Saturday, 20 April 2013


is finally here! Well tomorrow, anyway.

I'm feeling good, ready to go, just wish it was 10am tomorrow already.  Have had an easy couple of weeks, a massage, lots of water, carbs...not much else to do except pin on the race number and put the chip on my shoe!

The weather has finally got better, pretty much as soon as my hard training finished, in fact.  But tomorrow will be sunny and 10-12 degrees, ideal temperature I just hope I don't get sunburnt!

So - fingers crossed I don't trip over someone dressed up as a rhino - otherwise I'm sure I'll be fine!

Training report
Sunday 24th March
29km around all the parks. This was grim, the lowest of the low in terms of weather.  Was meant to go on Saturday, but it snowed all day, and the wind was absolutely howling.   Seriously considered doing the run on a treadmill but ended up braving it outside and with the windchill it was minus 7. I really couldn't feel my legs for most of the way. Good in some ways I guess!!

Monday 25th March
7km recovery on the elliptical on the gym. Inside in the warm...

Tuesday 26th March
10k home from work - still bloody freezing at feels like minus 4.

Wednesday 27th March 
10k into work - was going to do 13k but my knee was hurting at it was minus 4 so I cut it short.

Friday 29th March
The big Kahuna - 32km around Wandsworth Common, Clapham Common, Hyde Park, Green Park, St James' Park, the Thames Path, Battersea Park, Clapham Common again, and Tooting Common. The weather was finally clear (but chilly) so it was great running, it was tough but ok, hard to believe I need to do another 10k after legs completely seized up as soon as I stopped running.

Monday 1st April
5k recovery around Wandsworth Common.

Thursday 4th April
8k home from work - minus 4 again...

Saturday 6th April
16k from Putney along to Battersea.  Had intended to do 21k but at about 10k I had a stabbing pain in my right knee so I had to head home.  Really, really painful.

Tuesday 9th April
6.5k to work - careful on the knee and it seemed ok but was hurting toward the end. Nice and rainy.

Thursday 11 April
10k home from work - heatwave!! 12 degrees! Had to roll my sleeves up!

Saturday 13th April
15k around Wandsworth, Clapham and Tooting Commons. A really nice local run, felt good, easy, and short.  Was going to do 16k but had to stop off at the post office toward the end and by the time I'd queued for 5 mins my knee was hurting so walked home.

Monday 15th April
5k home from work - bus halfway and ran halfway - very odd and very short!

Tuesday 16th April
8k home from work - rainy but warm-ish

Thursday 17th April
5k run into work - ran alongside my bus most of the way then jumped on to take me the rest of the way. Would have been faster to run!

Coming up next
Sunday 21st April

Friday, 22 March 2013

Funds raised

Yesterday was officially one month to go, and my fundraising is pretty much complete with only £100 still to go.  We had a very successful afternoon tea in Surrey organised by Kathy, the weather looked like it wasn't on our side but it held off for long enough for a few games of tunnel ball, egg and spoon, and relays.  Some serious cupcake baking took place and combined with the auction and people's generous donations, we raised over £300.

Training is going well and I think my body is finally getting used to backing up from the long runs on the weekend, as I haven't been as stiff and sore as I have been. Time is going so fast and there is only 3 long runs to go, 21st April will be here before I know it!  

I can't believe how BAD the weather still is!! It is just unbelievable. March has been colder than both December and January, apparently.  The temperatures are bitter and the wind is howling.  Snow is forecast everywhere for this weekend.  So I look forward to tomorrow's run.

Tomorrow 23. Mar

Rain / Snow
2° High  -1°  Low
Rain / Snow
Chance of Rain 80%
Wind E at 24 kmph
Snowfall 3-7 cm
Training Report
Friday 8th March
45m treadmill hills - took it relatively easy only on Level 5 but was still tough! Trying to do a bit more treadmill stuff to take the pressure off my legs pounding on cement.
Saturday 9th March
27km along the Thames from Oval to Barnes.  By far my worst long run. I felt really tired and exhausted, could have stopped by 16km easily.  But it's all in the mind really and I started off not feeling in the mood and I'm sure that's why it was so awful!
Sunday 10th March
40 min treadmill recovery. Just to keep my legs going.
Wednesday 13th March
13km run home from work. Slow and tough but noticed how the two rest days in a row (because of weather not by choice!) had let my legs recover better.
Thursday 14th March
13km run into work.  Felt good but freezing as usual at minus 2.
Sunday 17th March
29km around Tooting Common, Clapham Common, Battersea Park, Hyde Park, and Wandsworth Common.  Missed the worst of the weather by going on Sunday rather than Saturday, but it still rained, at least it wasn't really windy.  Not a bad run and felt much better on this one than I did on the prior week's 27km.  Completely exhausted afterwards!
Tuesday 19th March
6.5k recovery on the treadmill. Sounds easy - was actually hard!
Wednesday 20th March
10k run into work, quite a nice morning for it although my backpack felt a bit heavier than usual.
Friday 22nd March
45min intervals on elliptical. Taking the pressure off my legs in preparation for the long one tomorrow.
Coming up next
Saturday 23rd March
29km...the third last long run...
Monday 25th March
6.5km recovery
Tuesday 26th March
Wednesday 27th March
13k fartlek
Friday 29th March
32km, 20 miles, the longest run.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

T minus 46 days and counting

And I definitely am counting.
Five weekend long-distance runs to go. Total 27 training sessions to go. About £700 of fundraising to go.

Although my legs are generally tired, sore and aching, I haven't had any real problems and a session at the Osteopath on the weekend loosened me up a bit.  Three more sessions with him prior to the race will hopefully be enough to keep them going until 21st April.

The long runs on the weekend have been ok, boring, long, draining, but not too hard.  I've found the recovery runs on the Monday or Tuesday after, MUCH harder, even though they're really short.  Struggling to push myself to do the mid-week interval sessions and have only been doing about half of them as intervals, the rest I have just been running at a steady pace as I'm trying to listen to my body and not get injured.

Training report
Tuesday 26th Feb
8.2km recovery run home. Horrible and took me 55 minutes!! Enough said.

Wednesday 27th Feb
16km run into work. Was meant to be fartlek but I just ran a steady pace.  My poor legs.  A horrible sort of foggy rain or "fairy's piss" as Prainy so eloquently puts it.

Thursday 28th Feb
45min treadmill hills.  On level 7 at 10km/hr, was hard work but short and sharp so I didn't mind it.  Osteo said hills may aggravate my hip so trying to keep my technique spot on while doing these sessions.

Saturday 2nd March
25km long run around Tooting, Clapham and Wandsworth Commons (twice).  Quite a nice morning, not too chilly and a bit of sun!  Maximised my time on grass to take some pressure off my legs. Sadly my iPod died 15 mins into the run so it was quite a boring remaining 2 hours 15 minutes.  Wore my stylish new water bottle belt which actually worked really well. Had a bit of a dizzy/shaky episode when I finished but it was immediately solved by some lollies so I think I need more than one gel on runs longer than 2 hours.

Monday 4th March
6.5km recovery run home. Even worse than last week! Took me about 45 minutes and I had to walk every now and then. Really bad.

Wednesday 6th March
10km intervals to work.  Actually managed to do 30 mins of intervals and felt quite good once I'd warmed up.  The weather is much warmer this week, about 6 degrees this morning, and it really makes a difference to how I feel running.

Coming up next
Thursday 7th March
45 min treadmill hills

Friday 8th March
6.5km steady

Saturday 9th March
27km - eek!
then only 3 weeks of full training to go before things start to ease off...

Monday, 25 February 2013

Breaking the barrier

Or barriers!
1) Sub-two-hour half marathon - Brighton in 1 hour 57 min 45 sec
2) 23km run - my longest ever by 2km, and longest training run by 7km
...all within 7 days of each other. No wonder my legs feel as heavy as cement pylons.

Surprisingly enough, my legs actually do feel much better today than they did this time last week after Brighton, and that's without a massage, so I guess something is going right.

Brighton gave me a lot of confidence as I definitely felt I could have kept going at the end, which obviously bodes well for the full distance.  Hobbled around all day Monday then had the most painful massage ever on Monday evening, my right groin/hip and left quad causing me to leap two metres in the air at the lightest touch.

My hip and groin were still very sore on Tuesday so was glad to be going to the physio. I left the appointment slightly dubious that merely some acupuncture, sticky tape and hip manipulation could solve my problems, but it appears to be a miracle cure as I am virtually pain free.  Steve the physio used to work for Fulham FC so apparently he knows his flat feet and twisted pelvises. 

After really struggling to get through the mid-week runs after the half marathon, I was dreading the 23km on Saturday but it actually went ok.  With a few more massages booked in lets see if I can get through the next five weeks of backing up the long weekend runs.  8 weeks to go!

Training report
Sunday 17th February
Brighton Half Marathon - although cold to start, the sun was out and a glorious day to run along the sea.  In the sun it was actually really warm and I thought at one point I might be getting sunburnt! Didn't turn out so, but I was really happy with my race and finally cracked my elusive 2 hours. I think I could have gone faster but was just trying to keep to the 9 min/miles so as not to kill myself.

Tuesday 19th February
8.2km run home from work - horrible, slow, everything hurt, legs weighed one tonne each - grim! Was really unsure how I was ever going to back up from any of my long runs after that one.

Thursday and Friday 21st and 22nd February
2 x 8.2km run into work - not bad and legs getting looser, the groin and hip were not painful at all so the physio has definitely worked.  SO cold though with "feels like" temperatures of minus 3 and minus 7, bitter bitter wind that just cuts straight through you especially crossing the Thames!

Saturday 23rd February
23km run at a slow 6km/hr pace. Again, bloody freezing. Temp minus 2, wind at 16km/hr makes it feel like minus 7, snow flurries the whole way.  I really don't know how much more of this weather I can handle!!  Felt quite good during the run, sore legs and knee afterwards, but nothing more than I would have expected. 

Sunday 24th February
45 minutes on the elliptical at the gym - was really glad I went in the end as I nearly didn't. My legs feel much better afterwards and gave them a good stretch out with no impact.

Coming up next
Tuesday 26th February
8km easy

Wednesday 27th February
45min hills on the treadmill

Thursday 28th February
16km fartlek

Saturday 2nd March
25km - going to try to stick to more grass than road to give my knee a break

Sunday 3rd March
Gym class/cross-training

Friday, 15 February 2013

Back to Brighton

It was back in February 2010 when we took the drive to Brighton for my first half marathon.  The closer we got to the coast, the more apocalyptic the weather.  By the time we arrived, the wind was so strong we were walking at a 45 degree angle to simply stay upright, and the torrential rain howling in off the sea was sideways, upways, and downways.  It's the only time I've ever seen real surf in Brighton!  I nearly didn't start, but after all the hard work I'd put into my training I couldn't bear not to, but fully expected that I'd probably pull out part way due to the weather.  It was horrendous and I felt as though I was carring an extra 5kg in water weight in each shoe, but I got there in the end and was glad to be running with a friend from work for the extra moral support especially at about the 15km mark.  In reality, I think Linc drew the short straw having to stand outside in the freezing rain, at least I was running to keep myself warm! The forecast is looking much better this year so fingers crossed it holds out.

I finished that first race in 2 hours 12 minutes and my other two half marathons have been both just over 2 hours, so I'm determined to break the barrier on Sunday.  With good weather and a flat course I should be on track, fingers crossed!

The only hurdle may be my sore hip - it's not bad but I'm very aware of being careful with it.  I have been resting it since Wednesday and doing lots of stretching, it feels much better today than it did earlier in the week so I hope it's fine.  I have a massage and a physio appointment booked next week so I'm looking foward to some advice on that.

Training Report
Tuesday 5th February
30 mins hills - level 10 at 10km/hr on the treadmill hill pattern - it was tough!! A really really good workout for such a short time.  Hated it but loved it at the same time.

Wednesday 6th February
13km fartlek run to work.  Didn't do as much fartleking as I intended as I was a bit stiff from hills the day before, but added 5km onto my normal run to work by going around Hyde Park.  Had some flashbacks to watching the Olympics and Dan's London ITU races, although unfortunately at 7.30am on a Wednesday morning there wasn't many people out cheering me on.   There was, however, a runaway horse galloping down the horse path, complete with saddle but no rider, I took the precaution of hiding behind a tree so I didn't alarm it any more than it already was! No sign of the rider, and it was going like a bat out of hell so who knows where it ended up, if it kept going the way it did it would have very soon arrived on Kensington High Street which I'm sure would have caused quite a stir.

Friday 8th February
8.2km run to work. Absolutely freezing at minus 1, but the sun was out and the days are getting longer.

Saturday 9th February
16.5km run along the river.  Longest I've done in quite a long time, the weather was quite good and not too cold.  Popped into a servo halfway to buy a bottle of water to have with my disgusting energy slime, they're so feral and I hate eating them but I must say I did feel great in the second half of the run when usually on a run that long by the end of it I'm shattered. Ran along the road where the helicopter crashed the other week and they were putting up a new crane.  You could see where the footpath had melted where the jet fuel had burned.

Tuesday 12th February
8.2km run home.  Horrible run, I was uncomfortable, blocked nose, sore legs, just really hated it. Worst run I've had in ages.

Wednesday 13th February
10km run into work via Battersea Park. Cold again but sunny.  My hip was a bit sore especially at the start of the run so I didn't do the intervals I was intending to do.  And skipped the rest of the week's training before Brighton, to try to let it rest a bit.

Coming up next
Sunday 17th February
Brighton Half Marathon

Next week
3 x 45 minute runs, a 60 min massage and a physio appointment. Hopefully all goes well as then it's a 23k run on Saturday.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

11 weeks to go...

It's only really this week that things have stepped up a notch where I've really had to work hard to be organised and plan ahead to fit things in.   It's easy to fit in a gym session or a 45 min run before or after work but when you have to squeeze in 13km as well as having to be at work for 8am and probably not finishing til 7pm, things are getting harder!

Despite the best laid plans (and carrying my shoes all over the country with me) I didn't run in Cuba.   Running in the cities was definitely not an option due to the risk of getting lost, the state of the roads, let alone the heat and knowing where on earth to run to.  The beaches would have been an option but the water and the pina coladas were much more enticing!  Linc did see someone roller-blading down the left lane of a four lane highway, so maybe I just needed to be more creative with my excercise methods.  Anyway, we walked for miles most days we were there, so surprisingly, my runs last week which I were expecting to be tough, were fine.

I picked up a pair of shoes yesterday which I have for a week's trial, they are Brooks PureConnect and are lightweight type ones part of the craze for barefoot running I guess.

Training report

Thursday 17th January
8.2k threshold run home from work. Did it in about 4-5 mins faster than I usually would.  Was tough though breathing in such cold air - is it possible to get an oesophagus injury?

Friday 18th January
8.2k run into work.  The snow was predicted to start early so it was convenient that I had to get up early to give Linc his 30th bday pressies! Managed to make it in about 10 minutes before the heavy snow started.

30th, 31st and 1st
3 x 8.2k runs to and from work.  Not too hard after Cuba, surprisingly.  Really, really windy, though! Which made certain sections like the river part, very hard. 

Sunday 3rd February
13.7k run, along the river and through Battersea Park and Clapham Common.  Quite a nice day but again very windy, running along Clapham Common I felt like I was going nowhere fast! There are SO many people out and about running, all training for the marathon I think, it's really noticable how many more people there are than usual.

Monday 4th Feburary
50 minute gym session.  With the new Brooks shoes, hard to tell what they are like just on a treadmill but they seem really comfy and quite cushiony.  15 mins treadmill, 15 mins elliptical, 10 mins bike, 5 mins step.

Coming up next

Tuesday 5th February
30 min hill session - on a treadmill as London is so flat!

Wednesday 6th February
13k intervals

Friday 8th February
8k easy

Saturday 9th February
16k...longest run for a while!

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

It's official...

1)      That I haven’t updated the blog in a long time! (doesn’t mean I haven’t been training)
2)      That I’m now on the Intermediate Marathon Training Program.
Going well so far although the distances aren’t much longer than I’ve already been doing anyway, taking 10 days off to Cuba is probably not ideal but I can do some runs on the beach and our hotel in Varadero where we stay for two days apparently has a running track…!  After minus 2 degrees this morning, I don’t know how I will handle a 32 degree rise increase in running conditions.
Get back with only a couple of weeks til the Brighton Half Mara so no doubt it will be a tough couple of weeks post-rum and cigars.

Training report (yes, it’s a long one)
Monday 24th December
11.5k run home from work, taking the long route via Putney. Was a bit disappointed as I thought it was going to be longer, had been aiming to do about 14k in order to earn my Christmas pudding.
Wednesday 26th December
9k around Clapham and Wandsworth Commons.  Worked off probably a tenth of what I consumed the day before.
Sunday 30th December
12.7k along the Thames and back across Battersea Park and Clapham Common.  Lots of people around and quite a nice day.  Wore my new running top (thanks mum and dad!) which was really nice and warm but not too hot.
Saturday 5th January
9k threshold run on Tooting Common managing to hold about 5 min/km pace for most of the way. Tough!!!
Sunday 6th January
12.8k Clapham Common and Tooting Common. Went backwards from my usual route to try to keep things interesting. Didn’t really work.  So muddy after all the rain!
Tuesday 8th January
8.2k run home from work. Wish I could say the days are getting noticeably longer, but I can’t.
Wednesday 9th January
8.2k run into work with 3 min intervals.  Surprisingly hard with a backpack and pedestrian crossings to negotiate!
Thursday 10th January
45 minute body combat class at the gym.  Didn’t seem too hard at the time but my arms were a bit sore afterwards.
Friday 10th January
7k on the treadmill at the gym.  Booooorrrriinnnnng……
Saturday 11th January
12.5k Tooting Common and Clapham Common.  Seems to be loads of people running at the moment.  Either other people starting their marathon training programs or the usual new years’ resolutions.
Tuesday 15th January
8.2k run home from work.  Freezing at zero degrees, the first time I’ve run in a beanie.  Attempted to listen to some French lessons on my iPod but I don’t know how well that’s going to work.
Wednesday 16th January
8.2k run into work. Even colder at minus 2!  My whole body was bright red by the time I got to work.  A helicopter crashed less than a kilometre away from my run and I didn’t even hear or see it. Maybe I need to turn my music down.

Coming up next
Thursday 17th January
Run home from work – the cold snap continues so hopefully the snow holds off.
Friday 18th January
Run into work – Linc’s birthday so will be up early to give him his pressies!
Saturday 19th – Tuesday 29th January
Cuba!  Meant to be doing about 6 sessions while we’re away so will be happy to get in 3 or 4.