Tag Archives: running

100 Mile Marathon

In my last post I talked about how I am trying to keep my long runs interesting. Luckily, for the majority of my long runs coming up I will not have to worry about boredom as I am running around the diocese, visiting as many branches of the Mothers’ Union as I can. (I am running the marathon for the Mothers’ Union – this is of the posts that is coming up – explaining just who they are and why I am doing it for them.).

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In the meantime, if you live near Yaxley in Cambridgeshire this coming Saturday morning, keep a look out for me – I will be running between Yaxley and Woodstone, then Woodstone to Farcet. If you do live in these areas (or know someone that does) and would like more details then please e-mail me on running4familiesworldwide@gmail.com. I will be glad of any company.

 

2016…..the year that was

I feel that I am a day late writing this post. Over the last 2 days I have enjoyed reading everyone’s round-up of the year and have been inspired to write my own….even if I am a day late.

According to Garmin I have covered a total of 1,539,27 miles running, swimming or biking. This has been completed in 324 activities and over 238 hours.

It seems that most of these are running as I have done 212 running activities, covering 1,42:02 miles in 191:36 hours.

2017 has seen some pb’s too:

5k This kept coming down and now stands at 25.31. Can I go below 25 minutes I wonder?

10k this came down to 55:25 in May

Half Marathon: I was so pleased to get 2:00:49 at the Silverstone Half Marathon this year. If only I had gone 49 seconds faster.

Marathon: 4:30:31 at London although my official stat was 4:40 but over a distance of 27 miles!!

Which time do I take? The one from my watch that recorded the marathon distance or the official race time?

2017?

I don’t do New Year Resolutions but I do have 2 targets: 1 to raise £2000 for my charity and to run London in less than 4.30. I am guessing that by this I mean my official time!

I wish you all a very happy New Year 🙂

REMINDER:

If you want to get fit in 2017 you can join this supportive Facebook group to help you start running or simply to get fitter by improving your walking.

 

 

Cambridge Half Marathon 2016

 

I have run every Cambridge half Marathon event since it started in 2011. Today was the first time I actually enjoyed it. Previously there has always been something that has not gone my way – from falling over to being ill. Not so this year.

I set out with the idea that this was another training with the added bonus of a medal at the end. I was under no pressure to get a time, I was just going to get round. This year, as with nearly every other, they had changed the route but this was a big change: 1 loop instead of 2. On paper I was dreading this as I thought it would feel a long way out to Granchester as it is a long way from the centre of the city and the crowds.

In reality it was lovely. The miles ticked by nicely and there was good support along much of the route which makes a huge difference. The sun came out, I met some lovely people along the way and had a good chat. There were a couple of bands along the way (the drummers along Elizabeth Way Bridge was awesome).

Weather dilemmas

Deciding what to wear was a bit of a dilemma as it was really cold first thing. I decided on a long-sleeved top under my vest but as we were waiting to hand our bags in the sun came out and I had a sudden change of heart. I would wear just my vest with my arm warmers. As we set off along the first mile I thought that I had made a huge mistake but as we got going I knew I had been correct. The sun even came out. 🙂

Look at the size of the medal!

Look at the size of the medal!

A Slight Blip

As it had been cold, I hadn’t realised just how cold my body had got and as I started off I really couldn’t feel my feet and my fingers got pins and needles as the warmth returned. The trouble with not feeling my feet was that my running style changed as I was slapping my feet down on the ground. This meant I had real pain along my left shin. To begin with I was worried that I would have to drop out or run the risk of getting shin splints which could jeopardise my marathon. Luckily after 2 miles the pain went and I could run properly again. I did stop to loosen my laces a bit later as it felt like the blood  off from my toes and I worried I might lose one of them. This really helped and I had no more issues for the rest of the race.

Pacing

My mile times say it all: The first was 10.05 followed by 5 consistent miles of 9.47, 9,.45, 9.44, 9.50, 9.44. There was then a mile of 10.01. I think this was the mile where I stopped to loosen my shoelace. Mile 8 was 9.56 followed by 9.53, 9.20, 9.30, 9.29 and then 8.37!!! I could obviously smell the finish line. There was a moment when I wondered if I was being a bit silly but I dismissed these thoughts. I had something to prove to myself!

5555 my lucky number!

5555 my lucky number!

I am so very, very happy with myself. It has been a real revelation that you can run that sort of distance and not die half way around. I thought that was just my lot. I can honestly say that I enjoyed every minute of it and not just the end. I have high hopes for the marathon now. Because I am the mouthy sort of person that I am when I saw someone really struggling I tried to say something positive to them to try to encourage them. I knew exactly what they were going through and can remember how much everyone’s kind words to me meant. It is my way of giving back a little to the running community.

 

More Running Goodies

Purely coincidently I also received another running gift through the post yesterday.

My first Jogbox

My first Joggbox

I first heard about these some time last year and was very tempted to sign up straight away but waited. Last month I  took advantage of an offer and took the plunge.

When you subscribe to Joggbox you get a box every other month through the post filled with running goodies. This is what I got this month.

IMG_1517In more detail:

The contents.

The contents.

  1. The main item in this months is a neck tube by Absolute. Unfortunately I have not been able to try this out. It has also got a bit warmer recently so I am looking forward to cooler weather again. 😉
  2. Touchscreen gloves will be very useful when wanting to us all my tech when running.
  3. A soothing gel by Meltonic which I am looking forward to trying out on my sore muscles.
  4. Energy chews by Gu
  5. Oh my goodness bar.

The leaflet that comes with it details how much each item is worth which I feel a bit mixed about. I understand why it is included so you can see how much value you get each month but I think that I would prefer to just receive the items. Maybe I am just too trusting?

I really liked receiving this. I looked forward  it.  I like surprises. and  the opportunity that it gives me to try new things that I wouldn’t necessarily try otherwise.

All the items that I received are useful and will get used which, if I am honest is a bonus.

I shall now have to decide if I wish to carry on ……..

Have you ever subscribed to something like this?

All views on this are entirely my own.

 

Cross Country

Today was cross country day. One of the first things that I do when I wake up knowing I have a run to do is look outside. Today there was no obvious frost or snow which I took to be a good sign. My biggest concern this morning was what to wear? I started off putting on 2 pairs of legging but then decided that they might be too much so took one pair off. On the top I had my new thermal skin top (bought in the sale) with my club vest on top.

Not far

It wasn’t that far for us to travel to but far enough for there to be some snow on the ground. It was held in a gorgeous ‘undulating’ park.2016-01-17 10.27.49

It was a beautiful day for a run.

2016-01-17 10.34.17

This is looking towards the start – that hill was right at the start!

There were a lot of people running and boy was it tough. I was desperate not to end up too far at the back and therefore probably set off a tad too fast. It was my first proper cross country though with logs to jump over, short, sharp ups and downs, slippery icy bits, thick oozy muddy bits. There was even one bit where I thought that I would end up in a lake each time we past it as it was muddy and sloping towards the  water.

Two laps

The route was supposed to be about 4.9 miles but my watch made it nearly 5 and a half although it didn’t really seem to pick up the GPS properly as uploading it just now I see that there is no information about the changes in elevation which I am truly gutted about. My heart rate was pretty high throughout so it was pretty tough going. I shall have to look at my sons as he did one lap of the route so will give me some idea from his watch. My activity tracker said that I went up the equivalent of 33 floors if that can be trusted all?

New shoes

This week I took the plunge and bought some second hand trail shoes. They arrived yesterday and against the little voice in my head that suggested that it was not a good idea to try them out for the first time in a race, I wore them today.

2016-01-17 10.40.57They were fab. They kept my feet dry and did quite well considering the terrain that they had to deal with. It was definitely not a PB course but Iwould go so far as to say I loved them. A great investment.

Achievement

I feel a real sense of achievement this afternoon. It was tough and I feel a bit like I did when I used to finish half marathons ie shattered, but it is a good feeling. I have pushed myself today and that can only be a good thing. I got round by thinking that “this is good for me” and I am sure it is. Yes, I know that I will have finished near the back but I did it and didn’t give up. The terrain and course will have helped to make my legs stronger. I will probably ache tomorrow but that is OK as I can have a rest day. 🙂

 

 

 

 

I won

After all my exertion of Thursday in the snow, rain and cold. I was determined to keep warm yesterday so studiously ignored my son with his pleading to bike to school. It was icy anyway – far too dangerous. As it turned out the afternoon was gloriously sunny and I would have loved to bike home but the morning was not very enticing.

Preventing Hypothermia

I had thought that yesterday would be a rest day but in actual fact, I had an hour and thought that I could fit in another easy 5, effectively splitting a long run over 2 days or, to put it another way, getting the mileage in. It was very cold and I again put on 2 pairs of leggings, a short sleeve top, a long sleeved top, jacket, high-viz vest and gloves. The only thing I did  differently was wear a hat as I read some advice about preventing hypothermia whilst running in this cold weather. It seems a hat is important, as are gloves. The other thing is to try and stay dry – jump over puddles and wear waterproof clothes. If it is very cold head to forests etc where it is sheltered. The other things are to layer up and to run into the head wind on your way out (if there is one). Dressed up like Michelin man I was warm enough and enjoyed a 6 mile run.

Saturday

Tired this morning. I went for a walk and felt really tired. I kept thinking: “This time last week I was running 9 miles!” There was no way today…. but I had given my legs a bit of a hammering over the last 2 days. This afternoon was a gym session. I am loving these so much. This week I did 4 sets of 5 pull ups 🙂 I also tried a new exercise called dumb bell snatches:

I promise you, easier than it looks. I dread new exercises as my brain takes a while to process the new info and I usually look like a real fool! Luckily, I didn’t have that many problems with this one. YAY! I did 4 sets of 4 each arm, and on the last set even moved up a weight to 15 kgs).

We then moved onto single leg squats (I do this one without a weight, 3 sets of 6 on each leg). My PT said today that with this exercise he has nothing to say anymore. How good does that feel?

The leg squat is paired with bar bell lifts (3 sets of 6, weight 30 kgs)

I then do a set of three exercises, arabesques, press ups (3 sets of 8), and seated rows (3 sets of 12) The final set of exercises were based on the core: roll outs, Russian twists and dead bugs.

Enough for anyone! I am really pleased with how strong I am getting. I am not noticing visible differences in my body but with these exercises I am definitely Way, Way, Way stronger than this time last year. That is a really good feeling whether it helps my running or not.

Tomorrow will be a very cold cross country run (if it doesn’t get cancelled!)

 

 

 

Downs and ups.

I have been hiding, again. Stupid I know but there are times when hiding is the only way I can cope. Fortunately I have come out the other side and am now able to explain all. …..

 

 

Source

2 weeks ago was the Cambridge half marathon. It is fair to say that this is my least favourite race for many reasons:

1. The first year I ran it I fell over and cut my knees.

2. The next year it snowed and I had an asthma attack.

3. The following year I had not recovered sufficiently from a chest infection and hated every step.

I have finished every year but for a race that is in my local city and a beautiful scenic one at that  it is far from top of my list. This year would be different though, wouldn’t it?

NO!

On the Wednesday before I got a sore throat! I increased my intake of vitamin c, had early nights and tried to be sensible. By Saturday my asthma was beginning to play up but I convinced myself it was only asthma therefore the below the neck rule was not applicable. (The general rule when running is that if you have symptoms above the neck you are OK to run. Below then not.) I woke up Saturday to a lovely sunny morning. Deep down I knew that I probably shouldn’t be running but I needed to get the miles in.

The first half was fine. I kept to 10 minute miles and was happy to plod along. The atmosphere was good, the weather was good and I was going to take it easy. All was great until about half way. I took my inhaler, once, twice and a few more times. I eventually had to walk a bit, and then a bit more. By now I was not feeling so great. The crowds were lovely and encouraging, as were the marshalls but there was no escaping that I was feeling rough.

As I looped back through the city centre for the second time I began to look forward to the next fuel stop – water and gels. Unfortunately there were no more gels….OK I can live without those but the killer was the water. They had run out of water and so were offering runners discarded bottles with the lids taken off. Ummm thanks but no thanks!

By this time I knew that even if I walked I would get round and so I kept plodding on. A puff of the blue inhaler every other step or so!

I did complete it, in 2 hours and 20 mins which is OK but my slowest ever time. The worst bit was that I felt no elation at the end at all. I literally had nothing left. I felt no elation, no achievement or even relief.

The medal however, never fails to impress.

The medal however, never fails to impress.

I got home and slept. The next couple of days were horrible. My asthma was bad and my mood rock bottom. I honestly thought that all dreams of the marathon were over. I saw a doctor who, much to my relief did say that it was only asthma and not an infection and there was nothing else I could do. I plodded on. Disrupted sleep, lots of coughing and generally feeling low.

A week later I went back to the doctor, a different one this time. He was very sympathetic and gave me some steroids. He also said that I could run although it would not be very pleasant for me. I would do no harm. Thank goodness for that. (Deep down I think that I had blamed myself for being stupid and running when I shouldn’t have.)

The difference the steroids have made is amazing. I can breathe! As I can breathe I have energy. I can smile, laugh and am actually living rather than existing. On day 2 of the steroids I went to running club. I felt so much better than I had dared hope! The next day I managed to run 16 miles in 3 blocks. (It was the only way I could fit it in.) 6 miles at 6am, 7 miles in the pm after work and before pick up and then 3 after pick up. The boost to my confidence that this gave me was immense.

It seems that my marathon journey is still on! I have come out of hiding. I can now participate in Facebook and twitter discussions about running without wanting to curl up and cry. There is still plenty of time for injury and illness to strike again but for now, my dream is alive.

Thank you for reading my moans. xxx