Back on track

After my setback last week, I was anxious to get back on track. I followed my training plan and achieved everything I was supposed to this week, including my long run of 14 miles on Saturday.

I spent a lot of time analysing everything I had done wrong last week and working out what I had to do to get my enthusiasm and commitment back. Once I had decided my problem was the “high” I had felt after the half marathon, I was able to look forward again.

Before my long run on Saturday, I decided I needed to plan it, as if it was another half marathon. So I woke up at 5.30 am, had my breakfast of porridge and a cup of tea, and just relaxed until it was time to go out for my run two hours later. I also decided that I would need to do circuits which passed my house, so that I could top up with drink every  two miles or so. This worked really well and I will use this system for all the long runs until the taper. Also, for the first time, I listened to music whilst I ran. This helped with the boredom of running 14 miles on my own – time passed by more quickly – or at least I felt it did.

I am really happy to be back on track.

This week I spent a total of 4 hours 18 minutes running and covered 21.81 miles.

41 DAYS TO GO, 3 MORE LONG TRAINING RUNS, THEN THE TAPER (3 WEEKS) AND, AT THE END OF ALL THIS TRAINING, THE LONDON MARATHON! SO EXCITED.

A very difficult week!

I had a totally unexpected mental setback after the half marathon. I lost all enthusiasm for running and had a total lack of commitment all week. I believe this was due to having achieved something quite monumental (for me) and it was very hard to motivate myself to continue training. I felt as if I had accomplished my goal – but of course I hadn’t.

I only did two training sessions during the week; the first was a short run (40 minutes) and then a longer one on Saturday. My intention was to run 12 miles on Saturday but I only managed 7.65 miles. I was absolutely distraught and really disappointed with myself. I gave up too easily. OK, I did have a sore toe and it was very hot (I am now in Portugal for the next few weeks) but really that was no excuse.

I have thought long and hard about what I did wrong and how I can get my motivation back. I have decided to completely put the half marathon out of my mind and re-dedicate myself to the London Marathon by thinking of all the people who are supporting and sponsoring me and why I am doing this.

I CHOSE TO DO THIS

I WANT TO DO THIS

I CAN DO THIS

This will be my mantra.

I expect to write a more positive post at the end of this week.

 

My first Half Marathon

I did it! I ran my first half marathon yesterday at Thorpe Park and feel amazing.

To say I was nervous the few days before is an understatement. However, once the day arrived, I began to feel excited and couldn’t wait to get going. I was quite overwhelmed by the number of people running – 3220. Nowhere near as many as will be running in the London Marathon but this was my first experience of a race and, more to the point, running with other people. Would I get trampled by the faster runners or would I get in the way? These were questions which made me apprehensive at the start but I soon realised that neither of these things was going to happen.

My plan was to run easily and steadily, not go off too fast and not feel that I had to keep up with faster runners. I was happy to let people pass me and, later in the race, was very happy to be passing other runners. I thought I was going to have to walk some of the way, especially the inclines, but I was able to run the whole way. And to see that I was nowhere near the end of the field made me even happier.

I teamed up with another runner, Angie, and we just steadily worked our way through the miles, chatting and enjoying ourselves. To be perfectly honest, it didn’t seem like 13.1 miles and I never broke out in a sweat nor was I ever out of breath. Amazing.

It is probably naive to think that the London Marathon will be like this but I will prepare just as diligently and follow the same training, nutrition and hydration plan. I really think that having a very light week of running leading up to the half marathon was a great help. I felt fresh and not in the least bit fatigued.

Another worry was how I was going to feel after the race. Well, I can say that apart from a few muscle aches, I feel absolutely fine.

Now down to the figures. It took me 2 hours and 47 minutes to cover the 13.1 miles. 3220 entered the race (2 of whom represented GB in the 2016 and 2012 Olympics). There were 85 women who were slower than me (and all of them younger) so I feel I have gained some bragging rights!

All in all, a really enjoyable day. And I got a medal – very large and blingy!

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Click here to go to my About page where you will find out why I am running for Prostate Cancer UK and also to make a donation via my Virgin Money Giving fundraising page.

 

Another solid week of training

My major achievement this week was doing a 10 mile run on Friday. It really was major because I wasn’t feeling too well, having picked up a cold in the middle of the week. It took all my determination to put my running gear on and get out of the house on Friday morning. I felt I had to get 10 miles under my belt before the half marathon next weekend so I actually decided to follow the same timetable as I will be using for the half i.e. getting up at 6.30 am, having porridge and a cup of tea for breakfast, then 2 hours later at 9.00 am, set off on my run.

As I was not 100% fit, I also decided to take things easy and I was actually prepared to give up if my breathing became difficult. Fortunately I had no problems and completed the 10 miles in just under 2 hours, which I was very happy with.

My thoughts are now totally focussed on the Half Marathon at Thorpe Park on Sunday, 26th February. On Saturday I received my race bib, timing chip and information about the race which now makes it very real. I am nervous, to say the least. This will be good practice for the London Marathon as it will give me an idea of running with other people (so far I’ve only run on my own) and what to expect under race conditions. I will let you know how I get on in my next blog.

This week I spent 3 hours 17 minutes running and covered 17.22 miles.

Click here to go to my About page, where you can see why I’m running for Prostate Cancer UK and also to make a donation via my Virgin Money Giving fundraising page.

 

69 days to go!

I can’t believe there are only 69 more days to go. I feel I still have so much to do.

Fortunately Week 6 of my marathon training went well and I am happy with my progress. My training schedule said “This week is when the marathon training kicks in, building more time on your feet, and introducing some mixed paced running to give you that added fitness boost”. And so on Thursday I had to do some tempo running, which comprised 30 seconds tempo run (this is a faster pace workout at a comfortably hard pace) followed by a 2 minute walk, repeated 8 times, plus 20 minutes of easy running. I really enjoyed this because I quite like running at a faster pace and the training session seemed to pass by very quickly. On Saturday I had my long run. It was freezing cold with sleet and snow – my trusty app told me it was 0 degrees but felt like -3 degrees. So I set off in my wooly hat and gloves and pounded the pavements for 9 miles. I must admit that I really didn’t feel like going out but once I was running I am glad I did and very pleased that I completed the week’s workout.

This week I spent 3 hrs. 6 minutes running and covered 15.95 miles.

To donate to Prostate Cancer UK, please click here.

 

 

Meet the Experts

Today I attended the “Meet the Experts” event at Central Hall Westminster, London.

As I arrived quite early, I was able to browse the shop selling the official VMLM clothing range. For anyone who knows me well, I couldn’t walk away without buying something. I am the same when I’m in a golf shop – you can be sure I’ll buy something!

Proceedings began with Geoff Wightman (official Race Day commentator) welcoming everyone (there were about 1000 present) and reminding us all that it was 11 WEEKS and 23 HOURS to the start of the VMLM! That doesn’t sound too far away and there’s plenty of training to do before then. Geoff highlighted the common pitfalls to avoid leading up to the marathon and on the day.

Other speakers were:

Hugh Brasher – revealed news about this year’s marathon

Shannon Foudy – the one millionth finisher of the London Marathon

Dr Josie Perry – offered motivational advice to get us over the line

Kerry McCarthy – explained Race Day pacing

Baasit Siddiqui – (star of Channel 4’s Gogglebox) talked about his experiences last year

Martin Yelling – top training coach who gave an excellent talk on how to nail our marathon training

Vassos Alexander – Sports Presenter on the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2, shared some entertaining stories

Anita Bean – gave advice about nutrition strategy and hydration (I’ve got to work on this as I don’t think I’ve got it right!)

Sophie Raworth – BBC Newsreader who has run London 5 times. She told us about the time she got her hydration wrong and ended up needing medical treatment for 2 hours at mile 24 before finally completing the marathon.

There were also sports rehabilitation specialists from St Mary’s University available to give free screenings and advice for treating running niggles. Adidas were providing free foot scans and Lucozade Sport were on hand to provide advice about hydration and nutrition strategies during the race.

All in all, a very interesting day. Hopefully I have picked up enough tips and information to see me to the finish line.

 

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.