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Running for charity

This post is a bit late in the day really but throughout the training people have been asking who I am raising money for. When I got the place in the marathon I decided that this time I would just run it for myself as I didn’t want to ask people for money again.

Following a week where I seemed to have rather a lot of enquiries I decided to undertake a quick pole on twitter. It  revealed that maybe I should sign up for a charity so people can give if they wish to. I decided that I would choose to run for Mind again as it wouldn’t cost them anything for a new vest (I already have one) and it is a charity that remains very close to my heart. There is no pressure to raise any money at all but if people feel as if they would like to give then they can.

Not a week doesn’t go by when you don’t hear of someone struggling with their mental health and my heart always goes out to them. My immediate response is that I want to help. Unfortunately I know that I do not have the skills required. Yes, I have suffered in the past but I have no qualifications. The charity does, so the best thing I can do is to raise money for the charity so they can help all these people that need their help.

Should you wish to donate then the link is here.

A bit of a booster

Just a quick post to say that I have just returned from my final long run. 7 miles. I really enjoyed it. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and I kept to my steady marathon pace. It was a great bit of confidence boosting before the next week. I wanted to do more but managed to restrain myself. Bring on next week 🙂

 

The awful Taper

I cannot work out if I am sticking my head in the sand and avoiding running or embracing it full on. The mileage has reduced and the running has got harder. I am supposed to have more time on my hands, except I haven’t. I am buried in the cyber world of the computer, searching like a maniac for……I don’t really know.

To put it concisely….I am out of sorts.

I cannot believe that in a week I will be running the London Marathon.

The running has been happening but it feels hard. My legs feel heavy and it is all a bit of an effort. The idea of running 26.2 miles is unthinkable despite knowing that I have am probably fitter than I have ever been. I also feel like I could sleep forever and I am constantly feeling as if I am going to get a cold.

Oh the joys of the taper! Tomorrow I have my last long run of 6 miles. Then that is it.

Once I had competed the Oakley 20, 3 weeks before the marathon, I knew that physically, there was not a lot more that I could do to prepare my body anymore. Training takes 3 weeks to benefit your body so no last-minute cramming (despite the monstrous urges).

I have instead turned my attention to all spending:)

2016-04-12 17.47.04

I love a bit of post.

One day this week I received my one in a million t-shirt. (This year the 1 millionth person to run London Marathon will cross the finish line and everyone who has run it since the start can get a t-shirt with their finishing number on.) I also received my magnetic race pins that say ” I completed the London Marathon”. I love magnets as they don’t put holes through all my best t-shirts and hold running bibs firmly in place. Of course I had to get some for my running partners too. As you can see the company not only sent them through really quickly but also gave me a lovely hand written note. Now I call that brilliant customer service. (For anyone interested the company is called Pinrace. No I have not been paid.)

When it comes to races, I always have to have my nails painted and London is always a special race. My friend last year did my nails for me and has again volunteered. I recently saw on Facebook some ideas for nails and so went hunting online for transfers:

I found these and look forward to getting them on my nails.

This weekend I have been researching shoes to wear for after the marathon as well as gels and things to take with me to help me get around in the first place.

Anything to keep my mind off what I am doing!

An ‘Easy’ Week

Following my 17 mile run on Good Friday I took three days off running completely. I did go to the gym on Monday morning but other than that gave myself a break. I was not sore following the run but was trying to give myself the best chance possible to recover. (My boys were also a little fed up with me disappearing off for 3 hours plus!)

This ‘taking it easy’ has been my motto throughout this training period. I have tried to be sensible and listen to my body, including allowing it to recover between sessions. So far this has worked for me….

Source

 

Tuesday was club night: a session known as ‘Bury Road efforts’. Bury Road is just under a mile long and the efforts mean running up and down it using lamp posts as markers  – good effort to one followed by easy job to the next etc. Repeat. Unfortunately it was a nasty night with pouring rain. I decided to run with a friend who I like to ‘boss’ (according to her anyway, I see it as encouraging!) and did a good steady session. Not full-out but not exactly easy either. I would also like to add that many bailed out half way through due to the disgusting weather. (Halo time for us!)

Thursday was again a club session. I took along a friend for a try and felt very guilty abandoning her as I wanted to run a bit harder tonight so was going with a slightly faster group. The marathon is looming and I do not have many sessions left to develop my fitness before the big day. Luckily for me she enjoyed it and said that she will be going back (YAY). Unfortunately my session was hard going but I am pleased to report that I managed it.

 

We had a very gentle family bike ride of 6 miles on Friday but other than that I did nothing. I now realise that this was a mistake because I got all grumpy and agitated. I need running for my sanity!

A PB!

After my run on Friday night I took Saturday off completely – I actually slept in until 9am! I think my body needed a rest!

 

 

Sunday I went to the gym which was very enjoyable. It is really more of the same although I am now moving more towards dynamic and explosive moves rather than simply lifting weights. All good for my running apparently.

Monday was another rest day – aren’t I being a good girl? Tuesday was running club – a 5k handicap. This involves the slowest people setting off first and then everyone else at set intervals behind them. My time for a 5k tends to be about 27minutes so this is where I slotted in. In actual fact I got a PB of 25.57 minutes, a shade under 26 minutes. I am REALLY pleased with this. (I also came 4th overall and wasn’t overtaken by anyone). I doubt this will ever be repeated as I expect that I wasn’t actually in the correct group (dare I mention cheating? Unintentional and perfectly innocent though it was.)

I felt really good. I set out at a steady pace and then when another girl started speeding up I followed her as I knew that her pace was a bit quicker than mine. This made it a good pace to aim for.  She did pull away a bit but she was always in my sights.

On waking up today I made a classic mistake. I assessed the weather from the window. It looked calm and still (no tree branches were moving). It had been quite warm yesterday and so decided to bike. It is probably my only chance this week and I was taking a running club before work so was going in my training clothes. It didn’t take me long to realise that looks can be deceiving. There was an evil wind that was heading straight for me all the way. It was also icy, straight from the North pole. Then, to add insult to injury, it decided to start ‘snowing’. I had made the silly decision not to wear my waterproof trousers and so had visions of me getting soaking wet and then having to spend the whole morning in wet clothes. Not a nice thought! Luckily the ‘snow’ didn’t last very long at all.

I did feel good once I was all warm again but the idea of going back outside to get home wasn’t something that I was looking forward to. Luckily the sun had come out by the time I was ready and it was a far more enjoyable ride home although still a bit cold. I am pleased that I did it but still think that I was mad!

Tomorrow is another mad event – a head torch run along an unlit track. Sounds fun but also as if I am asking for an injury. There is an alternative route but where is the adventure in that? (Maybe I will have my sensible hat on tomorrow and will not want to risk injury…..?)

A little bit of bragging

On Thursday it was an out and back session at the club. The key to this is all about pacing. You run for 20mins in one direction and then turn around and aim to get back to the start in under 20 minutes i.e. faster than when you went out. It is really clever as the fast people get further and then have to run further back. In principle this means that there isn’t much over taking, always good for the confidence.

It worked. We set out at a nice steady pace and I was pleasantly surprised by how far we covered in the 20 minutes. I felt good and so began to speed up on the return journey. I hope that you don’t think that I am bragging if I tell you that I got back 2 whole minutes faster than I went out. I was so pleased. Yes, some would say that I set out too slowly but when I looked at my stats I got faster with each mile that passed:

9.07

9.04

8.40

8.34

(all in minute miles). Really happy with that.

 

Friday

Friday was indeed as windy as they had warned so I was really pleased that I hadn’t left the biking to do. It was really quite blustery (although nowhere near as bad as other places) but enough to really think that running my planned 10 miles was a bit mad. I attempted to get out of it by sending  a couple of texts to my comrade but to no avail. She simply replied in a joking way. I asked another friend to help motivate me and her response was don’t do it. That had the desired effect. Off I went.

It wasn’t easy at all and there were 2 miles at the beginning that were really tough going, a long uphill stretch that was straight into a head wind, strong enough to make us feel as if we were standing still. We eventually made it and were delighted to see that we had managed to move faster than we imagined. Our legs really felt it however.

 

Once we had finished it felt really good to have done our long run before tea on a Friday. The bonus being that we had run 10 miles at an average pace of 9.48. Really pleased with that too. I think the term is smug pants all the way. 🙂

I slept very, very well last night (nearly 11 hours!) and have a lovely relaxing day with no running or biking. Just a bit of walking. Gym tomorrow.

Have a lovely weekend one and all.

Arguments

I had an argument with myself this morning. Yesterday was a rest day and tonight is club night so I am running but……I haven’t biked my two days to work this week yet.

FOR….

Today looked as if it was going to be a lovely afternoon for biking.

I was up early enough.

I need to complete my challenge that I have set myself.

It will all count towards a January challenge that I am taking part in and miles on the bike or running all count.

I could have a complete rest day tomorrow.

AGAINST

Tomorrow looks a bit blustery (read strong winds).

Biking is my cross training so I should not do it today but tomorrow.

I have a nagging concern that I may be doing a bit too much ever since I noted my higher than usual heartrate therefore running is enough for today and bike tomorrow.

I won’t be able to have a complete rest day tomorrow.

 

All this was honestly going on in my head. So which side won……….

Yep I biked. It was a truly beautiful ride home with clear blue skies and sunshine so I was glad I did but I wonder how I will get on at running club tonight?

Will I end up biking tomorrow too? I am not at all sure.