It’s been a hard week

Posted on 3rd February 2017

This was not my best week. My runs on Monday and Wednesday were disappointing. I am hoping this was due to feeling a little under the weather. I did feel better on Friday and I certainly had a better run.

As I said in my previous post, this was supposed to have been an easier week. I am confident that things will return to normal next week. We shall see ……..

I only ran for 1 hour 42 minutes and covered 9.11 miles. Next week I have to tackle tempo running and 9 miles on my long run.

A bit of a comedown!

Posted on 30th January 2017

I should have known it was all going too well after Friday’s run. This week is supposed to be “a lighter week to allow for adaptation to the training loads”. Well, I only had to do a 20 minute easy run today but it felt anything but easy. My legs were heavy and tired and I was out of breath early on in the run, which is something I haven’t experienced in a long time. Maybe Friday’s run took more out of me than I thought it would. I was disappointed and a bit down but I am hoping it is only a small blip and I will be back to normal when I go out on Wednesday.

Men United Training Day

Posted on 29th January 2017

This was held at Prostate Cancer’s UK Head Office in Tooley Street, London. It was an early start as I had to be there by 9.45 am.

We had a full day of “lectures” on the whole marathon experience – training, running technique, nutrition, hydration, what to expect on the day and how to prepare for it. We also had a session about fundraising for Prostate Cancer UK.

Just before lunch there was a running session which I didn’t take part in. I decided that since I had already finished my week’s plan and this was a “Rest” day for me, it wouldn’t have been wise. Rest days are really important for me and I am reluctant to do anything which may jeopardise my training as an injury at this stage would not be welcome.

There will be about 200 people running for Prostate Cancer UK in the London Marathon.

Here is the link to my Virgin Money Giving Page:

Marilyn’s Money Giving Page

4 weeks of Training Plan Complete

Posted on January 27th 2017

I’m feeling great because I have completed the first 4 weeks of the 16 Week Marathon Schedule on a high. I ran 8 miles today, the furthest so far and the longest time spent on my feet. And best of all …. I felt good. Of course this is just less than a third of the distance of the marathon but it is a lot further than I was able to run 8 months ago. If I break it down into thirds, it’s a lot easier to convince myself that I can run 26.2 miles. This week I have spent 3 hours 5 minutes running and covered 16.44 miles.

I have been running slightly later in the day – at about 11.00 am. This is because it has been such a cold week, with heavy frost early in the mornings. I am terrified of slipping and injuring myself, which could mean, at worst, an end to my marathon dream or an injury which could put my training on hold for a couple of weeks. I did trip (nothing to do with ice on that occasion) and fall flat on my face at the end of October. I had a few cuts and grazes but I also injured my ribs, which remained painful for over 2 weeks. Fortunately  I was able to continue with my training.

I’m looking forward to attending the Men United Training Day (Prostate Cancer) on Sunday, 29th January. I am sure I will learn more about training, running technique, nutrition and hydration.

End of Week 3 Training

Posted on 21st January 2017

Today I did my longest run to date – 6.59 miles. This is half of a half marathon, so I’m encouraged because I have entered the Thorpe Park Half Marathon on Sunday 26th February – just over a month to go. It is also the longest I have spent “on my feet” and I feel OK.

I keep thinking back to those early days when I was out of breath in no time at all. When I started running, I just wore my ordinary trainers. Fortunately I received advice from an experienced marathon runner, Linda Rushmere and her husband Paul, who told me the first thing I should do was to buy a proper pair of running shoes. This I did and it made me feel like a “proper” runner. They also cost quite a lot of money so I felt I HAD to carry on running – no turning back now.

I have now done 167 miles in my first pair of shoes and 111 miles in a second pair, which I keep in Portugal.

13 weeks to go!

Posted on 19th January 2017

Well, I am now into Week 3 of the First-Time Finisher 16-week Marathon Schedule. So far, so good. Fortunately I decided to start my marathon preparation at the end of May last year just to be ready for this training schedule.

The schedule starts off fairly easily but I can see it is going to get much tougher. This week I have run in snow and rain and, surprisingly, it hasn’t put me off. I am so glad I decided to start my training, albeit slowly, at the end of May last year. This was to get me to what I call “base camp”, the starting point of my marathon training schedule. I can honestly say that on the 21st May 2016 I struggled to run 50 yards. Admittedly I tried sprinting, probably because my only experience with running was as a sprinter when I was at school, 50 years ago! This was the first time I thought: “You’re crazy, there is no way in a million years you are going to be able to do this”. I have since learnt that I have to take things slowly and keep reminding myself that I just want to complete the marathon.

Very early on I found out about Jeff Galloway’s Walk/Run method of training and used that, together with the Runkeeper app on my phone, as my training bible. I am now able to run (not fast) for 40 minutes non-stop, which is in line with the training schedule.

There are days when I think I won’t be able to complete the marathon but then there are days when I am full of confidence and think ….. YES, I CAN.

Barts Heart & Knee Research Study

Posted on 19th January 2017

I was invited to take part in this study as a first time marathon runner. I wanted to embrace the whole marathon experience so happily signed up. Why would I not as it offered me an opportunity to undergo free and comprehensive heart MOTs and knee MRIs, which would have cost more than £2300 if done privately? It will also allow me to be able to see how much my peak fitness improves as a result of my training.

My appointment was on 30th October 2016 at Barts Hospital in London. The tests I had included heart tracings, heart ultrasound scans, exercise fitness tests (VO2 max), blood tests and MRI scans of the heart and knees. All this took about 4 and a half hours. I did have a slight blip with one of my blood pressure results in that it was raised, but later on during the tests it was normal, so this wasn’t considered to be a problem. All my other test results (ECG, blood and cardiac MRI) revealed no significant cardiac abnormalities.

I will have to return for a repeat set of tests two weeks after the marathon.