Physio, Cardiff Half Training + Shopping


It happened. The thing that everyone says will happen to you when you start running.


No! Not the knee!


I’m almost annoyed. Knee pain! So cliché!

I thought I was doing things right- I went for a gait analysis at Moti and was fitted for running shoes, I built up my mileage gradually, I generally (cough) stretch after a run.  I’ve read a few articles recently about ‘running injury myths’ (article here) and how running is actually beneficial for you bones and joints. I thought I was invincible. So far I’ve been injury free, so I would always scoff at people who would try to give me cryptic warnings about runners knee/ self inflicted arthritis/ knee caps falling off/ [insert horror story here] … but alas! The knee pain has got me.

I’ve had a sore/achey knee for the last few weeks, and the feeling wasn’t going away after running, I could feel it sat at my desk and lying down. I asked the CDF Runners group what to do, and they told me to stop hysterically googling symptoms on Web MD and go to a physio. So I booked myself an appointment with Seary Physio.

Back in 2013, I rarely exercised. Before I would have only gone to a physio if I had broken something… I’m sure if I told a past version of myself I’d booked a physio appointment because I had irritated my knee from running too much she would have laughed before going back to a humongous plate of nachos. (Note: now in 2016, I exercise regularly but I still eat nachos with gusto.)  So, the knee hurty is annoying but I do feel a teeny bit badass.

Seary Physio are in Whitchurch , Cardiff, in a cute little building just off the main road. It was easy enough to catch a bus and find them . My initial assessment appointment with them was pretty cool. Physios are like human body wizards. (I’m sure they don’t like to be called that.) They can, just by looking at you, tell if you over pronate or not. I’m sure the physio I saw today knows more about my knee than I ever will.  I was instructed to do a few squats/steps/move about a bit, then my knee and legs were moved around and massaged, and my knee cap was subjected to much scrutiny. It turns out my knee is being pulled too much to the left and is slightly coming out of its groove, irritating the inside of my knee. (I believe this can be a common occurrence in lady runners.) There was a moment when the physio was moving something around in my knee, and I could feel a part of it clunking around unnaturally in there, almost like when you have a massage and there is a knot in your shoulders that is  bit crunchy. It didn’t hurt, but made me feel a bit gross. I can’t describe it well, I do not know all the knee-related words. :B

I got some sport tape applied to my knee which will be gently pulling it back over to the right for a day or so. Again, if I think about it too much I get weak at the knees, which is already my weak point. I also have to do some exercises to strengthen up specific leg and butt muscles. Exercises to help you do more exercise. What a world we live in. As fellow runner Gregg puts it:

I’ve been told it’s still cool to run on my leg, so I will be going for an easy 5k today as per my Nike+ Half Marathon Coach’s instructions. Which brings me to…




So this is scary. 13 miles is a ridiculous distance to run. Luckily I won’t be doing it alone, there is a group from my choir -City Sirens- who will be running it too. I went out for a 4 mile training run with a fellow siren last week, and it was lovely. I enjoy the thought of us tackling the scary distance as a big pack! If the route is similar to the last half, through the bay and up to Roath park, it’s going to be lovely and scenic. I am secretly quite excited.



I went a bit overboard today. I got some compensation from Easy Jet recently (They paid up because it took me 14 hours to get to France due to a technical fault with the plane) so the second that cheque cleared I went out and bought this impressive haul:


I really need to find some sportswear with animals on them. I’m a big fan of printed animal things. Not animal print per se, like leopard print, just pictures of animals on things. Animals are cool. If anyone sees any zebras or sharks or lions or foxes or owls or anything fauna-related on a piece of run kit, let me know and I will throw all my money at it.

I will leave with an assortment of grumpy after-run pics from this last month (Some special guest appearances from Rob):




Grumpy Jogger #19 and #20! Bethan and Keen!

Grumpy Jogger #19 : Bethan E!

Bethan just ran the Swansea Half Marathon, and I managed to be organised enough to draw her just after the race! What a total badass. She looked good doing it too in those shades:

She will also be running the Cardiff Half Marathon with me in October, along with the all-female acapella group, The City Sirens! (But that’s for another blog post…)


Grumpy Jogger # 20 : Keen H!


20 Grumpy Joggers on my shelf now! 20! It’s getting ridiculous. As well as being the 20th Mini Paper Grump, Keen also wins the title for Furthest Travelled, getting his grump on all the way over in Korea. It’s official- becoming a grumpy jogger is now a worldwide movement!!

I asked him for any remarks on his running, he said he was battling the high temps and high humidity over there. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to run in 26+ degree heat, not to mention humidity on top of that. The amount I sweat, I think it would probably kill me. You’re awesome Keen.



It’s been about 10 months since I started running, and seven months since I started drawing up my fellow runners. I’m going to save a ‘One Year of Running‘ type post for October/September time, but for now I’ll say it’s been lovely to draw everyone, and it’s been real nice that everyone has reacted warmly to my silly doodles. Whether a beginner or a serious competitor, I hope no one would ever take offence at me drawing them looking a bit worse for wear.

I’ve had people ask me to draw them out hiking, or on bikes, but I want to keep this as just a running thing… partly to save myself from drawing everyone who ever exercised ever, but also because running  has become a thing I have actually grown quite fond of and it’s my little way of giving a gift to people who enjoy it too.

So… keep sending / tweeting me grumpy photos so I can keep drawing folks! Whether you love running or are being guilted / forced to go out by a loved one (what I keep doing to my boyfriend) you deserve a tiny, angry, paper version of yourself as a well done for getting out there.

Grumpy Kate.

Running in Annecy!

I went to the Annecy International Animation Film Festival recently, oh my it was good. If this was an animation blog I would write pages and pages on the films I saw, the people I met, the sneaky bits of films in progress I glimpsed and the inspiring talks I heard. But I’m just going to write about the bit of running I did during my week over there instead.

Annecy is a lovely little town on the edge of a humongous freshwater lake, so I was looking forward to some very picturesque outings. Sadly, the weather was VERY rainy and crappy for the time of year, but whenever there was a sneaky bit of respite from the rain I tried to go out for a jog. There was one sunny day, but it was super hot and muggy and stormed almost immediately after I got home.  I also managed to bully Rob out for one run, but he got ill the very next day. (He’s trying to convince me he’s allergic to running.)

The most important thing I learnt about running on holiday is this: don’t expect a good time. After all the bread, meat, cheese, boozy late nights and ill-advised, drunkenly bought packs of cigarettes none of my run outings were anything more than ‘whoa-there-let’s-take-it-steady’ endeavours. But I still got out and ran! The backdrop was stunning, and  it was nice to see a whole bunch of people in Annecy go running everyday- from athletes in training to steady plodders to whole families with young children on little push scooters.

I miss Annecy a lot. =[
Running in France was cool.

Avant mes vacances…


I’M GOING TO FRANCE TOMORROW AND I AM VERY EXCITED! Excited to visit the town of Annecy and check out the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, excited to go on holiday with a wonderful collection of people I know and work/have worked with, and excited to get some grumpy jogs done on foreign soil! I wonder if I can find anyone who can translate “Grumpy Jogger” for me.

A Run Story About France:

A few years ago I went on holiday to Ventron. My parents, some friends and I went to a tiny skiing town in the mountains, in the summer, so no snow or skis but plenty of picturesque villages and great weather. I was running a fair bit in uni and wanted to keep up my fitness regime, so every morning at 7am I would get up before everyone else and go for a one or two mile run before it got too hot. (It was hitting just under 30 degrees most days.) It was an awesome holiday. Beautiful surroundings, pine trees, mountains, crisp blue skies… I spent the first few days just running around the tiny village where we were staying at.

On the penultimate day of the holiday, I fancied a bit of a challenge, so I thought I would run to the next teeny town over ( a journey we had made by car many times by then). In my head, this journey took about five seconds, the town wasn’t far away, the route was a nice easy one and I’d be back before breakfast. Right?


The next village over turned out to be 5k away. I didn’t really register this until I jogged there, turned around and saw a sign saying that my little holiday village was 5k away. Despite this, I felt fresh, buzzing even. The first part of the run had flown by, I felt like it hadn’t cost me much effort and that I could keep running forever. You know that runner’s high thing they talk about? I was totally tripping balls on runner’s high. Another 5k back home you say? of course! It would be my pleasure! …But what I hadn’t really clocked was that the entire route so far had been DOWNHILL and now the sun was getting higher in the sky, things were heating up, and I had a good three miles of uphill ahead of me before I could eat breakfast.

To this day, that second half of that run is something I will remember as the grossest, sweatiest, thirstiest five kilometres I have ever run. No sunscreen, no sunglasses, no water. My previous effortless feeling was demolished by the feeling of running in 2x gravity. It just seemed to go on forever. I remember a lethal cocktail of short, steep hills followed by just as nasty, never ending gradual slopes. I had to run on the left side of the road to face oncoming traffic which was confusing my dehydrated brain. I passed a few Lycra-clad cyclists who must’ve thought it very unusual to see a red-faced tourist slowly puffing up a mountain. I vividly remember the very steepest hill being right at the end, leading up the steps to our rented house. I had nothing left at that point, my face red from running half a 10k uphill and mid-morning sunburn. What had meant to be a half hour run had turned into about an hour and a half saga of resilience in the French mountains.

Everyone was up when I got back, so we ate breakfast and then proceeded to go on a five mile walk and play a few rounds of tennis. I was so tired that day. So very very tired.

Grangemoor Park Run Meetup!

Back to the present! Today I forced my boyfriend Rob out to the Grangemoor Park run and met up with Jake and Christina, who have all been drawn by me into little Paper Joggers! Here we are as an awesome Paper Grumpy Jogger team:


It was SO MUGGY today. For me, it was not an enjoyable run. I set out a bit too fast and boy did I pay for it later in the second half.

Rob made me laugh just as we passed the half mile mark by asking me a question about Spotify:

“How long do the adverts normally last?”

“Like, 30 seconds? Then you get a bunch of uninterrupted music.”

“Oh. Well it’s been five minutes and all I’ve heard is an advert about a chef talking about burgers.”

Not the best inspirational material to listen to really. And mile 1 did turn out to be his slowest mile.

Rob also made me laugh by giving me the unhappiest face I’ve ever seen as he turned the 180 degree corner on the last leg of the run. I’m sorry I forced this on you Rob, but I’m super proud of you.


I did get to high five a little kid about half a mile from the finish, which totally made my day and gave me a speed boost for about ten seconds before I settled back into the wheezy spluttery mess I had been for most of the run.

I got to meet @therunningyogi IRL and she is the best ever! Really hope we can meet again for Park runs and other training runs too! 😉

Grabbed a drink after in the nearby Starbucks. Very nice to have a chat after a park run, and a well deserved beverage as well.


Here we are looking all grump after the run:



I feel like I’ve waffled on in this post, so here’s the rest of my running pics. I’ve really been feeling the heat the last few weeks. So very very sweaty due to the hot muggy weather we’ve been having:

Now off to France! Hopefully the runs I complete in Annecy this year will be a lot less traumatizing than that awful experience in Ventron!



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:

“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?