Wii Hurt

The weekend was supposed to be slothful and despite a few forgivable false starts I am still left wondering what the heck went wrong. How could I arrive back home and find myself sitting here on my sofa with multiple athletic injuries?

I arrived at Rach’s house on Friday and was immediately forced aboard the cross trainer to build up an appetite for the evenings festivities. A whole 4 calories later the Chinese take away arrived and I was allowed to kick back and enjoy my crispy shredded beef. Later, under a drunken haze I was introduced to the Nintendo wii and challenged to a ten pin bowling showdown.

Now, I have read books on ten pin bowling so like to think of myself as a bit of a bowling rockstar, you can’t just challenge me and expect to be let off lightly. Three hours later I was still calling for a rematch and was only persuaded to lay down my plastic bowling ball for a showing of the latest L Word episode (a particularly good one I have to add!).

I was up again at dawn practising on the alleys, Rach didn’t know what had hit her. Unfortunately she still beat me so I practised more while she slept. The next morning I had perfected the technique, I could get my ball to stay out of the gutter and actually managed to topple a few skittles. This perfection came at a cost though. By this point I could barely carry the weight of my own arms, I would yell out in pain every time I sent the ball bouncing towards her tv screen and even managed to pull my left hamstring as I adopted the power crouch position. I was glad to go home for a rest!

Shoulder Spica

Back at home today I planned to sneak in my long run between meetings at work, they were held 10 miles apart and I thought I could probably pull off the distance quicker if I avoided public transport. I was aware of my rather tender arm situation and knew that carrying a water bottle was off limits so packed the bladder into my backpack. Setting off on a light trot down the canal I was reminded what a gruelling weekend it had been. I had to tie my arms into my rucksac just to hold them up, my triceps and deltoids were completely shot and I would have signed myself up for a full body cast at the drop of a hat.

Just to add insult to injury or even more injury to injury, my toe nail has started to peel off again. I sellotaped it up this morning in the hopes that it would help but I think I over tightened it. Even before I started running it felt like someone had dropped a darn bowling ball on my toe, I could feel every beat of my heart pounding through my nail bed. It’s like Japanese water torture.

My long run turned into a rather lame short run with a very long walk attached and I blame Rach and that silly little console.

Salomon Raid Revo 20

Just made it back from todays running commute, it felt like a tough one but it was improved by the queues of festive travellers, I get a buzz from overtaking cars.

We were released from work a couple of hours early so I got to run on the scenic side of the river and cross the bridge all before it got dark and spooky. Of course today I was due to take my trial package on a test run, the package is the Nokia N82 Limited Edition Adventure pack which contains the phone, bundled with the Nokia Sports Tracker beta and the Salomon Raid Revo 20. A great set for the runner but not the forgetful runner – I now have two phones on the go and managed to forget both of them! I did remember the Salomon pack though.

Salomon Raid Revo 20

This is a super lightweight package but unfolds to handy size. I got my trousers, shirt, coat and assorted “stuff” inside the pack with quite a bit spare and no need to use the compression webbing for attaching my undies. Good job the extra space wasn’t required as I somehow managed to break the webbing attachment within minutes of removing it from the box, it sort of unwound into a bundle of fluff right before my eyes.

The pack is made of very thin material and I’m not sure how it would stand up to rain, the pack has a couple of plug holes at the bottom for water to drain away, which makes me think it isn’t going to make much of an effort to keep the rain out. The zips look pretty snazzy though, they appear to seal up as you close them so maybe it is more water resistant than I think. Will update next time I get caught in a downpour.

It’s a pretty snug fit on the back, it drapes over your shoulders like a soft cuddly bear (yuk) and the chest and waist strap holds it secure. The chest strap is a great design as it slips up and down the pack to ensure a damn near perfect fit. All in all though I think the fit is just a bit to snug, the pack sits flat against your spine. By the end of the run my back was feeling hot and sticky and this is on a bleak mid winter day, run with this in the middle of summer and I think you’ll pass out before 10 k is up. In contrast my Asics Barrios has a layer of bumps that hold the pack well off your back and is relatively cool to wear.

So the pack is a good size, has really neat waist band pockets big enough to hold phone, keys and iPod securely but its held too close to your back, meaning that the padding will absorb loads of sweat and is bound to stink within a few months. I hope the Inov 8 proves to be a better solution, when it finally turns up.

*UPDATE* I got my wish for a downpour, and I have to say that the backpack held up very well. Check out the details here.

**There is a link to my other product reviews on sidebar. Please contact me at angela@warriorwomen.co.uk if you have a product you would like me to review.

A Half Commute

My regular running commute has been on the back burner for a while. I started at my new placement a few weeks ago which has pushed the required running distance to 13 miles, part of which covers a portion of the West’s very own murder mile, or in fact murder 12 miles. Needless to say I haven’t been rushing to try it out. Today I was based at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Aldgate and it just so happens to make a far more scenic 13 mile commute.

When I left the house this morning, the forecast was still for horrendous thunder storms over London, so I packed my running clobber and a little umbrella. I was impressed that my asics running pack has a special slot for an umbrella, but really, did I actually intend to run with one? Seems I did. Crappy forecast though – it was a scorcher.

Tour de France

I started running from Tower Bridge and then proceeded to weave myself in and out of all the hot and sticky tourists on the south bank.

I’d drained my water bottle by Westminster Bridge and was wondering if I should have considered Gu’s or gels for my impromptu half marathon attempt. I didn’t have any so I compromised with a Solero Exotic ice cream and a bottle of water – shocking £2.50 down the drain but I bet those sachets of slime aren’t cheap either.

Resisted meeting the OGB slacker for a pint at St Thomas’ and picked up a few partner yoga tips instead.Partner Yoga

Now then, given my previous max mileage was something like 10.67 km, it would have been foolish to jump straight up to a 13 mile (20 km) run and I have to say that I didn’t really intend to run the whole way home. Trouble is I didn’t have that many alternatives sorted out – there aren’t that many tubes near the river and I never look or smell my best after a 10k run in the heat so I’d probably be blocked from entering by the sniffer dogs.

I got up to my 10k barrier and started walking a bit and then started running a bit and then I started to notice that my toenails were peeling away from the nail bed and my shins were hurting and my hip was hurting and….

You get the picture, I was in moaning minnie phase and it continued until I got to Hammersmith and decided to fish out the oyster card and hop on the bus that takes me to my local chippy. I managed a final little hobble trying to get my feast home before it got too steamy in the bag. Finished the day jolly satisfied with my can of cold stella and a whopping plate of fish and chips.

Total non bus assisted distance (dotted line) was 16 km or 10 miles. Quite a long bloody way but I have some work to do before the Cabbage Patch 10 in October.

13 miler

New Gadget Anybody?

I want to go out for a run but I’m stuck in the flat all day waiting for a delivery – I had to pay extra for the privilige of having my saturday ruined, what was I thinking? I’m using the down time to surf the net and discover new gadgets that I can’t possibly live without.


How about the iPod radio remote for starters?

I was reading Joggerbloggers post this morning about the joys of finding unexpected songs on his shuffle, including tunes from his mother in laws lifelong collection. This would absolutely horrify me. I can’t bear even my own old songs appearing unexpectedly during my run and since I’ve been trying out The Filter to manage my playlists this tends to happen quite a bit.

None of this should be too much of a problem of course I could always skip the inappropriate song and move on. When I’m running though, and the nano is attached to my arm or worse still, secreted in a highly inaccessible zipped pocket of my backpack, skipping songs requires you to be double jointed or stationary.

That is where the little remote comes in handy, I can clip it to my shirt and lose the nervous anticipation of the next song. The radio is just a bonus feature.

**UPDATE 19/01/07**
Well, I went for it. My little gadget arrived on Wednesday. It’s true that the radio reception isn’t superb but I managed to put up with up during my bus commute and it was so enjoyable I managed to zip straight past the hospital and had to back track.

As I said though, I was buying it for the remote feature and not the radio. I tested it on this weeks commute and immediately came across a problem as it no longer fits in my Nike armband because of the large adaptor at the base. I managed to fit it through the little hole in my backpack though so it looks like me and the backpack are going to have to remain bonded. Its good to be able to control the music during my run though.

Walking on Water

My plan yesterday, was to get up early and head out for a long run. As I intend to run home from work next week, I need to confirm that I can still cope with the longer distances. Also I wanted to try out running with a rucksac, so I can get the necessities home, and try wearing a waterproof. I’m concerned that I will overheat like crazy if I wear anymore than a flimsy t-shirt but if it chucks it down while I’m on my way home I don’t want to risk freezing to death either – military planning required!

Anyway, I logged on to the computer first thing and started to have a little play around with the structure of my blog. This is always a fatal move. I end up making everything 10 times worse and then spend the rest of the day desperately trying to back track and get back to where I started. All in all, I must have spent about 15 hours messing around with it yesterday. Hopefully I’m in a better position now but I know that movabletype needs upgrading again and this is hanging over me like a dark cloud.

Click to enlarge

Originally uploaded by warriorwomen.

I managed to take a break at 4pm and I kitted myself out with my new luminous Gore running shirt, sprayway windproof and Asics Barrios backpack. It had been raining all day but had finally stopped by the time I went out. My planned route along the river was scuppered immediately though as the entire riverside path was submerged under a raging Thames. Pity I forgot to pack my phone or I could have illustrated my futile attempts to walk on water.

I ran along the road for a while and then tried to reach the river route again at this side of Chiswick bridge, a dog walker cut me off this time with tails of flooding mayhem. I finally managed to get down on to the river at the far side of Chiswick bridge and had a fairly clear route to Kew. I’d left it so late that it was getting pretty dark and I can’t say I enjoy running alone along trails at night. Came across a load of runners though – far more than I usually meet on my morning runs.

Obviously I chose to run back along the roads for safety and this meant I covered a fair portion of my planned commute home. All in all it wasn’t a bad run at all. The gore shirt is very lightweight and ultra breathable even with the windproof on top I felt ok. I was wearing a cap as well and I think this caused me to get a bit hot under the collar by the time I finished but I feel well prepared for next week now.

Asics Barrios Backpack

Asics Barrios Backpack
Originally uploaded by warriorwomen.

I was looking for a smallish pack that I could use for my running commute. I was initially looking at the hydration packs but the small ones seem to have very little room for clobber. I don’t need to hold that much – maybe a purse, diary and a waterproof.

In the end I plumped for this small running pack from asics. i’m impressed with everything else I use from asics and felt sure that they would have a better idea of my requirements as a runner than even I would myself. I think it has proven to be true, its an excellent pack and very comfortable.

The pack itself sits quite high on the back, which took a bit of getting used to as it means the waist strap is quite high too. When I started running though, i felt it to be very stable and it didn’t disturb me at all. There is some padding at the back which acts to hold the pack away from the body so I didn’t even notice my back getting hot – and I’m very sensitive to overheating.

It has stacks of features. There is a pouch at the top for your iPod or other mp3 player and the headphones feed through an orifice leaving them perfectly positioned for your ears. This is actually the first time I’ve managed to run without getting tangle or strangle with the headphone cable. There is a stowable net for cycle helmet or other gear and a seperate section for a hydration system. Theres also a peculiar attachment that zips away at the bottom and is apparently for holding a bottle but I can’t quite see how.

Very good purchase – £30 from wiggle.

**There is a link to my other product reviews on sidebar. Please contact me at angela@warriorwomen.co.uk if you have a product you would like me to review.