Putting a positive spin on injury

photo-71Ok so the knee is still sore so I am steering clear of running or any exercise that may aggravate it (squats and lunges) and instead focussing on working my neglected arms, rehabilitation (yoga) and keeping up the cardio with cycling. We’ve cleared the garage out this week and reorganised the gym so that the treadmill faces the TV and there is floor space for me to do yoga and my other workout DVDs.photo-73Despite neglecting my arms, I managed to do 27 press ups the other day and 2x chin ups. Check out my bad self?! 😉 I’ve been taking HMB, CLA, and green tea extract to help build up lean muscle mass and reduce body fat. I’ll let you know if they work or not in the next few weeks.

photo-74In the mean time, it’s nice to have a bit of a running break and work on toning up.photo-72


Re-evaluating what’s important in life

Photo: Hit Like or Share - www.LiveLifeHappy.com

This picture pretty much sums it up – I’ve decided to rid myself of hangers on, negative people, and toxic colleagues, and focus on surrounding myself with people who love me, are fun, positive and who really care about me. You see, I have enough of my own sh*t going down and my own demons, without inviting more into my life. Who needs that?!

With this in mind, next month I will be back in control of my own destiny so that I can focus on more fun (can never have too much after all), going back to college and re-starting my personal training diploma, and focusing on my business again! Then on to my plans for world domination…

Watch this space folks!



Alpine trail running day 5: The final day – what a week!


Yesterday I was strapped up like a mummy, but I still had knee pain in the morning so I had some rest this morning and let my knee settle down and went for an 11.5k run this afternoon instead.

This week has been fantastic and extremely challenging, probably more so than the climbing trips I’ve been on, but for different reasons. Bigs thanks go to Sarah and Kingsley for organising the trip and putting up with me trailing behind. 🙂 Also, thanks to Mike from Magic Hands physio for patching me up at the end of each day.

Here are the things I will take away with me:

1) I suck on hills. I thought I was good, but I really need to work on this.

2) I have an imbalance in the strength and flexibility of my legs and need to work on improving my left leg to match my right.

3) Running in the heat is tough.

4) Running at altitude is tough.

5) Trail running is much more fun, challenging and interesting than road running.

6) It’s OK to run for fun, stop and admire the view and have a break. Nobody is going to chastise you for this.

7) Running isn’t always about PBs – sometimes it’s about getting out in the fresh air and enjoying yourself.

8) It’s OK to run without your Garmin every once in a while.

9) I need more trail running in my life!

Total weekly mileage: 51 miles

If you fancy a trip like this, Icicle run trail running camps from June to September in Chamonix for £599 (excluding flights and transfers). Flying from Luton to Geneva costs around £100 return all year round with EasyJet and Cham-van offer a great transfer service for approx 55 euros return.


Alpine trail running day 4: The one with the taping


So this morning I woke up and immediately thought ‘I can’t do this’ so I emailed in to quit, but a little voice in my head told me to man up and get my sh*t together. My knee has been giving me grief due to muscle fatigue causing me to roll my knee in and it’s taken a bit of a beating with the 44 challenging miles I have covered this week. Still, I’ve had it checked out and I’m all taped up and good to go for another day with no lasting damage. I just have some homework to do that involves focussing entirely on working and bulking up my left leg and doing a lot of stretching in my left leg to get the range of movement at least to the level of my right leg.

Today we ran the other part of the Mont Blanc marathon route from the finish to Argentiere. Fortunately, the weather broke so it was nice and cool (around 22 degrees) and raining, making for much easier running conditions. The route was mostly undulating, with a lot of down hill.

Total distance covered: 15km


Alpine trail running days 2 and 3: More hills and the Mont Blanc marathon route

Day 2: Chamonix – Bel lachet hut – Les Houches


At the Bel Lachat hut, with Aiguille Verte behind.

I arrived at the meeting point for the second day of trail running and was told I was going up more hills. Eek. Off we set then – immediately up a steep hill towards the Bel Lachet hut some 2000m up. Parts of path were shaded in trees and other parts were more exposed. It was extremely hot (32 degrees) as we were on the south facing side of the hill.

Screen Shot 2013-06-19 at 20.43.50

The snow line is unusually low this time of year so we had to traverse some sections of steep snow, which is pretty hairy in trainers! At one point we saw a professional trail runner walking too on a steep stretch, so it made me feel much less guilty for walking rather than running (more like shuffling!) on the same stretch. Having got to hut, we headed across and down to Les Houches. On the way down I started to feel a twinge in my knee. I’d already booked in a sports massage and was hoping he could help out. The massage, as always, was extremely painful, but just what I needed to loosen up my leg muscles! He’s also explained that, when I get back, I need to build on strengthening my left leg.

Here is a short video sneak peek at my trail running on day 2.

Total distance: 22km

Day 3: Chamonix to Vallorcine via the Mont Blanc marathon route


Today I was a little apprehensive. Every time I go for a 5k run at home, I feel as though I might have to stop after 1km (it doesn’t seem to get easier with time for me!). Add to that the fact that you have covered 39.2km over 2 days and have a twinge in your knee and you have a recipe for a potential freak out. Having found out the the route was going to be flatter today (there is no such thing as flat here by the way people), I decided to suck it up and get on with it.

We headed out on the Mont Blanc marathon route from Chamonix towards Vallorcine.  Whilst the hills and the views over the mountains have been stunning, this really was a pretty run. I love running past luscious green fields listening to the sound of cow bells. My favourite section was the forest path, which was lovely and clear and undulating within my comfort level (ie, not an unrelenting hill or mountain!).

My knee did start to seize up a bit at about 10km, so we stopped to dunk my knee in a crystal clear and ice cold stream.

My nose has been streaming all week and we suspect it might be hay fever (spring has arrived very late here) so I am now ratting around with hayfever drugs, pain killers, and supplements.

More hills again tomorrow. 🙂

Total distance: 16.5km