17/04 Runstuff!

Or, Why Did I Sign Up For The Bristol Greatrun?


I’m still trying to work out what it was that made me think it was a good idea to sign up for the Bristol 10k on May 15th. I’ve got a month to try and lock in some longer distances so I don’t die out there. I have previously ran one 10k race, and it was pretty terrible. I signed up without much training for it, (kind of similar to the situation now, hmm…) and was pummeled for it as a result. Hopefully this time I a more staunch base of fitness to work with, but memories of that stitch-y tortoise run linger…

Jogging Around Bristol:

I’ve been working and staying in Bristol, so I’ve been doing my best to keep up my running in this new city terrain. Bristol, or at least the part I was staying in, is much, much hillier than Cardiff Bay. I have battled many hills this week. This week I learnt: if there’s a hill in your route, try and do it in the first half of your workout, as nothing made me cry more than having to start a hill already quite a bit out of puff. The extra amount of sweat that comes with a hill in your run is pretty impressive! But to quote my Bristol-based run bud Gaz:

“Hills rule buddy, no doubt they hurt but you’re getting way more benefit out of the same time running. Then again, my entire morning run in downhill so I’m kinda a hypocrite. ūüėõ “

I need to spare a moment for the wonderment that is running downhill. It’s like you’re flying! wheeee

Here’s some photos I got during/after my Brizzle runs:

Cardiff Parkrun:

On Saturday I was determined to check out the Grangemoor Park run, but thanks to a bus being late/ a bus timetable LYING I bailed on it and went to the Cardiff Parkrun instead. I managed to drag Rob out with me too. He said it was much more fun doing a 5k running with me at a “steady pace”. His “steady pace” for me felt like an all out, ain’t-got-nothing-left-in-the-tank level of effort, but still a good time was had all round. I got my Parkrun PB and a whisper over 30 minutes on my Nike+ recordings. Here’s some pics, before and after:

Lastly, a celebratory thing: I’ve hit the 200 mile mark on Nike+! And, to quote run-bud Trev who recently broke 1000 miles on the app: “…and I still don’t know what Nike Fuel is.”




A Backpack, a Parkrun, a Hilly Park.

Last week’s running lowdown, a lot of firsts this week:

05/04/16 – 1st Backpack Run!

I’ve been working and commuting to Bristol this last week, so my running mileage has taken quite a nosedive. However, I managed to take all of my running gear to work on Tuesday, train¬†back to Cardiff, change in the train toilets and jog my way to Roath wearing a backpack with all my work things in. Whilst it did feel quite cool to use running as a form of transport, having a backpack did make the whole process feel harder.¬†I felt like the back of my lungs were being squished where the bag was, so I couldn’t breathe as deeply as I would have liked. (Is this a thing, or in my head?) My back got extra sweaty verrry quickly. My backpack was very full so swayed about side to side which probably made running harder.¬†I’d like to try running with a proper running backpack… but I’m sure that it will be a similar situation to when you buy new running shoes and expect them to magically cancel out all running pains and shave five minutes off of your last PB: it just doesn’t work like that. Will have to build up my strength, fitness, and bag-wearing experience to get better at it.

I arrived to choir and tried to cool off for five minutes before I joined the session, but still ending up joining the group with a super red face. Also didn’t have chance to take a post-workout selfie! Ah well. Can’t win ’em all.

09/04/16 – 1st Cardiff Parkrun!

parkruncrowd parkrunkat

I had to take a bus to get to the north end of Bute Park for the Cardiff Parkrun. Got up early, tried to ignore the heavy rain clouds looming, and set off. When I got to the big Tesco near the start of the run, I was so surprised! NEVER HAVE I SEEN SO MANY RUNNERS NIP INTO TESCO TO USE THE TOILETS AT 8.45 ON A SATURDAY MORNING. I saw every kind of running shoe, outfit, accessory imaginable. Dogs. Children. Fancy dress. HORDES of runners. If there was a zombie horde and it was made out of this hardcore running crowd I wouldn’t rate your chances of survival. 630 runners at this 5k!

As with all parkruns it was an amazing mix of runners/ abilities and it felt nice to be a part of such a big crowd. I ran with Kat and Jas, my beloved run buds, and we had an awesome time and achieved this beautiful post-run pic:


This is my second park run, my first in Cardiff. I wish it started in an easy part of Bute Park for me to get to, but I understand that a race with this many runners would clog up the main part of the park quite heavily so maybe they are kept to the north part because of this. Despite the up-and-back nature of the route I still enjoyed it, the stewards were really great (thank you!) and there were some nice bits of scenery to break up the run. I ran behind a boy and his Pug. I NEVER would have thought a Pug could run a whole 5k. Good job doggie.

10/04/16 – 1st Brizzle Run!

My first run in¬†my beloved city of Bristol. (I’m staying in Bristol all of this week! YEAH, got my running gear with me, so no excuse for the weekly mileage dip this time.) Bristol didn’t offer up¬†a good first run for me though, as it was grey, rainy, windy as hell and the park I chose to run in was MUCH hillier than I thought (Darn you, St. Andrews!) I am quite wimpy with hills though, I avoid them like the plague, so this was a good thing to tackle. I got barked¬†at by a Dalmatian who didn’t like me running past him, and I SWEAR a tiny child threw a pebble at me as I passed them by which hit me in the leg. Blummin’ kids!




Any readers of this blog will know that I gripe about Nike+ glitches quite often. This weekend it came up with a doozy, handing out everyone with ridiculous mileage scores:

Think we’re back to normal now, but I’m sure it won’t be long before Nike+ goofs up again. Harumph!


Slow run but WE SAW A KITTY.


This last week has given me somewhat of a hammering but that’s no excuse to not go out grumpy jogging! I was hoping yesterday’s Cardiff World Half Marathon would provide me with some run-spiration, and I planned to run a 5k along the barrage the next day knowing that less ¬†than 24 hours earlier all these folks had bravely run along it too:


Shout outs to Neill C and Lisa D who ran the Half: amazing run-work, folks! I tip my grumpy hat to you both.

Back to today’s much less impressive jog outing… I had a Run Bud Rob with me, and both of us found the wind to be a bitter, bitter enemy to fight with. He stayed with me for the first mile but managed to pick up the pace, I however started off fairly slow and only got slower. This run was nothing but a slow, stitchy, windy mess- but now it’s over and I never have to run it again.


Just walked right in front of us whilst we were jogging up the road and demanded attention. Like HEY HUMANS I DON’T CARE IF YOU’RE EXERCISING I NEED TO BE PETTED RIGHT NOW. What a cutie.

When I got home my phone was all abuzz, I have now reached the ‘Green’ level of Nike+, which means I have covered 250k! Wahey- an achievement.


Post run selfie Grump level: High




A Grumpy 2 Miles and a 5k. Also, I climbed a MOUNTAIN.

Yeah that’s right, I climbed a mountain! Pen-y-fan. It was hard going and the weather up the top was like being in a completely different country. The first snow I’ve experienced this winter. It was pretty cool. No, it was AMAZING. I know it’s not a running achievement but it’s a FITNESS ACHIEVEMENT so I will include a victory pic below! (Jumping photos are hard to time right.) I learnt that not only have your shoes got to be waterproof, they’ve got to have good grip too. I was sliding about in my non-hiking boots like a drunken newborn foal. Which is quite scary when you’re a few feet away from a DEVASTATING CLIFF LEDGE. (I also learnt I am quite afraid of heights.)



08.03.16 Weak in the legs.

This jog was post-mountain, so I blame my legs not being accustomed to the non-mountain altitude… or something. It was a 2 mile gross-fest. The back of my knee is a bit sore from the weekend exercise. Not much to report apart some very fine hair work in the post-workout selfie.


05.03.16 A Bay 5k

I’ve got the Natwest Cymru 5k coming up next Saturday. So some practice 5ks around the Bay were in order. I have no idea what route they’ll do, though I hope it will be different from my tried-and-tested Bay route, as that would be samey and boring. We’ll see.

This was a pretty successful 5k, except that it was windy. Which is not really out of the ordinary, but it meant that when the Nike+ lady announced “1.4 miles to go” I heard it as “.4 miles to go” and did a mad dash for the end, which wasn’t really the end, which meant the last mile was a big sticky gross pain filled horror show. ¬†Wheeze wheeze gasp gasp ICK.

ALSO. I hit a new 5k PB. But I am struggling to trust Nike+ these days with it’s speed up glitches at the start. I don’t know. I just don’t know anymore…



04.03.16 – Glitch Strikes Again

Argh, get it together Nike+. Glitching out again and awarding me a fake PB for an 8 minute mile is only going to push me away and into the arms of Strava. It had thought I’d ran half a mile in about 3’45”, which is at the moment NOT POSSIBLE for this slow grumper. I’ll have to delete ANOTHER run of mine, so I can be awarded PBs that I actually earned. Harumph.

I am going to take a moment to document the lies here:


Because of glitching I knew the timings of this run were out the window, so I ran a mile out and then back with some sprints and lots of breaks in between. I still hate sprinting with a passion. It makes my body feel bad.

Absolutely glorious morning in the Bay though, which you can’t see at all because I took a photo inside of my massive sweaty face.



5K PB! 5K PB!!! Sub 30.


A whisper off of 3o minutes. It’s so close it’s like a movie. 29’59”. Gah, I want to frame it.


(Heheh, look closely between those two pics, you can see my Nike+ report: “FUCK YOU ICE BRIDGE!”)

Let me explain.

There’s a bit on my route where there’s a bridge which for some reason is ALWAYS puddle-y. And that massive bridge puddle had frozen so it did force me to stop and gingerly walk over it which TOTALLY took some seconds off my time which TOTALLY MEANT I COULD RUN THIS FASTER. Screw you, Ice Bridge.

I’m gonna have a day or two of congratulating myself before I come up with the next goal.

In other joggy news, I will be running my first Park Run this weekend and I talked to a extremely chipper guy in the Queen Street Moti store about joining their running club. Oh god, I’m going to run with… other people. *shudder*



I got an ACTUAL PB on my mile time! NIKE+ WASN’T LYING THIS TIME! None of that 8 minute glitch nonsense, today I have achieved MY PURE AND TRUE fastest mile, 9’06”! I chucked together a little celebratory¬†picture below. (Thanks for the cheesy quote, Nike+, it makes up for your wigging out¬†and awarding bitterly false PBs from last time.)

PB just makes me think of Peanut Butter. Now I want some.



Nike+ Cheated Me of My Victories.

Today I ran 5k in 29.24.



…Is what I would be saying, if my phone hadn’t glitched out at the beginning of my run and recorded¬†the first mile as¬†8’09”. WHICH IS IMPOSSIBLE.

But, Kate, wait! I hear you cry. Maybe you were having a great day! You’ve been running a lot this week. You did some sprint training! Maybe you’re just this fast now!


I’ve been running a fair bit now, and I¬†have a pretty accurate knowledge of¬†what pace I can manage. I know if I give it some welly I can get somewhere between 9’15”-9’45”. There’s NO WAY I can magically run a near 8 minute mile BY ACCIDENT.

So safe in the knowledge Nike+ had had a spazzy five minutes, nevertheless I carried on with my 5k. (Bay was very crowded, and deceptively windy. Boo.) It was very ploddy and I was in full grump mode. When I got home my phone was abuzz with all these notifications of how I had smashed my records: fastest 5k, fastest mile, fastest 1k. But they were all lies, and fake victories are the most hollow. Each notification was like a pointy red flag being rubbed into my eyes.

IMG_0765 IMG_0766 IMG_0767

Nicely Done Indeed. Harumph. Also look at this GRAPH OF LIES:


I’m going to have to delete this run on my phone. I HAVE TO DELETE A RUN YOU GUYS. (I totally ran though, look, there’s evidence! *points widely at the above pictures*) I have to delete it because when I actually DO hit my target I want those little pointy red flag notifications to pop up and remind me all the grumping around Cardiff Bay has been worth it.

So… onward. 29’24” is outta here. Back to being a slow grump trying to get faster. BUT AT LEAST IT’S THE TRUTH.