Saturday, 28 September 2013

One day to go!

It's finally here!  This time tomorrow I should be over half way through the run and on the home straight.  My training this week has been terrible, I have only been out for one run due to a late finish at work and a night out in London but hey ho, the training of the last 12 weeks should hopefully be enough to see me through. 

Today is supposedly all about relaxing and getting my body ready for the onslaught of 13.1 miles as well as trying to stay well hydrated as I know how important that is for tomorrow so a couple of litres of water is the order of the day!  I say 'supposed' to be relaxing, I have found myself going through the results from previous years and i'm looking at being one of the last to stumble over the finish line but as long as I finish then I can take me 3 hours and that will be a good result for someone who struggled to complete a mile just a few months ago!

Going to need a lot of motivation for the morning so here goes....

Sunday, 22 September 2013

One week to go!

I have finally made it through 11 weeks of half marathon training to the final week.  Which, if I'm honest find very hard to believe! It's been hard at times, I've been totally knackered, battered and bruised but overall it has, so far, been the best thing I have ever done in my life! 

This last week has been really enjoyable, only did two training runs and replaced one run with a bike session to keep my body guessing.  On the morning runs, I finally found myself feeling relaxed, strong and happy when running and not wanting to stop once the 40 minutes was over - this all being at 5:30 am remember! I knew I'd lose it eventually haha!  This morning was the last of the long runs before next Sundays big one, it was only 6 miles but as usual the first two felt like wading through treacle in an old timey diving suit but the last four felt great! Just need a longer warm up I suppose! 

Next week's training schedule is quite relaxed as I'm tapering before the final big race! Not sure if I'll stay relaxed myself as I've already having weird dreams about standing at the starting line with no number/trainers/clothes etc. and the whole thing going horribly wrong! Keep telling myself that all I have to do is make it over the finish line in under 3 hours and not try to be competitive because it WILL end badly then, most likely in the back of an ambulance! 

As it's only a week to go, I'm also stepping up the fundraising  so please pay my donation page a visit if you can.  I am raiding money for Kent Association for the Blind , they are a local charity who provide invaluable support for visually impaired people all across the county.  

The link is - 

Please donate as little or as much as you can afford - it will all be much appreciated! x

Before I go, I must find plenty of motivation to get me through those 13.1 miles ..

Sunday, 15 September 2013

12 Miles...almost there!

  Today was long run Sunday again and boy was it a long one today.  Finally made it to the big 12 miler which must mean it's only two weeks today until the big day!  It has taken 10 weeks of training to get here so far and I have to say it feels rather good.  I think it was back in May that I ran a whole mile without stopping for the first time, so to be running 12 only four months later feels like quite an achievement.  

I do ache though, but it's only my left groin that feels a bit stiff so far, not sure if I will be saying the same in the morning when I expect my entire body will be crying out in pain!

This week was not quite as hard as I expected, though I did miss out one training run but managed two nice early morning 3.5 mile runs in the dark! The days are starting to get shorter again so i'm out well before sunrise now.  I really need to invest in a headlight to see where I am going.  I do stick to routes that are well lit but I cant expect the council to keep all the street lights going can I?! Other than that, the reality of winter training is starting to become apparent, I know this is nothing compared to what I will have to cope with but come mid-December I will be starting my full marathon training which will undoubtedly be cold, damp and devilishly un-motivating but it has to be done if I ever hope to survive 26.2 miles!

While I was recovering from this morning's training I managed to catch some of the Great North Run.  It was amazing to see the speeds that the elite women runners were achieving - speeds I could only dream of, they could do the course twice and have half hour rest before i'd waddle over the finish line!! What is really inspiring is to see all those people running for different reasons and, for once, having a good idea of all the training they have gone through to get there.  There's gonna be a few thousand sore legs up in Newcastle tonight that's for sure!

The next fortnight I will be tapering my training and getting my body ready for the 13.1 mile extravaganza that is the Folkestone Half  Marathon.  At least after today, I definitely know I can do it as I probably could have managed another 1.1 miles earlier today.  

Need some motivation to get me through it...

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Cross Training

This week has been quite difficult from a training perspective because, as you know I took a tumble last week and have had a bit of pain and swelling on my left knee as that took a lot of the impact.  I spent the start of the week with some RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) therapy with my knee up in the air with a pack of frozen veg balanced on it! It seemed to be just soft tissue injury, but still I didn't want to go running on it until the swelling had subsided a bit so I took to the bike instead as I couldn't just sit around doing nothing!  

This week my training consisted of a 16.5 mile ride with the boy on Tuesday  rested again until Friday when I did a spin class, did another 20 miles on the bike Saturday and finally back to the training schedule with a 5 mile long run this morning.  The run went well, although I did notice a difference having not actually run for a week, it was tough at first but I soon settled in to a nice pace and was able to relax and enjoy the gorgeous sunrise out in the country lanes. 

Next week is a tough one. Got some long shifts at work coupled with three hard training runs, building up to a 12 mile run next Sunday the longest run before the half marathon....definitely going to need some motivation for that!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

10 Miles...

Wahhooo! I've finally managed 10 miles of running in one session and apart from falling over in spectacular style (surprised it didn't happen sooner) I feel pretty good for it!  I now know that the 13.1 mile half marathon is well within my reach.  Not bad for someone who was struggling to run a single mile just a few months ago, even if I do say so myself ;) 

As you know, last week I got myself a bike so I can get a bit of cross training in. Went for a 12 mile ride yesterday morning which was 6 miles uphill and 6 miles downhill on the way back so not too taxing but good to get out and stretch my legs.  

Because I have been doing all my biking through the local country roads I thought I'd swap my long run route from the long, straight main road through town out to the country lanes instead. This is a good idea in theory as there are more hills and it gives me a better challenge in training as I know that the route for the half marathon I'm doing is pretty flat except for two short, but steep hills. 

All was going well, I hated the first two miles ( as I always do on a long run) but soon got into a nice pace and kept going along the floor of the valley for a just over 3 miles until I attempted my first hill.  That wasn't too bad but slowed me down a bit and I caved in about 20 yards from the top but I felt as I was only 4 miles in at this point I needed to conserve energy.  Once I was at the top though it was all a bit easier going and I carried on with a decent 12:30 training pace until I decided to take a 'short cut' through a recently harvested field.   This was going surprisingly well until I lost the amongst a sea of sharp, unforgiving stalks of freshly cut oil seed rape plants that started tearing my legs to shreds (this was to be the least of my worries further down the road!) so I ended up walking most of this part and wasting a bit of time.  

I finally found the road again and headed off back down in to the valley and was on the home straight.  I had upped my pace to 11:30 and all was going well until I got to 8 miles, distracted by some bunnies in the field next to me I managed to catch my right toe on what was probably a bit of tarmac sitting 1mm above the road and over I went.  Now, most normal people when they fall over put their arms out to break their fall, graze their hands and land on their knees.  I always try that, but as usual ended up with one hand pushing my whole body over so I skidded along the asphalt on my left shoulder and the left side of my face.  It was a bit of a shock but I soon realised that I was lying face down in the middle of a dark tunnel of trees on a country lane so I had to get up pretty quickly!  I stood up and other than a bit of stinging and a few blue birds and stars flying round my head I carried on walking and rang the bloke to let him know that I was walking wounded and if I didn't return to come looking for my body.  My first though was for him to pick me up but part of me didn't want to quit with only 2 miles to go and thankfully the determined part of me took over and I soon started running again and made the two miles home.  It felt damn good to have completed the 10 miles and I know that if I had given up I would have been very fed up as well as horrendously sore for the rest of the day and that just won't do!!

Now that I have completed 10 miles it is probably appropriate for me to start pushing the fundraising for the half marathon, which I am doing for Kent Association for the Blind. More details here:  

I understand that things are tight for everyone right now, but anything you can give would be greatly appreciated towards what I feel is a very worthy cause.

Luckily next week I am mostly off work on annual leave and the training is quite light as i've not got another major long run until 2 weeks today which will be 12 miles but i'll try to stay vertical for that one!

It must be time for some pain inspired motivation from Jillian Michaels....