Thursday, 31 March 2011

Well that is it for March !

I've just got back from my final run of March, a training session with Steyning AC and the first off road session I have done with them. It was also my third day of running in a row this week so I knew I would find this evening hard... I am now having two days off before my long run on Sunday. I'm hoping the weather improves a bit between now and then.

So, during March I ran a grand total of 117.05 miles, compared to February in which I ran 84.36 miles. I wonder what April will bring.... Hopefully some sunshine so we can make the most of the lighter evenings.

As you can see from earlier postings I have started running with a Garmin GPS watch, in spite of everything I have said previously this does feel a little easier that having a phone strapped to my arm although on my long runs that I do on my own I will still be using the runmeter app on the iPhone because it emails updates to Phill. The difference is that I will leave the phone in my bum bag rather than attached to my arm.

I have also used the heart monitor for a couple of my runs this week. It was more comfortable that I thought it would be and it was interesting to see the differences in my heart rate. I'm planning on using it on my long run on Sunday. I'm also planning on putting it on Phill when he next goes running to see what his heart rate is :)

Anyway, I'm off for an early night !

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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

First run with Garmin...

Just thought I would post the data from my first run with my Garmin 110...

Sunday, 27 March 2011

What a beautiful morning !

Well, I'm back and recovered from this mornings run and all I cam say is wow, what a beautiful morning !

Today was the first day I have been running in shorts and t-shirt.... The last time I ran in shorts was at school in the 80's.... When I started out I did wonder if I had been a bit optimistic but as continued running the haze started clearing and the sun came out :)

Today's run also felt really good. After a bad run Tuesday I did wonder how I would get on today but everything felt good. I still have a few little niggles like the blisters that I have started getting again on the side of one foot... and a few muscles that still ache from the hill training with the club Thursday night but after the first couple of miles everything started to come together...I even found the hills easier than before. The ground has dried out a lot in the last week, the section through the woods is still very muddy but when I pick up the South Downs Way the paths are now relatively mud free and drying out quite quickly. It looks as though the farmers have been along and flattened them out in places, it has got rid of the deep troughs but they are very uneven at the moment, I guess they will soon be flattened by the various walkers and runners !

In the last steep section that I run down back in to Steyning they have cattle grazing on the Downs as part of the conservation of the downland. The cattle eat the long grass and that allows the other chalk downland plants to flourish. I am always a little wary of them because they are big... although these ones do seem quite calm and friendly.

Anyway, this week I have run a total of 27.31 miles bringing my total for the month so far to 103.55 miles, so I have now passed the 100 miles a month mark for the first time ever... And there are still a few days of March left :)

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Tuesday, 22 March 2011


Do you ever have one of those days where you realise you have just done too much ?

For me this evenings run has been just that. I was planning 8 miles and completed 4.6. From the moment I started running it just felt wrong. Moving my legs seemed like hard work and I just couldn't seem to get going.

Looking back over the last couple of weeks I think I just haven't had the rest in between runs that I should have done. I didn't exactly take it easy after the half marathon and today was my third day running in a row, with no rest day after Sundays long run.

Perhaps the rhubarb crumble and cream lunchtime didn't help either.....

So, I'm taking a day off running tomorrow, I'll be at the running club Thursday evening and then rest Friday & Saturday before my long run Sunday afternoon. That will still total 24/25 miles this week.

And in future I will take a day off after my long runs :)

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Sunday, 20 March 2011

Today's run....

Well, today saw me heading back out over the Downs for a 10.76 mile run. It is still very muddy in places, so much so I end up having to walk some bits because I feel it is too dangerous to run. I took my compact camera with me today, a canon G10 to take a few photos.. I thought this would be easier than using the iPhone !

I also decided to switch off all the announcements from runmeter and run without music, I thought it would be good just to listen to the birds and run according to how I felt rather than constantly thinking I am behind/ahead of my best run on this route. I also started out with muscles that still ached from Thursday night ! I think that shows how much I need some structured training in my running.......

The skies started to clear as I was running and it was beautiful weather, I felt as though I was over dressed and ended up wishing I had worn shorts & t-shirt, maybe next week :)

Anyway, this week I have run a total of 28.21 miles bring by total for the month so far to 76.24 miles....

These are some of the photos I took this morning showing parts of the route I run and the things I run past.

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Size 10 Jeans

I have just been out and bought myself some size 10 jeans. And they fit.

When I started running I was a size 14 and my clothes felt tight on me...... When I first started running I also changed my diet a bit and cut down on the snacking.

Now I eat more or less what I want but I do try and avoid anything processed and keep to a fairly healthy menu :) I still eat chocolate, I still have a few glasses of wine, although that is just about my limit ! I weigh myself regularly, not to see how much I'm losing but to make sure my weight is stable. I have got to a point that I feel is a healthy weight for me. If I start to lose weight I increase slightly what I eat and if I start to gain weight I cut down slightly.

The amount of running I am currently doing is equal to about 3000 calories per week so I know if I stop running I'll have to cut down on what I eat.

The challenge for me now is to stay the size I am..... I have not been a size 10 since I was about 15. For years I was a size 12, then I had children.... And for most of the time since then I have been a 14. I have tried all sorts of diets but never managed to keep the weight off... I have tried the gym and personal trainers... But none of it has shifted the inches in the way that running has.

I feel I have finally found something that works for me and that I can stick at.

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Friday, 18 March 2011

Just back...

I've just got back from is evenings run, it is the first road run I have done on my own since the half marathon and I averaged 9:44 mins per mile over 5.49 miles. This is my best training time so far and to be honest is surprised me because I didn't feel as though I was running quite as fast.

I also still ache from yesterday.

Yesterday evening I went along to a training session with Steyning Athletic Club. I have always been very hesitant about sports clubs, to be honest I've never been to one in my life. They always seem to be full of ultra fit looking Lycra covered people who (in my mind) could run forever and still arrive without a hair out of place. I suppose in someways this goes back to my school days. There were always the "sporty" girls, normally taller than me, thinner than me, blonde, without spots and really popular with the boys. Then there was me. Short, with freckles and if I'm honest a bit geeky. For me PE was like torture. I was no good at any of it, struggled with coordination and if I could find a way of getting out of it I would. So, from then on I have avoided anything that may vaguely be athletic. I have tried going to the gym, but sooner or later I lose the motivation when I didn't seem to be making progress..... And I always felt like a blob compared to everyone else there.... Maybe everyone at the gym felt the same as me... and if I had enough breath to talk maybe it would have been different....

So anyway, last night I took the plunge and went to the athletic club. Everyone was really friendly and I was assured that I wouldn't be left behind, they structure the training sessions so you can work at your own pace but still in a group. Last nights session was speed work. I'm not fast, everything I have done so far is normally at one pace and this is one area I know I need to improve. Last night ended with a sprint relay..... I sprinted..... And today I really can feel it in my thighs ! I enjoyed training in a group and next week I will be back with completed membership form :)

Getting back this evening I actually realise that I enjoy my road runs almost as much as the cross country.... They are both different and both push me in different ways but I had missed the road runs over the last couple of weeks.....

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Tuesday, 15 March 2011

One from todays run....

Went out for an early morning run with Holly, it was great to see the sunshine and be running in short sleeves.... It will be shorts soon !

Running during the week we don't see many people, normally just at the farm we run through although today we did see a few more farmers moving cattle between fields.

We also saw a woodpecker, I normally hear them but today we actually spotted one on them !

Monday, 14 March 2011

Totals for the week

Well, after an additional short run with Holly yesterday evening I ran a total of 26.89 miles last week bringing my months total to 48.04 miles so far for March.... Looks as though I will run further in March than I did in February.... And if I average 26 miles each week for the next two weeks I will break through the 100 miles in the month :)

I'm hoping to get along to Steyning Athletic Club on Thursday evening. I'm still not sure if this is the route I want to go down or if I will prefer to carry on running on my own... Part of me thinks I would benefit from a bit more structure and the other part of me isn't so sure I will like having more structure but if I don't try it I will never know. Part of me is also nervous because I still feel quite unfit and I'm worried I won't be able to keep up with everyone else. Strange really, I know I am fitter now than I have ever been but I have never been a sporty type person and certainly never joined any sort of sports club before !

Tomorrow morning I'm heading back out over the Downs with Holly, we are planning another 8.5 miles. Holly is hoping to run in the London Marathon next year, if she does she will be raising money for Asthma research. Holly is asthmatic but has found since she has started running her peak flow has been the best ever and running really seems to have been a benefit to her.

If it is nice we may stop and take a few photos !

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Sunday, 13 March 2011


It was quite eerie at times running today over the Downs. When I woke up this morning I couldn't see anything of the hills.... And considering we live at the bottom of them that gives you an idea of the visibility !

I found the first few miles quite tough going. It was a lot muddier than earlier in the week due to the heavy rain yesterday and overnight, some parts I ended up walking because I just couldn't keep my footing and the places you can end up if you slip would cause serious injury....

As well as the mud the visibility was limited to about 20m, I know the area quite well so this doesn't bother me that much, it just means you miss out on the views at the top. When I got to the top of Chanctonbury Ring I couldn't see the trees until I was almost on top of them... This weather also deadens all the background sounds that drift up so it was really very silent at times, quite spooky on the mist and the reason I didn't take any photos today !

Once I was past Cissbury Ring the weather improved a bit and you could see over the fields, not a lot further though, but I could see and hear the songbirds swooping down in to the fields, I don't recognise what they are but it is a lovely sound, I could also hear the unmistakable sound of a woodpecker in the distance.

It was quite a bit warmer today than it has been recently, I think the shorter running trousers will be out soon :) you never know I may end up getting a tan on my legs. I have rather optimistically bought some shorts for the summer, whether I have the confidence to wear them or not is another matter !

I ran a total of 10.8 miles this morning, just a relaxing enjoyable run rather all out for time, sometimes I love just being out there. Over the summer I want to increase the length of these runs to about 15 miles, this should make the next half marathon I have entered in October feel slightly easier... I may even record a new PB :) I will have to look on the map and work out where and how I can add extra miles in to the route that I run, I guess one would be a loop around Cissbury Ring, at the moment I know I can extend the route to 13.5 miles just by going back up to Chanctonbury before heading back down... Maybe next week......

Anyway, I will post more details on this weeks totals later, I'm meant to be going for another run with Holly later today (just a short one...)

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Friday, 11 March 2011

A few photos..

Just thought I would post a few photos from Sussex Sports Photography from the Steyning Stinger :)

Thursday, 10 March 2011

A very windy run

It was great to get back out on the South Downs today for a run today. Holly came with me, it is the first time she has ever run this far, we covered a total of 8.5 miles. Not the fastest time ever but I think my legs are still recovering from the weekend.

It was incredibly windy and we were both blown sideways at times !

Anyway, this is a photo Holly took with her iPhone :)

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Monday, 7 March 2011

Does this mean I really am a runner ?

Well, I did it :) I completed the Steyning Stinger half marathon in 2:26:59 and came 159th out of 219. Quite a respectable time for my first ever half marathon. I have posted the details showing the route, splits etc in the previous post (assuming the technology worked !)

I will confess to feeling very nervous before the start. It was only that morning I finally decided to join in one of the mass starts rather than set out on my own.

The organisation was superb, the race control for check in and check out was really easy and there were very friendly marshals on the way round. The route was very well marked, I knew the first section of the route but from about 4 miles in I hadn't run that section previously.

I now have a nice shiny shot glass for this race and it is one that I will certainly do again in the future. Meeting other runners and running in a group isn't something I normally do but after meeting so many friendly people I'm certainly going to go along to Steyning Athletic Club and see what it is like.

As for the run itself. It was hard. I ended up with very wet feet from about 4 miles in, and that coupled with the fact I think my trainers are at the end of their working life meant that I ended up with a blister on one foot that ended up bursting and bleeding, none too pleasant when I took my socks off !

The sun we had during the week had dried the course out quite a bit, but it was still very muddy in places and I did see one man trying to retrieve a trainer from a particularly muddy section towards the end.

I managed the hills better than I thought I would although this is still one area I need to work at.

I have realised I really do love running. I love being outside and I love the scenery.

My next races are all 10k and all quite different, one through a park with bluebells, one through woodland and then one to take in the sights of London. I'm also planning another half marathon towards the end of the year, just trying to find something that fits in with my work schedule......

Anyway, this is a photo of me just about to cross the finish line :)

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Steyning Stinger

> Route: Steyning Stinger HM
> Activity: Run
> Google Maps URL:
> Shortened Google Maps URL:
> Import URL:
> Started: 6 Mar 2011 08:29:28
> Run Time: 2:26:59
> Stopped Time: 0:00
> Distance: 13.12 miles
> Average Pace: 11:12 /mile
> Fastest Pace: 8:00 /mile
> Ascent: 1198 feet
> Descent: 1141 feet
> Calories: 1256
> Official: Yes

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Last training run...

I did my last training run yesterday evening, just a slow 2.5 miles up Mouse Lane... Phill has started running again with me on the short runs now that his leg has fully recovered. This is a route I have not run for a while and it is only at times like this do I realise quite how much my fitness has improved.

Now it is just a case of early nights, drinking plenty and eating sensibly before the half marathon on Sunday.....

Next I need to put together my training plan for my next 10k race to try and improve my time :)

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Running totals....

Just thought I would post a few statistics about my running so far this year....

Total miles for Jan 75.01
Total miles for Feb 84.36

So, I wonder if it will be March or April when I go through the 100 miles per month ??

Sent from my iPhone

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