Category Archives: Blog Posts

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Introducing Big Bluey

Big Bluey has been around since end of last year. Big Bluey is a dedicated 5K racing tyre, promoting BYOR to reduce the amount of disposable plastic trash, supporting Sky Ocean Rescue mission and #5ThingsClear

This is Big Bluey’s story:

For anyone wanting to pull Big Bluey you will need to pledge to reduce your usage of disposable/single-use plastic with a BYOR attitude.

You can also donate to EarthWatch, a charity that Tyre Lady supports: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TyreLady

 

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Introducing “Free-Us Blod”

Rufese

Drue has now officially retired and “Free-Us Blod” takes over as the marathon/ultra event tyre.

Drue has served well and came onto the scene in June 2016 at the Seabank Marathon.

Drue’s final race was Race to the Kings. The flint in the area cut up Drue’s treads as well as Tyre Lady’s sandals! So Drue now clings to anything protruding through the ground.

Drue also completed:

  • Richmond Park Marathon, 2017
  • St Illtyds Trail Race 50K, 2017
  • Cheltenham Circular Challenge, 2016
  • Richmond Park Marathon, 2016
  • Cranleigh Boundary Trail Marathon, 2016
  • Monster Marathon, 2016
  • Race to the Stones, 2015

Total distance completed = 489.8 kilometres

Currently Drue is helping other runners improve their running technique. May Drue enjoy retirement.

May Free-Us Blod bring much happiness and inspiration to others to reduce their disposable plastic usage.

 

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#68 RTTK 2017: Karaoke Ultra Challenge: The Chipmunks (Part 6)

Previously…

  • By checkpoint 6:  39 songs  accepted, 9 disallowed and 1 under review
  • 1 more checkpoint and 11 more miles left

Having taken a break from listening to myself, am now ready to complete the challenging review task.

Onwards to CP7

Rejected: 4 songs due to various reasons (mostly confusion) embedded in the videos
Accepted: 4 songs

#40: I Like the Flowers

As one song is still under review, we will discount it from the total for now. Have been playing with a video editing software, and added some animation to photographs. This song reminds me of wild camping and trekking in the mountains. The photos here are from a buddy who conquered her height fear along a narrow ridge in North Wales with the right motivation 🙂

#41: Don’t Cry For Me Argentina

This is a song that both my parents like me singing for whatever reason. Blame it on my folks that I sing whenever I feel like singing!! 3 songs were rejected in this video due to lines sung incorrectly, verse incomplete (was so sure I had completed), confusion in the song (it was about 1:30 am and my head was tired). Anyhoo I do like the sped up version 🙂

#42: Father God and #43: Time Is Like A Dream

First 2 songs sound better sped up 🙂 Also discovered a cropping tool to reduce the babble. Yah!

The last song is at pit stop 7. Lizzy was an amazing backing person and Ben – what a voice! Sadly the entry has been disallowed from the total number of complete verses as it has been deemed only the chorus was song!

Total accepts songs sung = 43
Total disallowed songs = 13
Total under review = 1

7-9 more miles to the end and still looking shy of 53 complete songs.

Next post: Galloping to the End

 

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#68 RTTK 2017: Karaoke Ultra Challenge: In A World of Darkness (Part 5)

Previously…

  • By checkpoint 4:  25 songs  accepted and 7 rejected
  • 3 more checkpoints and 20 more miles left

In this post we get to checkpoint 6.  By this checkpoint, two songs have been rejected, one song is under review and 14 songs have been accepted. This brings the tally of songs by CP6 to 39 songs accepted, 9 rejected, 1 under review. TL must complete at least 53 songs by the finish or face a DNF. She has 9 more miles with a final checkpoint 7 before the finish point.

NOTE: If you really want to listen to the noise in these videos, YouTube has a fast setting, makes me sound like “pinky and perky”.

Rejected List

  • Memories
  • I Don’t Like Mondays

In both songs the words were muddled and confused

Under Review List

#39: Human Emotions*

This song is made up by Tyre Lady’s alter ego. The judging panel feel it should be disallowed as:

  • The songs sung should be words to existing songs
  • Words cannot be fabricated on the day

TL argues that this song was created years ago, therefore is an existing song and has paper evidence of the entire song. This song has been put aside and will be judged when evidence is produced.

 

Accepted List

#26: You Needed Me/ #28: Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again/ #29: I Whistle A Happy Tune

Songs dedicated to Uncle who has supported me on so many of these events by dropping me off and picking me up at the end.

#27: Hallelujah: Sung with Kath and dedicated to my Singapore buddies who have encouraged my madness and eccentricities 🙂

Rainbow Songs: #30: I Can Sing A Rainbow / #31: Somewhere Over the Rainbow / #32: Somewhere

And the sun set “kind of”. Being the summer solstice, a dim glow on the horizon remained throughout the night. However having to enter into woodlands the darkness spread into all corners of TL’s world, and she began to sing.

#33: Summer Time / #34: Shall We Dance

And TL remembered why she did this challenge in the heat of a mad moment and imagined dancing through the woodlands. These songs are dedicated to Stuart and his dance challenge over an ultra distance.

#35: Do Re Mi / #36: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

As the night continued TL’s head became quite confused. So reverted to some easier songs.

Songs for My Thai Buddies: #37: Song of the King / #38: My Lord and Master

Singing King and I songs reminded me of all the fantastic Thai people who looked after me at Chanthaburi and the lovely drag Queen who also ran the event 🙂

#40: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with Checkpoint 6

These 2 wonderful volunteers at checkpoint 6 were so happy despite the time being nearly 1 am. Even had time for a discussion about runners/walkers bringing their own cups or the organisation providing each runner with a collapsible cup that could be used at checkpoints to reduce the amount of plastic trash an event produces.

Between checkpoint 4 to checkpoint 6 (about 11 miles) :

  • 14 accepted
  • 2 rejected
  • 1 under review

9 more miles to complete and TL must find 14 more songs before the end to be in the clear, otherwise face doing this all over again next year!

An observation, having to sing distracted TL from her niggly hip and at times it felt normal.

Next post: Is It the Challenge Complete?

For those following, this final post will be completed sometime next week as blogging is soooo time consuming and I need to find the enthusiasm to complete this saga as well as get the final submissions recognised and counted.

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#68 RTTK 2017: Karaoke Ultra Challenge: The Wonders of A Walking Stick (Part 4)

PIt Stops

Note: Basecamp was stated as 26.6 miles on the day

Previously…

  • By CP3: the tally stands at 17 songs accepted, 6 rejected
  • CP3 is a luxury pit stop with all you can eat pasta/pizza/soup/fruit buffets and…an amazing cake buffet

In Dispute 😦

I feel the following should be accepted. But the panel has rejected this submission as one word was sung incorrectly and apparently changed the meaning of the verse! Sang “Quiet” instead of “Mighty”. Do the public feel the words matter?

Latif, Jazz and Manj – you guys were amazing.

Accepted List

#18: On My Own:

Having just left CP3 by myself all was fine for a wee while. The deep massage had loosened up the “stiff leg” as Andrew (the massage therapist) had worked deeply on the abductors. I was free to move though that freedom ended too quickly.

#19: I Dreamed A Dream:

I’ve always wondered why masseurs tell you to do nothing after a deep massage. Now I knew why…..I began to talk to God and requested a walking stick. As my eyes foraged along the ground of the forest floor on either side of me, I spied a thin long branch partly buried amongst the dry leaves.  Though the sapless branch was dry it was firm enough. I snapped it into two, enjoying the crisp snap that dry wood makes and made myself the perfect walking stick, leaving the other part for someone else to perhaps pick up in their time of need.

#20: Colors of the Wind: Dedicated to those who like the wilderness

The stick was awesome. The slow slog pace had now quickened to a better walking pace, though strangely I found aided running easier on the leg than walking! Must do more training!!!

#21: Three Blind Mice:

Dedicated to all the wee children out there. Back up support from the boyz (Latif, Jazz, and beat box Manj)

#22: I Love You Lord:

Dedicated to God for keeping me safe and always showing me the magic of this world.

#23: I Wanna Go to the Overworld:

Dedicated to my family, brothers and their kids. May we continue to invent and imagine.

#24: Livin’ On A Prayer:

Dedicated to James from Tesco and his Dad

#25: Hey Diddle Diddle:

Dedicated to everyone who has a small child

By check point 4, the grand total is 25 with the public to vote on the acceptance of “Lion Sleeps Tonight”  28 more songs to sing for 20 miles.

Leaving CP4, Dave (RD) gave me a kind reminder, the leg should get better……in my head that meant get out of the stiff leg walk and relax the muscle.

EveningFromCP4

Sunset view from CP4

Next post: The Darkness Comes

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#68: RTTK 2017: Karaoke Ultra Challenge: 1/2 Way There And Not Enough Songs (Part 3)

Previously…

  • 10 songs accepted by CP2
  • One hip flexor niggle from over-pronating to avoid a stone embedded in the sandal sole

By the end of CP3 (26.6 miles in 7 hrs 47 mins)

Out of 9 songs submitted, 7 were accepted. This brings the total tally to 17 out of 53 songs to complete. There are 26.9 miles left and a DNF is now a possibility due to an incomplete song list, unless Tyre Lady has something up her sleeveless sleeves.

As for the hip flexor it was hurting on arrival into CP3. Decided a massage would help…..but perhaps it was too deep a massage (was all for the elbow in). Hip was great for 5 minutes on leaving CP3, then it throbbed and burned like hell on fire!

I rejected taking Ibuprofen cos I like to feel my pain to respect the pain!

Disallowed List:

  • We are the Champions – only the chorus was sung
  • Livin’ On a Prayer – no video evidence was provided. Verbal evidence is not permitted.

Accepted List

#11: I Know Him So Well

Thanks Adrian for being such a good sport and singing a girly song with me 🙂

#12: On the Overoad

This is from a favourite album that my mother used to play for us kids on a long car drive. It’s from “Oliver and the Overworld” by Freddie and the Dreamers. Used it to motor down a hill. Thank you to Kath and the 3 lads for letting me by 😉

#13: Oh What A Beautiful Morning

#14: Castle On a Cloud

#15: Greatest Love

Song is dedicated to Toni and her lovely boys xxx

#16: There’s a Hole in My Bucket

The great thing about singing a song when you’re in pain, is that it does distract from thinking about pain. Thanks to Alison and Nicky once again for your help 😉

 

#17: Run to You

We grooved, we moved….thank you Joey (MC) for your enthusiasm and fun. Song is dedicated to Julie and her family.

Tyre Lady will need to pull her socks up and complete at least 36 songs during the 26.9 miles. However, as she has completed the event, she will not have known that 6 songs would have been rejected. The panel are still checking the songs.

Next post: To Checkpoint 4

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#68 Race to the Kings: Karaoke Ultra Challenge: Complacency Hurts (Part 2)

So from the previous post, 6 verses were accepted out of the 10 submitted. A bit harsh on Morning Has Broken, but have to accept the rules.

My Polar Buddy used to drill into me “If there is a problem, sort it sooner than later to circumvent any future issues.”

So onwards to checkpoint 2 (CP2). Here’s the first song after CP1.

“Sweet Dreams” by Eurythmics: Accepted as first verse was sung correctly

During this part of the journey, stones had been rolling in and wedging themselves between my right foot and the sole of my sandal but they would also roll out.  It seemed strange there were so many. I ignored the warning dull sensation and sometimes over-pronated my landing to avoid landing directly on a stone under the ball of my foot. There was always a song to sing to divert a pain.

“Take A Chance On Me” by ABBA – Accepted as words to first verse were correct.

As time went on, the underfoot jabs began to intensify.  I stopped several times to wipe the underside of my foot. Then, took my sock off believing there to be something stuck in the sock. I believed this helped, but in truth did nothing. There was a small callus on the ball of the foot, so thought this was actually the issue and would fix this at CP2. Though I did think it strange that the stones kept rolling under my right foot,  I continued to over-pronate for some miles believing it would only be for a short while. In that “short while” a hip flexor niggle began to surface. Of course another song was due and Alison and Nicky came to my aid to provide another short distraction from my own discomfort.

“Ging Gang Goolie” a Camp Fire Song with Alison and Nicky: Accepted as TL corrected words when fluffed!

I continued over-pronating believing everything would be fine, just wanting to get to CP2, but complacency is a fool’s symptom. I would complete about 9km landing in a way that was untrained.

The hip flexor niggle became sore. The Tyre Lady hobbled into CP2.

Whilst talking through the situation with one of the participants (Craig), I took off my shoe and found there was no foot pain when stepping on the soft grass.

The pennies fell out of the sky. Embedded in the under-sole of the sandal was a stone that had an evil sharp edge that had pierced the top of the sole. Though Craig took out his big blade, I managed to womanly handle my sandal and prised out the stone. I handed the knife edged stone to Craig and his buddy to admire and immediately went over to the medic tent. There, my sandal was patched with KT tape. However the fix might have come too late…But a song was due.

HoleyShoe

At Checkpoint 2: “I’m Gonna Be” dedicated to John Lennon – a Parkrun buddy. First verse accepted.

…although Ian said he wouldn’t join me, he really did want to join in 🙂 That was him whistling in the back ground at the end.

Thank you to everyone at CP2 and Alison, Nicky and friend for completing I’m Gonna Be.

So 4/4 songs accepted which brings the total to 10 songs by CP2.

Next post: Onwards to CP3 and paying the price of a school girl error

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#68 Race to the Kings: Karaoke Ultra Challenge: Verifying Start to Check Point 1 (Part 1)

Event Type: 53.5 mile trail ultra following the South Downs Way with a couple of miles on the main road.
Start Time:
Depends on how fast you said you would complete. (Between 08:00-08:45)
Weather: Between @ 16 degs C to 19 degs C. Some showers and lots of wind
Checkpoints: Well stocked with all sorts of food & drink, with porta-loos,
Mid-Point: Check out the cake buffet, then the pasta and pizza buffets. Massages, Beer, Hot showers 🙂

During: Professional pictures taken were streamed live to your Facebook profile via Pic2Go if you had subscribed.
At the End: Medal + food to eat

Website:http://www.racetotheking.com/

Overview: This event is like going on a long haul 20 hour flight in Business Class

StartPhoto

uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TyreLady

About EarthWatch: Many diseases like cancer, asthma, eczema, etc are linked to the way we treat and live within our environment. Our sustainability practices are key to our well being and to live in harmony with our environment. EarthWatch funds scientists to assess and monitor our impact on the world, as well as to establish sustainable practices that we can implement in the way we process our world such as in fishing, farming and transportation.

Sing at least 53 complete verses from 53 songs over 53 miles.

  • Evidence must be produced in the form of a video recording of each song + words.
  • A chorus is not counted as a verse unless it really is a verse within the song. An email was sent to the organisers to confirm the challenge would take place.

 

Below are the first 10 video submissions that have been verified and counted. All videos can be found on YouTube with words to verify the verse sung. Warning: lots of heavy breathing.

Disallowed: Tyre Lady did not complete a verse, letting Patrick and his team do all the singing.

Disallowed: As the intention was to sing the correct words, the last line was incorrectly sung.

Anyhoo thank you team Pom-Orange for trying to help 🙂

Accepted as one complete verse was correctly sung

Easy acceptance by the panel: Song dedicated to Kalpa’s daughter Jill who celebrated her first birthday on 24th June. Thanks Stuart for celebrating.

Disallowed: Chorus only and incomplete. Thank you Gary…..ya got away 😉

This song is from the TV show, The Big Bang and is dedicated to 2 great friends Sharon and Jessica who helped me learn these lyrics two nights before race day. The operatic version is dedicated to Claire from “The Stables” in Fontwell, Chichester.

Thank you to Holly, Sue and Lana for lending your operatic voices.

This one is a close call. The panel gave the benefit of the doubt and has allowed this as a verse.

Thank you to Ellen and Liza

An easy acceptance by the panel. Thank you everyone that was at check point 1

An easy acceptance by the panel. Thank you to Anna and Edward

So from the first submitted 10 songs, the panel have allowed 6 out of the 10 songs to be counted towards the final count. Do the public think this is fair? If TL does not complete 53 verses from 53 songs, the event will be a DNF (Did Not Finish).

Part 2 coming up: Onwards to Check Point 2

 

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53 Verses 53 Songs 53 Miles

My main enjoyment for running over a period of time is for: the meditative part of the run; to battle and resolve the daily challenges of living; to observe one’s own surroundings; and on a trail: to allow one’s senses to dance with nature. By the end of a marathon or ultra there is a thorough feeling of well being….

RunnersGotTalent

Yes, easily persuaded when you are tweeting nonsense to Stuart, who is an amazing positive person and a fantastic human being. Yes easy to get caught up in the moment and then boom a challenge results.

With Stuart’s encouragement, I wrote to the Race to the Kings organisation (a 53 mile event) telling them I was going to do this singing challenge “53 verses from 53 songs in 53 miles”, to cement my commitment. Additionally said DNF me if am unable to complete 53 verses and will produce video evidence.

Completing 53 miles with a tyre over the South Downs is going to be hard enough in the current heat wave we are experiencing (35-35 degs celcius) so what fool world was I in? Just to really really ensure I did not back out, I sent another email to EarthWatch to cement that commitment that I will be singing to raise funds for the:

…as well as on social media to tell the world my intention.

The truth is, I do like to belt out the odd ballard on a run to occupy my mind. This is normally somewhere in the middle of the event distance, for a couple of minutes to motivate myself. However my preference is to save one’s breath for breathing, contain the moisture in one’s mouth, and listen to the natural world as well as Drue singing “Take a Chance On Me”

So in the last couple of weeks I have tried to remember verses from 53 songs. I know odd lines from songs but not 53 full verses. My mother has helped me find more songs we used to sing together on car journeys when I was a wee lass – a very nostalgic moment.

Then tried singing for an hour on a run. After 15 minutes, it all just sounded like noise.

I enjoy being at the back of the pack in my own world in my own silence but a challenge has been set for Race to the Kings and rules have been made.

Rules

I am nervous about this, but as the good Doctor (David Tenant version) says “allons-y” and if I’m to make a noise, let’s hope it’s a good noise. Public decides.

Anyhoo, maybe Stuart will be dancing at his next ultra challenge 😉

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Running Injury Free (& Pulling a Tyre)

StartPhoto

June 2006 I began running with a tyre, targetting my first marathon, the Singapore Marathon, to complete with my tyre.

Singapore Marathon, 2006: Shin Splints

New York Marathon, 2007: Achilles Injury

I sought advice from people who had been running for some time. Was told it was my foot wear. Went for gait analysis and bought myself an expensive pair of running shoes.

Ultra 45 Northamton to Tring, 2008: ITB Strain

Singapore Marathon, 2008: Plantar Fasciitis

Those who had been running for much longer than me told me I would continually get injured because of the tyre and my foot wear.  Those who cared for me, told me doing long distance running was bad for my body and health.

Posture

Poor postural alignment: Shoulder, hips and ankle should be aligned

At the end of 2009 I put myself on a Pose running course. I chose the Pose technique as it would tell my biomechanically what I was doing wrong.  Dr Nicholas Romanov has written you a post here: https://posemethod.com/running/ so that you can understand what the “running pose” is all about.

Sandals

Completed 4 marathons in these sandals

My technique sucked! By the end of the course, the instructor told me I was good to go, so I challenged myself to complete 10 marathons in 2010 with a tyre and any foot wear I chose, that included beach wear sandals to prove to everyone that it had nothing to do with the tyre nor the foot wear. It had everything to do with technique. (In case you’re wondering, I have not read “Born to Run”). It should be noted that I kept to low mileage for the first 2 months after the course, to train “new” muscles for longer distances.

After 47 more Marathons (with a 10 kg tyre = 22lb tyre) and 26 more Ultras, one being 150 km with a 15kg tyre, the worst “running injury” I have suffered is a couple of blisters.

What changed was my proprio-perceptual awareness of what my body was doing and how to correct it. I changed my harness to a body harness as over a long distance I found my posture would drop when I was tired.

After doing the Pose running course, I assisted 3 more Pose running events in 2010 and 2011 to help others improve their running technique.

After that….well everyone wants to run with a tyre 🙂

Consider training with a tyre if:

  • Need to do hill training and only have flat areas in your local vicinity
  • You want feedback about your running technique. Note the tyre bouncing due to poor postural alignment (butt sticks out). Had a bad stitch at the end of this event and found it difficult to straighten up!

Also you might want to read one of my old blog posts: http://www.tyregirl.com/the-adventures-of-tyre-girl/archives/03-2013

If what you are really looking for is strength training and time improvement, then would suggest you look at using HITT (High Intesnity Training Techniques) to improve your times. Core strength can be improved with Yoga and Pilates. An additional bonus with Yoga is it teaches you proprio-perception.

You can test all the methods in this post have improved your running by using a tyre, but your times and reduction in injury will also prove they work.

So if you are injuring in your running, then invest in your technique. It is far cheaper in the long term then having to take time off & seeing a physio to get yourself fixed.

Remember: Train slow and it is unlikely you will find your “fast muscles”.