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!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Paying the price

My quads were so sore after the race! I'm not really sure why but I suppose I could put it down to not warming up, not cooling down, plus various other factors so I guess I have only myself to blame.

When I got up on Monday morning they were no better and I could see no way that I would be running again this week. Someone at the club had given me the number of a sports physio so in desperation I rang her up and asked if she had any appointments. The earliest she could fit me in was over a week later!

Luckily, just half an hour later, she rang back saying someone had cancelled that evening's session. She gave my legs a good old workout but I didn't feel much better afterwards. I think I was expecting some sort of miraculous recovery!

On Tuesday they were still sore but gradually throughout the day they loosened up a bit. So much so, that I went along to the club. I took it easy and had a gentle jog. I made sure I stretched out afterwards and when I got home I had a nice warm bath and massaged some lotion into my quads.

I am pleased to say that this morning there was a definite improvement. They're still sore but getting better each day.

Distance: 5.65 miles
Time: 57:33

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Fenland 10

Oh My Gosh, that was one really hard race.

I awoke to wind and slight rain so took with me every conceivable item of clothing that might be needed, lol. I also took along my Zen Creative with the inspiring running track all tuned in....

The rain had held off and it didn't feel too cold so I opted for shorts and a singlet -wise choice. It didn't take me long to realise that it was actually quite warm. I set off at a pace that should have felt comfortable but after about a mile my legs were feeling heavy, especially my quads. Not really sure why but I was hoping they would loosen up on the way round.

By Mile 4 my legs were still feeling heavy and I wondered whether it might be the music - you see, it has a very heavy beat and I was having to lengthen my stride to stay in tune. Also, I couldn't hear myself breathe so I felt rather "lost" - it was all very strange so I decided to turn it off and just concentrate on the running.

Unfortunately, even with the music off my legs still felt heavy! The course was mostly flat but very exposed, with gusts of wind making running quite difficult, especially from the 6 mile mark. I dug in and hung on in there, the last two miles were extremely hard work.

I felt absolutely shattered when I had finished, much more so than after the half marathon a couple of weeks ago. After a cuppa tea and a shower I started to feel a bit better. I'm happy with my performance, it's not as fast as I was hoping, but considering the weather I think I did ok.

Mile Splits:

Mile 1 - 8:25
Mile 2 - 8:37
Mile 3 - 8:24
Mile 4 - 8:36
Mile 5 - 8:34
Mile 6 - 8.43
Mile 7 - 8.59
Mile 8 - 9.14
Mile 9 - 9.07
Mile 10 - 9:07

Overall Time: 1:28:29
Avg Pace: 8.46

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I haven't run all week!

Everyone around me seems to have this dreaded virus, cough, sneezes, thick head, etc and I think I have had a touch of it. Or I must have because I don't see how I could not have caught any bugs. Anyway, once you start scrutinising how you feel in such minute detail (which all runners seem to do, lol) I had convinced myself that I had a sore throat and a runny nose.

I'm panicking a bit about tomorrow's race....although in reality a week from running shouldn't have done me any harm. In fact, I should feel fresh and strong - just so long as this tickle in my throat goes away....

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Gave Tuesday night a miss but went along to the club on Thursday. By then, my legs weren't quite so heavy and I felt ready for a run. It was quite a cold night but I soon warmed up once we got going. It was enjoyable and most of the run was spent discussing Sunday's half marathon and how well all the club runners did.

Saturday morning just saw myself and Marianne able to make it. We didn't meet until 9.45 and it was such a pleasure to have a lie-in. It was a bright sunny morning but very cool in the shade, absolutely perfect for a run. We ran my favourite run, down by the river and across the meadow. It is so beautiful and peaceful and I am so fortunate to have such a lovely run right on my doorstep.

Once we had run the circuit (4.3 miles) Marianne headed off home and I ran the lap again. During the week my Zen Creative Stone arrived so armed with downloaded songs I had it to keep my company. I had also downloaded a podcast of motivational spinning/running music and I put this on for the last mile. It is recorded at 171 bpm and I certainly felt myself speeding up to keep in tune with it!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Great Eastern Half Marathon - Oct 2007

I had an early night the evening before the race and slept well.

The first thing I did when I woke up was check to see what the weather was like. It looked promising as it was cool but, of course, it was still fairly early. The race didn’t start until 11 o’clock so there was time for it to change. As it happened, for the most part it stayed cloudy with the sun breaking through intermittently.

I packed my bag checking I had everything I needed but with a niggling feeling that I had forgotten something. As Rhona and I made our way to the start I saw several people eating their bananas and realised that was what I had forgotten to bring. I had planned to have one an hour before the start of the run so we quickly popped into ASDA and bought one. It was only ½ hour until the start and I was a bit worried about eating it so close but decided to have it anyway.

We met up with the other Bushfield Joggers and there was a real buzz about the place. Everyone was excited talked about the times they hoped to run it in. I had written down 9 min mile splits on my hand but wasn’t feeling very confident about being able to maintain them for the whole 13 miles.

We made our way to the start and somehow amongst the crowd of runners, I lost everyone. I made my way to the time slot that I wanted to start from but couldn’t see any other Bushfield jogger. After about a nervous 5 min wait the gun went off. It then seemed like a couple more minutes before we actually started to move and even then very slowly. We eventually passed the start line and the runners thinned out ever so slightly. I tried not to get carried away and go off too quickly.

After checking my watch at the first mile marker I was pleasantly surprised to see I had run it in 8.22 and yet I felt pretty good. I tried to keep my pace the same, pushing myself just outside my comfort zone but maintaining a good breathing pattern. I had taken a bottle of Lucozade Sport Hydroactive to drink as I ran. Even when drinking these type of drinks I find I need the fresh taste of pure water to clear my mouth so I took on water at the drinking stations.

The run was going well, the miles were being eaten up and I was feeling good. My husband was waiting for me at Mile 7 to cheer me on. I had finished my bottle of water around the 5 mile mark and he had another bottle waiting for me.

Around Mile 10 I could feel my legs starting to stiffen up a bit, especially around the groin. Past memories of seizing up at the end of a previous race preyed on my mind so I tried to alter my stride length and vary my posture. I was feeling tired by now but knew that the end was getting closer and closer. Around 11-12 miles a runner tried to jog alongside me but I could feel his pace was slightly faster than I wanted to go. It was a real distraction so I pulled away to the side and let him go off. He pulled ahead of me but then within ½ mile I came across him and he was walking.

For the last mile our club were marshalling and I got tremendous encouragement from hearing them cheer me on. I checked my watch and knew that I had beaten my time from last year and was content with that. However, when I turned the bend into the home straight with the clock above it, I could see that if I pushed a bit harder I might be able to make it under 1.55.

I pushed on, passed the finish line, had my chip zapped with some sort of device and made my way through to the finishing funnel. I remembered not to stop abruptly but keep jogging on the spot trying to let my legs to get slowly accustomed to not moving. I stretched out a bit and grabbed a banana from the side along with a sports drink and went to try to find my husband. At that time I wasn’t sure if I had beaten 1.55 but I didn’t really care, I was elated to have had such a good run.

I am still overjoyed and can’t quite believe it. What pleases me most is the fact that after the run I didn’t feel as ill as I sometimes have done in the past after a race. I put this down to having the banana before the run, keeping myself hydrated with the sports drinks and the banana at the end of the race.

Sorry for the text being centred - couldn't change the setting!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Great Eastern Half Marathon Race Report

Facts and Figures

Overall time: 1:54:13
Avg Pace: 8:42
Overall Pos: 1093/2283
Gender Pos: 198/811
Age group: 8/27

Mile Splits:

Mile 1 - 8.22
Mile 2 - 8.28
Mile 3 - 8.14
Mile 4 - 8.17
Mile 5 - 8.37
Mile 6 - 8.45
Mile 7 - 8.33
Mile 8 - 8.43
Mile 9 - 8.53
Mile 10 - 9.03
Mile 11 - 9.06
Mile 12 - 9.02
Mile 13 + 1- 10.15

If I said I was happy that would be an understatement!

I had a great race. I felt comfortable at the pace I was running, the weather got a bit sunny in places but for the majority of time it was cloudy. I beat last year's time by 4 minutes!

The encouragement I got from my husband at the 7 mile point and the other Bushy Club Runners and Marshalls was brilliant.

More to come later.....

Friday, October 12, 2007


This Tuesday and Thursday saw me trying to take it easy.... it's hard, holding back and I'm not so sure I did a good job of it on Tuesday! Last night, I deliberately held back from my usual group of runners and joined a slightly slower group. I'm not so sure I felt any better for it though!

Afterwards, all talk was of the half marathon on Sunday....what times everyone was hoping to of not being as fit as they would have liked etc. I kept quiet. I would like to do the same time as last year, just under two hours. A few weeks ago I wasn't so sure I would be able to but just lately, with a few good runs under my belt, I'm feeling optimistic. Watch this space...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Race report - Frostbite League

Sunday saw the first race of the Frostbite League. As for the weather, it was good. Cool but not cold, I'm sure there will be much worse to come!

I travelled there in a car with 4 other ladies, I was supposed to be the navigator. Haha, that's a joke, me?! As is to be expected, I got us lost! We'd left enough time and found our way there by asking a kindly gent although I must say in my defence, the venue was not sign posted at all.

On to the run..... I knew it would be a hard run as the course was on grass and through some woods so I would just see how I felt on the day. I set off pretty quick and managed to hold on there for all the way round repeating to myself, It's only 5's only 4 miles, etc, down to the last mile.

I was pleased with my time and as a team, we did very well. We came 6/15. I'm looking forward to the next Frostbite in November - our club is hosting the event and, all being well, the course should be a bit faster.

Time: 42:18
Distance: 5 miles
Avg pace: 8:26

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Hill work

On Thursday we ran over to Alwalton and did hill reps. The fastest runners managed to squeeze 5 in, but I only managed 4 in the time we had. We then ran back to the club. It was a good session and I'm sure I will benefit from it in time. I'm sure the answer to being a good runner is variation.

Time: 46:34
Distance: 5 miles

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Tuesday evening

I woke up this morning with a really stiff neck! I'd obviously slept in an awkward position and it really hurt and ached all day long. I wasn't sure how it would be when I was running but I needn't have worried. It ached a little but not enough to interfere with the run.

I'm really not enjoying these dark evenings -it's so hard to see where you're going. We try to stick to well-lit paths but sometimes it's not possible. We also had to run past a few gangs of youths who passed a comment or two but nothing too serious although I certainly wouldn't have wanted to have been on my own!

It was a good run, my legs felt strong and it felt like a good pace. I'm still wearing T-shirt and shorts and found the temperature just perfect.

Distance: 5.7
Time: 53:24
Avg pace: 9.23