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300 Not Out

Today I reached a milestone I have achieved 300 miles so far this year, including today’s 10K run which I’m delighted with. I have been lacking my top speed for a while now over more than my virtual parkruns. Today’s run and the 5 mile one I did on Thursday proved that my speed is coming back.

I have been feeling motivated the last few weeks I think its because I can run with my friends at training again, nothing beats company. Bridlington Road runners are doing the EHH summer league virtually within the club again this year. It begins on Thursdays (not Tuesdays as normal due to training) with a 5-mile run. This is why I did a full-on reccy of the route on Thursday.

There was big news on Friday with the postponed Beverley 10k to be run late September. his got my heart racing as it will be nearly 2 years since my last proper race.

Take care N x

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Club running and 50 VPR

This week was the week my club mates and I have been waiting weeks to come, Bridlington Road Runners training recommenced. We did a steady 4.4 mile run but the excitement and motivation of everyone shot up. I love running on my own but there is nothing better than running with friends. I am not ashamed to say gossiping did take over but it was just great to be back.

The club did an elimination competition yesterday, 6 teams, 5 rounds, different distances and the slowest in each round was eliminated. I was due in round 4 due to work commitments in the morning. Unfortunately, my team got knocked out after round 2, despite great efforts by my teammates. This allowed me to concentrate on my virtual parkrun. I have reached 50 BRR virtual parkrun and did it in a good time, 28’40.

My sister gave me some Hoka trainers on Monday which don’t fit her and they are really comfy and very supportive. I have done a great 5 miles run today averaging a 10’10 pace which is the fastest I have been over that distance for some time.

Take care

N x

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Inspiration/motivation

This week has been a mixed bag. I was going along nicely. On Friday I was totally inspired when I watched the marathon trials for the Olympics from Kew Gardens on the BBC. Buoyed by this I ran upstairs, put on my kit, and set off running. I went along the cliffs through the woods at Sewerby and back. As I reached the cliffs the rain (the only bit that day) came and soaked me but there was something very refreshing about it. I enjoyed that run more than I have for ages.

Yesterday (Saturday) was not parkrun day, I sprinted off and lost control, tripped over a kerb and ended up in a road. I picked myself up, very embarrassed as a family friend saw me, sorted my lip, knee and elbow out and went off again. My motivation – the book I purchased this week – ‘How parkrun changed my life’. My bigger motivation is it will be my 50th not parkrun with Bridlington Road Runners next Saturday. I did not realised @ParkrunUK were logging not parkrun straight away so I have only logged 34 on their website.

I would highly recommend the Parkrun book it gives you an insight into the different and very varied reasons people run or volunteer at Parkrun.

The coming week is extremely exciting as I say my 50th BRR virtual parkrun and the return of BRR training on Tuesday.

Stay safe.

N x

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Changing Routes

As you’ll know, with the lockdown we have been restricted to our area, and although we enjoy it, you can get in a rut doing the same routes, day in and day out. This is me at the moment so this week I have made an effort to change. I have run some roads in a different direction, and in a different order. I have put parts of two different routes together. Although it has slowed me down I have enjoyed it far more.

Due to my Nike trainers been worn away, I have been given some Brooks to try from my sister. I love my @Nike Pegasus flyease trainers but due to my disability, I wear them out far quicker than the average runner. The cost is becoming an issue as I have only worn them for two and a half months so I decided to give other, less specialised shoes a go. I must say they are good.

I have been off work most of the week so I have taken advantage of my free time and managed to run 21 miles which I enjoyed. Saying this my virtual Parkrun wasn’t as quick as normal in 30’31 but I think I was trying too hard.

I was delighted this week as @ParasportUK used part of my interview from the other week as part of a video to celebrate their second birthday.

Bridlington Road Runners are starting up again, hopefully, 30th March and I can’t wait, I enjoy runs on my own but company is always better.

I got a chance through just seen an advert on Twitter to listen to a Q & A session with Hannah Cockcroft on Monday which was inspiring. Hannah’s younger than me and to see how Parasport has evolved since I was little was amazing. I found it very interesting especially about how the Tokyo Paralympics are going to work. I know they will be completely different due to the Pandemic but it will be fascinating to see how they pan out.

I have done 225 miles this year so far which I’m proud to say so I’m on course to achieve my ultimate goal of 1000 miles this year. I’m not taking this for granted as I know illness and injury plus other unseen events can easily derail it.

Take care

N x

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Keep on Running

After the excitement of my interview going live on Monday which I was proud and pleased with, the rest of the week has been fairly quiet.

I have been on 4 runs this week trying to mix the routes up. I did a bit of cross country on Tuesday, I just went for a trot on Friday and today. Yesterday I participated in the Brid Road Runners PI challenge where we had to run as far as we could in 1 hour 12 minutes, I managed 7.17 which I was thrilled with. I incorporated the virtual parkrun into this run and was delighted to do my 5K in 28’54.

I went on my exercise bike on Thursday instead of running as it has been very windy this week.

Tomorrow I am going to go to a zoom – An evening with Hannah Cockcroft who I really admire. The road runners haven’t got anything but our virtual parkrun planned but fingers crossed training will resume on the 30th March. A local club, East Hull Harriers do a series of races on a Tuesday every fortnight from April – July but due to COVID its cancelled but BRR are going to do it virtually which will be good

Take care

Nx

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Parasport

Today was the day that the interview I did last Thursday for Parasport went live.

I had seen the article but not the video which made me emotional.

It has been an amazing experience. I must thank Andy at Parasport plus Debbie and Tom from Sportsbeat media for making it happen. A big thank you to Brad at Sportsbeat media for putting me at ease while doing the interview.

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Mascot and Miles

Not much has happened this week, I’ve had some rubbish runs and some good runs. I struggled on Thursday and today but that’s just running. Yesterdays virtual parkrun was frustrating as I did it in 29’30 but my first mile was slow due to not one but both kneepads coming off so I think I could have been closed to my PB otherwise.

My mum has made me a running mascot, a turtle in Brid Road Runners colours with BRR which I love.

Unfortunately both my races scheduled for April and May have been postponed which is understandable and expected.

Next week looks interesting, something is happening tomorrow which I won’t disclose just in case – I will update my blog tomorrow night or Tuesday if it goes ahead. On Saturday it’s the next BRR challenge where I have to run as far as I can in 1 hour 12 minutes

Take care

N x

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Parasport and Freedom

This week has been great. On Thursday, I had an interview with Brad from Sportsbeat media on behalf of Parasport UK to help me promote my blog. I was really nervous and had a few issues with my webcam on zoom but after that it was brill. We chatted about how my running career has progressed and how I’ve kept motivated over the last year largely thanks to Bridlington Road Runners with all their challenges.

I managed to do 10 miles on Friday in lieu of a local race scheduled to be held today. I did it in 1 hour 45 minutes which I was impressed with but disaster struck when I took my knee pads off to walk the 5 minutes home and I fell on my knees (see above). I haven’t fallen for quite a while but it just part of life for me.

In February, I managed to run 75 miles which is great as I didn’t run for a few days due to the snow and ice.

Looking ahead, my race at Easter has just been cancelled but hoping racing may be able to go ahead from June which is an odd feeling – one of nerves and anxiety but also excitement.

Take care

N x

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Relays, Recce and Radio

After the snow and ice of the previous week it was nice to get outside, although it has been windy it has been dry. Perfect timing as the first real BRR challenge of the year is this weekend. From Friday until teatime today the club has been doing a virtual relay of most of the parkrun’s in our area. My slot was 3 pm and I had to do 4.6 miles which I did in 44’46 which is a fast time for me generally but especially at the moment.

On Thursday I used my run to recce Fridays run as I find it easier when I know the route and as I had a set distance I didn’t want to go too far or panic as I hadn’t gone far enough. I used part of the route to do my virtual parkrun but unfortunately got caught out by the level crossing which is en route. Saying this I did a good consistent pace considering as the crossing incident did put me off.

I also did two other runs this week, a 5 mile and 6.6 miles today. I was slower today but went to explore areas I hadn’t been for a while in town and really enjoyed it.

This week the running club asked for volunteers to do a zoom meeting with heart radio who owns different radio stations throughout the country so I volunteered. In March they are doing a campaign called ‘Hit the streets’ encouraging people to get out running. A few of us participated and had to complete statements like ‘I love running because..’ so they can use them in adverts so keep your ears opened. Our local radio is Viking FM

Take care

N x

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SNOW AND ICE!

This week has been fun. Sunday night brought snow and bitter easterly winds. I like to say I’m not a wimp but due to safety running was a no – go. A few of my friends at Bridlington Road Runners have tried Yoga with Adrienne on youtube so I decided to give it a go. Doing the basic 20 minute induction it was easier than I thought and I really enjoyed it.

I continued going out for walks and on Thursday mum drove me to the seafront (5 minutes from us) and I ran up and down the cliffs. The snow had melted in the snow but on one side of each road the pavements were ICE. The clifftops were clear of snow and I did it again on Friday (30 seconds quicker than Thursday) but it was less busy due to the strengthening winds.

Yesterday, I ventured out to do the virtual parkrun. It was a howling wind so literally ran 1.5 miles one way turned round and came back. I was pleased with the time of 30’44 considering the conditions.

I’ve been for a walk this morning and the wind is still strong and swirling so have decided to try the yoga again. Hopefully the weather will turn for the better soon.

Take care and stay safe N x

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Runner of the Month

In lockdown, Bridlington Road Runners have asked a member each month to complete the following questionnaire, this month was my turn so here it is.

Runner of the month

Name: Nicola

AGE: 36

How long Iโ€™ve been a runner? Two and a half years

How did you get into running? I saw an advert for the Discover your gold Paralympic campaign and got a try out day so needed to get fitter again. Then did Parkrun and asked about BRR and never looked back

Do you prefer road or trail? Road havenโ€™t done trail I fall over enough on road.

What is your proudest Running moment? Winning the Kilham 10k in 2018 because it wasx a total shock and completing the virtual Brid half marathon last year

What keeps you running? I love running and its helped my mental health and kept me sane this last year and the fact I have gained a whole new family. ๐Ÿ˜€

Favourite post running food? CHOCOLATE

Do you have a favourite Kit item you wear on race day? Yellow and black BRR kit.

What has been your hardest race to date? Scarborough 10K 2019, the weather and the events afterwards meant it was definitely a win both physically and mentally.

Your Favourite running brands? Nike Pegasus flyease โ€“ the best trainers designed for people like me.

Running Tip or motto? Enjoy it and make new friends๐Ÿ˜€

What is your fitness/ running downfall? Worrying about how fast Iโ€™m going.

Hobbies outside of Running ? I enjoy been outdoors, walking, meeting my friends, my new hobby doing jigsaw,  watching sport on TV

Which lock down challenge have you enjoyed the most? Ive enjoyed all of them as I still part of the team but I enjoyed the Way of the Roses relay and have the picture hung up.

This week’s training was going well until yesterday when the east winds began to blow, I did Parkrun first thing and did it 31’47 which is quite slow for me but going up the cliff tops was horrendous as it was headwind. Today I swapped my run for walking as it is now hailing and sleeting. I hope I can do some running in the coming week but the forecast isn’t good. I don’t mind bad weather but it is not above freezing and the paths are slippery in places.

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January Joy

Overall January has been an excellent month running for me. I have completed 90.1 miles the furthest I’ve achieved since doing my Miles for Mind last May. I am really pleased as last May I wasn’t working my full hours and the weather was better.

I have completed two BRR challenges – how far can you run in 30 minutes and this week I undertook the Ross Barkley 5k challenge. Ross Barkley a footballer did 5k in a great moving time on Strava but if you looked the elapsed time was way out meaning he kept having breaks so this was the challenge – how fast could we do 5K with been allowed to have breathers. I must admit it took a while to get into it and think I want to have another go in a few weeks. I did it in a moving time of 26.06 but my elapsed time was 1 hour 8 seconds.

I noticed this morning I had done 83.3 miles this month so this afternoon I did 6.8 miles to round it to 90 miles for the month. I chose a twisty route, going to places nearby I haven’t been before and managed it.

I’m missing both the running club and being able to swim but the BRR challenges are keeping me motivated.

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Beating Previous

This week I have managed to do lots of running – 26 miles +. I have managed to get my @Garmin watch (Forerunner 735XT) to be programmed so I can beat my previous times on the same routes. I did this twice and beat them by 2 minutes on my 5 mile run and by 1 second on my 4.3 mile run. On this run there was a lot of walkers (with and without dogs) and other runners to navigate around so I was pleased to just beat it.

The weather has been good although it turned cold yesterday and today. My virtual Parkrun was a minute slower than last week as it was really cold but the morning frost had disappeared by the time I ventured out. Today as the frost was still present and the temperature was just above freezing I opted to do 40 minutes on my exercise bike.

This week, I have to complete the latest Road Runners challenge and am going to continue using the race my activity setting on my watch as it gives me an aim/focus which I am lacking due to not running with other people.

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On a High

2021 so far is going good.

I won a Jonny Peacock shirt in September by tweeting a picture of myself running, to @ParasportUK but unfortunately due to lock down it is holed up in their headquarters in Central London. On Thursday, I got a surprise phone call saying that due to the delay they would like to give me a voucher for adidas and want to promote this blog! The voucher was emailed straight away and I brought the top and trainers in the photo and they arrived yesterday. I must admit my top is so comfy so thanks @AdidasUK, I’m saving the trainers for better weather.

Training has gone better as the weeks progressed, Tuesday I forgot to start my watch and Thursday was horrendous weather so I did 40 minutes on my exercise bike.

Yesterday I participated in @BridRoadRunners virtual parkrun and combined it with the clubs latest challenge – how far can you run in 30 minutes. I did my 5k in 28’21 which is actually a PB and continued to do 3.28 miles in half an hour so I was pleased.

Today has been glorious but cold so I set out and ran the length of the seafront. I’m so lucky to live here. I did 7.08 miles which included getting to and back from the seafront.

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On a roll

So 2021 has started with the same theme as 2020, a Lockdown. This time I’m still at work but of the course my chance of going swimming has stopped as Leisure Centres are closed. Day 10 of the New Year and my running is going well. I’m managing to go out most days (work permitting) but I’ve had to go slower and shorter runs as it has been quite slippery underfoot. I didn’t think I would be able to complete the Virtual Parkrun due to frost but by the time I got round to it mid-afternoon it was generally OK

Running club has of course been cancelled again so has gone online. Next weekend I have to run as far as I can in half an hour.

Stay safe everyone

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2020

2020…Where do I start? My hopes were to run everyday and do 1000 miles and enjoy doing the races I first did in 2019 and improve my performances in them Disaster stuck on day 3 when I hurt my foot and that put me out until late March. I conceded that my body just can’t manage everyday and because of the lay off I only did 785 miles which I am delighted with.

Just as I was about to rejoin Brid Road Runners training (even though I met up with them before they ran and I went swimming) COVID and LOCKDOWN hit.

Bridlington Road runners went into overdrive doing the East Hull summer league runs, relays, beat the mile, parkrun all done virtually. Plenty of People stopped to say Hello and give me ‘what’s she up to now?’ look as I plodded around town. Road runners recommenced in August with a pause for lockdown in November but its just lovely to see friends again.

2020 has taught me to be grateful for now and don’t look too far in the future. My only two goals is to run 1000 miles in 2021! and to keep this blog going bigger and better!!!!!!

All thats left is to say I wish you all a very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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DECEMBER UPDATE

Hi sorry I haven’t blogged for a while time just seem to be passing by. I have been busy on the exercise bike and in the swimming pool. I have been crazily busy with the Road Runners, during Lockdown 2, training was paused and the virtual events ramped up. From the 5 November to 6 December I participated in the Superhero Tri Virtual Winterwheels at home event. In this time, I did 82.5km running, 25.6km exercise biking and 43.5km walking. The reason I included walking was because Road Runners did their craziest challenge to date Elevation. Over two weeks we got points for distance and elevation. I struggled with the elevation but preserved.

I provided a laugh in the town when I took part in the road runners advent calendar. I dressed up as wee willy winkle. I thoroughly enjoyed it despite it been the coldest, wettest day for my window.

I also did some fundraising which I don’t normally do. I did the virtual santa dash 10K for the local St Catherine’s Hospice. I dressed up in a santa suit my mum especially made for me and raised ยฃ65.

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August /September

Since I went back to full hours at the library, I lacked motivation but fortunately Bridlington Road Runners returned on Tuesdays in August. This was the motivation I needed, and soon I set myself the challenge of completing a half marathon which I did last Sunday (13 September). I did it on my own and managed it in 2hrs 35min 11 seconds which I really was impressed with.

The club has continued with virtual parkrun which I’ve really enjoyed and am currently completing consistently in approximately 28 minutes 30 seconds. It has given me the motivation to keep up with my speed as well as working on my endurance.

Unfortunately, all my races have been cancelled for the year but I hope by keeping up with my running as well as my swimming it will keep me in good stead for next year.

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MEDAL GALORE

As most of you know I did the Superhero Tri at Eton last year. This year it was a virtual event from 15 June to 15 July. I finished Tuesday and thoroughly enjoyed it. I could only do a duathlon by running and on my exercise bike

Running = 140.48Km = 87.29 miles Cycling = 51.88km = 32.23 miles Total = 192.36 km = 111.52 miles

I also received my Tshirt and medal for doing 80K in 80 day Hurricane challenge for the RAF Museum from April to July but actually did it in a fortnight.

I continue to do virtual events that Bridlington Road Runners are doing – parkruns, summer league and so forth and we have been challenged by a club in Surrey to do an event next weekend.

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Superhero Challenge

Well, we are now on day 11 of the challenge and it’s overall going really well despite the heatwave of the past few days. I have incorporated the challenges set for us by Bridlington Road Runners. Last week we had to do five miles at a consistent pace, my pace at my proper attempt didn’t really go well, I set my pace too slow and struggled. I enjoyed the concept so decided to have another go later in the week and frustratingly I got it spot on but it didn’t count.

We have had a 5.5 mile and a 10K race on the two Tuesdays which went really well although the heat got to me this week. I did the virtual parkrun on Saturday but again struggled towards the end.

I have also used my exercise bike both Thursdays which I haven’t been on in a while but really enjoyed.

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JUNE UPDATE

The past few days have been full-on after a slow start to the month. I had to take a rest for a few days as I had hurt my side doing sit-ups. I went for my first run on Wednesday – Part 2 of the BRR beat your mile challenge which I was pleased with as I have knocked 20 seconds of my first attempt a fortnight ago.

A few weeks ago I was asked to contribute to the Activity Alliance (formerly English Disability Sports) blog which was published on Friday http://www.activityalliance.org.uk/news which was very exciting to do. Part of the reason I do this blog is to encourage others to participate in sport.

Yesterday it was BRR virtual parkrun day where we all run 3.1 miles on our own route. I did it in 29’42 which wasn’t my PB but I was really pleased with.

This weekend BRR has been doing their latest challenge – Chase the Sun – where we have 30-minute slots from 4 am to 9.30 pm both days to see how far we can get. Again we did it individually but there is a great sense of teamwork with encouraging comments and posts on the clubโ€™s Facebook page. My slot was 9.30 am this morning and I was surprised to see some friends cheering me on at the bottom of my road. I did 3.09 miles which is great. We have all guessed how far we can make over the course of the challenge and have made a donation to the CALM charity

What next? No stopping for me – tomorrow is the start of my Superhero Tri challenge – keep checking for further information.

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May Madness

100 miles in May #milesformind @runr_uk โœ…

strengthening 30 days abs and squat challenge โœ…

BRR challenges ๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ’› โœ…

As I am only working a limited number of hours due to Lock-down I set myself some ambitious targets for May. I entered the Miles for Mind challenge setting myself 100 miles in a month I think the most I’d done pre – May was 80 miles in a month. I managed this by doing runs every day and doing the weekly challenges set by Bridlington Road Runners which I have thoroughly enjoyed. I have found the trail runs challenging and have achieved good times in the virtual road races. I have mixed my routes up so I didn’t get bored.

A friend at road runners found doing core work helped her running so I decided to challenge myself to do the same. I achieved my target and completed it. My running has benefited from it.

What’s next? I have a few challenges coming up which I will reveal in a later post. I know they will be more challenging time-wise as I will be back to working more hours soon.

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Mental Health Awareness Week

My mental health hasn’t always been great but since I have started running especially with the club it has helped.

Take this morning two things running did for it. I was feeling down and stuck in a rut like we all are at the moment, bored at work much, the holiday I was due to go on next week was cancelled and so forth, like everyone else in the UK. Running helped me:-

  1. It made me get out and concentrate on something else. As I said in Corona Lock-down post I am doing Miles for Mind setting a target for 100 miles in May. Its meant I’m running every day but having a target has made me do it. By the time I completed my first mile everything was OK again in my mind.
  2. I used to, like most things in life, if I had not completed the route I had planned I would feel a failure. I set out to do a five-mile route but it was hot and clammy so I cut it to 3.2 miles. This was fine in my head as at least I had accomplished something and I know another day I will run further than planned.

Any form of exercise is good and I am always passing people I know so saying hello at a social distance is great. You also discover things about the area you live in – paths, snickets and alleys you didn’t know exist.

Bridlington Road Runners are continuing with their virtual challenges – yesterday I completed 3.8 miles in 38’35 but the course was partly wooded and partly field. I thoroughly enjoyed it again seeing people and just taking in the views on your doorstep.

Running has definitely improved my mental health but any sort of exercise you choose will help you.

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Have Fun while you Run

We are well into week 7 of the Corona Lock-down and the good news today is we can exercise as we have done on our own but several times a day now. I know I am very lucky to be involved in a proactive club Bridlington Road Runners doing virtual races and virtual relays.

The latest relay was the BRR Way of the Roses and back running the cycle route from Bridlington to Morecambe and back virtual. My leg was 1.30 pm on Saturday as ‘we approached Morecambe, I did five miles in the sweltering heat. I suffered, the first four miles were great, the last involving going uphill was torture. For the first time ever if I wasn’t in a relay needing to tell the next person to go I would have stopped. Everyone was encouraging each other on social media and it was great.

Doing these virtual things with the club is great but I know some people will be on their own struggling with motivation. One club member came up with the idea of running and photographing the first letter of street names to make your own (see above), you can do this yourselves, your name, a family member name, a pet or even a place. If you are socially isolating think of a letter each day, take photos of 3 things beginning with that letter and send it to someone.

I hope this has given you some useful ideas. The letters idea was great for me as I’m always looking at my watch when running, a bad habit I know but doing this meant I was more occupied thinking where the next letter was I wanted and the best route to go.

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Injuries and Patience

Every athlete, no matter their ability will tell you their nightmare is getting injured, minor or major. Apart from falling on my knees, I went 18 months before my first real injury.

Goals for 2020 – try to run every day and do 1000 miles in the calendar year. 3 January – disaster struck – going down a snicket I’d run up the opposite way a couple of times, it was steeper than I realised. My foot only started to hurt a few minutes after. A niggle I thought – I’ve had those before. Breaking my first goal I took a day or two off. The next couple of weeks, run short distances and rest but nothing changed.

I reluctantly took advice off friends and family and went to the doctors, I had a bruised metatarsal, 12 weeks off she recommended, but swimming and cycling was good.

I took 12 weeks from the day I did it so 10 weeks. I decided to go swimming Tuesday and Thursdays evenings so I could meet up with my running friends before they went off running. There was 4 or 5 of us in the pool from the club now on the injury list.

I was fortunate the club meet in the leisure centre so I could meet up with them and it was January, no races etc.

I cheered them on at the first race of the season Snake Lane 10 mile in Pocklington late February as my sister was participating in it. I hadn’t entered anyway because I thought it was too far for me.

March came – my patience had paid off – all raring to go, I took myself off for a few runs and my foot was alright. I was going back just as England Athletics suspended all activity for the Coronavirus Lock-down.

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Corona Lock-down

23 March 2020 is a date we all will never forget – the start of lock-down due to the Corona Virus. Events and clubs such as Road Runners and Parkrun had already been suspended.


It filled me with dread but it has turned out to be great from a running point of view, especially as I had just come back from 3 months off due to a foot injury. I have completed the 80K Hurricane Challenge for the RAF Museum and am in the middle of doing Miles for MIND, trying to complete in 100 miles in May.


Bridlington Road Runners have gone into overdrive. We were on the verge of our racing season so the club has decided to do the races virtually. We all go out individually and do the set distance, then put our run on Strava and then someone collates the times and puts them in order. We communicate on our Facebook page which enables us to support each other.


Occasionally we do relays, so one person sets off in order as we have a timetable of runners. Once they completed they message the following person and so forth. At the end we all do ten minutes going round the garden virtually we post a selfie.


My dad brought a treadmill just before lock-down so I have used that as well but I do find it difficult to keep my balance so I prefer running outside.

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Kit and Crash-landings

When I joined the Road Runners I just turned up in shorts, t-shirt and some low cost trainers from a high street store. This was just fine but over the months I became aware that I tended to wear away one side of the shoe very quickly. I tried two well known running brands that to anybody without my problem I would recommend but for the short time they were wearable for me I couldn’t justify the price.

I did some research looking up Paralympians to see what they wore and came across Nike’s Flyease range, they are zip around the ankle and a velcro across the top (see above), fortunately I fit into the older teen caterogy so they are reasonably price. I started with the Pegasus but they stopped doing them in my size so now have stuck with the Revolution shoe (see above).

Early 2019 and I began falling a lot, and I fall quite heavily which has happened quite often since childhood. The problem was I would fall again before my knees healed from the previous time. I decided to write to the women’s running magazine which my sister buys. They suggested kinesiology tape with a pad underneath. These worked well but obviously the tape can only be used once so it was expensive.

After seeing me at the Superhero Tri event, my friend from the games came up with the solution. Knee pads from a company called hivexagon through amazon (see above). They’re great, comfy, reusable and even washable. Since wearing them I’ve had no problems and they protect my knees when I fall.

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Superhero Tri

Early September 2018 – just as I was getting settled into road runners, I was watching a program on Channel 4 with my sister called ‘Superhero Tri’. It was highlights of an mini triathlon held that August in Eton Dorney specifically for disabled people. I was intrigued so went on the website, the middle distance caught my eye 400m swim, 10k bike and 2.5k run. I can ride a tricycle as I have hired one from the All ride scheme on the seafront that hire out adapted bikes during the summer. My swimming would need work and the logistic of being 5 hours away would need considering but I could do it.

I took the plunge and registered for the following August. I went swimming twice a week, continued my running and hired a bike once a week when possible. Someone I know does open water swimming in a nearby village so she kindly lent me a suit and took me under her wing so I could get used to the open water.

My mum, dad, sister and I made a weekend of it (Thursday to Monday).

I organised through the event the hire of a suit and a tricycle.

Saturday morning was glorious as we made our way to Dorney Lake. My friend who I met as a Gamesmaker who lives nearby the lake came along to support me. The swimming went well and I found it easier than expected. The bike was the hardest section of the race for me as I wasn’t used to the bike and the gears were different to the ones on the bike I usually hire. I saw Clare Balding there and as I said ‘hello’ nearly rode into her. The final section was the run, my favourite which was fab.

There were many celebrities there such as David Weir and Jonny Peacock, as well as youngsters with disabilities who were having a fab time.

It was well worth the trip!!

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Join a Club

The best thing, running wise is to join my local running club, Bridlington Road Runners (BRR). Due to my disabilities I was apprehensive about joining, so I asked a friend through parkrun what he thought, he assured me that I would be welcome.

The following Tuesday I turned up at the local leisure centre and introduced, I knew a few faces through parkrun and races my sister had participated, she lives away so is in a different club. I went with the appropriate group and that was it. I had a new family.

Over just a few months I could go further and faster. I didn’t do the Scarborough 10K that year as entries had closed before I started running but my sister did it. I turned up, to be greeted ‘come in the photo Nicola’. I was soon to learn no event was complete for BRR unless team photo call was held. I spent the morning on Scarborough seafront cheering them all on and loved it.

Last summer I took part in the East Hull evening league, every other Tuesday after work, my biggest supporters mum and dad drove me across Holderness to race undulating courses on roads.

Beverley 10K another race one Sunday in May proved my best doing my PB in 58 minutes 32 seconds.

The rest of the Summer was taken doing the BRR summer league, the club sets 10 races to enter throughout the season, and they handicap your time, give you points and the best six races are counted to get your final points. The one with the most final points wins. One or two races are done within the club and others are ones already been held in the area e.g. Top of the Wolds 10K. I didn’t win but was pleased with my performances.

Another series of races were held in September for just club members. The Eddie Knapp (named after a former club member) challenge, 4 races in 4 days over different distances and surfaces e.g. the beach, woods, fields and roads. I enjoyed it so much.

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Christmas Capers

December is a month you may think runners slow down, cold, wet, dark, icy and the occasional snow. That’s where you’re wrong. December = even more fun. From late November thousands of runners pay to get dressed up throughout the country to run mostly 5k or 10k to raise money for local charities. These are usually called ‘Santa Dash’. I am no exception. Usually the first Sunday in December with my running friends and my sister and run 5k up the seafront to raise money for our local Lions charity.

A week or two later my local running club, Bridlington Road Runners, gather in a nearby village, all dressed up, (see above) to run 10K. This is done via a handicap system so the slowest sets off first at interval determined by past performances in races. The first to finish wins.

This was the first race after I joined the club, I forfeited the fancy dress but was amazed when I won. That was 2018, and in 2019 dressed up as Mr Bump (that will be explained in a later post) I was the first lady home. I was amazed as I thought 2018 was a fluke. Afterwards we gather, (runners, marshalls and spectators) in the village hall for food and drink and the prize giving.

The next date is Christmas Eve, a re-run of the Santa Dash for club members at 9am for a social run and we gather for coffee afterwards.

Christmas Day morning, usually 9am, dressed in the appropriate entire is Parkrun. Not all parkruns are on but we usually find a local one.

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Park run


Parkrun is somthing you have probably heard about. It happens in local parks up and down the UK and in other countries every Saturday. 5k run, walk, jog, the last person is celebrated as much as the first. Its a personal race to improve your own performance.

This was the natural progression for me, so a bit apprehensive with family support I went along to my local parkrun and as I say did it in 34’07.

I have kept going although not every week due to work but my PB is now 29’24. I have also volunteered to be the tail walker on a few occasions and have walked it when I’ve been injured or been recovering from illness.

Participants, volunteers and spectators all cheer everyone on what ever their ability. After the event, everyone goes for a drink and maybe a cake at the cafe in the park.

Going on holiday or need the challenge of a different course? I have done different local ones and ones in London and Birmingham when I have been away for the week.

Once you get registered for your barcode on the parkrun website turn up to any parkrun. All you need to do is registered on their website which is quick free and easy, print off the barcode and your ready to go!!

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The Start

I saw an advert on twitter for UK Sports #Discoveryourgold talent search , looking for people with potential to make it to the Olympics or Paralympics. I applied and was surprised when I got an invite to the Para Potential day at Loughborough in June 2018. After doing gymnastics and rugby I was at a loss so I got on the train to Loughborough, apprehensive but excited. We had to all sorts of test such as jumping, on exercise bikes etc and then we got to try some sports. I really enjoyed it and was inspired, deciding that I needed a sport. After enjoying running to get fit for the day, my sister who is a runner suggested I did my local parkrun. In August 2018, I did just that, a tricky course on cliff tops and through woodland but I managed it in 34’02. My journey had begun.


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