So my aim this year is to run 1000 miles as part of The Lewis Foundation to raise money so that WI-FI can be installed on Talbot Butler Ward in Northampton General Hospital. At the end of each month I will let you know the total miles ran and the type of things I have been doing to achieve it.
No races for this month so a lot of my mileage is through training. Here is what I got up to!
UK Mudd Queens meets Tough Running Northampton.
I am part of a large group of women called UK Mudd Queens (https://www.facebook.com/groups/UKMQHQ/) which is for women who take part in obstacle racing all over the UK. I was keen to meet some local people from this group. So I asked Northampton Tough Running if they could put on an event for us.
That morning, myself, Katie, Meghan, Lisa, Sabrina and Carrie met at Hunsbury Hill Country Park in Northampton.
Now it’s been a while since I have been to a Tough Running sessions. A Tough Running session at Hunsbury Hill Park in Northampton is a 1 hour trail session. Think plenty of hills, mud and uneven surfaces that are the conditions that would be experienced in an obstacle run. As we started off with a nice gentle jog to warm up, I thought yes this is ok. Then we kicked off with a running circuit that involved up and down hills on small tracks. There was points I couldn't breathe and I was debating with myself why did I decide to this. I know my fellow Mudd Queens were thinking the same! Once I got into it I realised I had forgotten how much I had missed this and more trail runs need to be done. These replicate what an obstacle run are like It was a nice way to get to know a group of ladies (when I was able to catch my breath and speak!). By the end of it, whilst I felt exhausted, I had great coaching on techniques. Great session put together by Grant Millar, Grant Nixon and Chris Lamb.
Tough Running Session are held every Sunday morning at 10.30 am in Northampton and cost only £2. Open to males, females and children. (https://www.facebook.com/toughrunning/?fref=ts).
Spartan Race Training Day
I have a habit of seeing a race/training event and booking, without looking at a calendar (why I need a diary!). So following, the UK Mudd Queen meets Tough Running Training Session meant Katie and I were off to the Spartan Training Day in Market Harborough. This was a free session put on my Spartan Race and was a great way to try some obstacles, take part up in a training session and catch up with fellow races. We both thought it would allow us to see what a Spartan does as we are both doing the Spartan Sprint in September 2017.
We were training on a farm and the warm up and first part of the training kicked off in a cattle shed. We were put through our paces by Barny O’Neill (http://www.outdoorpt.co.uk/about-opt/the-team/), who I previously met at Muddy Race Fitness Weekend 2 years ago. I knew we were going to be in for a work out. A training session mixed with press up, monkey cuddles (don’t ask) and of course the Spartan favourite Burpees!
This was followed by a pair work session outdoors before moving onto a trail run mixed in with some killer hills. After this it was time to play on the obstacles. I gave javelin throw a go - which definitely needs some work as when I do as I don’t fancy the burpee penalty! There was also obstacles like the rope climb and walls were there to try. We came away with a free t- shirt “I'm training for a Spartan Run”. Hopefully other obstacle race companies put on free sessions like this in the future.
I train at Tough Running Obstacle Gym, where during the session I easily clock up mileage. It is the one place I go, where I know I am going to get seriously pushed beyond my “comfort barrier”. There is a variety of equipment is used as part of the session monkey bars, tyre flips, ninja rings and box jumps. This place has really helped transform what I have been able to achieve in obstacle runs and my fitness levels in general. Sessions are led by Grant Millar, Grant Nixon and Natasha Mota. Great coaching who can easily spot when I am not giving my all and push me to work harder!
Find out more about it by visiting: (https://www.facebook.com/toughrunning/?fref=ts).
In between all this I have been getting out running. I have been mixing it up with some weighted runs, speed interval runs and long distance runs. It's been hard because it's been dark, cold and icy. Some days, if I am honest my runs were half –hearted and I lacked motivation. I didn’t feel strong or fit enough. I’ve cried because I have felt weak, which I am not ashamed to admit. However, this month some incredible people have got me through. They have reminded me I’m not weak, I am achieving and I just need to get from A to B.
I am back to racing next month. I’m looking forward to running the Castle Ashby Half on the 19th February, with Team Lewis to raise lots of money for the charity.
Total miles run this month: 50
If you wish to donate: https://www.justgiving.com/4w350m3/donation/direct/charity/792191#MessageAndAmount
Thanks to our sponsors: TLC Sport, 1000 Miles Sportswear Limited and Boudavida.
Thanks to Cake vs Scales (http://www.cakevsscales.com) – Katie Groome for embracing the madness with me.