Friday, 28 October 2016

4 weeks on and 4 months to go!

I really can't believe it's been 4 weeks since I did the marathon, the first week was spent hobbling around and wondering whether I was too young for a double hip replacement.

I have been on one run before today and was going to do the first in the Cross Country series but then my son, the germ bomb, exploded and everyone in the household has been full of the lurgy at some stage or another. Of course the men in the house get it worse, it's a proven fact apparently!

The news and media  has been full of inspirational running feats that always make me sit back and think WOW I have nothing to complain about I just need to change my training and get out and work hard.

One challenge you may have seen is Ben's 401 Marathons - http://www.the401challenge.co.uk/ -I can't comprehend how even got his trainers on day after day, absolutely amazing guy.

Another challenge you may not have heard of is Jasmin Paris completing the Bob Graham round in a record breaking 15 hours and 24 minutes, to understand what this fell runner achieved can't be described in a few words, you'll have to make the effort to go and read all about her. http://jasminfellrunner.blogspot.co.uk/2016_05_01_archive.html

Whilst they are show just what us mere humans can do sometimes it's the other end of the scale that really makes you kick yourself into action, seeing my Juniors running in the Cross Country fills me with pride if they can do it then so can I.

The next part of my training needs to crack on now, I need lots of strength training plus a lot of mixed runs to be in any sort of decent shape when I do the Coastal Path in February. 3 Marathons in a row sounds pathetic when you compare it to 401 though. I need to stop procrastinating and no matter what the time, weather, day (I may even run on Xmas Day) or how busy I've been at work I need to do some form of exercise everyday.

There I've said it now, I will keep a log of my progress and by the end of if I will be able to do this

Image result for handstand push up

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

I made it.... eventually

October 1st 2016, the day before the Chester Marathon I was feeling great and relaxed and I was concerned I'm never relaxed before a race so I was wondering what was up. I always get nervous and I just wasn't concerned about the Marathon at all, I was excited and I suppose there was no pressure because it was using it as a training run ready for the big event in February.

October 2nd 2016 - The kids were woken up at 0530, a melee of activity was going on and lights blazing whilst everyone else in the street slept, even the birds were merrily snoring away in their little nests. Breakfast - check, Kit - check, Race number - check, Fuel and water - check, that's it we're ready.

We arrived in Chester as the sun was still rising, it was misty low over the racecourse but as the minutes ticked by it was turning into a beautiful day. I still wasn't feeling nervous until the last half hour, then 2 visits for last minute wees and off to line up.

It all started well, I was running at a comfortable pace and trying not to get excited and stick to my plan even remembering to put into practice what I constantly say to my juniors 'nice and tall', 'use those arms'. The first 13 miles were good, fuelling and water stops perfect, then my hips decided they were having none of it! I've had this problem in the past where I get severe pain in my hips but it's not an injury or additional problem just not strong enough for the exertion. However during training I had no problems at all so I was a bit annoyed to be honest, by mile 20 I was in agony and had to stop at the brilliant St John Ambulance station for some painkillers, unfortunately they didn't touch it and I hobbled the remaining 6 miles to the finish, picking up my husband and kids near the end to take over from a great marshal who chatted to me and kept me going for a bit.

As I reached the finish line, Amelia plodded across with me to cheers from the remaining crowd and got my medal.

So it didn't go according to plan but I now what I need to do when I can start training again, a lot of my routine will be strength and conditioning especially in the hip area and the mileage will drop for a while and include a lot more hill and trail runs to get me fit for February. Oh and I'm doing Cross Country next weekend.

The organisation of the Chester Marathon, the course, the marshals

and volunteers and the crowds were superb. In some of the villages there were young lads playing in their bands out on the street, you've got to love how total strangers can be so supportive and kind.

I'm incredibly proud of myself and I'm looking forward to the next part of training, oh and no blisters - YAY!

Friday, 23 September 2016

One week to go!

I am slightly nervous but incredibly excited that the Chester Marathon is now just over a week away, I received my race pack this week and I've got my Under Armour kit to get ready and just a few bits of fuel.

I think I'm most worried about running out of energy but I'm hoping that the buzz from the crowd and a drive to get to the end will keep me going.

This weekend I have my final assessment for my Coaching in Running Fitness course, I think I've managed to put some techniques and tips into my own running and training to become a better runner. I'm not even thinking about the time to complete the course, it's just the first stage of a bigger event.

The North Wales Coastal path part will take place during the February half term, this will give me time to drop the miles and work on strength during cross country season and then build up again to have the distance in my legs. The picture of the Coastal Path shows my route from Bangor to just outside Queensferry so you can see it's quite a way!

I'm planning to run the following routes over 3 days and am looking for accommodation on the first night in Llandudno (I can add your advert to the blog) and also if there are any sports masseurs out there that can support me after each run I would be most grateful.

Day 1 - Bangor - Llandudno 27 miles
Day 2 - Llandudno - Prestatyn 21 miles
Day 3 - Prestatyn - Queensferry  29 miles (ish)

Right hoping for a nice easy week so I can get to that start line.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

It's all about team work

This weekend I had to push back my long run a day as my hubby was taking part in the Montane Trail Half Marathon in Delamere Forest, that's what happens when you're both running nuts you have to shift your schedule to share the time out training. As you can see from the before and after piccies it was a toughie, well it was for him as the kids and I spent the time playing in the woods, eating sausage baps and listening to the awesome Paper Cranes who were providing the music during the event. As I say being part of a support team is hard work 😃
So Monday afternoon was my chance to get out and do 16 miles, I planned my route the night before and worked out how many gels I would need, how much water and laid out my Under Armour kit. I was ready, I haven't done this distance for many years so slightly apprehensive.

All started well and continued to go well, the miles stacked up and I refuelled as planned including a few extra nutrients courtesy of a fly or two. In fact as I headed back to town and down to the beach I was actually enjoying the run, as I neared the last two miles I was running out of water - a quick text to my daughter and there she was with a bottle of juice and she joined me for the last little bit on her bike.

Running the longer distances has to be a solo event but having that support where it counts really makes a difference. No matter whether you're a professional athlete with a team of experts around you or a Mum of two with two jobs, an athletics club and a passion for the community you can't do it without a good support network.

So think of that when you're next out running, who supported you on the way and remember to say thank you.

Thank you Phillipe for your encouragement, swopping running shifts so we can both enjoy our training.
Thank you kids for coming on your bikes whilst I run and provide the water and juice to keep me going.
Thank you Mum and Dad for looking after the kids when we have taken part in races.
Thank you to my brother Les for the energy gels and socks.
Thank you to all of you who are going to get your wallets out and contribute to my fundraising, for once I am being straightforward and asking for your support but it's not for me but many kids who will benefit from using the equipment and have a chance to enjoy athletics in their community.

Thanks Eva