Monday, 31 December 2007

Slowly does it - 6 miles!!

Well in my last run of 2007 I clocked up some of my slowest miles today - but then I've also run the longest distance I've ever done, and it's the length of time spent running today that was the important thing, not the speed! I ran 6 miles in 71 minutes:

Mile 1 - 11m09s
Mile 2 - 12m30s
Mile 3 - 12m49s
Mile 4 - 12m03s
Mile 5 - 11m16s
Mile 6 - 11m04s

It was hard work though - glad I've got a day off tomorrow!!

6 miles in 1h11m would be a marathon in 5h10m, but I still have 15 weeks left to improve upon that.

Happy New Year!!

Sunday, 30 December 2007

More gentle jogging

After a day off yesterday, I went out for a more gentle run today (not pushing too far before my "long" run tomorrow). I was aiming for 11 minute miles rather than the under-10-minute ones I've been doing, but ended up doing the first one faster than expected. It's great to think that running a mile in ten and a half minutes feels like a relaxed run, when at the beginning of October a twelve minute mile felt like very hard work!

Mile 1 - 10m35s
Mile 2 - 11m44s

Tomorrow's the big one.
I should be aiming for a 75 minute run at the end of "Week 1" according to the Flora London Marathon 1st timers training plan. But that would be much more than a 10% increase in my weekly run, which according to the Dummies Guide to running a marathon is a bad thing. So I'll maybe run for 6 miles, in about 65-70 minutes which is somwhere in between.

Friday, 28 December 2007

I timed it right today

It looked a bit gloomy and was windy and just raining when I set out for a mile today, and I got back home in 8m49s and about five minutes later it started chucking it down.

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Ouch... does it get any easier?

It's days like today that make me wonder what I've let myself in for. I would have hoped by now that it wouldn't hurt to run, but my legs were complaining today that they really didn't want to run. Especially the 2nd mile... Still, I've managed to better my 2 mile training time again, down to 19m09s

Mile 1 - 9m16s
Mile 2 - 9m53s

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

Boxing Day Run

Today I've run a mile in 9m11s, not my best but then I did have a huge curry for an alternative Christmas dinner yesterday (which I cooked from scratch all by myself in a mere four hours!!), and with all the wine and chocolate and baileys and mince pies, I think I'll be busy for a couple of weeks getting fit again...

Monday, 24 December 2007

5 in 54 (again!!)

Today's five miles took about the same as last week:

Mile 1 - 10m17s
Mile 2 - 11m11s
Mile 3 - 11m22s
Mile 4 - 11m16s
Mile 5 - 10m43s

When does running start to get easier?! Looking forward to a day off tomorrow!!

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Slippery when wet. And cold.

It was rather slippy in places this morning when I went out for my run. I managed a mile (clockwise) in only 10m52s as I had to make sure of my tread on the corners where the sun hadn't done its job very well. I hope the weather is a little warmer tomorrow when I want to do my weekly long run...

Saturday, 22 December 2007

2 miles in under 20 minutes

Today I've managed my fastest 2 mile run in training, in 19m24s
Mile 1 - 9m36s
Mile 2 - 9m48s

Back to a mile tomorrow...

Friday, 21 December 2007

9 miles in 7 days

In the last week I've notched up 9 miles (and that was with 2 days off). Today I managed my mile in 9m46s.

Running planned for tomorrow and Sunday, with my long run (5 miles hopefully) on Christmas eve. That way I get Christmas day off (!) and then back to the mile on Boxing day.

So far I have run 56.7 miles in 79 days. And there are only 114 days to go until the big one!!

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Gentle jogging

To get back into it after another day off (and a late night, and somewhat drunken one at that) I took it easy this evening, and made it round the mile in 10m07s. Good for a gentle run - I was expecting it to be nearer 11 or 12 minutes...

[Off topic] IS Club 7

A video snippet from last night's department Christmas Party, entertainment provided by the Information Systems super group - IS Club 7:



Back to the running this evening, honest!!

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

10 minute mile

A day off yesterday to recover from my 5 mile run, and today I was back out for a mile, despite not really feeling like it. It's going to be tough to make sure I get out as often as possible - at least 5-6 times a week, especially when it's cold and dark. I managed to persuade myself (with a bit of encouragement from my lovely wife!). For a change I ran it clockwise again, which somehow seems harder. Anyway, I made it in 9m59s, not bad considering to still be under 10 minutes. Another day off tomorrow (it's the department Christmas party). Back to it on Thursday...

Sunday, 16 December 2007

5 in 54!!

Today I've run 5 miles in 54 minutes!

Mile 1 - 10m27s
Mile 2 - 11m16s
Mile 3 - 11m07s
Mile 4 - 11m05s
Mile 5 - 10m30s

... and if I could just keep that up for 26.2 miles, I'd be able to complete the marathon in 4h43m!

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Could I run the London Marathon in 3h45m ???

Well I could if I kept up today's mile pace - 8m35s!! Obviously there's no way I could keep that pace up for long, certainly not for over 3 hours... but look back at October. A mere 8 weeks ago I was running a mile in over 12 minutes. So I've knocked 30% off my time in two months!!

Actually the website I found before (see my post from 29th October) estimates that a fast mile of 8m35s is a 4h52m marathon. Still, I've still over 16 weeks to go... so that sub 4h30m time doesn't look so far off now!

Thursday, 13 December 2007

1 mile in 9m18s

Still cold tonight, but I made it round the mile even more quickly this evening!

That's my second fastest mile to date...

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Brrr rrr rrr rrrr!!

Too tired and too cold yesterday, so I treated myself to another day off running, and did 1,000 steps instead - indoors watching Chelski fail to score against Valencia.
 
Out for a run tonight, in spite of the cold, and I ran a mile in 9m36s - which is my fastest mile so far in the dark!
 
I may be forced to swap running to lunchtime soon, to make the most of the warmer daylight hours...

Monday, 10 December 2007

4 in 21

I went out for another 4 miles this evening, this time in a no impact kind of exercise, as I wanted to take a day off running, but didn't want to miss out on maintaining the get-fit regime I'm now on. I cycled the same 4 miles that I ran yesterday, in 21 minutes. Although my bike's convinced it's over 4.5 miles!

4.52miles in 20m55s averaging 13.2mph and a top speed of 22.2mph.
Lap times of: 5m08s, 5m21s, 5m12s, 5m14s

I'm quite happy that my "mile" lap of the village may in fact be over 1.1 miles - as it means that the runs that I'm doing are actually better than the running times I am recording... which should mean I'm doing better than I think I am!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

4 in 43


Today I've run 4 miles in 43 minutes!

Mile 1 - 10m13s
Mile 2 - 10m54s
Mile 3 - 11m13s
Mile 4 - 10m46s

At that pace that would be a marathon in 4h42m - and I'd be quite happy with that.
It seemed a lot easier today. The prospect of running 5 or 6 miles doesn't seem too daunting now, although running 26 still does!

Saturday, 8 December 2007

A mile in 9m16s is a marathon in 4h02m

If I could keep today's mile pace up for the whole race next April... I'd be so close to a 4 hour marathon - which would be amazing!

If you're reading this - please leave me a comment! Any words of encouragement will be most welcome - especially when I ramp up my training in a week or two. That's when the hard work starts, and I'll be able to tell if running 9-minute miles is going to be possible...

Friday, 7 December 2007

s54m9 - esrever ni elim A

For a change this evening when I did my normal 1 mile lap of the village, I did it clockwise. It took 9m45s, and would have been quicker if it wasn't so dark!
I think I'd better get some running lights.
 
A third of the way into my overall training plan (65 days gone, 128 to go!!), and I've made quite an improvement on the 12-minute-mile pace that I started out at.
I should be starting my 16-week marathon training plan in 2 weeks' time... three days before Christmas!

Thursday, 6 December 2007

London Marathon in April ... showers?

It rains in April, doesn't it? Ah well, good practice this evening then, splashing through puddles. Brrrr. I only braved it out for the 0.6mile lap this evening, in a time of 4m50s. Still, it was the getting out there that was important!

Better weather tomorrow I hope, and maybe no April showers come the marathon next year..... please?!?!

Santa Warm-up video (thanks to Fox FM)



It stops about half way through though... (so watch your speakers/headphones at the 46 second mark!!)

I'm the one front left (2nd row) with "784" on the front of my Santa suit...

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Sub 10 minute miles

I ran out for 2 miles today, and did them in under 20 minutes:
Mile 1 - 9m22s
Mile 2 - 10m09s

That's more like it!!
I wonder if I can keep that pace up for 3 miles at the weekend?!

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Santa Fun Run in Pictures


Lauren feels a bit silly


Lauren thinks Dad is a bit silly too


Outside Exeter College, just registered


Not feeling so silly - there are lots of Santas about


Only 20 minutes to go - what have we let ourselves in for!


Warm-up exercises in a minute...


There's quite a few of us now!


5 minutes to go - 700 santas to the start please


The 2 mile Santa Fun Run route


We did it in less than 30 minutes

(it took me 30 seconds to get my camera!)


Phew, glad that's all over!!


Just glad it didn't rain harder, we got wet enough!

We did it!

Lauren and I made it round the 2 miles in the wind and the rain this morning, in a fraction under 30 minutes! Pictures to follow...

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Warming up for tomorrow

I went out with my daughter today for a warm-up run for tomorrow's Fun Run. We didn't do it as a dress rehersal though!!
We ran round the 0.8 mile lap of the village, in 7m58s.
 
Let's hope the forecast of rain for tomorrow doesn't come true...

Friday, 30 November 2007

Over £200 for Helen & Douglas House



Thank You!!

Thanks to everyone who has sponsored my daughter and me to do the Santa Fun Run in aid of Helen & Douglas House on Sunday.

So far I've raised over £200 for this great cause. That's fantastic, everyone has been very generous.

Pictures to follow next week!!

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Protein diet!

before
Out for a slap up meal tonight at La Fontana in Hanney, courtesy of the project I've been on again this year...
After frogs' legs to start, I followed up with a massive T bone steak. Now that's what I call a steak!! I need to up my meat intake, it's good for building up my muscles (that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!)

after

I've run a marathon!

Since I bought my new running shoes 5 weeks ago, I've run 26.2 miles in them! That's after this evening's 0.8m run in 7m21s, which I ran in reverse (anti-clockwise) for a change... All I need to do now is condense 5 weeks' running into 5 hours, or less, and that's it!!

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Snap...

Having had a very late night last night (and those uni kids really ought to know better on a shool night), I decided on a slightly shorter 0.7 miles, and did the same route I ran last Tuesday in the same time.
 
Back to 0.8 miles tomorrow & Friday, then a mile on Saturday and the 2 mile Santa Fun Run on Sunday!

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Darker the trotter...

I had to tread carefully this evening, as it was very dark for my run, which I only did in 7m59s. Still, since I was dashing in from work, eating and dashing straight out again to go to Unitruck, I was glad I still made myself go out for my daily lap.

Tomorrow is officially a day off, but I might squeeze a quick trot in if I can!

Monday, 26 November 2007

7m47s

The 0.8 mile circuit was a bit slower this evening. I think I set off too fast, wanting to get it over in a hurry and ended up taking longer!

Sunday, 25 November 2007

3 miles again, and not out of breath

I ran three miles again today, and it seemed to get easier on each one. I was even tempted to do 4, but didn't want to push myself too far today, especially since my times were a bit down on last week.

Mile 1 - 11m09s
Mile 2 - 12m28s
Mile 3 - 12m00s

It's the 2 mile Santa Fun Run next Sunday, so I'll be doing my "long" run on Monday instead (having a few days off work).

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Brrr

In spite of the cold today, I went out for the 0.8 mile lap, and did it in 6m59s. I was hoping to go for a long cycle ride, but the gloomy weather kept me indoors. I dusted off my stepping machine and did three 10 minute workouts on that instead.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Ock it's a broad brickt moonlickt nickt tonickt

with apologies to any Scots who are reading this!

I thought I'd be able to run my new daily lap quicker than yesterday, since it's a lot easier to see the pavements this evening, but it took me a whole 5 seconds longer (7m24s)... oh well - better luck tomorrow (in the rain?!).
 
Sponsorship is flowing in for the Santa Fun Run, we're up to £80 so far, and still a week to go. So please feel free to sponsor me - anything at all will help such a good cause. Thanks!!

Thursday, 22 November 2007

6.55mph

Today I started my new daily 0.8 mile lap of the village, in 7m19s which is a quite reasonable 6.55mph (that's a marathon in 4 hours).
Mind you it is dark and wet, so I expect to do better on Saturday when I run it in daylight!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Ho Ho Ho (again)



My suit (for the Santa Fun Run) turned up today. My wife says I look dashing but I'm not convinced! If you'd like to sponsor my daughter and me to run the 2 miles in a couple of weeks, please do!
The page for this is at http://www.bmycharity.com/ulenandlauren/

Today I tried out a slightly longer route for my "daily 5 minute" run, upping it to 0.7 miles and I did it in 6m45s. Tomorrow's a day off (as was yesterday tsk tsk), then on Thursday I've sorted out a better route at 0.8 miles which I hope to stick to for a week or two and then I'll be aiming to do a mile a day from December onwards.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Back in training (21 weeks to go)

After a few days off (due to an annual hospital check-up), I was back in training yesterday. I ran my 5 minute lap again in er... 5 minutes.

Today as it's Sunday it's back to the "long" run. I wanted to do 3 miles, and decided I'd do at least 2 and see if I felt up to the 3rd. Which I did!

32m35s was just a bit better than last week, but on the whole fairly consistent:

Mile 1 - 10m01s
Mile 2 - 11m11s
Mile 3 - 11m23s

I may extend my daily run tomorrow a bit, and soon will be running at least a mile a day.

Monday, 12 November 2007

~10 minute mile

I did a mile this evening in 10m09s ... That's just a little off my top target time, and a bit different from the 12 minute miles I was running last month!

Ho ho ho!!

If you're in Oxford on Sunday 2nd December, why not pop along and watch the Santa Fun Run in aid of Helen and Douglas House?




I'll be there with my daughter running the 2 miles through the streets of Oxford, though you'd be hard pushed to recognise us as we'll be running along with 600 other Santas!

Sunday, 11 November 2007

3 in 33

I've finally made my target of running 3 miles in one go, that I've been building up to gradually for the last few weeks.
It's a little milestone on the long route to the 26, but I was quite chuffed to have done it. And yes, it felt good!!!
 
Mile 1 - 10m24s
Mile 2 - 11m23s
Mile 3 - 11m13s
 
Total 33 minutes. Averaging 11 minute miles would be a sub 5-hour marathon which is my "2nd" target.
 
Target 1 - just to finish (however long it takes!)
Target 2 - to finish in under 5 hours
Target 3 - to finish in under 4½ hours
Target 4 - to do it in 10 minute miles, so about 4h20
 

Saturday, 10 November 2007

A marathon in 4 hours 9 minutes?

I ran a mile again today in 9 minutes 31.94 seconds which at that pace would be just over 4 hours for the whole marathon - which is under my target time!
 
Tomorrow I shall up my "distance" run to 3 miles (more likely at the 11+ minute per mile pace).

Friday, 9 November 2007

ZzzZzz

It's been a long week. Went out for the usual 5 minutes again yesterday, but today's a day off. Not great as I should be running off the calories from my lunch - "The Columbo Sandwich" - a steak & salad doorstop!

Training in the winter sucks; it's cold, dark, windy & wet. Time to get my home gym sorted...

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Getting better

I did my 0.6 mile run again this evening. And I wasn't that tired out after it. I've decided not to time myself this week - so I can see my times come down next week, when I'll be upping the distance.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Back to the short runs

After a day off yesterday (having been off out early to see this lot), I went out for another 5 minute run this evening.
It seemed all too easy - so perhaps I'll need to add a few extra hundred yards tomorrow...

Sunday, 4 November 2007

A marathon in 5 hours

I went out for a "long" run today for 2 miles again. I did the 1st one in 11m38s and the 2nd in 11m33s. If I can train myself to keep that pace up for 5 hours - then that's the marathon done! If I can do it in 5 hours then I'd be very happy - as finishing it at all will be brilliant. But the thought of running for 5 whole hours still seems very daunting!!

Next Sunday I want to up my weekly "long" run to 3 miles...

Saturday, 3 November 2007

Breaking the speed limit on a bike (well almost)

I cycled 9.74 miles in 41m53s averaging 13.9mph. Downhill into Shellingford I reached my top speed for the ride - 29.6mph going into a 30mph limit...
In another few weeks I may even be able to break it! Although I'd still have to go some to beat my personal best of 37mph (downhill into Oxford when I was about 18).
 
Tomorrow I shall practise a longer run. 2 or maybe even 3 miles.

4m38s

It's much easier to run in daylight!
 
Off for a bike ride in a bit to get a more sustained cardiovascular workout.

Friday, 2 November 2007

5m06s

Ran round the 0.6 miles the other way this evening for a change.
Back to 30+ minute exercising at the weekend...

Thursday, 1 November 2007

5m11s

That makes my average so far 5m4s - or a mile in 8½ minutes when I'm back to running miles.

A suffusion of green

Having chomped up another kilo of carrots yesterday for my daily half-litre of carrot juice to take to work, I decided to have a go at the apples that were turning every so slightly wrinkly in the fruit bowl.

I quartered, de-stalked and de-cored 8 apples, and then let them loose in my juicer. This produced 2 glasses of an interestingly cloudy green drink, quite dissimilar to the apple juice that you'd buy. Of course the difference is that apple juice is pressed, so just the juice is squeezed out of the fruit. It can be quite sharp. I was pulverising the flesh and the skins, so I ended up with a much more subtle-tasting drink. Not so thirst quenching, yet much more flavoursome (imho). And then when I cleaned out the pulp it was very very gloopy apple purée (quite unlike the dryish remains that carrots leave). My wife pointed out that this was just like the kind of baby food that comes in jars. Perhaps I ought to start a sideline in producing foodstuffs? How about The madasaboxoffrogs tasteless gloop company...

 

4m59s

I went out for my new daily "5 minute" run again yesterday. It's good, once I get over the feeling that it's hardly worth going out for such a short run. Ideally I should be doing half an hour of exercise a day, right?
Running for 5 minutes every day is actually really good though. It's something I can do every day, even if I'm not feeling like a run. I know that such a short run is not going to last long, so I have no excuse not to get out running every day. And because I'm not running for a couple of miles (or cycling for over half an hour), it means I have plenty of time to juice up some more carrots!!
 
Back to the bike and a longer run at the weekend, but for now - the new daily run is now a regular part of my get-fit programme.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

4m50s

... to do 0.6 miles today.

Monday, 29 October 2007

5m15s - 0.6 miles

Having poured over the handy route planner on realbuzz.com - I worked out a shorter route so I can run for 5 minutes a day. It's a little over half a mile, and I made it in a little over 5 minutes. If only I could keep that pace up (8m20s per mile) - that would be a marathon in 3h50m!!!

How does anyone manage to run a mile in 4 minutes?!

Realistically - running a fast mile is not a real indication of running over distance.
But this website has an algorithm which predicts the kind of time you can do in a long race given a fast mile time. This would suggest that if I can do an 8 minute mile in fast training that I would be on target to run a ~10½-minute-per-mile marathon, with a finishing time of a little over 4½ hours. That's a very encouraging target to aim for. I'll have a better idea of how achievable that is when I start training in earnest! For the time being I'm still in the "getting fit" stage, so none of the timings I'm making at the moment matter much, it's just a way of seeing if I'm improving from when I started out at the beginning of the month.

Any more carrot and you'll have to call me Jasper...

carrots, carrots, getcha luvly carrots 'ereI bought a net of horse carrots from Wantage market on Saturday, for £2.50 (which turns out to be a bargain as there were 10kg!) They make perfectly good juice, which tastes great, so I'll be a regular customer there from now on...

After that I went magazine delivering with my wife, and we spent about 3 hours delivering 500 of them.

A well earned day off yesterday, and this evening just a short run out to try my new half-mile course... as I've decided to take Fit2Run's advice and do daily 5 minute runs to increase my speed and give me a good base upon which to develop my running skills.

Friday, 26 October 2007

11m41s

I tried out my new shoes this evening, and set off at a much brisker pace than would be possible to keep up for long at the moment. I managed a mile in 11 minutes 41 seconds. That would be a marathon in just over 5 hours, although there's no way I could keep that pace up for long! Still, it's all about the fitness at the moment, and any little improvement is a good sign...

Thursday, 25 October 2007

I am now inspired by my feet!!!

ulen's feet are now inspired
I have bought a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire 3 running shoes, from the very helpful guys at Fit2Run in Abingdon. They also advised me that I should be running for about 5 minutes every day, rather than running for 2 miles (25 minutes) twice a week. Consistency is the key - rather than pushing myself too far too soon.

I think I've done enough today, but will be eager to try out my new shoes tomorrow!!

26+ miles today!

I've covered a marathon distance today, by cycling to Abingdon and back.
12 miles each way, plus a few miles round Abingdon itself. The reason to visit Abingdon was to a) buy a pair of running shoes from fit2run and b) to pick up nightshift from Dawsons music. The first thing was easy, and I came away seventy-five pounds lighter. More on that later. Sadly, however, my second reason for visiting Abingdon was not fulfilled, as Dawsons has now shut down. I'll have to make a trip to Baby John's in Didcot instead.

Anyway - here's what I managed today (I didn't time the other few miles around Abingdon)



 OutReturn
Distance12.03 miles12.01 miles
Time58m24s58m12s
Avg speed12.3mph12.3mph
Top speed23.0mph24.7mph

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

325m

I only managed 13 lengths today; 10 breaststroke and 3 front crawl. I think I need to go swimming more frequently!

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

1 + 0.3 miles

A slightly different route for this evening's jog. Instead of turning for home at 0.8 miles I carried onto the co-op to buy some mushrooms for the spaghetti bolognese to complete the first mile, then back via church green to get home again. I didn't time it this evening, but it felt easier than I thought it would when I set out.

Running through the churhyard in the dark reminded me of how scared I used to be of the gravestones at nighttime as a kid (especially the tomb-like one on the corner). Mind you the streetlighting is better these days, and there's no goat clanking its chain hidden down behind the church to scare the wits out of you anymore!

Swimming tomorrow...

Monday, 22 October 2007

Brrr

I went out after dusk to cycle the 8 mile route again this evening.
Unlike a BMW or Williams, I don't seem to benefit from enhanced performance by using cold fuel... the lower temperature nitrogen/oxygen mix I was inhaling didn't improve my time from yesterday morning, as today I did the 8.3m circuit in 38 minutes, averaging only 12.7mph and managing a top speed of 25.9mph...

Back to the running tomorrow!

Sunday, 21 October 2007

2 miles!

I felt so good after running 1 mile this evening, that I carried on and did another.
A bit slower than Thursday, I did them both in 25'17". That's a marathon in 5½ hours.

8 miles in 36 minutes

I cycled the 8 mile route I am planning to run round in December.
I'm still a bit rusty, but now I have a new set of bike lights this will be a regular route to get a much needed half hour of exercise as part of my cross training. Today I managed:
time: 35'55"
avg: 13.4mph
max: 28.5mph

Now I'm off to run a mile.

Thursday, 18 October 2007

12'12"

Ran out for another mile this evening. I was planning to do three, but since I got no training in at the weekend, am only just getting over a chest cold I thought I'd not push it...

I timed it for the first time. A steady jog, completed in 12 minutes 12 seconds.
That's a marathon in 5.333 hours. That's if I can keep that pace up for all 26.2 miles! Still it gives me a starting point. I wouldn't mind doing it in 5 hours, mind you just completing at all is my main aim!!

Off weight lifting tomorrow. Lifting sofas and beds and things down from a 1st floor flat for a house move!

More training to come on Sunday...

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

I'm a juice extracting maniac!!!

I bought one of these from the outlet centre in Swindon:

for only £19.99 and I got this book thrown in for free:


I also bought 3kg of carrots from Sainsbury's (bargain at only 33p/kg), and it juices them up a treat!!

It alleges to retail at £64 so I thought I'd snagged a real bargain, but it's on Kelkoo from £29.99 (so not such a huge saving after all). Still, it's very good so far.

Today I tried cucumber juice (yuck); celery juice (double YUCK) and then melon & grape (quite yummy, but I think I would have preferred the melon in fruit form). Oh and carrot juice too. Mixing the celery, cucumber & carrot together works ok.

Hopefully all this fruit & veg juice will help to stave off the horrible coldy chest cough infection thingy I picked up on Friday. Boo hiss, no training for me over the weekend.

Tomorrow I shall try tomatoes. And cucumber & ginger. Oh, and carrot juice (of course!!).

I hope to be back in training on Thursday.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

2 down, 24.2 to go...

I went out for a run again this evening, and managed 2 miles this time. I did the mile route round the village twice (in 2 stages, 0.8 miles then 1.2 miles), and boy did it feel good. If I increase this run by a mile lap every week - then I'll be all set for the marathon come April...!

Ok, perhaps that't not how I'm supposed to be training, but you get the idea. It's going to take a while to get into it, but when I do there'll be no stopping me. Well maybe a bit of ice & snow might be a bit awkward, but then I've the rowing machine to look forward to when I can't get out and about on the streets.

I've booked a few days off in December as I had loads of holiday to use up by the end of the year. The plan is to run an 5-mile circuit by then. And then come Januray I hope to be up to 8-miles. Doing mile laps is all very well, but it's all too easy to give up at the end of 2, 3 or 4 miles. Once out on the roads - if I make it to 4 miles, I'll have no choice but to run another 4 miles to get home again.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

I passed my "MoT"

So I went to the doctor yesterday and said "Doctor, I can't stop singing The Green, Green Grass of Home" The doctor said "That sounds like Tom Jones syndrome to me" I said "Is that common?" She said "It's not unusual"...

As with any physical activity programme please consult your GP before commencing if you have any health concerns.

Since I'm a bit overweight, and a bit underfit - I thought it best to be sure to get my GP to give me the once over before I get my training underway. She weighed me, measured my height and took my blood pressure. They were: a bit more than I expected; just what I expected and completely new to me - so unexpected (respectively).
I thought I was 90kg (14.2 stones), and it turns out I am 93kg (14.6 stones).
I thought I was 5'9" (1.76m) and I am. However my weight/height index makes me a bit more lardy than I thought (Darn that cake I had on Monday!). According to the Doctor I am a bit overweight - but nothing a bit of exercise won't sort out.

I don't remember having my blood pressure taken before (which is not strictly true - I've had it taken a few times, but I've never paid attention to the results). So this was new to me. I'm 140/85, which is a little high, but nothing to worry about and nothing that a bit of exercise won't sort out.
According to bbc.co.uk health I'm on the verge of hypertension and should do the following to reduce it:
  • Have your blood pressure checked regularly every few years

  • Reduce your salt intake

  • Don't smoke

  • Eat low-fat foods

  • Keep to your ideal weight

  • Drink safe amounts of alcohol

  • Take regular exercise

  • Reduce your stress


  • I will get my blood pressure checked again in a few months. Tick.
    I already have a low salt intake. Tick.
    I gave up smoking 5 years ago. Tick.
    I generally eat a balanced diet. Tick.
    My ideal weight is about 2 stone less than it is now...
    I drink in moderation, well under the 21 units per week. Tick.
    I exercise very little....
    My stress levels are ok, most of the time...

    So only a couple areas of concern. And the best way to lose weight, do more exercise and reduce stress is to do some exercise!

    Lastly I asked the Doctor if my cholesterol level should be checked, and she said that I can have it checked if I like, but a high level won't interfere with my ability to run a marathon, and if it was too high a bit of exercise would bring it down again.

    She was happy that my plans to gradually build up my fitness over the next three months and then to increase my running in the 3 months leading up to the marathon is a sensible approach, and I should consider a half marathon a couple of months before the full one so I'll know whether I'm up for it.

    So all in all I think the advice is clear. I need to exercise more!!!

    Tuesday, 9 October 2007

    Juice vs. Smoothies

    I've decided that I'd like to drink more carrot juice¹, so want a reasonably powerful liquidiser because the handheld jobbie we use for bananas won't be up to the job.

    I need to research the blenders, smoothie makers and juicers, comparing the merits of making a smoothie (which contains all the fruit) compared with a juicer (which separates the juice from the pulp).

    My wonderful wife suggested getting one of these, as promoted on the website:
    Will It Blend?

    Hmm, perhaps that's a bit too powerful, even for my needs!!

    ¹ Does anyone know what "Horse carrots" are? Wantage market sells them by the sackload, and it would be a very cheap way to buy carrots in bulk. Are they suitable for human consumption?

    Sunday, 7 October 2007

    Small steps...

    After a day off yesterday (something that will no doubt become a rare thing!), I took to the streets of Wantage again today for another couple of hours delivering.

    When I got home, I went out for a mile-long run - the same route as Thursday, but this time I made it all the way home. That's more like it! When I got back I had a warm glow all over. Another few of these warm-ups and I'll be able to start thinking about longer runs, and timed runs.

    Tomorrow I may be back on the bike again.

    Friday, 5 October 2007

    9.5 miles in 45 minutes

    Went out for some more exercise this evening. Managed to scrape round a 9.5 mile road circuit in only 45 minutes. Not bad eh? Ok, so it was on my bike - not running. Still, my plan for the next three months is to raise my fitness to a level where I can take long runs seriously.

    In other news Jason, whose comment was unprintable when he heard I was doing a marathon, has very kindly lent me Marathon Training For Dummies® - which I shall be reading avidly over the weekend...

    Thursday, 4 October 2007

    1st run out

    ulen in training
    Since it was a nice evening, and there was no time like the present to start my campaign to get fit, I couldn't put it off any longer. Time for a short run to shake the metaphorical cobwebs off my tired muscles - a quick trot round the village was in order. I jogged until my shins were complaining and then walked the last bit home. In all I ran a whole 4/5ths of a mile. Great, I only need to increase that by a factor of 33 over the next 6 months, and I'll be there! Ah well, everyone has to start somewhere. It'll be fun to see how I improve over the coming weeks and months ...

    Warming up

    In anticipation of a successful outcome of the draw for a place in the London 2008 Marathon, I spent 2 hours on Saturday, 3½ hours on Sunday and another half hour on Monday evening delivering Community Times in the Vale around Faringdon, Wantage & Grove. This great new magazine is published by my wife, so no doubt I would have been drafted in anyway to help with deliveries this month, but I wanted to push myself a bit on the Sunday to go the extra mile (or three) when I could easily have given up after only doing a couple of hours.

    Ok, so a bit of walking the streets doesn't sound like much, and it's a long long way from 26 miles 385 yards, but since I'm so out of shape, I had to start somewhere!

    Look out for me in the coming issues of the magazine, as I've been volunteered to write a column for it...

    London Marathon 2008

    I must be mad. Mad as a frog. Madder than that. Mad as a box of frogs...

    I saw a message last week at work about a draw for 5 places up for grabs for the Flora London Marathon 2008, and I thought why not? It's for a good cause (Volunteer Reading Help); it's one of my (as yet unwritten) 42-things-to-do and it's about time I got fit again.



    So here I am, 5'9" and 90 kilos, about to embark on a major plan to exercise my way back to my ideal weight and then in the new year to ramp up the training so I'm fit for the challenge of a lifetime come April 13th 2008...

    All I need to do is raise £1,000 while I'm at it, and have some fun!

    You can help by sponsoring me here (please!!).

    And I shall be blogging my way through my training plan, so you can see how I'm getting along!

    Running 13.1 miles in memory of Carl

    I ran the Silverstone Half Marathon on 15th March 2009. I managed the 13.1 mile course in 2 hours and 4 minutes. Not a bad effort for my first Half Marathon! I returned in 2010 to run it in 1 hour 54 minutes, and plan to do it again in 2011. I decided to run this in aid of The PSC Trust and PSC Support in memory of my brother Carl, who died from liver failure in November 1997. If you'd like to sponsor me for this - please email me at pscrun@ulen.me.uk PSC Trust
    PSC Support Or visit my Justgiving page for PSC Support at PSC Support - Justgiving
    Have you signed up to the national donor register? If you haven't yet done so, please think about it, and let your family know your wishes.
    Give the gift of life.
    Join the NHS Organ Donor Register
    Organ Donor Line 0845 60 60 400
    http://www.uktransplant.org.uk/register