Rants and raves #6

**Disclaimer: this post was written while the author was experiencing a quite severe dose of race envy. Last weekend I should have been beating my mile PB at the City of London Mile. Unfortunately, I was nursing a slight niggle at home in Four Oaks. As always, all rants, raves and opinions represent my own views. Other (far superior) less opinionated running blogs are available**

I’m hoping that I’ll feel a bit better after writing this post.

Rave: rain

The weather has been pretty extreme recently. Floods, floods and more floods. I’ve now got used to running in torrential rain, hail, thunder and lightning. Although I’ve almost overcome my fear of lightning, I still nearly had a panic attack when the lights flickered on and off during a recent thunderstorm. I also do my best to avoid running in a thunderstorm.photo (2)This is my idea of running route perfection.

Although I’m not so keen on running in thunderstorms, I do love running in the rain. The rain helps to keep me cool while I’m running; I need all of the help that I can get to keep cool when it’s warm. The rain also keeps the pavements free from dog walkers, cyclists and hecklers. I love having the pavements to myself. Finally, nothing beats splashing through the middle of a huge puddle.

Rant: asthma

Although I will never use my asthma as an excuse for a rubbish run, I do seem suffer more during the summer. I’ve been following the advice on Asthma UK’s website, and have got quite good at remembering to carry my blue inhaler with me when I run. I love this weather infographic:

weather-infographic [Source]

Although my asthma can be a PITA and is definitely linked to pollen levels, it doesn’t appear to be having too much of an impact on my running. I’m just pleased that I don’t seem to suffer from hay fever like the rest of my family.

Rave: spending time with my family

Although being unemployed sucks and definitely deserves a dedicated blog post there are some benefits. I’m not just talking about being able to run when it’s quieter during the day! After not having much time for my family during my 20s and early 30s, I’m now making the most of my free time during the week. I’ve recently been making a lot more effort to spend time with my parents and their partners. Some of the status updates on Facebook on Mother’s Day and on Sunday made me aware that they won’t be around forever. I’m currently trying to convince mother and my stepfather to come and watch me run the Shenstone Fun Run. The promise of a pub lunch afterwards will hopefully tempt them!

Rant: intermittent niggles

I think that my right knee is playing games with me. On Friday morning it was completely pain free, on Saturday it was sore enough to make me reach for my ice pack. Perhaps my knee doesn’t like parkrun? Perhaps, like its owner, it likes a lie in on a Saturday? What I do know is that for some reason my right knee always seems to feel niggly on a Saturday morning. My left foot has also been feeling slightly dodgy recently. I’m 100% certain that I don’t have another stress fracture, and have no idea what is causing the sudden phantom foot pain. I’m praying that I don’t end up spending another summer sitting on the injury bench!

Rave: Jasyoga

As I’m an injury-prone, wonky type of runner, I’ve been making more of an effort to cool-down, relax and to stretch after each run.photoFinally learning how to relax after a run.

To help with my new, slightly more sensible approach to running, I also recently subscribed to the videos on the Jasyoga UK website. Jasyoga is described as “a revolutionary approach to yoga for athletes.” I can honestly say that the £3.50(ish)/month subscription has been worth every penny. I never thought that I would find myself hitting reset and enjoying yoga as much. Yoga will form an important component of my half marathon training plan. I can’t remember who recommended the Jasyoga videos to me. Thank-you!

Rant: Bounts

I joined Bounts last year and after a couple of months paid £15 for a Premium+ account for a year. My theory was that I did enough exercise to justify upgrading from a free account to a Premium+. Although the Bounts website was quite basic, I never had too many issues accessing my account. In January, the Bounts app was featured on Money Saving Expert. Since then, the site has been virtually unusable on a far too regular basis. Some days it’s impossible to access my account, other days I can access my account but not the Reward Wheel or the shop. After saving up my points for over a year (I was hoping to exchange my points for a gift card) I’m now finding it difficult to redeem my points. The gift card I want has been out of stock for months. I won’t be renewing my Premium+ membership, there are now better running reward websites.

Rave: Running Heroes

Although I personally think that Bounts is hit-and-miss, I do love another similar running rewards website – Running Heroes. I’m starting to get slightly addicted to the challenges the team behind the Running Heroes website organise. Although because I’m a slightly lazy runner, I’m yet to successfully complete a challenge, I know of runners who have managed to run consistently, complete the challenges and win race gear, race entries and other awesome prizes. Fortunately for me the Running Heroes website also allows me to collect points every time I run. I currently have 1858 points waiting to be exchanged for a range of rewards. For example, I could redeem 300 points for a 12-month subscription to Women’s Running magazine at a reduced rate of £19.99 (according to the Women’s Running website the standard annual subscription cost is £29.97).

If you haven’t already registered my personal referral link is https://uk.runningheroes.com/?r=1&code=g9et (we both get 25 points).

If you’ve reached the end of my latest rather random selection of rants and raves, I’m impressed. Apologies for the very random blog, hopefully my next post will actually feature some running.


5 thoughts on “Rants and raves #6

  1. amilerun says:

    totally agree re bounts ! I did the same and paid for the premium upgrade and now can’t exchange points for what I want. I will use your link to sign up for running heroes 🙂


    • Emma says:

      Excellent! Hopefully we’ll both be able to exchange our Bounts points before Christmas. That was one of the reasons I upgraded – to earn enough points for a John Lewis voucher for a Christmas present. My attempts at being thrifty have backfired. I’ve also just realised I don’t get any Bounts points for 10 minute training runs. The minimum seems to be 20 minutes? My beginners’ half marathon training plan contains a lot of 10 minute runs!


  2. Maria @ runningcupcake says:

    How funny- I am the opposite as I really like Bounts (I didn’t pay though, I think I was a member when they switched so I got the upgrade for free)- although I have not tried to get a voucher for ages as have been saving them up. I joined running heroes but I don’t get it at all- a few times I have used point to enter things but nothing seems to happen when I do. Earth miles is a good one- you earn points again and then exchange them for offers (20% off pip and nut nut butters was the last one I did I think)- the points seem to add up quickly and I always seem to have loads to spare but it is generally money off things and not vouchers like Bounts.


    • Emma says:

      For some reason I never got offered the upgrade to Premium+ for free, I suspect it’s because I completely forgot I’d got an account. I’m sure that I read somewhere that it is possible to sign up for alerts from the Bounts shop. I must work out how to do this before Christmas! I’m saving up my points for a John Lewis voucher. From what I’ve seen you sign up for challenges on Running Heroes e.g. run 10 miles between x and y. Once the challenge is complete I think prize winners are selected at random from runners who successfully completed the challenge. I’ve never won anything in these random prize draws but have exchanged points for online discount codes. I’ll take a look at Earth Miles, do you have a referral code?


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