Week 11: Training Log

week 11 training log

Week 11: w/c 26th June 2017.

It was a great training week for me last week. I got another PB at parkrun, and I also got a PB at a 5k race on Wednesday evening. I’m expecting this week to be very slow in comparison as my legs feel quite tired.

I’ve just started a new healthy eating challenge that runs for three weeks, organised by a local nutritional therapist. I’ve finished day one and eaten more protein that I normally eat in three days, so that will help my muscle recovery 🙂

Super pleased with last week, and heading to the three month mark of consistent training, which is something I haven’t managed for years.

Monday

Very easy 6km, lovely run, meandered around the village.

Tuesday

Rest.

Wednesday

5km race. 30:39 PB!

Thursday

6km walk (I usually run on a Thursday as I work from home that day, but my legs were still sore from the previous evening).

Friday

Rest

Saturday

Parkrun 5km – parkrun PB 31:36

Sunday

Rest (and tired)

Week 10: Training Log

training log week 10

Week 10: w/c 19th June 2017.

Check out my new blog graphic that actually makes it look like I’m some kind of proper athlete, hah!

Anyway, this makes ten weeks of exercise – woo hoo!

It’s been a good week, and I got a PB at parkrun on Saturday, yay. In fact I finally feel like the whole exercise thing is falling into place. You know how it is at the beginning when you first start – everything hurts, everything is exhausting, everything is such hard work. Well, I genuinely have reached a place where it really isn’t that horrible any more. Of course it’s still hard, but my body copes better, and it’s a nice feeling. My headaches have been less this week but they are still niggling every day. They are driving me crazy, but do seem to be settling down, so I’ll hold tight for now and hope next week brings some relief.

I really need to add some more strength training in. I know it will help my running and I know it’s important, but I always feel such resistance to doing resistance, haha. Maybe when I’m ten weeks down the line with it, I’ll feel differently.

This weeks training covered the following:

Monday

5km Asics Pace Academy run from Runkeeper. 33:22.

Tuesday

4km run around the village in the evening. 26:15

Wednesday

Rest

Thursday

5km progression run, 10 slow, 10 medium, 10 fast, slow remainder.

Friday

Rest

Saturday

Parkrun – PB 32:06 5km

Sunday

Rest.

Next week I have an actual 5k race on Wednesday evening. It’s a 5-race series, running once a month from April to August. My friend has just this minute sent me the results for the first two (that I didn’t enter) and it very much looks like I am going to come last. Full race report to come. And I’ll definitely be doing some strength work after that.

Retrying Gluten

Mmm gluten for breakfast!
At half term, we took the three children camping in France. It was a seven hour drive from Calais to the campsite (although with stops it took us ten), and we stayed in the Dordogne region for 7 warm and wonderful nights.

I’ve been gluten free fairly consistently since I was diagnosed as coeliac in 2014. I relaxed things a bit after having baby F, and then in France, I relaxed things a lot. An awful lot. You know how it is in France – lovely croissants, lovely baguettes, lovely madeleines, lovely everything glutenful and lovely… mmmm.

So we had a very laid back holiday and I ate lots. And I felt fine! Which was great. But then when we got home, two weeks ago, I found myself buying croissants and eating bread again, simply because I had been eating it in France.

And then I started to notice some digestive problems. I don’t know if the bread in France, being mostly freshly made, is just better tolerated by me, or if there is a bit of delay between starting to eat gluten and actually feeling the effects in my body, but about 12 days after getting back I was really uncomfortable, bloated, miserable and in pain. The symptoms kind of crept up on me slowly, getting worse until I felt pretty diabolical. I started to get horrible stomach cramps on top of a sore, bloated stomach and it was only then that it occurred to me that it might be the daily consumption of bread/pastries that was the problem. 

I feel like a bit of an idiot for being so dismissive of what was a massive problem for me in the past. It was especially noticeable when I went running, because although I am carrying a bit of extra weight around my stomach, it started to feel like I had a bag of water strapped to my waist with the way everything was wobbling and sloshing around.

So, I’ve learnt an interesting lesson. Gluten really is absolutely awful for me. It really does make me feel horrible. Obviously I knew all of this, but I had kind of forgotten it. When you watch other people eating it all the time with no obvious problem it becomes easy to convince yourself that it can’t be that bad. But it really is. My body hates it. So I am recommitting to a 100% gluten free diet and hoping that my poor stomach settles down and stops being so uncomfortable.

I have also signed up for a 21 day healthy eating challenge, which is being run by a local nutritionist I met at a business breakfast meeting last month. I am really excited about it! It starts on 3rd July, so I’ll blog about how it goes.

Update: I wrote this over the weekend and I have stopped eating gluten again. I did a run this morning, Flatter stomach, no pain, and I took almost a minute off my current 5km time, bringing it to 33:22. Hurrah!

2016 in Review and 2017 Plans

2016

Right from when I first found out I was pregnant I knew that the first year after the baby was born would essentially be a year of tending to the basics of survival and not much else.  A newborn has a way of consuming the hours in the day without you ever really knowing where they go. However, despite that, and despite Baby F barely leaving my arms for the first four months, I still managed to achieve a handful of things:

A New Book

I’m working on a new book and have written 47,000 words so far. I’m about halfway through and I’ve had a complete break over Christmas, ready to pick up again in the New Year.

A New Business

I launched my new digital media company, Five Pixels, at the end of October. That sounds far grander than it is – it was a very low key affair! I booked a series of clients and I have a lot of work on for the first quarter of 2017. All very exciting.

A Growing Baby

Baby F is saying Mama and Dada, and babbling lots of other sounds. She is knee-walking and cruising, but yet to take her first steps. She is a climber and an explorer, but she’s still very much a Mummy’s girl. I reached one year of breastfeeding with flying colours and I was so, so pleased that we had made it that far. After Christmas I swiftly weaned her off of the night feeds as she was still feeding up to four times a night and one year on I was literally a broken mess from the lack of sleep. It was affecting my mood and my health and I knew it was time for me to stop. We did a complete cold turkey between the hours of ~10/11pm and 7am and she did brilliantly. Honestly – I was so worried it would be nights of screaming, but aside from a few minutes of wailing, she settled back to sleep and last night, our seventh night, she slept from 10:30pm (her last feed), to 7am without a peep. She was obviously just as ready as I was 🙂

Osteoarthritis

I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis in the second half of the year. After doing some running over the summer I had to stop completely due to the increasing pain in my toes. I have something called hallux rigidus and I can no longer bend my right big toe upwards properly. I can’t stand on tiptoes and I can’t do yoga or lunges or any other exercises that requires toe-flexibility. I have really struggled with accepting this and have had a few evenings where I have felt really sorry for myself. Running is one of my ‘things’ and to not be able to do it, when I have waited so long to get back into it, is quite a blow. Worse, is the fact that I am now getting pain in my knees, hips, elbows, wrists and thumbs too. My GP said that the chronic lack of sleep I’ve suffered will probably be contributing to my joint pain, so weaning baby F off the night feeds will hopefully help provide some much needed time for my joints to rest and repair.

2017

Health

I have one overriding, overarching goal for 2017 that takes priority over everything else, and that is my health and fitness. I have a little bit of post-baby weight to lose (maybe 4kg), but mostly I want my energy back, my fitness back and my strength back. This is my BIG theme for the year.

OmniFocus

I am currently working through a training video on using omnifocus so that I can get everything from work and personal projects into a decent digital task/project manager. I really want to find a system that works for me this year.

Work

I want to streamline my business processes and get a decent portfolio up on my website. I am totally open to how business pans out – I am enjoying all of it at the moment, so I’m just going with the flow.

The Book

My goal is to finish first draft, revise, and then send out to an agent.

Photography

As much as possible I want to work on my photography skills. It’s just something I love to do.

I’m looking forward to a healthy and productive 2017 🙂

Osteoarthritis And Hallux Rigidus

hallux rigidus

Almost three months ago, at the end of September, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis. I’d been suffering pain in my big toe joint on my right foot for several years, but since having baby F, it had rapidly gotten much worse, and I was also starting to get pain in my left foot. My right foot by this point had gotten so bad, I kept it tucked away from everything (especially the children lest they brushed against my foot), and sometimes I couldn’t put weight on the front of my foot at all.

The consultant told me that if they were to put a camera in and take a look at the joint, “it wouldn’t look very nice at all.”

He told me I have three osteophytes, which are small bony protrusions that grow from existing bone to protect the joint by limiting movement. And limited movement is exactly what I have. I can no longer stand on my tiptoes for yoga poses, perform a correct lunge, or bend my toe upwards like I used to be able to. Osteoarthritis in this specific joint, the big toe joint, is very common and the reduced range of movement is called hallux rigidus.

I can no longer run, and sometimes, when the pain is bad, I walk with a limp just to keep the toe from bending.

My options are, firstly, cortisone injections to reduce pain and inflammation. After a year or two, I’ll be facing a chielectomy, which is an operation to remove the osteophytes. This helps some people, but not others. After that, I’m looking at fusion of the two bones either side of the joint.

Yeah, well I pretty much ran away from the hospital after he said that.

The thing is, over the last couple of months, my joint pain has gotten a whole lot worse. I now have aching and stiffness in my thumbs, wrists, elbows, shoulders, base of spine, hips, knees, and of course, my big toes. Sometimes at the end of the day if we watch TV for an hour or two, standing back up again is a something I have to do slowly and carefully. My whole body feels worn out and stuck together. My joints crack and click in a way they’ve never done before. My hands have lost their strength and I feel weak and fragile. It is the pain in my spine that worries me the most.

Arthritis runs in every line of my family, which perhaps explains why I have it so young. I am not sharing this for pity or sympathy, but as a record of where I stand right now. I’ve been through what I guess was a grieving period, where I felt totally miserable and fed up. Now I am looking for answers. I am currently in the process of researching dietary approaches and supplements that may help. I use Voltarol gel when it gets really bad, but I won’t resort to cortisone injections yet – where will I be in ten years otherwise?

When I’ve come up with a plan (because hell-yeah I love a good plan!), I will share it and keep you updated. At the moment I feel as though I am inhabiting a 70 year old body, and I do not like it at all.