Back to normal…

Whatever ‘normal’ is! Normal is becoming: ‘I can’t come down for dinner this evening, I have to run 5 miles’. Or: ‘ No coffee thanks! I am drinking a few litres of water today instead as I need to run 10 miles tomorrow’.


The flu/cold/unidentified lurgy hit me three weeks ago, hard. I cannot recall feeling as unwell as that for ages. Lack of sleep, coughing ( probably contracted a chest infection, thinking about it, but no Doctor’s visit). and generally feeling miserable really took its toll. Training went out of the window for 10 days. I have to confess, minor panic at this. Right slap bang before I was psyching up for the 10 miler.

Anyway, good sense has to prevail, and better to wait than risk it and end up missing the whole event. Have to say, it paid off. Last week I tentatively started doing a couple of 3 milers mid week and an 8 on the weekend. I was soooo tired after that one on Sunday.

This week I clicked back into my week 5 training, two weeks behind, and duly did the day’s running when told. Time out though has had a strange psychological effect – I was dreading going out even though when I did, I found it easy.

So on Friday I found myself in a Deja vu, stressy position – about to try my first 10 miler since, well since GNR 2014 actually as I didn’t run a 10 in prep for the race last September – enough said!  I have a mental block about this distance. In the past, when I have run it I have sometimes felt extremely sick, to the point of having to lie down and do nothing until I recovered. This happened a few times, and I think was often at times when I hadn’t eaten properly or taken on enough water to run 10 in the heat of summer. A few times I managed to avoid the feeling but was worrying all week about whether it was going to rear it’s head again.

Need not have worried! On Friday in between doing odd jobs around the house,  I drank over 2.5 litres of water and this alongside a really good pasta based dinner on the evening proved the secret formula for success. I set off  at about half twelve. Already decided that the only thing I was going to worry about was distance  – sod time. Running a marathon isn’t about how fast you can do it, it is IF you can COVER the distance and I kept that in mind this time. So I used Garmin to pace the distance but did keep half an eye on the time out of interest and said to myself 15 min miles or thereabouts would be fine. This seemed incredibly slow and I had to force myself to adhere to this pace. It worked though. I got to 5 miles and hardly broke a sweat. By 7 miles I knew I was going to do it and feel fine. I still had reserve energy, enough to push to 14 min miles til the end and continue running past 10 miles to the magical figure of 10.21.

Next week I have the slightly longer mid week runs to look forward to with confidence, and then an 11 miler on Saturday. 🙂

It’s getting better every day…

It’s been a while since I have posted updates. I don’t wish people to be tediously bored with my ramblings around running so I decided to wait and bore you in one go!

This week has demonstrated some remarkable improvements. I think the weight loss is helping. Think I am up to 11 pounds off since the 30th December. But, it is the running which is amazing me. I am in the throes of week 4, I think and my long runs are getting easy! Yes easy!

Last weekend I did 6 miles and chose to run around local streets rather than up the main Portway and risk fumigation at rush hour. I continued to do this for my second longer run of 7 miles, both of which were effortless and really quite fast for those distances, compared to even my previous training. I think the 7 miler on Sunday evening was around 13 mpm on average, which is pretty good. The regular, mid week shorter runs are paying off. Getting a good set of runner’s legs now, which is an added bonus.

Tonight I did a 5 in the midst of Storm Jonah – and got suitably soaking wet, but again fairly fast! I think again around 13 mpm average pace which I am more than happy with.

All in all, going well thus far! 😀

Toe trouble

Not the most exciting post ever, but a marathon blog should catalogue all experiences – so here is the story of the toe!

Last summer I hurt my left foot big toe -no idea how or why – but it became excrutiatingly painful to bend. Since starting running again, I am glad to say that this one is now recovered and is causing no further issues. Hence, it stands to reason that the other one has to have it’s 5 mins of fame, and therefore has begun to play up.

Noticed towards the end of last week that I had a lot of redness and swollen areas by the nail on the outside edge. Was googling and almost coming to the conclusion that it was an ingrown nail, but the symptoms didn’t seem to be as extensive and as drastic. After soaking it in salted water and spraying it liberally with antiseptic spray, it felt a tad better, until Monday. When I walked to the school I was supplying for and walked back to the train station later, realised something was badly amiss. Toe was throbbing badly and on close inspection was a really vile shade of red. Sore to touch too.

Down to the Med centre in Avonmouth to be told it’s ok at the mo, may be a bit infected but bathe it as you have and come back if it gets worse. So, toe was provided with a bath full of enough salt to float someone in the Dead Sea, and afterwards I gave it a good prod. Look away now if you are squeamish, for a copious amount of gunk poured out of the side of the nail. Something oddly satisfiying about it though – and to be honest, following some more antiseptic spray and a night’s sleep the toe looks remarkably more like it’s twin – pinkish in colour if a bit tender.

This lunchtime, with a square of well placed padding (bought at Boots last night) in my sock, I headed out for 3 miles and was pleased and surprised to find that the toe caused no issues at all and indeed felt as if it were laying in a soft feather bed, as an alternative to inside a trainer being rattled around indiscriminately.

The sense of relief is palpable and means that training can continue as planned. Phew!

PS I haven’t included a selfie of my toe, even though it is happy and has arranged it’s hair perfectly for the shot ( kidding!)

14 weeks to go…

So, tonight I hit the 6 mile mark. I am on schedule, but due to a very full on week at work, I have missed one 4 miler mid week. It didn’t make a lot of difference – the run was easy tonight, aside from trouble with my toe – not that one, the other one this time, but more on that in a bit.

I put it off all day until 5pm and was almost at the point of talking myself out of going. I had got all the jobs done, and was comfy on the sofa with a kindle book – but then the inner teacher voice told me off and said that if I don’t go tonight and do my six miles as planned, I am in trouble. It is true, mindset is everything now and so is schedule.

Avonmouth was my route this evening. A quick first mile down the Portway and then into the side streets and weaving in and out for about 4 miles. Easy to do, more interesting than a straight run and with dark evenings, a lot safer really, than the Portway towards Sea Mills, though I have done this in the past. Timing wise, it wasn’t fast, but something which was written in my Blue Cross marathon plan keeps going through my head when I start fretting about times: ‘It’s a marathon, not a sprint.’ True, and I have tons of time to trot round London and enjoy every minute of the experience. Sure it will be massively memorable.

Weight wise, I had stayed around the same for just over a week but noticed the past few days that it is starting to drop again.  I have now lost 9 pounds in total since the end of December, and every pound off is a few seconds faster and means slightly less effort to run with.

6.04 miles 1h 21m. Split times to follow when I get my Garmin plugged in!



Week 1 summary 10th January 2016

So this week sees the end of my first week of training. Hard to believe there are only 4 months left, but there are and I must press on.

A few times this week I have felt less than on top of health, the tail end of my cold from Christmas is paying back some tricky breathing and that made for a miserable outing on Thursday but I have achieved all the runs I needed to in order to meet the schedule.

Today I did 5 miles, in about 1h 10 mins. Biting cold wind was offset against feeling like a baked potato inside my non running waterproof, which gave no breathability whatsoever! Once again, Garmin didn’t find the satellite until a good few minutes into my run. I don’t worry much about the time, because at the end of the day it really is a marathon, not a sprint and the goal is to finish, not to finish fast.

So my summary of miles run (this year) so far is 19.

Next week I start upping my short distances as follows:

Monday 3, Tuesday 4, Thursday 3, Saturday 6 total miles: 16!

Let’s hope the rain stays off, I can abandon the waterproof then. 🙂

Keeping up the tough work

OK so today was a 3 mile run. I felt fine on setting off. It was a lovely sunny day but soon discovered that it was very chilly in that wind. Wore a T shirt so a great incentive to keep moving fairly briskly!

Having been very ill over Christmas and New Year, I was hoping that the cold had finally gone, but today it seemed that my blocked nose and the after effects were sort of returning. Breathing is always dreadfully hard under those circumstances and running soon became three times as laborious, even though the distance was relatively short.

Got home, my hot shower, home made soup and a short nap helped me feel much better.

I didn’t take any notice of the times earlier today because Garmin was being difficult and didn’t actually pick up the signal until around half a mile in – so the time and distance here are for the actual distance it decided to record.

2.61 miles in 35.14 mins with average of 13.30 mpm – see what I mean about a struggle? :/

Final run of the week due on Saturday, but will have to be later on, as I have a new pupil for tutoring, starting this weekend. Year 6, which is super brilliant, because that’s my specialist age range. Very local too so huge bonus. Looking forward to that… and the  5 mile run (honest!)

Training plan.

marathon training plan

While I rest and ponder timing tomorrow, for my relatively short and sweet run,  this is my training plan. I will stick to this rigidly, because it will keep me moving and motivated. As I said to Peter, my trainer, who is helping me with all this, even if there is 6 feet of snow, I will still be out there, sliding down the hill on my butt, but still clocking the miles. All or nothing. 🙂

Improvement already!




Get used to seeing these TRUE story images during the next few months. No make up or tidy hair in these pics, just the evidence to prove I am actually running 😀

Pleased with my outing tonight. I am not going to write too much as I am soaking wet from the rain, boiling hot from the effort and in dire need of a shower and my dinner – which has yet to be sorted so….


Just fractionally short of 4 miles tonight. Time for this was 49.15 with an average mpm pace of 12.56! This is a 0.91 mpm improvement of my 4 miles from Sunday and shaves over 6mins off the time of that run.

There is probably a maths equation somewhere that states the relationship between redness of the face and speed of running, but will leave that for someone else to work out.

Feeling stronger and more into my running again already, surprising how quickly that kicks in again. Must be the RH running leggings…

Now for some dinner 🙂