Saturday, 30 June 2007

Dealing with the nerves

The 10k is tomorrow, but im bervous today. This is not good. When I feel nervous, I feel sick. So sick that I dont want to eat or drink. That is not good.
Distractions are what I need. They were easy to come by this morning, on the way up here. I sat on the train and sipped my water, listened to my MP3 player, read my book. Mental preperation is now part of my daily routine, because I know already that the marathon will be 20% in my legs, 80% in my head. So each day, I set aside time for mental preparation. Its become like a ritual. I find a quiet moment, and I sit, emersed in various chapters of Jeff Galoways book, while sipping water.
By the time I got to Stratford, I could feel the stress setting in, and I knew the afternoon would be tough. Delayed at Romford, I cut through the mall, with the intention of retail therapy, but it wasnt enough. Finally arived at best friends house, but I knew he would be out until 2, which left me two hours to myself-except that I didnt want 2 hours to myself. Feeling hot and sticky from the public transport and my two and a half hour trek across the south east of England, I swapped Jeans for cropped tracksuit bottoms, and felt instantly calmer. I considered a shower, but changed my mind, and settled down to ring home to check in (My parents get nervous about me going to London on my own, despite me being 23!) and make good use of the free range I had been given with the p.c.
Im looking forward to tonight, as we are going out, but in the back of my mind, theres still the nerves. And thats all I can think about. I cant distract myself, and all I do is figet. My mind is wandering, and I cant concentrate. Time seems to tick away slower with each passing minute.
I hate to think what tomorrow will be like.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Looking forward to the weekend

Got my bag packed, and all my gear sorted. Not used to having to take this much stuff when I go to Essex. More organised than usual, with train times sorted out, and almost everything packed.
Went to gym for first time since accident; a little nervous, expecting pain.
Took it easy, not wanting to strain the bruised areas and injure myself before my 10k.
Originally when I joined the gym, I went for a small one deliberately, so that I could get in and out without talking to anyone. As time has gone on tho, Ive made friends with most of the staff, and a couple of the regulars who attend in the time slots I usually stick to. Tennis was on and having run out of power in the battery in my MP3 player, I found myself chatting to one of the guys....
Ok, I'll be honest, I was flirting!
Trying to relax now, and not get nervous about the run, despite friends and aquaintences asking how long ive been training for the 10k....
Training I ask?
Its just a milestone....
One of many.

Thursday, 28 June 2007

Dad's Car

Here's a pic of the damage....

Highs are always followed by lows....

Having made plans to borrow my dads car to get to Essex (gasket gone on my Rover 214), plans got suddenly changed last night when the car was written off. Local nursery van driver drove into the side of my car as I turned off the roundabout and into my parents road. So now I dont have a car, and nor does my dad. Police attended scene and breathalysed both of us, and both parties were given production orders for vehicular documents.
Went to doctors this morning to get clearance to run at weekend. Have some limited internal bruising so I've been told to take it easy and not push myself...
wasnt going to anyway!
Trip to police station (wanted to get in out of the way, despite having seven days to attend) left me with no time to go to gym, so plans is now to go Friday.
No car, doesnt mean no 10k tho, just a three hour train and tube commute to best friends house in Romford. Do I see this as a sign not to do the run? asked the attending officer....
No, of course not!
But maybe I should think twice about owning a car!
Just after the accident my sister came down the road with the instructor that had taught me to drive. When they came back at the end of her lesson, I went out to talk to them, and told the instructor that I was thought she would think I was to blame. Dont worry she said, you can see from the damage that the other driver was to blame.
Luckily I have a witness, who said the same thing.
Now just got to convince insurance companies.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007


Today is supposed to be a rest day. But my legs feel fine ( a few weeks ago it was taking almost a week to recover from a long run) so I want to go out for a short maintenance run. I was going to go down to Wittering to run along the beach-tide out=sand=low impact=less injury/pain I figure. But plans change, and now my parents have the car. Am tempted to go down to Climping or up to Slindon (I quite like the woods there, and have yet to run the trail there), but for the moment, Im indoors, trying to rest.
So far I've been good about balancing eagerness with the awareness of the dangers of over training, with my average week consisting of one long run, and two or three gym sessions, but I know I need to start fitting in at least one 30 minute maintenance run during the week. I also figure that I need to fit this in early in the week, so that I can rest enough between now and Sunday, so I dont injure myself running the 10k.
So for the moment, orders are to relax and maybe get other things done that so far ive been putting of, like plumbing in my new dishwasher, or starting my dissertation....
Its a shame that this new-found motivation hasnt crossed over into other areas of my life!

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Oh the pain!

Woke up at 3 am in absolute agony. Being out in the rain, having just got over a cold, had sent my temperature soring despite the shower afterwards to warm up, and I had kicked my duvet off and my legs had got cold. Cold muscles= pain. And PAIN is what I felt. Cursed myself for not rubbing in ibuprofen gel earlier when i felt the niggling pain. Migraine was also causing me grief. So I rubbed in the gel, and massaged the muscles in my left leg, which was more painful than the right, and took some migraleve for my head. Got up for a drink, and nearly leapt through the ceiling because I have cold hard floors, and the pain coursed through my leg like a lighting bolt. Made it to kitchen, and got back into bed-thank god i live in a flat!-and then realised I needed the loo! Got back into bed, and my son woke up and started calling for me, and I had to settle him again.....
7 am alarm goes off (dont remember falling asleep!) and i gingerly get out of bed. I struggle into car, and coz im 5ft 4, i have to have seat so far forward that its ridiculous, but this cramps my legs and by the time I am crossing school playground I can hardly walk! Benjamin and Carls' mums' inquiry as to my ill health (oh dear! what have you done?!) and I tell them its pain from my run yesterday. Go home and rest, they advise. No, its ok, I'll be ok once ive been to the gym, I tell them. To which the response is questioning my sanity!
Half past nine im in the gym, on the bike, wondering if i have passed the point of no return, and if i should just have myself committed after all. But then I do my weights, jump on treadmill for my hill walking (far too painful at 5.8 so i cheated and dropped down to 5.2!), then its on to rower, for a slow 1500m at 9:53, which I curse, coz its slower than Friday, which was slower than Wednesday, but tell myself its ok to take it easy because I'm in pain. Listen to your body, I chant, along with Relax-todays Mantras!
Then on to the cross trainer, for my 13 minute cardio work out. By the time I'm done, I feel great, and my legs, although a little achy, and at times a tad painful are no longer as bad as they were. Going downstairs to car is certainly less of a struggle than coming up them to gym this morning. My goal for the gym, is to be able to get up those stairs the day after a run, with ease.
Not having to rely on medication to get me through the day after a long run, which is good.
Just before I leave, I weigh myself, which ive been doing every visit, since I realised I'd lost a stone in 2 months of going to the gym 2 or three times a week, and running at least once a week. Since Friday, ive lost another 3 kilos, so now im down to 86. Knowing this, I feel even better. Thats when I realise that for the first time, since i gave birth to my five year old, I can actually see my own feet!

Monday, 25 June 2007


The Runners World Race Time Predictor, predicts that my first 10k event will be completed in 1:32:17, based on my run today, of 1:27:20 over 5.9 miles....
Feel less nervous today than I did yesterday.
My sister lives in Bognor, and I clocked the mileage from her house to mine-6 miles, which is approximately 10k. Theres no way I could run that distance, i thought, as I pulled up outside my house....and thats when i started freaking out.
Because a marathon is a big commitment. It has become almost the sole focus of my life currently. Here I was sitting in my car, having driven 6 miles, thinking no way...and if i cant cope with 6, how do I expect to add another 20?......
But today, I went out, in the drizzle, which soon became pouring rain. I have Jeff Galloway's book, Marathon: You Can Do It! at home, and I have taken to reading it every night. Ive become rather intrigued with his theory about the left brain and negativity, and how by lying to your left brain you can overcome psychological barriers. So today, I gave it a shot.
I went out, as though I was going to do my usual run, got to the main road, and instead of picking up the pace, from a walk to a jog, I walked a bit further. At the pub, I crossed the road, and told my left brain I was going to run to the next village, and promptly turned right. Down past the doctors surgery I went, as my left brain was left in confusion. The response from my right brain was immediate, hey, it said, you can actually do this you know, try the six miles in one go....
I got down to the level crossing and promptly ran through a puddle that was deeper than I thought. Oh well, go home said the left brain...Ok i said, and kept going in the opposite direction. Down to the shop, and I thought, I'll go left and go under the brigde, and promptly crossed the road, and went right. I'll take the short cut, as I thought, as I got to the next turning, and instead i went left instead of straight on. I'll stop for a bit I thought, when i got to my sons school, and instead i carried on. When i got through the village and down to the bridge, I realised that normally I was knackered by the time i got to the bridge, and i had never done a circuit of the village before, and that gave me such a rush.
I got back to the pub, and i thought, time to go home, and instead I took a left, down the road, and back behind the doctors. Thats it, Ive had enough, said the left brain; ok, im going home, I told myself, as I kept going in the opposite direction. I said ive had enough! shouted the left brain, its ok, im just going past the village hall, I told myself, with every intention of turning left again instead of right....
And then it really started to chuck it down.
I was soaked already, and it was coming down so hard I couldnt see.
Now theres lying, and theres stupidity, and ive just got over a cold, and ive got a 10 k on Sunday, so I turned right in the direction of home....
But i wasnt giving up.
Lets walk suggested the left brain.
Ok, i lied, as I picked up the pace to run again.
Time to walk, said the left brain.
Ok, I lied, and kept going, right up to the gate.
I had no idea how far i had run. I got in doors, stretched, took off the wet clothes, jumped in the shower, then worked out the distance on Google Maps.
Wow, i thought, when i realised how far I'd gone.
Maybe I can do this after all!

Impossible is Nothing

Current mood: energetic

I watched This Morning one morning back in April, and saw a bunch of women all from different backgrounds, who had been chosen at random by the programme to run the FLM. Now, when i was at Primary school, there was a time when I had the bug for athletics. Undiagnosed asthma was a burden that stopped me from taking up something I so badly wanted to take up: Cross country running. So instead I took up sprinting-for some reason 100m done quickly was less of a problem than a mile or two done slowly. For a while I was quite good, but for various reasons, I lost interest at athletics at school, and by the time I got to high school, i had other things on my mind. For a few weeks I dated Alex who was a keen sprinter, and regularly when to the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth, and he did give me some encouragement to take it up again, but I never did.
I always watched the athletics part of the Olympics, especially the marathon part, and occasionally i watched the FLM, thinking, that one day i would like to do that, but never thought i could.
Then I met someone who changed my life forever. Someone who was about to run his first marathon. And yea, i took the mic, saying he must be mad to run that distance, refusing his half joking queries about my signing up for a small race, and if im honest, while I admired his determination, I was a little bit envious too.
Because deep down, i did want to, I just didnt have the courage.
I'll never forget the feeling inside when i saw him cross the finish line, the first time i saw him race, nor the overwhelming pride I felt when i saw him cross the finish line of his first marathon. I was more than a little pissed off when i couldnt go with him for his second marathon. I wont see him cross the line of his third either, but thats because i will be running my first.
Seeing that programme, I thought, its April now, Dublin is in October, that leaves me six months. So yea, i have time.
And as Adidas say, Impossible is Nothing.
So i joined a gym, got a programme sorted out for the gym, and found a programme to build up my endurance for the roads.
Then I decided to sort out a charity to run for. For ages I couldnt decided whether to run for Shelter or Great Ormond Street. In the end, I picked Shelter, and sent them an email to tell them.
Two days ago, a bright red vest arrived in the post. The design is a little dated, but it tells everyone who im doing it for, and makes me noticable.
If he is mad, I MUST be mad.
But ive got loads of sound advice about how to run/walk it as my goal is just to finish it, and im trying to get past the psychological barrier of doubts.
My first 10 k event is next Sunday. I dont care if it takes me 2 hrs or 20 hrs, i just want to cross that line. Because if I can cross that line, I can cross the line in Dublin, and Impossible will really be nothing.