Plan B

This weekend has definitely been a learning curve. I think (if possible) I’ve actually grown up a bit this weekend. I’ve realised there’s certain people who are not a fixture in my life but just kind of simmering away in the background who just need to not be there anymore. Old habits may die hard but it really is time for these to go.

More importantly I’ve learnt a major lesson about control. Anyone who knows me and knows me well will tell you what a control freak I am. I write lists for practically everything and if the slightest thing goes wrong it’s like the world has come to an end, bring on the stress, anxiety and just chuck in an IBS flare up for good measure.

Well this weekend definitely did not go to plan. I was meant to be running the Great Newham 10k. I’d been looking forward to it since signing up. I love the Great Run series and this was in my home city starting and finishing in the Olympic park. It was going to be amazing. So ironically I chose to vlog the weekend on my Instagram page (JJSGETTINGFIT). It was all going ok until Saturday and it was boiling. My food and drink choices for fuelling weren’t on point but after Saturday dinner I was feeling pretty good. We’d worked out the travel plan and I was just about to go and sort out my kit when I felt a scratching in my eye. At first I thought I had something in it but after two inspections by the mother and husband there was nothing so I was tucked up into bed with the promise that the husband would wake me up early enough in the morning to do my kit. I wasn’t happy but I was exhausted so I fell asleep.

In the morning I awoke to the alarm and attempted to open my eye. That wasn’t happening. The pain had got worse. Now, I’ve had problems with my eyes since the age of 3 so I know by now when it’s something you can just wash out and when you need A&E. Well guess where I ended up?imageThat’s right, good old Kings A&E with a scratched eyeball and a rather gloopy ointment to apply four times a day for seven days. I just sat in those crappy hospital chairs thinking “I’d be meeting the girls right about now” then a little later “we’d be lining up to set off now”. I was so angry at myself. By the time I got back to my parents house I just wanted to chuck everything in the car and get home to Wales. I was knackered and had missed what was meant to be my highlight 10k of the year.

I slept most of the way back to Wales and then continued to sleep for the majority of the afternoon and evening. When I woke up my husband was in the garden attempting to tackle our ridiculously long grass. Who was I actually angry with? Myself? I hadn’t purposefully hurt myself, I hadn’t used my eye as an excuse to get out of the run. It was out of my control. So I started to look at the week ahead. I have Wednesday off due to a hospital appointment so I decided if I couldn’t do Great Newham I’d at least do a 10k so I’ll be doing six laps around the park on Wednesday. That I can control. My choice to get up this morning and despite the pain, go into work, that I can control. The initial injury. I cannot control and that’s what I need to learn to accept, not just in running but in life.

When I did my LiRF training last weekend they spoke a lot about having a ‘plan B’ so now I always will. I guess in someways it’s me still having the control but in others it’s me knowing it’s ok for plans to change. There’s always a plan B.

This is extra significant as I’ve just realised a 3 hour time trial I’ve been training for is the 1st weekend of August, not the 3rd as I’d been planning for but I’ve decided to stick to my training plan and be happy with my plan B goal of 15k instead of the 20k I was originally aiming for.

Plan B isn’t just working for my running life but also my personal, however that’s a whole other entry. For now, well done all of you who have managed to run in the recent heat.


(a very chilled) JJ xx

Fat Girl Learning!

Life has nearly retreated back to normal after the madness that was Euro 2016 for Wales, don’t worry we’ll be back for the World Cup!

So back to running life. Well, it’s gone a little crazy recently. I’ve got the Great Newham Run next weekend (10k) and then following that at the start of August I’m doing a three hour trail run in which you have to do as many 5k laps as possible (I’m aiming for 20k as if you’ve started the lap within the 3rd hour you can finish it). Following this I’m going to do some shorter distances as from the first weekend in September I have a half marathon once a month for three months and then it’s full on marathon training for Paris!

So that’s a little catch up on my race life at the moment but what this post is really meant to be about is what I did yesterday. I took part in a ‘Leadership in Running Fitness’ (LiRF) course ran by english athletics which means I can now run meets and a running club if I wanted to. To be honest I was terrified about doing the course. I signed up for it and put it to the back of my mind. Then on Monday it sprung back into the forefront of my mind and the usual things started to cross my crazy stupid brain. What if I’m the fattest/ slowest/ most unfit one there? What if they all already know what they’re doing? What if they don’t take me seriously or laugh at me? I posted on the Too Fat To Run? Clubhouse  on Facebook and was given a lot of support. So on Friday once we’d finished work me and the hubby packed our bags and drove across the border to a pub b’n’b just outside Bristol. It was a nervous sleep with an unplanned early morning wake up. I decided to pull myself together and represent Too Fat to Run? the only way I knew how, by strapping on my TFTR? armour and a massive grin. image

I had my beans on toast breakfast and the hubby dropped me off at Yate Outdoor Sport Complex and while he went to visit a friend I was met by a friendly English Athletics uniformed woman and given directions into the 8 hour course. I had been partly right. They were all thinner than me (apart from one man who’s run several marathons) but apart from that during the drills the only thing different was that I wasn’t as quick. I was surprised I could do the same hill intervals as them all. While we were walking out across the athletics track (which I have never run on before) everyone took off their jumpers to reveal their club shirts (it really was quite a Clark Kent/Superman moment) and I won’t lie. I was a little intimidated. Then I remembered I had my own club shirt on and mine was orange. From that moment my confidence grew, I talked to others, exchanged ideas, swapped race stories and huddled together for lunch on flip down seats overlooking the athletics track chatting about why we were doing the course. For the first time ever I felt like I fitted in this world. I was holding my own.

The course itself was amazing and well worth the money. The two women running it were inspiring both on the practicals and the course discussions. I wasn’t treated any different due to my size and there was even a part of the course dedicated to how to make running clubs inclusive for everyone. It really made me feel proud to be part of such a forward thinking sport. At the end of the course we were all packing up and saying bye to the coaches. I went and thanked the two coaches when one asked me something I really hadn’t expected.

“So you’re going to do further coaching courses right? It won’t make you rich but it’ll make you damn happy and you’ve got the right stuff for it”.

Out of all those runners in there it was me that she’d pulled to the side to encourage. She was talking about me doing this as some sort of a career. This is a whole new thing to get my head around but I know I will be forever grateful to Rachel for giving me more confidence I’ve had in a long time.

Anyone who is thinking of becoming a leader I would encourage you to. Don’t think you can’t because of your size, your fitness level, your running experience. If you have the will to do it you’ll be great and if you’re like me, you might even enjoy it. image

It seems like all I’ve done this year is stretch my boundaries, constantly pushing myself  out of my comfort zone mostly because of Julie Creffield and all the women in Too Fat To Run? and you know what? That’s not a bad thing. I don’t want to feel comfortable anymore. I want to constantly be pushing to be the best me I can be and with the help of my personal trainer, the TFTR? girls and the support I continuously get from my amazing family and friends, especially my husband. I’m getting there, to the right level of discomfort.

Peace out

JJ xx