Monday, 18 February 2008

Just becase the blogging's slowed, doesn't mean the running has!

I have been training, and I have been doing well, even with a 3 week setback of a ruptured hamstring from almost-but-not-quite falling over into the horrid mud on Hampstead Heath.

Yesterday I broke the 10 mile barrier. I always feel better after running a 10 miler, because now I know that I can do 10 miles, then that means I'll probably manage to do 15 ok. Then when I can run 15 I'll be pretty much able to run 20 and I know I can walk 10k so there's the marathon cracked!

At the moment I don't have a great hope of finishing in any respectable time, but ya know what? As long as I do my very best and train as hard and as sensibly as I can, then I will be proud no matter what.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Well Underway

I started my "marathon training" on Christmas eve. I ran along the beautiful Carbis Bay beach in Cornwall and nearly died! Running on sand is really really hard!

I had another Cornwall session, and then we were in Yorkshire for New Year, so I had an off-road session, which consisted of getting very, very muddy.

The last long run I did was on Saturday around Hampstead Heath, which again was a delightfully muddy experience! However, before tripping and nearly falling into the mire, I had the most fun downhill running experience! I was jogging and came to Parliament Hill, which is pretty steep - people Kite-Board on the top of it! So I took the advice I read somewhere about not trying to break when running down hill, and by the end of it I was running at at least 1, maybe 2 million miles per hour. Put a smile on my face anyway, not sure about the small dogs and children I nearly knocked down in my wake!

On my trip over the gatepost I managed to wrench the whole of the top half of my right leg. My right hip, hamstring and knee are all grumping at me! I can't even lie on my right side without it yelling obscenities! However I can manage to walk pretty pain-free and on the way back home on Saturday I even tried a little jog, so it seems ok to run on it. I just don't think I'll be doing any stiff-legged deadlifts for a day or two.

I am planning a little 3 mile jog around town tonight, not 100% sure where I'll go, but I shall be out. I am more worried about doing a little bit every other day, than the actual amount. I think I at least need to get into the habit of running regularly again.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Ok Go!

Here it goes, here it goes, here it goes again. Oh here it goes again... Shouldda known, shouldda known, shouldda known that I'd never get a ballot place, so here we go again!

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My knee has been healed by the marvelous, Dutch(!), physio at the UCS Active gym in Hampstead. So now I can work up slowly to


Monday, 29 October 2007


Yes I really did it. The whole marathon. And I didn't come last!

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Oh where do I start? The week before the marathon was a strange mix of excitement, carb loading, sickness and more carbs! On Monday I could've run it right then, Tuesday I had a visit to the dentist with an abscess on my tooth (ouch!), Wednesday I woke in the middle of the night trying to reach the bathroom before I did a rainbow yawn, Thursday more carbs and a COMPLETE e-mail nightmare trying to organise our accomodation in Amsterdam. Friday morning we arrive in Amsterdam with no-one to meet us at our accomodation, eventually we get a phone-call about 3 minutes before we were going to check into the Ibis Hotel.

Finally we were settled in our apartment but the heating didn't work! Eeeeek! More stress. I remember pouting at one point and saying "...and I have to run a bloody marathon on Sunday!"

On Saturday night I layed out all my bits and pieces on the floor, making sure the important knee-supports, ibuprofen gels and fig rolls were in place!

I didn't feel much trepidation or excitement, it was just something I was going out to do. I slept ok the night before apart from our noisy neighbours banging around late on, but all in all, a good night. I think the reason I wasn't worried or excited was because of the knee. I can't plan to run the whole thing or a negative split, or run a mile and walk a mile when I don't know what Mr ITB is going to say about it! And I really couldn't know that until I'm out there on the course, running free, or limping along.

Before the start I bravely shed a layer so that I was running in my vest and long trousers. I remembered at the half last year I got pretty hot in a long-sleeved T-shirt and a short sleeved T-shirt over the top!

The first 5K went well, there were a couple who were walking it, but they were ahead of me all the flamin' way! I started off at the back, I'm not the speediest runner and because of knee considerations I decided to take it easy. By 10k I was still doing ok, but by this point I had to take little walk breaks because I felt the pain coming on.

It was around 18K where I gave up running because of the pain. I developed a stiff legged run but that was just too silly and I'd probably have ended up with some other injury after hobbling along like a loon for x number of miles! So from then on out I power-walked. It wasn't until I met up with the speedy half-marathon runners on the same course that I had to slow down because I was being pushed and shoved and couldn't swing my arms enough to get a brisk walk in.

After all the speedy people had legged it past, at around 35K I could walk fairly fast again, then I saw another marathoner. He was walking slowly, I was walking fast.... I overtook him to finish second to last!

I met Dom in the Vondelpark with about 4k to go and was talking to him at the end, he kept me going and I wasn't so bothered that I was frozen to the bone and my hands had swelled up so much that I couldn't make a fist!

At the last kilometer, a marshal grabbed my hand and ran with me until I got to the stadium! I managed to run around the track, and they read my name over the tannoy and the crowd (what little was left) went wild! I ran through a brass-band line-up and over the finish line into the medal-dude's arms! Eeek! Embarassing! Of course, the whole thing was projected onto the big screen and I think I could probably download my video finish too, if I wanted to go looking for it!

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I still don't feel like I actually did a marathon, I didn't find it too physically taxing, but mentally it was tough. I was on my own for a lot of the race and Dom's voice kept telling me that "there's no shame dropping out because you're injured" was almost tempting me to jump in a broom-wagon should one pass, but at that point none did. Then I thought that finishing, however slowly, would be more gratifying that trying and dropping out. So that's just what I did. I kept on keeping on and the point just past the halfway mark was terrible, I think I looked at my watch about 15 times in 20 minutes! While I was running I was thinking, "There's no way I'm going to do this again." But even the day after I was thinking that I could do it again and do it better!

So fingers crossed that my ballot place comes through for London!

Monday, 1 October 2007

Great North Run 2007

First of all let me justify - I have ITBS at the moment and therefore I am running and walking events and getting there slowly without agravating my knee.

We started off the morning with an early train from Darlington after a hurried gigantic bowl of cereal and a pint of squash. We arrived into Newcastle with the early morning sun in our eyes and headed for McDonalds since it was the only place to sit down and sort through our running pack, pin our numbers on, pay numerous visits to the toilet, etc

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Having loaded our pockets with Butterscotch and Fig Rolls we made our way up to the start area along with the other 49 998 runners to collect pace bands and load our baggage onto baggage buses. We made our way to the start and were raring to go!

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After hanging around in our start pen for a while listening to the commentary and watching the big screen we warmed up with some dude. We watched the elite wheelchairs, women and men set off and we crossed the start line 20 minutes later. The start of the course was through underpasses and over bridges and the infamous "Oggy oggy oggy" was being yelled in the echoey bits! The Red Arrows followed us closely over the Tyne Bridge and shortly after that, the sun became too much for me and I had to strip!

There were bands playing all around the course, and lovely people cheering along every part of the way. People came out of their houses to watch and were handing out sweets, and oranges and biscuits and ice pops. How fabby!

The most gruelling bit that everyone hates seemed ok, we were well and truly walking by that point and Dom was tempted by my offer of a piggy back, but we were consoled with the fact that we were near the end. We descended down the final downhill stretch, turned the corner and were gutted to see there was another mile to go! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! By that point we were strolling along with our arms around each other, and my hopes of a sub-three hour walking half were out of the window! I think both of our brains had shut down and we were just making it to the finish! We waved to lots of cameras, so we will hopefully have some good publicity shots of me in the DEMAND running vest.

Finally we finished, and collected our goodie bags and celebrated with mince pies overlooking the sea!

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After waiting for hours in the Metro queue without collapsing, we finally made it to Darlington on the train to see Mum, and she bought us life-saving Fish and Chips, which did not dissapoint!

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

It's been a while

And for good reason. I had a couple of changes to schedule. First off the BBQ was postponed, so I had an 18 mile run to do anywhere I chose. I was going to run on the Sunday, but I got an attack of nerves and didn't do it. I couldn't find a decent route and I didn't really want to go out.

Instead of running the 18 miles, we went out for a nice walk in some woods and I decided to take the day off work on Tuesday and run 18 miles to kickboxing.

The day set off well, I had all my things ready, took a nice big bottle of lucozade with me, a tin foil cape for afterwards, some sweets and some money for anything I might need, and my oyster card to get back home from kickboxing with.

I got to Little Venice when my knee started grumbling a little bit. I had knee supports on both knees and so I started running on the grassy bits. Then I just couldn't take it. I sat down on a bench and thought about what to do. I decided to get the bus home and rest the knee for a while. By the time I'd walked home from the bus stop I was in agony.

I iced and raised and rested for the rest of the day, and then went kickboxing!

I've spent the last week stretching and doing strengthening exercises for my ITBS. I've also ordered some new shoes, and hopefully they'll be here before the Great North Run this weekend.

Last night at kickboxing I got some more sponsorship money for my efforts, so if you're reading this and haven't yet sponsored me, get your guilt on and click on that there widget for justgiving and flex your credit card! Ta!

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Going Someplace?

This is starting to worry me!

I am due for an 18 miler on Sunday. Now yeah ok, I "ran" 16 miles the other week ending with 4 miles of knitting-needles-in-kneecaps but apart from that.... So technically my body can go the distance.

I am plotting out my route because I have been asked to a barbecue at a friend's house on Sunday afternoon. Said friend lives approximately 20 miles away, give or take. Now my plan is to run there, have LOTS of food and get the train back. It's mildly disconcerting how small London is becoming. To think that I am able to cover the distance between houses ON FOOT where it will usually take me over an hour on the motorbike is stupendously mind-boggling.