Friday, April 28, 2006

R+R

Have enjoyed my week off work, catching up with friends and putting my credit card under stress. I now have some nice new clothes for our forthcoming cruise, but plenty of things still needed. I walked around the shops for hours yesterday so decided to forego my planned trot today - perhaps I'll do it over the weekend. I'm really missing my club sessions though, pity I won't be able to return for a few weeks due to other commitments.

Just about to settle down in front of the TV with a bottle of something - this is the life!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Marathon + 2

Slept much better last night. My legs were incredibly sore before I went to bed, but felt easier when I woke. I went out and did a very gentle 25 minute recovery run and stretched out some of the knots.

It's taken me ages to catch up with my e-mails - so many messages of support from so many lovely peeps. Thank you, everyone.

Today I plan to pop into work and also see Mum - after all, I need to show off my medal, don't I??

Monday, April 24, 2006

Race report

Hubby and I set off for London by coach on Saturday morning and arrived early afternoon. We found our hotel, had something to eat and then relaxed for a couple of hours - water ever present at our side. Early evening saw us at the Thistle Hotel in Trafalgar Square meeting up with people from the 'Runners' World' internet forum for drinks, then on for a pasta meal. It was lovely to renew acquaintance with old friends, and to make some new ones. We were away early though so that we could try and get some sleep. 'Try' was the operative word. I slept soundly until about 3.30am, then was tossing and turning until just before 6am. Up, dressed and down to breakfast. We were surprised at just how many other people in the hotel were doing the same thing. Was there anyone who wasn't taking part today?

The weather on Saturday had been very warm and I was seriously worried about getting sunburn during the run. However, Sunday dawned grey and drizzly, so that was one less thing to worry about!

We left the hotel at around 7.15am to make our way to the start. Hubby and I were starting from different places, so we said our fond farewells at Charing Cross station and set out to enjoy the day.

After meeting up with forum friends again before the start and hanging around for some time I decided it was time to join the queue for the loo (again!). Good job I did as there was then scant time to get my baggage on the lorry before going to the start. Wouldn't you know that the lorry corresponding to my race number was almost the furthest away from the start. I must have walked several miles even before the marathon started!

At the start I was chatting to a lady and discovered she was yet another 'forumite'. She'd been injured recently and wanted to start off slowly, so we stayed together until just after halfway. Thanks Jo!

Unfortunately, I started to get pain in my left knee after just a few miles. Very frustrating as I have never had this before and don't know what caused it. By halfway I knew that all thoughts of finishing in a particular time had gone out of the window. It was now about finishing full stop.

I knew that I would be able to get some ibuprofen from friends at mile 17, so I gritted my teeth and kept going. Muttering my 'mantra' under my breath 'When I get to mile 15 I will say........' etc. I was soooo glad to see my friends at mile 17, I virtually fell into their arms - demanding gels, jelly beans and ibuprofen! My knee really hurt once I tried to run again, but I stopped again about 200 meters further down the road as I needed the loo. Whilst queuing here, someone pointed out that the distance remaining was now in single figures. Thank you, whoever you are!

By this stage I barely knew who I was, never mind anything else. The knee wasn't so bad, but everything else hurt and I was getting really tired. I retreated within myself, but was grateful for the shouts of 'Come on Lyn' from the crowd - it was well worth putting my name onto my T shirt! The various bands along the route also lifted my spirits, and my pace, for as long as I was able to hear them. There was one band that was particularly good, around mile 23, and I rounded the corner smiling - only to spot hubby walking ahead of my. His hip had started hurting early on and he had been walking for some miles. We had a quick chat and I pushed on.

The next milestone for me was around mile 24 where my clubmates often stand. It didn't really matter whether anyone was there - it was the 24 mile bit that was important! I didn't see anyone I knew (well, it was raining quite heavily by then) but I recognised that I was in crawling distance of home. Along the embankment I heard someone on a mobile phone saying 'I've just run past the London Eye'. Typically for me, I wouldn't have noticed if I'd just been run over by the London Eye!

Finally! A sign saying '800 meters to go', probably the longest 800 meters of my life but 'This too must pass' and, eventually, I crossed the finish line in a time of 5hrs, 20mins and 35secs. Hallelujah! Having managed to remain dry-eyes for most of the day, I new felt like crying. I really wished there had been someone there to give me a hug and say 'Well done' as there had been in every other race I have taken part in. Usually hubby is there and a few club mates too. At that stage I felt very lonely. Finally met hubby at the appointed place. He was very tired and sore so we limped home.

There was another forum get-together afterwards but, having returned to our hotel to shower and change, we really didn't feel like going out again. We managed to hobble around the corner for a meal and a biiiiiig glass of wine, then back to bed.

I had expected to sleep really well, but had another disturbed night. Everything is stiff this morning, but the knee isn't too bad. I have managed to avoid knocking myself out with my medal, but I fully intend to continue wearing it for a few days yet!

I can truly say that was horrible, and it hurt a lot. I will never, ever do it again - well, not until next time....

Friday, April 21, 2006

2 days to go

Yesterday I took the coach up to London so that I could visit the 'Expo' and collect my race number, chip, kit bag etc. There weren't many people there, which was good cos I didn't have to queue or worry about getting my toes trodden on. However, for the same reason it was also lacking in atmosphere so I didn't stay long.

In the evening I went down for a drink with my clubmates, everyone wanted to wish us well and give advice!

Today I need to visit Tesco, but that is about all. Otherwise I'll be found relaxing with my feet elevated and plenty of water and carbs to hand.

I saw this today and it reflects the way I try to think during long runs.

I will start
When the gun goes off.
I will run
For five miles
Feeling good.
I will run
To the tenth mile.
I will say
“Only three more
to the halfway.”
At the halfway mark
13.1 miles,
I will know
Fifteen is within reach.
At fifteen miles
I will say
“I’ve run twenty before,
Keep going”
At twenty
I will say
“Run home.”

Wishing 'Good Luck' to everyone else who is taking part in a marathon this weekend.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

4 days to go

I had a nice day on Monday, just a gentle stroll with some of our am-dram friends and lunch afterwards. However, I seem to have agreed to stand in for someone who has just dropped out of the next play with just 4 weeks to go before we open. The girls who dropped out is a ditzy 28 year old blonde, so I was an obvious replacement (those who have met me will be rolling around laughing at this point)!! So after the big day I will need to really concentrate on learning the part but for now I have other things on my mind.

Just went out and did 30 a minute run yesterday. As usual, the 1st mile felt awful, but I pushed on somewhat faster than I my recent LSR pace and was glad to feel the leggies perk up a bit. Have missed tonight's circuit session for fear of doing myself a damage. I frequently pull one muscle or another in the sessions and just don't want to take any chances at this stage.

I'm also trying to avoid sick people like the plague - which is fun as I work in a Doctors' surgery!

Tomorrow I will go up to London by coach so that I can visit the 'Expo' and collect my race number. I'm sure that the excitement will really start to build then!

Now that the day is almost upon us, people have been very kind as regards donating to my charity. Why don't you visit www.justgiving.com/lynsmarathon to see how I am doing?

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Countdown - 1 week to go

Got out onto the heath yesterday whilst hubby was at work. Unusually for me, I just went out with no fixed plan in mind and took random turnings as the fancy took me. The area isn't that big and I knew that I couldn't get really lost so I wasn't worried on that score. The legs felt really heavy to start with but I did go a bit faster than my usual slow run pace. In fact, I only did 50 minutes as I misjudged the path a bit and didn't want to do another loop. Was happy with that though and it was nice to get out on my own for a change.

Last night we went out for a Chinese meal with friends and tried out a new restaurant. The food and surroundings were good and we enjoyed ourselves.

This morning hubby and I went for a stroll along the quay, but it had become very cloudy so we didn't stay out long. I have some letters that I want to take round to our nearest neighbours asking for sponsorship. I originally intended to do a couple of hundred and hit the local area, but that seems to have been whittled down to about 20! No offers of help forthcoming from hubby or son, so it looks as if I will have to get out there and deliver them.

I can't believe that by this time next week the marathon will be all over (bar disasters). I wonder what I am going to do next?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Last club run - or was it?

Yesterday was supposed to be my last club session before the London Marathon. Our usual coach is away, so hubby is taking our group on Thursdays. Now, I need at least a mile to get myself going and am reeeeely slow until then. 'Real' coach knows this and tends to go off slowly until we are all warmed up. However, hubby went off ahead, as is his want, towing the faster peeps along with him but leaving me trailing in his wake. I was muttering darkly under my breath and said to another of the group that I never want to run with hubby again! After about 15 mins he did stop for me to catch up but was very sarcastic and patronising - so I turned round and went off on my own. As hubby had the car keys I plodded on home and was watching a DVD with son before hubby dragged himself home from the bar.

Not a disaster though as I got a 45 min plod at my own speed (a little faster than mara pace and working hard up the final hill to home) and had de stressed by the time I got home. Kissed and made up so we are speaking to each other this morning. Just as well as it is our wedding anniversary!

Hubby is working tomorrow so I will out and do my designated hour on my own, which will probably be good for both of us! Then out for dinner with friends tomorrow evening and chill out for rest of weekend.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Club session

Was in two minds whether to go down to the club tonight as our usual coach is away and I didn't want to risk injury through trying to keep up with the faster group. No problem though as one of the new coaches was asked to look after our little group. This is n older man who has been a member of the club for some years and he was careful to ensure that we were all OK. Had a steady trot out, then a few speedier circuits before a gentle jog back. Really enjoyed the session and am glad that I went.

Since coming home I have pigged out on some leftover toffee pudding. There are no calories in leftovers, right? Right??

Oh dear.....

Monday, April 10, 2006

Catch up - again

Time has sped by and I've just realised that I haven't blogged for a week.

Have taken things very gently in that time really. No club session on Tuesday as I went down to support clubmates who were running in a local 5k. The plan was to go out and run afterwards but that didn't materialise. Circuits on Wednesday was cancelled as there was no instructor. At least that meant that I could go out with the girls from work without feeling guilty!

After all this rest, I was itching to run and enjoyed my club session on Thursday. However, it was slower than planned as one of the group was suffering from a sore calf so had to take it easy.

Saturday we did a 2 hour LSR. It was raining when I got up, then the sun came out and the day was all sparkly and new. Much of the route was off-road, including ankle deep mud which was great fun.

Yesterday we went out for a stroll and lunch - only the stroll ended up being nearly 1.5 hours in each direction! On the way back we managed to find more mud and had to endure a persistent hailstorm - no shelter available so nothing we could do other than keep going.

Time to get ready for w*rk now, so better get moving!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Bournemouth Bay Half

I seem to have picked up another bug and had been feeling generally off colour for several days. Runny nose, irritating cough and generally achey. I think this must be due to the increased training as I had hardly a sniffle last winter. Mind you, I'm still bingeing on carp, so that doesn't help!

Having taken things easy on Saturday I still wasn't sure whether to do the half on Sunday or not. However, I slept well the preceding night and felt well on waking so decided to give it a try. I did this race last year so knew that the course did a small loop early on and came past the start again at 3.5 miles, so I promised myself I would drop out if I didn't feel right. Went off gently and took the first hill steadily. In fact, it's the only major hill of the course but comes very early on before you're really into things. I was trying hard to stick to 11.5 min miling and felt very comfortable so opted to carry on. The day was grey and windy so the seafront part of the route (almost half of it) wasn't as scenic as it could have been. Didn't really matter though as there were other things on my mind!

After about 7 miles we left the prom again and climbed up to a housing estate, then onto the overcliff and heading into the wind now. Still a gentle uphill climb for several miles, then a steep downhill section back onto the prom for the last 1.5 miles. The wind was directly in our faces here - as was the sand! I felt well and had kept to my plan up til this point so I decided to push for home as much as I could. I passed a few people along this section, which always feels good! My time was 2hr 26, which is about the same as last year (or even a little slower) but I'm happy with that as I had kept to my designated pace.

I must admit that I didn't feel too good for the rest of the day, but had recovered by the next morning.

Today is my usual club day but we had agreed to support out mates at the local ladies 5k, then those of us who had not entered would go for a gentle run afterwards. However, only 1 other person actually turned up to do this (and she's carrying an injury) so I only did about 15 minutes in the end. I'm sure this won't hurt me, but I am disappointed as it had been a lovely evening and I would have enjoyed a gentle trot around the park. Was too cold and stiff to want to do this on my own afterwards I'm afraid!

No circuits tomorrow and am looking forward to my night out with the girls from work.
Note to self - don't forget that you need to eat less now that you have reducd your training!