Brighton Marathon Training Week 6

So on the Sunday last week I’d had my long run. This week I knew training was going to be a tad up in the air as I had Brutal10 Womens on Saturday so it went a bit like this.

Tuesday: 7 miles with 3 x 1600m @ 9:49 w 800m recovery.

So running 7 miles 2 days after doing 13 miles was a bit of a mental idea it has to be said. Add to that the fact it was the frostiest morning we had and the thames had even frozen over it wasn’t exactly perfect conditions for speed work. Looking at the splits its hard to tell if the 2nd and 3rd 1600m were the right speed as they crossed over on miles. I’m pretty sure I maintained the average reasonably well. It was however incredibly tough. I was very tired still from Sundays long run and my legs still werent fresh again, breathing in temperatures that are below 0 is quite hard too!
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Friday: 14 miles

I planned an out and back route from my house along the Thames and then into Windsor, down the long walk to Windsor Castle and back again! Overall the run went well. I maintained a pace which was almost perfect for my training runs, it was meant to be 12:08 and I averaged 12:03! Probably the closest I’ll ever get to what my plan tells me! I used dextrose tablets and jelly beans for fuelling and sipped water as well. I am determined I wont touch gels this year.

Saturday: 3 ‘easy miles’

The easy run is one I normally do on a Tuesday following a long run. So due to having brutal it all got a bit mixed up! My race report from the day is here. I was surpised at how good my legs felt in the morning. They felt absolutely fine other than on hills where they started to ache a bit! They were sore for Saturday but other than that they’ve been ok.

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#24events24months – Brutal10 Womens Only

If you follow my 24 Events for 24 Months Facebook page you will know this weekend I took part in the Womens Only Brutal10 event. I had set a challenge to raise £200 and if I did I’d run the race with a chicken hat on my head. I’m not one for dressing up and drawing attention to myself and I thought I was going to get away with it when suddenly on Friday evening the total jumped and that was it I had to wear it then!

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It drew plenty of attention, unsurprisingly!

Onto the race itself! We arrived nice and early, just before 9am and had a swift race number collection. All we had to do was locate our number and name on a list and then go and collect the relevant number and chip. No queues, no problems! After grabbing some camo paint that was on offer we then all went back to our cars to shelter before agreeing we would get out at 9:30 and head over to the start area. A quick trip to the toilets pre-race which seeing as it was a womens race had a rather large queue at this time but there were enough loos on offer that it moved fairly fast. After a warm up which as usual was more like some aerobic class we were finally on our way and ready to start warming up!

The first huge puddle we came across I jumped straight into with two feet splashing all my friends around me which got plenty of screams from them, little did they know what was to come!

The course was 5k and the first section mainly involved puddles rather than any significant mud. Plenty of people were sliding over though which was rather amusing, including my best friend. We then came to a wooded area and a nice boggy area which saw my friend fall over holding onto my go-pro which was rather funny, she also had the chicken hat in her hand which filled up with mud! I wasn’t exactly thrilled to put it back on but having promised my sponsors I’d wear it I did the deed and stuck it back on, mud covered hair! Lush! After a few more hills we came across a very sucky mud bog which saw two of my friends completely sink in it, was rather amusing watching them trying to get out!

We then ran up some more hills over the top with views of Farnborough airport before queueing to get up an embankment, we couldn’t really see any other reason for the queues. Shortly after there was another queue to get down into a stream of water, everyone was queueing around a large pond of water so we just all walked straight through it. Whilst wading through that water I picked up a chunk of ice that was a good foot wide! When we got out none of us could feel our legs! We kept moving and came across some more wooded areas that seemed to take us across some of the paths I’d run down when I did Grim Challenge at the same location.

The final section saw tons of water, and alot of mud! We ended up having a mud fight as we decided we weren’t anywhere near muddy enough and overall we spent the whole race laughing anyway.

Finally we reached the last pool of water before the 9 of us joined hands and ran down the finish line together. We completed it in 1hr 14 minutes and I was proud of us. We had stuck together as a team and had made sure we didn’t lose anyone at the back.

When we crossed we were given a gorgeous medal and there was bananas and water available. I then made a dash straight for the car to get my dryrobe and out of my wet clothes. I knew changing straight away was essential to avoid getting ill. My new dryrobe was amazing and I stripped off underneath it and stuck on thermal leggings and joggers, 3 tops and a hoodie as well as my dryrobe before finally feeling a bit warmer again!

Overall the course was incredibly well marked, plenty of arrows and tape so there was never any doubt in where we were going. Lots of supportive marshalls who were lovely. It was a bargain price for a race and I’d definitely do a brutal that involved a medal again. I’ve generally avoiding brutal events before as I’m a bling addict and specifically don’t do races that don’t have medals. I’d heard alot about Brutal races and I’m glad I’ve finally experienced one. The only downsides would be the lack of changing tent and the course being laps meaning the dogs started to lap which got dangerous on some narrow sections and then 10k runners needing to get through too. Other than that it was a brilliant experience especially for the beginners.

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Check out my video:

 

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Brighton Marathon Training Week 5

This week has generally gone well in the respect all runs were completed on their correct days. Sleep proved to be an issue with a toddler who thought it was excellent to wake up in the middle of the night and stay awake for a good hour or more! Not what I needed ahead of my 6 mile tempo run!

Run 1 : Easy 3 Miles : Pace 12:08

Yeah as is still the case I can’t do a 12:08 pace when I’m only doing 3 miles! The actual pace ended up being 10:02. I have a feeling something must have pissed me off for me to have done that pace! I clearly wasn’t paying much attention to attempting to slow down! It is a route I am getting so bored with though. That seems to be a common theme at the moment.

Run 2 : Tempo Run : 6 Miles 4 at 10:29

Mile 1 : 11:19
Mile 2: 9:54
Mile 3: 10:13 
Mile 4: 9:56
Mile 5: 10:36
Mile 6: 11:58

In actual fact I ran 6.22 because I wanted to get my strava 10k Badge! Hehe! Mile 5 was a battle into a strong headwind and the lack of sleep from the night before was being firmly felt, the whole run had felt tough, up until that run my tempo runs had felt fairly easy but that run was just knackering.

Run 3 : Long Run : 13 miles at 12:08

I had been torn as to what route I was going to do for this run. There was the option of get dropped off in Kingston and run home … boring, meant carrying water and fuel. Or I could go to the Hot Chocolate Series at Eton Dorney and do their 20km route, which equates to 12.4 miles. I decided to take that option and did a short run pre race when I arrived so that it totalled the 13.1 miles that I had needed to do. My overall average pace was 11:23. The first 4 miles were quick all with 10 minute miles. For the next five I dropped off to 11 minute miles, the final 3 were all 12 minute miles minus the last one which scraped in at 11:52. I had set myself the goal of doing the 20km in 2hrs 2o based on my previous runs and I was just outside that on my chip time at 2hrs 21 minutes so I’m pleased with that.

This week training is a bit of a mess. Its my birthday next Monday so I’m doing womens brutal on Saturday (which if I raise £500 I’ll be doing in a chicken outfit), that means running 14 miles on Sunday is less appealing, I could do it Friday but then doing a 7 mile speed session on Thursday would be dumb! I’m yet to figure out what I’m going to do!

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Race Report – Hot Choc Series @ Eton Dorney

The Hot Chocolate Series has been on my radar for a few weeks but I hadn’t been all that commited to going, the laps bit had been putting me off. And then I was looking at my marathon training plan for this week knowing I needed to do 13.1 miles and trying to come up with an interesting route just wasn’t happening. So I decided, after seeing the very cute medal on their facebook page, that I needed to check out this event!

It was possible to enter on the day so I arrived at 11:30 which the website said was the earliest we could arrive and joined a queue which weaved through the marquee and back out again! The staff on registration were working really efficiently so I’m not sure why the queue was as big as it was but it just got bigger! In the end this lead to a delay in the start time which wasn’t ideal, it was a funny race time of 12.30 anyway so fuelling this morning had been a bit awkward involving two breakfasts! I was ready and raring to go! Eventually though after about 20 minutes we were lined up on the start line ready to set off. During the wait the MC was always keeping us updated over the PA system so it felt like it was under control.

We started on one side of the lake and then the course took pavement routes around the side in a lovely sheltered part for about 2.5km which was just lovely, it was nice and warm and just slightly undulating, nothing that knocked the wind out of your sails or anything. The course then crossed the Olympic bridge and then took the very straight and at times it felt ENDLESS road back along the straight side of the rowing lake back up to the start. We had been told that if we were doing multiple laps we had to cross the finish and thus the chip mats each time. After the first 5k there were lots of people around cheering, after 10k there was still quite a few, 15k a scattering and 20k – next to no one!

I took the first lap and was chatting with two lovely ladies and ended up going out really fast for me, I kind of knew I would anyway though because I always do. Although I was keeping pace happily I knew I would suffer later if I continued the pace I was doing so I decided to step it back a bit. Lap 2 I still wasn’t minding the route, I appreciated the sheltered side and the long straight windy cold section wasn’t feeling too bad. By lap 3 that section felt NEVERENDING! and on the last lap I felt like someone had stretched it out an extra mile! I could see the finish and just couldn’t quite get there!

I crossed the line and was greeted by the race director who was really friendly and didn’t make me feel like I was a problem by being the last over the line. A beautiful large shiny piece of bling was popped around my neck and a lovely hot chocolate in my hand along with my chip time slip. I was really impressed with the way the race was organised and I will definitely be returning again. I want to do the 10k and chase my 61 min current 10k pb, I feel like its the course I could get it on! My chip time was 02:21:45 and I had run a section of the route pre race so I could reach my 13.1 goal for the day so my garmin shows it as 13.10 miles 2:29:02 so I’m happy with that. My 20k time is just outside what I had predicted by just under 2 minutes so I’m pleased. It was a faster run than my training plan dictates as I’m still struggling to slow down as much as I’m meant to but I enjoyed it. I wore my skins and my legs felt strong the whole way. My feet were another matter! Really need to go and use the Sweatshop 30 day policy!

10407057_10155128847980374_8141618249529244489_nOverall I’d throughly recommend the race and will most definitely be returning!

26 Things I learnt from my first marathon

When I talk to people about running Edinburgh Marathon last year I tell them how much I hated it. I did. I struggled. And the only thing that kept me going was the money I was raising for The Lullaby Trust in Matilda’s memory. Knowing people were sponsoring me on the day and had sponsored me in the run up kept me putting one foot in front of the other. I’m now looking at Brighton Marathon head on with just a handful of weeks to go and as my ‘long run’ gets longer I am thinking back to that last marathon, the first marathon! So I thought I’d share a few of the things I learnt!

1) Don’t stress about carrying water, theres plenty of water stops, a little bottle to wet your mouth if you really need to will suffice between water stations.

2) If the race your doing isn’t using your usual energy drink/gels, take your own, if you can give them to spectators and ask them to meet you at a certain mile (this however will backfire if your Dad is still queuing in the centre of edinburgh to get on the spectator bus!)

3) Vaseline is your best friend. On long runs I suffered with hideous chaffing on my back and the side of my boobs. On race day I got my Dad to slap vaseline all over my back! If you suffer thigh chaffing DO NOT run a marathon in shorts!

4) Gels that tell you to have 3 in an hour … well when you’ve been running 3 hours and have had no other solid food, they may well make a reappearance and make you feel horrendous and make you spend 10 minutes with St Johns whilst you stubbornly state your not stopping!

5) Read signs, lots of people make funny signs. They will make you smile and spur you on, for 0.5 of a mile ;-)

6) Having your name on your top means strangers cheer you on. From mile 18 onwards when everything hurts and your battling hard every time someone says your name you will cry!

7) Support those around you. If someone passes you say well done, if you pass someone tell them they are doing well.

8) Your toes won’t be the same again. I lost both my big toe nails and the nails next to them last year. So far in training this year they haven’t started to go black. Theres still time yet….

9) When you finish your whole body will cramp up pretty damn fast. Where you were running quite happily (ok not happily but you were managing a reasonable pace) you will now struggle to walk more than pigeon steps!

10) The end hurts. Like really hurts. Your feet hurt from being pounded for hours. Your hip flexors will be screaming. Your knees won’t want to bend. Your quads and calves will tighten like you’ve never felt before. Your core is wrecked. Your back aches.

11) For your first marathon try not to have a goal other than ‘to finish’. I had TRIED so hard not to have a goal in mind. But I did. And when I didn’t meet that I really struggled and in the aftermath I struggled to celebrate an amazing achievement.

12) Don’t take EVERYTHING with you. Its easy to think you need it all. But that weighs down your bag. Chances are there will be a first aider with a tub of vaseline. You don’t need your huge tub. Plasters? Same thing.

13) You won’t want to take off your medal for a few days. I’d have slept in mine if I could. I proudly wore it to breakfast in the hotel, on the plane home the next day, through the airport, all evening. You ran it. You earnt it!

14) When its all over you kind of don’t know what to do now. For weeks your life has revolved around long runs, miles, pace, distance. And then suddenly theres no goal anymore. The goal has happened. Its been achieved. Now what do you do?

15) Tapering sucks! You panic your injured. You panic you haven’t trained enough. Chances are the pains are in your head, your not injured. Just rest. As for training, any extra training in those couple of weeks won’t make any difference, its far better to be on the start line rested than overtrained!

16) You will probably cry when you finish. I crossed the line and bent over double in tears! The relief it was over. Kind of sad it was over. The achievement. And then I pulled it together, walked to get my tshirt and medal and then bumped into a friend, I cried on her shoulder too!

17) Run your own race. Its easy to want to keep up with someone you met on the start line and got chatting with. But your running 26.2 miles, you may think going out a bit faster than you planned to will be ok, but its silly, you’ll burn out fast and hit the wall early, I’m speaking from experience!

18) Reaching half way can be tough. You realise you still have to do the same distance all over again! I was dying to get to halfway and when I did I just thought my god I hurt now and i still have to do it again. Soon after I hit my wall!

19) Toilets on route are AWFUL! Like really bad. I’m not one to hover generally but these were bad! If you have the guts duck behind a bush if countryside is available, if your a bloke? Well aren’t you lucky!

20) Don’t listen to music the whole way. Quiet stretches. (Like most of edinburgh was :() then yes use it, but when your in areas where theres support take your headphones out and listen to that support, it will help you I promise.

21) Rest the day before. Like really rest! Not get on a plane and fly, and get lost and walk around Edinburgh! Ideally sit and do not very much. Maybe a little 2 mile gentle jog. But don’t do something crazy and silly. Save your energy.

22) The night that you finish the marathon your body will hurt. Its not a bad thing to take ibuprofen. I couldn’t sleep properly as I ached so much. Every time I turned over I hurt. The 2nd night is a bit better!

23) When you finish you may be like me and not feel like eating. But I can assure you you need to for your recovery. So no matter how hard you have to force it, do!

24) Have some motivational mottos that work for you. For me I run with a ‘For those who can’t’ mindset. If I’m struggling I remember I’m lucky to be able to run. For many reason lots of people can’t run, but I can.

25) Running your first marathon miles from home isn’t neccessarily a good idea. It has its pros and cons. I am looking forward to Brighton this year as I will have family and friends that matter to me there. Edinburgh was in some ways nice having just my Dad as he didn’t fuss over me, he let me tell him what I needed and he just did that.

26) When you finish your a marathoner. This doesn’t have an expiry date. Most people won’t ever even attempt a marathon. But you did and you completed it. BE PROUD!

These are things that apply to my experience of running a marathon. Sounds pretty horrendous some of it doesn’t it?! But your experience may be different! And I hope to make my experience at Brighton very different! If not maybe Liverpool will be the one 8 weeks later, or Bournemouth in October! ;-)

I’m running 24 events this year, 3 of them marathons, to raise money for the lullaby trust in memory of Matilda Mae who passed away 2 years ago this February. Please do sponsor me at my justgiving page  or text me as below.

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Brighton Marathon Training Week 4

Yay I’m managing to write this on time this week! Ha! It is mainly because I am procrastinating about a 2000 word essay I need to write! Either way its here!

So week 4 of my Runners World Smart Coach Marathon plan was as follows: It was an easier week which was nice but I sort of missed having a speedwork or tempo run! Never thought I’d say that!

Run 1 : 5 Miles @ 12: 08 Pace

Now this 12:08 pace business is HARD! I am fine slowing down on long runs but have real issues doing it for shorter runs. Admittedly I ran this one on Tuesday morning and had been pissed off by my sons nursery so it ended up being an average pace of 10:57! Whoopsie! As runs go it wasn’t too bad, I am getting incredibly bored of my 5 mile route though! Ugh!

Run 2: 5 Miles @ 12:08 Pace

So the nursery had pissed me off again and that kind of meant I ran even faster, this time averaging 10:27! Trouble is at the time I don’t really realise I’m going so fast! I’m torn about attempting the marathon at a faster pace but I think I’d be setting myself up for failure if I did and I’d rather try and do a slower pace and complete it strong than in a heaped mess!

Run 3: 6 Miles Easy 

Well when it says easy… I’m not sure I’d consider Muscle Acre to be an easy run. There was definitely PLENTY of running but it was through bogs, and sludge, and uneven grass and was generally very tough, my calves are feeling it today! But I kind of focused more on the fact it had told me to do 6 miles and figured that the Muscle Acre 10k was perfect for that!

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Week 5 sees my long run being 13 miles! I’ll be adding on the .11 to make it a half marathon distance ;-) Come back next week to see how I get on! Banner-728x90

#24Events24Months – Muscle Acre 10k

Today saw the start of my #24Events24Months challenge for 2015. A very muddy, boggy, wet Muscle Acre 10km not far from home. The race started at a sociable time of 11am but knowing we had to pick up race numbers we got there just before 10am. Registration was quick and easy and we soon had our race numbers and were directed to pick up our tshirts, this lead to the same thing as MHSOF when half the racers are in the same colour/same tshirt and its hard spotting anyone lol. As I’m running all my events for The Lullaby Trust I kept my LT vest on. I was also wearing a merino wool layer underneath for the first time. Once we had our numbers we had a quick chat with one of the organisers who gave us a hint of what to expect and then made a last toilet visit before putting bags in the bag drop, a lorry which was good as the bags didn’t get damp on the floor! It was soon time to warm up and we were treated to a ‘film’ themed warm up featuring moves such as ‘Rocky’ – boxing and ‘Jaws’ – swimming arms. You get the idea! It made for a fun warm up! We lined up and then it was time to go! The smoke bombs were set up and off we ran up a hill! A hill straight away, so kind! We then came back around and were faced with ‘the mound’ a very steep pile of mud. Unfortunately it was quite dry, it would have been more amusing if they had given it a soaking with the hose! We got up fairly easily and then faced our first shoe sucking mud! Plenty of trainers got eaten by the mud but mine survived thankfully! Then we ran down and out of the farm and then back up another hill and into the farm again to climb over hay bales and tyres before having a nice section of running up and down the hill, I think something like 3 times! We then climbed over a small A-Frame and then a few log jumps before being faced with our first water! 2 skips lined up next to each other. I do find skips really awkward to get in and out of but I managed it without too much awkwardness! We then ran around onto the muddy boggy compost it seemed, a few nice hills and more trainer sucking mud plus a ‘fire’ jump, it was a very small pile of burning logs but for me it was perfect! Fire jumps terrify me and I’ll be facing my fears at Spartan this year but this was a good beginner obstacle! After that we headed around into a large field area for some monkey bars, mud crawls, wading through chest deep water, climbing in and out of numerous pools of water – one of which contained a log across it which the ex marine was encouraging us to go under, I have a complete fear of being submerged and couldn’t face it this time so went over. We also had a range of  horse jumps to navigate as well as trying not to break our ankles on the uneven ground! The first 5k took us 51 minutes according to my garmin and the two water and jelly baby stops were well received! The course then moved around to a barbed wire crawl that it appeared was electrified, due to previous heart problems I generally wouldnt risk an obstacle like that but there was enough space I was confident if I kept flat on the ground I’d survive. We then headed into the woods and some seriously squealchy mud. We decided it was better to run as that meant you didnt sink as far as if you waded through. It was a good laugh and we looked a right state.  We then had a short time of running on some roads before coming to another wooded area where we were greeted with a long narrow stream to run down and then lakes to wade through. We then came to a long section which was really uneven in the depth and had some mega soft mud underfoot in places. Everyone was getting stuck and trying not to fall face first in, it was quite exhausting. We then came across a field with a sandbag carry – AWKWARD! Hate those things! And then we had to climb up and into a farm truck and jump down the other side. The marshall was being a great sport and climbed up with us. It was soon showing to be the last couple of kms and we could see where we were going to have to run. We came across a sloped wall which had a rope to help you in getting up. I wasn’t convinced I was going to make it up without assistance but decided I’d try and I had a guy behind me who had agreed to help if I needed it. Halfway up was a small ledge and I managed to get one foot straight up onto it. I then managed to grab as high as I could and then swing my second leg up. I then felt stuck and wasn’t sure I could move my hands without falling but decided to try and have faith in my body and I took the reach and made it without falling. I was so excited that I’d done it without any help at all! Then it was just a case of sliding gracefully …. ok more like looking like an eel, down the other side! We then had to run up the hill and back again to a A-Frame that must have been a good 8ft or so! Thankfully the wood was squared rather than round and I felt a bit more confident as I got over it. The guys told us we were currently at 1hr 30 so we decided to go for a push in order to get under 1hr 45. We made steady progress round to the final set of tyres, a crawl under some corrugated metal x 3! And then up to the last obstacle, the wall! There was the option of using the rope which I decided wasn’t for me and asked lovely George to give me a leg up, another kind hand, I’m not sure who! Gave me a shove and I was up! Then I had the ungraceful ‘fall’ to the ground! Once all four of us were over we made a dash for the finish! Chips handed back, medals around our necks and a little goodie bag with a banana and foil blanket collected and it was time to change! The organisers had put up two tents which served as a great warmer place to get changed! Overall I was really impressed with Muscle Acre. Plenty of obstacles to keep me happy! Some big and some small, a few more ‘big ones’ would be nice ;-) The event village was small but useful, they had a little barista van available and my mum and the kids made use of it whilst they were waiting for me. The bag drop was secure and dry and there was enough toilets for the size of the race. Only thing that I was a bit disappointed with is the medal doesn’t mention the 10k or date or anything, it would be nice to have a medal that is different from the 5k, I got the impression the medal is the same for all races. Aside from that I thought it was excellent value for money, a great beginners course too and one I’ll definitely revisit if dates don’t clash! Wearing my Lullaby Trust vest was a great way to spread the word about Lullaby Trust and what they do as it got me chatting with a few people about who they are and why I’m supporting them. I’ve always said fundraising for Lullaby Trust isn’t just about raising the money, its also about getting people talking about SIDS and remembering Matilda Mae and the families being affected by SIDS everyday. Today was run 1 out of 24. 24 Events to mark the fact that 2015 will be 2 years since Matilda passed away. 24 Events where I promise to push myself as hard as I can and face my fears. Please do sponsor me, even if its only a few quid, it all helps! You can text using the code below, or visit http://www.justgiving.com/24events24months Banner-728x90

Brighton Marathon Training Week 3

Well this is a bit late in the week again! Whoops!

Week 3 covered the stage between christmas and new year, which also meant the boys were at home and my usual running time whilst they are at nursery and school wasn’t possible. Thankfully I have my amazing mummy on hand and she was able to have them for me.

 Run 1 : Easy Run 4 miles @ 12:08 pace

Yeah still not good at going at that pace! It averaged as 11:20 which I’m fine about. I took it at what felt an easy pace to me. It was a nice little run along the Thames and I stopped in the park to do a few burpees and push ups etc as I’m trying to do as much strength work as possible!

Run 2 : Tempo Run : 5 Miles – 1 Warm Up Mile – 3 x 10:30 pace – 1 Cool down mile

Splits:

Mile 1 – 11:56 – found that really hard!
Mile 2 – 10:30 –
Mile 3 – 10:25
Mile 4 – 10:23
Mile 5 – 11:00

I quite enjoy the tempo runs. 10:30 is a pace thats outside my comfort zone and it feels good to maintain it for a while.

Run 3: 10 miles @ 12:08 

My long run of the week was supposed to be at Eton Dorney for 20k, unfortunately I was unwell on the Friday and as a result took the sensible but incredibly frustrating decision not to do the race. I have been known in the past to pass out during runs for reasons the doctors dont know. Therefore knowing there was the factor that I was weak from being unwell I knew racing it would be a dumb idea. I didn’t want to be a burden to the medical services and I envisaged that was a strong potential risk and decided to withdraw. Not an easy decision for someone as stubborn as I am!

Instead I went out on the Sunday and decided laps was going to be the sensible option especially as they meant knowing the back doubles incase I did need to cut it short. However I HATE laps! At mile 3 I was really struggling and it just felt like such an effort. I had no idea how I was going to carry on for another 7! As I neared the lap past the end of the road I contemplated popping home to nip to the loo but knew if I did I wouldn’t get back out again. I kept on going. One of the things that helped keep me going was the fact I had tweeted Julie telling her I was doing 10 miles. It was like because I had said I would do it, I had to now. I was accountable to more than just my plan!

Once I was done I was very relieved it has to be said! Its another thing ticked off! I even contemplated *briefly* carrying on to make it a half marathon distance… the lazy part of me decided against that!

Food wise being xmas and new year it wasn’t a great week but I’ve been lucky I’ve only gained 2lb. I have a stone to lose this year and although people say its hard to lose the weight when marathon training I feel like now I’m on a 3 run week plan rather than an exhausting high mileage 4 that I did last year that I don’t need to fuel so ridiculously and therefore should be able to gradually lose a few lbs. It definitely wont be fast though. Trying to get off all those sugary snacks again is really hard though!

Next weeks plan includes my first obstacle race of the #24events24months challenge! Muscle Acre in Guildford for 10k, my plan had said 6 miles so … well its 6 miles, just with some mud, and tyres, and monkey bars thrown in right?!

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2015 – The year of #24Events24Months

Well 2015 has arrived. And with it the start of my #24events24months challenge to raise money for the Lullaby Trust in memory of little Matilda Mae who passed away on 2nd Feb 2013 from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

The Lullaby Trust provides specialist support for bereaved families, promotes expert advice on safer baby sleep and raises awareness on safe sleep.  They are also committed to supporting research to understand why 600 babies a year die suddenly and unexpectedly in the UK and to find out more about how to prevent these tragic deaths. They campaign tirelessly, lobbying government to keep sudden infant death on the public health agenda. Source.

‘Sudden Infant Death’ is the term used to describe the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or toddler that is initially unexplained, it also used to be known as ‘cot death’.

This year I through taking on some insane challenges and pushing my limits I hope to raise £2400 for the Lullaby Trust. At the moment the events list consists of

  • 3 x marathons
  • 1 x 24 hour relay race
  • 2 x ‘normal’ 10k races
  • 1 x half marathon
  • 10 x obstacle/mud races – ranging from 5k to 20 miles!

There are more still to book.

Personally I think my biggest challenge will be the 3 marathons, I didn’t enjoy Edinburgh last year and I know they are a complete mental battle for me in some ways as much as they are a physical challenge. So many people say you find that final 6 miles from somewhere. I didn’t. The only thing that kept me going at Edinburgh was knowing how much money I had raised and the sponsorship that was still coming in. I’m hoping Brighton will mean I have so much support from family and friends in those last miles that I won’t notice how much I’m struggling! Edinburgh wasn’t a good first one to do as the support was so minimal towards the end! Brighton I’m certain will be better, having supported there last year, I have faith!

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My 2014 Running Year!

2014 was my first full 365 days of running. After running my first ‘race’ in December last year I was hooked!

2014 also saw Virtual Runs take off!

In all I collected 30 medals + 3 races that were T-shirt and no medal!

I ran 3 Half Marathons.

1 unexpected Full Marathon
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Valentines 10k Feb 2014 – No medal :-o Got a personal best! Since then my 10k PB has gone to 61mins!

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Silverstone Half Marathon 2014 My first ever half marathon, I ran it for the Lullaby Trust in memory of Matilda Mae.

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Electric Run UK 2014 – No medal but a cute womens fit tee. A laugh but expensive for what it was and very busy! We had a giggle though :D

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Staines 10km My ‘home’ race and the first time I’d done it. PB’d and had a great time, was supposed to be taking it easy ahead of Edinburgh Marathon the week after but that sort of didn’t happen! Was lovely to run most of it with my best friend too!

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Edinburgh Marathon – My first ever marathon! Boy I could say a lot about that. Mainly, it was HELL!

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Turks Head 10k June 2014 – I remember this as insanely hot and tired legs from the marathon still!

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Polesdon Lacey 10km June 2014 – One of my favourite races this year

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Kempton Race for Life 2014 – The one when I realised how much weight I’d managed to lose in a year :D

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Elmbridge 10k – PB’d and had a sprint finish with the guy pictured, was fun!

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Womens Running 10k Finsbury Park – Having not raced all of August I loved getting back to it in September! Had a great RMR meet up of girls too!

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Bournemouth Half Marathon – The unexpected PB of the year!

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Fuddy mudder Southampton My first mud/obstacle race!

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Grand Union Canal Half - The awful half of the year. I think this one gets the worst race of the year award!

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Brighton 10k – Done the day after a Muddy Race Training Day, it hurt like a bitch but mentally it was good to push myself like that.

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Kingston 10k – An unexpected 10k pb! This was my 1st ever 10k in 2013 and I returned in 2014 knowing I would beat my course PB but I didn’t expect to beat my 10k pb. I did :D

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Mens Health Survival of the fittest – The most fun I had this year possibly! Had an amazing time with keepitsimpelle

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Grim Challenge – No medal! Boo! A fun muddy race, but maybe one I wouldn’t revisit!

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Judgement Day Team Challenge – My final race of the year with a group of awesome people! Loads of fun and has me firmly hooked on OCR and mud running!

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