Sunday, 29 July 2007

Rhythm and Beat

50 minutes into my run, the damned battery went on my MP3 player. Did I have a spare? Of course not! Having had this happen once before, I was a little stressed because Im the sort of person who needs music to run. My own rhythm and beat are not enough to keep me going. But determined to keep on going, I remembered what BF said to me last week: "Do you want to underachieve or overachieve?" Well, Im not as competitive as him, so to achieve is enough, but I dont want to underachieve, so I keep going. I didnt push myself to run faster, or for longer, and stuck to the routine of 2 mins running, 2 mins walking. Having been overcast and cool when I left, around mile 4 is started to warm up. Luckily for me, between mile 4 and 5 there are a couple of shops, so water was available when I needed it. Bought some chocolate raisins, and the noise of them in the box aggravated me so much it was unbelievable. But despite the heat, and lack of music, I managed to clock just over 10 miles in 2:36:18.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Support = success

I felt tired and stressed but I went out anyway. BF was down so we went out together, the goal being 9 miles. 2 miles in he asks how I am, and I tell him im tired. He wants to know why, because he says I should feel relaxed, but ive had a hard week, and im only 2 miles in, ive been out half an hour, and I know me, and tho the initial aches dont subside til the first mile, the stress and tiredness of a tough week doesnt subside until ive been out an hour. Mile 4 and ive run out of water, so i take advantage of having a running partner who is more than capable of catching me up, and send him into the shop as I continue along the agreed route. It isnt long til hes back by my side, offering me chocolate covered raisins. I decline, concentrating on the route, as Im now into the unknown, having previously turned back on my loop of the local villages well before now, and im trying to work out how far i need to run before I can loop back if im gonna cover 9 miles. His GPS tells us we've covered 5 miles as we come up behind my gym, so I take advantage of the natural loop of the road rather than stop and turn around. Coming back into the main road of the village, a girl walks past us as were coming to the end of a walk break, and i dont know why, but i take offence slightly, and jog past. A few minutes later on another walk break she walks past again. Someone explain that to me, I say, once shes out of ear shot. Ive overtaken her once, and shes just walking! And with that im off, my pace much quicker, and spurned on by the song that comes on my MP3 player, I push myself a bit more. I shorten my next break to one minute instead of two, and the im off again, still pushing myself to achieve more. That was your best mile, BF tells me, as GPS informs him we've clocked our 6th mile. At mile 8 I calculate in my head the best route to clock our last mile, and turn left at the pub, to the surprise of BF. I thought u'd go straight on he says, but I tell him it wouldnt quite give us 9 miles, so we come up behind the park, and finish about 500 yards from our destination. Could you have kept going? he asks. Get lost I sigh, the pain setting in. 2 hrs 23 my watch reads.

I sprint the last 100 meters, even tho theres no need, for the euphoria that follows. I get indoors and start to stretch. Then I got cramp all down my left side. That was painful. A couple of hours later im in the pool with BF and my son. Tired, in pain, and being driven crazy and its only the beginning of the summer holidays. Legs ached at bed time, and again when i woke up, after the best nights sleep in weeks, but it isnt long before I feel fine. It wasnt all that long ago that the day after a run, I was in agony, and I was sure I was mad to even attempt this. But I am noticing recovery is easier, even tho im clocking an extra mile each week, and i feel good despite covering an extra two. Having said that, I have read that you can increase the miles by up to three extra each week but more than this isnt recommended. Didnt go to gym today, as I was too busy and that annoyed me, because I really wanted to go.

I was so tired yesterday, that im sure i would have given up if i had been on my own. It made a nice change to have someone with me, and while it would be nice to have that more often, I dont want to become dependent on having someone with me, because I know it will just be me on the day. But I know hes proud of me, and he doesnt have to come with me for me to know that. I dont need him to be physically with me to know he supports me, and I know I can turn his support into my success.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

Aches, pains and a little more self belief

Went for my usual run on Sunday, and clocked up 7 miles of the local villages. Struggled through the first mile, but kept going, knowing I couldnt give up, just because last Sundays run hadnt been a good one. By mile three I was feeling great, but glad I had brought cash with me, so I could wizz into Aldays and grab more water, on my way back down the main road. Time elapsed was 1 hr 39 mins- a lot, LOT quicker than my other runs. This gave me the boost Ive been looking for. When I went out Sunday morning, I still had almost zero self belief, but by the time I had got back, I had gained so much. Looking forward to this Sundays run, which wont be on my own this time, for a change. Aim is to clock up nine miles, to get me back on schedule, having not clocked the required 7 last week, putting me back a week. So having rewarded myself with a rest day yesterday, its back down the gym this afternoon, as yesterday, while driving, I suddenly got really bad cramp in both legs, that was so bad it was painfull, and I had to pull over and get out the car. Im still in discomfort now, which I am hoping I can ease on the cross trainer.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007


Its been a strange couple of days. Ive been completely exhausted-probably as a result of weeks of sleepless nights. Went out for a run on Sunday, but only clocked three and a half miles of the required seven. Not sure why I had a bad run, what the cause of the stress was. Although it was hotter than it usually is at that time of day, I dont think the heat was the cause, but it certainly played a part. Any self belief I had I have now lost, and im unsure how to get it back.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Keep on Going

Finding motivation over the last 24 hrs has been hard. Yesterday was a rest day, but it didnt feel like much of a rest, as I had to go to Leatherhead to pick up a car. Dont feel like going to the gym right now, but I know I will at some point, if only to have something to do. Stress of sorting out the accident is starting to get to me.
Plan for weekend is to have Saturday off and go for a seven mile run on Sunday. But with so much to do this weekend, I dont know if I will fit everything in.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Staying in verses going out

So having said I would be a good girl yesterday, and stay in, I went out at 2 for a 30 minute run round Slindon woods. Good plan I thought. Unfortunately its been about 10 years since I last went up there, and I had forgotten what the terrain was like. Being a little south of the downs, means that its all chalk and flint (great for ankle injuries!) and its not as flat as I remembered. So 30 minute run, became 30 minute "ramble".
I didnt get disheartened tho, because it wasnt about distance it was about time out, and I was glad to be out rather than indoors doing nothing.
Went to gym this morning, bright and early, after taking my son to school (previous visits have been as and when I could fit them in during the course of the day). The two top trainers were eager to hear about the weekends 10k and agreed that the treatment I recieved was poor in the least. Dont let it get you down tho, I got told, because your achievement is far greater than the person who came first.
And you know what?
Thats right.
Because I have come this far in as little as 3 months.
And that means so much to me.

Tuesday, 3 July 2007

Eager Beaver

Despite being in some discomfort still from Sunday's 10 K, there is a part of me that wants to get out there and clock some miles. A nice gentle jog around the paths in Slindon Woods, is what I feel like doing. So whats keeping me indoors?
Well the weather for one- I dont want to run in a downpour, and I certainly know better than to run in the woods in a downpour!
Secondly, im in discomfort. So I know that if I push myself too hard now, I will get in trouble later, and I wont be able to do the marathon.
So today, Im staying indoors, trying to keep myself occupied.

Monday, 2 July 2007

The morning after.....

I logged onto Runners world forum this morning, to see what everyone else had thought of yesterdays event. Seeing that critique was welcomed, I posted the following:

As someone who is not an elite runner, I was disappointed to see that marshals were removed when I did my second lap. Granted they are volunteers, but I felt this affected my motivation. I was aiming for an hour and 27 minutes. I didnt achieve this. I also didnt appreciate the 1st marshal saying to me that if i was just going to walk it, there was a short cut I could take. Im not an elite runner, and im following the jeff galloway run/walk programme, and I was taking it easy because I was in a car accident during the previous week. If the race was only open to elite runners, it should have been made clearer.

This was the response I got:

If you are the lady who finished with the male runner firstly I would like to apologise regarding the marshal. Everyone who takes part in an event deserves the same respect as a runner or competitor. The races were open to all levels of runners.

However if we are aware that someone is planning to walk the event we advise them to take part in the 5K. The marshals would have been in place since the start of the 5K and by time you aimed to finish they would have been in place for over two hours plus the hour prior to start time helping at school. After consulting the race referee(a county AA official) at the event the Last Runner sweeper advised you regarding the marshals.

I am sorry this detracted from the event for you. If you do decide to take part in the event again please let us know so we can discuss any allowances we may be able to look into.

Well I have to say, I find this response disgraceful. If I had wanted to do the 5K I would have signed up for the 5K. And clearly the respondent has not read what I actually wrote.

So No.
I wont be doing this one next year.

Sunday, 1 July 2007


I did it!
Got up later than had planned, and BF badgered me to eat breakfast of sugar puffs, despite my feeling sick. Tried to ease the pre race nerves by listening to my MP3 player for a bit while I got ready. Didnt take long to get there once we were on the road. Car park was full, so car got left down the road. 5K started just as we got there, and with no queue for registration, it meant there was a lot of standing around, not really doing much, so nerves soon returned. Hung to the back with BF knowing I was gonna be on the slow side, and although small crowd meant I knew I'd be one of the slowest, I didnt realise we would be the very last. As we came past the first marshal, over the music I heard him say something along the lines of good plan, so I relaxed, settling into my plan of slow jog 2 mins, walk 2 mins for 1st K to ease myself in, knowing I could pick up the pace later. 1st K is always the hardest for me, I explained to BF after, because its like my legs say, sod this, this is to uncomfortable, and my head is saying, thats enough, go home, and so the first k is all about overcoming the psychological barrier that tells me I cant do this, so dont 1even try. Approached second marshal while on a walk break who suggested that if we were only going to walk the 10k, there was a short cut we could take! Bloody cheek! Calf muscles hurt for the first 3k or so, but the more I ran, the more I felt them relax.
Certain track on MP3 player came on, and my pace picked up to a proper run, that BF wasnt expecting, so for 30 seconds he was left in the dust of my heels as I sped off down the hill. About 25 minutes into the race, we were overtaken by the "real" runners, and shortly after, a marshal on a bike informed us that although they would keep the course open until we got back, and a marshal would stay to record our times, they couldnt guarantee that any marshals would be on the route for our second lap. Now, fair enough if they had a time limit posted, or if the course wasnt billed as "open to everyone" but since there was neither, a limit, or stipulation about type of runners, I felt a little miffed and completely unmotivated by this news. As much as I tried to put this to the back of my mind, Im pretty sure this impacted me for the rest of the race. I didnt mind coming in last, but I objected to being made to feel useless because of it, after all ive attended 10k events in the past as a supporter, where runners have come in well after an hour and a half. However I got some support from the marshals at the gate as I passed for my second lap, and felt ok to break the 2 min run/2 min walk rule, and managed to clock up a couple of 4min + runs. Unfortunately this didnt last long, and I was back to running 2 min/2 min rule, later replaced with 30 sec walk/1.5 min runs, for a couple of K towards the end. BF didnt know, but I had a secret plan for which I was conserving my energy. As I approached the school gate, and entered the ground for the last section, I picked up my pace to a run again, but couldnt maintain this to the end, so walked for a minute, before picking up the pace one final time. Finish line less than 100 meters away, I turned to BF and catching his eye, I saluted and said "see ya" as I sprinted, hoping he'd let me have my moment of glory for my first 10 k. But oh no, hes far to competitive for that, and I crossed that line, only just ahead of him. He later told me, he had wanted to hold my hand and cross together, and hadnt been expecting me to suddenly bolt for the line. Guilt briefly set in, at this point, but didnt last long im afraid!
Marshal recorded our times, someone took our photos, and exhausted I collapsed into the first chair I found.
I felt the almost overwhelming urge to remove my shoes, but I resisted this, knowing id never get them back on, and after a couple of minutes rest, I managed to make it to the car in one piece, although I admit, I did ask to be carried!
Back at BF house, showered and pain free (although I know it wont last) I feel really good about myself. The first milestone has been reached, and I know I can do the seven miles I need to do next sunday, that only the other day I was unsure I could complete. Knowing I have crossed my first line, I now believe that I can cross the line in Dublin. Whether or not I will be in one piece, I dont know!