Women’s Running 10k & More!

29/05/16 – Women’s Running 10k!

Yesterday I ran in the Women’s Running 10k Series in Bute Park, Cardiff. I run a fair bit in Bute Park, and have already run the Sport Relief 5k there this year (blog post about it here.) I thought it would be interesting to experience a 10k event there, and was also interested to run in a women’s only event too. I found a Groupon for it online and signed up fairly last minute.

Because I signed up less than two weeks before, I didn’t receive a race number in the post. This resulted in a fair amount of queuing when I arrived at the start line. Luckily a friend of mine had tagged along so I had some company as I waited.

It was a beautiful day, but not a day for running. It was a day for people who had gone to the park for a picnic, or an unhurried amble with the family dog, or an idyllic gentle bike ride along the river. I felt mad at these people for not understanding the heat as I dashed between each patch of  dappled shade from the park trees. As the K’s ticked by I grew tired of hating the people out enjoying the weather and instead directed my rage at the race itself. The last K in particular felt particularly uncomfortable, but that was a similar experience to the Great Run.


1. The Sun. Seriously. Stop it. GO AWAY.

2. The K markers around the route were not placed correctly or even remotely in order. The 1k marker appeared about 2 minutes in. The 10k marker appeared around the 6K mark. I was unsure if this was a genuine mistake or the organizers were conducting some kind of mean mind experiment making the subjects believe they had reached 10k when they still had a good third of the run to complete. Very evil.

3. A group of three kids lined up on the side of the path and I gave them all high fives as I jogged by, which made me feel like a champion. This did not make me grumpy (the opposite in fact), but by the time I had come around again on the second lap I assume they had got bored of getting their hands gently slapped by a hundred strange women and were playing leisurely on the grass a few feet away. WHY DID YOU ABANDON ME KIDS, YOU WERE MY ONLY HOPE. (It was a lot less fun running past without the high fives…)

4. I didn’t get close to getting under an hour. Within my earshot, A man shouted to someone he knew in the run: ” You’re just behind the 60 minute pacer!” which made me super hopeful I could catch up to them. It was a short lived pipe dream, as I never even saw team 60 Minutes. The 1 hour quest continues…


I didn’t realise the race was being timed, but it was, and the time recorded for me on the Results Base Website was 01’03’45”. About 15 seconds faster than The Bristol Great Run. Not much of an improvement, but one I’ll take onboard anyway! I feel like now it’s going to be a case of really working on runs longer than 6 miles to build up endurance to make that last K seem less of a dying effort, and speed speed speed work to boost up my fitness and speed. (Yeah, that’s right, I actually may have been learning stuff about running recently.)

So whilst not without it’s flaws, Women’s Running gave all participants a great goody bag. Tea, supplements, blister plasters, a teeshirt, a copy of Women’s Running Mag, water and coconut water, a reuse-able water bottle and post race snackies were all included. After the race I opened up a bag of peanut butter popcorn and that was weird but tasty. Of course, like a big grumpy hypocrite I was loving the sunshine immediately after the run. I lazed in the park, I ate ice cream, I watched my friend Todd do diabolo tricks. All in all it was a great day.

Today was a lazy day. Two run buds, Kat and Gaz, were at my house. Some of us were a bit hungover from the night before, but we still went out and boshed through a 3 mile run in the Bay, despite it being very sunny and busy. This was a nice social run, and it taught me that sometimes it’s awesome to take it easy and chat your way through exercise with your buddies. I forgot to get a post run grumpy photo after, so this will have to do:



Other stuff:

The last few bits and bobs that happened this last week: I ran home from work, and I went to the CDF Runner’s Speed Session on Wednesday. It was tough.


I ran over 50 miles this month (highest monthly mileage ever!) and I bought a new running backpack. Will try running to work with it soon.






Run Commutes, Grangemoor Parkrun & CDF Runners!



Run Home!

I’ve been settling in to the habit of jogging home from work a few times a week. It’s only just over a mile to my house, so sometimes I run straight home or go a more wiggly route to get the journey to just over 2 miles. I run home wearing my backpack. I’m starting to get used to it. I’ll invest in a more fit-for-purpose backpack soon, as when I don’t cram it with stuff it bounces about a fair bit.

Grangemoor Parkrun!

I MADE IT– I finally made it to the Grangemoor Parkrun! I was defeated by the patchy/incorrect bus timetable last time. This time I decided to strike out on my own, buses be damned, and just get there using the power of my own two legs.

The start line is underneath an big underpass, which gave a nice little patch of shelter.  Grangemoor is much smaller than the Blackweir Parkrun, which was a nice change of pace. I made sure I started off near the back and set off into the drizzle. This was quite a soggy run! The course is a little unusual, it’s  two laps of a ‘T’ shape, with a 180 degree turn at the end of each ‘T’ arm. My legs felt ready and warmed up after the 2 mile walk there, and I managed a new Park Run PB of 28’32”, which coincidentally is the EXACT SAME time as my Nike+ PB! The struggle for a sub 28 5k continues.

When it was all over, I had to walk home in the rain, which was bit pants, but I ended up getting annoyed at the weather, putting my raincoat in my backpack and jogging most of the way home anyway at a nice easy pace.

CDF Runners Sunday Run! 

I’ve been wanting to do more long runs so have been meaning to join @CDFrunners for their Sunday long run session. Today I went out and did it- a nice 10k in the bag!

I had been dog-sitting at a friend’s the night before so I woke up with two excited puppers slobbering on my face and the realisation I hadn’t bought any breakfast with me. My pre-run breakfast that I managed to scrape together was a cuppa (standard,) some walnut halves and a bit of a Wispa. Breakfast of Champions!

I was nervous. The rain poured down five minutes before I got to the Nike Store, so I arrived drenched. The group was small and everyone there was a much more experienced runner than this ol’ grumper, although everyone was very welcoming and friendly. I think most of them went for a 15k run. I stuck with 10.

I had no idea about the route, so thankfully a very nice guy called Matt ran with me for most of the run, then we joined up with two others about halfway through. We started off at around a 10’30” mile pace and gradually got faster which was perf for me. The weather brightened up, the route around Bute Park/Pontcanna/Llandaff fields was awesome. It felt chill. A chill six miles! (Something I’ve never thought I’d say.) Cheers CDF Runners for making this grumpy jogger feel welcome. 😀

When I got home I discovered I had won new badge of running honor from this weekend- this impressive blister! (Gross foot pic ahead:)



NEXT WEEK : Women’s Running 10k Cardiff!


On May 29th I’m going to run the Women’s Running 10k in Bute Park. (Hopefully a similar route to the one I did with CDFRunners.) There will be a lot less people than the Great Run, and the course is pretty flat, so hopefully I will beat my GR time of 1’04’01”. I found a Groupon for it too, hurrah!


Grumpy Jogger #18! Jo H!



Just to properly wrap up all the Bristol Great Run things that happened today, I couldn’t resist drawing up Jo, who ran the 10k with me and Jake. In fact, it’s her fault that we ran it at all, as she had signed up ages ago and was the gentle push I needed to sign up and train for it. She has triumphed over shin splints and running past a Strava segment mysteriously labelled ‘Poo Corner’. What a champ! 10k Grumps for life! 😀


The Bristol Great Run 10k!

15/05/16 – Bristol 10k Report!

The day of the Bristol Great Run arrived! It was too sunny, I hadn’t been able to get a good night’s sleep, and I was freaking out about the pre-game portaloo situation. I hadn’t looked over the route and my last run on Friday had been a tortuous slog of 2 miles at 11 minutes per mile each… I have to be honest, I was feeling nervous.

I woke up just before 7 and ate 2 pieces of toast with peanut butter and a banana. I had two cups of tea, one redbush, one normal. Rob and I walked down into Bristol city centre, seeing how many runners we could spot making their way to the event. Some were walking, some were running, because apparently some people just can’t get enough running in their day. Weirdos. Also walking through Stokes Croft it was evident some kind of SERIOUS PROFESSIONAL PARTYING had gone DOWN the night before. (What happened Bristol? It looked intense!) We bumped into so many people stumbling home, beer cans still in hand. One of them gave Rob a double high five. (I was glad he took a high five bullet for me.)

We made it to the Waterfront. The noise, the crowds, the way the roads had been closed off meant the centre of Bristol was trussed up to be a different kind of centre to the one I was accustomed to. I would definitely use the words ‘Buzzing’ and ‘Atmosphere’.

I met @jakeharv and @johepworth at Millennium Square. We decided that whilst we may not be running the whole 10k together, we would all set off together in the Pink Wave. We arrived 15 minutes before the start of the warm up, so I rushed off to queue in a cafe for forever to have one last nervous wee. After the warm up we still had 30 minutes to wait until the pink wave was released, so I did spend half an hour worrying I needed to wee again. Pre-race nerves!

LESSON LEARNT #1: In an event this big, the internet just don’t work. My awesome Spotify Grumpy Jogger playlist was refusing to play. I had to default to a months old iTunes playlist I still had on my phone. Next time: have all your shit downloaded onto your phone.
The race began! The first mile was crowded. It was basically a crash course in learning to dodge legs. (Or not, in which case it was a literal crash course.) It did mean that the first part was nice and slow and stopped us from setting out too crazy too early. The crowd started to thin at around 2 miles, and miles 2-3 for me passed like dream. I was probably going a wee bit too fast on mile 3, and paid for it later…  Because no one had told me there was a FLIPPIN’ UPHILL BIT in the SECOND HALF of the route (meanies), so once I hit that my pace took a bit of a battering. My only rule to myself was that I wasn’t allowed to walk, (caveat: I walked briefly to grab some water) so although some of those hill sections were painfully, painfully slow, I kept those grumpy legs moving.

LESSON LEARNT #2: Feeling amazing during Mile 3 doesn’t mean the latter part of the race is going to feel the same way. PACING IS HARD.

I high-fived a little kid who was holding out his hand to the crowd. That was fun.
A group of Firemen were doing the race carrying massive fire extinguishers/ breathing apparatus / whatever it is they carry that looks really heavy, what crazy folks. I saw a bunch of people dressed up in tandem as a dragon. There was a guy running in a Spiderman outfit. A big group running with bright green wigs. Do people not get hot and bothered enough just running a flipping 10k?!?


The last two miles were really, really not fun. The sun was zapping down on me. My breathing wasn’t too ragged but I felt a general heaviness  in my limbs, so hard to keep moving forward. My last mile just a bit quicker than my first mile, but oh my it was much much more of a struggle. HOWEVER:

LESSON LEARNT #4: Because of the spectators, the last 0.2 miles of a race is really, really, REALLY, AWESOME.

The crowds make your heart sing! I took out my headphones to listen to the cheers. I think it’s the memory of the last teeny bit of the race that makes me certain I want to do it again. That feeling must rise exponentially for longer races, I think if I ever do a marathon that final, exultant, cheery part of the race would make me bawl out hot, proud tears of joy. But then again maybe I would be too dead to even notice. Anyway, 6 miles in, tired as a dog, that crowd made me feel like a hero! Thank you.

I got a recorded time of 01’04’01”, and I came in 7143rd out of over 12,000 runners. I was also the 5th Derrick to cross the finish line, out of 9 Derricks. I’m happy with that!

In conclusion: 10/10 WOULD RUN AGAIN.




Grumpy Jogger #17! Christina H!



Christina is @therunningyogi on Twitter. She is a runner, yogi and blogger: runstretchslob.blogspot.co.uk

“The Running Yogi Principles:

1. Running is food for your soul.

2. Yoga is the perfect partner to a running routine.

3. Everyone has their own pace and that’s just great.

4. Beating yourself up holds you back.

5. Taking time out to do nothing heals more than sore muscles.”

In March she ran her first half marathon- The Silverstone Half. (Her race report can be found on her blog here.) I reckon it must have been a very unusual race, running on a track that is more accustomed to wheels than runner’s feet.  Congrats on an awesome first Half Marathon!


Follow me on Twitter and send me your post race/run pics, I’ll draw you into the 2D Grumpy run club!


The runstuff before the Bristol Great Run…

In the two weeks leading up to May 15th, I did a bunch of runs…

One more 10k, with a PB of 01’02’40”, and a mix of 5ks and speedy sessions/quick run homes from work. (these are the WORST.) And to finish, today I managed 2 miles that were horribly  sluggish. To be honest, it wasn’t the biggest confidence booster. We’ll call it “tapering.” ¬_¬

I keep getting alternating waves of excitement and fear about The Great Run. I’m excited to run around the lovely city of Bristol and to take in the atmosphere of a big event. But I’m scared my body is going to conk out around mile 2…

I’m just going to try to imagine it as a very busy, twice as long Parkrun. That’s all it is, right?


Grumpy Jogger # 16 … Jake H!




Here’s Jake!

He’s running the Bristol Great Run with me on Sunday so I had to make sure I had him drawn up before the big day! I’ve spotted him running around Cardiff Bay at top speeds in a massive neon coat. Jake, I don’t understand how you  don’t set yourself on fire running in a massive coat like that, but you have my respect. Good luck for Sunday!

You can follow Jake on Twitter here.


If you want me to draw you in all your running glory, it’s simple: send me a photo of you looking grumpy in full run gear: @grumpyjogger