Last week I was excited to be asked by Blacks to try out and review some of their Merrell barefoot running lite shoes.
I love my running trainers and I have tried all kinds of sports shoes over the years, but never any close to barefoot style before. I have read lots of articles over the last few months on barefoot running, how some experts say its good for you and others not so sure, so I was really looking forward to getting the chance to try them out.
Hard surfaces and longer runs increase the impact on your feet. As pioneers in the barefoot running style, Merrell have designed the Women's Mix Master Road Glide shoe to get you closer to the barefoot running style but provide a little extra comfort on that hard terrain.
While full-on barefoot running shoes feature a pancake-flat sole for natural ground contact, this more versatile shoe incorporates additional cushioning and a modest 4mm drop to ease you into the barefoot style.
It has been a hard few weeks trying to getting back into a running routine after Christmas. Throughout December I did get very lazy in my running eating loads of snacks and treats which are no good for me.
After a few weeks of over eating it really is hard to cut back down again. Once the children went back to school I tried to cut down and feel that I am now eventually getting there!
I am very pleased that my running is now back on track too as I am training for the London marathon in April, I really do need to get the miles back up.
Monday is the day I can fit my long run in, I managed to get up to 10 miles last week and 11 miles today, which is pleasing. One thing I really wish though was that Santa had brought me was some new running clothes.
Getting our two eldest children interested in running was one of the best decisions we have made. The idea came around about 9 years ago when they were 8 and 10 years old. After just giving birth to my daughter and being busy with a toddler, we needed to find a fun pastime to tire the older boys out.
When the boys were at school my husband drove me and our tiny tots to Berry Hill Park In the middle of the park was a running track, my husband started sharing his childhood memories of his running club days and I knew we had to bring the lads up to see it.
A few days later my husband brought the boys up to the park on running club nights. The park was buzzing, full of children and adults of all ages shapes and sizes. All seemingly having fun running jumping and throwing for all they were worth. It was the place to be and if like me (at the time) you didn't run, it sure made you want to start. The boys loved it, so much so after a few years we decided to sell our house move schools all to be nearer to the club.
For years my sons enjoyed training nights and weekend racing. It developed a sense of pride, kept them fit made them realise the value of hard work and they made some great friends along the way.. Alas the club is now a shadow of it's former self as the club and trustees (who run the park) do not get on. As a result children are no longer welcome to train in the park. The club has essentially been split up with children and adults having to go to different venues around the County to train. It is no longer a hobby we can all do as a family. Such a shame.
My little ones are now 8 and 10 and its time to find them their hobbies. Something that keeps them fit, takes advantage of the great outdoors and is fun. Maybe it will be running again or cycling, or football. Who knows? Maybe even balancing a scooter on your head and seeing how long you can keep your tongue blobbed out?
Hopefully we do not need to move house though?!
As for me I am now training up for my 2nd London Marathon, looks like I caught the running bug!!
There comes a moment in time in every parents life that they have to prepare themselves to watch their children leave home. A day you will never forget, a time you know you have to let go. Slowly it dawns on you, that you do not know when you will see them again.
I realised that day was fast approaching a month before my eldest sons 18th birthday, of all places in a spinning class!! The good thing was in the dark with only the light from the disco balls I could wipe the tears away. I managed to escape at the end of the class before anyone noticed. Luckily for me once my son planned his future, leaving school at 18, taking a year out before deciding which university he wanted to go to I had another year to prepare myself for the big day.
Was it really that long ago he was born? His first steps, his first words all seem like yesterday. A primary school teacher coming up to me asking if he could come and live with her as he was such a good boy. He applied himself at school and in sports and without me realising was growing up into a man.
After getting into all 5 university's he chose, I was really pleased he picked one fairly close to home.
The weeks leading up to the big move were a roller coaster of emotion, firstly he asked me to come shopping for things to take with him. Shopping? With his mum? Amazing!! After weeks of saving things, a pan here a quilt there, he was as organised as he could be. Occasionally he would mention the day he would leave, but soon realised not to do so in public as it is embarrassing when your mum is crying in the street..
By the time it came to moving day I was prepared for him to go, after visiting the university where he will be staying for the next few years I knew he was going to be happy. Loughbrough is amazing, sports facilities galore, a holiday camp for the educated! It was though the hardest day of all, turning around and leaving him there alone.....
I was surprised when I got home checking his room, taking most of his clothes, his shoes and his trainers leaving a shell of a room with just his running medals on the shelves. I miss his big booming voice, always being there for a chat, making his dinner for him, making sure he is OK after his run, knowing he is safe after a night out and Sunday dinners is not the same without the 10 minutes mashed to perfection creamy potatoes!!
The first few days he sent me picture messages, his room, eveything but the toilet!! his 1st meal, it had to be a pot noodle. 2nd meal an impressive chilli. The pictures started slowing down then after five days he sent a picture of his blistered hands he burnt on the cooker. I was ready to fetch him home! Hopefully he will be back for visits once he is in a routine. We will have him home for Christmas Easter and Summer holidays. I am ready to wash his clothes and dad is ready to catch up on all the athletic news.
This week I have found out we are having a visit, freshers fortnight will be over and he has an race coming up. So out comes the baking and I am going to make his favourite cakes- millionaires shortbread, just like my grandma use to make me!!
Sometimes when you have four children you can perhaps go a few hours or even a day (once they are teenagers!) without saying two words to them. They are always about though, somewhere close. When they leave home you do not know where they are, when you will see them again or if they are safe. You hope some of things you have imparted have sunk in. The absence you feel, like you have lost a body part, you can longer speak to them when you want. A part of you is incomplete. Another part of you though is full of pride. I have raised a man.. I have often wondered my purpose in life, reflecting on it now a mother is who I am first and foremost. There may be brain surgeons,astronauts, and scientists but on the 7th June 1994 I got the best job ever MUM..
By the time my 4th child leaves Iwill be a nervous wreck!!
Do you ever feel your ready to take on the challenge, but find out something is stopping you?
The Robin Hood half marathon!!
Not a good race for me
Nice, flat and fast
Achievable Pb race
Around wonderful Nottingham
University Boulevard, Around Highfields Lake
Trent building courtyard at the University of Nottingham
Starting and finishing around the stunning Victoria Embankment
Over 6,000 finishes
But it just was not my day.
Firstly I need to get out and race more, wow I was so impressed with how many runners and spectators were at this race. Only half marathons I have done are Worksop, Mansfield and Retford. Knowing I was going to meet up with some friends I expected to turn up and greet them, no way of this happening!!
It was a glorious day, the sun was shining there were thousands of runner and amazing crowds of spectators.
Off I set wanting to break records ( only my PB records though ) I felt great up to 6 miles, not to fast and not to slow and on time for a pb at half way, that is if I could pull a little time back in the second half. At around 7 miles I slowed for a drink, energy drink station just what I needed. Then a man cut in front of me forcing me to stop, not a problem, usually but this time was different, my knees just felt like they locked.
Trying to talk myself out of the problem I tried to carry on running, but how do you run when you can not straighten your legs? shuffle, yes shuffle around the next 6 miles. After slowing and shuffling, feeling sorry for myself and drinking to much I then got stitch, arr how can this be happening to me?
The only thing that got me to the end was knowing my family was waiting for me at the end. Oh well I have another half marathon or 2 to plan before London Marathon.
Got home and slept all afternoon,,, onwards and upwards.
Same thing happened as in London, thought it was my trainers then but now find out not. Husband checked it and found out I have some weak spot to work on, lots of squats... 6 months to improve for London as I never want this to happen again...
Watch out Nottingham, same time same place next year, I am coming to get you and after my shiny new PB
Over the last few days I have noticed that you can really feel the Autumn chili in the air starting to settle in. It has got me packing some of my summer clothes away, reaching for my warmer clothes and finding out my warm snuggle dressing gowns and pj's.
Yesterday morning it was really fresh and even my daughter woke up and said she had been dreaming it had snowed, she had noticed the change in temperature too. The nights are also turning cooler and darker evening are getting earlier, very quickly now. Was lovely to see it still like summer on Monday in the day, where has the sun gone today? We did do really well this year for wonderful weather especially in the summer holidays when we needed it the most.
I have really been making the most of pushing myself into exercise this week, no excuse now the children are back at school. My 13 miles run on Sunday got me into running long distance again and the last few days in a morning ( before I have time to change my mind) I have been really enjoying spinning class, today I still managed to do a 6 miles run with my trapped nerve.
What is it with spinning though that makes you hungry?
Since getting home today I have not stopped eating.
3 slices of honey on toast,
1 turkey cob
Half a packet of Liquorice allsorts
glass of full sugar cherry cola,
1 bottle of water
2 cups of tea
Ekk its not even lunch time yet!!
So now my new training is Running, Spinning, Showering Eating, Eating, Eating Sleeping and Repeat...So far so good! Just hope I don't put on weight with how hungry it makes me...
A long run was planned for me today as I had to add some miles onto my training. With only 3 weeks until my Robin Hood half marathon I have only manage one or two run above 6 miles with the school holidays. I decided to run so far out and turn around at 10 miles, my husband drives home along this road from work so we had arranged he could pick me up.
Armed with my water bottle filled with pop, my Garmin to time the miles and distance and my I-pod to keep me singing along the way.
Wow I though Nottingham was just around the corner as it only takes you 45 minutes in the car but not when you try and run there!! it feels like it could take forever. Happily singing to Eminem, Pink and of course the lovely Robbie Williams the sun was on my side, popping behind the clouds every so often so not to make me to warm. Miles down the road I ended up at a cross road. Do I wait to cross the busy road or change my route plan to make it 10 miles before I turn around?
I changed my route, up the hill and into a side street only to run into a bush full of wasps!! I could see them flying around my head in my shadow, how lucky was I not to get stung by one? Phew I turned around crossed the road and quickly started heading for home.
Up to12 miles felt good but last mile I got a trap nerve and had to come to a stand still. It had been trying to trap all week and what a time to showed up?...Ouch had to stop straight away with the pain and try and stretch my back out. So glad I was getting a lift home or I would have cried all them miles away from home. It was ok
ish after 5 minutes then I managed the one last mile I had planned to do before I meet my husband. What a coincident I stopped the watch, and my husband showed up , talk about great timing...
Trying to wear more cotton as the hotter days are not good for me wearing polyester clothing as I am allergic to it. This outfit is perfect being 100% cotton, just what the doctor ordered!!.
What is it when you see a cute little dress in the sale at a great price makes you forget your allergic to something? Maybe its just me with an eye for a bargain but I have lots of clothes I cant wear during the summer months.
Its not too great when it comes to running everything suitable for exercise is polyester or a form of polyester, sports bra, sock and mostly legging. I have managed to buy a few new 100% cotton tops for running which I am very pleased with...
This one is from the sweater shop and I have it in red white and blue, not sure the writing is to clear for running though as my friend thought it said I <3 plumbing!!
Also my son brought me this one on his 19th birthday which I thought was so sweet of him to buy me something on his birthday!!
Also have my eye on this little number for the Robin Hood Half Marathon, think it might be to predictable?
One kind of exercise we all enjoy, either on our own or as part of family fun is running. Whenever my husband gets a Saturday morning off work we like to do the Park Run free weekly 5k timed fun run event.
Having a family of 4 children we take it in turns to do the run. My oldest sons have tried it and the last 2 times we enter the run I ran on my own, my youngest son ran with his dad our second oldest took the pictures and my daughter cheered us on.
On a 100mtr sprint my youngest son who is 10 can beat me by plenty, but over the 5k distance I am still slightly in front. The first run we did I beat him by 2 minutes and the second one we did he was only a few seconds behind me!!
He worked so hard that day and even his top had to come off for the finish at the of the race. We've not been for a few weeks so I am looking forward to seeing what happens next time we get to do the Park Run, park fun day...
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