Two months on

The thing about life is that it is busy, and I am not known for having much down time.  I take on way more than I have time for and writing a blog has been low down on the list.  Here is my marathon update.

Running:  I have been out three times a week since I took the place and I have made some improvements,  Firstly I should add that I have been lent a treadmill which has been a lifesaver when Simon has been away or when it has been cold and wet.

I am doing three different types of runs.

  1.  Threshold – these are where I push myself to run as fast as I can for as long as possible.  This has been going really well.  I admit that I have done most of this on the treadmill but that is good at making me keep going.  I have a new 5km PB of 28.26.  It is only 4 seconds but I feel that I could push for another 10 secs already.  I have also managed to run for 45 minutes at a 30 min 5km pace.  I am really proud of this.

2.  Hills – I HATE HILLS.  I know that they make my legs strong and that they are really important but I hate them because they are just so hard.  I guess I am lucky that I live on a hill so they are literally on my doorstep.  I am not getting any faster but I am doing it – there is nothing else to say here

3.  Long runs.  I ran 9 miles last weekend and I felt strong for the first 7.  I started to flag after a huge long hill at 7 miles.  I think I could have gone on for much longer had this not been part of the run.  I have found that in many ways I am better running on my own, but it is more fun to run with people so I am doing this when I can.  I’m off out for 10 miles this weekend.  That is almost the half way point.

Mindset:  Funnily enough the biggest issue that I have always had has been the mental part of running.  I have always found that I give up way before my body needs to.  However – since signing up for the marathon I have had a really positive mindset.  Very much one of “get it done”.  Don’t quit or complain, just do what you need to do and go home.  This has been my greatest achievement so far.

Fundraising:  This is something that I know I can do and I am well on the way to reaching my target of £1500.  I already have about £900 and more promised.  I have also got a great charity night organised in January which should generate lots of money for a worthy cause.

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It’s been a while, but what an update!

Well I haven’t written for a very long time and many things have changed.  Much was going on over the summer and I didn’t get to run anywhere nearly as much as I had wanted.    I had completed my half marathon training by the beginning of July but I didn’t really get the opportunity to run and maintain this before the start of September.  Nevertheless I turned up on half marathon day and although I found it incredibly tough I did it.  I finished in 2.27 and that is 3 minutes faster than I had hoped that I could.  My first 10km was my PB and then I hit a huge hill and found myself walking and running for the rest of the way.  I am left wondering what I could have achieved if I had done more training.

And then the blog became real.  I started this a couple of years ago as I wanted to challenge myself to run further and document my journey along the way.  Many things have happened that have got in the way, most noticeably Stanley, but I have not given in and have come much further than I even thought I could.  I ran a half marathon.  But that wasn’t the pipe dream.  The dream was a marathon and that is where we are now heading.  I have a charity place to run the London Marathon in 2018.  Can I do it?  I bloody hope so or it will be a disaster, but the long journey begins here.

The journey will be long but I won’t be alone.  I have Martyn, Vicki and Jo running with me and we can all support one another.  Martyn and I are training together and starting again from scratch.  We definitely don’t want to pick up any injuries by pushing it too far or hard.

Week 1 – 3.5 miles run comfortably

Smashing it

I was a bit apprehensive about parkrun this week as my 9km the week previous had been a total disaster.  I got there and had various plans in  mind.  One was to get round however, one was to get a sub 30 whatever the time and another was to go for gold!!!  Good news was that a local running club were there in force and there were lots of pacers.  Luckily for me there was a 28,29 and 30 minute pacer.  My plan at the off was to stick near to the 29 minute pacers for as long as possible and then just see what happened.  If I could stay near for the first 3-4km I would get a good time.  As we got to the university it was going well, although fast.  I noticed on my watch that we did our first km is 5.25 which was rather faster than I know I can sustain.  They realised this too and slowed down.  Undeterred however, I decided to plod on for as long as I could in order to get a head start.  IT was then that I met my knight in Dri-fit! – aka Ian.  He noticed that I was clock watching – which I didn’t realise that I was!  and volunteered to pace me.  I had already begun to dream of a 28 something time, but was tiring massively.  He explained that he was having to pace himself due to rehab from an injury so off we went.  Then my stubbornness kicked in and although I thought I was going to die at several stages, I couldn’t bring myself to give up as I thought it might seem rude.  And I really did want to give up, and I did feel faint and sick at times, but I stuck to it and finished strong.    I forgot to stop my watch at the funnel and thought that I had done a miraculous 28.52, but when the official times came in, it was 28.30.  I AM OVER THE MOON.  When I got my sub 30 I never thought that I would get faster but I am making progress.  I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Ian and his encouragement, and my stubbornness.  It is such a mental struggle to keep going when it really hurts, but I am getting it.

I am off out tonight for 10km with my friends husband.  The forecast is terrible so lets hope that we don’t drown

Struggling with the heat

I can’t remember what I have run since the last time I wrote so I am going to focus only on the past week.  Martyn and I have struggled to get out as Simon has been away a lot and in the meantime Martyn has covered a Half marathon distance.  I feel that I am going to have to go out alone more in order to get up to speed (or distance).  I have ditched the earphones entirely now and that has actually not bothered me as much as I thought it would.  In fact, this evening I didn’t even think about it.

On Saturday I volunteered to Marshal at Parkrun after I got my PB the other week – I hope that I wrote about that!  Having not been out for a while due to weather and being home alone at night I was a bit sad that I was going to miss out.  I decided therefore, that since I was up early anyway (Thanks Stanley), I wold run the 5km before Parkrun started and finish in time to marshal.  It was nice to be out there early as it was a little fresher, but is was terribly muggy and I wasn’t feeling it.  I missed the crowds and I think that I felt a bit up myself that I had done it at all and therefore not doing well, didn’t matter.  I did a sub 30 but I did stand still on about 5 occasions – this is a naughty habit that I have got into as my garmin auto pauses and therefore the walking doesn’t count against me!!  It was good to marshal though and I am glad that I did my bit

  • 5.0km
    Distance
  • 29:52
    Moving Time
  • 5:58/km

I then went out again on Sunday and had the crappiest run that I have had for ages.  For my half marathon plan of sorts, I have to increase my distance by 1 km each week – there is room for me to miss weeks but essentially this is the plan.  So on Sunday I was on for 9km.  This shouldn’t have been too difficult as I have done this recently and it hasn’t been too hard.  How wrong could I be?  It was awful.  I was so hot and bothered.  My legs felt heavy from running the previous day (or I think they did, that may have been another head excuse), my head didn’t want to be out there and kept yelling at me to walk – so I did.  I walked loads and felt like a total failure.  I have chalked it up to experience though and know that some runs are not good ones.

  • 9.1km
    Distance
  • 1:05:34
    Moving Time
  • 7:12/km

Not to be put off I went out this evening and did my hill run.  I ran to the top of the hill, down to the bottom and back up again.  I hate hills but it wasn’t too bad.  I felt positive throughout and strong, although my legs were tired.  I ran the whole way and good.  I even wore shorts!  Why not

  • 2.9km
    Distance
  • 19:48
    Moving Time
  • 6:39/km

I’m Inspired

Having rested the knee for the allotted time plus some, I finally managed to get some runs in.  A few weeks ago now I did Parkrun and set my watch to pacer.  I set it for a 30 minute 5km as I really wanted to get that last 16 seconds off.  Disaster struck however when I realised that I hadn’t taken my headphones.  I always run with music unless I am running with someone.  Realising that my pb dreams were unlikely I decided just to get on with it.  There was heavy traffic at the start which held me back but I kept plodding on.  I have no idea how but I did it – and I did it well.  29.16m.  A new PB and not even a PBPB.  I was over the moon.  It is amazing what you can achieve when you are not even trying.

It has been really hard to get out though recently as Simon has been away a lot and it was George’s birthday last weekend.  I have managed a couple though.  I have a new, flat route that takes me along the dual carriageway and then into the next village.  Last weekend I went for a knee test run and ended up running 6.5km and this week I extended it slightly to get to 7km.  And following my parkrun headphones mishap I have ditched the music.  The northampton half is headphones free so I need to learn to run without them.  Strangely, I have actually found it easier than I thought.  Running finally seems to have clicked with me.  I just run and then go home.  I am not bothered about my pace or even the distance really.  Obviously I need to keep going further but I am not measuring it all out.

Today was George’s accidental fun run event.  67 children arrived and ran 2km with him.  It was great and so many people remarked that they wanted to do it again that a friend and I are looking into a new venture – watch this space.

After a long time I am finally in love with running.

So much to say…

I have neglected this blog because sometimes life gets in the way.  I can’t even remember what order I should say things in.

Ill start with running on the Isle of Wight.  I managed to get to Parkrun, despite having had about 2 hours sleep. Sharing a room with a teething baby that has a cold is not recommended.  I am really lucky that I have managed to do it twice now when it is at the sea front.  The route was different to last year though and included rather a lot of hills. I half gave up before I started and decided that I would walk the hills to save my knee.

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Despite a few walking breaks I actually wasn’t that far behind my PB.  I ran the last part with a guy called Stuart who was struggling, and between us we pushed to the end.  Oh and in the picture you can see my new apricot vest.

On Easter Monday I began my “Marathon across a week” challenge.  Simon dropped my off and I began to make my way home.  Quell Suprise – the first 3km were horrific, but I allowed myself to walk and actually I got into it easier and ran for much longer than I thought.  Sadly by about 9 km my knee was playing up and I accepted that I needed to get it looked at.  Even though I walked I got a new PB for 10km at 1.07m.  Happy with that.  I got to 12km and hobbled home.  That was the end of my marathon challenge – I’ve not run since.  Time to grow up and not ignore my pain.  To that end I saw a physio today.  I have hurt my ITB and have lots of stretches to do.  He says that I will live to run another race.

At the weekend I went to London to watch my friend Vicki run the marathon.  I was so proud of her and the atmosphere was amazing.  I was so inspired my everyone and their efforts and I was jealous.  I have really changed my mindset with the whole “finishing lines not finishing times” mantra.  So, here’s checking who actually reads this – I am going to enter the ballot for London 2018 on Monday.  On 6% get a place, but I can only try.  I am not prepared to do it for a charity place.  But I am going to let the gods decide.  I can truly say that when I started this blog and named it – I really did think it a pipedream.  It might actually come true ARGGGGH

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Here’s Vicki spotting us at mile 19 and looking as fresh as a daisy.

So finally.  I got a message in my social media feed about a 2km “school run” medal and decided to sign George up.  It is a virtual run to be completed before the end of June.  I had a mad idea to make it a bit of a group effort.  So far I think we have 27 signed up!!  I can’t wait.

Old Age!!

Firstly, Tuesday’s long run.  I decided that since we are not really working to a specific time scale (actually we are, but that is a secret and a way off so..shhh)  we would only do 6km this week but we would make it a hard 6km.  I live half way up a hill and to be honest I usually plan runs that start from the top and stay up there or even better from the bottom and finish on a walk up!!  Cunning.  Or if I am really stuck, I drive to a flat place.  This week the route that I planned involved running down a hill for about 2 km and then uphill for the next four.  Sometimes steep and sometimes gradual, but either way – hill hell.  I hate hills, did I mention that.  I really hate hill.

I loved the first part of the run, I was so nice and downhill.  It fact the next 4km were not as awful as I thought.  It was tough and seemed never ending.  I swore a lot and I relied heavily on Martyn to keep me mentally strong.  Before too long though we reached the end of the run and to be honest I was totally deflated.  I realised that we had pretty much finished but I didn’t feel like we had done enough – so instead of turning left, we went right.  We added a loop around Hardingstone village and that made the run instantly nearly double the length.  I’m not sure if it was the hills or just my age, but my knee started to twinge at about 7km and by 8km it was quite painful.  That coupled with the urgent need to pee, meant that I was very focused on moving forward and getting home.  We kept going even though by 9km I was visibly limping.   Fairly certain that if I stopped i would be in so much pain I wouldn’t weight bear, I thought it best to run and swear until I got home.   I was right.  I was agony as soon as we stopped and I had it iced and strapped for a few days.

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Simon went on a motorbike weekend this week so no parkrun this week.  My knee was feeling a little better on Friday so I thought I’d go for a little test run.  I was cunning as I hadn’t mentioned to Simon that I was going.  I rang the Chinese takeaway and ordered food before I left and then ran the long way round to collect it.  It was only 3km and it was quite funny when I arrived, rather breathless to grab my food.  My knee did twinge and I am a little concerned about this weeks long run, but I need to get it done.  I have my “Marathon in a week” to start on Easter Monday and I need to be fit to go. And this week I am hoping to get involved in a bit of Parkrun tourism, just hoping that my new t-shirt arrives before I go.

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