Tuesday, 7 August 2012

I am back and ready to go (she says whilst eating toblerone!)

So... I have been running on and off since the marathon but with a new temporary leadership role at school, year 6 SATS and a masters to contend with, I kind of lost the enthusiasm and motivation. I have spent the last 3 months working very long hours and eating lots of dinners out and catching up with friends in any spare time! This was highlighted in a recent run and a recent pair of jeans that felt a little too tight!?! I felt so fit after the marathon and watching the women's Olympic Marathon inspired me, so Monday is the day to kick start the fitness...

Monday 6.08.12
Got up this morning and went for a short run from my house up and around the East Cliff round Wear Bay Road and back along Dover Road. It started raining half a mile away from my house and made me think of all those marathon runners on Sunday. I am not sure I could have run the first half of a marathon in that rain!!? Ran 3.32 miles at an average of 8:49. Found the first mile hardest but managed to speed up once I got the rhythm going.

Went to a boxercise class this evening with my friend who I went to Switzerland - having consumed rather too many bottles of wine, we have both been encouraged to get fit! I love this class. Steve, who runs the class, is like an army major and has some great tunes to get you moving. The warm up is nearly half an hour and my legs were burning. I am going to try and get to this class every week as it will be good to improve my overall strength not just the running (particularly as I have agreed to do the tough man next year...)

Also managed to eat well and not eat out today! Really trying to up the water too as I can go all day at work without a drink. I have been getting pains in my stomach when I run at times and I am wondering if it is dehydration? Let's see how long it lasts...

Tuesday 7.08.12
Was really tired before running this morning and very achy from last night but am still feeling positive! We ran to the seafront today, which was 1.4 miles. I enjoyed chatting to the runners, I have missed the banter! We then did some dynamics before starting 4 x1km reps with a 2 minute recovery. We were running towards the wind for the first rep and third rep, which was tough and I certainly started too quick and slowed. Perhaps I need to pace more as it is very visible when the wind was against me?

Rep 1 - 7:51
Rep 2 - 7:26
Rep 3 - 7:55
Rep 4 - 7:36

Pleased that they were all under 8 minute miles, although I am not sure I could manage this for 10km race, so definitely something to work on!

Ran up the zig zag path and could feel the legs burning from boxercise but it was a good feeling back at the club having completed a tough run!

Currently eating toblerone but I have limited myself to 3 pieces and have a pint of orange squash to balance out the bad with the good. Hehe! Promising! I did turn down a piece of cake when I had lunch with my grandparents today :-)

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Week beginning 21st May: Back to the running and back to the blogging!

So... after a month of very limited running (apart from the three king challenge, which me and Angela aced), I thought it would be a wise idea to start the blog again and start the training again. I signed up for the Folkestone 10km to give me some motivation and something to aim for and also to stop me from eating ridiculous amounts of food. I think I have exhausted the whole 'I ran a marathon' line. I don't think that works as a valid excuse for eating like a pig, 4 weeks later!

Monday 21st May

A friend, Joe, is also determined to do his first ever race this Sunday for the Folkestone 10km. So we decided to run the course so that Joe could feel more confident on the day. Our mistake was running from my house to the route start and then following the route and then running back to my house. Both of us were worn out before we even started the course. I hadn't done many runs since the marathon and Joe hasn't got out much either. We ran 9 miles in the end with an average pace of 9:22, which was much quicker than either of us thought. Little worried about the course though as it was a bit soul destroying, running 3 miles out and 3 miles back.

Tuesday 22nd May

Woke up with very heavy legs today. My fault for being silly and running 9 miles yesterday. However, I was determined to have a good speed session today as I haven't had a speed session for well over 2 months. After a disasterous start, where I arrived on time and not harassed from leaving school late (for once), I spotted all the runners in there marathon t-shirts. It dawned on me that it was photo night, so I literally turned straight back round again and headed for the car. Managed to pick up Tim's medal which I had previously stolen at a scout talk, found my marathon finisher t-shirt but couldn't find my medal. I searched everywhere and turned everything upside down. I left very harassed and with no medal. At least I had Tim's. I rocked back up again as the photo was being taken. Phew!

We warmed up around Lucy Avenue, then did our dynamic stretching as always. A big shout out to Mr Warren who has now mastered the hop scotch - woop woop!

Our main session consisted of x1 4 minute, x2 3 minutes, x3 2 minutes and x 4 1 minutes with recovery between. Considering I haven't run fast for a long time and my legs were so heavy, I was really pleased with my pacing today. I trained really hard and it paid off with my splits (apart from the one blip on the 2 minute).

3 mins – 7:31/ 7:33
2 mins - 7:00/ 7:00/ 7:42
1 mins - 6:40/6:57/7:04/ 6:32

Total mileage: 6

On returning home, I managed to find my medal as soon as I entered my room. I had forgotten that I had put it in my pouch after the scout talk to 'keep it safe!' I now had a room to restore to its rightful order! 

Friday 25th May

A very early start this morning! I did not go to the club last night because I had friends round for dinner, so when Loz rang me and suggested I run in the morning, I thought I'd better accept. I've been refusing all offers of an early morning run for weeks. 

I didn't sleep very well as I was clock watching from about 3 as I was determined not to sleep in. Once I decide to do something and say yes, that's it! Alarm went off at 5.10am and I was in the car by 5.25am, having rolled over, rolled into some clothes and rolled into the car. Once I got running, it felt really good to be in the beautiful sunshine. The Leas was gorgeous at 6am. There were also a surprising number of runners and walkers around for such an early time. Myself, Will and Lauren had a good old chat as we headed down the zig zag path to Sandgate. Will was evil and made us run up Sandgate Hill. I don't particularly like Sandgate Hill during daytime hours, so during sleep hours it was even worse! I did struggle more than I would have done during the day and as time passed, I go hungry too. I think my body needs to adjust to an earlier start. 

We ran 4.5 miles, with an average pace of 9:06, which I was pleased with. Thanks to Lauren and Will for making me run, it did actually set me up for the day. 

Sunday 27th May - Folkestone 10km Coastal Run

A very hot today for the Folkestone 10km run. The temp on the car was 24 degrees at 8.45am. Was very nervous about today, I was worried about my speed as I feel like I have lost it since my marathon training. 

I didn't like not having a chip - you can tell I am a 'proper' runner now. I wouldn't have cared this time last year but now any extra seconds count! I tried to start nearer the front, so that I wasn't too far back and my official time wouldn't be too different to my actual time but equally I didn't want to get swept away or be one of these really annoying people at the front who so shouldn't be there! My aim today was to get a sub 50. My first 10km was Ashford, which was 52:10, so I had worked out what I needed to do to get a sub 50. Unfortunately, after the 1st mile I knew this was not going to happen today.

I started well with my first mile an average of 7:36. By the time, I had completed a mile, I had those wretched pains in my stomach. I have been having these on and off for over a year now but not often. I had the same pain at the Folkestone leg of the relays. I have begun talking myself out of the pain but today with the heat as well, I really struggled to find the positive attitude. My splits got slower and by the time Dave Walbrook and Angela had overtaken me, I was considering stopping. This is very unheard of from me and I am not a quitter but the sun was pounding and my stomach was really cramping. Got to the water station and had a couple of sips of drink, tipped the rest over my head to cool me down and I felt much better. Managed to get rid of my negative mindset and focused on each 1km as it came. Gradually, the stomach pain subsided and then I could cope with the heat. 

On the way back, I was greeted by thousands of bees near the Murco garage, all the runners were literally running low to the ground and with their eyes closed. Didn't pass them on the way out, so I have no idea where they suddenly came from. Was great to have the support of all the marshals and I completely cheered up when I saw Becky. My two very good friends and their son, my godson, were cheering from the beach, which was a real boost too and gave me the motivation to persevere.

Continued plodding along, knowing that now I was over half way, there was no way I would stop. It was great to see the bell in the distance, such a feeling of relief. The last 1km sign was also a great sight, even though it did take forever to run it!

Pleased to have finished. Was very gutted that I only knocked 9 seconds off my p.b and was well over 50 minutes but in hindsight, it was a very hot day and I completed it. There is another 10km at Littlestone on Friday...

Great support as always from the club, they make the running worthwhile. Was buzzing afterwards and within half an hour, I had forgotten how horrendous the run was (well almost!) Finished the race off, with a cheeky massage whilst Mum ran up the zig zag path to get the car. Bless her!

Mile 1 - 7:36
Mile 2 - 8:22
Mile 3 - 8:17
Mile 4 - 8:38
Mile 5 - 8:51
Mile 6 - 8:39
Mile 7 - 7:24
Average pace: 8:22
Total mileage: 6.22

Total mileage for the week: 25.72 

Monday, 16 April 2012

Week beginning 16.04.12

Tuesday 17.04.12
Had to attend exec meeting at school today, which meant I didn't leave until 6 and had tutoring afterwards, followed by running. Very tight - finished tutoring at 7.10 and headed straight to the club. Bex waited for me and we went out and ran 3.5 miles. Good pace of 8:40 and our last run together before the big day. Sad times!

Wednesday 18.04.2012
Expo in London - collecting the number - very scary! Eeeeeek!

Thursday 19.04.12
A short 2 miler this evening with Angela and Will - hardly seemed worth it! However, I really struggled. Felt sooooo puffed out. My only thought was, not sure how I am going to do this 13 times???

Friday 20.04.12

Getting ready - name ironed on and ready to go...

Saturday 21.04.12 - MY BIRTHDAY
Was up nice and early this morning as myself and Becky were on the radio. It was all pre-recorded but I was up and listening to the radio at 8.15. Had a leisurely hour or so munching on some brekkie, reading the paper and opening a few pressies before I headed out for a little run! Only managed 1.6 miles but I was worn out. It made me worry about the Marathon as I knew I'd have to do this about 20 times over. Eeeeek! Spent the rest of the day with family and friends for my birthday. Had a lovely lunch with a good friend - had half a brie and bacon baguette and half a chicken baguette! Probably not what I should be eating in preparation for the marathon. Had dinner out with my parents in the evening, which was great. We went to Brickfields, which I would thoroughly recommend for pre-running food. I had brown wholegrain pasta with roasted vegetables, chargrilled chicken and pesto. Perfect pre-marathon food. In the evening, I went to my Dad's friend's 60th birthday party because his wife has M.S and he has raised £200 for me. It really gave me inspiration when I saw Dick speak about his wife. Dick's friends had had a collection for his birthday and he wanted to use it to buy a bed for Vicky so that she could be assisted to sit in bed and read. Will definitely remember this when I run. 

Not too sure how much I slept last night - can't work out what was my thoughts and what was dreaming! When the alarm went off at 5am, I curled up inside the covers hoping that time would stop. Unfortunately, having Mum call up the stairs that we were leaving in 20 minutes made it all seem very real. Arrived at the station to find Dave and Angela waiting outside because the station was closed - a little concerned. A few people arrived with their London Marathon bags, all waiting to get inside! Thankfully, the station guard arrived with about 5 minutes to go. 

Ate my bagel on the train, couldn't face it at 5.15 but was more awake at 6.15! Travelled up with quite a few people from the running club, which was really nice, especially as they were all seasoned marathoners. Arrived at London Bridge and trailed after everybody, not before Dave rescued my Running club jacket from the seat! It was at this point that Angela got a call from Leah and Becky to say they had been in a car accident and were off to the hospital. It was such a horrible feeling. I was gutted for them and worried about what had happened and if they were ok. I was also thankful that I had changed my mind and got the train as I was supposed to be in the car with Leah and Becky and then that made me feel really selfish and guilty! It was such a downer and I couldn't think of anything but them. We were all very quiet on the overground to the next stop and our thoughts were with them both, as well as Baz and Cam (Becky's partner and son). 

On arrival and after a club photo, me and Steve said goodbye to our fellow runners, who were in the blue and green zone and headed for the red zone. When we arrived, I pulled myself together and decided to run well for Becky and Leah and do them both proud. Luckily, I heard from Leah, who told us that they had been checked out in the hospital and were given the ok to come home. That made me feel a little better and so I handed my phone in with the rest of my gear and pulled it together for my run! We watched the elite ladies head off on the big screen and the nerves began to set in! 

With our luggage handed in, Steve and I had 45 minutes to go, so we queued up for the toilets. Unfortunately, 40 minutes later we were still in the queue! I told Steve to find his pen and I waited in the queue on my own. I knew that I needed to go or psychologically I would be thinking about throughout the whole race! The race started and I was still in the toilet queue, 3 people from the front, with a huge line behind me. I literally ran to my pen but as I was in pen 8 and so near the back, my line hadn't moved at all. I was scared, nervous and excited all rolled into one and ready to take on the challenge after so much training...

I sneakily tried to pass a few people to get nearer to the start but with so many people I am not sure it helped that much. I saw lots of people running for such great causes and it made me feel so pleased to be part of such a great event. After nearly 20 minutes, I got to the start line - started the watch and I was off. In all honesty, I was a little frustrated from the start because I was so far back, I was running with people who were not worried about their time. I tried to overtake people from the off, particularly as so many people were walking before we'd got to a mile. I managed to run on the path behind the spectators for some of the first couple of miles, which helped with my speed. I was really annoyed when I needed a wee after 2 miles. I decided that I'd have to stop at the next toilet stop but when I got there, there was already a massive queue. I told myself I was fine and would wait to find toilets without a queue. Famous last words... at mile 25 I still hadn't found toilets without a queue but at this point, I knew there was no way I could stop. I do believe that men should be penalised (tehe) as they were literally going to toilet everywhere and anywhere! The poor ladies were clocking up the time whilst the men were going to toilet in the subways, in the hedges, on the grass. Not too fair I think! 

I remember the first time somebody called my name. It was such a lovely feeling and I bubbled with excitement. I thoroughly enjoyed the feeling of somebody supporting me and cheering for me. What a super feeling! Found the 2nd mile a little tough as there was a sneaky hill thrown in there. I did notice the pub at the top! I remember complaining to another runner that I was told London was flat. The first 3 miles flew by and before I knew it, the red, green and blue starters were all merging into one. This became quite congested and I got a little annoyed that I couldn't move any quicker. I moved to the edge and managed to weave in and out of people. As a result, I managed to clock an extra 0.4 mile by mile 5. Woops! 

I ran comfortably until mile 5, when I started developing blisters, which panicked me slightly. Thankfully, I knew that the Folkestone Running Club team would be at mile 6 by the Cutty Sark, so I focused on this instead. I loved running past our team of supporters. It made me feel so privileged to be running and so loved to have such good support from both family and runners that have become good friends! The next 10 miles kind of disappeared in a bit of a blur. To be honest, I don't really remember that much about the while thing, except Tower Bridge. I remember lots and lots of bands playing - there were steel drums, bag pipes, string instruments. I also remember the crowds of people who were so supportive from start to finish. The whole atmosphere was phenomenal. Everybody came together... offering sweets, chocolate, oranges and so on. People offering encouragement the whole way round. I also remember nearly crying when I saw my Dad and co at the second stop. They were all so happy and cheering away that it made me feel so proud to be running!

My favourite part of the course was Tower Bridge and the only part of the race that I have vivid images of. I loved running up towards the Bridge, it was a super feeling. I felt comfortable (apart from the blisters and needing a wee) until about 18 miles, maybe even 19/20. I had seen the Running Club team (with Mum, Dad, my Auntie, Uncle and Cousin, plus all my lovely friends) twice, plus the second Running Club team (Tina, Graham, Lucy, Catherine and Poppy) and heard Nic and Georgie from school, which kept me entertained. 

I was waiting for 20 miles, so that I knew I could say I was on my final 6. However, when I hit 20 this was when I started hurting significantly and it dawned on me that I still had another hour of running. I can't say I hit the wall that people talk about but this was most certainly my toughest 2 miles. It got to the point where I got my music out to give me some inspiration. The crowds were amazing but after 3 hours of listening to them, I needed to pull myself out of self -pitying mode and into fighter mode! I listened to 3 songs and focused on each mile that I ticked off. 6 then 5 then 4. Once I got to 3 miles, I knew I was ok again. I put my music away and got back with the crowd. I saw my friends at mile 24, which spurred me on and was also waiting to see the Running club at mile 24, which also helped me pick my mood up as I had been so happy at each other mile I had seen them. Unfortunately, I didn't see the Running club but my friends gave me that boost! I did, however, see Sarah Shucksmith and couldn't speak but managed to give her a 'stroke' on the arm as I passed, hoping that she knew that was really me saying 'come on Sarah, nearly there!' 

I was so pleased to see the Big Ben (thanks to my friend Jo) who'd bought me a card for my birthday of Big Ben and told me that I had less than a mile when I saw Big Ben. At this point, the crowds were becoming louder and crazier! Seeing the sign that said 800m was such a buzz. I felt myself pick up and I pushed my legs to move quicker. I didn't realise how long 800m was, especially after 26 miles! I thought I was nearly there when in actual fact, I had only run 200m. Seeing that finish line was the most amazing site. I pushed and pushed as I ran forward and over the line. 

200 metres to go!!!

My watch said 4:13:44 which I was so chuffed with. I nearly cried as I was given my medal (and I am no crier!) However, as I was on my own I quickly pulled myself back together and swapped a few congrats with other runners. After running for nearly 4 and 1/4 hours needing the toilet, I finally found a row of toilets with absolutely no-one in any of them - typical! Went to the toilet but actually found I couldn't actually get back up again. I had a chuckle to myself as I thought of my parents and the running club sending out a search party because I was stuck on the toilet. Mustered up some strength and holstered myself out of the cubicle, only to bump into Sarah. We had a hug and a photo and collected our bags from the lorry. This was by far the toughest part of the day. With a big bag full of running gear, jackets, food, drinks etc, plus very sore legs that were stiffening by the minute, we had to walk about half a mile to get to the exit and to the meet and greet point where the family and friends were. When we got there, I gave Mum and Dad a huge hug and was very close to tears! I was overwhelmed by the support of everyone there and so grateful to them all for following us runners around for the day. Everyone was really pleased with my time too. Rhian, my friend from Wales, had travelled up with her Mum too and so she met us at the meet and greet earlier. I cannot believe the amount of support that I had from my friends, who had travelled from several different places to be there for the day - Rhi from Wales, Nic and Georgie from St. Mary's, Em and Bex (my school friends), Philie, Mark and baby Orla, Jo, Tom and my Godson Elliott, my auntie and uncle, my parents, running club friends! I am truly grateful to all of them! 

Spent an overwhelming hour chatting to people, hearing about other people's runs before Tim, Lauren, Louis, Will and Emma said that they would walk to the MSRC with me, so that I could say hello and get my massage. Unfortunately, this turned into an absolute nightmare as the rain set in and people tried to leave Horse Guard parade at the same time! All the gates were locked as people were panicking and it took us 3 attempts to find a gate to get out of. By the time we got out it was too late for me to go to the MSRC for my massage as we had to be back for the mini bus. This kind of put a bit of a downer on the day as I really wanted to see the charity I had run for and could have done with a massage.

Instead, we walked to Charing Cross (I am sure we clocked another couple of miles) and got a train to Blackheath where the mini bus was awaiting! 

After our journey home and a quick 20 minute bath (I always seem to be in a rush), friends and family started arriving. I put on my Marathon 2012 finisher t-shirt and medal and headed downstairs for drinks with good friends and family. A lovely evening with some special people to celebrate my first ever Marathon! 

1 - 9:24        2 - 8:41        3 - 8:41         4 - 8:24          5 - 8:57  
6 - 9:10        7 - 9:14        8 - 9:09         9 - 9:29         10 - 9:34
11 - 9:32      12 - 9:35      13 - 9:34      14 - 9:39         15 - 9:36
16 - 10:04    17 - 9:44      18 - 9:34       19 - 10:30      20 - 10:01
21- 10:17     22- 10:27     23- 10:30       24 - 11:00      25 - 8:52 
26 - 9:40      27 - 8:56

Average pace: 9:35

Monday, 9 April 2012

Week beginning 9.04.12 - Easter Monday

Monday 9.04.12
It has been raining all day today which isn't very nice for Easter Monday! Me and Leah braved the rain early evening and ran 5 miles. Legs felt unbelievably heavy and I couldn't seem to get my pace up! Its bizarre because my pace was so fast on Friday for the Folkestone 10. I know its a race so the adrenalin and competition conditions gets you moving but I can't believe how different a few days can make you feel. However saying that my pace was much quicker than I thought it was when I looked at my splits, so perhaps I am being tough on myself!

1 - 9:24
2 - 9:05
3 - 9:15
4 - 9:13
5 - 8:35
6 - 8:08

Average pace: 9:05
Total distance: 5.2 miles

Tuesday 11.04.12
Club run this evening. We had a 1.6 mile warm up around Lucy Avenue, followed by some dynamics on the polo ground. It was really nice to be back on the field and running in daylight. We then did a paarlauf run, which involved teaming up in pairs and running around the field towards your partner - the idea being that one recovers, so runs slowly, whilst the other runs quick until you meet, then swap. I ran with Steve which made me run quick!

Pleased with my splits:

I wasn't aware of my timings whilst I ran as I just ran but these times were quite consistent - I think I was a little ambitious on the first lap! Now need to try and keep them a little closer together for more consistency! Warm down was a mile lap of the whole field.

Total mileage: 5.5 miles

Thursday 12.04.12
4 miler with Miss Fuggle - average pace 9 min/miles. Struggled today. It's funny how I am doing much less miles but finding it so much harder - to be fair, we did have a few hills, including remembrance!

Saturday 14.04.12
Following the radio show (check out Academy FM 8.15 am next Saturday), myself, Beck and Leah headed out for a 7 miler - our last 'longish' run! Average pace 8:59. We headed along Joys Road, along the East Cliff, down to the harbour, up remembrance hill and along the Leas to the end. We then headed back towards home, down Park Farm Road and up Black Bull Road, in order to hit 7 miles.

Total mileage this week: 21.8 miles

Sunday 15.04.12
5am start this morning!!! Was not liking the alarm, particularly as I had been to a friend's 30th the night before and got in at midnight. Was all ready when Tim pulled up. Pleasant drive down with Tim driving, Angela, Will and Emma. Tim was showing the nerves when we arrived - not too sure I could have driven in Tim's position. Tim picked up a free water - they were on packets that looked great as you could rip the top off and then throw them and not trip over them. Tim was trying it out, whilst the rest of us were drinking hot chocolate! Tim managed to throw it all over himself, Angela and me. I jumped out the way and scolded myself with hot chocolate. Ooooops!

Unfortunately, we missed Tim despite standing at the 0.2 mile mark! See the pic - so disheartening but certainly got some laughs!

Unfortunately, we missed Tim and Margaret! No idea how, especially Tim with his height. Hmmm... Luckily, we had our own little tour guide in the form of Angela and we headed off en route! Angela spotted a side road and the runners running up the hill. Luckily, we managed to catch Tim who proceeded to throw water at Will and the runner in front of him. On our way back towards the pier, I managed to catch Margaret, so we all gave a woop and a cheer!

At this point, Angela and I were on a mission to catch the elite at the half way point, so we frog marched Will and Emma to the sea front. We were really lucky and got there in the nick of time! They were phenomenal! So quick! At this point, I turned into a marshal and barked some orders at the marshals holding the line that lets people across the course. They hadn't realised a fast runner was approaching and I got worried he would get tangled up in people and before I knew it, I had called out to tell them. Oooops! Did make me giggle - I just spoke without meaning to! After we'd seen the elite, we waited for Angela's friend, Tim, Margaret and my friend Tom, of whom I had no idea what he was wearing but just kept reciting his name out and staring at numbers! Turns out that he was 10 minutes in front of Tim at each point, so he blatantly passed me several times. I did think I caught the back of him at one point - in a white shirt with MS Resource Centre on it but it was too quick!

After we'd seen Tim for a second time, we headed for a hot drink before heading to the finish as the elite were predicted to finish in 2 hours 12 minutes - the APP that let us follow the runners was amazing! The elite were amazing! So, so fast. I have no idea how they do 5 min/miles. I couldn't do that for half a mile, let alone 26.2! After the elite came in, the runners began trickling in. At about 3 hours, the runners started coming in faster and the crowds increased. It became a really good atmosphere and it really helped having runners names on their tops and we could shout out support. I loved the whole atmosphere. Cheered Tim in and went to meet him with a big hug! He had an impressive run - hard on himself as usual but a 30 minute PB, which was amazing!

From here, we headed for a well earned harvester and to thaw out! Ideal weather for the runners but a bit cold when you've been stood watching for 3 and a half hours...

After some food, we watched a little more of the runners coming in from the top of the wall. I fell in love with a paramedic, who clapped every single runner in, despite the fact, he'd probably been there well over 2 hours! I am a soppy twit! No-one else shared my enthusiasm for the paramedic!

Headed back to the bus and homeward bound after a lovely day supporting Will and Margaret and with good company! We did get caught on the bus behind a girl who couldn't get down the stairs without using her hands to lift each leg individually! Bless her! That'll be me on Sunday... tehe!

Not looking too bad for a 5am start!

Monday, 2 April 2012

Week beginning 02.04.2012

Tuesday 3rd April
After eating a large packet of maltesars, eating a banana and a pint of orange squash, I headed over to the running club! Was a little bit full when I arrived and not feeling a speed session but as I missed last weeks training, I turned down a longer steady run to open my legs up and get in a good run.

We headed to a different place for training this evening - went to the Mermaid Cafe, which was 1.45 miles. We then did our dynamics along the seafront before our main session. This was a 3 mile tempo run, with the aim of running all 3 miles at the same speed - roughly 10km pace. I headed off a bit too quick - 7 min/miles as I was following Catherine, Lucy and Sue. I settled in to just under 8 min/ miles. The first mile was the toughest and the wind took my breath away but I got into my stride on the second mile as the wind was with me. By the last mile, I knew I was on my final stretch, so picked up pace and caught Catherine and Lucy (not sure this was the aim as we were supposed to be steady but I liked the chase). Today gave me a better idea of my pacing as I have got caught up in lots of longer runs at the moment and slower paces.

1st mile - 8:06
2nd mile - 7:52
3rd mile - 7:39

Just looked at these splits and pretty chuffed with these :-)

Our session ended with a warm down up Sandgate hill and up Coolinge Lane. The corner was pretty tough and I am not so sure it was a cool down but definitely a good challenge!

Total mileage: 6.16

Thursday 05.04.2012
Got up this morning and had a muffin in preparation for the Marathon, to see what my body thought. Can't say I particularly enjoyed it as it was very stodgy! Picked Angela up and we headed to the Canal. The idea was to try and make 8:30 minute/ mile reps to see if I can sustain it for tomorrow's Folkestone 10 miler. Really struggled with keeping the pace for the first 2 miles and was worn out after 5 miles - not too sure how I will manage 8:30 on a 10 miler but going to give it a go. Target is to beat 1hr 30 as I have never run a 10 mile race. Don't want to let anyone down!

Enjoyed being up and out with Angela at a reasonable hour (she is much nicer to me than Becky and Leah, who make me go at 7.45am!) Wasn't too windy and it was quiet along the canal. Didn't quite make it to the animals, which was our plan as we were turned around at 2.5 miles. We just saw a deer before we turned! Next time, we'll have to do a longer run!

1- 8:31
2 - 8:41
3- 8:24
4 - 8:21
5 - 8:11

Average pace: 8:25
Total miles: 5

Good Friday 6.04.12 - Folkestone 10

Unbelievably nervous today! This has been the most nervous I have ever felt. I didn't have my usual 'crew' around me. I have grown very, very fond of the girlies on our Saturday runs and also when we did the Thanet 20. I was also feeling the pressure to do well as I felt privileged that I had been asked to run for the Folkestone Running Club and I didn't want to let them down!

Didn't start well as I warmed up with Will and got a stitch within minutes of running. When the race started, I just ran with the crowd. We had to run around the field for a lap. I think it would have been better if we'd had chips as myself and Tina started further back and took longer to get to the start line. I ran the lap of the field rather quickly as I got carried along. It was only when Catherine told me to pace that I noticed I was running at 7:15 minute/miles. Ooops!

Felt really strong going out and was pleased that my watch sat on 8:11/8:12 for the first 4 miles, particularly as I couldn't get to 8:30 yesterday when myself and Angela set out - shows how a race can push you! I enjoyed the first 4 miles and it was lovely having so much support from the club. The fast runners were already on their way back at 4 miles - so impressive! Watched for the club runners, which occupied my mind - they were all running so strong! Still felt strong myself on the 5th mile, then it all began to change...

The sun got hotter and the coastal park appeared. I didn't realise that we had to go up into the coastal park as I marshaled for the first time last year and they couldn't use the coastal park. The little ramp up was a bit of a shock and it was surprisingly undulated for that half a mile. My legs had got so used to running on the flat that it was an extra effort. Really good support in the coastal park which kept me going. Poor old Mick asked me how I was doing to which I replied that 'I was dying.' Poor old Mick probably wonders why he asks me as that was the response he got at my first X Country race. Once back on the flat and heading towards the Hythe Imperial, I really had to dig deep. It was really hot and the hotel was not getting any closer. This was where I hit a bit of a downer and couldn't get my legs to pick up the pace - still pleased that I stayed under 9 minute miles but did find this part of the course really tough. I was pleased to see Becky as she had my drink on the wall. The ladies and Clive (;-p) did so well at the water station but it is a nightmare trying to run and drink from plastic cups at the same time. I was so paranoid that I was going to choke (like the Folkestone half) that I didn't really drink any. Having a bottle, meant I could have a few swigs! Then got rid of it with Steve - handy having Folkestone marshals!

Once I got to the Hythe Imperial, I ran with a lovely man - can't remember where he was from but he had a light blue shirt on. He had cottoned on to my name through all the supporters and asked me if we had to do a lap of the field at the end, to which I replied 'I hoped not' with another choice word thrown in! We ran together for the last mile and a half until I pushed at the last corner. He said 'well done Kirsty' at the end - I love the running etiquette! My legs managed to find a last bit of strength for the final straight and I managed to get in a reasonably strong finish.

I was really pleased with my time of 1:24:00. I have never done a 10 mile race before and was aiming for 8:30/9 min/miles and a time of less than 1:30. The support from the running club is amazing and makes me proud to be a part of it. There is no way that a year ago I would have thought it possible that I could complete a 10 miler - let alone at 8:20 min/mile pacing. In fact, I am so pleased that I was asked to run because I said to my friend, who helped me marshal last year, that I would like to be in their (the runners') place this time next year. Look at where determination and good support gets you!

1 - 7:33
2 - 8:11
3 - 8:12
4 - 8:12
5 - 8:19
6 - 8:25
7 - 8:37
8 - 8:56
9 - 8:47
10 - 8:19
11 - 7:06
Average pace: 8:20
Total mileage: 10.07
Time: 1:24:00

Total mileage this week: 21

Monday, 26 March 2012

Week beginning 26.03.12

Feeling very sorry for myself this week. Woke up Sunday feeling really tight but chesty, which didn't particularly improve as the week went on. This coupled with parents evening meant that I couldn't get to club for our club runs and as I was feeling so rotten, I didn't go out running on my own either.

Sunday 1st April
Inspired by Mum, Angela and Andrew yesterday in their Olympic Park run and having slept for 10 hours, I motivated myself with a lovely 13 miler with Angela and Ian this morning! Angela was heavy (unsurprisingly) from her run yesterday and my legs were heavy from a week of no running - I was hoping they would be sprightly but no such luck! I think my trainers might have passed their sell by date as it felt like I was running bare foot. Ordered new trainers as soon as I got home - exactly the same make and model as my old ones as I need to wear them in quickly. I should have been more organised but having upped the hours at work, trying to fit in the training and doing my masters is most certainly taking its toll!

Ran to Radnor Park, where I met Ian and Angela. We ran through Cheriton to the army barracks, down into Hythe to the end of the high street. We then turned around here and headed back along the canal, took a right past Hythe Imperial and hit the sea wall. We followed the sea all the way back to the Coastal Park, which clocked 13 miles. A very enjoyable run - good company, nice weather and an enjoyable route.

1 - 9:05
2 - 9:46
3 - 9:39
4 - 9:46
5 - 10:00
6 - 9:47
7 - 9:32
8 - 9:46
9 - 9:38
10 - 9:47
11 - 9:41
12 - 9:46
13 - 9:51
14 - 9:12

Average pace: 9:41
Total distance: 13.25 miles

Monday, 19 March 2012

Week beginning 19.03

Monday 19th March
Hour of boxercise

Tuesday 20th March
1.3 miles from the club to the Leas, followed by dynamic stretches. I was struggling big time due to my first boxercise lesson yesterday in 6 weeks. My fellow year 6 teacher commented on my rigid walking today at school. I blame the squats! Was dreading the session as the warm up was hard work... We had a long session which included an 8, 4, 2 minute rep with 2 minutes recovery between each, twice! The thought filled me with dread but once I got going I had a really good run this evening. Rather chuffed with my splits - just the second 4, could have been under 8 mins per mile!?!

8 minute rep: 7:36   distance: 1.04
4 minute rep: 7:51   distance: 0.52
2 minute rep: 6:45   distance: 0.30

8 minute rep: 7:52   distance 1.03
4 minute rep: 8:03   distance 0.5
2 minute rep: 6:47   distance 0.3

Total distance today = 7 miles

Thursday 22nd March
A rather enjoyable run this evening with Ian, Steve and Sam. My legs have been aching soooo much since Tuesday - to the point where I was holding off going to the toilet because it hurt my legs to lower myself on to the toilet (sorry too much info!) I blame boxercise as I think it was the squats but the fast run Tuesday probably finished them off. As a result, wasn't really feeling a run today but didn't have much time to make a decision as I didn't finish tutoring until 6.35pm, so had to change and was at the club for 6.45! Phew! Steve mentioned a steady miler rather than a speed session up the Leas, so I decided to join him, Ian and Sam. I was worried that I would be too slow for them but they were gentlemen and kept a good pace. I don't think I held them back too much. We ran through Cheriton, down into the Golden Valley, through Sandgate, up Horn Street (my first time - another hill conquered), then through Cheriton and back to the club. Great company, good challenge and some great splits! Thanks guys! Really enjoyed Horn Street and was impressed that my average pace was under 9:30.

1 - 9:13
2 - 8:46
3 - 8:40
4 - 8:57
5 - 9:22 (Horn Street)
6 - 8:27
7 - 7:02

Average pace: 8:51
Distance: 6.2 miles

Saturday 24th March
A lovely run this morning but one of which I now cannot move! The plan was to meet at Leah's in Hawkinge and head down into Folkestone into Sandgate. We ended up starting at Lindsey and Chloe's and running for 10 miles through the countryside in Hawkinge. There was a few hills in the valleys but it was gorgeous weather and seeing all the little lambs was bliss. Chloe took us through the middle of a field of little lambs - so cute! I had to stop and have a little nosy! We then had to contend with a big hill at the other end of the hill - hmmm... thanks Chloe - tehe! I felt like I was back at Brockhill Country Park on the boxing day run.

Unfortunately, Leah fell over - army style at about 7 miles but she was brilliant and showed such determination, particularly after a tough week. Despite holes in her trousers, blood dripping down both legs and grazes all over her hands, she continued to run well and pushed forwards. Very proud! Would have been so easy to have given up. We said goodbye to Lindsey and Chloe at 10 miles and headed down towards Folkestone. We looped around the East Cliff and onto Warren Road. Stopped at mine for refuelling and then headed off for our last 4 miles. It was tough starting again today - all three of us were achy and sore but being with the girls, kept me going! Ran towards homebase, down Cherry Garden Avenue, along past the Harvey, up Cornwallis Avenue and through Lynwood to Park Farm Road. One loop of Downs and Dolphins Road totalled 18:02 miles. Was really impressed with our time. I hadn't really paid much attention during the run but did feel like we were slower today. However, despite all the hills, we still managed an average pace of 9:29, which I think we should all be very proud of! Well done girlies! It is a little bittersweet as we found out today that we are in different zones which means we cannot run together, which was our plan. It will not be half as enjoyable without the lovely ladies :-( Hoping we can arrange something...

1 - 9:44
2 - 9:25
3 - 9:17
4 - 9:13
5 - 9:11
6 - 10: 36 ('the' lamb hill)
7 - 9:36
8 - 9:15
9 - 9:39
10 - 9:10
11 - 9:10
12 - 9:43
13 - 9:12
14 - 9:26
15 - 9:38
16 - 9:28
17 - 9:37
18 - 9:25

Average pace: 9:29
Mileage: 18.02

Sunday 25th March
First Sunday in a while where I haven't been teaching at school, so had a little lie in - bliss! As a result, woke up feeling rather ill - with a tight chest! Surprisingly no heavy or aching legs though. I think the hot tub last night was a huge help there... Went to see friends in Greatstone this arvo and Joe wanted to go for a run. Joe started running a year ago with me - we ran once a week but since he moved from Ashford, it's been hard finding time to meet. Couldn't let Joe down, so drove down with my running kit in the car - quietly hoping that Joe would have given up on the idea. Unfortunately not! We ran an enjoyable steady 5.6 miles to Dungeness and back. Chest really quite tight but legs felt strong.

1 - 9:06
2 - 9:23
3 - 9:31
4 - 9:46
5 - 9:29
6 - 8:48

Average pace - 9:23
Total mileage - 5.61

Total miles for the week - 36.81 miles

“Putting miles in your training, is like putting money in the bank. You begin to draw interest on it immediately!” 
Hal Higdon