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!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday already! Time is flying by - and each day brings me closer to the London Marathon. But, before that, I've got to get through the Stamford 30K and Bedford 20 (miles). My number arrived today for the latter and I had a quick look at the course - at least it doesn't seem as scary as the Stamford 30K! I'm just hoping this wind has blown itself away soon.

Tuesday saw me running on my own after work - I had my music with me which was great as a distraction for a short while but I really didn't like it that I couldn't hear myself breathing and I just couldn't gauge how hard I was running. Sounds daft? I know but I guess it suits some people and I'm not one of them.

After gale force winds this morning I was relieved that the weather had calmed down a little for tonight's run. It wasn't going to be very long so I decided to try and push it round and use it as a bit of a speed session. It was great at the start especially as we had the wind behind us but as soon as we turned the corner we got the full force of the wind coming straight at us! I'm sure it was good training but something I could do without.

My thoughts this week have turned to what I am eating - lots of pasta, baked potatoes and then more pasta! Yep, loads of carbs.... I'm not a vegetarian but tend to not eat a lot of meat. I've looked to see what else has a lot of protein apart from meat and read that lentils are rich in protein. Now, I'm not a great lentil lover but I have found this recipe: Beluga Lentil and Feta Cheese Salad. Sainsburys didn't sell these lentils so I searched high and low for Beluga lentils - in all the health food shops likely to sell them with no luck. I then checked back to the internet where I got the recipe and was on the point of ordering them from there when I saw in small print at the end that Tesco's stocked them. I haven't got them yet, will get them tomorrow and have the salad over the weekend. I think it looks lovely but will let you know what it tastes like.....

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Yet another week has gone by - only 76 days to go.... Crikes, not that long to go at all! Did my usual two club runs and another long run yesterday, Saturday. My schedule called for 13 miles. I ran the first segment in a group but myself and Rhona went (mistakenly) a different way and ran an 8 mile route. I then carried on and ran the remainder - I shall have to get this sorted out so that I run the first segment on my own and then have some company for the second half!

I've been feeling quite weary this week and the enormity of running 26.2 miles is really hitting me - or, not so much the actual distance but all the training that's involved in the lead up to it. I got news this week of the itinerary for the Training Day in London - there will be plenty of advice on offer from the Course and Finish Directors about what to expect on the course; David Bedford giving unique tips and Liz Yelling offering invaluable training advice, and, of course, Flora London Marathon official souvenir sales! I should come away with plenty of advice and knowledge to see me through the next few weeks of training.

Friday, January 25, 2008

After the race on Sunday I fully expected my legs to feel a bit tired and stiff over the next couple of days and I wasn’t disappointed! I would like to have gone swimming on Monday to ease them out a bit but I just couldn’t fit it in this week. Consequently, on Tuesday night’s club run I took it fairly easy. It was great going to the club and everyone congratulating me on the Folksworth 15, I felt very proud of myself.

By Wednesday I was feeling quite tired and could have missed the cross training session at the gym but persuaded myself into going thinking that I couldn’t start skipping sessions now when there are still weeks to go until the Marathon! I didn’t spend that long there, just doing what I had to do and getting home quick.

Last night’s run was quite a hard one. We did the same route as Tuesday but in reverse. I ran with Suzanne and we started out at quite a steady pace. We kept it up for 3 miles but then Suzanne had to stop for a call of nature – I couldn’t quite get back into the pace after that. My legs felt heavy and I found it hard going. On checking the time when we got back I wasn’t surprised to see that we had run it a minute or so faster than Tuesday even including the stop. No wonder I was finding it hard work!

How I love Fridays! No running, no gym – just REST!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Folksworth 15 Race Report

As you will know, I was not looking forward to this race at all. As if 15 miles wasn't hard enough, it was jam packed with HILLS! Luckily, the weather wasn't too bad, although it was windy it could have been a lot worse.

So, I started the day off with a big bowl of porridge, packed a gel sports drink, a banana, a water bottle and a sports drink bottle in my bag after having already dropped off a sports drink round a friend who would be marshalling the race at the 7 mile point. The plan was that I would have finished my first bottle by then and would be ready for the next. I also popped a few jelly babies in my shorts pocket. As it
happened, I drank the two bottles of sports drink and had a jelly baby every time I approached a hill - not at all sure it made any difference but it made me feel better!

I had no preconceived idea of pace, I was just going to run at whatever felt comfortable and try and make the most of the downhill sections as I knew I would lose quite a bit of time on the uphill. The gun went and although there were not that many of us (435) the road was quite narrow and it took 38 seconds for me to cross the starting line!

I set off nice and steady and was surprised to see that I passed the first mile marker in 9.02. It then took me the next mile to work out what that was minus the 38 secs! The first big long hill came in at 3 miles - this was long and kept steadily climbing, we then had a small dip followed by a smallish hill and then a lovely long downhill section! This brought us to Mile 7 to the BIG HILL. There's nothing I can say, it's just a killer and you have to just get stuck in and work your way to the top.

It was great that a few of our club members were Marshalls (yes, I picked up my drinks bottle here) and their encouragement was greatly appreciated! My hubby was also there to support and took this photo of me coming up the hill - you can see beyond us runners to where we had come from (and this was not the top of the hill, no sirree, there was still a way to go!Some people hate the idea of a 2 lap race - I'm not so sure. At least you know what's coming. So we continued on to do the whole thing again, running past a side road where the finish line was situated.

Around 8-9 miles I could feel my hip, thigh, buttock area starting to ache a little bit and tried not think about it. I was counting the miles .... 10 miles ....11 miles - around this time I got a bit confused and was trying to work out what I thought my time might be. I was multiplying the miles by 10 and then taking off minutes and and forgot I had passed the 11 mile mark so when I approached what I thought was 11 miles and saw it was in fact 12 miles I was deliriously happy! I must have had a sugar overload, perhaps too many jelly babies fuddling the brain! Anyway, it was such a psychological boost - only 3 miles to go not the 4 I thought. Of course, I still had the BIG HILL but at least I knew it was the last hill and not much further on from there.

Once up the hill, I pushed on and managed to overtake a few people on the way to the finishing line. I looked up at the clock and it said 2:17:41. I crossed the line with a great big smile on my face. I felt good, my legs were tired but all in all a good run!

Time: 2.17.41
Dist: 15 miles
Avg Pace: 9.07

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Sue Ryder Care

It's been a very busy week! I've got in my two Club runs, 6 and 7 miles respectively and managed to get to the gym on Monday and Wednesday to continue with the cross training, so really I should be feeling optimistic about the race tomorrow - uh oh, no way. Take a look at the course, OMG those hills! And the worse thing is, it's a two lap course!! This is my biggest challenge to date!

So, anyway, on to why I have been so busy - I've been giving some thought as to which Charity to run for. After much consideration, and it wasn't an easy choice as each Charity is so deserving, I have chosen Sue Ryder Care.

In the United Kingdom five million people are affected, directly or indirectly by neurological conditions. Sue Ryder Care offer specialised care to people with complex illnesses and conditions including:

Multiple Sclerosis
Parkinson’s Disease
Motor Neurone Disease
Huntington’s Disease
Brain Injury

Their vision is “Care that liberates lives”. This means helping people get the best from life whatever their diagnosis.

A very worthy cause, I hope you will agree. If you would like to know more about what Sue Ryder Care are all about you can find that information here!

I'm so happy now knowing that others may get some benefit from my efforts of running the London Marathon - now all I have to do is get out there and run!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sunday's Frostbite 5 mile race

Sunday’s Frostbite League race was over at Ramsey on country tracks and round a couple of fields. With all the rain we have had lately I knew it was going to be muddy – very muddy. I wore hubby’s old cross-country trainers which had a really good grip on the sole. They fitted well and got me through the mud with minimal slippage but worse than mud was the wind. I hate it! It was sooooo hard fighting against it! Thank goodness it was only 5 miles – I just don’t think I could have gone on any further. It’s left me feeling pretty worried about next week’s 15 miler – I already know it’s “undulating” but have also been told it’s exposed and windy!

Friday, January 11, 2008


I’ve been quite good this week, getting myself to the gym to do a bit of cross-training. On Monday I went straight after work to swim. It was ok. I don’t mind swimming, it’s all the palaver that goes with it – the washing hair and getting it dry. It takes longer getting dressed after than the actual time I spend in the water! Particularly on Monday – I just couldn’t get my goggles to fit properly and after a couple of lengths the right eye kept filling up so I had to keep stopping to let water out. It was so annoying. The only way to stop it was to push them on so hard to get suction that my eyes felt like they were popping out! Anyway, I got so fed up that I only managed 20 minutes.

Tuesday I went along to the Running Club and had a good run there. I started off steady but was able to push it for the last mile. I was really pleased, I wasn’t sure how my legs were going to be but I was fine, no aching or heavy legs. We were due to run 7 miles but the group I was with decided to cut it short to 6 miles because of lack of time. Never mind, 6 miles is good.

Wednesday I went back to the gym, this time to do 2000 metres rowing (11 mins) and then some sit-ups and upper body weights. It was good and I could feel I had worked out the next day – but not too much, just the right amount of aching!

Thursday’s weather forecast was awful – heavy rain and winds so I decided to go to the gym instead of the club for my running session. I don’t much like running on the treadmill so to make it more interesting I set it on a Hill programme – 45 mins at 5.5 speed. It was good, just about the right speed and some quite big hills!

All in all, a good week.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Marathon training

So, just when I thought I could forget about my training schedule, I went over it once again to remind myself what sort of training I should be doing for the London Marathon. It sounds so easy and simple on paper, how very different it is in reality! My Runners World magazine arrived this weekend and I have been having a good read of it, especially the section on marathon training. In their 14 week training plan they recommend that the long run is counted in minutes rather than miles which I suppose is a good idea. Their longest run is for 170 mins. I'm sure they know best as they are the experts but I'm not sure I would feel confident on the day if my previously longest run was only (!) 170 mins. Still, there is a lot of useful advice and ideas so I shall take what I can from it but carry on with my schedule.

I went out on Saturday morning with quite a little crowd of us, all of mixed abilities. We chose to do a route involving 5 mile laps so that those who wanted to do less could peel off at each lap. After two laps I was left on my own. I thought about just doing a couple of miles but chose to do the whole lap again, making it 15 miles, the same as last week. I didn't find the last couple of miles as hard as last week, but once I had finished I was very sore, especially around my right hip with pain radiating right down my leg. I walked for about half mile to warm down and did lots of stretching exercises.

Breaking down the times I did 1st lap 55.03, 2nd lap 52.38, 3rd lap 48.45. That's really encouraging that I could manage the third lap faster than the first two. I'm wondering whether that's why my hip was aching, in that I had slowed down quite a bit for the first lap which meant altering my natural stride? Oh, I don't know! This is all technical stuff.

I didn't feel too bad this morning but still a bit stiff and tired. Today should have been a rest day but I decided I needed to do something to loosen up, so me and hubby walked to the gym (1/2 hour) and I did 10 mins on the rowing machine followed by sit-ups and stretching exercises. I then did some upper body weight training and then finally a 10 min swim. I certainly felt less stiff and more relaxed after all that.

Runner's World training tips recommend cross-training so I shall try and swim a bit more and use the Rowing Machine.

Time: 2:36:26
Dist: 15 miles
Pace: 10.28

Friday, January 04, 2008

Some exciting news and a bit scary as well!

One of the guys from the club had a guaranteed club entry for the London Marathon but has injured his leg and has decided not to run and I have been offered the entry! I decided it must be fate and have said YES!

OMG! I must get down to some serious training now and with that in mind I have lined up a 15 mile race on the 20th this month, a 30K (18 miles) on 10 Feb and 20 mile race on 16 March. I've been on to Runners World and entered for all three.

I've seen on the London Marathon entry form there is a training seminar at the beginning of February and have booked a day there to get advice on training, diet, injuries, etc. And, more interestingly, clothing and shoes are available to purchase!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

My legs were still a bit tired from Saturday's run so I could easily have talked myself out of going to the club tonight, especially as it was cold and damp. However, I am feeling very fat and unfit from the Christmas overload so I made myself go along. I'm glad I went - it was great meeting up with everyone. Most of us were not very keen to go too far so we agreed on a 4 mile route with extra bits people could add on if they so wished. Needless to say, I just did the basic 4 miler!

Time: 39.16
Dist: 4.22
Avg Pace: 9.17

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Oh my gosh, did I ache after my long run on Saturday! I was really suffering, especially around my hips and lower back. I knew when I was running the last couple of miles that I had started leaning over a bit and I paid the price. It just goes to show how weak my core muscles are. New Year's resolution? Do some sit-ups - regularly!

I went to the gym yesterday and did 10 mins each on the rowing machine, cross-trainer and treadmill. Cor, did my legs ache on the treadmill but I felt much better after exercising, my muscles had loosened up a bit and I didn't feel so stiff. I also did a few sit-ups!

Today, I feel fine. Probably could go for a run if only I didn't have such a hangover from our New Year's Eve celebrations!

Happy New Year to you all!