Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Well that was hot work….

The day had arrived, I had been dreading with a wash of excitement, and it’s funny how I hadn’t realised how much it had taken over my being!
In the last 4 days, I couldn’t think of anything else! Good job we were having a new kitchen fitted to take my mind off things!
I have got quite a normal routine now when going on a long run, the only difference with this one is that I get to eat breakfast before I go out, so I'm up at 5.30, tea, breakfast and then checking once, twice then a third time that I have everything I need!
Just before I left Felix came down stairs, he is normally the only one up with me in the mornings! He’s such good company for a 5 yr old! Just as I was leaving, he asked whether I was going to win today? I explained, as he was coming up to watch, that I won’t win but I will win by finishing and raising all this money for the charity! And although he didn’t grasp the concept of me not winning, he then went on and to ask “will you try your best? And hand on heart and a lump in my throat, I said I would!
I'm off on the 7.08 to Londinium to win the London marathon…ish!
Travels go really well, and always amazes me the amount of kitbags gaining in qty as we stop at stations en route, were all here for the same reason, same nerves, anticipation, excitement…everyone giving the newbies tips and advice, the only semi-worthwhile tip I could think of was don’t go off too fast! Pace, pace and pace again! But its so difficult, you get so carried away in the moment! That will come back to haunt me I know!
Got across to Greenwich and to the Red Start, same as last year, so I knew what to expect!
Met with a school friend, who was running for the 1st time, Clare, she and her friend, who she had trained all winter with, had been split up and her friend was on the blue start, so it was nice to catch up, albeit briefly!
And so off to the start, pen 4 I'm in this year, and already I’m nervous as the talent in this pen looks immense, coupled with the 3.30 runners marker (guys that run with a sign to pace you).
I'm in the pen, then need the loo, off out the pen, join the queue, and back in the pen..
And we are off, I started ok, I had 2 targets in mind, sub 4 hrs, or worst case, beat last year 4.13,
So I know I have to run worse case scenario 9 min miles, which is more or less my normal pace….but for how long does the A) Tendon stay pain free B) fitness hold out.
I have everything planned, drink water regularly, little amounts, energy drinks x 2 10 and 20 miles, and energy gels at every 5 miles.
The first 5 miles went past very normally, no real problems, after 5 miles I guestimate I was 90 seconds down to sub 4hrs, but didn’t want to give too much too early happy to stay with that pace, all felt comfortable.
10 miles and all going well still, my ankle felt thick which made me feel apprehensive, but still just a couple of minutes down, on sub 4hr.
Truth be told, I got a bit bored at this stage, and lost concentration then that lead to me feeling tired. All of a sudden Felix’s question sprang to mind, and that certainly got me going….
I was looking forward to halfway for obvious reasons, but also because my Brother Paul was going to be there, and judging by how I felt I could do with a friendly face….he would have been delighted to see me, as I him, but it wasn’t to be, over the bridge (London) I go and I am close to the left, but at mile 15 going onto the Isle of Dogs I realise I missed him, I hear my phone ring, and I know damn well who it is!
At about 15 miles I can see my time starting to slip, but I felt so strong at the pace I was going, I really didn’t want to speed up and burn out, I still had 10 miles to go, and am feeling very aware of my ankle, but its ok!
I am taking showers on course, dousing myself in water and drinking little and very often…I felt ok!
It was certainly warming up!
20-25 seem to drag, at 25 I know I have all my children to see, Feralyn, Her Aunt (Ganty) brother and sister in law.
My quads/glutes I don’t know (the muscles at the top fronts of your thigh’s) really started to cease up and tighten, I had read an article that it isn’t soft to stop and stretch as this is what they will need! Well I pulled over so to speak, pulled my foot to by bum to stretch, well my leg went in to a massive cramp…well that won’t work, so I squat down as if looking at an 18 footer on a green,(which I would miss) and just bounce a little to stretch…boy it felt really good!
My time for sub 4 hours had gone and I realised that, but I was still on track to beat last year, and let’s face it 4 weeks ago, I couldn’t run 6 miles without pain!
On I go, grinding out mile after mile, it’s at this point you really need support, and it was phenomenal, due to the great weather, a huge turnout, an impressive number of spectators egging cheering you on!
The embankment is fantastic, running down there I felt strong, my ankle had just stayed feeling thick./tight since mile 10, no better, no worse, my family are just 1.5 miles up the road, I'm sure I actually speeded up!
Embankment station, London Eye, Cleopatra’s Needle, and I see them, all my little lot waving, cheering clapping…an absolute tonic! I don’t stop this year, time is against me, and even at this point I'm convinced I'm in under last years’ time!
Houses of Parliament and up birdcage walk, its tight…I know it is…a bloody chicken comes flying up the inside, to huge applause from the crowds, he’s having a ball, while some of us are giving it our all!
I think it’s the 0.2 of a mile I hadn’t worked out, the 26 miles was no problem( as such), I crossed the line in 4.15, just 90 seconds over last year!
Between you and me I was gutted, I picked up my medal, and burst in to tears, bloody emotional things marathons you know, all I could think about was what Felix had asked me….Will I try my best?
And I think I did him proud!....bloody annoyed about missing my times though!

Theres always next year! I'm still running!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Here we go!

After 4 months of training, and about 400 miles run! this is what its all about! I have acheived 1 target for my sponsors and that is over £1000 raised for Pepenbury. This weekend I am mostly eating carbohydrates and drinking lots of water, The weather looks like it could be kind, 16 and sunny! My other target to break 4hrs...I honestsly have no idea, with the problems i've had with my tendon....but who cares, i'm up for agood day out, and I've got loads of people on the course to come and cheer me on! I will obviously let you know how it goes, Im off to pick my numbers up! 51315 thats me! Thank you for reading these, I hope I've raised a small smile somewhere along the way...its all for charity dont forget, and its not too late to sponsor me! and win 1 of 8 fantastic prizes....

  1. Dinner @ Thackerys

  2. Lunch @Rendevous

  3. Over night stay @Hotel Du Vin Tunbridge Wells

  4. £600.00 of home decorations

  5. Indian Meal At The Spice Tunbridge Wells

  6. Parking Sensor Kit for a car

  7. Annual pass for a family of 4 @ Hever Castle

  8. Cosmetic Hamper from Fenwick

Monday, 11 April 2011

Race Week!

I am feeling mixed emotions, I love this weather, but I want it to cool down rapidly for 1 day next week!
This is the week I have mostly been looking forward to, after 16 weeks of training, albeit on and off, fundraising on 2 levels, it comes to a head this weekend.
I have achieved my target for Pepenbury, over £1000 and still going! So a massive thank you to all of you who have so very generously donated, I will think of all of you as I plod around the course on Sunday.
Your money will make a huge difference to the project!
This weekend I did 2 runs, a little 4 miles on Saturday morning, and then an 11 miler on Sunday. Again I went out early at 6.15 and I can’t believe that I am even saying this…I sound like such a Dad! It is the best time of the day, no doubt, birds are making an incredible racquet, light but Sun not up, with a beautiful red glow from the high cloud, and god is it peaceful! Absolute joy! Then the sun rise and it is glorious, makes me want to stop and take it all in……can’t stop….must run……
The run was fine, I mean my tendon, a little spasm type thing every now and then, but the exercises are working fine!
So this week, diet is key, and I need to drink water…lots of water, breakfast all week will be high fibre museli, lunch, fish based pasta dishes, dinner-something else but you get my drift….
So I can comfortably do 11 miles, double that is going to be tough , then add another 4 or so miles that is crunch time!

I will post up a few more writings this week, so do come back and have a look!

If you would like to sponsor me you have until 2pm on Sunday to be in the Draw….

See you soon….gotta run!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Not Long....

Well at least the suns out!
Makes for nicer training…I have been running again, and a lot of cross training, I’ve only had 2 days off training in the last 10 days…I think?
Today is going to be a 10k run maybe more, my ankle seems absolutely fine, I had a session with Kirsty on Monday evening, and she strapped it up with some oxide tape, just to keep my tendon straighter.
Not looking forward to ripping it off….
I am still very apprehensive of how fit I am….26.2 miles is a bloody long way, and although I have already run over 20 miles 6 weeks ago, and 2 x 18’s and countless 13/14’s I'm still intrigued as to how I am going to feel at mile 18-22, that’s wall territory!
Well there’s only one way to find out!
Positive mental thought! Keep calm and Carry on!

In other news…
• Kitchen is being fitted this week
• No news form either Elliot in Peru or Imogen Skiing in Italy
• Felix is going to School as Superman tomorrow, (Hero’s and Villain’s Day)
• Ottilie is looking forward to the Dentist this afternoon
• And my potatoes are in at the allotment!
• Feralyn is looking forward to 2 weeks off next week….she has been flat out!

Monday, 4 April 2011

13 Days to go

I cant help but feel that I have cheated, I did so much more training last year, but due to this tendon thing, I haven't been able to do as much as I would have liked.... Saying that I have managed to do a big xtrain session this weekend (2hrs and forgot my headphones which was bloody annoying)! and a 14 mile run.

In an ideal world I would like to do another 20 miler, but I think its too late for that, now its just short runs and trying to stay fit and making the start line. I decided, slightly unprepared to go out very early on Saturday morning.

I woke at about 5ish, and mentally went through my weekend, as you do..... and felt with all thats going on, its easier just to get up and get it done! It was cracking! the weather was glorious, I did 2 10k laps with a little bolt on at either end, on the tendon pain scale it wasnt even a 2, it felt just slightly thick!

Fitness wise felt ok too, could of carried on a while, and all things considered, no drinks or energy gels, just running, I was pleased. This week, I have xtrain sessions, and short steady runs, I am seeing the sports physio, (kirsty) on Monday evening, and will see her 2/3 more times and once after too. Its really not long to go, under 2 weeks

Sponsorship has done well, but would love to hit £1000 before I run... well worth a look if you fancy winning some prizes.

Prizes are listed below....

To Donate/sponsor me please click the Just Giving Link to your right....

The charity for which I am running this year is a local cause.

The Pepenbury Community is a residential and day care services for adults with learning disabilities. This includes a community of 70 people on the edge of Tunbridge Wells, in the unspoiled countryside of the Weald at Pembury as well as serving others in the West Kent area.
I run here all the time, its beautiful!

The actual project I will be supporting or focusing on will be updating the coffee shop/seating area and garden centre/nursery area, so the residents who run and work there can better interact with the general public, and gain confidence with the outside world as such, then hopefully give them the interpersonal qualities needed to be self-sufficient living in the community.

As I hammered a lot of people last year for sponsorship, I have decided to raise monies slightly differently, and have a prize draw for sponsors, £5 will get a ticket and the predictable £26.20 sponsor will get 6 tickets!
I have the following prizes which have been kindly donated; there are also more to add.
I will draw the winners on April 17th in the evening, following the run…so please dig deep and be lucky!

1. Dinner At Thackerys Tunbridge Wells (Beautiful)
2. Overnight stay At Hotel Du Vin Tunbridge Wells
3. Dinner at Rendezvous French Brassiere
4. Cosmetic Hamper from Fenwick Tunbridge Wells
5. Indian Meal or Takeaway at The Spice Tunbridge Wells for 2
6. Family Ticket to Hever Castle and Grounds for a Year!
7. Dolphin Parking sensor kit Brand New worth over £100.00
8. £600.00 of home decorations (you choose) donated by Gisela Graham

Thanks for reading, and rest assured I will do my best!

Friday, 1 April 2011


So as instructed, Ive been told to stretch and stretch and stretch again, which has helped no end.I have also been given permission to go out on a substantial run, which I duly did. Crept out early before work yesterday and did a standard 10k loop. I ran very aware of what I might feel, almost imagining a feeling of some sort. Got to about 4 miles and realised I wasn't imagining it, there was defiantly some tightness, but nothing like it was, it stayed at that same level. When I was going through with Kirsty (Sports Therapist) my issues, she asked me on a level 1-10, 10 being terrible, what level was the pain? before I would have said 4-5, yesterday I hit 1-2. Its becoming physiological I'm sure! Today I am going to attempt a 2 hr cross train session and a small run on the treadmill, in prep for a 12-18 miler at the weekend. In other News.

  • Imogen is off to Italy tomorrow skiing.

  • The patio doors are in at home.

  • Felix and Ottilie are doing very at school following the open evening last night

  • Feralyn has been to school today making a crown with tissue paper

  • Elliot is going on an Inca Trail in Peru this weekend.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

What a difference a week makes

    I can’t believe that last Wednesday I thought that I was never going to run again before the London Marathon, now, I have just been told to take today off of training, and go for a gentle 5-6 miles tomorrow, but to listen to my body, and take it real easy… I'm thrilled and nervous, if all goes well, then I am going to attempt either 6/12/18 miles at the weekend. But I’ve not been slacking at all…..

    • Friday- x Trainer for 45 mins

    • Saturday – x trainer for 45 mins- 1 mile run and weights

    • Sunday – x trainer for 1 hr 1.5mile run

    • Monday – Outside 1.5 mile run

    • Tuesday – 1hr.15mins on the x trainer plus 2 mile run

    • Today off

    • Thursday 6 miles

    • Friday x train and gym

    • Saturday Off

    • Sunday 6 - 12 - 18 mile very slow run

    Will quite literally keep you posted……..