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!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Big excitement today - my race pack arrived in the post. I am 1599. Along with the pack came a thing that you wear around the ankle with a chip in that clocks the time when you start and finish. At first I got really excited because I thought it clocked each mile as well, but now on reflection I don't think it does.

I did the same long run as I did last Saturday only this time I had Rhona, Ben (14) (Rhona's son) and David (17) along for company. Ben ran the first 4 miles with us and then departed for home. He had a rugby match later that day. David, my friend's son, has just taken up running. He regularly plays basketball so he's no stranger to working out, but as we all know, running is a different kettle of fish. David had been going out running for the last month or so, a couple of times a week. I guess, at most, he has been running about 4 miles. I had mentioned to him the half marathon and he is quite keen to give it a go hence he thought it would be good practice to come out with Rhona and myself to get a bit of distance work in. I should mention now that he is very tall and slim and has a long stride pattern.

I noticed not long into the run that David could probably speedwalk the pace we were running at! However, the distance played its part and by mile 9 he was definitely feeling the pinch - his legs were beginning to tire. Rhona was definitely digging in - I really admire her, she is suffering from some sort of buttock pain but she is trying to run through it.

To top it all, although rain was forecast, the sun decided to show its face in its full glory and it beat down on us for the last half of the run - it was HOT! I found it quite weary - the pace was slower than last week and I didn't really find it that much easier. Thankfully, my toe was good - no pain at all. My right leg gave me a bit of stick - not really sure what's wrong there - it felt a bit numb from my buttock all the way down to my calf but I just tried to work through it.

With only two weeks to go to the half marathon I'm trying to work out a game plan. I will continue with my 3 midweek runs as usual, and then next Saturday I shall probably taper down to 10 miles. I'm thinking of running these 10 miles at my race pace to get the feel of how it will be. Then.....only one week to go .......

Time: 2:12.55
Distance: 13+

Show all the statistics for this week's runs

Friday, September 29, 2006

Week Eleven - Day 3

For the first time since I started this running schedule, I MISSED A DAY! I just didn't have it in me to get out there yesterday - I'm not so sure I can blame my laziness entirely on the toes. I know that at the back of my mind I am worried a little that I could make them worse and then have to miss Saturday's run. The final straw was when I knelt down to put something away in a cupboard and felt a sharp pain shoot up from my foot to my knee - haven't got a clue what that was all about but it left me with a bit of a limp for the rest of the evening. Even having these excuses - and that's what they are, excuses - I still feel so bad for missing out on the run.

I know that it won't make the slightest difference (it won't, will it?) and in fact may be my legs will be more rested and all the better for it?

Why am I feeling so guilty!!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Week Eleven - Day 2

I've just had one of those runs where it is extremely hard work! How disappointing, especially after Saturday's long run and Monday night's run.

I very nearly didn't go out either - I have developed a very sore toe, the one next to the little toe on the left foot. It was sore from Saturday's run and I could see slight bruising under the nail but nothing too much to worry about. However, after Monday's run it became very sore and very bruised.

On Tuesday I went for a walk and decided to let my feet get a bit of an airing so chose to wear flip-flops - BIG mistake! By the end of the walk I had developed a blister right under the big toe crease where the toe joins the foot! Crikes! I've spent all day today worrying that something so stupid could ruin my chances of running the half marathon.

Oh, forgot to mention....for the last couple of weeks I have been wearing a different pair of running shoes. They are slightly older than my usual ones and slightly bigger too. I had switched trainers because, ironically, I had started getting hard skin at the ends of my toes and thought it might be that my trainers were too small. Now I'm decided that my older trainers are too big and that is why I have actually developed blisters - give me the hard skin any day!

Anyway, when I got home I put my usual trainers on (not the bigger ones) and decided that they didn't feel too bad - I could feel my blisters but they didn't actually hurt. I thought that I would go out and if they hurt too much I could just turn round and come home. Well, thankfully my feet were okay, it was just the rest of me that was a bit off!

Time: 35:02
Distance: 4 miles

Monday, September 25, 2006

Week Eleven - Day 1

Still been thinking about my heart rate - I think I shall wear the monitor again next Saturday for my run and see how it goes. If I remember I shall wear it for a couple of hours during the day at work and see if there are any irregularities - I have a desk job so I shouldn't see any major blips!

Back to today - I wasn't able to go for my run this morning so had it to look forward to all day at work. On the plus side, it was another 12 hours rest for the weary legs. And, it must have done me good because I rocked! Of course, the weather probably had a lot to do with it as it was cool and very still, not a wisp of wind at all.

My time for this run was 46 min 58 secs as against 55 mins last time I ran it!! Okay, last time I went back a slightly long way but taking that into account I probably ran it 5 minutes faster. The distance it measured on Steve's bike was just under 6 miles so that works out at nearly a minute a mile faster than last time. Now, I realise that there is no way it is 6 miles cos that would mean less than 8 min miling and I can't believe I was going that fast. Even if it was 5 miles (and I'm pretty sure it's a bit further than that) it worked out at 9 min miling.

So, I can see progress. Steve says I'm obsessed with distances, wanting to know exactly how far it is but how else can I tell what pace I'm running at?

Time: 46:58
Distance: 6 (?)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Week Ten - Day 4

There's only 21 days to go until the half marathon -I can say it now without my stomach doing somersalts amd wondering whether I will be able to run that far, for today I ran the distance!

I woke up to a very misty morning - couldn't see too far into the distance. I met up with Rhona and we set off. However, she had run 12 miles on Thursday and had a night of disturbed sleep so she wasn't feeling her best. After a couple of miles the mist had started to clear and it promise to be a lovely day ahead.

Our plan had been to run an extra loop at the start, about 4 miles, and then continue on to my normal 8 mile run. At the 4 mile point Rhona decided that she had had enough and left me to continue the remaining 8 miles on my own. It was okay, I didn't mind - I was able to set my own pace and I always manage to lose myself in my thoughts. I pushed the pace a bit once Rhona had gone and really felt quite good.

I didn't mention it last week but I am still trying out with the jelly babies - they certainly seem to do the stuff, I definitely feel the benefit from them - whether that's psychological - who knows? Doesn't matter though, as long as I believe.

As I was feeling okay, I thought I would add on the loop round the boating lake, which I think is about an extra 2 miles. Just coming out from there a guy was just in front of me so my competitive streak kicked in and I tried to catch him up. I didn't quite manage it but it got me moving that bit faster at a time when I could have started slowing down.

In the past I have worn a heart rate monitor - I gave up on it though because it seemed that after doing all the calculations of resting heart rate, age, etc, it was too difficult to keep my heart rate in the zones for either easy workout, hard workout, etc. It was always too high and to keep it lower I was ending up nearly walking. Also, on checking the monitor once I had finished, it seemed that my heart rate went so high that meant I should have died!

Out of interest I wore one again today. My average heart rate worked out at 148 with a maximum of 227! I went through the monitor looking at the times and heart rates and it worked out like this:

140 for pretty much the first 4 miles
146 after about an hour of running
152 at about one hour 30 minutes
158-160 for the remainder of the run

I noticed that at 1 hr 8 mins of running it suddenly hit 227 for one beat and then immediately went back to 146 - this is exactly what has happened in the past. Anyone got ideas why this should happen and is it something I should be concerned with?

I think adding on the extra two miles was a good thing -I ended up running a bit more than 13 miles so that fills me with confidence *smug smile*

Time: 2 hr 7 mins
Distance: 13+

Show all the statistics for this week's runs

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Week Ten - Day 3

Today the temperatures have risen again to the high 80's - well, that's what the weather forecast for this area says. I'm not so sure it's that hot but it definitely is a lot warmer again.

I had been thinking about the run all day, not exactly dreading it but running isn’t something that I exactly look forward to. Afterwards – yeah – it’s a great feeling having done the run. I had at one point talked myself out of going – too hot, legs too tired, rest day, calf muscles aching, not enough time….I could go on.

When I get to feeling like this, I just say to myself – “Get out there, take it easy, do a shorter run, whatever, just try to enjoy”. And that’s how it was today.

I went along the river up the hill and through the local village and back home. Quite a nice run, not very far, probably not even 3 miles but it doesn’t matter, I got out there and I ran and I felt so much better for it.

Going to run 12 miles on Saturday morning. Rhona is planning on accompanying me so that will be nice. 12 miles will be the longest distance I have ever run…

Time: 28:47
Distance: 3 miles

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Week Ten - Day 2

What a difference a couple of degrees drop in the temperature makes! It was definitely cooler this morning and it felt g-r-e-a-t! I felt strong and thought this morning might be a good morning to do a bit of speed work.... rather late in the day, I know! However, I ran and pushed and ran and pushed... I struck lucky towards the end of my run. A couple of lady joggers ahead of me - somebody to target - I got stuck in and caught them up, overtook them and then, of course, had to stay in front, lol. Nothing like overtaking somebody for them to catch you up a half mile down the road!

Scrolling back through previous entries, I see this is my best time yet for this run. All in all, a good one!

Time: 46:37 PB
Distance: 5+

Monday, September 18, 2006

Week Ten - Day 1

It was so dark when I got up this morning that I thought I would be needing a torch to see my way. No worries, by the time I went, about an hour later, the sun had risen and it was looking like it was going to be a bright, sunny day.

I was still very tired from the weekend – probably more due to the late night we had on Saturday than from the long run, lol. I ran my usual 5 mile run round the lake, through the woods and coming back through the nature reserve. I’m starting to get a bit bored but have to remind myself how lovely it is and how lucky I am to have such pretty runs right on my doorstep. It was very peaceful, just the odd jogger here and there. I can think of a few different runs to do but I think they are just too far off the beaten track – I wouldn’t feel safe.

Over the weekend someone asked me if I was running the London Marathon next year. My immediate reaction wasn’t to dismiss it outright and I actually found myself considering it, OMG…. what is happening to me? A marathon?

Time: 42:01
Distance: 5 miles

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Week Nine - Day 4

These Saturday runs come round so quickly!

Today, I had Rhona again for company.... although she had run 9 miles yesterday, she said she would give it a go today - well done, Rhona. I certainly would have found it hard work to run two consecutive days, and long runs at that. I wanted to run 11-12 miles but had worked out a route where I run the first 3-4 miles and then pick Rhona up to run the remaining 8 miles. As it happened, I only ran 3 miles before getting to Rhona's - the route I had gone on was a bit shorter than I had anticipated. Anyway, that was okay. Filling up my water bottle we went on our way....

It was certainly lovely having some company - we talked a bit, more at the start than the end! The pace was good, steady at first but then slowing a bit for the last 2-3 miles - I think yesterday's run was catching up on Rhona. I felt good, just running within myself and not puffing and panting. WOW, who would have thought it a few weeks ago - 11 miles and still ready to run some.....

Time: 1:49:15
Distance: 11 miles

Show all the statistics for this week's runs

LOL, I think I have major distance v. times discrepancies in my runs - 3 x 5 mile runs - all very different times!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Week Nine - Day 3

For one reason or another, I ended up at the gym running on the treadmill for yesterday's run. It's been a long time since I ran on a treadmill, in fact since I started my training schedule. Up until that point that is where most of my running occurred - although I only used to do 30 minutes (and I used to think that was a long time!).

It was awful - I really missed the feel of the outdoors, the breeze, the freshness, the peace.... The TV screens were a distraction (that's a good thing) but, all in all, it really seemed like harder work than running outdoors.

I got really hot and drank 1 litre of water, trying to cool down. I thought I got hot (see previous post) on my usual runs - but this was way hotter. I found out later that apparently there is a problem with the air conditioning....! Although the run itself wasn't too bad, it was afterwards that I started feeling ill - my stomach was very upset and I just felt terrible - can't make it out. I didn't feel that bad after my 11 mile run last weekend?!

I had an early night and am pleased to say I feel a lot better today.

Time: 50 minutes
Distance: 5 miles?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Week Nine - Day 2

Back to running on my own today – Rhona couldn’t make it.

Although there had been rain overnight, it was still quite humid. I hadn’t taken my water bottle and so I brushed past the overhanging branches of trees, trying to shake some water off to cool me down. I still can’t understand why I get so HOT. I don’t sweat very much but it seems to hover under the surface causing me to go very RED in the face. I read somewhere that the fitter you are, the more you sweat so maybe that’s the answer, I’m just not very fit. Now, if only sweating after the run counted as being fit *sigh*. Today, I just couldn’t stop – I had my shower but still had to keep drying myself down – sorry, TMI!!! I’ll move on swiftly…..

Time: 48:49
Distance: 5+

After the beautiful sunrise on Monday morning, I did get up early yesterday and armed with camera went to take some pics….but I was thwarted… too much cloud!

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

OK - Go on Treadmills - A Workout with a Difference!

OK - Go is a band from Chicago - maybe you guys have heard of them?

It certainly beats running round the park - and it looks like much more FUN!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Week Nine - Day 1

I had a running companion this morning – Rhona. Rhona can take full responsibility for me entering the half marathon. It was at an evening meal at her house that she persuaded me to enter the half marathon - and the rest is history. Although I have been training religiously, Rhona has had a few problems and not managed to get out running very much.

Although the start time of 6.30 am was a bit daunting, she managed to get up and meet me. We set off and for the first mile or so, gauged each other’s pace. Rhona started off slightly faster than I would have done had I been on my own, but once we had run a couple of miles we settled into a good steady pace, even managing a little conversation every now and then!

The scenery this morning was fantastic – we had low lying mist over the lake with the sun rising in the background. The orange glow it cast over the water was breath-taking – so much so, that I shall get up early tomorrow morning and cycle over to try and catch it on camera….

The bridge at the nature reserve is once again open, so we were able to go home that way rather than going through Ferry Meadows, which made a very pleasant change.

I really enjoyed running with Rhona, we were evenly matched and it certainly felt more enjoyable running with someone. I’ve mentioned to her that I shall be going out again on Wednesday morning, and she is going to let me know if she can make it. It’s a shame she is so far behind with her training, the longest distance she has run so far is 6 miles so the longer runs on Saturday are out.

Running with Rhona certainly improved my time for this run:

Time: 43:25
Distance: 5 miles

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Week Eight - Day 4

Jelly Babies Rule !!!

Someone told me to take a few jelly babies with me when I go for a long run - they will boost my sugar levels and give me a little bit more umpfh... so, with 5 jelly babies safely tucked in my shorts pocket I set off for my 10 mile run

Firstly, the weather was lovely. Not too warm with a very cool gentle breeze and for the first half of the run I didn't see a single soul - very peaceful.

I had given this run a lot of consideration - I wanted to do my 8.2 run and was trying to think of the best way to add on to it to bring it up to the required 10. I added on a loop first which gave me an extra one and half miles so I was only looking for an extra half mile somewhere along the way. I decided that when I got to the rowing lake, that if I felt ok I would take a detour to include it in the my run - I thought this would take me over the 10 miles but if I would see how I felt when I got there.

Things were going really well, I felt good and on looking at my watch I had been running for 62 minutes and I was so surprised - not long ago I would have been dragging my heels willing myself to make it home... maybe those jelly babies were working? So, I carry on and finally get to the rowing lake - crunch time! I decide to go for it - it would probably add on another 15 minutes which would be about one and half miles which I felt pleased about. it would mean that I didn't need to add anything on at the end - which I always find difficult.

I had run out of water by the time I got to the bottom end of the lake and popped into the Rowing Club to top up- I definitely needed that extra top-up - the sun had come out in full force by now and I was very hot - I think I used most of it poured over my head!

So, onwards home - my left knee was beginning to niggle and I could definitely feel the mileage in my hips. One more jelly baby to see me through to the end.

I will certainly be taking those babies out with me again - I don't know if it was eating them that make the run feel easy (I use the term loosely- it was far from easy but not as hard as some past runs have been), lol. All I know is I have just run 11 miles - yahoo!

Time: 1:47:58
Distance 11 miles

Show all the statistics for this week's runs

Friday, September 08, 2006

Week Eight - Day 3

I've changed my routine - rather than running all my weekly runs in the morning I have decided that I shall run Monday and Wednesday mornings and then Thursday evening and my usual Saturday morning. That way, I'm not running consecutively, by Thursday evening my legs will have had a better chance to recover - well, that's the plan!

Before I started training for the half marathon I used to go swimming twice a week, Tues and Friday mornings. I decided I could incorporate this back into my weekly schedule and so got up early on Tuesday morning and went swimming - it was very enjoyable and I loved it. However, I have been extremely tired this week and perhaps this was one early morning too much! I've now decided to drop the swimming until after the Half Marathon. This means I'm only getting up at the crack of dawn two mornings a week and consequently shouldn't feel so very tired....

Anyway, back to Day 3 of this week's log - As it was a Thursday I went out when I got home from work. It was a lovely evening, quite warm with a very gentle breeze and I felt like going for a run somewhere I hadn't been for a long while. It's quite a secluded run, down by the river and can be quite scary - certainly not the place to run very early in the morning - mind you, why I should think it's any safer in the evening I don't know! Well, there were a couple of people around walking their dogs so I felt pretty safe. I also had my alarm with me in case something untoward should happen ....

I was hoping it was 5 miles but I think it was probably only 4. Never mind, it was a very pleasant run.

Time: 37:53
Distance 4 miles (?)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Week Eight - Day 2

There is a recurring theme here: when the weather warms up, I slow down!
Time: 50:01
Distance (long) 5

Monday, September 04, 2006

Week Eight - Day 1

Yet the start of another week… I really didn’t feel like a run today, considered turning off the alarm and rolling over and going back to sleep, perhaps running later in the day…. But, no, I didn’t give in to that little voice in my head saying sleep… sleep….sleep, lol.

After reading how much Lisa and Nicole both enjoyed their 16 mile runs at the weekend, I decided to go out there and have fun as well! Okay, I was only running 5 miles and the same old route but I took it a little slower today and it was great! I know, I know, may be at this stage with only 6 weeks to go to the half marathon I should be putting in efforts, speed work, etc and not slowing down, but, you know what, I don’t care…. It was the most enjoyable run I had had for a long time so that can’t have been a bad thing, can it?

The most amazing thing about today’s run was the SKY! I wished I had my camera with me… it was very, very cloudy but all soft and cotton-woolly, greys, whites and purples with the sun shining through the gaps onto the lake…and it was so LOW, it felt like it was just out of my reach, but if I climbed a hill and jumped up high I would be able to jump upon the clouds and bounce from one to another. There wasn’t another soul to be seen, only me jogging along, under this curious ceiling of cloud, smiling – what a glorious feeling!

Time: 46:38
Distance: 5 miles

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Week Seven - Day 4

The forecast for today is rain, rain and more rain and true to its word, it was drizzling when I set off for my 9 mile run. As I love running in the rain, this did not put me off, I was actually pleased.

After struggling through my last couple of runs , I was not looking forward to today’s. I put it off for as long as I could and then got going. Thankfully, I could tell straight away that my legs were feeling strong and it wasn’t going to be as hard as I thought it might be.

I needed to add on another mile to my 8 mile route, so decided to do that at the start, just in case I was tempted to not bother at the end, lol. I’m rather thinking that the loop I added on was more than a mile, I shall have to get the bike out to measure the course, just so I can get an accurate measurement.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t been running long when the rain stopped! It was still cool, not too windy, in fact the best running conditions so far, for me. I felt like my pace was pretty much 9.30 throughout, sometimes I tried to push it a bit and at other times, I had to slow down.

If you’d have asked me 7 weeks ago if I would be able to run 9 miles I would have laughed at you – and yet, I just did it. I’m well chuffed! Now, I ask myself, with 6 weeks to go, can I run 13.1 miles?

Time: 89:30
Distance: 9 (?)

*Edit* Hubby's bike was behind all the boxes in the garage (waiting for car boot sale) so proved too difficult to get out to measure the course. He did, however, measure it through some rough and ready formula using paper, pencil, ruler and map! End result - 9.5 miles!!!!

Show all the statistics for this week's runs