Sunday 31 May 2015

Running in Cornwall, getting over the eight mile mark.

In the aftermath of the London Marathon last month I guess there will be lots of people wanting to get into running and lots of people inspired by the television coverage of thousands and thousands of people all enjoying a run on the weekend and I am no different.

In December just 5 months ago I attended my first ever Park Run and attempted to complete the 5km course, and I struggled. I could barely breath around the course and had to walk large sections of it and the next day I could barely move as my legs had gone so stiff. But for some reason I enjoyed it and found myself there the following week running the 5km course again!

Since then I have knocked 7 minutes off that first attempt and even joined a local intro to running group to try and get fitter and better at running. With the encouragement that there were 38,000 people in London last month enduring over 26 grueling miles of running I would also push myself and attempt 8 miles of running. So far I had managed to run a maximum of 5.5 miles on a recent charity run from Wadebridge to Padstow along the camel trail but today I wanted to go further and set myself the target of running 8 miles.
Amanda Brooks Half Marathon Training

With a route planned I was off jogging through the Cornish countryside, the sun was shining and the winds were light and it was the perfect day to be out running. Although there was a slight downside to my plan, I got lost!!!
 Country lane in Cornwall

Running in Cornwall
I had a route planned out and I thought I knew where I was going but after a while I had to check the map on my phone and I was definately heading in the wrong direction. With a new route planned I continued to run and just took it slowly. As I plodded through the miles. I struggled the last section as it was up hill but just kept going slowly and surely and got to my finish line and reached my goal of running 8 miles. 

With 5 months until my first ever half marathon I know I've got a lot of training to go but I'm really pleased with reaching the eight mile mark as it's probably the furthest I've ever run! Who'd have thought that attending one Park Run event would get me signing up to do a half marathon!

Amanda Brooks Half Marathon Training

Saturday 30 May 2015

Running Truro City Centre to Malpas and back

I'm currently training to take part in my first ever half marathon in October at the Cardiff Half and I'm starting to increase my training. 

I have regular running routes that I complete straight after work in Redruth Cornwall and regularly attend Park Run's at Lanhydrock Bodmin but every now and again it's nice to mix things up and try a completely new route and run somewhere new.

Last week I did exactly that and decided to run a route starting in the city of Truro out to the beautiful village of Malpas out along the river and back. It's a really nice run with such beautiful scenery, you hardly even notice your running. With gorgeous river views, sections off of the main road and lots of other runners out it is certainly a popular route for running. 

It's great to think that one minute you are in the city centre and then you can be alongside the creeks and open countryside along side the gorgeous river. Even if I did have to pay for city centre parking this route is definetely worth it for the scenery alone.

Running in Cornwall - Truro to Malpas

Running in Cornwall - Truro to Malpas
A perfect 5 mile run in Cornwall that's lovely and quiet, a flat route and one of the most stunning runs that I have been on.

Friday 29 May 2015

Park Run Number 16

It's been a busy month of May for myself with Surf trips to Portugal and 30th birthday celebrations meaning that running has not been at the top of my priority of things to do. But with my body weight consumed in alcohol and 5 months until my first ever half marathon it's certainly time to put the trainers back on and start running again.

Last Saturday was to be my 16th Park Run at Lanhydrock and leaving the house it was a very gloomy grey start to the day with a thick heavy fog sitting over the whole of Cornwall. But as I arrived to the Lanhydrock National Park the sun was starting to break through the mist and cloud and you could feel the warmth of the sun coming through.
Lanhydrock Park Run

With this being the first run in nearly a month I was feeling a little bit nervous especially with the massive hill that I had not been missing whilst on holiday. As it was bank holiday weekend it was proving to be a popular morning for Park Run and with 177 runners on the start line I was feeling excited to get going.

I always go off too fast at the start of Park Run and get carried away with the crowds at the beginning and this week being the first one back after a few weeks off decided that I really did need to take it slightly easier and avoid going off too fast at the start and walking at the end.

As the crowds wound down the hill and up into the woods it felt good to be back running with a group of like minded people all up early on a Saturday morning. I plodded through the woods and down the massive steep section of hill and felt good, I felt like I was simply enjoying this run rather than pushing for a PB. As the second half of the course approached the hills got bigger and I started to feel the burn. Managing to get up the first two sections of up hill I upproached the main really steep hill and just had to walk up it but getting to the top proceeded to run.

My current Personal Best for Lanhydrock Park Run is 28:43 and after nearly a month off knew I wasn't going to be anywhere close to that but was hoping for around the 30 minute mark. As I pushed down hill to the finish line I was feeling very much out of breath and felt like I had nothing else to give.

Once home I recieved my time and was pleased that my first run in the new 30-34 age group came through at 30:20.

Tomorrow It's Park Run day again and this week I will be competing in my first ever Park Run as a tourist and will hopefully be plodding the tarmac of a much flatter Essec Park Run. I'm hoping to beat my current PB time of 28:43 and hope that a quicker Park Run time will encourage me that I can get around Park Run quicker and I've just got to do the same at my home turf when I return to Lanhydrock.

Amanda Brooks Lanhydrock Park Run

Fingers crossed for tomorrows Park Run and I'm looking forward to taking part in a much bigger event than what I'm used to in Cornwall. If you see me looking lost around the course in Chelmsford tomorrow give me a wave!

Friday 1 May 2015

I've only gone and entered my first half marathon!

Yes your reading that right I've decided that it's time to enter my first ever half marathon!

Just 5 months ago on a cold December morning my sister came down to Cornwall for a visit and insisted that I tried out a local Park Run event. Struggling around the course through breathless running and lots of walking I managed to just about get around the 5km course.

Fast forward just 5 months and the fact that it's only a few weeks to my 30th birthday I'm having a mini life crisis and I've decided that it's about time I challenged myself and decided to attempt something a lot harder. I've just agreed to sign up to the Cardiff half marathon. Alongside over 20,000 other people I will be attempting to get around a 13.1 mile course around the famous city of Cardiff, that's just over 21km, a lot LOT further than the 5km I'm used to struggling around.

As if that's not enough of a challenge to be taking on with all the additional training that will be required of me I am also raising money for a great charity and that's the WWF. For anyone that knows me or follows my blog will know just how much I adore panda bears and want to help a charity that works to protect their future and their environment.

I'm now asking kindly for people to sponsor me and they can on my just giving page here, every penny is gratefully received by the charity but also means so much to me in believing that I can actually do a half marathon.

Thank You to everyone that's supporting me on this event.