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!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Show all the statistics for this week's runs

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Saturday morning has come round once again.... only this time, Rhona and I allowed ourselves a lie-in and didn't start our run until 9.30 am! What bliss!

Wasn't too sure about the weather as it was drizzling when I first looked out of the window; by the time I was dressed the rain had cleared up and the sun was out so - a change of clothing and back into my summer shorts and t-shirt! This weather is crazzzzyyyyy.

We set off at a steady pace and had chosen to run the same course as last Saturday. But, when we got to the turn off we decided to keep on and, in fact, ran our usual 8 mile run - the run I had done on Thursday. I definitely wasn't flying today, lol, my legs were a bit tired from Thursday and I'm thinking it was a bit warmer as well. And, if truth be told, we probably did a fair amount of talking..... All in all, a lot slower than Thursday but still enjoyable, nonetheless.

Time: 1:21:40
Distance: 8.2

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I had fully intended to go along to the running club but, yet again, when I got home from work it was such a beautiful day that I went for a run then. I've decided that whilst the weather is this good I may as well make the most of it!

For me, it was perfect running conditions.... not too hot/cool, sun out but no warmth, just the mildest of breezes, Oh my, just perfect! I had thought about running for 5 miles .... I started off on a gentle warm-up and after about 20 minutes I could feel I was speeding up. It seemed so easy, my legs felt so strong, I wasn't at all tired, it was so enjoyable! I was loving it!!

When I got to the turn off I still felt good so decided that I may as well go on for a bit longer and then when I got to the next turn off I still felt good so thought I may as well go on for a bit longer and, I had run my old 8 mile run. No longer is it my "long" run. How cool is that?! Oh yeah, did I mention I was loving it!

Time: 1:13:01
Distance: 8.2

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

I've been wondering what to do about getting my runs in. It is now too dark in the mornings (a) I seem to be in hibernation mode and am finding it extremely difficult to wake up in the mornings and (b) all the running routes I know are not very well lit - in fact, not lit up at all!

It will soon be too dark when I get home from work to go out then, so I have decided to join the local jogging club. They meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays 6.30 pm. I will then have a bit of company on those dark runs and they will also take me on routes previously unknown to me.....

I was intending to go along this evening, but the weather has been absolutely fantastic today so I decided to get a run in after work. It is still mild enough to be running in shorts and t-shirt - can you believe that!?

I took the pace easy and checked at the first mile marker that I was doing 9.30 pace. That's good, it felt comfortable and easy and I was really enjoying the run. The sun was out, there was a very slight breeze and the trees, Oh the trees, they looked beautiful, all golden, red and orange.

I stayed at that pace for the first couple of miles but could feel myself speeding up a bit - I let myself just go at what was comfortable - it felt so great, I love being able to run and actually enjoy it as well!

I am so excited - I have so many plans for the future.... Rhona and I are talking about "serious" training - getting in some speed work, hill work, etc....OMG just give me a nod if I get too boring, lol!

Time: 40:56
Distance: 4 1/2

Recovery run?

Rhona, me and Lindsay before the race

Thank you SO MUCH for all your good wishes, they mean such a lot.

I'm in a bit of a fix now on what to call my Blog, lol.

Will stick with the title, I guess, as there are plenty more half marathons out there to conquer.....
I really did suffer immediately after the half marathon but within a couple of days I could feel I was recovering. My right leg was still very sore, I think I had really given my quads a real bashing but by the end of the week I was willing and ready to venture out again. I'd been batheing (sp?) in the glory of my run for long enough and it was back to earth with a bang!

Met up with Rhona on Saturday morning for a run - BTW Rhona was extremely happy with her half marathon and is fuelled with enthusiasm to do more training for the next one....

We'd decided we would take the pace as it comes but intended on running about 5-6 miles. Either we were running as slow as snails or we went a bit faster than anticipated. It took us 1:13:43 so was probably nearer to at least 6-7 miles, lol. It was comfortable until about the last mile or so when my leg really started to ache, deep inside the buttock... perhaps it felt more like the thigh bone.

You know, I still can't believe I ran the half marathon in under 2 hours - more pressure on me for next year... my aim will be sub 1.45, what do you think of my chances?

Time: 1:13:43
Distance: 7+

Monday, October 16, 2006

Race Report - Great Eastern Half Marathon - 15 October 2006

Woke up yesterday morning and the first thing I did was check the weather! All looking good, a bit dull and not much sign of the sun… not what you would usually hope for on a Sunday morning!

Rhona walked round and we picked up her friend, Lindsay, on the way. David was making his way there with his parents but we met up at a designated meeting place.

Trying to put all thoughts of whether we had done enough to get us through the run we made our way to the area marked out for our intended finish time. Rhona and I had decided that we would start together and I was to go on if she came off the pace. Lindsay was running her own race and as soon as the gun went off, so did David!

It was a bit of a start-stop at the beginning as everyone paused slightly over the starting line to set their watches off – even though we had been given chips to wear. Mind you, I was no different, lol, and was wearing Steve’s watch as it had the function for mile split times.

After half a mile or so, the crowd had spread out. On a street corner a jazz band were playing which was great and there were a lot of spectators clapping us on. After a mile Rhona dropped back. I kept my pace and around the next mile or so, I overtook Lindsay.

There was a water station at Mile 3. I grabbed a bottle, had a sip but mostly used it to cool myself down. Even though the sun wasn’t out, it was quite warm and humid. I had taken 5 jelly babies with me and around this time I had the first. I still felt like I was going okay, stretching myself but running just so I was able to breathe without too much of a struggle – not like many around me who were already puffing and panting (something I was to experience much later, lol).

My friend Sue and her son Jack were marshalling around the 6-7 mile mark and this is just about where I started to find it a bit harder. My breathing was still okay but my legs, especially my quads, were really tightening up. This then alternated between my quads and my hamstrings…. my toes were also feeling a bit sore but I managed to obliterate that thought, as my legs were taking up all my attention.

Steve and my daughter were just past the 7 mile marker and I realised by the time I got there, that I was on schedule for under 2 hours! I was ahead of expected time so Steve and Ashleigh nearly missed me!

I took on water at all the following water stations, tipping a bit over me and filling up my own water bottle to keep me going. I was getting hotter and hotter and my legs were getting heavier and heavier…

Very conscious that I needed to keep pushing it to stay under the two hours, I tried to convince myself at the 8 mile marker, that the next 5 miles were my usual training run and forget about the previous 8. It didn’t work very well but it gave me something to think about, lol.

By the time I got to 10 I knew that within 30 minutes it was all going to be over. Mile 11 came and went, Mile 12 marker was a welcome sight. My legs were now so very heavy and I needed every bit of strength and willpower to keep pushing it, I knew I had slowed down a bit from Mile 8 and it wasn’t sure I had done enough to still be under the 2 hours. As I ran I asked myself whether I was running as hard as I possibly could and if I finished in over two hours would I be disappointed in myself, could I have gone any faster. My answer was that I was doing all I could to keep moving forward, it was 100% effort – I was even grunting at this point!

I knew there wasn’t much further to go – all around me I could hear 2 hours… 2 hours… obviously everyone else was also well aware of the time. We crossed the road and went onto a pathway which led to the Embankment where the race ended. Unfortunately, I missed the 13 mile marker so still wasn’t quite sure how much more we were to run once we got on the Embankment.

Steve, Ashleigh and my other friends were waiting on a corner and with encouragement from Steve that the end was not far, keep going and you’ll be under 2 hours spurred me on.

I turned the corner and could see the finish about 200 metres ahead with the clock above it. It was going to be sooo close… I don’t know where the energy came from, I just knew that I would be gutted if I missed out by a few seconds. I dug deep and made one last determined effort to get over that finishing line.

I was deliriously happy but felt dreadful – I couldn’t catch my breath, it was like I was having an asthma attack! Luckily, the funnel was quite long and wide, so I just stepped to the side and rested there for a minute or two. I really felt quite emotional and my eyes kept welling up, I was still trying to breathe properly taking deep breaths in and out. I’m just glad no-one I knew was around as I would probably have started weeping and wailing!

By the time I found Steve and Ashleigh I had recovered, or at least got control of my emotions. David was already there, exhausted. He had run it in 1:50.00. Lindsay ran a time of 2:08:08 and Rhona was 2:11.00.

I was absolutely shattered, I had pushed my body above and beyond what was expected of it. My head throbbed and my stomach felt very queasy. My legs hurt, my toes were sore and I had very sore skin where my bra strap had rubbed but none of that mattered – I had just run my first (and last?) half-marathon in under two hours!!!

I crossed the finishing line in 1:58:38!!


Mile 1 – 9.24
Mile 2 – 8.10
Mile 3 – 8.13
Mile 4 – 8.39
Mile 5 – 8.30
Mile 6 – 8.55
Mile 7 – 8.59
Mile 8 – 9.03
Mile 9 – 9.24
Mile 10 – 9.34
Mile 11 – 9.30
Mile 12 – 9.35
Mile 13.1 – 10.16

Thanks everyone for your support!

Friday, October 13, 2006

2 days to go...

About six months ago I read in the newspaper that our local Town were holding the Great Eastern Half Marathon.

At that time I had been going to the gym fairly regularly and having the occasional run for about 25-30 mins on the treadmill. I mused briefly about entering the half-marathon and then promptly pushed the thought away. A couple of months later I was at a summer BBQ when a friend said she was entering and I decided I would give it a go as well - so I embarked on my 12 week training schedule.

In the past, over 20 years ago– I had caught the running bug. My husband was a keen runner and encouraged me to run as well. I remember that first run – he was on his bike taking me round a route and me running alongside trying to keep going. I think I actually did get round without stopping but, boy, did I feel sick (literally) at the finish! This didn’t discourage me and was just the start of the next couple of years of pounding the pavement.

I wasn’t built for running (as those of you will know if you read this) lol. However, with sheer determination, hard work and training, I built up my stamina and entered road races of varying distances from starting off with 3 mile fun runs, 10 K, and finally 10 mile road races. The first 10 mile road race I entered was the Swineshead 10 in 1984 . I ran this with a friend, Karen, and it took 1 hr 20 min. After that, the sky was the limit.

I ran several more 10 milers but the highlight of those years was running in the Paris to Versailles 16K run. A group of us went over to Paris – I can’t remember much of the journey there and back (menopause kicking in?), but that race is etched in my memory forever. There were thousands of runners – and don’t forget, back then running hadn’t taken off quite as much as it has now! The race started in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower; the scenic route took us along the banks of the Seine, through the Bois De Boulogne forest, and finished next to the beautiful Palace of Versailles. It seemed everyone was there to enjoy it … the roads were lined with spectators cheering and clapping, bands on street corners playing their jolly French music, fruit stalls set up to give out juicy fruit and water stands to keep us hydrated. I am so glad I participated in such an exhilarating and exciting experience.

My running days pretty much came to an end in 1989 when having babies seemed much more important! Over the years since then I have dipped in and out of running, my last major race, as I mentioned here, being the Bruggen 10 in September 1999. This run wasn’t nearly as enjoyable as the Paris run – nothing to do with the crowds and the atmosphere but more to do with the weather – it was very hot!

Since then I hadn’t felt motivated enough to do any serious training until this forthcoming Half Marathon. It was going to be a challenge; as I said the longest runs I had recently run was just about 3 miles and the thought of adding on another 10 was awesome! But I had the confidence of knowing that it was all down to training….lots of people say they “can’t” run but I don’t believe them. If I can do it then anyone can – it’s like most things, it’s just a case of how much they want it.

There have been times, of course, when running has been the last thing I wanted to do, when my legs ached so much it was hard work just getting up the stairs to get my kit on, when the weather was too hot/too cold or, frankly, I just didn’t feel like it. And I ask myself, Why am I doing this? But, after 12 weeks of getting up at 5.30 am 2-3 times each week to get that early morning run in before work, of getting up every Saturday morning for that long run, starting with 5 miles and steadily building up to magical 13, the big day is so close. And here I am – prepared and ready. Wish me luck! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Days to go....

Allowed myself to have a lie-in this morning - didn't get up until 5.45! As I knew I would be having a shorter run I decided that I could afford the extra time in bed.

Still quite dark when I got out there so stuck to the main road. Temperature was great - nice and cool, just the way I like it. Felt like I was moving quite well but really have no idea of what pace it was as I'm not quite sure how far it was.

Had a good think about the half marathon on Sunday and about the timings and decided not to get too hung about it - 12 weeks ago I didn't think I would be able to run a half marathon and here I am now fretting about how fast I can do it!

Time: 32:53
Distance: 3+

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

4 days to go!

I woke up yesterday morning to the sound of rain thrashing down .... and thought "thank goodness I'm not running today!"

With that thought in mind, and the weather having brightened up by tea time, I decided to go out for a jog rather than leave it until the following morning when the rain might have returned.

I intended taking it easy and although I went at a very slow pace, for some reason I found it quite hard - considering I was taking it easy, my breathing was quite laboured...I really don't understand this running lark - one day I'm feeling so strong and then another day, it's a shorter run and a slower pace, and I find it hard work!

I'm having a rest day today, Wednesday, and will then go for another easy run tomorrow tea-time ... that's the plan.

Time: 34:18
Distance: 4 miles

Monday, October 09, 2006


Up early again this morning to get a run in - even though it has been one hectic weekend! Just took it easy and enjoyed the serenity - I'm on my taper week so didn't feel guilty at all for not pushing it :-)

Time: 53:45
Distance: 6?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Show all the statistics for this week's runs

Forgot to put on my stats yesterday and as I sit here now updating them I'm thinking this time next week and it will all be over - all these past 12 weeks of training culminating in this one run! Of course, that was the objective when I started out on this training log but I'm determined, after all this hard work, to keep up the running.

I'm going to enter a 10 mile road race on 15 November so that should keep me motivated.....

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Week Twelve - Day 4

Just got back from this mornings long run of 10 miles.

Would like to have gone out hard this morning, knowing it was only 10 miles but things didn't work out that way. Rhona and David came along as well, and David's dad Phil - on his bike. Not long into the run we encouraged David to go ahead as we were obviously holding him back - and off he went just a blurred image in the distance!

Rhona and I set off at a good pace but weren't able to maintain it and we settled back into a comfortable plod. It was quite enjoyable, relaxing enough to hold a conversation with next week's half marathon being the main topic.

Rhona and I have different goals - she is happy to just finish the half marathon whereas, if truth be known, I would like to get as near to 2 hours as possible. There - I've said it out loud! I'm not sure how realistic that is but I really want to give it a go. We've decided that we shall stand on the start line together and Rhona is going to try to stick with me for as long as she is comfortable. I do feel a bit guilty about not running at her pace with her but she doesn't seem to mind.

The weather was absoutely perfect today - warm but with a little chill in the air to keep us cool and breezy but not too windy. Here's hoping it will be just like this next week....

Time: 1:39
Distance: 10 miles

Friday, October 06, 2006

Week Twelve - Day 3

For the second week running now, I have missed a day's training....tut tut...

After Wednesday morning's run, I really didn't feel very well...upset tummy etc., will spare you the details.... I even had the day off work which is unheard of!

By Thursday I was beginning to feel better but decided that it wouldn't be wise to go out that morning and would see how I felt in the evening. However, my daughter had different ideas and begged me to go shopping with her for a new, how could I resist? Those days of her wanting to go out shopping with her ol mom are definitely numbered...

Well, I'm thinking 3 hours of non-stop walking round the shops without a break easily equates to a 5 mile run - my aching legs assured me of this fact.

I know, I know, I could have gone for a run this morning instead? I even set my alarm, but not with the real intention of making it... my legs still ached, it was too dark, I was too warm, it was too cold and, anyways, I'm not too keen to go out running the day before my long run. Excuses you may think? What the heck, I'm tapering!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Week Twelve - Day 2

Took my camera with me on the run this morning and as luck would have it, no great sunrise today!

Decided today to run the first bit of the route alongside the road - I would at least get the lighting from the street lamps to see my way. By the time I get to the lake it will be lighter and I could then cut in and take up the run from thereon.

The weather today was that in between weather - probably a bit cool to be wearing shorts but not cold enough for running bottoms. It most definitely feels very Autumny.

I started off strong but on the return my legs started to feel quite heavy and it was a bit of a struggle. Maybe it was a bit too fast at the start....

At the start of all this training I thought this run was about 6 miles but now I'm probably thinking it's about 51/2 - now I know half a mile doesn't sound much but at my speed we're talking about a difference of 4-5 mins.

I took note of some landmarks against my watch and will clock the distance on my car speedo - not sure how accurate that will be!

Time: 50:17
Distance: 6 ?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Week Twelve - Day 1

After a rather unsettled evening, waking up every few hours or so to check on the time, I eventually got up at the allotted 5.30 am. Just before waking I had a very strange was the day of the half maraton and Steve and myself arrived there in plentry of time. People were everywhere... Strangely, Steve was running it as well and he hasn't run for a couple of years now since he had his knee arthroscopy....Well, I then realised I had forgotten my jelly babies (!) so went in search for a shop that sells them.... the shops only seemd to have the hard jelly type which were no good... I went back to the start only to find that the race had already started! I was distraught.... I thought about joining in and running with a friend to help get her round the course... Not sure what I did as the alarm went off ... LOL, will definitely remember the jelly babies on the big day!

Sunrise today was 7.04 am which meant that the first 30 minutes or so was in rather dark conditions. I ran the first bit under street lighting and then stuck to the better lit parts of the course. Rather strangely, I was running through a track with overhanging trees and then suddenly on coming out of it, it was daylight, just as sudden as that!

I was going quite well so decided to go the long way home, my legs were aching a bit but having the confidence of knowing that I can run 13 miles, 5-6 miles is just a doddle (lol, who am I trying to kid, it feels just as hard most times I go out running).

I saw yet another beautiful sunrise - the sky was a lovely pink-y purple-y colour. As I was running around the lake the sun shone out a bright beam and it seemed to track me, following me along the path - it was very uplifting. Gosh, I should like I may have been pushing the run a bit too much and short of oxygen and hallucinating....

Time: 52:33
Distance: ?6