Friday, 24 February 2012

Quick update

This is why i'm not a long term blogger! 10 days without an update, sorry!

Sunday i will have time to sit and type, so i can tell you about my 16 miles, the £556.20 that has now been raised and all the other minor details like why i'm having a week of non impact this week.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Building up to a Saturday long run

I chose Hal Higdon's Novice 1 Training Plan this year.  Hal Higdon is an american running writer whose training plans seemed to come well recommended on Runner World & Novice 1 is apparently the most popular of all his plans.  For me so far despite a few sets backs it has worked, but i think that makes me feel even more confident with it, in that i have been able to be flexible with it too.

So my weekly plan looks like this:

Monday - Rest (great way to start the week)
Tuesday - Short run
Wednesday - Medium run
Thursday - Short run
Friday - Rest
Saturday - Long Run
Sunday - Cross train

Ok, so i don't stick to it rigidly.....and a few more things may be added in on my rest day for example, but i think i have the right balance. Touch wood, no injuries (other than the expected blister & bruising) so far.

So being a Tuesday I was due a short run.  The short is almost gone but its still very wet outside so i thought go upstairs to the gym (after i'd done body pump of course!) and instead of atempting to force myself to do 3 miles on the treadmill and then give up very quickly, i decided to use the AMT (Adaptive Movement Trainer) instead like Emma suggested.  So why can i manage 3 miles on the AMT but not on the treadmill? It took me longer on the AMT than it would have on the treadmill too!

I'm hoping to do 7 miles & run from home to the gym tomorrow.  Mum would disagree and my health has taken a sudden down hill turn tonight.  Personally i think ( & will keep convincing myself) that its just a 24 hour thing and i'll be fine in the morning. I'll reassess in the morning.

Its been quite a day really, as i also got call regarding a job & believe i have also just secured another donation to the charity that would take me to 1/6th of my total! But as i don't have all the details or the money in my hands i don't want to confirm it just yet.  But the 1st £500 is very exciting news & i can't wait to tell the ladies when we go back after half term.

However the call about a possible job did remind me of something not so happy - From the next school year - from this September - i won't be able to volunteer at Bambers Green, or my other RDA group for at least the next school year.  To be honest this really doesn't bare thinking about right now. There is a big part of me that would almost rather give up the college course so i don't have to leave! But deep down i know that won't help me get to university and have a chance at doing a career that i've thought about for years. Its just another reason to raise enough to fund the group for a year, perhaps a reason i'd subconsciously pushed to one side.

I'm just going to raise what i can, run my little legs off & enjoy the time i have with the group and pray the college timetable changes for next september ;)

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Farmers Markets & T-Shirts

Big News! 

I will be going to Hatfield Heath Sheering Farmers Market on the 31st March - put the date in your diaries!

I will be selling my Bottle cap magnets, brooches and keyring, some greetings cards, a little bit of cross stitch.  A mixture of crafts basically. There will also be collection jars & of course plenty of sponsor forms for people to donate via too.

I am currently trying to design label for the home made donation jars & also a design for a T-Shirt i can wear to the gym to show off my fundraising address a bit more - well actually its my shortcut web address because the My Donate address is just so long! 

I looked at getting one printed on-line and quotes came out at £30 minimum! So i bought a t-shirt (£4) and some transfer paper (£13) current cost £17 it would have been cheaper PC world had the paper on sale for £4.99.  It would have been nice to have the cost under a tenner but it was out of stock in PC World and i got fed up of chasing around after some, so just bought it when i saw it the next day in WH Smiths.

I shall model it once it is sorted but it the mean time please tell all your friends & family about the farmers market.  Its a really good market & the reason its no longer in Hatfield Heath and moved to Sheering is actually because it got too big for the original location!  So now even more stalls for you to look at & buy from.  They are a wonderful crowd who organise the market and have given me a stall for free because i am raising money for a local charity. So come see us there on the last Saturday in March!

Friday, 10 February 2012

More Snow

I know some people may thing i'm chickening out and bottling it but after all the problems i had last year with training and injuries, and with the flu before christmas which left me drained for 5 weeks after - i really don't want to risk either a broken ankle, or getting too cold & falling ill again.
5.5 inches last weekend - only about half of that this time.

But i am going to cross train the heck out of things (without injuring or exhausting myself) until the conditions are more favourable.  So off to the gym it is and fingers cross for the 15 mile on the training plan this weekend!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Dreadmill (& money talk)

Due to the ice & (slowly thawing) snow running today was not as per the training plan (Hal Higdon's Novice 1).  Running to the gym as i had thought was not an option - unless I fancied breaking my ankle & having to cancel the whole thing - NOT an option!! So to the gym i went, running late as seems to be more often than not these days (note to self, turn laptop off earlier), and header for the treadmill dreadmill for a short run before Body Balance. I really can't manage running on the treadmill and there are many reasons that to me it is most certainly a "Dreadmill".

  1. Its so boring.  There's no nature to look out for, not traffic to dodge (not always a good thing, but it keeps you on your toes!), no people to pass, dogs to be chased by etc etc
  2. Its too easy to quit.  The reason i got dropped 13 miles from home last saturday was because that was i knew i had to get home.  In the gym its so easy to hit the stop button, or change the goal and reduce the distance.  That was today's way out.  My initial goal was 3 miles, and then i cut it down to 2, looked at the time i had left to go, increased the pace which then meant it was over even faster still. Which i guess leads me onto point 3...
  3. I'm more likely to overdo it and injure myself. Like i said in point 2 i have a tendency to speed up to get it over with, which means i push my legs and my heart harder than they possibly should be working.  I have little non sprinter legs which don't really like to run an 8 min/mile pace however my finger often hovers over that button & makes them work that hard.  A bit of speed work should help things in the long term though hopefully.
  4. I can hear my ipod. I have to run to a beat.  Its why i love the Les Mills classes so much, as they are choreographed. When i'm in the gym they have their own music going which over powers my ipod becuase i have my ipod set to a maximum that shouldn't ruin my ears.  The gym music is great but not always a fast enough beat for my running speed.

Anyway enough about the treadmill for now.  I am booking into a few extra classes to keep building back up the fitness i lost over Christmas with the flu, as it looks like my long run of 10 miles will have to be rethought.  The treadmills are set to run for a maximum of an hour and to complete my 10 miles it would need to be a 6 min/mile.....Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! At that kind of pace i'd be finishing the marathon in under 3 hours.  Are you seeing how ridiculous this idea is yet?

The snow & ice is still here & we are forecast more for friday and saturday.  So for 10 miles i would be looking at around 1 hour and 40 minutes.  Mum suggested sitting by the treadmill nagging me so i keep going, but that would be a very boring hour for her! I did think of another option - go to snow where that is snow & ice free.  Brighton maybe? Wait and see what the weather does i think. I don't really want to be driving in snow either.

So onto the money talk.  I have a few details about where your generously donated more will go (What's that? you haven't sponsored me yet? You're not sure how or where?  click on this link, it will take you to the right page

  • £10 will pay for the hire of a pony for 1 session (there are 2 sessions per week)
  • £20 will buy Riot a new set of shoes (he goes through 6 sets a year - he works very hard!)
Riot, the superstar
  • £32 will fund worming treatment for Riot (he need 6 of these a year too)
  • £100 will pay for transport so we can take ponies to the annual Sports Day run by The Presidents Sporting Club/Essex Disabled Sports Foundation, where around 100 children get a chance to have a short ride, many of whom have never been on a horse before!
  • £200 will pay for the hire of the facilities for a term. We have the use of both and indoor school & outdoor school which means we can ride even if its raining!

Stay warm people! And stay safe runners!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Semi recovered

Due to a little bit of snow (about 6 inches!!!) i decided i'd give my cross training at the gym a miss.  As much as i love my Body Step and Body Balance, i thought my bruised feet would prefer a rest and i really didn't fancy driving in it.  I'm sure the main road was probably ok, but it's getting down to the main road that's the problem.  There are so many cars parked on the side of the road that i didn't fancy attempting trying not to skid & hit them!

I spent my cross training sunday doing about an hour of snow shovelling & sweeping instead, as we cleared the path & salted it, in the hope it doesn't become icy overnight.  Of all the photos i've seen on facebook, this area seems to have had the most snow down south.

So i said i was going to recap on my half marathon.  I can't quite believe that's what i've done. It's one of those things i can't quite link in my head.  I know i've run 13 miles - my garmin confirmed it, but to say i've run a half marathon.....

Anyway, i thought i'd recap in lists.  As i was running so many thing ran through my mind - after all 2 hours and 18 minutes is a long time, to spend thinking.  The thoughts ranged from what i'd blog about, to the bizarre, to the amusing, as well as looking out for wildlife.

13 Miles - The Good

  • i completed it!
  • No pain in the shins
  • fantastic route
The Bad

  • numb fingers
  • bruised arches of feet 
  • a 'paula radcliffe' moment at only 3 miles in - clearly 2 mugs of tea is too much liquid before running. Good job it happened whilst i was on a country lane still, out of view ;)
The Lucky
  • My ipod ran out as i was on my cool down walk less than half a mile from home!
Lessons Learnt
  • Jordan Frusli bars do not stay nice and chewy when its cold outside!  I think might hunt down some clif baf shot blox which they had there last year, as Clif Bar are one of the official sponsors and are again this year. I tried a Powerbar gel last year which i got as a freebie at the expo, but it was far too sweet.  I took one mouthful before throwing it.  I felt so bad doing that, but what are you supposed to do when you are only 9 miles into at 26 mile race?! The whole route was littered with rubbish though. I think i would like to try the Clif Turbo Gel Shot - more caffeine than the shot blox :)

I didn't see much wildlife, although i did worry about the buzzard flying overhead, worrying what might happen if it were to drop something & it landed on my head.........yeh bizarre thoughts!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Half Way There!

I did it! 13 miles in sub zero (just) temperatures complete! I would have jumped for joy when i got home however i felt a little bruised and tired, so i let the smile on my face to the talking and was greeted by another smile (i think of relief) and a hug too.

To be honest its 10pm (it's snowing!!) and my brain is fried. I think i'm a little too tired to write a decent post so it might have to wait until tomorrow. So for now i shall leave you with photos of the good and the not so good.

The good is my garmin screen shot

I thought the average pace was going to be about 2 minutes slower.  At that pace i'd be on for a sub 5 hour marathon! 4 hours & 50 minutes would know 40 minutes off of last year!!!
Its interesting to see which miles are slower and faster too - a discussion for tomorrow.  With the snow i might have an extra 3 hours on my hands if i can't get to the gym!

And now the not so good, and possibly another good reason i shouldn't go to the gym tomorrow...

Other than the small blister, which managed to form under a blister plaster, what's more concerning and painful is the bruise that has been caused by my orthotics.  Yes, they've been fabulous sorting out the shin splints but i think i shall be returning to the podiatrist.

Anyway i've foam rollered my muscles, which don't feel too bad, but then i did make sure i really stretched well when i got home, and now it's 11pm (see an hour to do this! really shouldn't bother when i'm tired) so time for hot choc, bed and see what the morning brings.

Stay warm everyone!

"Baby it's cold out outside!"

source: Met Office Website
And today it's not forecast to get about freezing at all!

Surely attempting 13 miles in that is worth some sponsorship, or at least sharing the website around through any means possible (please!)

Friday, 3 February 2012

"So much time and so little to do.....

.....Wait a minute. Strike that. Reverse it"

Don't you just love that quote? Although i must say i'm not a fan of the Johnny Depp version.  It has to be Gene Wilder for me.

So an update.  Well, lets start with what i've done today:

  • I started at 8am chatting to the live help people at BT, trying to figure out where the donation was that my lovely friend, Jose, told me had done last night. After 30 minutes i finally figured it all out & found out a lot more about the website.
  • At the gym i did my usual talking.  I do feel slightly bad talking about it & worry people are going to get fed up of me but i know its the only way to spread the word. In fact a lovely lady took one of my cards & said she would sponsor me.  I know it was supposed to be a rest day but i really miss Mandy's Friday morning classes (i'm normally at college, but i've been a good girl & got my work in early) , they are so much fun! This mornings circuit included a station that needed a run. The option - run round the studio or do a lap of the car park in the almost sub zero temperatures.  It was my first station so naturally i went for the freezing cold option :) 
  • I decided to stop by the office of local magazine, Mwaah, on the way home.  It was time to stop hiding behind the laptop & speak to people face to face.  Lovely people & very helpful.
  • I've called the local newspaper to check which email address i should be sending my marathon story too
  • I've called the school that the children come from to try & get hold of some photos.
So now what's left to do?
  1. Call the lady at the farmers market (more about that in another post)
  2. Write an email for Mwaah & the newspaper
  3. REST (after all this is supposed to be a rest day)
  4. plan a route & make a decision on a distance for tomorrow.
Looking at the weather forecast, i think i need to be running by 10am tomorrow to avoid the snow.  It looks like it is going to hit mid afternoon. Although the BBC website doesn't look quite like the picture on TV (as usual).

And all the other things that i should have done today like my washing! It fact that is my first job - otherwise i won't have enough warm clothes to run in tomorrow! 

Keep sharing & caring,


Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Mission Complete

Like the Channel 4 Revolution's Get Fit: Mission Complete!

I was hoping it would be faster than that but given i am behind by 2 months, i think i should be grateful i can run 6 miles.

Just a little 3 tomorrow. The morning's RDA has been cancelled due to the weather.  It was decided it will be too cold for the children, plus it wouldn't do for the volunteers to get frost bite in the toes either! I can still recall going riding as a child, getting in the car afterwards & mum putting the heater on full blast on our feet while i tried to get some movement back that didn't hurt!

So, 3 miles & i think a bit of work on my hamstrings & maybe core, then a half hour session as a side walker volunteering with a private session and finally body balance to finish the day.  Maybe i'll get some of my Young Equestrian Leader Award done too.

I think i am going to sleep well again tonight!