Tag Archives: Garmin

Post Marathon Update

I am going to do a very quick update on my running.  It has been a fair while after all!

Immediately Afterwards

Yes I did feel awful but I was very surprised to be able to walk about relatively pain-free the next day. Yes I was a bit sore and stiff but not as bad as I had thought. When I answered the phone at half past seven to find that I was being asked to go and work for the day I didn’t really hesitate. I never ever thought that would be possible. I did no exercise however until Friday – 4 days later. I went to the gym.


I mainly did this because I knew that I was not going to be able to do anything for at least a week due to the second op on my back. I had a nice ‘relaxed’ session that didn’t involve a lot of running!!

Post Op

You will all be very aware that I had slightly more than I expected taken from my back so did no exercise for nearly 2 weeks (Aren’t I a good girl?)

Back Running

Last week I started with a few 3 mile runs – nice and gentle. To be honest I could not do much else. I was finding it quite hard to breath and my legs just weren’t really co-operating. My Garmin was telling me that I was running just under 10 minute miles which for three miles is really slow. I do wonder if this is normal? After the first time I ran my legs hurt the next day. I really couldn’t believe it. 2 weeks ago I had run a marathon and now I could barely manage three miles. Do you think this is normal?


Over the bank holiday we went on a bike ride (7-8 miles). It was very slow as we had little people biking with us. That was no worries – even with an extra body on the back of my bike. It reignited my fire and so I went running the next day. During this run (5 miles this time) my knee started hurting. There was no obvious reason for it but I found it hurt to walk for the rest of the day. I spoke to my running partner and she said that it sounded just like what she has. It is apparently very common and not a problem with the knee but with the hip and upper leg muscles. I have to say that at the gym today my right leg (the one with the hurt knee) did feel really tight. I think that I need to focus on stretching it out and strengthening it. Does anyone have any ideas if I am on the right lines? I hate not being able to run 😦

One Final Observation

This week I have been talking to someone who has just started running and she said that she actively tries to go out at times when she won’t be seen. I remember doing this – choosing routes that are away from the majority of people and where I face less chance of being seen . Yesterday however – when I was really struggling with my pace I realised that I really did not mind or worry about what anyone thought of me. I know that I have done a marathon and that has given me a real confidence boost. I no longer care what other people think – I know what I can do and that is all that matters 🙂 Believe me – for me that is a HUGE step forward.

What have you done that has changed your attitude?




Run To The Beat 2012

Last Sunday I took part in Run To The Beat, a half marathon held in London. With an expected 18,500 runners this was the largest race that I had ever taken part in but, with the 14 stages around the course, one that I was really looking forward to.

A Cold and Early Start

The race start was 9.45am which felt to be very early considering we had to get there first. This was underlined even more when I was told that I would be picked up at 6.30am by the person who had very kindly offered to drive. This was in no way helped by the supposed extra hours sleep we would get as the clocks went back an hour. (Does anyone ever sleep well before a race – or before having to get up earlier than usual?)

The other issue was the weather. In the UK the weather has this habit of luring me into a false sense of security during October when it seems as if I will be able to enjoy the fireworks on Nov.5th without freezing. Then, during the last weekend in October it suddenly turns cold. This year was no exception with the first frost (and even snow in the North) being forecast for the night of the 27th! The trouble with this was that all the training had been done in relatively warm weather and we were, therefore relatively unprepared for cold. What would I wear?

We were given these lovely yellow t-shirts with our running number on. These are the proper running tops but were not really made for the cold weather. Therefore the Saturday before saw me rushing into the shops to buy a long sleeved skin to wear underneath.


The journey there was quick and easy. We parked right next to the start. So far so good! From there on however it got a bit harder. We had at least an hour to kill and it was COLD. Very, very cold out. Having done the obligatory toilet stop we decided to head for the O2 in a vain attempt to keep warm. It worked a bit and we killed a fair bit of time wandering around. As the start time approached we decided that we should think about getting rid of our bags and head towards the start. As we had parked so close we decided to leave our things in the car to save queuing at the bag drop off. Unfortunately the route to the pens took us through the bag drop off anyway. This was all incredibly slow as the shear amount of people meant congestion at the entrances and exits.

In order to get to the timing pens we had a very long, slow walk, followed by a long period of time standing around as we waited for the start. It was during this time that we quite simply froze. Those of us who hadn’t opted for under garments were positively freezing although how they could have been any colder than us with gloves, hats etc I am not entirely sure!

The Start?

As with all races it took us a fair amount of time to cross the start line. There was some confusion as to when the race actually started as there were two lots of cheering, either one of which could have signaled the start. We were later told that the race had started promptly. According to my Garmin we didn’t cross the start line until 10.03.

The Race

Route map

The route was easy to follow with well organised water stations scattered around the course. There were also a couple of Powerade stations. Most of the route was wide enough to cope with the numbers of people – some weaving is inevitable. There was one point where the race came to a complete standstill at a gate and several points with a 360′ turn that also slowed everyone down.
During the race there were also a number of sections where you were running with the racers ahead of you running the opposite way. I don’t know about you but I really am not a fan of this. It is a bit demoralizing to see all those ahead of you. I also feel a bit sorry for those behind me.


Very naively I believed London to be flat. This race is proof that it is truly not . There were a couple of hills that seemed to go on for quite a long time. I am very proud to say that I didn’t stop and walk but it certainly took it out of me. It would have been great if they could have put one of their stages on these as the music stations really did help to spur me on and would therefore have been very helpful on these hills. On a more positive note, over the last three miles there was a long down hill section which was very welcome indeed. I even overtook a motorbike on this (a slow one obviously but still!) 🙂 I was a bit cautious as to whether there would be an uphill but luckily there wasn’t.

The End

As always with me, I started off really well but faded badly at the end! I blame the freezing weather zapping all the energy out of me before I even started.

The ending was very much like the beginning. Crossing the finish line was relatively easy. Once over this we were all funneled and thus started a very slow process. We had to actually undo our laces to release the chip – not easy having just run 13 miles! We were given water, Powerade and of course the medal:

My Silver Medal (according to my brother!! but I am still waiting to see his gold – yes he did beat me!)

This was a very slow process during which we got very, very cold all over again. I would have preferred to have had a warm blanket rather than cold drinks!

Overall I have to say that the organisation at the start and end was not that brilliant, although the race was not that bad. As I write this post I see that there are several photos of medics helping competitors – due to the cold or simply casualties of the race?


According to the official timings I ran the race in 2.06 with an average pace of 9.39. I am happy enough with this……. but,  the map that shows my pace over the whole race shows miles 6-9 as my slowest. As these are the ones with the hills in this may not be very surprising but  personally I would have thought the last three would have been my slowest seeing how I managed to walk most of the last mile!

According to my watch I did it 2.01hrs with an average pace of 9.16. I am not sure which is correct to be truthful. My watch did finish before the race officially did but could this be down to the weaving around that I did. How accurate do you believe your Garmins or running  APPS to be?


  • I enjoyed running with a lot of people – it really helps to keep you going.
  • I enjoyed the atmosphere of running in a large race.
  • I enjoyed the live music around the course.
  • I did not enjoy the cold at the beginning and end although I do realise that there is not that much you can do about this, particularly the beginning.
  • The beginning and end seemed to be quite chaotic and the end in particular could have been better organised.
  • I would like the chips to be able to be cut off rather than us having to bend down ourselves.

Those of you reading this may feel that I am being a bit picky but I would just like to say that overall I did enjoy it and would run it again.
Here’s to my next race – a 10k on New Years Eve!

Photos taken from the Run To The Beat Website – fancy joining me next year? Sign up for news on the official website.

Saffron Walden 10k


Last Sunday I ran my first ever 10k race. The good news to this is that whatever time I ran would be a PB! The not so good news was that I did not really read the small print before signing up.



I trusted my friend who said their were a ‘couple ‘ of hills but you get a free t-shirt. Sounded good to me. However, when we arrived and I read the posters properly it said that it is a ‘challenging course’! Hmmm. I did, however know that it was a trail run (90%) so didn’t expect a quick time.

My t-shirt!

The Start

The start was well sign-posted and we went down, having registered easily with plenty of time to spare. There are no chips provided in this race but I had my trusty Garmin with me. I don’t know about you but I really hate the first mile or so until everyone spreads out a bit. It is just so stressful having people all around you, pulling out in front without any warning and  having to get around those running slower than you.


We immediately set off up a hill, off the road from the start. The track was one of those with two wheel tracks and the uneven  middle. This restricted the amount of movement you could do easily to dodge other people. The wind was also a factor during this race as it was quite strong and took my breath away at times.

The Course

The first part of the course was there and back which was a bit disconcerting when I first realised this. It is always hard running when you can see all the runners that are ahead of you. Of course it is easier when the tables are turned. I also liked the fact that there were a lot of hills at the start but on the way back there were fewer and it felt as if you were running downhill more of the time. That is to say until mile 5 (ish) when they somehow managed to import a mountain to the Essex countryside! I kid you not. I think nearly everyone walked for a bit up that hill. It was probably quicker than running it.



The only main negative that I can think of is that there were parts of the course that were totally single file with no room at all for manoeuver. I didn’t have a particular problem except that (and here comes my excuse) I had a bit of an asthma attack and did not have my inhaler. As we got further around I found it harder going as my lungs closed up and was a bit conscious that I may well be holding those behind me up. Not a feeling I liked very much.

My number – the cross shows that I had collected my t-shirt, not that I was disqualified!


Overall I enjoyed the race and I would run it again. It reinforced that I can run faster than I think when pushed. (Yes, even with an asthma attack!) I completed it in under an hour which I was really pleased with, taking into account the hills and my lungs. I did apologise to my friend. 🙂

Did you run this race, or have you run any recently? What were your experiences?