My United Response Spring Newsletter
This is the newsletter that will be going in the UR spring bulletin. Hopefully it will drum up a bit more support that will lead to some donations.
Insanity! What’s it all about??
I started ‘Insanity’ when I had lost all of my cardio fitness and a lot of muscle. This was after I had recovered from my prolapsed discs. Probably wasn’t the best idea but so far I’ve not regretted that decision. Insanity is quite high impact and you need to build some core strength because all of the Plyometrics will put a strain on your back and knees. Once you have a stronger core, the impact will be less because you’ll have control and less jerky movement.
Insanity has a 60 day calendar with it, which I love to cross off when I’m doing well! It gives you a workout everyday but you get an active recovery day which really doesn’t feel like recovery. During week one, my muscles want to shrivel up and die and my brain refuses to allow me to get out of bed – it’s like ‘not today thank you’ and shuts off.
At the end of month one you get a full recovery week where you will focus of stretching and strengthening – don’t let the word ‘recovery’ trick you – this is not our kind of recovery 🤣 it burns like the middle of hell! But that means it’s working right? Month 1 workouts are approx 45 mins in warm up and cool down everything in between that is a blur! Month 2 is Max interval so the time increases to 60 minutes or so and that is intense, you’ll need to be taking in plenty of fluids at this point, I add a tsp of Himalayan pink salt to my water and some fresh lemon juice. To replace any lost electrolytes without the sugar in.
I’ve been away a while, but now I am back!!
Mid to late October 2021 was quite a difficult time for us, we lost Emma’s Dad unexpectedly in the August – it could have been prevented, then in September we moved house and that was mega stressful and tough, work was hectic (and still is) then I contracted covid and was a bit poorly for about a month. I was very down in the dumps and the weather was crap! Once I felt I had recovered, I started running again. But it was hard, my chest hurt and it felt harder than I was used to. This deflated me a bit and with winter setting in I got frustrated and just stopped training. Then the guy from United Response said my golden Bond place had been carried over to next year, meaning I can still run and keep fundraising! Yay! So over Christmas I came of keto for a bit – I wanted a mince pie 🤣 and I felt awful after it – I had a headache and the shakes and felt tired. In January I reset and started again. I was doing well then I got some sort of non covid virus, it gave me a cough and blocked nose, I tried to run with it but the body didn’t want to! In the same month, would you believe, I got covid again 😭😭 but I know I got it from my partner Emma…this time not as bad – I had a cold and was a bit fatigued, so this set me back again. I restarted my training in February. My pace has reduced again so ill need to work on that and do some hills and fartlek training! So here’s to starting again for London Marathon 2022! 💪🏃🏽♀️
Thursday’s longer slow run
Today’s run was a bit of a wild card. I knew my mind needed the run as I’ve had a bit of a crash this week. Which is normal when you have a mental health condition and I know it won’t last so I’ll just ride the waves. I needed this run without the pressure so I went out without setting myself any goals. Good job really because my pace was shite and I took Louie so he required regular dips in the pond to cool down. I didn’t realise how warm it was until Mile 2.
What I did notice was that I didn’t require any fluids until about mile 4. I didn’t feel the need for any nutrition or electrolytes at this point so clearly my body was using the fat for fuel and this is what slows my pace. I follow the ketogenic lifestyle, so my body uses fat for fuel. It’s a much longer process than if I was using carbs/glucose for fuel. Therefore my pace is reduced. Our bodies are so used to using glucose for energy, so it takes a long while for this process to be fully effective. I have considered carb cycling so for the marathon. I might use some complex carbs – I still haven’t decided yet.
Best socks ever!! Hilly Twin Skin!
My Hilly twin skin socks (this sounds so wrong 🤣) are also the best socks I’ve ever worn! You don’t even realise they’re on! The idea is to stop blisters from forming. So far, so good!
My new orthotics arrived!!
They have my name on 🤣🤣. I got these custom made after my biomechanical assessment. They’re 3D printed by a company called Phits. Athletics weekly did a write up on them. Click here to read article
I was advised not to run in them until I could walk all day without discomfort. I hate being patient but I knew on this occasion I had to be. Yesterday, I felt no discomfort. I put them in my Brooks Glycerin 19 and off I went on a gentle run with Louie. I ended up doing 5 miles at a slow pace – which is fine for my first time in them. I felt so strong in the core area, my right side didn’t ache, my knee didn’t twinge, I actually felt even.
My Brooks Glycerin are the most comfortable running shoes I’ve ever had. I used to favour the Brooks Adrenaline 17 and 19 but they changed something about them and we fell out. Besides, they are a stability shoe and I now need neutral shoes for my inserts to work effectively. This is the pair I run in Click here. I didn’t buy them from the Brooks website, I went to Runners Need and used a healthcare worker code 🥳. If you work in Health and Social care and can provide a copy of your wage slip, you too can get a Blue Light Card for loads of discounts, it costs £5 a year. 🙂
One gentleman’s kindness
I really feel the need to share this story. There are still people who are full of generosity and kindness in this world and who would have thought I’d find it on a well known auction site!
I desperately wanted the dark red Kitchen Aid Nespresso machine, because as you all know, I’m a coffee addict! I found one on this well known auction site, placed a bid, won it 💪 and paid, then waited patiently for it to arrive!
The day finally came when my new perfect machine was to be delivered. I was going to set myself with anticipation. The door knocked, the dogs erupted and I went running, got the box, opened it all up and that’s when my smile turned upside down, the the lever had a crack down the side 😭. It looked to have been damaged in transit even though it was perfectly packaged. So I contacted the seller and explained everything, he was very understanding. We went through the process of trying to claim compensation from parcel force but they said no. The guy offered me a partial refund, I said instead of refunding me please donate to my charity as I am running London Marathon this year.
He only went and donated almost double what I paid for the coffee machine!! WHAT A STAR he is! Not many people do that. So just remember folks, kindness and generosity still exists in this world. If someone is kind to you, always pay it forward and be kind to someone else. xxx
In 2013, (I think) I prolapsed L5-S1 discs and had a bulge at L4 and suffered unbearable pain because the sciatic nerve was pinched. I received nerve root block injections which was a god send. Unfortunately, I was left with some nerve damage and since then, I’ve always felt a slight weakness in my right leg and because I started to compensate when my back was in pain, I developed an imbalance in my pelvis that affected my hip too.
A friend who is a specialist spinal physio previously gave me some exercises to strengthen my gluteus medius, probably the weakest arse muscle. 😂 I completed these exercises daily for a few months then it ended up about twice a week and then none. Every now and then I start doing them again. After my biomechanical assessment, I’ll be starting them again 🤣
I’m getting a second chance to run the amazing London Marathon this year for United Response 😱😱! I can’t mess this up!
Since I started to increase my mileage I’ve noticed my right leg getting fatigued quicker than usual and I feel more of an imbalance from my pelvis/right hip. So I immediately started doing my old Physiotherapy exercises. I’ve been doing lots of posterior and anterior pelvic tilts, bridges, clams – you name it, I’m doing it! I know where my weaknesses are so need to get on top of them before I get an injury.
On the back of this, Emma (my partner) had booked in to get her orthotics updated with the specialist she used to rehab her ankle operation. She offered to pay for my assessment and booked me in too. I was dead excited as I’d wanted one for ages but covid happened.
We went to ‘The Premier Clinic’ in Blackburn. Shaun is fantastic! He did my biomechanical analysis and gait analysis, got me to do some squats, looked at my hips and pelvic tilt, did some various muscle examinations then I stepped on the the RS pressure plate. I walked up and down the track thing a few times. All the pressure in my feet and how I stepped, how my foot left the floor and landed was all feeding back to the computer. Technology is amazing! What I liked is that he knew what he was looking for before the machine told him. Based on the information the machine gave, Shaun can have my custom orthotics made to fix my gait and imbalances.
So….long story short. As suspected, I have a pelvic drop on the right side. I’m going to have custom made sports orthotics to help my gait and imbalance. I have to start working harder at strengthening my lazy weak arse – again! So, from yesterday I started with the old physio exercises for the Gluteus Medius 😭 hate them! but will be worth it. I’ve also noticed my hip flexors are quite tight, so mega stretching sessions coming up! I’m gonna have an arse that can crush nuts before Christmas 😝🥳
Thank you for reading or falling asleep! Have a wonderful week ahead xxx