Its a marathon, not a sprint…

Over the last week I’ve had two longish (10 mile runs) where those pains have definitely slowed me down.  This has caused me some anxiety and some scurrying to advisory web sites and books.  The general advice seems to be (1) Get some new running shoes (2) Do plenty of warm ups and warm downs (3) Do plenty of stretches (4) Have an Ice Bath.

I’ve considered all the advice and decided to (1) I’ll soon get a new pair of trainers, probably next week after the Chichester 10k.  (2) I’ll try not to over push myself on gym runs.  There is a real temptation to go for PBs every time I see a treadmill (3) I’ve started doing stretches in the gym as well as at home (4) Bugger this.  When I’ve run I deserve a nice hot shower.



Pleasure and pain

Sometime around 6.00 this morning, two-thirds of the way round an easy five-mile run, I felt a strange pain down the side of my left leg.

Feeling strange pains has become to feel like part of the running package.  So far I’ve experienced sore knees, an odd sensation in my back and (sensitive readers look away now) a pain at the top of my bottom.  So far they’ve all passed, with no other treatment than continued running.

So I limped through the last mile or so of the run and squeezed in as many stretches as I could manage before heading off to work.  Tomorrow my plan says 10 miles at 9 minutes per mile which, for a midweek run, is getting quite serious.  I’m hoping an early night will do the trick.  It would be a huge disappointment to get behind with my schedule at this stage.  I don’t want a pain to get in the way of incurring more pain.

A Hill To Climb – Part 2

My first post, back in September, recorded the insanity of spending Saturday mornings cycling up Sydenham Hill.

This morning, very early this morning, before six o’clock, I ran up Sydenham Hill – for the second time in a week.  I see this as a sign that my running has progressed and its inspired me to come back to the blog after a long absence.

After completing The Great South Run at the end of October I had two weeks off.  I resumed in mid November intending to run a half marathon in the Spring (after all 13.1 miles is hardly much more than 10) and then see if I could progress to a Marathon at some point.

However, over the course of a beer (when all best plans are formed), I decided that running a Marathon would be a suitably splendid way to mark my 50th birthday in early April.   The Brighton Marathon, on 10 April, seemed too good an opportunity to miss.  With the help, again, of Breakthrough Breast Cancer, I soon got a place.

The only problem now is how to run 26.2 miles.  I shall pick up the story…

2010 Great South Run – The Facts

8 weeks after taking up running I ran the 2010 Great South Run.

My time was 1 hour 26 minutes and 29 seconds.  I came 4,219th out of over 25,000 runners – 365th for my age.

I have no blisters and only slightly sore thighs.

Two days later I’ve done a brisk 2.5 mile run and I feel fine.

I’m the proud owner of a dodgy medal and a Great South Run T Shirt.

I raised £574 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer plus £155.13 of Gift Aid.

Dress rehersal

A few days to the GSR.  My blog has suffered from work commitments, so updates have slowed.

I completed the training schedule with a perfect record.  Ten miles on Sunday and two (gym based) two milers during the week.

Running ten miles on Sunday was a slight anti-climax, but I doubt it will detract from the fun of Sunday.  More importantly I feel confident that I can do the distance.  The ten miles followed a familiar pattern.  Hard for a few miles.  Not so bad past the half way mark and then an increasingly good feeling from about seven miles.

I’m intrigued to see how different the race will be.  There will clearly be lots going on and a vast crowd.  I’ll be running with someone and I won’t have  music.  I won’t have to carry a water bottle, but I’ll pick up drinks on the way.

All in all.  As ready as I’ll ever be.  Now, where’s that wig…

The River

The last cross-training session, so the last bike ride, on my Great South Run schedule.  In truth the Saturday morning bike rides have become a bit dull.  I like cycling, but this project is all about running – how far and how fast.  If cycling is part of the next project I need to make it more interesting.

Running experts seem to be divided on whether cycling is good cross training.  For some it’s about the best thing you can do,  MTFD looks down its nose at it.  No one else worries how interesting it is though.

For the final ride I gave up the pleasure and pain of the College Road climb and cycled across Clapham Common to the Thames at Plantation Wharf.  About 5 years ago, when I was working here, I di this route on a fold up Brompton bike.  It was hard work.  Being fitter and having eight gears made this easier .

I paused briefly  at the Thames to take a picture.  I was never that happy working here so the grey October skies seemed somehow appropriate.

I am a Number. I am a Free Man!

I’m very excited.  My GSR race number has arrived, along with assorted leaflets and a handy gadget to strap to my shoe and record my running time.  For Patrick McGoohan his number (6) meant imprisonmet.  For me 23,575 is a symbol of freedom – a sign that I’m fit and able to run ten miles.