Scramble

5 days on and the mosquito bites on my legs have just about stopped itching…..the sunburn on my calves is still providing comedy value for my colleagues though!

Last weekend was spent in a field at Hornchurch Country Park in Essex. I blame Helen….although I am sure the Boyf blames her more! She had suggested that some of the UK Fitness Bloggers crew should enter the Spitfire Scramble 24 hour race as a team in 2016, things rapidly spiralled out of control and not only were we signed up as a team of 8 to run in 2015 but somehow I had signed the Boyf to run it solo!

A few team member changes occurred over the period before sign-up as people broke & couldn’t recover in time but our merry band of 8 UK Fitness Bloggers (@Helsieboo, @knittingpenguin, @nairobiny, @plustenner, @PtMollie, @CoreyLearn & @lifemychallenge) plus associated families and friends converged in the aforementioned field. Some lucky people arrived on Friday in the rain (perfect British camping weather) but a hectic time at work (and the need for the Boyf to get a good night’s sleep) meant that we rocked up on the Saturday morning just as some of our intrepid crew headed off to do parkrun as a nice little 5km warm-up. Just what you need when you are planning on running a further 30ish km over the course of the weekend (each lap was about 9.5km).

#foodtentWe managed to get our tents pitched…..food tent for the Boyf rated as easy (it expanded out as I opened the bag) but the main tent was a bit trickier. I am really glad we didn’t have to pitch it in the dark or rain! Thanks Sabine for helping us get it sorted.   It was really great to meet everyone in person as I had only met Alma before in real life. I think we were all a mix of nervousness and eagerness not only to put faces to names but also to get racing. Helen had prepped a race-order list with expected run times to keep us on track and over the course of the day we kept this updated with actual times so that everyone had a good idea of when to get prepped for their next lap. Corey completing lap 1Corey had got us all some great headbands to wear and these really helped us stand out….regular readers will already know I have a love of bright colours as they can been seen from a distance and these meant you could spot your team-mate easily as they ran round the field to the handover point. They also helped the Boyf recognise people as they passed him on their laps once the race was underway. As a solo runner he was taking things at a steady pace whilst we were all bombing round at high-speed (it’s nice knowing you have 8 hours to recover between laps) but it meant he could spot friendly faces at a glance!

We were lucky enough to have some goodies to test whilst we were racing and for my first lap I wore the wicking t-shirt from Trespass. I’ve had Trespass clothing before for snowboarding and it’s been good quality and value for money. This shirt was no different. It was comfortable to wear and given the heat I felt that the wicking action worked really well. I was wearing my x-bionic Fennec top underneath as I like to have something compressiony on when I run but even with a dual-layer I didn’t cook. I was really impressed. I’m definitely going to make this one of my gym shirts as not only is it light but it has a zipped pocket in the side which will be perfect for holding my gym pass and my Techno-key for the machines.

I spent the day chilling with the team and flitting back and forth to the food tent to crew for the Boyf. It was great to see fellow parkrun friends as well. Neferpus popped over with Abradypus after their spot of voluntourism and Urglecom was there running as part of another team. Abradypus actually stayed for the entire weekend, looking after the Boyf in the darkest hours of the night whilst I was out running and it was marvellous knowing he was in safe hands when I wasn’t able to be there for him. All the team were so supportive of him and his solo efforts and I know we both really appreciated it. I also managed to keep myself hydrated with my Sistema Wave twist-top water bottle. This is now my water bottle for work because as long as I remember to close the twist top it reduces the risk of me spilling it over my laptop when I get a bit arm-wavey on my conference calls.

Helen had arranged the plan so that I did my 2nd & 3rd laps together in the dark. This really helped me with my prep for future races as I have a couple of night ultras coming up and then my big 100 miler in July next year. I used my Trespass lamp as a secondary light whilst crewing the Boyf but it wouldn’t have been strong enough for my run. The course was not lit except for the water station and there wasn’t much ambient light either (especially not in the wooded section) so I was glad to have my LED Lenser 7 with me. That lamp is amazing, it is so bright and the great thing is it takes 3 AAA batteries or the battery block that it comes with. This means if you are running all the way through the night you can easily swap power source if you need to. I also had my bargain 100 lumen mini handheld torch as well. I didn’t have to use it but it meant I had an extra method of blinding any non-runners should they choose to sneak up on me (thankfully no one did, but when you are running in the dark at 2am it’s better to be prepared!).

Shortly after my laps were finished the Boyf decided that after 12 laps he needed a break, so we headed to the tent and crashed for about 40 minutes. Then it was coffee time and a walk to the results tent to check how everyone was doing. My Spitfire Scramble lap times

It was so cool having live updates throughout the course of the race. There was a screen showing live updates of times and positions of all the teams, pairs and solo runners which if you were part of a fast team meant you could keep track of your placings (we were slightly more relaxed about that side of things than some teams were!). You could also check lap times based on someone’s race number, this as great for me as it meant I could check the Boyf’s pace and progress each time he finished a lap. This was a huge help for me, especially for the laps when we were both out running and I wasn’t at the crew point.

He had pretty much decided to call it a day with 12 laps in the bag but Mike convinced us we might as well walk a lap with our coffees, there was still 6 hours left to go on the clock so off we went. We took it nice and steady but decided that 13 laps was more than enough. There was no real benefit in death-marching it to the end so instead we slept a bit more and supported my team as they finished off the race. I am so glad I had done all my running as it was really tough for everyone else pulling out a 3rd lap after another 8 hour break! Well done Teamies, you were amazing!

In the end we finished 31st out of 42 teams in the mixed 6-8 group. 23 laps in 24:15:55! This was my first 24 hour race and I loved it….thanks Helen for coming up with the idea and to everyone else for jumping on board and making it a really fun weekend!  I had a great time and I am really pleased with the times I ran my laps in.

Thanks also to those who supported me with free stuff to use as part of the race, despite this the views in the post are honest, open and my own.

If you want to read some of the other team members views of their time at Spitfire Scramble then here are some links for you:

Alma

Andrew

Cassie

Corey

Helen

Molly

Sabine

My Garmin Stats:

Lap 1

Lap 2 & Lap 3 (night double)

Run (not a race) Review: Lullingstone parkrun

We had a weekend plan….easy parkrun, hard effort run at the seaside, family visit.  You may question my choice of Lullingstone parkrun as easy (it is a two lap course with a hill) but I thought I had that covered.  I volunteered to be a tailrunner on tour, not only would I be doing my bit to help out another parkrun but I would be able to take things easy.  My recent tailrunner on tour efforts were 51:25 at Dartford and 52:51 at Fellfoot, so I was expecting Lullingstone to be similar.  Boy was I wrong!

Lullingstone parkrun this morning with @asicseurope #intersportUK #PoundTheRoad #loveparkrun @intersport_ukWe arrived in plenty of time for me to walk up the gentle hill to the start to collect my volunteer parking pass (parking costs £2.50 but lasts all day so you could make sure you get your money’s worth by sticking around after parkrun).  The core team were really welcoming and I could sense that it was going to be a nice parkrun to be at, with 44 runners on the day it had a really nice, friendly vibe to it.   One of the runners, Richard (in the VM80-84 age category), decked out in his 100 shirt let me know he would most likely be joining me at the back of the pack.  I hope I can be forgiven for still thinking that my easy tail-run was on…..I was rapidly proven wrong!  Despite telling me as he set out that he’d be taking it easy (he was a bit tired from the recent British Vets Sprint championships last weekend and a 5km race on the Friday) we were off up the hill.  Thankfully my powerhike was enough to keep up with him for the most part but I already felt like this was going to be a toughy.  We chatted as we went and he pointed out the lovely view over the golf course.  We were soon up the hill and into a slightly steeper climb in the woods.  I would say that these were all runnable if you were in the mood to be running up hill but thankfully we took it slightly easier.  We were then into the long down through the trees and back out onto the grass we had climber earlier.  Serious speed emerged on this section and we definitely made the most of gravity assisting us to the turnaround point. Lullingstone parkrun #parkrun #loveparkrun

The volunteer marshals were all really cheery and it was nice to have their support as we took in the gentle climb back to the start and loop 2.  Lullingstone really is a lovely parkrun, yes you have to climb the hill twice but the downhill more than makes up for it.  On lap 2 I stopped to take some photos in the tree section, they had some great bug shaped benches and a “thou shalt not pass” short-cut stopper at the top of the hill.  I admit that I wasn’t able to catch Richard up after my stops as he was really flying on the downhill section.  Another cheery hi to the marshal at the turnaround point and then I pushed on up to the finish.  Tailrun complete, 44th over the line in 36:17!  My last steady run at Wimpole Estate was finished in 35:30!

Lullingstone parkrun #parkrun #loveparkrunIt was certainly not what I expected, that’s for sure.  I was chatting to the team afterwards and they are a bit concerned that Lullingstone is getting a reputation for being tough (and in fact the Boyf and I do think it has just nudged Tring off the top of our list), but equally they would welcome more slower runners.  It is a great course, the views are lovely and the team are more than happy to support those parkrunners who want to take things a bit easier, walk a lot of the course and just enjoy the fresh air.  So if you aren’t speedy please don’t write Lullingstone off as an option, you will be made welcome and at least you have great views and interesting woods to explore as you go round.  You also get 10% off in the cafe afterwards if you show your barcode.  We weren’t able to stay on this occasion but we will most certainly partake of a cuppa next time round. Lullingstone parkrun 3D

Garmin stats: