Monday, February 27, 2006


Yesterday we had a lovely day of rest and relaxation. We had booked lunch at one of the local hotels and that included free use of the leisure facilities beforehand. We were told at Trailplus that there is no such thing as 'active rest' so I kept my time in the pool down to around 15 minutes and was careful to take it very slowly. Actually, I needed to be careful with breaststroke anyway as I picked up a groin strain on Saturday. Then into the steam room until cooked, finishing off with a lollop in the jacuzzi. Surely that was enough exercise to justify a 3 course lunch??

We spent the afternoon quietly reading and watching TV and it was an added bonus that I didn't then have to cook an evening meal.

We used to do this quite often as a family a few years ago, but now I insist that we are all home together for Sunday dinner, the only time in the week that we are neccessarily all there for a meal at the same time. Of course, that means that we don't want a big lunch though. However,son was playing at a 'gig' last night so had been given a 'dispensation' to be absent, hence our self-indulgent day!

Back to earth today as Mondays at work are always difficult.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Long cold run

This morning was not pleasant. Knowing that we were planning to be out about 9.00 I was, as usual, awake early. After a breakfast of toast and honey I popped down to the shop for some fresh bread etc. Even with my coat on I was frozen! The sky was a dirty grey and the wind cut right through me. It did not make me feel as if I wanted to get out there and run! This is where it's so good having hubby training with me, I would have found it very hard to go out on my own, leaving him in a lovely warm bed!

Hubby had devised today's route, so I had the luxury of not having to think! Off we set across the heath, with me wondering why on earth I was doing this. About an hour later I realised that the sun had come out. It was barely any warmer but it was good to see a bit of sun, it always makes me feel better. We're not sure of the exact distance today, but we were out for just under 3 hours. Much of this was 'off road' which is nice. However, much was into the wind, which is not nice! Having missed some training recently, my leggies were complaining about the unaccustomed work from quite early on. Nevertheless I ran most of it - apart from a nasty hill up onto the top of the heath towards the end. I knew that, if I ran that, I would be absolutely pooped, and that is not the idea on the long runs! So I 'power walked' to the top and was then able to push on for home.

I've since had a nice, bubbly bath and some lunch. The plan for this afternoon is to do lots of stretching - that will just have to be done lying down in front of the TV. It's a hard life, isn't it??

Friday, February 24, 2006


Perhaps I focused just a little too hard at circuits the other night, cos I am now suffering ftom DOMS - delayed onset muscle stiffness. Various muscles are complaining, even my glutes (aka bum!).

I went with a friend to her sports club this morning and did a very gentle swim in a lovely warm pool, so that helped. It's years since I swam so I only did about 20 minutes, but the stretch was really what I needed. After all, I need to be fit for tomorrow's LSR.

After yesterday's excitement about the sponsorship my Mum had raised, today I discovered that she meant she had got almost £150 worth of chocalte orders for me, not that amount of sponsorship. It's still really good going, but I only get 7.5% comission on what I sell, so that means I will have to revisit my justgiving site and revise my total again - only this time downwards :>((

I'm not even going to remind you of the website address, cos I think the only people who read this are my on-line running friends - and you lovely lot have given already!

I'd love a nice large glass of wine this evening, but I can't have it if we're running in the morning. You wait til tomorrow night....

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Back in the groove

I went out and did a gentle session with the club on Tuesday evening, and really enjoyed it with no ill effects. Yesterday was circuit training and at each station I tried to visualise how the exercise would help me in the marathon. I might have overdone that a bit as today my back is quite sore! It usually eases up when I run though, so no excuse not to go out with the club tonight.

The weather has been horrid all day, lots of very wet snow that is not sticking, but still gets in your ears and down your neck! Mind you, I would rather be outside in this than use the treadmill - after about 10 minutes on the 'dreadie' I am bored to tears and ready to throw in the towel, so cold, wet club session it is!

Having moaned about lack of fundraising support from my 'nearest and dearest' I must admit that my Mum is coming up trumps having raised about £150 on my behalf amongst her friends from church and where she lives. Thats about ten times what hubby has managed. Thanks Mum!

To see how my fundraising efforts are coming along, please visit

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Enforced rest

Today was the Lytchett 10 mile race and I was keen to do it, as this was my first ever 10 miler last year. It's a challenging course and I wanted to see how much I had knocked off my time. However, lots of running friends told me that I would be foolish to go ahead with it as I was still not well. I had coughed little yesterday and was generally feeling better. Then last night was spent in the armchair again as I woke coughing and just couldn't stop.

Right up to the last minute I was so tempted to enter the race, but managed to keep my sensible head on! I saw everyone off, then waited to cheer them all as they came back round 10 minutes later having completed a short loop. The speedy peeps would come back into view about 45 minutes later, and hubby more than 30 minutes after that. My plan was then to go and do a very gentle 30 minutes, just to stretch the leggies. After about 15 minutes I knew that I had had enough so went back to the school and got myself inside in the warm. By that time it was pouring with rain so I wrapped up warmly before going back outside to cheer hubby home.

I'm feeling very frustrated at my enforced rest but am sure that it was the correct thing to do. I still needed an hours sleep this afternoon even without the excuse that I'd done a LSR. Mind you - the effect of several nights poor sleep can't be discounted, especially as I usually need at least 8 hours every night. Hopefully, I'll be able to go out with the club on Tuesday and put in some good quality training.

Friday, February 17, 2006


I came back from Trailplus with a bit of a sniffle, but now have a streaming nose and nasty cough. Unfortunately, this has meant even more time missed from training which I am finding a bit worrying.

On Tuesday I did a good quality session with the club, managing to practice the 'Kenyan hills' training that we had learnt at TP. 'Kenyan' hills differ from 'ordinary' hills because they are done more slowly but without a break - the idea being to build endurance rather than just speed. The hill was really much steeper than recomended by the coaches and I was pleased to keep going up and down for just over 10 minutes.

Wednesday saw me sniffing and coughing a bit but I was still able to enjoy my circuit training session. I hadn't been able to go for a couple of weeks so it was good to get back into the swing of things. I tried to focus on how each station was helping towards my specific marathon preparations and to visualise myself running more strongly as a result. Being me, I did find some time for a chat and a laugh as well!

By yesterday my lurgy was in full flow, although I didn't actually feel too unwell. I was planning to go out with the club anyway. However, a good friend got very upset when I said that and remined me about the risks of developing heart problems due to exercising when you have a viral infection. By that stage I was starting to feel less than brilliant so, reluctantly, spent the evening at home. I'm really hoping that a couple of days now will save me having problems later on, and I do still have 9 weeks before the big day!

Have promised to take Mum to Tesco's today, but will then take it very easy - I might even be able to watch some of the olympics on TV....

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Finally got on the road just before 1.30 and arrived at Trailplus just after 5pm. Found my 'dorm' and time for a gentle couple of miles run before the light went.

The weekend was divided into talks and runs, interspersed with food. Not much time to relax until late evening as I didn't want to miss anything.

Gentle 3 miler before breakfast on Saturday, then a 5 mile 'threshold' session before lunch. After lunch we did a short hill session. Sunday saw a LSR - but only about 1hr 40 mins for me. This was for 2 reasons - 1) leggies were feeling tired from Saturday's exertions and 2) it seems that we are probably overtraining. The coaches reckon that anything over about 3 hours will have us 'banking' fatigue rather than endurance. It certainly seemed to make sense and we have agreed to cut back, at least for a while.

Said fond farewells just after 3pm and had a good journey home, arriving around 6pm. Hubby had dinner ready and son is currently washing up. My legs are a little sore and I am very tired (2 nights on a top bunk is not conducive to a restful night!)

This has really given my motivation a boost, but I'm not looking forward to rejoining the 'real' world tomorrow!

Friday, February 10, 2006

I'm so excited....

Today I'm going to the Forest of Dean for a 'Trailplus' weekend. This is a marathon training weekend with talks about training, nutrition, kit etc and lots of opportunities to run in the forest. There will be a lot of people there and it sounds as if it will be very informative. However, the reason I am particularly looking forward to it is that I am meeting up with some of my 'on-line' friends. I have been chatting to the people via the internet for about a year and met some of them at Windosr last year. It will be great to get together again for a 'real' natter rather than a 'virtual' one!

I'm feeling the need for a bit of light relief at the moment, so this is timely. I have been absolutely shattered for the past day or so and feeling very stressed because I don't seem to have time to do everything. I'm still working a few extra hours per week and that does make a difference to my time management. The nurse practitioner meeting on Wednesday was interesting, but I really wish I'd gone to circuits instead - especially as I returned from the meeting with the grand total of £5 in sponsorshop! Yesterday I went straight from work to a local prep school to talk to the children about 'back care' and general healthy stuff as part of their 'Health week'. In return I had been promised a 'small donation' towards my marathon fund. I spent 3 hours there talking to children from the reception group and years 2, 4 and 6. Years 4 and 6 were very good, 2 were OK but I didn't do too well with reception as I don't really have much experience with younger kids. The head gave me a small box of choccies and said 'Thank You' when I left - and promised to send a donation in due course. I'm not going to hold my breath waiting....

Last night I was shattered so decided to miss my club session. I did genuinely need to keep my kit clean as I will need it all this weekend, but I still felt very guilty. I had a bath and was asleep when hubby came home from his run at 20.20! I've been bingeing on lots of rubbish again recently, and I'm sure that is partly to blame for my slump in energy levels. That is sopmething I must address, otherwise I'm not going to make it to the start line, never mind the finish!

So all packed now and ready to go. Am going to the hairdressers, having an early lunch with hubby and hope to hit the road around 1pm. Will let you know all about it when I get home.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tired legs

As usual, Monday was a rest day. Having had a hectic day at work I was asleep very early, although also woke early on Tuesday as hubby was up just after 5am.

My quads were feeling a bit tight and my legs generally tired during the day yesterday. I was very tempted to either miss my club session or, at least, go out with the easier group. However, I will have to miss circuit training tonight so I didn't want to slack off. The session never felt good. Last time I went out with this group I had to work hard but was happy to be keeping up with the rest. Yesterday I was working hard just to hang on to the back of the group! At one stage one of the other girls was also feeling tired, so we cut a corner and took the opportunity to get our breath back. Nevertheless, aprox 10k done at a speed a little faster than I am comfortable with, so it's all grist to the mill.

Tonight I have to go to a 'Nurse Practitioners' meeting. They are always on Wednesdays and I hate missing my circuit training, but they are only once every 2 months. I really feel that I need to go to the next couple as I want to be very obvious with my sponsor form!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Blackmore Vale Half

After a lovely, lazy day yesterday, today I ran a half marathon around the lanes of north Dorset. The race started at 11.00, temperature -1 and hardly able to see your hand in front of your face due to freezing fog. Someone commented that the fog was actually a good thing as it meant that we would not be able to see the hills. Ah yes, the hills. We had been warned about them but were not sure how bad they would really be.

Well, the 1st mile went steeply downhill - and I tried to ignore the little gremlin on my shoulder that was reminding me that I would have to come back up it later on. Soon the course settled down into gentle undulations and I thought that it wasn't too bad. At around 3 miles there began a long, slow climb that seemed to go on for ever. Actually, it was probably a couple of miles all told. I was starting to get very warm at this point and realised that the sun had come out. The rest of the race took place under a cloudless blue sky. The view from the top of the hills was beautiful, it was almost worth having to run up them! I felt very strong between miles 5 - 10 and pushed on while I had lots of energy. The final mile [b]was[/b] as bad as anticipated, it was a case of gritting the teeth and battling to keep running. I did drop into a walk for a few paces but then realised that there was a group of spectators ahead and I was determined not to walk past them! Fortunately, the finish was only a few yards afterwards, so I was at least able to run across the line. My time was around 2hr 13 minutes, so I was delighted with that. Hubby finished about 5 minutes ahead and was, rightly, very pleased with himself too.

Our performance today has helped to restore confidence after last week's very slow 16 miles. It has also reminded me that 26 miles is a very long way!

We went to the local pub for lunch (jacket spud with mushrooms and blue vinney cheese for me), then drove home through more beautiful countryside. And to think - I used to live on the outskirts of Birmingham

Friday, February 03, 2006

Had a lovely day with friends on Sunday. These are people that we only see once a year, so we had a lot of catching up to do - as well as Christmas presents to exchange.

Unfortunately, on Monday I was feeling quite unwell and left work late morning - went home to bed. Tuesday was no better and I spent most of the day sleeping. Felt generally very lightheaded and was feverish. I think that might have been brewing and partly to blame for Saturday's bad run and after affects. I missed Tuesday's club run and also missed circuits on Wednesday, even though I was back at work. I was soooo ready for a run yesterday and enjoyed a steady 7 miles with a few club mates.

Today I went into town with a friend and caught up with each other's news. It was supposed to have been 'coffee' but we stopped and had lunch as well. Then I raided Tesco's on the way home. It is so cold that I'm glad to be home and don't intend to put my nose outside again today! The sky has been grey and the temperature has hardly dragged itself above zero for several days. The cold doesn't seem so bad when the sun is shining, but this is horrible. Do hope that it doesn't last long.

Haven't had any energy to spare for fundraising, and hubby doesn't seem interested either. I have promised myself that I am never going to do anything like this again!