Tuesday, 27 January 2009

A good sesh in the pool

Distance: 800m (½ mile)
Crawl: 32 lengths

Having taken an extra rest day yesterday, I was back in the pool today, and apart from the people wandering in and out of the lane that I was trying to swim in, I had a good workout today. I even kept enough back to sprint the last length. I wish I'd timed it as it was fast (though maybe not very elegant!). My leg feels a lot better today, but I'm still glad I'm not going for any impact exercise on it.

Monday, 26 January 2009


Since my leg was still a bit sore today, I decided to skip the exercise today. No 2-mile recovery run, and no normal Monday swim. I shall do my swim tomorrow, in lieu of a 40 minute run. Wednesday & Thursday are scheduled rest days, but I shall still go to yoga on Wednesday and sit out any of the more strenuous positions if my leg is still feeling sore by then.

In the meantime, I'm following the RICED plan:
Rest - no running or swimming today
Ice - DIY icepack this evening to reduce any swelling
Compression - I've been wearing a knee support today
Elevation - sitting with my leg up on the sofa
Drugs - a new addition to the "ICE" or "RICE" plans

Although I can't see any swelling, there was some soreness there, and the icepack (a packet of frozen veg!) seemed to help as my knee feels less sore now.
The "Drugs" tip I learned on the London Marathon training day last year. Ibuprofen is the ideal anti-inflammatory pain killer. Some runners even refer to it as Vitamin I.

And hopefully things will be back to normal for my 40 minute run come Friday.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Oh dear, it was going so well...

Distance: 9 miles
Time: 1h29m43s
Mile 1 - 9m25s
Mile 2 - 9m25s
Mile 3 - 9m14s
Mile 4 - 9m23s
Mile 5 - 9m40s
Mile 6 - 9m31s
Mile 7 - 10m27s
Mile 8 - 10m26s
Mile 9 - 12m12s

I'd been tempted to do my weekend long run yesterday, as the weather was good, sunny without a hint of a breeze, unlike the wind and rain forecast for today. However, I decided to stick to my training plan and keep yesterday as the 2nd of the couple of days rest after Thursday's 5-miler.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the day was dry, and the sky brightening up this morning. So when I set out for my 9 mile run I was in a good mood, and looking forward to it. The first half was great, and I was still feeling good given that every step I took was taking my closer to home. This lasted through mile 6, still comfortable having done two thirds.

Then I started to tire, but decided to take it easy on this mile, and hope I could find the extra reserves that served me so well last week, however at the end of the mile I felt a twinge in my right knee. Nothing like the pain I felt in my left knee when I got injured last year, but enough to knock my pace off.

Oh well, I just hope this is just an off day, and that I'll be back fit running again tomorrow, just a short 2 mile "recovery" run.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Uncharted Territory

Distance: 5 miles
Time: 44m08s
Mile 1 - 8m54s
Mile 2 - 8m51s
Mile 3 - 8m59s
Mile 4 - 9m06s
Mile 5 - 8m18s

Phewy! That was a good run today!! I headed off out on a new five mile route today, not actually uncharted as I mapped it out beforehand using mapyourpassion, but it was new in as much as I've never run it before. Instead of turning left at Sutton Courtenay (to follow the four mile route to Milton Village that I've done several times now), I headed straight on. I thought perhaps I'd overdone it on the 1st mile in my eagerness to get going today, and that I wouldn't be able to keep up a 9-minute-mile pace. Turning left out of Sutton Courtenay towards Drayton, and I'm in the zone. A bit of an uphill here, and having to be extra careful with the traffic now as there is no pavement.

At the end of mile 2, which I completed a little faster than the 1st, I assumed I'd messed up where the mile point was, and that would mean an extra long 3rd mile instead. However mile 3 zipped by in under another 9 minutes and my legs are on autopilot. Can I really keep this up? Mile 4 was a fraction slower, but then I tap into my hidden reserves and finish the run with a fast mile. I wasn't completely worn out at the end, but I was pretty well out of breath, which I soon got back with a short walk to warm down.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

A quarter of the way through...

Yoga: 1½ hours

So I've reached week 3 of my 12 week yoga class. Today we concentrated on our stance. Tensing the thigh muscles, lifting the tail, turning the legs in (without moving the feet). Holding and practising this position over again in each of the stages of the sun salutation. So overall a lot less intense than last week, but perhaps I'd better hold judgement until tomorrow when I'll know if any of my muscles are stiff?! I'm hoping all this stretching and breathing will enhance my fitness and limberness for my running. As well as improving my inner wellbeing...

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

My get up and go got up and went...

Distance: 4 miles
Time: 36m39s
Mile 1 - 9m10s
Mile 2 - 9m13s
Mile 3 - 9m17s
Mile 4 - 8m59s

My enthusiasm for today's run seemed to be lacking, but I've got into such a routine now I don't even imagine skipping my scheduled run. It's cold again today, but at least it's not too windy or wet. I set off at a steady pace, not wanting to go too fast, hoping that I can perhaps up the tempo a little when I've found my zone. Sadly that didn't seem to materialise today, and the four miles felt much more of a slog than my eight mile run on Sunday. In fact I ran the second half of that run faster than I ran the same distance today.

No matter though, I haven't set a target time for my first marathon. I have one aim and one aim only. To complete it. So it makes no odds if I'm not showing a constant improvement. At this stage of my training it's all about the miles, and not about the times.

Monday, 19 January 2009

I've passed the 400 mile milestone

Distance: 2 miles
Time: 21m06s
Mile 1 - 10m25s
Mile 2 - 10m41s

A gentle 2 mile recovery jog this evening. Although next week I'm down for a 20 minute recovery run. Not sure what the difference is there...

This brings me to over 400 miles in the last 15 months (110 miles since the beginning of December). I'm also down to 12st8lb, the least I've weighed in over five years!

Another half mile underwater

Distance: 800m
Crawl: 32 lengths

Today's usual "recovery" exercise the day after my "long" run seemed harder work than usual, but I still managed to clock up another 32 lengths, which is near enough half a mile. And apart from the odd stroke at the end of the length, or when I'm taking extra care to avoid other pool users, I did it all with my head down underwater. Oh, and except every 4 strokes when I lift my head to breath, of course!

Sunday, 18 January 2009

It's a breeze!

Distance: 8 miles
Time: 1h15m32s
Mile 1 - 10m28s
Mile 2 - 9m22s
Mile 3 - 9m51s
Mile 4 - 9m22s
Mile 5 - 9m18s
Mile 6 - 9m36s
Mile 7 - 9m00s
Mile 8 - 8m35s

It's a funny thing this running lark. Today's run was quite up and down. I set off on the same 8 mile run I did last week, but this time in reverse - running it clockwise. I seemed to set off at quite a slow pace, or at least it took longer than expected to complete the first mile. Although the mile measurements are only approximate, as I don't have a device for measuring my distance on the go, I map out my route beforehand and remember where the "mileposts" are.

However then I seemed to pick up my feet a bit and get into the stride. A quarter of the run in and I'm feeling good. There was a strong breeze in places, but nothing like the howling gale of last night. Mile three and I've slowed down again, and I'm beginning to think this week's run will be slower than last. Although that doesn't matter too much, it's kind of missing the improvement that my training plan suggests. Mile 4 and I'm loving it. This run feels GREAT. It's a doddle. Why am I only running 8 miles today? I feel like I could do 10 or even 12!

Then by mile 6 I'm flagging again. Where did my positive mental attitude go? Why do my legs feel like jelly? How much would it really matter if I stopped running now and walked the last two miles home?

Mile 7 back into a head wind. This feels tough. Head down, legs striding out. Come on, not long to go now, I'm nearly there. And what do you know? In spite of running into the strong breeze, I clock up my fastest mile so far. So in a complete contrast to the way I had been feeling not ten minutes earlier - that I was almost spent - I suddenly find some extra reserves I didn't know I had, and I'm romping home for the last mile, running it even faster still.

I wonder if I'll find the same level of energy to run the last mile in London, and sprint up The Mall to the finish line?!?!!

Right then, off for a long hot bath to relax my legs, and a huge plate of brown pasta...

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Another very easy jog

Distance: 1.5 miles
Time: 15m40s
Mile 1 - 10m24s
Half mile - 5m16s

After another day of rest (I'm having more rest now that I'm on my 16 week training plan than I've had in the last 16 weeks!), it was back out today for a short gentle jog. Only 15 minutes - so a mile and a half. I think I'm still feeling the effects of my yoga earlier in the week, so a gentle jog was just the ticket today.

I'm looking forward to another 8 miler tomorrow!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Run Forrest!!!

Distance: 5 miles
Time: 52m31s
Mile 1 - 10m33s
Mile 2 - 10m50s
Mile 3 - 10m30s
Mile 4 - 10m34s
Mile 5 - 10m04s

Since I was really feeling the effects of last night's yoga session today - especially the squatting pose that we finished on - I was not altogether looking forward to this evening's "50 minute comfortable jog". Still, as soon as I got in from work, I was keen to get out there.

I set off slowly as I wasn't up to running at my normal pace, but that was good as it was dark, and I was only supposed to be jogging at a comfortable speed. So overall this evening's run was spot on, albeit a bit difficult for the first couple of miles, partly as it felt so slow.

I had that odd feeling again, on lap three when I'd gone just over 2.5 miles, I told myself that I was only half way through, but then decided that psychologically I was well over half way, as I was warmed up, and in the zone. In fact on lap four I felt disconnected from my legs, they were pounding along on their own, with no effort from me to keep going. I love it on a run when it feels great, not hard work at all.

Just after starting mile five, I passed a group of girls on the other side of the road, and they shouted out "Run Forrest"! Then I passed them again towards the end of the mile, so I'd run three-quarters of it in the time they took to walk a quarter of the way round in the opposite direction. One of them didn't see me until the last moment and jumped out of her skin!

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Flowing with the yoga

Today is a normal rest day from running, but I've taken up a 12 week "Yoga Flow" class in Oxford on Wednesdays. This is more intense that the beginners stuff I did back in November/December. It's still not too advanced though, no need to stick my ankles behind my ears just yet. This evening was a series of sun salutation poses, each flowing into the next varying with increasing intensity. I'm really looking forward to the benefits that these stretching routines will have on my fitness and stamina over the coming weeks.


Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Please say if you've stopped by my page!!

Distance: 4 miles
Time: 35m13s
Mile 1 - 8m43s
Mile 2 - 8m45s
Mile 3 - 9m02s
Mile 4 - 8m43s

With a little over 100 days to go until the London Marathon, and 180 days since I got back into training in the summer, I'm well on my way now. In that time I've run over 192 miles (nearly 7½ marathons in six months). And it just keeps getting tougher from here, so any words of encouragement are most welcome to keep me going - come rain or shine.

You can sponsor me for the Marathon too! Just follow the "Donate" button on the right of the page, or go to http://www.justgiving.com/madasaboxoffrogs where every little amount will help spur me on...

Hint: if you want to leave a message for me, click on the "comments" link below. I moderate all comments - but only to prevent spammers from leaving links to dodgy websites. All real comments will be published!!

Monday, 12 January 2009

Half mile swim

Distance: 800m
Crawl: 32 lengths

16 week Training Plan: Week 2: Day 1
A day of rest today - in as much as no run. So it's back in the pool. Not as impressive as the mile I swam a couple of weeks ago, and to be honest I might not have managed 32 lengths today, as I lost count. I'm pretty sure I did do 32 though...

Back to running tomorrow.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Out on the open road

Distance: 8 miles
Time: 1h17m06s
Mile 1 - 9m26s
Mile 2 - 9m10s
Mile 3 - 9m55s
Mile 4 - 9m55s
Mile 5 - 9m35s
Mile 6 - 10m03s
Mile 7 - 9m28s
Mile 8 - 9m34s

At last the cold snap has lifted and today was much milder for my weekly long run. An 8-miler. It was a bit breezy in places, but on the whole pretty good. It felt great to be out in the countryside again (instead of just running round the village), especially running along Park Lane (a single track road, just outside Stanford in the Vale) as it was so quiet. I love the peace you get on a Sunday, and now I'm out on the road again this is something I can really look forward to each week. A great run, averaging a little over 9½ minutes a mile.

Charney 8 mile run

This 8-miler in 77 minutes compares to my first 7-miler in 75 minutes about this time last year, and I've already run over a marathon distance so far this month...

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Very easy does it...

Distance: 1.5 miles
Time: 15m25s
Mile 1 - 10m09s
Half Mile - 5m16s

Nearing the end of my Training plan: Week 1. This called for a day off yesterday. I was hoping to get a gentle run in, but in the end chose to stick to the plan and rest. Today's run was "15 mins very easy", so I only popped out for one and a half miles, and took it deliberately slowly. It feels like a bit of a step down from the runs I've been doing in the last couple of weeks, but I shall make up for it tomorrow!

Anyway, it was still VERY cold today, and though not icy underfoot it was misty and rather chilly to want to run too long. I must be mad wanting to get out in this weather, mustn't I? What do you think?!?!

Thursday, 8 January 2009

The Riddle of the Third Mile

Distance: 3 miles
Time: 26m07s
Mile 1 - 8m59s
Mile 2 - 8m45s
Mile 3 - 8m23s

After a couple of days off thanks to a sinus infection (no swimming Tuesday, no fast mile yesterday), I broke myself back into it yesterday evening with some light yoga. Then today I nipped out at lunch for an easy steady three mile jog. I was aiming for a gentle 9-minute-mile pace, but it's still too cold to hang about, so I upped it a bit on lap two, and again on the third mile as well, which is good to know that I've got the reserves in me to run each mile faster than the last! Especially when the second mile seemed to me to be much slower than the first at the time. Hmmm, a bit of an enigma?

I'm now on Week 1 of my "16 week training plan" which takes me up to the Marathon in April, although I'm not sure how rigidly I'll stick to this, as I think the routine I've got into is actually pretty good already. As long as I'm upping the miles each week and tail off in the last couple of weeks before the big race itself, I should be fine.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Rushing through the snow

Distance: 7 miles
Time: 1h7m37s
Mile 1 - 9m44s
Mile 2 - 9m48s
Mile 3 - 9m44s
Mile 4 - 9m57s
Mile 5 - 9m32s
Mile 6 - 9m33s
Mile 7 - 9m19s

Another 7-miler, this week delayed until Monday as I was away at the weekend. To begin with I set out cautiously, as there was a light covering of snow on the pavements, and although not treacherous underfoot, still just slightly slippy in places. As the grey sky brightened up to blue, almost all of the snow melted and I got into my stride.

I assumed this week's run would be slower than last week, given that I was taking it carefully, however having completed a slightly slower mile 4 (my "drinking" mile), I upped the pace a little. Mile 5 felt quite heavy going, and it almost felt like I was running backwards towards the end, so I was pleased to find I'd knocked 25 seconds off the previous lap. Mile 6 just flew by, and then I was on my final circuit of the village to leave me over a minute quicker over the 7 miles than last week. Hoorah!

Next week I venture out of the village onto the open road...

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Another cold one

Distance: 2 miles
Time: 20m08s
Mile 1 - 10m09s
Mile 2 - 9m59s

Having got back from a great weekend away a little earlier than expected, I decided to make the most of it still being light outside, and ventured out for a slow gentle jog in the cold. It tried to snow a little, but not very hard.

I passed someone out on a run, and she asked me if I was doing the London Marathon this year, as she is too. If by any chance you're reading this, leave me a message and we can exchange training tips!

Friday, 2 January 2009

A quick one-two

Distance: 2 miles
Time: 16m54s
Mile 1 - 8m31s
Mile 2 - 8m23s

Starting the New Year as I mean to go on, getting out for a run as often as I can. I was planning to take it steady today, but in my keenness to get my run out of the way this morning, I ended up running quite a fast one.

All this exercise is certainly paying off, I'm now down to 12st 12lb (compared to over 15st a couple of years ago), and can now fit into 30" waist jeans again (compared to 36" not so very long ago...)

It's taken me a while to get fit, but now I'm getting there I feel so much better for it!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year!

Distance: 4 miles
Time: 38m46s
Mile 1 - 9m44s
Mile 2 - 9m54s
Mile 3 - 9m50s
Mile 4 - 9m18s

A relaxing 4 mile jog to start off the New Year! Still cold today, but not too bad. I passed the same person three times as she was walking round the village in the opposite direction to my run. I would have said a proper hello, but I was a little bit out of breath as I was on my 4th lap!

That takes me up to 100 miles since Bonfire night. Not bad, eh?

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
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