Runstreak 1000 days: The Stats

Compared to many other runstreakers, my stats will be quite low.  The aim of a runstreak though is to do a minimum of 1 mile per day, so the bare minimum would have been 1000 miles.

I keep a log of all my runs and training on a website called Fetch (www.fetcheveryone.com)

20180827_163507.jpg

Hopefully you can see that!

My aims for the future are to keep running, and maybe do a few more races than I have done. I’d like to run with a few more people in different locations as well.

I know that during this first thousand days I have done 3 marathons, 1 x 20 miler, and I think 4 half-marathons.  I have also done 2 x parkrun.  On average though I am doing 2.32 miles per day and I would like to increase that over the next 1000 days – hopefully without further injury!

What are your goals?  What would you like to achieve?

Comment and let me know….

Have a great day,

Vixx 🙂

Follow me:

Twitter: @KineticL
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KineticLifestyle
Instagram: kineticvixx

http://www.kinetic-lifestyle.com

Copyright 2018. Vixx Thompson/Kinetic Lifestyle.

Advertisements

Runstreak: The Week Before the 1000th Day.

I am a little late in posting this blog, as I wanted to take in what I had done.

I had posted on Instagram in the week before, that like the Hero in any action movie there was always something that went wrong in the last act of the film as the Hero was working his way to the Goal.  On day 994, something went ‘POP’ in my calf.  I was halfway through my first mile at the time.

S***.

A stinging pain went up my leg and I paused the treadmill I was on (I had stopped at the gym as I was midway through driving from Edinburgh to Birmingham).  Quickly, my brain was thinking, “Is this it?  Is this the way my streak ends?”

The treadmill had been stopped for 10 seconds.  I pressed Start.  I had to do the second half very gingerly, and much slower than I had been going, but I got it done.  I did a slow, lengthy walk to cool down, but I could still feel the pain in my calf.

Today is done.  I will worry about tomorrow – Tomorrow.

I got out to the car, and in my magic box of tricks I had some Eucalyptus Salve, which I applied to the calf before continuing the drive to Birmingham.  By the time I got back I could barely walk.  I got in, and for the rest of the day used RICE therapy, although in the evening I switched to heat therapy as the Ice felt as though it was making it worse.  I even got up in the night to apply more heat.

Surprisingly, the next morning it felt better.  Not completely fixed but better.  It’s that part of the film where the audience are seeing if the Hero will just quit and walk away, or fight back to get what he wants?

I went out to see my first clients, I had support and compression bandages on and the pain from yesterday was down to a small niggle.  Once I had finished I headed for the gym.  A good warm up on the cross-trainer before that nerve-wracking moment as the treadmill started to gain speed – would I manage my minimum mile?

It was slow.  It was torturous in being so slow.  And now my shin was aching!  But the mile was done in around 13 minutes.  A long cool-down followed, along with a few minutes on the Power Plate doing stretching and mobilisation work, but day 995 was done!

This followed on in the same vein for the next few days – heat treatment, compression when working, gentle stretching and a good warm-up and cool down including more gentle stretching throughout the day.

I had come too far to stop now.  If this was what was going to work, then this was how I would get to day 1000.

And so it arrived.

It turned out that my wife had been organising a Virtual Run via Facebook for my friends to ‘run’ with me on the 1000th day, and a few had come to see me and run with me in person – which was a really amazing thing!  She had to let me know though when a couple of days previously I had mentioned going to run somewhere else – as I was expecting it to be just me.

The weather was not kind to us, but just over 18 minutes later Day 1000 finally counted, and then it was off for some breakfast and a catch up with friends I hadn’t seen for while.  I was really grateful to them all for taking the time to either come and visit, come and run or share pictures of where they were running – THANK YOU for sharing in my successful day.

40063698_10160690039960153_1326920710056050688_o

Stats to come shortly.

Have a great day!

Vixx 😀

Follow me:

Twitter: @KineticL

Instagram: @kineticvixx

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KineticLifestyle

Copyright 2018 Vixx Thompson/Kinetic Lifestyle. All rights reserved.

The MK Marathon Weekend!

I have to say, that I have completely enjoyed my Marathon weekend in Milton Keynes – even though I didn’t come away with the prize I wanted.

It was a warm morning, with the forecast for heat, and more heat – so I had tried to prepare as best I could for it by drinking plenty of fluids the day before, staying out of the sunlight as much as I could and eating well in the hours before the race.  I had shorts to wear (I usually wear jogging bottoms), my MK Marathon white t-shirt and a white cap, as well as my comfy trainers and double layer anti blister ankle socks.  I wanted to be certain that I could stay as cool as possible in the impending heat.

We went into the stadium to drop off a bag, and to get a photo or two taken with the other MK Marathon Ambassadors and the official Race Pacers.  Then it was just about finding a seat and staying off my feet until closer to the Start time.  I met up with my mate Steve, who was going to accompany me along the way and we went off to our Start Pens.  It was already really warm out there and it was only going to get warmer as we set off….

20180507_100228

I think most people know by now that I had to drop out of the Marathon at just before 11 miles.  There were a couple of reasons, and the end result was that I would rather choose when I ended the race, rather than someone making it for me.  The first issue came just after mile 9, when I stopped for a drink at the aid station, and it was so good I immediately wanted (and had) another.  That was when I started feeling nauseous.  I had been drinking steadily from a water bottle that I had filled with electrolytes, sports drink and water – my mouth had felt like cotton wool all morning, which I knew wasn’t a good sign even though I had drunk plenty of liquids the day before and in the run up to the race.  It had become as warm as a cup of tea over the course of the morning, and the drink I was offered was so deliciously cold and refreshing in comparison, I just had to have another one!  I think it was possibly too much fluid at once, as shortly after that the nausea kicked in and my head started to feel a bit fuzzy.

Then I suddenly realised that my t-shirt and cap were bone dry.  I am quite a hairy individual and I sweat quite profusely when I train, so much so that usually after 5 or 6 miles my clothes are soaked through.  The fact that I was bone dry (aside from the greasy sun tan spray that I had on) indicated that I seemed to have stopped sweating, and I had remembered reading from somewhere that if the body stopped sweating, it was a very bad thing.

My friend Steve had accompanied me from the beginning, he had kept me going as it had become hotter and hotter, and at this point we were about to meet up with my wife, Sarah as we came to Willen Lake.  I told him that at this point I felt it was best for me to stop, so that I didn’t become a risk to myself or others.  He continued with me until he could see I was with Sarah and a marshall, and at that point he went onward.  I feel horrendous for holding him back, especially as he didn’t get to finish the race as he was picked up by the sweeper bus at 21 miles. Sorry Steve!

I hated having to pull out, absolutely hated it, and I am so disappointed that I did not get to achieve my aim of completing the event – but upon reflection it was definitely the right thing to do.  We were picked up by an Uber to get back to Stadium MK and the driver said it was currently around 27C – and it definitely got hotter later that afternoon!  We got back to the hotel, I had a shower and some drinks and we went back into the stadium to cheer all of those people who gave it their all to get over the finish line.  I saw a lot of my friends finish (even if they didn’t know I did) and many of the runners looked absolutely spent as they came across the line.  I do hope that everyone – whether they finished or not, managed to stay healthy and well as they recovered from their efforts out in the heat.  You should all be proud of yourselves for what you all achieved!!

On the plus side:

I will be back to finish what I started.  I thought that I was prepared.  I have run in hotter temperatures than that, but the difference was that in the other hotter races, they were at the tail end of the year, after having some time to get used to heat and sunshine.  This was the hottest May Day on record and I think many people were caught out (but equally there were many people who were enjoying the heat and sunshine).  There will be other days and other races, and this race just wasn’t meant for me this time.

I have seen some stunning scenery that I did not know Milton Keynes had (which will be highlighted in a separate blog post)!  Well worth a visit just for some of the sights!

I have absolutely LOVED being an Ambassador for the Milton Keynes Marathon for 2018, and I feel so grateful and lucky to have been selected for one of the Ambassador roles.  Thank you very much for having me Andy and Sarah, I really appreciate it.  I hope that I have done a good enough job for you over the last 6 months or so.  Thank you for having me.

Vixx 😀

Follow me:
Twitter: @KineticL
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KineticLifestyle
Instagram: KineticVixx

Copyright 2018. Vixx Thompson. All rights reserved.

Stitch’s Top 5 Tips for getting Race Day Ready.

20180402_123020 Hello!  My name is Stitch and my adopted Human is doing the Milton Keynes Marathon on Monday.  I’ve watched him do what he calls “training” over the last year, and here are some things  I am going to share that will help you get the best out of your race – whether it is the Half or the Full Marathon.  You too have now done all your training, and it’s just the excitement of waiting for the day itself that’ll be doing your head in (from what my Human says).

20180501_100353 

1. Eat (and Drink) well in the run up to Race Day.

Eating good quality carbohydrate and protein (and some good fats such as avocado and oily fish!) will help to fuel your body and get it ready for the race.  Drink plenty of fluids such as water, tea, squash to make sure that you’re hydrated because you humans appear to be very leaky.  My human calls it ‘Sweat’ but it seems to come from almost everywhere!

I’ve heard of something called Beer and apparently it’s a good thing to drink after the race.  I only drink Intergalactic Juice, and apparently it’s just not the same.

20180501_110913_001 

2. Make sure you read the Race Day Information and have your Race Number.

I have made my Human read the information and I know what his Race Number is so that I can track his whereabouts.  I don’t want him stressing about where he is meant to be or what time he is meant to be there, and I want to be able to see him – so I chipped him.  The Race Number chip is purely back-up.

For other Humans who may wish to track their fellow Humans, there is the MK Marathon App, which can be downloaded from things called iTunes and Google Play.  Apparently people may track my Human via this method if they wish to do so.

20180501_110231 

3.  Got Gear?

Have you got what you need?  Here’s a checklist:

Trainers (most important)
Socks
Underwear
Sports bra (for female Humans)
T-shirt
Shorts/Tracksuit bottoms
Hat/Sunglasses/Gloves (weather depending)
Race Number
Watch
Safety Pins
Energy drink/water
Gels
Food for breakfast
Vaseline/Body Glide (Human beings seem to suffer from this thing called chafing, and I would hate for someone to suffer from it even if it is funny to hear my Human scream in the shower afterwards).

Have I missed anything?

20180316_235944 

4.  Rest as much as you can the days before the race.

My Human is daft and runs every day.  He advises that you don’t do this now unless you are also practised in running every day.  He feels that this is the time we should ask sympathetic fellow Humans to help us, and allow feet to be put up, drinks to be made and food to be cooked. (This may also be needed after the race too but don’t tell them that for now).

The picture above is me, with my adopted Human.

20180501_093504 

5. Sleep well the night before the Night Before.

Many people don’t sleep well the night before apparently because they get this thing called ‘Nervous’.  I’m a confident alien so I don’t know what this is, but Human assures me that it can stop people from sleeping sometimes.  If you find you suffer from this then Human says that’s OK, and try not to worry.  If you have this problem, then Human suggests sleeping well the night before the night before (in this case Saturday night), and have a nap the afternoon before if you have time.  Then, should you find you can’t sleep Sunday night, you will have had some extra rest anyway.

Other quick tips include:
Not walking around excessively on race morning – sit down and try not to burn off nervous calories!  You need them for the race!

Drink and eat your usual breakfast – you know what works for you.

Do not try anything new on race day.  No new clothes or trainers that may rub, itch, chafe or cause blisters.

…. and finally:

20180407_091229

Have a great day, enjoy the race and make new friends along the way!

Be successful Humans!

Lots of Love from Stitch. XXX

**************************

 

You can follow my human in these areas:
Twitter: @KineticL
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KineticLifestyle
Instagram: KineticVixx
Website: http://www.kinetic-lifestyle.com

Copyright 2018. Stitch/Vixx Thompson.

I love numbers (The Story of the Bedford 20).

I’ll do the numbers first:

Yesterday’s 20 mile race took me over 200 miles for the year, and over 2000 miles for my runstreak.  I burned off 2299 calories, and when I weighed myself post race I had lost just over 2lbs in weight.  I weigh myself to ensure that whatever I have lost goes back on, as it is usually dehydration that causes it for me because I sweat a lot!

I went to Bedford to run Dirt Running’s inaugural Bedford 20 (http://bedford20.com/).  It sold out a few weeks ago, so I was glad that I entered when I did, having never done a 20 mile race before.  As I build back up to marathon distance, the 20 miler is the distance I hate doing alone, and have usually put it off as long as I can.  I have known of 20 mile races in previous years, but most have been too far away.  This one was within driving distance, so off I pootled down the motorway, trying to find my lost hour of sleep as I went.

I got there nice and early so sat in the car until nearer the civilised start time of 10am.  The only little niggle (which I have already been told will be rectified for next year) was that there weren’t enough portaloos at the start.  As ever, I was in the loo as the race started!  Of 1000 places, there were nearly 900 starters, which is great news for a first time running of this event!

It was a beautiful day to celebrate the start of British Summer Time, and the course easily matched it – part trail, part path, with the marina and other waterways surrounding us, with loads of friendly and supportive marshalls manning the water stations and the course.  Thank you to them for giving their time!

My plan was to run the first 10 and power walk the second 10 after some advice from a friend.  After 6 miles I started to feel giddy and faint again, as I did during my last race.  At 10 miles my stomach was rumbling.  I’ve been testing jelly babies as race fuel, and whilst they work, I have to be taking them in quicker than I would with gels to allow for the fact that they take longer to get into my system.  I will probably go back to gels IF I can find a flavour I like.  However, I feel that this issue could be being caused by dehydration.  After 5 miles, my shirt was completely soaked with sweat.  I do take fluids with me to drink, but it’s possible I am not drinking enough.  Somewhere around 13 miles it was all I could do to just put one foot in front of the other and eat jelly babies to get sugar into me (I did it on the move, not wanting to waste any time).  I did meet a chap who seemed to be suffering worse than I was, and we both agreed that this was the time to have a bad day, rather than at our planned ‘A’ race.  He did say that he might join us at Milton Keynes in the Half, so hopefully I’ll get to catch up then and hear how his ‘A’ race went.

The race was a lapped event, but worked very well as you got to see other runners on lots of different parts of the course, and even though I was in the last few finishers, I never once felt lonely, which can often happen as the field thins out during the race.  I’m just sorry that I didn’t get any photos of the course this time!

Overall, a great way to get a 20 mile training run done, with a generous time limit of 5hrs, and great support throughout.  I would highly recommend this race if training for a Spring marathon in future.

29063715_10160107958310153_3395889947954953486_o

There’s still time to join me at the Milton Keynes Marathon (or Half-Marathon) on May 7th, but spaces are now filling fast, so don’t miss out if you are considering coming along – although we’d love some more volunteers for marshalling spots and other important areas that allow us to take part in these events!  http://www.mkmarathon.co.uk for more info.

Have a great day!

Vixx 😀

Follow me:
Twitter: @KineticL
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KineticLifestyle
Instagram: KineticVixx
http://www.kinetic-lifestyle.com

The One With All The Mud

After my track adventures at Oulton Park, I wanted to do something else to keep my long distance efforts up and a friend had mentioned the Thames Meander Half-Marathon, organised by Hermes Running (www.hermesrunning.com).  I have friends who have previously done the full Marathon there, but was not aware until that point that there was a Half-Marathon going on at the same time.

After so long not doing marathons, I really feel that I need to build back up to this distance in the proper manner, so thought that adding another race into the plan may well help me prepare better, as well as testing out nutritional strategies ready for when I do get back to Full Marathon distance.  I don’t like driving around London and so managed to get train tickets at a reasonable price – but meaning a 4:45am crawl out of bed to be on a train out of Birmingham New Street by 6:30am.

I got to Clapham Junction to change for Kingston and was messaging my friend who was going to run with me – and we realised we were on the same train!  Soon, we were heading down to the YMCA where the Start/Finish was and I was wishing two things – one, that I had eaten more on the way down (I can never eat much on the day of a race but this might have been a new low for me), and two, that I had drunk more coffee!

The race was due to start at the very civilised time of 10:30am.  However, I was in the loo (as usual) when the race started a few minutes early!  My Garmin says I started at 10:29am – and everyone else had disappeared off into the distance as the Race Director was hurriedly telling me what the course was as I ran past him, across the mud and towards my friend who thought that she’d missed me leaving the loo (no, I just take THAT LONG!) but I caught up with her before stopping to take a picture of the locks 🙂
(“You’re stopping to take a picture?  But we haven’t even been going 5 minutes!”)

28959174_10160039213200153_3522933305202704384_n29026043_10160039213380153_8353988957276471296_n

I won’t lie – this was a tough one mentally for me.  I’d checked with a few friends about which shoes to wear for the event as the Thames Path can be any or all sorts of surfaces, and they had all said that road shoes would be suitable.  However, none of us had accounted for the sheer volume of mud that layered a good chunk of the route out towards Kew, where the route would turn around and head back toward Kingston for a loop before heading to the Finish Line.  It was all I could do to stay upright (I have the balance of a Weeble), but Helen kept me going.  I wanted to run a fair bit more of it than I managed, but the mud was beginning to give my knees and ankles all kinds of grief.  At one point I did wonder whether I should have bought flippers.  For the road I wear Hoka Vanquish, but I cannot wear these on surfaces that are too uneven due to the cushioning – my feet do not respond as quickly to the uneven ground as they do when wearing trail shoes.  I’ll know for next time!

29025471_10160039213745153_5852105490141544448_n

We got to half-way in a reasonable time (for me), took some water at the aid stations (all exceedingly well manned – thank you!) and turned around.  My right knee was really beginning to ache at the uneven parts of the path so I had to resort to walking a bit more than I was running and this was really mentally tough as I had wanted to do this well.  I was hungry (I will be doing a separate nutrition blog at some point), and was really beginning to feel that early start.  However, I thought I had passed somewhere that sold coffee on the way out to Kew, and as we returned through Twickenham, there it was….

29025396_10156223847223436_4014989643672977408_o

(photo: Helen C).

CAFFEINE!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! (Why yes, that is also my Lucozade Energy bottle on the chair…..)

We got going again.  Mentally knowing that we were heading back was helping me and we pushed on.  This was a tough day out for me and one that I knew I had to buckle down and get a grip on – I had not come all this way to go home empty handed – and the medal is really nice!  There were many many times that I told Helen to go on ahead as I felt I was holding her up and spoiling her day, but she stayed with me the whole way, for which I am very grateful – THANK YOU!!!!  It’s the mental toughness that I need to build back up as well, and so this race was perfect for that!  We had to do a little loop around just after was passed the finish line as there was still a short distance to do – but isn’t it always the way that the very last mile takes us what is seemingly F O R E V E R? Still – we got it done:


The scenery is lovely along that route, and I do highly recommend that people have a look at this race (it’s run 3 times a year – Spring, Summer and Autumn) if they would like a nice well run event in South London.  I might consider the Summer one….

I am still preparing for the MK Marathon in Milton Keynes on May 7th (www.mkmarathon.com) .  There are still places in the Half and Full Marathons if anyone wishes to join me?  If you fancy something shorter, there is the Rocket 5km the day before, which I may also be taking part in.

Next race in the build up is the (now SOLD OUT) Bedford 20.  Hopefully I will be better prepared nutritionally!

Have a great day!

Vixx 😀

Follow me:
Twitter: @KineticL
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KineticLifestyle
Instagram: KineticVixx

Recovery.

I often get people asking me about post-race recovery, especially if they are just getting ready for their first Half or Full Marathon.  Training sessions and actually doing the event can be two different things as we often push much harder on the day of the event – even if we do spend the previous weeks building up the mileage, testing out energy drinks and foods, wearing clothes that test all weathers and deciding whether to use Vaseline or Body Glide!

Most people don’t really think about after the race at all unless it’s to think about what food or drink they will be consuming (don’t you tell me that you haven’t thought about that first post-race beverage, icy cold as it hits the back of your throat, or those hot salty chips that just taste so good!)

It’s only later that evening, when you go to get up out of bed and suddenly realise that your legs aren’t functioning the way that they used to, or a few choice words pop into your head as your feet cramp up – and you suddenly wonder what happened in those hours in-between being a finely honed athlete and now…..

Well, here are my tips (built up over 27 marathons) to help you avoid as much of this situation as possible – give it a read, especially if you are planning for a Spring Half or Full marathon, or if you wish to join me at the Milton Keynes Marathon Weekend (www.mkmarathon.com):

1. Don’t stop at the Finish line.
We may hate having to keep moving to get medals and water and our baggage, but it is actually helping us to cool down properly by doing it gradually rather than instantly, allowing our circulation and heart rate to go back to a normal level steadily.  It allows for the muscles to cool down at a steady pace too.  I often walk a steady mile or 2 (for steady read slooooooow) post-race to allow a good cool down.  I keep a spare pair of shoes in my kit bag (it tricks your feet into feeling fresher than they are), and a jumper/tracksuit bottoms to help keep my body temperature stable and not get too cold, too quickly.
I also intersperse it with:

2. Gentle stretching.
Not deep stretching, or prolonged stretching, but some gentle muscle stretches to keep the legs, lower back and neck/shoulders as loose as possible.  Between the end of the race and bed time I will have done at least 5 sets of gentle stretches.  The reason deeper stretching is not undertaken is to allow for any micro-tears in muscles that may have occurred during the race.  Deeper stretching at this point can potentially cause a small niggle to become much worse.

3. Fluids.
I personally do not drink alcohol (don’t like it), but there have been research studies done showing that the hops and ingredients used to make Real Ale can actually help aid recovery as they are quality carbohydrate.  Many people find that it’s a cheap date to have a beer post race, but one or two interspersed with water is OK.

Personally I have a 500ml milkshake ready (or a mocha) for post-race consumption, for the calcium, protein and carbohydrate.  Food at this point is too heavy for me so I avoid until later.

Over the few hours until bed time I aim to drink the following:
– A small amount (150-200mls) of cherry juice (good for muscle recovery). Beetroot juice works too!
– 1 litre minimum of water with electrolytes.
– 500ml Coca-Cola (to get calories in whilst I am waiting for my stomach to get back online) – you can pick any kind of calorific drink you wish here if you have similar issues.  I burn off approximately 4000 calories during a marathon (being a larger runner) and I know I will not get all of those calories back through food.

4. A nice warm bath!
Ease those aches and pains out (in-between gentle stretching) with a nice warm bath to soak in.  Not too hot, but comfortable to ease the muscles.  If there is anything aching after the bath I tend to get an ice pack onto it for 10-20 minutes and see how it goes.

5.  A good meal.
The meal after a Half- or Full Marathon is often the best tasting!  You have earned the right to have a little of something you really enjoy – you’ve earned it after all!  My post-race meal is usually a decent balance of protein and good fats with some carbohydrate in for energy and muscle recovery – think steak and chips, curry and rice, pizza and pasta (although I rarely want pasta as I have that the night before as I prepare for the race).

6. Rest, relaxation and reflection.
Enjoy your achievement, stick the medal photos on Facebook and rest.  You did it!

Do you agree with these or do you have a different method? Please comment!

Have a great day!

Vixx 😀

Follow me:

Twitter: KineticL
Instagram: KineticVixx
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/KineticLifestyle.