This Blog started out as a record of my efforts to compete in the Gt Eastern Half Marathon 2006. Since then I entered but had to withdraw from Flora London Marathon 2008 due to injury. After having to take months off to recover I am now ready and willing to become a runner again!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Be careful what you wish for ...

Oh dear, what have I done? I've been wishing so hard for it not to be so hot that my wish has come true. I have woken up to a very damp, dark and dismal morning - it looks awful! So sorry!!! That'll teach me .....

I see from my schedule that I haven't included the next two weeks in my countdown to the half-marathon. I think when I was working out the schedule, I decided to just exclude these and if I manage to get some runs in, all the better. Little did I realise how much the running bug would have bitten me!

When I am writing up these accounts of my runs, I start the blog off before I actually go on my run.... I'm just not the type of person who can hop out of bed when the alarm goes off, get running kit on and out of the door.... I need to take it far slower and also need to take in some food... So, after a small breakfast cereal and a cup of tea and/or water, I have a spare hour for it all to be digested, hence, start the blog off.

That's exactly the way it was this morning - this is now my second entry... and LOL, did I really think I was mighty enough to have any influence at all on the weather!!! By the time I got out for the run, the clouds had lifted to reveal, yes, the SUN! Luckily, it wasn't quite as hot as it has been but I did leave behind my sunglasses...and I probably could have done with a drop of water to keep me going.

I combined two of my runs to make one run today, starting off with my usual 5 miler but then adding it to the tail end of my 8 miler. In all, I think it was a good 5, taking me 49:40. It was a lovely run, slightly better than my usual (short 5) as it was a complete run in itself, no adding on a loop and going a slightly longer way home to add distance.

The last 10-15 minutes was quite hard, probably still feeling the effects of Saturday's long run. Well, I've cooled down a bit now, time to get off to the shower and then to work. Last day today, got tomorrow off to prepare for our holiday.......

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Week Four Round-up

Overall the week has gone well. I’ve nearly stuck to my schedule –Wednesday evening’s run was 1 mile short but through no fault of my own. At least, it was a bit faster than I normally run so that made up for it. Also, as I had managed to run 8 miles the previous Saturday rather than the 7 scheduled, I decided to stick with that distance so all in all I managed to achieve my target of 22 miles this week.

I’m feeling really chuffed with myself, managing to continue running in the heat that we have had. I know if I didn’t have the half-marathon to train for, I definitely would have given up running until the weather had cooled down a bit. Just goes to show, I can do it! I really enjoyed my Saturday run, it was so pretty and it took me through so much varied countryside I didn’t have time to be bored.

I’m off on holiday on Wednesday to the French Alps. We aim to do lots of sporting activities and I plan to take my running kit with me. I am hoping to run Mon, Tues and on the Wednesday morning so at least I will have gotten three of my runs in this week - just in case the kit doesn’t make it out of the suitcase.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Week Four - Day 4

Yesterday evening Steve took me out on a bike ride to show me an 8 mile route that he used to run. Parts of it were familiar and interspersed with some of my 5 mile runs but there was a loop in the middle that was new to me. He had his gadget on his bike to measure the distance and I made a mental note of the mile markers. All in all it measured 8.2. I took the camera so that even if you can’t run it with me, you can share in the beauty of my local countryside. Enjoy!

After a disturbed night’s sleep, I woke early. I had set my alarm for 6.30 am but I woke at 6.00 am and decided I might as well get up. That proved to be a good move, as the weather hotted up a bit later.

So, donning headphones and filling water bottle, I set off.

I get to the first mile marker, Oh oh, no stopping there for a rest! Checking my pace, it was 9.35 so, okay, doing well, going steady.

Carrying on down past the river and over the weir. This is my 2 mile marker. I looked at my watch and saw that I had continued at the same pace, so everything going well.

Crossing over the meadow, through the grazing sheep and taking time to look around me. This is a truly lovely run, the countryside is beautiful and almost makes it a pleasure to be running around at this silly hour, lol.

When we were on our bikes last night going over the course, I didn’t quite take in how many hills there were, or rather loooong and winding inclines. The photo’s don’t do justice as they were so long and winding that I couldn’t get the full measure in one shot! Trust me, they were hard work!

At last I reached the 4 mile point – great, from here on now I’m on my way home…. I ran through the most picturesque village which has one of the biggest hills locally (luckily, I didn’t have to run up it - today) but I do find it’s name quite amusing!

Carrying on now, back on familiar territory, I’m running up yet another incline – must be positive and think how good this is for me. There’s then a long stretch of the flat and it’s in the shade, so I managed to speed up a little bit here. This then takes me out on to a road for a while. I hate running on the road, too many cars! Not long after that I’m back in the woods, shade and able to view the local golf course. One or two earlybirds out this morning – seeing a hot, sweaty, red-faced jogger plodding past them can’t have done much for their handicap!

I join up with a previous run I have done and finally know I am on the home run. Would love to have a little cottage here with my boat moored up outside. I am going up the final long stretch home when I see two lady joggers up front, walking, and wiping themselves down with hankies – yes, it has got very hot over the last hour. That’s enough to encourage me to catch up, overtake, and speed (well, plod) off past them.

I’m homeward bound with a sprint in my step – lol, if only. In truth, I’m pushing it now, I can see my street, my house, my home…. aaahhh…. Made it!

The run: 8.2 miles
The time: 77.24

Is it a sin to feel so pleased with oneself? I expect so but I hope someone up there will forgive me this time, lol.

Friday, July 28, 2006

The Fat Burning Zone Myth!

I came across this article the other day about the myth of the “fat burning zone.” I had been told, don't know who by now, but it has stuck with me that in order to lose fat you must exercise at low intensity. Many aerobic instructors have their clients exercise gently to stay in their “fat burning zone.” Some runners even run slowly in the belief that low intensity exercise is the most effective way to reduce their body fat levels. Yeah, that's what I thought!

The myth developed from the fact that when you exercise harder, you use relatively less fat and more carbohydrate. This led to the belief that to lose fat you need to exercise gently. Using this logic, since approximately 80% of the calories you use while sitting are supplied by fat, then couch potatoes would have very low body fat levels. The missing ingredient is that fat loss is determined by the balance between calories consumed and calories burned over time.

It seems the source of the calories burned during a specific workout is not as important as the number of calories burned.

Sitting burns 45 calories in 30 minutes
Walking burns 150 calories in 30 minutes
Recovery run burns 360 calories in 30 minutes
Lactate threshold pace (bloody hard run!) 540 calories in 30 minutes

Higher-intensity exercise is therefore better for losing fat because it uses more calories per minute. Put in a 30 minute recovery run and you may use 360 calories. Spend the same amount of time at a faster pace and you may burn 540 calories. If you burn more calories, you will lose more fat than if you burn fewer calories.

Lower intensity exercise, therefore, is only better for fat loss if you exercise long enough to make up for the lower number of calories used per minute. The key to losing fat, therefore, is to find the balance of intensity and duration that burns the most calories.

Okay, now I know all that, I think I have a fair mix of runs. These are mostly determined though by how I feel on the day and, of course, the weather!

This article originally appeared in Running Times Magazine

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Week Four - Day 3

Even though I had had a hard run last night, I decided to get up early this morning and get my 3rd run of the week out of the way - probably not the right attitude to have, lol! It means I can then have a complete day free from exercise before my long run on Saturday. The great thing about doing these long runs, is that I don't think anything of running for 45 mins now!

At last, the weather seems to have broken and I woke up to a rather dull and overcast morning. How deceiving was that, once out there I realised it was just as hot and humid!

I set out not quite sure which run to do, the 5 miler or the 3.8? Decided to stick with the plan and do the 5 miles. After about 10 mins I had settled into a comfortable pace, not pushing it and just enjoying it for what it was. After checking my watch at that 10 minute point, I decided not to look at my watch again, until I was home. I didn't want to end up pushing myself and trying to beat the previous time. Stuck with it, arrived home hot and sweaty (tmi?) in a time of 48.09 - quite a bit slower than last time but, what the heck, much more enjoyable! (PS. This is a short 5).

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Week Four - Day 2

Just got back from the fortnightly training session for the half marathon. There were about 20 of us that turned up, some new faces and some missing ones.

This time they decided to split us up into three groups, novice, 11 minute milers and 9-10 minute milers. I went into the latter group. The idea was that there were enough club runners with us, so that after a distance of say, a mile, you could turn back and there would be someone there to run with you. It was a good idea, but it would have been useful to know how far the run was in total. I set off with the group and immediately a small group of 3 went ahead. I then followed them with a club guy running with me and then there was a larger group fragmented behind me. I stayed at that pace and the guy stuck with me most of the way. I was able to just about talk most of the way, although I did find the heat unbearable (again). Although it was 7 O'clock in the evening, it was very humid but luckily half way round we had a tiny little drizzle to cool us down.

When I got back it was decided the run was 4 miles and it took me 37:34 so just over 9 minute miling - I still find this hard to believe as it really felt like it was much faster!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Week Four - Day 1

"Running is a lot like life. Only 10 percent of it is exciting.
90 percent of it is slog and drudge."
Dave Bedford, English distance runner who
occasionally put in 200 miles a week in training.

Week 4 already!!!! Time's flying by....

I couldn't have my run this morning as I had to take my daughter to the Railway Station as she has gone to visit her cousins in Leeds. The sun has been out in full force again today and so I waited until well into the evening, about 7.45 pm, for it to cool down. It was still hot and humid but at least I didn't have the full force of the sun beaming down on me!

I did my usual (just under) 5 mile route, it's really quite a pleasant run, has a varied terrain and even a long and winding hill that takes me high up into the woods. This evening I felt decidedly vulnerable running through the woods; for some reason, more so than when I go on this run in the mornings. I think this recent news article was preying on my mind.

Maybe the answer is to join a running club - I have thought about it but the local clubs train in the evenings and, although I found it difficult at first, I would now much rather do the run in the mornings... I don't know, I'll see how I feel about it when I get back from holiday.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


You can see, courtesy of JogBlog, that I have added a countdown timer to the big race – it’s a bit scary seeing how little time I have left to train, I really wish I had started training when I first thought of entering the race rather than pussyfooting around trying to make my mind up whether to run it or not. It would certainly have given me a few extra weeks worth of running. Never mind… I’m doing it now, and that’s what counts. I haven’t specifically said what time I am hoping to run the half-marathon in….. I’m hoping that under 2 hours isn’t being too optimistic. I really should be able to if I carry on with the training and if the weather conditions are perfect on the day. Perfect for me would be no sign of the sun, cool and a slight drizzle! Now, as the run is in the middle of October I think I stand a pretty good chance!

Time for a re-cap and to think about how my training is going so far… My aim last week was to run 20 miles total – adding them all up it comes 19½ . Considering the temperatures I feel I have done extremely well – I absolutely hate running in the sun which is why I have been getting up so early but it really hasn’t made much difference. In fact, as the day has gone on, sometimes the early morning was the hottest part of the day!

Ideally, I like to have a rest day before my long run but because I missed the Monday run it completely threw my schedule out. I ended up running on the Friday but to compromise I did a shorter run and put in an extra mile for the long run making it 8 miles rather than the 7 scheduled – I guess that’s not a bad thing but not something I intend to do next week. Looking at my schedule I need to run 3 x 5 miles and then a 7 on the Saturday. I intend to run Monday, Wednesday (club run), Thursday which will leave a rest day Friday and thus feeling refreshed on Saturday for the longer run. That’s the plan……

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Week Three - Day 4

Yahoo.... YAHOO.... I did it!

I compromised and had a semi-lie in, rather setting the alarm for 5.30, I put it back an hour and got up at 6.30 am ready to be out of the door for 7.30. All went according to plan and armed with my daughter's Ipod I set off. I wanted to run the 8 mile route that Steve had shown me a couple of weeks ago, I was pretty sure I knew the way now. It's pretty much a one way out keeping the train line on my left, cross over the bridge, and then back again following the river and train track.

My biggest problem is water, or lack of it, whilst out running. I get so damn thirsty, my mouth is dry and it's all I seem to be able to think about... As it wasn't sunny and seemed quite overcast, I decided not to take my water bottle today - it's such a bind to carry, especially when empty! I was doing okay at the start, the temperature had gone down by a couple of degrees and I was enjoying the run. However, it didn't take long until I start feeling very HOT and I was licking my lips wishing I had brought my water bottle. Water was all I seemed to be able to think about - maybe because there was so much around me, so close yet so far! Well, after about 40 minutes there was a rumble in the sky and my prayers were answered, it started to... well, I would like to say rain.... but it was more a drizzle, a very fine drizzle. Oh well, better than nothing... It was enough to give me a new lease of life - well, that's probably exaggerating a bit, lol. It certainly helped, that's for sure.

I was heading home when I took another glance at my watch, 60+ minutes - feeling quite tired but determined to do the full 8 miles, when I came to the junction where I could head straight home and thus do 7'ish miles - I took the turning that would take me on the 8 mile route. It was hard, that final mile, really hard and I had to push just to keep one leg in front of the other, the drizzle had long stopped and I was hot and tired. Another quick look at the watch, 77 mins - Aaarrrgggghhh, I was really hoping to get in under the 80 minutes so with one last desperate effort I pushed ahead for all it was worth.

The actual time it took me was 80:35. That's okay, I'm not disappointed... How could I be, I have just run 8 miles, that is a heck of a lot longer than I have run for such a very long time. I am slightly questioning the distance because it certainly didn't feel like I was running as slow as 10 minute miling but, then again, perhaps I was and it's just that I'm not so fit, that it feels like I'm going faster.... you get my drift?

And perhaps the answer to the water problem is to have a disposable bottle so that when I have finished with it, I can just, well..., dispose of it!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Week Three - Day 3

Wasn't too sure whether I would be running today - what with missing out on Monday's run it has thrown my schedule completely out this week. I have my long run to do tomorrow so ideally I would have liked to have had a rest day today. However, the weather forecast was looking so much better - a lot cooler than the 90's we have been enduring - and the knowledge that I can always do a shorter run rather than the 5 miles intended, I got up and donned my running kit.

I went out last night for an Indian meal with my work colleagues. It was a very nice evening - I had some sort of chickpea and potato curry as a starter - it was very hot but it had yoghurt (I think) poured over the top of it to cool it down. It was followed by a potato and cauliflower curry and pashwari naan - umm very nice! Just hope nobody is running down wind of me!!!!

Later ....

Only did a short run - 24 mins. Although it may have been a couple of degrees cooler it certainly didn't feel it. It was very muggy and humid! The sweat is dripping off me ..... (not a pretty picture to conjure up!)

I don't have to get up for work on a Saturday and would like to have had a bit of a lie-in tomorrow, but in this weather I really think it would be better to get up this early again and go out then - could always have a lie-down later in the day!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Week Three - Day 2

LOL, what's the point in having a schedule if you can't stick to it! Not only have I gone slightly off it, I can't even read it properly. Just checking on how far I should be running today, and noticed yesterday that I only needed to run 4 miles, not 5!

I hate running two days in a row, my legs always ache from the day before, but if I want to run 4 days out of 7, I am always going to have to two consecutive days. Today, it is supposed to be the HOTTEST day of the year, or possibly a decade, so it's best to get it out of the way. But, on getting up it was still a bit overcast and cloudy so I thought it wouldn't be too bad - didn't take my water bottle as I thought I wouldn't need it. Big mistake, it was okay in the shade but that sun, my oh my, it was hot!

Pleased to note I only had to run 4 miles - things are looking up, when I can say "only had to run 4 miles" lol. My legs were tired and I found it pretty hard going, especially the last mile or so but I always think that when you have to dig deep it is doing the most good and I will benefit from it in the long run (no pun intended!).

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Week Three - Day 1

The trouble with jogging is that the ice
falls out of your glass. ~Martin Mull

I have been bad, so bad....

I missed out on my long run this weekend and have decided to put that behind me! I had a great time at the Ball and it was worth missing the run for...

I was determined to start afresh on Monday but it has been so HOT here - and I just don't do HOT. I didn't want to get up early yesterday and had thought I would go out in the evening for my run but during the day my daughter text me asking if I would like to go out for tea, her treat! She has just finished her first year at college and is on a summer break and working for the nursery that she did her placement in - this means she is enjoying the benefits of receiving a weekly pay packet. So, how could I refuse? We went out for tea about 6.30 pm and it was still very warm, way too hot to run in. I think it was only about 9.30 pm when we were walking home that it would have been cool enough to run.

So, alarm set this morning and with renewed determination, I got up early and decided to get the run out of the way, it really is the only way to do it. I'm on Week 3 now and I am supposed to do a 5 mile run. Again, the bridge is out of action and seems to be until September, so I will either have to work out the diversion route or try and add another bit on somewhere else. It took me 45.25, I think that's a bit faster than last time?

The run itself was lovely, the perfect time to be out there. It wasn't too hot and most of the run is through the shade of the trees, the very last bit along the lake got rather hot but at least I am on my way home then!

That's it then, another run under my belt!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Week Two - Day 3

After much indecision, I went for a run. I had considered giving it a miss, lots of excuses really, the Ball tonight being the main one. I didn’t want to feel worn out before the evening had even started, lol. I had booked the afternoon off work to have my hair done, and rather than get up extremely early and go for a run, I decided to book the morning off as well. So, no excuses…. plenty of time to do the run and plenty of time to recover ….

I intended doing the 5 mile run, although it was only 4 on my schedule to compensate for not running over the weekend. However, I was thwarted… the bridge was out of action and I had to miss out a loop that I add on to make it 5. I think I probably did 4-4½ .

You can tell the school term is coming to an end real soon…. The lake was full of a school party of kids in sailing boats, windsurfers and canoes. There were shrieks of laughter and enjoyment. Not much further on I came across another party of schoolchildren, this time on bikes. They were just freewheeling down a hill, screaming and laughing and having such fun.

I found it wonderfully uplifting – it’s great seeing the kids finding such pleasure being in the fresh air, enjoying themselves and clearly having fun.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Week Two - Day 2

After having a rest day yesterday, my legs are feeling quite refreshed. I’m also not feeling quite so tired as I haven’t had to get up at some silly O’clock in the morning! I’ve decided to go along to the run that the Great Eastern Team have put on for the entrants – we start at 7.00 pm. Not sure how it will go, I’m hoping a fair few turn up and there will be a group wanting to go out for about an hour at 9 min mile pace. The only drawback is it has been a very hot day today, I really hope it has cooled down by 7.00 pm tonight.


Just got back from the team run. About 30 people turned up of mixed abilities. We got split into groups of those who can run/jog for an hour, 1/2 hour and those who are just starting out. I joined the first group. The plan was to run for about 4 1/2 miles. Me and another girl palled up and seemed to be jogging about the same pace. The group split up fairly quickly with some dropping off and joining the 1/2 hr group. We stuck with it and seemed to be going at a fairly good pace. The sun was still out but luckily most of the run was in the shade - in fact, the run took us where I had been on Sunday for the bike ride so I was familiar with the route. As always, the last few hundred metres was hard going but we pushed it a bit and finished in a time of just under 39 minutes.

It was nice to be running with other people and I was especially lucky to find someone running at the same pace as me. We kept each other going, and it definitely pushed me to run slightly faster than if I had been on my own and she said exactly the same.

Unfortunately it wasn't long enough to count as my long run this week, and I think I may have to give it a miss - I am out on Friday at the Summer Ball and we don't get home until the very early hours of the morning - so realistically speaking, I think I can say running at the weekend is definitely a no no, lol !!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Week Two - Day 1

Jogging is very beneficial. It's good for your legs and your feet. It's also very good for the ground. It makes it feel needed. ~Charles Schulz, Peanuts
4 miles
Well, that’s the first run of the second week all done and dusted.

It was jolly hard work, my legs were tired and feeling the effects of last week’s running and particularly the longer run on Saturday. Probably didn’t help going for a bike ride yesterday! I know 8 miles isn’t far on a bike, but if you saw my bike you may reconsider. It’s not some fancy mountain bike but a “Lady’s Bike” – I bought it from Holland and it’s a real sit up straight type of bike with a basket on the front but, best of all, a very padded seat! However, it’s not one that I can build up any speed with.

The weather this morning was absolutely beautiful… very still and just a cooling temperature whilst running in the shade - the sun hadn’t come up very far so there was a fair bit of that.

I ran the 4 mile run but as I now know it was only 3.7 so I added a bit on, making it a total of 4 miles. It wasn’t very fast, just 38.45 – still, mustn’t get caught up in timings, just get out there and get the mileage in.

Really looking forward to tomorrow, a complete day of rest – No Exercise!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Progress to date

I've actually entered the half-marathon this week, so it's official. I do wonder what I have let myself in for, and why I even thought it was a good idea!

Training schedule

1 Week 3 July
4 M, 5 M TT* , 4 M, 6 M, 19 miles total

2 Week 10 July
4 M, 5 M , 4 M , 7 M , 20 miles total

3 Week 17 July
4 M, 4 M TT , 5 M , 7 M , 20 miles total

4 Week 24 July
5 M , 5 M , 5 M , 7 M , 22 miles total


5 Week 14 August
4 M, 4 M , 4 M , 6 M , 18 miles total

6 Week 21 August
4 M, 5 M TT , 5 M , 7 M , 21 miles total

7 Week 28 August
5 M, 4 M , 5 M , 9 M, 23 miles total

8 Week 4 September
5 M, 5 M TT, 5 M, 10 M, 25 miles total

9 week 11 September
5 M, 6 M , 5 M , 11 M, 27 miles total

10 Week 18 September
5 M, 5 M TT, 4 M, 12 M, 26 miles total

11 Week 25 September
5 M, 5 M,5 M, 13 M, 27 miles total

12 Week 2 October
4 M, 5 M TT, 6 M, 12 M, 27 miles total

13 Week 9 October
3 M, 3 M , Rest, 13 .1 Race, Total 19.1

* Time trial

Time to recap. I think, all in all, my first week hasn't gone too badly. I've actually managed to get out there for 4 runs, something I haven't done in a long time. I think my distances have all been a bit short but it's still more than I was doing before. I feel okay, I'm a bit tired but not too bad. My legs feel quite strong, I've had a few headaches but that's all down to being dehydrated, I guess. The weather is my worst enemy!

I've been on to the website for the latest information and I see that they are intending to hold runs once a fortnight on a Wednesday evening, so on those weeks I will probably use that as my long run.

My alarm also arrived this week. I looked at all the options for safety and felt that, in reality, I was more likely to get injured and stuck out on my own, than I was attacked - I hope with all my heart neither option occurs! - so ordered one of these. It's easy to wear, just fitting onto the wrist with velco and easy to use, if necessary.

Steve went out this morning and measured my runs - some good news *smile* and some bad *frown*

Bad news - my 4 mile runs measured approx 3.7 and my 5 mile run measures at 4.5 - thought they were a bit short, drat! I know how to add on a bit so will start doing that extra bit from tomorrow.

Good news - my 6 mile run measured that distance so taking off the 3 extra minutes that it took me when I went wrong, I ran 6 miles in just under 56 minutes.

Me, Steve and Ashleigh went out on our bikes this afternoon and Steve showed me the route I should have taken for my 6 mile run - or, as I now know, was longer than 6 miles - it actually measured just under 8!!! Thank goodness I went my way!!!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Week One - Day 4

Lots of thought had gone into to-days run. Steve had gone over a few routes that I could do that would take me to about 6 miles. He’s very good at knowing where to run as he used to do a lot of running before his knees gave up and he had to have an arthroscopy. He doesn’t do any running nowadays but is able to tell me where to go – literally, lol.

I more or less knew the route he was talking about - or so I thought, and set off at 8.00 am planning to be back by 9.00 am. My plan was that I would like to run for an hour and the route today was circular, so if it looked like I was going to take longer than the hour, after 30 minutes I would turn round and run back home.

I set off and after following the tracks that I knew, I took a wrong turn - realised when it came to a dead end and ran back – 3 minutes in total – carried on running and came to the train crossing, undecided whether Steve had said cross here or not, crossed over and ran on. I knew where I was and it wasn’t where I should be! Never mind, carried on past the rowing practice area and then crossed over and ran back joining the track eventually that I had started out on. Nearly home and realised that it was going to be too much under the hour, so went the slightly longer route home.

The conditions today were ok’ish. I went so early to avoid the sun and heat but it was still very sunny. I had on my sunglasses but could probably have done with a peaked cap. There were parts of the run that was lovely and in the shade but I also had long stretches of the sun beating down on me. I was very thirsty and kept licking my lips but it didn’t do much good. I was sorely tempted to take a dip in the rowing lake! I used to have those small containers that you can hold in your hand but threw them away a while ago – will have to get one as I was really struggling with the lack of water.

The time on my feet was 58.54 – blast! Still under the hour and I’m pretty sure it was nowhere near 6 miles – I’m probably running at a much slower pace that I originally thought as Steve tells me he thinks my 5 mile run is nearer 4!!! Will do some measuring on the bike later today or tomorrow.

The last 15 minutes was quite hard going and it's daunting to think how much longer I shall have to be running for the race but I guess it's best not to think that far ahead!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Week One - Day 3

Excuses, Excuses, Excuses....

To-day’s run was not good, not good at all.

I guess it started with me getting it into my head that the run was going to be a short run (ie 3 miles) so I got out of bed with that expectation and then on checking my schedule, I saw that it was 4 miles – doh! And, again, I hadn’t had a great night’s sleep. I had been to the pool yesterday for a quick swim and during the night my nose became blocked again along with all the usual symptoms – and this is from the swimming pool that usually is ok. I think perhaps my nose is so irritated that this pool water just aggravated it. I’m probably going to have a break from swimming for next week and see if I can clear it up.

Anyway, back to today. I woke up feeling lethargic and blocked-up and really not up to running 4 miles, especially knowing tomorrow was the LONG run so….. rather than not go at all, I did the short run. I hate not sticking to something I set myself but sometimes its best to be realistic and judge the situation and take the best course of action. Ok, ok, this does sound rather feeble – will do better tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Week One - Day 2

I was exhausted yesterday from the lack of sleep on Monday night so I had an early night. I set my alarm for 5.30 am – OMG, I can’t believe I did that, 5.30 am!! My intention was that if I was feeling OK I would get up, but if I still felt under-the-weather, I would turn over and go back to sleep and do my run in the evening.

The alarm went off and I felt ok so up I got. I need about 45 mins to wake the old body up and have a little bit to eat before I am up to running and my plan was to leave about 6.15 am. I had worked out my route for the 5 mile run, pretty much what I was doing for the 4 mile run but with an extra one mile diversion in the middle. It’s a very pretty run, round the lakes and then the extra mile is up a hill (!) – quite hard work but have to remain positive and think of it as a good workout – and through some woods, past a golf course and then back to join my usual run.

All went according to plan and I left the house just after 6.15 am. The weather was a bit more suitable to running, still quite warm but at least the sun wasn’t beating down. There were several other runners out, about 8 or 9 in total – the most I had seen on my morning runs. Everyone was very polite and we bid each other a “good morning”. I loved running through the woods, it made a nice change to have different scenery and, of course, the advantage of having to run up the hill is that I could look forward to running down it.

Getting nearer to home, my legs started to feel a bit heavy and on looking at my watch, it was about 35 minutes – just a little longer than the time it usually takes me to do the 4 mile run. I guessed that is about right, the body becomes accustomed to running a certain distance, I know that from stepping up the 3 mile distance to 4 miles. The last mile today was tough going but I forged on and completed the run in 42.51 – not bad going!

I’m guessing the distance is about 5 miles – Steve is going out on his bike at the weekend to measure it – oh please, let it be 5 miles and no less!

Fed up with being blocked up!

I've just about had it now - I'm absolutely fed up! I went swimming again last night and the same thing has happened as in the previous few weeks. I have already moaned about it here.

I was awake most of the night and have felt really lousy all day.

I've had enough - I've written a letter to the swimming pool asking them whether they have added different chemicals to the water over the last few weeks as when I first started swimming there, I didn't have a problem. I mentioned to them that I regularly swim elsewhere and don't suffer with these symptoms.

I know it probably doesn't sound much of a big deal, but believe me, it is!

I'm definitely going to try a nose clip for next week - if that doesn't work then I have no alternative but to forfeit the rest of the course.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Week One - Day 1

4 miles

Just got back from completing the first part of today’s schedule, my 4 mile run. The day didn’t get off to a good start though, with my alarm not going off and me sleeping in.! LOL – What a start to the training schedule! Consequently, it was too late to go this morning so I went when I got back from work.

It is very hot - would you believe it, England are having a HEATWAVE at the moment – expected to last for most of the week. It’s not ideal running conditions – the heat does strange things to my body - either burning it or dehydrating it at a rate of knots or both - leaving me feeling and looking like a lobster on a slow simmer. Anyway, equipped with a water bottle, sunglasses and determination I set off at an easy pace and kept at that pace all the way round.

The last time I did any sort of distance running in that heat was in September 1999 – I remember the day well…. I had been training all through the summer for a 10 mile road race in September – I did most of my training in the gym on a treadmill or up through the woods where we lived at the time.

The day dawned and my heart sank – it was blisteringly HOT. I stood at the start line, melting. I think there were about 1000 entrants, so it was a fairly big race and full of top class runners or those just happy to get round. After a mile to so I realised that it was going to be an extremely loooonnggg run and went on for another mile or so but felt absolutely drained of energy - the sun was sapping it out of me. Thankfully, some cold showers had been set up and I stopped at one and got a good drenching to cool me down. I was on the point of giving up there and then but feeling slightly revived I decided to carry on – BIG MISTAKE! I stopped at every water station and many kind people had got their hosepipes out to cool us down, but it was still a very hard run.

Thankfully I finished the race, I wish I could remember how long it took me, but it wasn’t as good as I had hoped for but not as bad as I thought it could be. Anyway, not long after finishing I started to feel really ill. Luckily, we only had a short drive home. My stomach was really sore, legs were heavy, head throbbing and I kept going hot and cold and I just felt terrible. On going to the toilet there was blood in my urine! I probably should have called the doctor, but I just went to bed instead. Mercifully, there was no long term injury – except for the fact that it’s taken me 7 years to even consider running another race!

Monday, July 03, 2006

I don't think jogging is healthy, especially morning jogging. If morning joggers knew how tempting they looked to morning motorists, they would stay home and do sit-ups. ~Rita Rudner

It all starts tomorrow!

This is my schedule for this week:

4 miles - Day 1
5 miles - Day 2
4 miles - Day 3
6 miles - Day 4

Total 19 miles

I think I'm going to do the runs on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday with swimming on Monday night (lesson), Tuesday morning and Thursday morning.

I've decided to stop the Fitball and Pump classes for the time being and just see how it goes.