Tag Archives: half marathon

Lovely Post!

I own up now, I am being completely unoriginal and I would even go so far as to say I am doing a bit of plagiarism. Notsogranny has written a post along these lines here (a good post day) and claireabellamakes here (I love post). I love post (who doesn’t) but I very rarely get the sort of post that I do love. Today however was different, it was a Christmas Post  sort of day. I shall explain.

The first one I opened was this:

My giveaway that I won this week.

Make and Craft is a  brand new magazine that has the first issue out on the 12th October. As part of the launch party they are giving away a crafty goody everyday until this date. All you have to do is write a comment in the forum and you may just be lucky enough to win. I did and this is what I got. Do go and have a look – it is well worth it. There are some good opening offers and a host of information on their website.

The next item of post I opened was this:

My run to the beat t-shirt and information.

Yes this is another half marathon which I should be dreading but due to the live bands and it being in London I am looking forward to. (It is also far enough away to convince myself that I will be able to do enough training to make it less of a nightmare than my last one.)

My final piece of post contained this:

My copy of Simply Knitting and the free gift.

Three great things in one delivery. One cannot ask for anymore. Have you received any exciting post recently?

Hot, hotter and even hotter!


A couple of weeks ago you may remember that I had a bit of a panic (here) with a half marathon rapidly approaching with very little training having taken place. Well last Sunday was the big day! I have to be honest that it was not the most enjoyable day ever (I should not have done it would be closer to the mark!).


With two weeks to go I set to my training in the best way that I could:




Average Pace

Monday  20th August


3.15 miles




3.26 miles






4 miles




10 miles






Average Pace

Monday 27th August


6 miles





8 miles






10 miles




As you can see not much really! It was still holiday time and it is hard to not completely go overboard and over train!


Two days before the race a had a really encouraging text from a fellow participant to say that it was forecast to be 28′ on Sunday. Great! We have the wettest summer on record and yet the one weekend when I don’t want hot sun I get it. I do not run in heat. I read these blogs of people in America where they train in 30+ temps regularly but I am simply not built for it.

Grunty Fen

This is the name of the race and, as suggested takes place in the fens. For those of you who don’t know about fens they are very, very flat (great for runners) and consist of long straight roads through boring countryside:

Now I don’t mind the fens at all, we have great sunsets and you can literally see for miles but wind and sun are exaggerated here. There is no shade at all and therefore no shield from the wind either. Just long straight uneven tarmacked roads!

English: Stubble field, Grunty fen Flat arable...

Race Organisation

Brilliant! There were drink stations every 3 miles with sponges as well. There were also a few hose-pipes being sprayed which were more than welcome! For anyone who had problems there were first aiders cycling the route regularly and so able to get to wherever they were needed. (Unfortunately they were needed too 😦 )

My Race

Very unpleasant indeed! I ran the race with two others. we did very well for the first half and then by mile 10 we seriously began to flag. With the race starting at 10.30 it was nearly mid-day by now, supposedly the hottest part of the day. Here is the break down for you:

Mile 1: 9.19 pace

Mile 2: 9.27 pace

Mile 3: 9.30 pace

Mile 4: 9.19 pace

Mile 5: 9.27 pace

Mile 6: 9.30 pace

Mile 7: 9.32 pace

Mile 8: 9.33 pace

Mile 9: 9.29 pace

Mile 10: 10.07 pace

Mile 11: 10.26 pace

Mile 12: 10.19 pace

Mile 13: 10. 58 pace

As you can see things were going ok until mile 10 where they got progressively worse. I think that we started off too fast but it is always easy to be wise after the event!

What next?

I have another race planned for the end of October which will not be anywhere near as hot! I am now going to run 10-13 miles every week with two 6 ish miles in between. I never ever want to feel so horrible ever again! No doubt life may well have a say in whether I manage to keep this plan going or not (I have already been ill this week so no running taken place yet!) Watch this space to see.


Uh oh!


I have just 2 weeks until a half Marathon that I have signed up for. That in itself is not particularly a problem, except that I have not managed to do much training at all. In fact, if you look at my running totals page you will see that my training has fallen to the lowest level this year! In June I ran 109 miles and in July just 39! My last run of distance was on the 28th July (8 miles), nearly a whole month ago.



I am very weak-willed and so will make some excuses. August is holiday time. I have three mini people who I love being around but are full of energy. When it comes to the evening      when I have the time to exercise I am quite exhausted. We have also had a lovely holiday away which was great fun but again, exhausting.

I do know that I could have made a bit more effort but ….. well enough of this. I am not going to get fit by making excuses.

“If you really want to do it, you do it. There are no excuses. “Bruce Nauman

This week looks like this:
Monday: 3.15 miles with average pace 10.22
Tuesday: 3.26 miles with average pace 10.27
(Probably a little bit too much chatting going on?)
Friday: 4 miles with average pace of 9.04
Saturday: 10miles with average pace of 10.02
It is probably true therefore, if you want something bad enough you will do it! I want to be able to run this half marathon without too much pain and I have realised that time is running out so I have started to train.
No Pain, No Gain
I knew that I was being a bit silly last night, going out and doing 4 miles but I couldn’t stop myself. The 10 miles this morning was only possible because I ran with my brother and I daren’t complain. (I did stop once because I felt very sick but he stopped soon after as it was raining very hard and he couldn’t see though his glasses!). I did find the last mile particularly hard and luckily found a bench just where I finished to (collapse) have a bit of a rest on. 🙂
I am a bit worried about the half marathon although I am trying to boost myself by saying that I did run 14 miles in less than 24 hours which must help my fitness? As for the next couple of weeks I will have to try my hardest not to go out and completely kill myself getting the miles under my belt!
If you have any words of wisdom to help me correct my mistake I would love to hear it. I have 2 weeks from tomorrow! Hope you all have a good week :).


Garden workout for marathon runners.

Last week I pondered about the place of cross training when working towards completing a half marathon. In my heart I knew that just running was not the complete picture and it seems that I may indeed be right! (yes I was a little surprised).


On a visit to our wonderful library on Saturday they had a display of ‘Olympic’ themed books, 2 of which were to do with training for marathons. I snapped these up sharpish and have part read one of them.

Product Details

Image from Amazon!

The Key Requirements

I am not about to run a marathon but I figure that what works for a marathon will work for a half marathon. Indeed the last chapter is entitled ‘Workouts for Beginners and Fun-runners’.  So it must be relevant? (Nowhere does it define ‘endurance’! ) In this final chapter is a list of the key requirements for endurance running:

1. A good basic aerobic fitness.

2. Good posture and running technique

3. Sound joints, mobility and suppleness.

4. Mental strength and determination.

5. A good quality of trainers.

It goes on to give a  basic start-up running program. The rest of the book basically takes you through each of the key requirements

General Anaerobic Conditioning.

Anaerobic running produces pain due to a build up of lactic acid in the muscles. Michael A. Winch (the author of the book)  recommends that one way to be able to deal with this during a race is to build up some tolerance to this. He also mentions that it is a good idea to experience this before a race so there are no nasty surprises! The ways to do this are thorough interval training, hill running and circuit training (amongst a few others.) Most runners will be aware of hill and interval training, indeed I credit a lot of my recent improvements to interval training. The one that I was particularly interested in was the circuits.


My interest in this is obviously that it is not running! Having done one of the circuits that he suggested last night I would suggest that it is also good for flexibility and the core muscles which are also given their own chapters in this book. He gives 2 basic circuits, the one that I did where you work through each of the exercises without a break and another where you repeat each exercise a number of times before moving on the next. So here it is:

Circuit 1:

Repeat the whole thing 4 times for the first session (I nearly ducked out after 3 but did persevere!)

1. Squat thrust. Start in a press up position. Jump your feet forward and then return them to the press up position. 10x

2. Chinnies. 8 on each side.

image from womanworld.org

3. Full-arm body circling: 8 clockwise and 8 anti clockwise.

I spent ages looking for an image or video for this but could not find one so will do my best to describe it. Stand with feet well astride and arms extended above your head.  You then sweep your arms around in a full circle, touching the ground and then back up to the top.  Once you have done all 8 on one side, repeat on the other.

4.Narrow-stance alternate-leg split jumps 8 on each leg

Action Steps 1 & 2

Pictures taken from Peak Performance on line

If you start with action 1 (you do not need the pole) you bend down (action 2) and then jump into the air, swapping your legs around as you go. Repeat.

5. Alternate leg ‘V’ sit ups: 8 on each side.

6. Feet raised bench dips: 10

7. Full squat jumps: 10

8. Free twisting hyperextensions: 6 on each side

Image from here

The above picture shows the basic hyperextensions. The only difference with the free twisting ones are that you come up and twist to one side. Hold the position for 2 seconds then lower and lift again. This time twisting to the other side.

9. Free twisting sit ups: 8 on each side

Image from teamdropit

As in the above image position your arms across your chest and lie on the floor with your knees bent. Using your stomach muscles, sit up so the head comes up to the knees, twisting to one side. Lie back down and repeat, twisting to the other side.

So there you have it:

This is the circuit that I did and I have to say that it was a bit of a challenge! Could you do this? Do you think that it is worth it?

Please note: I am not a qualified fitness instructor and all the opinions are mine, I have nothing to do with the author or anyone mentioned in this post.

Too much running?

Running Too much?

Last week I found a new blog (well new to me!): healthyfrenchie, Reading this really made me think about my training. I spend a lot of time running. Now this is for several reasons

1. It is quicker than going to the gym (no traveling required!)

2. It is effective

3. (Probably the most influential) When training for my half marathons earlier this year running is the training you do!


Now this may sound really obvious as training to run a half marathon is going to involve running! However reading the lovely blog healthyfrenchie and also watching some documentaries on Olympian athletes I have realised that I have very much neglected much of my body (in terms of fitness that is.) Running is not going to tone my upper body. Does this matter? Honestly – I am not actually sure but I have had a bit of a shake up!

The Gym.

On Saturday I headed off to the gym and, after running outside  (3 miles) I did some weight work on my upper body. It felt quite good and I really ached the next day (evidence to how much I had neglected this!)

The Garden!

Yes you read correctly. Monday evening I did a workout in the garden (and I have a very small garden at that!). My wonderful husband came home and said that he would quite like to go the golf course. Of course I said fine! Only, however because I was thinking about this post from Healthyfrenchie: Making Up Your Own Workout. I can definitely do that thinks me and so I did. With the company of my eldest son and the timing abilities of my next eldest we had quite a good workout. (yes I do ache!)

My Personal Workout!

I did 1 minute of each exercise x2!

1.        2.                 3.

Step ups                                                     dips                                        star jumps

4.              5.                      6.

bench step ups                              walking lunges                                      push ups

7.               8.  Burpees (no image!)             9.

Squat jumps                                                                                                     plank

10.             11.         12.

Jump lunges                                        sit ups                                            shuttle runs

13. Boxing!

So what do you think? Is it fairly balanced? Can anyone give me some bicep and back exercises to add in? Fancy giving it a go?

I am going to do a bit more research into training so will get back to you in due course.