Going Further

Going further

In running, there are certain distances you become accustomed to. 5km, 10km, 10 mile, half marathon, marathon etc. These are milestones every runner grows to know intimately – you learn to recognise how you feel at certain distances and what to expect physically and mentally at different points, the result being that you develop a kind of mental store and psychological toughness that helps you be better the next time. But when you’ve ran enough races, you also learn to know how you can expect to feel at the end of certain distances. For example, even though I haven’t run for over a year, I can remember exactly how I would feel after a 5km parkrun Vs. how my body feels after a half-marathon race Vs. after a marathon.

With Cycling, I find it a lot less clear cut. I could cycle an 80km today and be in bits tomorrow. Or I might cycle 100km today and be up for cycling another 70km tomorrow, no bother. There have been some days recently when cycling 37km to work on back to back days has just knackered my legs. But where is the sense, I ask you?

Apart from being able to draw the obvious conclusion that the harder the ride and more effort you put in, the more it will take out of your body and the slower it will be to repair and refresh. And the hillier the cycle, the tougher it is – also going to tire you out more.

But generally for cycling Vs. running, there are no milestone distances to focus on – or maybe there are and I’m just out of the loop! Oh well…

Some cyclists seem to work with time, rather than distance. You cycle for an hour a few days during the week and then go for a three hour ride at the weekend, for example. I don’t work that way. I like to map out a ride beforehand and then see how long it takes me. Next time, I try do it faster. That’s what motivates me. I’m less good with a “three hour ride” because for me that’s just a licence to sit on my ass and flooter away three hours coasting along at my ease.

So I stick with distance. Up to this year, I’d never ridden over 100km, with the longest cycle I’d have competed being around 91km. So I cracked out mapmyride and mapped a few 100km -ish cycles and worked my way up to them. Then I did a race a few weeks ago which involved a 105km spin around Carlow and over Mount Leinster. I loved it.

Today I took a spin from Naas to Kilkenny, travelling through Athy, Carlow, lovely Leighlinbridge and Bagenalstown along the way. The weather was a bit crap to be honest with dark clouds, some rain and a headwind most of the way… but I was happy out just to find I could actually make it all the way to Kilkenny. Needless to say when I arrived in Kilkenny 3 hours 41 minutes later, I was delighted with life and Kilkenny was buzzing with people, despite the rain.

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I had booked to get the train back from Kilkenny to Sallins and had a bit of time before my train was due. I knew exactly how to spend that time.

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What is cycling, if not really good coffee and cake?

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After all, it’s the worst kept secret in cycling that the only real reason cyclists actually cycle is for the coffee and cake. And it’s worth it every time 😀

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After wandering around trying to find a coffee shop that I could safely leave my bike outside without fear of it being pinched, I came across the Pantry on Kieran St., which was exactly what I was looking for. Really good coffee and a good selection of homemade baked goods, as well as soup, sandwiches and hot lunch options too. I really just wanted somewhere to sit down and rest my weary bones for an hour, while indulging in a much looked-forward to pick me up.

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Nice design and good, friendly atmosphere, you can’t go wrong.

The staff were lovely, the coffee was excellent and my cupcake was just grand. The bun could have been fresher and the icing was a bit over-sweet, but I was starvers so it tasted great anyway. Good spot and I’ll be back again.

Next Up. Now that I’ve gotten past the 100km mark, I’d like to build on that and be able for greater distances. There’s a clatter of 200km events in Ireland that look fab but I’m a long way from being able to remain upright for 200k. But it gives me something to aim for – oh, you know how it goes… citius, altius, fortius… better.

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Running Injuries: Light at the End of the Tunnel

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I know you all must be just dying to know how my foot injuries are progressing – it is such an exciting topic, I fully understand. No, it’s really not. I’m bored talking about it, telling people about it, explaining why I can’t run, what happened (or didn’t happen- because like most running injuries, there isn’t just one big kablam moment where the injury occurs…) etc, etc. However, given that this is a running blog (kinda 😉 ) and that I’ve talked about the injuries quite a bit on here, I feel for the continuity sake, I should pop an update up.

Having seen two physios, my GP, two orthopaedic surgeons and ran multiple blood tests, MRI and xrays, my most recent visit was to a rheumatologist. It had been suggested to me that a possible cause of my ongoing foot pain (along the base of both feet and around the lateral parts and under the toe areas) could perhaps be a rheumatological issue. In particular, it was speculated that I could have rheumatoid arthritis.

The Good News!

Rheumatologist said I most likely do NOT have rheumatoid arthritis. Yay! Of course being a doctor, he wouldn’t say that I definitely did not have it, but he ruled it out for the moment, which I’ll take and run to the hills with as fast as I can.

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His view was that the likely cause of my foot pain was due to the mechanics of my feet -which is what the last orthopaedic surgeon thought AND also what my new physio has said too.

The Boring Details

Essentially, I have a bad bunion on my left foot which has caused my big toe to lean so far inwards that it has rendered the big toe essentially ineffective in terms of the running motion. When the foot hits the ground, the normal movement is for the foot to roll from heel through the foot and then push off from the big toe. My big toe is turned so far inward that the foot basically is not rolling off the toe, but rather off the bunion. The other toes on that foot are also doing more work than they should be and taking more of the impact than they should be as a result of the redundant big toe. This too has caused the lateral arch running beneath the toes to collapse somewhat (explaining the pain in that area). The joints have also become more angled as a result of the constant impact of running.

Blah blah blah… to sum up? Bad foot biomechanics.

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These are not my feet- but no one wants to look at those. Dog feet every time.

The Bad News

All those aforementioned experts voiced the opinion that running marathons is probably too much for my feet given the fundamental limitations of their structure. They can’t take the constant pounding that feet with good structure and mechanics can – it’s simply too much. The physio that I’m seeing now has worked with athletes for many years and her opinion is that i should stick to triathlons and runs up to the distance of a half-marathon.

I’m not going to lie to you, while I know what she is saying makes complete sense, I have not completely accepted this. At least, not yet. There are so many marathon races around the world that I would love, love, LOVE to do (Boston, NYC, London, Berlin…how are ya?) that I’m not quite ready to let all that go. I’ve dreamed about these for years and you only live once. (Or at least, I can only remember living one lifetime!) In my head, I know they’re right but in my heart, this is too far a leap just at the moment. This is something that will take a while for me to come around to.

The Best News

Despite what I just said, the best news IN THE WORLD is that with more rest, careful rehabilitation and oodles of patience, there is no reason why I will not be able to run again. I also don’t (touching all the wood) have rheumatoid arthritis or any other lifelong horrible limiting condition that I have to live with, which I am so grateful for. These two things are without doubt, the greatest news and the relief and hope I feel right now is pure awesome.

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I got some new orthotics custom made by the new physio (thank you Eileen) and am currently breaking these in, as well as doing the exercises and stretches she has prescribed.

I am also one with my bike at the moment, despite the crappy weather and multiple named storms that have swept our not-so-green island the last few weeks. Biking to work some days, biking at the weekend and oh how wet all that gear can get…

Alas, a good excuse to buy more gear because hey, I need a second string of clothes while the others are drying 😀

Good Pains in Strange Places

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I’ve started going to the gym and for the first time in a long time, I’m bringing back strength and conditioning sessions in a big way. But boy, it does hurt so good.

Strength and conditioning is an area I confess to having neglected in all my years running. Lifting dumbbells, doing squats and squeezing out a few press-ups are all the types of exercise I would typically hate. I always felt they were boring exercises- like sport without any of the joy. Coming up to marathon training time, I’d resolve to make sure I did at least one proper session per week and then also including a few exercises in my everyday post-run routine, such as heel lifts, wall-sits and planks.

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But in all honesty, I probably have not been doing as much as I should have been doing and now that I’m out of (temporarily!) the running game and sitting on the sidelines, injured for the foreseeable, I can’t help but wonder if I had been more diligent about my strength and conditioning training, I might not be injured right now. I might still be running about blissfully ignorant and injury-free.

I’m not a shoulda, coulda, woulda person though, so I bring this up as topic not to dwell on the past but to learn, plan and build for the future. I want to be stronger, I want to be faster and I always want to be better. (I don’t need to be higher 😉 )

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…and I always want to eat scones.

What’s the Plan?

Joined a gym, had a personal consultation and have a training plan. 2-3 days a week, I’ll be doing an hour of strength work, mixed with a short interval of cardio. In addition to that, I’ll be out on the bike at weekends and as the days start to get longer, I hope to get out a few mornings or evenings before or after work. I hope to get in one or two swims during the week too.

My program consists of:

  • Chest presses
  • Leg presses
  • Step-ups
  • Planks
  • Russian Twists
  • Face Pulls
  • Bicep curls
  • Tricep Dips
  • 15-20 minutes cardio (I’m having a go at rowing to try something different…)

Nothing revolutionary here – and if you’re a runner, you’ll probably be very familiar with most of these exercises. What I like particularly about this program is that it aims to build a basic level of strength and it also incorporate specific exercises that will be good for running, when I start back.

Leg presses will help develop the quad muscles as well as the glutes – also excellent for cycling (and my butt!)

Step-ups are a simple but excellent strengthening exercise that every runner should be including in their daily routine –  as well as the exercise helping to work the glutes, quads and your core, this move also helps to develop good balance and running form. I quite like doing these too.

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Planks and Russian Twists – work your core/ abs mostly but planks are an overall excellent strength exercise.

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I did the full program for the first time during the week and while I enjoyed doing that night… oh my sweet Lord, did it hurt the next day. I know since not being able to run for 10 months, my arms, abs (and general upper body) have just gone to flop. You just don’t use your arms that much on the bike and your entire upper body is more or less stationary for the entire ride – you don’t use it at all the way you do when running. So right now, I have NO upper body strength. It’s pathetic.

I could not lift my arms above waist height on Thursday after my weights session on Wednesday night. And there were aches and tendernesses in back muscles and shoulder places I have never felt before. Have you ever seen a person trying to massage their own back muscles? Not an attractive look. I cared not!

So onward and strong-ward! If you are also someone who has been avoiding strength work because you too find it boring and tedious, please PLEASE heed my advice and just do it anyway. Find a way to get it into your week – if you’re not someone who enjoys lifting dumbbells or churning out squats, then go to a class like bodypump or bootcamp. Ignore this element of your training and it could end up costing you dearly – both literally or figuratively.

Let me put to you this way – would you rather spend your hard earned wages on physiotherapy, MRI scans, doctor’s appointments, blood tests and consultant visits (still with no diagnosis or end in sight…) OR on the entry fee to the Boston Marathon?

Easy, right?

 

January On The Bike – The End is Nigh

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When I first started this cycling in the winter malarky last November-ish, I was a little shell-shocked, I have no problem admitting. Before then, I’d only ever taken the bike out of the shed between the months of June-October on days in between running days to get in some light cross-training. Come the end of October, I’d typically have packed in the bike after running the Dublin Marathon until starting running training properly again in Spring.

Alas, times have changed. Having not been able to run since last April, I’ve been on the bike 3-4 times a week and have pedalled on through the winter months. It’s been cold, it’s been wet and yes, it’s been emotional.

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Some great views from the Wicklow mountains, even in gloomy weather.

Depending on how you just read that, it could sound bleak. It’s not. Heading out early on a winter Sunday morning into a winter fog, trees frozen white and the fields hugging a low white fog… it’s nothing short of religious. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to over-romanticise it either – those mornings also involve freezing fingers despite wearing two pairs of gloves and numb feet (particularly the left one for some reason…) And on particularly cold days, it has also meant a very cold head.

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Rainy day winter gear – all the layers!

Cycling in the winter months undoubtedly makes you tougher and more resilient as a cyclist. You don’t look out the winter and think “Nah, it’s too wet/ cold/ windy”. You don’t decide to turn back home just because the wind is kicking your ass after the first hour and you still have 2 more hours to go. If you can be soaked to the skin (wearing 2 jackets…), the wind blowing you backwards and take ANOTHER wrong turn and STILL keep going forward, that’s progress.

It might not feel like it at the time – in fact, it really doesn’t feel like it at the time – but that’s how you grow as a cyclist. It’s a lot like running that way – it’s all in your head. Your mentality is everything both in running and in cycling. Mental toughness is at least half of what makes up the essential ingredients for success.

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One layer, two layer, three potato…four!

Cycling this winter has been a revelation for me and also a kind consolation for not being able to run. It’s given me something to do when I couldn’t pop on my running shoes like I normally would every day. It’s given me the head space and time out I need on a daily basis. And it’s given me something fun to play around with while I wait for my feet to heal.

Having said that… I’m looking forward to the days getting longer and warmer, when I can head up into the Wicklow mountains without any fear of wet roads and, dear God, for those days when I don’t have to wear 3 layers of clothes on the bike! I can’t believe I used to just wear a short-sleeve cycling jersey, shorts and one pair of light socks… shocking.

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The professional cycling season is about to get underway in earnest in next few months with the roll out of the Spring classics and I’m genuinely excited to see how it’s going to unfold. I may not be as tough as those guys, but cycling through these recent winter months, I could at least pretend to be for a few hours 😉

Happy January, roll on February!!

Let’s Talk About Feet (again)

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Full disclosure-these are not my feet but I love this picture. Happy feet or what?!

I’ve talked about my feet so many times on this blog that I’m starting to feel they have more of a presence than I have on here. In fairness, their drama, trips, days out, dates and life in general has been far more exciting than my own of late…

For those who don’t know (and have been saved that pedi-saga) I injured both feet in the run-up to the Paris marathon 2016, in or about March last year, which has resulted in me being benched from running for nearly 10 months now. Since then, I’ve seen numerous physiotherapists, a GP, a chiropodist and two orthopaedic surgeons who specialise in feet – all of whom have given me a different diagnosis in terms of the source of the pain in my feet. The first physio told me it was soft tissue damage, “just a battering” from all the marathon training. The second physio (from the same clinic) told me it was NOT a soft tissue injury at all, rather it was more likely a rheumatological condition, possibly rheumatoid arthritis.

On foot of what physio no.2 said, I visited my GP who ran blood tests which confirmed no inflammatory markers in my bloods. So, she ruled out the possibility that the cause of my foot pain was rheumatoidal. She referred me on to an orthopaedic specialist who specialises in foot problems on the basis that the pain could be a result of a stress fracture. On inspection of my feet, this orthopaedic surgeon was of the opinion that indeed the source of my foot pain was most likely a result of a stress fracture – 90% sure it was a stress fracture in the 5th metatarsal – to be precise.

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Went for an MRI… went back to Mr. Ortho… no stress fracture, anywhere in my feet. He then promptly informed me that he could do nothing further for me given that the problem did not appear to be a bone problem nor could he offer any opinion on what was wrong with my feet.

At this point, I cried.

It had been 9 months of different experts, with wildly different views on what is wrong with my damn feet. And here I was, after spending a chunk of money on all these guys and having not been able to go for a run in so long standing in a car park outside a hospital thinking I’m never going to be able to run again…. and not one person can tell me what is wrong with me. So I cried. With my Dad (who had kindly come with me to the appointment) looking at me like I was crazytown.

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This week I went to see another orthopaedic (foot) surgeon for a second opinion, which if nothing else, was hilarious. What my mother calls a good old-fashioned surgeon- glasses, dicky bow, abrupt, utterly unsympathetic, impatient and entirely forthright and opinionated – I loved it. After examining my feet, he took the view that I have basically bad feet. I have splayed, wide feet, with bunions, swelling in the forefoot and collapsed arches – basically, all these factors combined mean that the mechanics of my feet is all off. He told me that the custom orthotics I had made many years ago were useless on their own and that they would not be effective without accompanying exercises to make them work.

So what did he decide should be the next step? A physio! No, but not just anyone, he specifically recommended a Dublin physio who has worked with Athletics Ireland specialising in sports injuries with good experience. Given that this glowing referral came from a man who strikes me as exceptionally hard to impress, I’m expecting great things. I’m honestly very excited and feeling more positive about this than I have in months.

I have an appointment in 2 weeks time and I can’t wait. In the meantime, I also have an appointment to see a rheumatologist to investigate my Reynaud’s and just to rule out any rheumatoidal cause of my foot pain.

For the moment, I am still cycling away at weekend and early mornings before work, when I can. The mornings are slowly getting brighter earlier and the days are starting to stretch out and I can’t wait for those long Summer days… I also just joined a gym to action my new year’s resolution to get stronger this year. Strength and conditioning is an area I’ve neglected for a long time and I’m hoping if I can work on it, it might help with my feet/ knee/other injuries going forward.

Injuries suck, no doubt. I miss running massively. Word. But for the first time in a long time, I’m starting to feel like there’s hope that maybe some day in the near (ish) future, one of these experts will tell me it’s time to run again.

And what a wonderful day that will be. Happy running folks, enjoy!

Running Advent Calendar: Gifts for Runners

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Happy 6th December and hope you’re all enjoying the early days of Advent and jolly run-up to Christmas. For all you runners out there or for those cursed lucky enough to have a runner in your life, there is always a long list of coveted running items and accessories that we long for and which, you’ll be delighted to know, make the perfect Christmas gifts.

If you weren’t running-minded, you’d be forgiven for thinking that once a person had acquired all the essential running gear – running shoes, shorts, t-shirts, jacket, socks, gloves, leggings, hats, etc. – there would simply be nothing else left to buy.

You would be wrong.

There is always something new or better out there in the shops that catches your eye and sticks in your mind until that glorious day when you actually get to bring it home with you…and add it to the ever-mounting, massive and obscene amount of running gear in your wardrobe 🙂

I use wiggle.com a lot for buying running gear as they have great gear for running, cycling, swimming and triathlon and they offer great discounts. Also incredibly good service, very reliable and fast delivery. My “wishlist” on wiggle is a permanent fixture and since getting into cycling, my wishlist has at least doubled in size! Most of the items are ones which I will probably never actually buy but a girl is allowed to dream sometimes 😉

But presents for runners (or cyclists!) don’t have to be big or expensive. Great presents are often very inexpensive but choosing the rights ones can make a truly brilliant present for a runner and as they’ll likely be using it everyday, your gift is sure to leave a lasting impression. Last year, my aunt got me some running socks – now every time I put them on, I remember where I got them and it makes me smile. So small, but so thoughtful.

Perfect

Enough jabber, now for the ideas!

1. Running Gloves – You can pick up a pair of these in Elvery’s, Lifestyle and most other sports clothes shops, as well, of course, as online like such sites as wiggle.com. They come in a variety of types, from the lighter pairs to the fluffier winter mitten styles. Depending on how cold it gets where you live, the lighter or warmer ones might be best.

For a light pair, I would go for Ronhill Lite Gloves – Retailing between 10-20 euro, these are a comfortable light pair for winter day when you feel like you need something for your hands but nothing too warm. You can often buy them as a set complete with a beanie also.

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For a very good, properly warm pair on those really cold days, I would highly recommend the Saucony Ulti-mitts.

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Saucony Ulti-mitts. Little light on them to keep you lit.

You can fold the flap over the fingers on these for a mitten effect and it honestly does make such a difference in terms of keeping out the cold that much better. As well as providing an extra layer of material on top of your fingers, it creates a barrier to keep air from passing in between the fingers and thereby keeps the temperature up.

I love them. Solid 5/5 from me.

2. Running Socks – YOU CANNOT BUY A RUNNER ENOUGH SOCKS, EVER. I’d like to be able to say you can’t go wrong with buying someone running socks, but you can. Good intentions are lovely and all but if you get someone a poor pair of running socks, they simply won’t use them or they will…and then end up silently cursing you forever. Do it right however, and they will love you forever more 😉

1000 Mile socks are my personal favourite. I never blister, they are supremely cushy and comfortable and… very importantly, they don’t slip down. They retail around 11 euro and you can buy them in Elvery’s or online here.

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As a general rule, I’d stay away from thick “sweat socks” or socks that have poor elastic around the neck. Personally, I’ve found that Nike socks tend to fall down (pun intended) in this department.

3. Running Hat – Another cheap, yet great piece of gear. I have a mixture of light hats and warmer ones, picking whichever one is more suited to my mood and the weather. For the very cold days, I’d recommend the Saucony Drylette beanie. Looks great and very comfortable fit – snug but not too tight or too warm.

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Beanie baby.

On a less posh note, I also frequently wear a fleece hat that sits a lot more loosely on my head and which I find very comfortable. It doesn’t have to be expensive at all and if it has a bit of colour or a fun design to it, then all the better

4. Food – Running gels, energy bars, electrolyte tablets, energy chews… we love all this stuff. You wanna see the look of sheer delight when you give a runner a box of these goodies – it’s like the adult version of the Santa effect. Pure joy. Go mad.

High5 Zero Electrolyte Drink (20 Tabs) 

Some of my own favourites are High 5 Zero Electrolyte Tabs, Clif Shots, SIS energy gels…

GU Energy Gels With Caffeine - (24 x 32g)

Gu energy gels, Clif bars… the list is endless. A particularly good present idea is to pop along to a sports shop and pick up a random selection of these kind of things and parcel them in a nice gift-wrapped box. Kinda like a runner’s selection box.

5. A Decent Foam Roller. An essential piece of kit in any runner’s armoury, a foam roller can wear out when used a lot so the gift of a new one can be a most welcome present to a runner. A good one will make for a brilliant and very useful gift.

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Trigger Point foam rollers are the business when it comes to foam rollers and can be got for good discounts if you shop around online.

6. Haruki Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is not your typical running book. Neither a biography nor not a lesson in how to run, this is a completely different, if enjoyable read for people with a love of running.

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7. T-shirts and Hoodies with Cute Running Jargon… My favourite t-shirt is one that I picked up for 10 euro at a running expo that has the Irish shamrock emblem on the back with Saucony’s running phrase “Find Your Strong” alongside Dublin. I’ve worn it to death but I love it to bits because it makes me feel a tiny bit strong 😉

Websites like goneforarun.com do a range of tees and hoodies with snappy slogans that will make the runner in your life feel pretty darn badass. Bits and bobs like these:

Women's Everyday Runners Tee I Run To Burn Off The Crazy

Women's Everyday Runners Tee Run Strong

8. An I.D Band – I have to confess I still haven’t got one of these yet. A really simple ID band just in case… find one here.

9. A Running Journal is a lovely present. Useful, as well as being just a nice thing to have.

10. Born To Run by Christopher McDougall  – like with Murakami, this is unlike anything else you’ve ever read and one that will shape you, change the way you think and stay with you forever. If you haven’t read it, read it before you gift wrap it and pass it on 😉 !

December 1st: Christmas Running Movies

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HAPPY 1st DECEMBER one and all!!! Welcome to my running advent calendar and countdown to Christmas, where I plan on celebrating everything great about running and Christmas combined.

Confused? Not to worry. If you like running and like Christmas, you’ll enjoy this.

Basically, everyday of Advent, you can pop on here and enjoy some running-Christmas fun (and nonsense 😉 ), in a similar manner to opening a window on the Advent calendar each day of Advent.

And for the 1st day of December…

I love Christmas movies and I also happen to love running movies and while it may not be popular enough its own regard to occupy its own shelf space in HMV, I think the Christmas/Running feature film has the potential to be a strong new genre.

Without further ado (or general babble), I give you my shortlist of Christmas/Running movies for you to enjoy over the Christmas period (or just today, if you have time 😉 ):

1. Forrest Gump – This is the quintessential family film. It’s happy, it’s sad, it’s heartwarming and utterly heartbreaking… and yes, there is some Christmas in there too. It’s the perfect movie to sit down and watch with family or friends and have a good quality laugh and cry. To add to this, there is the whole running section of his life for all the runners of the world to enjoy. Usually on at some stage on TV over the holidays and absolutely worth putting it in your diary to sit down and watch.

2. Unbroken – Not as well known as the last movie, this stars one of my favourite actors at the moment, Jack O’Connell, and tells the incredible story of US Olympian Louie Zamperini, a 5000m runner whose plane is shot down during the Second World War and is taken as a prisoner of war in a Japanese prison camp. This is a brilliant, brilliant movie, if tough and sad at times. A story of resilience and strength, if ever there was one.

3. Chariots of Fire – A classic, in every sense. This movie was made for sitting by the fire with the grandparents.

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4. The Four Minute Mile – Lesser known but thoroughly enjoyable for the 4 minute miler inside you (deep, deep inside me…not outside me unfortunately). It’s a heartwarming film about a teenager Drew who is struggling to improve on the track, before he teams up with a new coach, Richard Jenkins, who sets him on his way. Think Rocky but with a teenager and running instead of boxing. Nice way to pass an afternoon after a run!

5. The Great Escape – A classic Christmas movie, with plenty of running… even if it is in the unconventional sense! If you haven’t watched this movie from start to finish, do it this year. The Great Escape defines the meaning of “must-see”. I’m watching this as soon as I get the chance. Again.

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5. If I Had Wings – a blind teenager with a talent for running teams up with another rebellious teenager, also with a talent for running. Queue lots of heartwarming moments and feel-good running vibes. A good, uplifting family feature for a cold, dark evening.