Monday, 31 January 2011

5 weeks to go.....

It has been a good week this week and I have been out and completed all my training runs as follows :

Tue - 3.07 miles
Wed - 7.18 miles
Fri - 3.19 miles
Sun - 11 miles

This brings my total for the week to 24.44 miles :)

Sundays run is the furthest I have ever run and I now feel more confident about completing the half marathon in 5 weeks time.

And, for the first time ever I am now running blister free ! I think I have finally found the right combination of trainers and socks that works for me. I am currently running in Salomon XA Pro 3D Ultra trainers for women..... Mine are mainly mud coloured but the did start out grey and a purple colour.... I was looking online the other evening and saw that had them reduced by 35% ( they are now last years design) so I have ordered spare pair to put in the cupboard for a couple of months. I have already run over 200 miles in this pair and at the rate I'm running they have another couple of months left in them... They should see me through the half marathon but then may need replacing.

Unfortunately Holly has a stress fracture in one foot.... The hospital have been really good and are looking in to the cause of this, possibly a hip problem but she is hoping to find out in the next few weeks. In the meantime she is having to take a break from running and has been signed off work to stay with her foot up until the swelling has gone down... This does mean she is going to miss her first 10k race and is very disappointed.

I think that is most of my running news for the week, the following photos are a bit random.... My trainers ! A bit muddy, drying out in the kitchen.... I love the lacing style on these, quick and easy to do up and release... Especially when wet & muddy :)

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Monday, 24 January 2011

Catching up

Well, it is two weeks since I last updated this blog. It has been an interesting two weeks. One week I only managed to get out once, I spent most of the week at a convention in London, if I had known the hotel had a gym I would have taken my trainers ! I didn't so I managed a whole 2.47 miles that week.

Last week was a bit better. We have had an awful lot of rain here and it has looked like a small river coming down from the Downs recently so I have stuck to the road routes. I have been trying to increase my non stop running distance, not something I have been able to do on my cross country routes due to the sheer amount of mud, water and the steepness of some of the hills.

I managed 4 runs last week totalling 20.4 miles, my longest run was 8.86 miles with an overall average of 10mins 40 secs per miles, I was really pleased with this, this is the furthest I have run non-stop ever and I would have been pleased with anything under 12 mins per mile.

This week I am back to normal at work so I should be able to get out for my 4 runs without too much trouble. I'm planning 2 runs of about 2.5 -3 miles each, one run about 7 miles and one about 10 miles. This should give me a total for the week of about 22 miles.... My 10% increase :)

I would love to get my long runs to 9 miles and 13 miles in the next few weeks and also increase the shorter runs to about 4 miles each. If I can do this and maintain it for a few weeks before the half marathon it should put me in quite a good position to complete the half in under 3 hours.

If you had told me a year ago I would be doing this I would have thought you were mad. Funny what changes in life.

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Sunday, 9 January 2011

Sunshine !

It was great to get out running in sunshine today.. Much of my running at the moment is done in the evenings in the dark, it almost seems a novelty to be able to see where you are running !

This week Phill has started running again after hurting his leg, unfortunately he only made it out once before coming down with a bad cold... The runs that we do together are obviously a bit slower and shorter than I have been doing so I carry on and do another couple of miles afterwards..

This week has also seen me break a psychological barrier... I ran a complete route with an average of less than 10 minutes a mile. It was only 2.5 miles but it is the first time I have got my average down to below the 10 minute mark. I also managed my best time on my 5.5 mile route of 55:13 so not much more to bring that average down to below the 10 minute mile mark as well.

I tried a different route for my long run this week along the river, the advantage being that it is quite flat, apart from the first and last mile.... I mapped it out and estimated it to be about 9 miles... I was a bit out and it turned out to be 10.75 miles. I also find running on the flat very different from the hills round here and in some ways it is harder.. For every up hill step there is a downhill step that can be used to recover... On the flat it is equal effort all the way without the recovery bits...

I'm also having trouble with blisters again.... Does anyone manage to run without them ?? Maybe I should try the orthotic insoles again.. But they produced quite large blisters last time I tried them... I have tried different socks, two pairs of socks, had a gait analysis and tried different trainers.. And still I get blisters...

So, this week I have run a total of 22.39 miles. I'm really quite pleased with that considering I have been working away for a few days. I know next week won't be as good because I'm away for work again from the Thursday until the following monday and it isn't going to be possible to get out much before then. If I manage 11 miles that will be good :)

Anyway here are a couple of photos from today's run.

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Sunday, 2 January 2011

Cross country route

This shows one of my cross country routes that I'm using to train for the half marathon.....

Google Maps URL:
Shortened Google Maps URL:

All this data is generated my my favourite running app for the iPhone.

Sent from my iPhone

It now starts to get serious.....

9 weeks today and I will be running my first ever half marathon... All of a sudden it seems to be quite real.

The last two weeks have proved a bit difficult for me on the running front, a mix of weather, Christmas and spare time have meant that this week in only managed 13.6 miles and last week 9.5 miles.... I know I now need to step things up a bit to keep on track for March.. My problem is that for the next two weeks I am working away quite a bit and that always makes it difficult for my running so, I'm just about to sit down and go through my schedule and make sure I book my running time in to my diary as well as my work !

Just before Christmas I was finding the running really hard, a lack of energy and I just felt "heavy" as though I was dragging myself around... This week in comparison has been really good even though I have not done the miles.. My first run was 5.5 miles and I completed it in 55:32, my best training time over this distance.. I then ran a 3 mile route and averaged 9:54 minutes per mile. The first time I have broken the 10 minute mile barrier for a complete run.. I have done it on individual miles during runs but not from start to finish before, so maybe a couple of weeks with less running has done me good..

Yesterday I did a 5.3 mile cross country run with my daughter... Not my best ever time but Holly doesn't normally run cross country and found it quite a hint harder than her normal road runs... If you add in to that the fact we were both feeling a little delicate after celebrating New Years Eve, but it was good to get out. The snow has all gone from here now just leaving a lot of mud.... I'm not sure what is worse.. The polished ice we had the previous week was not good but when the ground is frozen it is a bit easier than ankle deep mud.... Your feet just get heavier and heavier, I hope it starts to dry out a bit soon although I have a feeling that this mud will last for quite a few weeks yet..

So, the start of a new year and it is at this time of year we always look back at the year just gone and what has happened over that time.. Well, it is still less than a year since I started running. A year that has seen me go from nothing to something. I have completed my first ever 5k race and my first ever 10k race. This year I will take part (and hopefully complete) my first half marathon. I have been thinking long and hard about the "what next" I have no great desire to run a marathon, I think that is for other people to do, not me. I want to run in different places and have been looking at other 10k races and half marathons that I can do. If I can get my fitness to a level where I can complete a half marathon without feeling dead at the end of it I will be happy. I want to keep my running as fun without the level of training taking over my life and without feeling guilty if I miss a run because of work/life commitments.

I enjoy running on my own, yet I also enjoy taking part in races, I'm never going to be at the front of the field... And so far I have never been last either, the only person I'm really competing with is myself. For each race I set my self two targets, one that I really should be able to achieve.. And one that I might be able to achieve if I push myself hard... for the half marathon I'm running the female record is 1:46.... I know I'm about twice as slow as the fast runners, so I should be able to complete it in under 3 hours.. If I can achieve 2:30 I would be really happy, at the moment I'm doing 10.7 miles cross country in 2:20 so if I push myself over the next couple of months and train properly it should be achievable.... But I will still be happy if it is sub 3 hours !

Anyway, I'm off to schedule some running in to my diary, catch up next week !

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