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!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I was in two minds whether to go to the jogging club tonight - my chest felt a bit tight and my nose had been a bit tickly all day. My throat felt a bit scratchy too. I have been feeling a bit like I may be getting a cold - and the thing is, I never get colds. Just my luck with only 5 days to go before the Nene Valley 10 on Sunday!

I decided to go along and just see how it goes... I set off with my usual running partner George, and Hayley came along with us as well. We trailed behind the faster runners of the club and soon lost them in our sights. We set our own comfortable pace and a nice running rhythm. The evening was perfect for running, just a slight chill in the air to keep me cool but no wind at all.

Laura tried to keep up with us but decided to cut it short and head back to base when we decided to take in the Business Park loop.

Funnily enough, my right knee that had been playing me up for the past few weeks was feeling okay and it was my left kneecap that felt a bit strange! Typical! But you know there's one thing I have noticed about runners - we always have to have something to worry about!

Time: 1:09:15
Distance: 7+

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Rhona wasn’t able to make it for this morning’s run but Laura had decided to come along, so I still had a running buddy for company. It had the added benefit as Laura took me on a route that I hadn’t done before.

We encountered nearly all the elements there are: wind, rain and sun but wind seemed to be the strongest especially on the final part of the run around the lake! Surprisingly though, it was still quite mild.

I have been having a niggling problem with my right knee for the last few weeks, probably ever since the half marathon. It’s not causing me too many problems and I can’t specifically say what the problem is so I’m pretty much trying to ignore it! It feels like the back of the knee is a bit sore and it feels perhaps a little bit swollen and it’s quite hard to bend the leg in on itself – lol, not describing myself very well! I mean, when you bop down the right knee just feels funny ……

Anyway, it doesn’t seem to cause me too many problems when I am running so will just continue on and see how it goes….

Time: 1:30:31
Distance: 9 miles ?

NB: LMAO - as it sit here typing this up, the heavens have opened and rain is pouring out of the sky and combined with the wind, I am sooooo glad to be sat here rather than out there!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thursday night's club training was 1 1/2 mile warm up with efforts up and down the bus lane (luckily not too many buses around that time of the evening!) followed by 1 1/2 mile warm down.

That was the plan but an old friend Laura turned up for the training who I hadn't seen for a long time. There was much to catch up on.....

Laura had run in the London Maraton in April and was still recovering from a thigh/leg/knee injury she picked up there so she had to be taking things a bit easy.

We covered the distance but didn't put much of an effort in on the efforts. It doesn't matter, there will always be another efforts evening, it was just good to be running with an old friend.

Distance: 4-5
Time: 45 mins

Thursday, November 23, 2006

There is no way I would have gone for a run on Tuesday if I didn’t belong to the running club. It was a cold, wet and windy day and the thought of being out in the cold, let alone running in it, would have been enough to have kept me inside my nice warm house in front of the TV.

After Saturday’s run I had learnt my lesson and wore my long running bottoms. Wasn’t so sure about my top half but decided on a thermal long-sleeved top. I also took along a hat and gloves but decided against wearing them. I made the right choice as I was perfectly kitted out – the wind had dropped quite a bit and it turned out to be quite a pleasant evening.

The group set off together and after an initial chat about forthcoming events the front runners forged ahead and I settled into my nice little pack. We were going a comfortable pace, George and a couple of others had run a half marathon on Sunday so were using this as a recovery run. Because of that we decided to go a bit further at an even pace rather than shorter and faster.

I am so glad to have joined the Club – I am feeling optimistic for the future. If I can keep running through the winter months I am hopeful to see a big improvement in my running times - although I wonder if one gets to a certain age and running faster isn’t much of an option, the old body just won’t comply. We shall see….

Distance: 5.5 - 6 miles
Time: 52:07

Saturday, November 18, 2006

It had been a while since Rhona and I had run 10 miles and with the Nene Valley 10 only a couple of weeks away, we thought we had better get in some mileage.

We have been so lucky with the weather, yet again a fresh crisp morning with no sign of rain. Not sure what to wear, I put on my shorts and T-shirt. I get so hot running but did wonder if I was being a bit optimistic.

We did our usual 8.2 with the rowing lake added on. The pace was comfortable and enjoyable. It wasn't until I got to the rowing lake that I began to feel my legs were quite cool, the wind was whipping up and had a very definite chill - my top half felt fine but I could feel my legs stiffening up and my knee beginning to feel slightly sore.

I think my shorts can definitely be put away for the winter!

Looking back over past times I see that we ran this 10 miles a bit faster than the last time we attempted it. It's all looking good....

Time: 1:35:55
Distance: 10 miles

Friday, November 17, 2006

I had a real good workout last night.

When I first arrived at the club I was a bit panicky, there only seemed to be two lots of groups there: the front runners and those who bring up the rear end. No George, no Alan and no Sheila to run with. Luckily, just before setting off Matt turned up.

We ran for about 1-2 miles out to where there is a rather largish hill. We then had a bit of a session up and down the hill - I managed to do 5 sets - and then back to the club. For the last 1/2 mile Matt and myself put a sprint on and raced back.

I really suffer badly at the hills when out on runs so I am very pleased to have done a hill session and hope we do lots more. The sprint back was a good workout as well, and I hopefully will feel the benefit of the sprints and hills in my next race.

The best thing about the evening though came later.... There was a meeting after the run to discuss next year's half marathon outing - Budapest 1/2 Marathon in September. I've put my name down....

And the next best thing, a lady brought along some homemade doughnuts - they were the best and most delicious doughnuts I have ever tasted - she had put a dollop of jam and cream in the middle.... yummy.

The good thing about all this running is I can practically eat what I want without putting on any weight!!!

Time: 45:35
Distance: 5 (?)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Now that I have cut my running down to just three times a week, it is very important that I don't miss a run. On Tuesday I couldn't make it to the running club so I rushed home from work to try and get a run in before it got too dark.

I decided to run two laps round the business park which is fairly well lit apart from one stretch of pathway. On the first time of going round it wasn't too bad but just within a short space of 15 minutes it had begun to get dark and it was very noticeable on this stretch of pathway - it was quite creepy!

There was a gentle drizzle but surprisingly warm for November.

Time: 36:56
Distance: 4 miles

Sunday, November 12, 2006

It was a record breaking entry for the race today - nearly 500 runners!

There was a spectacular atmosphere, very friendly but with an edge of competitiveness about it. We lined up for the start and I kept myself fairly near to the back along with a couple of other Busfield joggers. My running pal George went further up the front. Running conditons were great!

The gun went and it took a few seconds, which actually felt like minutes, until I crossed the start line. I set my watch off at that point and tried to find my pace. I was a bit distracted by all the runners in front of me and had to do a bit of weaving in and out to find my place. I think next time I will start further up the field. As I got to the first mile marker I set the split time but mis-read it and thought it said 9 mins +. I had been hoping to do under 45 minutes so I panicked a bit and decided to push it a bit harder. I ran on and saw George up ahead and managed to catch up with him. By the time I got to him I was in the mood for pushing it and he decided to stay back a bit. On reflection, I probably should have stayed with him!

I was running the race a little bit out of my comfort zone, my legs felt good but my lungs were definitely having to work hard. By the time I got to mile 3 - mile 4 I had a funny little turn. It was the same as when I had finished the Half Marathon - I suddenly found it hard to draw my breath and I can only equate it to what it must feel like to have an asthma attack. I tried to keep panic at bay and slowed down a bit. I did some deep breathing and eventually managed to get back into the swing of it. I just don't know what that is all about - I think I may wear a heart rate monitor for the next race and see if there is anything there to give me a clue.

As I reached Mile 4 George had caught me up. We stayed together for a while and I really appreciated his company. With half a mile to go and a small but steep hill George pulled away. Once over the hill I tried hard to keep on his tails. I never caught him but I was very close.

I think for the next race I am going to stick with George. We run very well together on our training runs and he slowly cranks up the speed - something which I think I am better suited to. I am very pleased with my times but know I can get a whole lot better!

Mile 1 8:09
Mile 2 8:14
Mile 3 8:21
Mile 4 8:22
Mile 5 8:35

On looking at these split times I am very surprised that my time from Mile 1 to Mile 2 is slower than the first mile. I definitely felt like I was pushing it a lot harder yet it shows it as being slower. Again, I am surprised that the time for Mile 3 to Mile 4 isn't a bit slower as I slowed down quite a bit to catch my breath. And, finally, I think the last mile time says it all, I was exhausted!

Time: 41:43
Distance: 5 miles

Saturday, November 11, 2006

I am now a fully paid-up member of the jogging club and, guess what, I’m running in a race on Sunday as a club member!

Over the winter months all the local running clubs get together to form a league aptly called “The Frostbite League”. All the clubs compete against one another over a distance of 5 miles and it is the turn of our jogging club to host this month’s race.

With that in mind, we didn’t venture out too far on Thursday evening, covering a distance of around 5 miles. Again, I settled down into a small group of 3 other runners and eventually pulling ahead slightly with George. We run very easily together, our stride patterns matching perfectly. We managed to push each other on, running slightly faster than if I had been on my own.

It was an ideal evening for running and this time I still wore my running tights but opted for a short sleeved t-shirt – perfect! I’m looking forward to Sunday’s run especially with it being around my local vicinity – Steve and my daughter are coming to watch and intend to move around to see me in more than one place to encourage me and cheer me on.

Distance: 5 miles
Time: 48:33

Thursday, November 09, 2006

It is now too dark in the mornings and evenings for me to run on my own so I have gone along to our local jogging club. They are a very friendly and enthusiastic group of runners who meet up twice a week and occasionally get together for a long run at weekends. The club is small but thriving and they enter teams in races of varying distances and, at the moment, are organising an outing to compete in the Budapest Half Marathon next year. There seems to be an active social side to the club as well!

We met on Tuesday and we sorted ourselves into pacing groups. I slotted somewhere in the middle. At first, it felt a bit strange running with a group of people but we soon settled down into a rhythm. The pace was probably slightly faster than I would have set off at but I stuck with it and soon began to feel comfortable. As is generally the case, after about 10-15 minutes I felt I could go up a gear and began to push it ever so slightly. Two other guys stuck with me and then a younger girl joined us and we were then a little group on our own.

We were intending to run 6+ miles and for 5 ½ miles I felt good but the last half mile or so was a bit more difficult – we had a couple of (short but steep) bridges to cross and a couple of underpasses to go through – which made me lose my rhythm and I lost a bit of pace. One of the guys, George, had pulled away from me and I was determined to get back up there with him! I tried hard but just couldn’t catch him.

It was a good run and I definitely worked a lot harder than if I had been on my own. It felt good to be part of a community, a like-minded group of people and such a friendly and encouraging club. I’m really looking forward to the next session.

Distance: 6+
Time: 1:03:30

Monday, November 06, 2006

I have been so lucky with the weather when going out on my runs - Saturday was yet again a perfect crip morning. Dressed in my running tights and long sleeved top, I think this is the regular running gear from now on - shorts have been washed and put away for the winter!

Rhona joined me and we decided to run our 8 mile run - it is such a picturesque run, just minutes away and we are in the country with a river to run by and then fields to cross, a long sloping road surrounded by vast green spaces and then on to the back of the meadows. We then have a short stretch of road but then it's back into the woods with the golf course on our right. We are back along the river, across the weir and then it's follow the steam railway line home.... as I said, perfect!

I didn't manage to get out very much last week - it's a bit hard without the motivation of a race so, with that in mind, I am entering the Nene Valley 10 mile road race beginning of December - note the new countdown timer!

I don't intend to train four times a week like I did for the half marathon training but hope three training sessions will be enough to see me through. I'm going along to the jogging club on Tuesday and will let you know how I get on....

My nails still haven't recovered from the half marathon - they're not sore but just don't look too good!!!

Time: 1:18:02
Distance: 8.2

Saturday, November 04, 2006

For one reason or another, I didn't manage to get out for a run this week until Thursday. It was a sharp crisp late afternoon and for the first time this year I put on my running tights and a thermal long sleeved top. I guessed I probably had about 30-45 minutes of daylight left so set off on a route that would take me that amount of time. I took my camera with me to try and catch the sun setting.

It felt quite strange running in these temperatures, it took a while for me to warm up and I probably could have done with some gloves and ear warmers! I have to remind myself that I was praying for weather like this in the heat of the summer!
I hadn't taken my watch with me today; I went round the lake and across through the nature reserve which is about 4 miles.
Must do more next week!
Time: ?
Distance: 4