Saturday, 28 February 2009

30 min swim + 30 min gym + 30 min run

Distance: 750m
Crawl 30 lengths

Reps: 400+
Time: 30 mins

Distance: 3 miles
Time: 30m00s
"Mile" 1 - 10m01s
"Mile" 2 - 9m59s
"Mile" 3 - 10m00s

Today I tried a mixed workout. I swam for half an hour, I used the gym for half an hour and I ran for half an hour. I decided to make best use of my leisure centre pass today and get in a good hour and a half of exercise.

I'd toyed with the idea of doing a "triathlon", but decided that cycling is using the wrong muscles and I could really do with working on my legs and upper body again. So after my swim, I use various machines. I did 50 reps on the adductor one, to strengthen my inner thighs. Unfortunately the abductor machine was out of order. I tried "running on one foot" on the leg press again, 30 reps each leg, with simple one-legged leg presses before and after. Then 30-50 reps on shoulder and chest presses, and back to the adductor for another 100 reps.

Then I hit the dreaded treadmill again, setting off for a 200m warm-up jog, followed by 4.8k at 9.6kph - a steady 10-min-mile pace.

Finishing off with plenty of stretching for ITB, quads and hamstrings, and back home for a nice slab of steak with brown pasta, ready for tomorrow's LSR.

Friday, 27 February 2009

7 miles an hour!

Distance: 6.96 miles
Time: 58m02s
"Mile" 1 - 9m34s
"Mile" 2 - 8m27s
"Mile" 3 - 8m00s
"Mile" 4 - 8m01s
"Mile" 5 - 7m59s
"Mile" 6 - 8m00s
"Mile" 7 - 8m01s

I've joined the Didcot gym for a week, so I can work on some core muscle strengthening. The chap who showed me round was very helpful and showed me some exercises. One of them, on the leg press, looks a bit tricky, but I'll be back this evening to give it a go. Basically you use a very low weight and "run" on one foot, lifting off at the toe and landing on the heel and moving the foot around in a square. This mimics the running action and builds strength in all areas of the leg.

As I was going out yesterday evening, however, I didn't have time for exercises and an hour's "brisk" run, so I settled for just a speedy treadmill session on its own. I still haven't quite got the hang of counting in 1.609km units, so kept it simple at 1600m "laps". I set off at a steady pace to warm up for the first "mile", and then I set the treadmill to 12kph to go for a really brisk run.I had to pause on "mile" 2 as my towel dropped off the handrail, and there was a flash of pink under my feet as it sped off behind me. Back on again and back up to 12kph and there I kept it until the end of "mile" 7.

So in the end, wow!! Quite the fastest I've ever run over that kind of time and distance. I think that deserved the rather nice meal (and wine!) I had at The Shiraz on Oxford's Cowley Rd afterwards.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Just a quick jog today

Distance: 3 miles
Time: 26m39s
Mile 1 - 9m06s
Mile 2 - 8m50s
Mile 3 - 8m43s

A steady jog today, just a quick three miles. Very breezy when I headed out in just a t-shirt (rather than long-sleeves and a hat). Hmm, perhaps not as warm and springlike as I thought it was. Nonetheless once I'd warmed up, I barely noticed the wind, and even thought perhaps I'd overcooked it a little on the first mile. But the 2nd mile was even better. Great! One of those runs where my legs just go onto autopilot and take me round with little effort to worry about where I'm going. They know the route well by now... I even tried a bit of "off road" running today, using the grass verges where possible to vary the surface I'm running on, and give my feet and ankles a bit more of a workout, and my knees a bit of a break from the hard pavements. Mile three and I'm going for it, not superfast, but still speeding up again on the first two. So I got back home having worked up a nice sweat, but without tiring myself out by pushing too hard.

Back to yoga tonight, having had a break last week due to half-term (though why an adult evening class in a church needs a half-term break is anyone's guess!)

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Everybody's Free (To Wear Vaseline)

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '09
If I could offer you only one tip for the
Marathon, Vaseline would be it.

The long term benefits of Vaseline have been proved by countless marathon runners whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own training experience…
I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your runs; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your runs until the
Marathon. But trust me, on 26th April you'll look back at the start of your training and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really are…

You're not as fat as you were. Don't worry about the
Marathon; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to work out your average mile split times by drinking carbo gels. The real troubles in your training are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; like doing enough stretching after your run. Do some training almost everyday that improves you.

Swim. Don't forget the
rest days, don't be tempted to skip them. Stretch.

Don't waste your time on other people's times; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind… the Marathon is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself. Remember the shouts of encouragement you receive, forget the niggles; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old race medals, throw away your old training shoes (after 500 miles). Cross-train. Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life… the most interesting people didn't know before the Marathon what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting people I know found new direction after the Marathon.

Get plenty of
carbohydrates. Be kind to your knees, you'll need them on April 26th. Maybe you'll get injured, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have to defer your place, maybe you won't, maybe you'll hit the wall at 20 miles, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on the finish line… what ever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your chances are not certain, neither are anybody else's.

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can… don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.
Stretch… even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room (but warm up first). Read the running forums, even if you don't post in them. Do read running magazines, they may well make you feel fit. Be nice to your parents and siblings, you never know how much they may sponsor you.

Be nice to your
running shoes; they are the best tool in your kit and the items most likely to get you round the course. Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few that are really behind you - hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the nearer to April 26th you get, the more you need the people who are rooting for you.

Run the
London Marathon once, but do it again if it's not hard; do the Great North run once, but it may seem a bit soft after the FLM. Stretch. Accept certain inalienable truths, aches will come, bad runs will happen, you too will get fed up, and when you do you'll fantasise that when you started aches were negligible, all runs were good and things could only get better. Respect your body. Expect everyone else to support you.

Maybe you have a sponsorship target to raise, maybe you have a ballot place; but you know either one got you your dream place in this run. Don't mess too much with your hair, or fancy dress unless you have practised it beforehand, or by the time it's 26th April, it's too late to try anything new.

Be careful whose advice you follow, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth. But trust me on the Vaseline

Actually this advice is totally free, but if you're feeling generous, you could always sponsor me to run The London Marathon!


With equal thanks and apologies to
Baz Luhrmann

Monday, 23 February 2009

Was that a ghost?

Distance: 1.5 miles
Time: 18m04s
Half Mile - 5m56s
Mile 1 - 12m08s

Only my 10th run of the month, thanks to the enforced absence with the snow, and the problems I'd had with my ITB before I got it under control (touch wood). I've still managed to clock up 54 miles in this time, with another 12 planned before the month is out. Just a very gentle mile-and-a-half jog this evening. Time to start using my brand new training shoes.

Here they are:

And here's my old pair, now in semi-retirement at 318 miles:

I'll use them as a spare for another hundred miles or so, but need to be using the new pair from now on as a prepare for the big day in April. Just 62 days to go now!

I had a slightly odd moment this evening, as I ran along beside the main road. I thought I caught a glimpse of someone walking along the pavement ahead of me, but when I got to where they had been, there was no one there. So either they'd jumped over the hedge into the allotments, or .... perhaps they hadn't been there in the first place at all? Then a car came along the road behind me, lighting up my shadow ahead of me in the hedge. Hold on, that's a very familiar looking silhouette .... then it dawned on me that I'd just seen my shadow a few seconds earlier when the car first lit me up from a distance, before dipping in the road, and then lighting me up again. Shame, I always wanted to meet a ghost!

Busy day today

Distance: 825m
Crawl: 32 Lengths
Breaststroke: 1 length

For some reason the pool was very busy again today, even though half term is over, so I went straight into the "Fast lane" and did my best, moving out of the way when the faster swimmers wanted to overtake me. I'm getting better at swimming up and down with much less rest at the ends, and managed 32 lengths (or possible 34 I think I may have lost count about half way) of crawl in half an hour. And since the non-laned off section was busy, I swam another length - breaststroke - back to the shallow end to finish, where it was easier to get out of the pool.

This brings my total distance in the pool to over 11 miles since September (18250m)

Sunday, 22 February 2009

Who stole the sun from my run?

Distance: 12 miles
Time: 2h5m48s

Mile 1 - 9m50s
Mile 2 - 9m10s
Mile 3 - 10m55s
Mile 4 - 10m36s
Mile 5 - 12m02s
Mile 6 - 9m01s
Mile 7 - 10m17s
Mile 8 - 10m39s
Mile 9 - 12m16s
Mile 10 - 11m17s
Mile 11 - 8m58s
Mile 12 - 10m47s

It was beautifully sunny when I set off this morning, so I felt good that I'd made the effort to get out on my Long Slow Run by 10am today. I think I set off a little faster than planned, but it's difficult to keep it slow. I'd also forgotten to double-check the route on the map. Not because I didn't know where I was going, but just to remind myself where the mile points were. No matter, some of the "miles" may have been shorter than others, but overall the distance was 12 miles.

It was pretty good going, but I was troubled a bit by a bit of soreness in my right knee again, and also found it difficult to get my water bottles clipped back into my shorts after I'd drunk them, I was all thumbs and couldn't find the clip. Twice I had to stop when I dropped a bottle en route. Oh how much easier it will be on the day when I just pick up a new bottle when I need one, and then discard it when I'm done, ready for the sweepers to collect up after the event to be recycled.

It was also a bit gloomy after a couple of miles, as the sun hid behind some rather large clouds. Added to the chillier feel in the air, the breeze picked up in a couple of places, which added to the difficulty to stick to a steady pace today. Still, I've made a new personal best distance, and I covered it in less time than last week's 11 miles, so the sore tired legs I have now are worth it.

I'm off for a sports massage this afternoon, so hopefully that will help settle down the niggles in my right leg. I think I need to head back to the gym for some more strength work - especially on my glutes and adductors as it seems this will help. I'm currently reading Marathon: From Start to Finish by Sam Murphy and it has loads of tips about stretching and strength work.

Yesterday I went to London with some friends from work. We went to The Mall, and I practised my "running over the finish".

We also went to Tower Bridge and I stood there for a minute or two picturing the scene come April 26th, as this will be the bit were we go "Hoorah, I'm half way!!" quickly followed by "Oh blimey, I'm only half way!!!!"

Friday, 20 February 2009

Running when the sun goes down

Distance: 4 miles
Time: 37m25s
Mile 1 - 9m52s
Mile 2 - 9m13s
Mile 3 - 9m11s
Mile 4 - 9m09s

At last - daylight running in the evening again. It was great to set off in the sunshine, albeit short-lived as the sun soon drifted below the cloud-line, and started to set. I set off deliberately slowly (and actually stopped briefly to check for a stone in the tread of my running shoe, but couldn't find one). Then a mile in I upped the pace a little to give me the steady workout required for today's short run.

It's strange how the miles seem to be getting longer on the same runs. Perhaps it's because I'm running at a slightly slower pace now that I'm racking up more miles? So the same miles take longer, so seem to stretch out for longer too. That said today's run was only 46s longer than the last time I did the same route, and half of that was spent on the first mile. Maybe it's just because it's been the end of a tiring week, so my body is flagging a bit, mentally as much as physically.

Day off again tomorrow (though plenty of walking around London to be done).
LSR to look forward to on Sunday!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

What is a douche anyway?

Distance: 6 miles
Time: 1h05m03s
Mile 1 - 10m43s
Mile 2 - 11m10s
Mile 3 - 11m13s
Mile 4 - 10m46s
Mile 5 - 10m48s
Mile 6 - 10m23s

This evening called for a 65 minute easy run. Let's see that's 6 miles in just under 11-minute-mile pace. And that's exactly what I did... I even managed another negative split. Mile 1 felt good, a warm up. However Mile 2 dragged a bit. Mile 3 was hard because of all the traffic on the main road dazzling me with their headlights. I was pretty blinded by the light at one point, so I could barely see the pavement. I was just another runner in the night. There were at least three of us out tonight, jogging around the village in the dark with our head-lights on.

Mile 4, I picked up my lucozade sport (left conveniently outside my house) and turned round and started to run back in an anticlockwise direction round the village. The main road wasn't so bad now, and knowing I was over half way meant I could up the pace a little, as every step is taking me closer to the end of the run now. I dropped off my drink at half way on this lap, and picked it up on Mile 5. Now I'm in my comfort zone. Mile 6 and things are looking good. I like running. It's fun, isn't it?

Day off tomorrow!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Negative split

Distance: 2 miles
Time: 18m08s
Mile 1 - 9m08s
Mile 2 - 9m00s

Just a "20 minute" steady run today, out and back lunchtime run again. This time a bit faster than last week, and I managed to up my pace a fraction on the return leg. Ok, so doing a negative split over 2 miles isn't a huge achievement, but it makes me happy - which is always a good way to finish a run.

I've now clocked up over 300 miles in my Adidas Supernova Cushion 7s and although they should be good for 400-500 miles, I've worked out I should be running about another 240 miles up to and including the marathon itself. So I need to swap over to my new pair soon and start wearing them in so that I don't run the FLM in worn out running shoes. Obviously I don't want to swap over to my new pair just a couple of weeks before the big day. And it would be good to reap the benefits of a new pair of trainees in my training too!

Monday, 16 February 2009

Why's the pool so busy? Oh, it must be half term...

Distance: 800m
Crawl: 32 lengths

I could tell the pool was going to be busy today as soon as I entered the changing rooms, just from the sheer noise in the centre. When I saw the pool itself though, I was still surprised since I've never seen it so full. Ok, no alternative today then, I'm going to have to go in the sectioned off "Fast" lane, because swimming in the main section of the pool will just be impossible. Normally I don't like swimming in the fast lane, as I always feel like I'm getting in the way of the proper swimmers who are there going up and down, up and down, up and down. I prefer to go up. And down. And then up again. I rest as and when I need to between lengths. The other downside of the sectioned off lane, is that it's in the deep end, so harder to rest at that end.

Anyway, I did my best, and kept my rests to the bare minimum, and paused and moved over whenever a faster swimmer neared the end of their length - to allow them to set off again before me. Luckily the sectioned off lane was wider than usual, so there was even ample room for the fastest swimmers to overtake in the lane itself if needs be.

Overall another pretty good swim for my "recovery" day, and I think I swam the (almost) half mile in the quickest time I've ever done it, by virtue of taking much shorter rests between lengths.

Sunday, 15 February 2009

500 days gone, 70 to go

Distance: 11 miles
Time: 2h12m56s
Mile 1 - 11m11s
Mile 2 - 10m57s
Mile 3 - 11m45s
Mile 4 - 13m22s
Mile 5 - 12m45s
Mile 6 - 12m12s
Mile 7 - 11m46s
Mile 8 - 12m34s
Mile 9 - 12m22s
Mile 10 - 12m39s
Mile 11 - 11m23s

This morning I made my last visit to the Leisure Centre on my week's pass to attend a yoga session there. It was much more basic than the yoga flow class I attend in Oxford, but it was interesting to go through some different movements from what I've learnt so far.

Then I spent half an hour in the gym, working my way through the machines again, strengthening all areas of my body: thighs, arms, chest, tummy, lower back, and legs - but only very light weights on my hamstrings and quads, repeating 20 times on each leg individually. Having finished on the chest press, I headed off home for some brown pasta for lunch.

This afternoon I set off on my LSR, long slow run. I chose the 12 mile route I have mapped out, but since the plan was to take only 120 minutes running at a "very easy" pace, I reckoned I'd make it to 11 miles and then walk the remainder back, taking a short cut to make it a half mile cool down. It was quite tough today, to begin with I found it hard to run slowly, as part of me wanted to up the pace to 10-minute miles, but in the end I managed to slow to a bit above "plod" averaging about 12-minute miles. Some of the time I felt I'd found a steady pace, other times it seemed a struggle. I was also conscious that my right knee felt slightly uncomfortable now and then, but never developed above a kind of tired feeling to anything at all painful. Whenever I felt my knee was uncomfortable I made more of an effort to lift my head, and lift my tail, improving my posture as I ran and this made everything feel so much better.

So I've now made it to 11 miles. The furthest I've ever run in one go. It's been 500 days since I started training to run a marathon, I've clocked up a fraction under 450 miles in that time. And now there are just 70 days to go until the big day itself.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

52 lengths in 56 minutes

Distance 1300m
Crawl 52 lengths

Making the most of my 7 day pass again, I thought about swimming a relaxing mile, but left it a bit late and only got to the pool at 5.04pm when the casual swim finished at 6pm. I think the last time I swam 66 lengths, it took me an hour and a quarter. But then 1300 metres on my "rest" day isn't too bad, eh?

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Friday, 13 February 2009

Please note this is a false alarm, do not evacuate the building...

Distance: 4 miles
Time: 36m09s
Mile 1 - 9m20s
Mile 2 - 8m55s
Mile 3 - 9m00s
Mile 4 - 8m54s

Today I managed to get back on track on my training plan. I spent half an hour in the gym, working through all the machines, alternating between leg work, and upper body. I even tried the ab cruncher and the lower back exercise too, which I skipped last time. I concentrated on doing 20-30 reps on low weights.

Then what I really came in for - a brisk "40 minute" run. I set-off slowly for the first couple of minutes to thoroughly warm up, then I upped the pace to a brisk 11kmph so I'd be running 9-minute miles. I'd set the treadmill to do 6.5km today so I would actually do 4 full miles (unlike the 16km run on Monday which was only 9.94 miles). So after my dull and boring long treadmill run earlier in the week, I found the advantage of treadmill running today as I was able to set a consistent pace and stick to it (only slowing down briefly to drink some lucozade sport on mile 3). Then I walked for 4 minutes to cool down, and stretched carefully (ITBs, quads, hamstrings).

I was wearing a new t-shirt today for my run. Which turned out to be a bit of a mistake. Although I'm really happy that I now fit a Medium, when less than six months ago I would only feel comfortable in an XL, what I hadn't spotted was it had a poly-cotton mix. The poly was enough to make me sweat buckets, and sweat + t-shirt + run = sore nipples. Normally I use some Bodyglide anti-chafing stick whenever I run for 5 miles or more, but today's extra sweatiness caused soreness after only 4 miles...

Another downside of treadmill running I've found is blisters. I've run over 400 miles on the road, and never once had a blister. I've run 14 miles on this week's two treadmill runs, and both times I've ended up with blisters. Hmmm, not great. I must remember to treat my toes to some Vaseline before my next run.

And to top it all off today, I'd just got in the shower at the leisure centre, got all soaped up... and the fire alarm went off. Oh great. What to do? Um, do I get dressed as quick as poss and rush out in damp clothes. Or do I go out in the rapidly cooling night in just a towel? Um.... is it really even a fire alarm? Or perhaps it was the pool alarm. Then a voice comes over the tannoy system. It was a false alarm. But hold on, what did she say? Please .... this ... is ... alarm ... evacuate ... building. Not the best tannoy system in the world, and it took a few listens to get that it was a false alarm and to not evacuate! And at the same time one of the centre staff came in to explain that it was the steam from the showers that had set-off the smoke detectors! Phew. I can get showered and changed in peace.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Progressive Overload

Distance: 2 miles
Time: 18m57s
Mile 1 - 9m22s
Mile 2 - 9m35s

At long long last, back out on the open road, er... pavement, today. Just a gentle 2-miler to get me back into things. Today is officially a day off, but then yesterday was officially a 65min run which I can't do on a Wednesday because of yoga. I try to stick to my 16-week plan as closely as I can, but need to be flexible to fit around other things. Like the weather. Grrrr.

Anyway, a gentle jog, as I said. It felt weird as it's been 3 weeks since I've been out for a lunchtime run. And it's been a couple of months now since I last did this 2-mile out-and-back run from Milton Park to Sutton Courtenay. It felt like it was dragging, and at 2½ minutes slower than my previous pace over this route, it was psychological as much as anything.

So not my best run, but it was supposed to be slow and gentle, so it was good in that respect. Especially since it's still flippin cold out there!

I may have done well on my 10 mile run on Monday, but it's not all about the weekly long run, it's about getting out there and building up the miles. Something I've been unable to do because of the bad spell of whether [sic]. It's key that I build up my running muscles through regular use. Tire them out, and rest them, as it's only on the rest day that they get stronger as the body repairs itself.

The fact is that the adaptive processes of the human body will only respond if continually called upon to exert a greater magnitude of force to meet higher physiological demands.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

A mixed bag of exercise

Today I'd booked another appointment with the Sports Therapist, as after my 16k run on Monday, my legs were really stiff yesterday. I was worried I'd overdone things a bit...
However after yesterday's swim, and more stretching, things were getting better, and today I felt pretty much fine again.

Again, to make the most of my week's pass at the gym, I nipped in at lunchtime for a half hour non-impact workout. I started off with with various machines, concentrating mainly on my legs. I stretched my thighs (inner and outer), my quads (both legs, then each leg in turn), my hamstrings (ditto), and various others, including some upper body work on chest & biceps. But mostly I stuck to the leg & thigh stuff. Then I finished with a 10 minute cardiovascular workout on the rowing machine, 2.34km at an average of 31 strokes per minute. Built up a nice sweat there.

Then I kept my appointment with the Sports Therapist, and got a good massage on my right leg, to loosen up my ITB which is still a bit sore and strained. She's also running the London Marathon this year, so we swapped tips. Well, she being the expert personal trainer, there wasn't much I could teach her, but could pass on the odd bit I've learnt about what to expect on the day.

And then this evening another 1.5 hour yoga flow session. We're half way through the course now, so are getting pretty practiced at the sun salutation routine, and went through that a few times fairly quickly, working up another sweat. Then some slightly more advanced stretching, and some new poses. One was the boat? I think I just about got half boat. The teacher made a joke that if you were comfortable in full boat pose, the next step would be to lift your tail off the floor. Ha ha.

Right then, I must be due a run tomorrow?

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Making the most of my free pass

Distance: 600m
Crawl: 24 lengths

I'm a day out of sync this week, having delayed my weekly long run from Sunday to Monday, so Monday's usual swim session as a rest/recovery day was today instead. Luckily for my wallet, I was able to use my 7-day free Leisure centre pass in Didcot Wave pool, as they're part of the same SOLL chain as Wantage. So that's saved me another few quid.

My legs are still tired today after yesterday's 1¾ hours pounding of the treadmill, so a slightly more leisurely 24 lengths instead of the usual 32.

Tomorrow, floods permitting, I may pop back to the gym to work on some leg strengthening equipment, and perhaps a short run? Failing that it'll just be the usual yoga flow session.

Monday, 9 February 2009

A long run of two halves

Distance: 10 miles
Time: 1h44m06s
Mile 1 - 10m45s
Mile 2 - 10m21s
Mile 3 - 10m13s
Mile 4 - 10m16s
Mile 5 - 10m20s
- Short rest -
Mile 6 - 9m49s
Mile 7 - 10m12s
Mile 8 - 10m21s
Mile 9 - 10m30s
Mile 10 - 11m19s

At last!!! I'm back running again. I wanted to get out for a run on Friday, but was still snowbound. Saturday was too hectic rushing off to London to the Golden Bond "Meet the Experts" day full of tips and advice for the big day in April.

I mapped out a new 10 mile run for Sunday, an out-and-back route avoiding the main road, so I could run it all along the road and avoid the ice-covered pavements. But then I had a brainwave, that I could join the local gym on a 7-day trial membership, and run happily (and safely) indoors. So, having rung first to check I could do this, I popped off to Wantage Leisure centre yesterday to sign up, only to find that the gym staff member was off sick, so I couldn't have an induction.

This evening couldn't come round quickly enough, and I was there in good time. It took half an hour to work round all the gym equipment and try out each one, so the personal trainer was happy that I knew how to use them. Then I'm on the treadmill... which is calibrated in Km.
Um, quick, what's 10 miles in Km? Well, perhaps I'll start with 8k (about 5 miles) and see how I go.

This worked out well, as I started to get the slightest niggly pain in my right leg again. I wasn't sure I'd make it to 10, so when the 5 miles were up, I stopped for a breather, a carbo gel, and a drink of water. And then I took a few minutes to do my ITB stretches, and then it was back on the treadmill for another 8k to bring me up to the 10 miles I wanted to do.

And the second session started off really well, so the mid session interval obviously helped, especially the stretching. However tiredness soon caught up with me, so I slowed the pace a little on each mile. Still I'm happy to have reached ten miles again, but I don't think I'll be rushing to join the gym to run there full time. Because treadmill running is so boring! It's no fun looking at yourself in the mirror, nor watching TV (in the treadmill's monitor), and it's really no fun seeing the metres ticking round so slowly.

Give me the fresh air, the countryside and the constantly changing scenery please! Running mile by mile along the road seems a doddle to pounding the treadmill. "Oh look I've done another 400m, so that means only 2.5 minutes since I last looked at my watch. Oh, and 7.5 minutes until this mile is up..." Whereas out on the open road with just my thoughts to keep me company it's more a case of "Oh look, I've done 7.5 minutes since I last looked at my watch, so only a quarter of a mile to go to finish this one"

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

No more snow... please!!

Please can the snow stay away now? Luckily I suppose I haven't been running this week, so it hasn't mattered yet, but I want to get back out on the roads by Friday really... rather dangerous to consider when I saw the state of the pavements this morning.

I saw the Sports Therapist today, and she was very helpful. She massaged my leg, and that was good. She had promised to hurt me... no pain no gain I thought, but it all seemed to be fine. Then she prodded her thumbs into my leg and got me to bend and straighten it (or was it straighten and bend?). Now that did hurt a bit. Then she stretched my ITB, and gave me tips on other stretching.
Ice to reduce the tenderness and slight swelling in my leg, and rest tomorrow. She wants me back running by Friday, and back to see her next week for another massage if necessary.

Then I had my usual Wednesday Yoga flow session. There was more concentration on stretching this week, which was good. Some of the poses I found difficult, and will need more practice before I can do them, others I was happily getting into the harder version to increase the stretch, so that made me feel good.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Another mile in the pool

Distance: 1650m (1 mile + a bit)
Crawl: 66 lengths

Since I'm waiting to see a sports therapist to sort out my iliotibial band (I'm pretty sure that's what's up with my right knee), it was time for more non impact training this evening. So do I dust off the rowing machine and sit in a freezing cold garage? Or do I head off to the pool...? Well obviously the pool won out. Given the extra time this evening, I decided to go for the mile again. And I clocked up my 66 lengths in a little over an hour. The pool was very busy, with a swimming lesson closing off 3 lanes, and the open area was quite full, so I went in the "medium" lane, and managed to swim all the lengths with only a short breather between them.

Why 66? Well 64 lengths is just under a mile, 65 lengths is a little over a mile, and 66 being an even number to end on so I was back at the shallow end to finish. I even kept enough energy back to sprint the last length too!

Monday, 2 February 2009

All quiet on the western front

Ok, so I haven't been blogging for a week, as I was seeing how things went after last Sunday's niggling pain towards the end of my 9 mile run.

I had a complete rest day last Monday.
I swam on Tuesday.
I went to yoga on Wednesday.
I had a scheduled rest day on Thursday.
I skipped my run on Friday (I wasn't feeling too well anyway).
Saturday was also a scheduled rest day (although I did go for a 2-mile walk).

So.... Sunday:
Distance: 1½ miles
Time: 15m52s
Mile 1 - 10m02s
Mile 2 (half) - 5m50s

Having taken a week off running, I set out for my scheduled "100 minutes slow jog". I'd bumped into my physio in the running shop on Saturday morning when I popped in for some glucose gel sachets. I'd told him about the niggling pain, and he said to keep up with the rolling of my quads (which I'd been doing, 5-10 minutes each day), to take it easy and to try to roll over my foot a bit more than usual rather than springing up off my toes as I lift off. So I did this and mile 1 felt very comfortable. I'm feeling good, and looking forward to running ten 10-minute miles. Then on mile 2.... my right leg started to hurt again. So rather than push it, I slackened off my pace completely and gave up after half a mile when I realised it would be no good.

I've booked an appointment to see a Sports Massage Therapist on Wednesday, so hope that she can help loosen up my ITB (for that is what it feels like is hurting), and then I need to concentrate on the right kind of stretching so I can get on top of the problem before it gets any worse. That way I can get back on track with my training asap.

In the meantime I think it'll just have to be non-impact cross training.
Today I was back in the pool:
Distance: 800m
Crawl: 30 lengths
Breaststroke: 2 lengths.

Tomorrow I may go for a longer swim after work, or perhaps some rowing.
I shall see how things go...

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 PSC Trust
PSC Support Or visit my Justgiving page for PSC Support at PSC Support - Justgiving
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