Training Going Well!

After the excitement of last week’s 10 mile run, I finally decided that I could do this darned marathon thing, my leg was strong enough, and I was mentally fit enough!

This week has started with my plan to run for 6 miles and a long run of 13 miles. I will hopefully fit in some aqua plodding, and maybe another short run as well, and/or some cycling. Unfortunately this week is looking being one of ‘those’ weeks.

I am typing this whilst waiting impatiently for the engineer to come and service our boiler. He could arrive any time between 8am – 1pm, and the last time I can aquaplod is 12 noon, as then they rope the pool into highly regimented lanes with speed limits. Unfortunately my aquaplod pace is slower even than the Slow lane, so its not really fair to the rest of the Chippenham lunchtime swimmers if I hold them up! Wednesday they don’t have any sessions I can get to, and Thursday is allocated for my ‘Long Run’. On Friday the first of my children is home as school has finished for Easter. Wonder if she’d like to come swimming whilst I aquaplod???

This week’s Long Run is planned to be 13 miles. Yes, I know its only half the distance of the marathon, but even so its a 3 mile jump up from last week. As long as the weather doesn’t stay this hot I think its achievable. Run – Walk is my new plan!

Yesterday I started of this week’s training with a plan to run (yes RUN – not run-walk!) for 6 miles. I figured I need to toughen my legs up over these shorter distances, and then I can work on my stamina for run-walking over the longer distances. I also realised I’d better try out my race day outfit, as I’m seriously running out of time! It was so cold first thing I actually had to wait until nearly 10am before I could push myself out of the door. There should be a Government regulation about minimum temperatures for wearing vest and shorts! I was freezing for the first mile and a half (seriously – goosebumps and everything!), and after that I was boiling! The weather is beautiful at the moment, but I really hope it breaks before 22nd April,,, sorry everyone!)

Anyway, apart from the heat, run went really well, and I ended up running for 7.21 miles. It felt much harder than last week’s 10 miles, so I think that proves the walk breaks are really going to help over the long distances. Pace wasn’t that much faster either.

So – still no sign of the Engineer. Will now update my Virgin Money Giving page, and I need to write another begging email asking for donations. I haven’t felt I could ask for donations whilst I was unsure if I’d make it to the start line. Shows how much more confident I’m feeling!

And now for a long run…

After Monday’s test run of FIVE MILES which didn’t leave me limping, I decided on a new strategy for my marathon training. Basically, its Do or Die. I need to really push hard, increase my mileage dramatically every week. If my shin (or any other part of me!) can’t take it, then I’d never finish the marathon and I’ll defer and do it in 2013 instead.

Bearing this in mind I set off in Thursday’s hint of sunshine aiming for 8 miles. I picked a route I’ve often used on my Half Marathon training as there’s a large section across farmland through the grounds of a Estate. As I’d thought, the first field was full of little lambs, huddling close to their Mums.

Lambs & Mum. Baaaaa!

The miles ticked by, after the first dew miles I decided I’d better practice a Run – Walk strategy, as if I do make it to the Start line I think that’s the only way I’ll make it to the Finish line. I ran for a mile, then walked for a minute, and continued that for the whole run. I made it round the fields, back onto the roads and the gentle incline back to the village.  As I approached the village, nearing the mile 8 mark, I decided I felt so good I’d add another little loop to my run, and aim to get to 10 miles.

Cue some more fields (no sheep this time though), steps getting slower but still running, and ran up my drive to see my watch saying I’d run 9.99 miles. Only a mad woman would then run up and down the drive until it changed to 10 miles, wouldn’t they? Well, I’m a mad woman then, because that’s what I did.

TEN MILES!! Took me 2 hours, but legs felt okay, just tired rather than broken. Shin felt okay, but I felt marvellous. I really think I can do this!

Not so new looking trainers any more!

 Got inside to see the Postman had brought the second issue of the London Marathon magazine. Flicked through it seeing information on the start, the route, Dos & Don’ts for the day, and I promptly burst into tears. Still not sure why – only a mad woman would cry over a magazine…. oh hang on I think we’ve covered that one!

Friday morning now, think I need to get out on the bike, cycle to my aqua plod session (just an hour this time, but aiming to keep it speedy!) and then cycle home in this glorious sunshine. Then I need to bake some Chocolate Brownies because 1. My daughter will be home tonight after a week away, and 2. because I’m worth it!

The Training’s Restarted!

You’ll be pleased to hear I’m still in a positive mood! After my two short runs last week I also managed  to cycle to the swimming pool, aqua-plod for TWO HOURS and then cycle home again. I felt brain dead after those two hours, but the cycle home helped wake me up, and then as I came back into the village I passed the postman who flagged me down and shouted that he had already tried 3 times to deliver a parcel that had to be signed for, so he’d loop round and try again. I cycled home so fast I beat him there, and he handed over my NEW SHOES!

Busy weekend (daughter being dropped at school in the early hours for her trip to Germany, son’s birthday sleepover and Mother’s Day for starters!) so couldn’t get out to try them. Then Monday morning dawned. Everyone was out, the sun was shining, the shoes were calling….

I set off for 4 miles. Everything was stiff, aching and complaining, but I carried on. After 2 and a half miles the stiffness was easing off. Shin was still sore but I was ignoring it. At four miles I was nearly back home, and I suddenly realised my shin wasn’t painful. I couldn’t feel anything sore there. It didn’t feel like someone was pressing hard on the bony part of my leg any more. Overjoyed I decided to press on and ran an extra mile. Shin started hurting again on a gentle downhill, and then again on the gentle uphill, but it gave me hope that this WILL clear up. One day!

So what shall I do today???

No More Moaning (for today!)

Sat down and read back my last few blog posts last night, and it even made *me* depressed! So, enough moaning, let’s have some positive thoughts & vibes here (man!)

I survived Monday’s epic 2 mile run, and by Tuesday my leg was still okay. Still a little sore, but definitely walk-on-able. More stretching and icing, and a decision made. I investigated the latest date to defer my entry for VLM. Turns out, the latest date is 22nd April 2012 – which is Race Day! This means I can continue to train for now and can literally decide at the last minute that its not feasible to do it. (You’re not allowed to defer if you actually start the race!)

Although this may be just putting off the awful decision I actually feel much happier, as I have a plan in place now, and a definite date to aim towards. As I was feeling happy I decided I would try (again!) to get some new shoes. Do you think these are bright enough?

Look nice! Thanks for the photo, Sweatshop 🙂

Actually, I haven’t got them yet – they’re being posted to me. Good things come to those who wait – so after spending around 2 hours in the shop, and then waiting for them to arrive, that MUST mean they’re going to be good!

Came home, and was inspired to pull on my (old) trainers. Optimistically set off for 3 miles – and survived! Leg was a little stretchy-sore again, but I stopped after every mile to have a stretch and then walked for a minute. Iced and ibuprofen when I got home. It was okay last night, and certainly no sorer than usual this morning.

It is lovely to be out in the fresh air again (even if it was murky-foggy air) and one incident reminded me especially of how much I love running in the countryside where I live. Running down a track with hedges on each side, I heard a rustling under the hedge on my left just ahead of me. I slowed down and saw a small bird running (looked like a young pheasant maybe) and then a hawk swooped down from the top of the hedge and sank its claws into the young bird’s back! At the sound of my shuffling feet the hawk stopped, turned, looked at me, and the released the bird and flew off. The young bird looked stunned at its escape and scuttled off to hide under a different hedge instead.

You don’t see that driving around in your car!

Tape Tattoo and a Henna Tattoo

So since the last time I posted, I’ve been very good and doing my homework regularly. Lots of stretching, lots of cycling and lots of aqua plodding. I’m sure this is a really good rehab exercise, but its sooooooooo boooooooooring! Monday last week I cycled to the pool, aqua plodded for 1 hour 50 minutes, then cycled home. Can’t wait to get back out on the roads on my feet!
Was back at the Physio on Tuesday, and all is still healing up nicely. She dithered as to whether she should order me not to run for another week, or whether I could take it carefully.  I did the ol’ puppy dog eyes, so she said she’d tape me up and I could have a go. The result of the taping is shown in the photo. Attractive, no? Most people on seeing the photo thought it was an ill-advised tattoo. I think it looks like a target for a stalker to aim at. Anyway – its supposed to support my leg so I can run without causing damage.
Got home, got changed, and I was OFF! Being very good I just set off on my little 3 mile loop. Took it very slowly, and plodded along. It was feeling slightly sore and stretchy, but the Physio had said I would just have to run through the ‘stretching’ pain. By the end it was feeling quite sore, so I got showered and changed, and immediately took ibuprofen, slapped on an icepack and put my foot up.
By Wednesday, I was limping again. Was so upset I nearly cried.
Thursday I was back on my bike and plodding in the pool, but I was so tired and fed up I only lasted an hour.
Friday was preparing for the weekend and removing my tape (OUCH!), and the weekend was spent at a large family wedding. Hence my second ‘Tattoo’ of the week! This is much prettier, and is a henna tattoo (or Mehndi). This should last a little longer as well!
Back to this week, I set off on Monday for just a 2 mile plod. Leg was feeling sore and ‘stretchy’, but not too bad. Took ibuprofen, iced, and compressed it, and asked many people to cross their fingers to hope it will be okay. By this morning, its still a little sore, but not limping sore, so HOORAY!
Just realised this blog was supposed to be a record of my training for my first ever Marathon. A way of capturing my thoughts, feelings and emotions. However it seems to have descended into a wallow of injury and self pity. Ho hum!

Still cycling, still stretching, still icing

So another week has gone by, I’m another year older, and I’m still not running. Another visit to the Physio put paid to that!

Actually, there was good and bad news from the Physio. The Bad News is that I can’t run the Bath Half. Fair enough, its in just over a week’s time and I’m still in pain. As they put it, my focus is London, not Bath. I can easily run Bath next year (just need to pay another £39 – eek!)

The Good News is that she could tell I’d been doing my stretches, the pain has moved lower down my leg (apparently this is a good thing – but I’ll have to take her word for it), and is less than last week. This was apparent because I didn’t manage a vertical take off from the couch this week when she pressed on the sore bit. She was impressed with the bruises on my legs from where she’d poked me last week – “like a peach!” she remarked. After running on a treadmill with 2 Physios standing behind me, looking at me legs and making comments (a girl can get paranoid, you know!) the conclusion is that my running isn’t as bad as they thought it would be, over pronation isn’t too bad, and my back was stiff.

Back was solved by more pushing & grunting (the grunting was me!). I have to keep up my stretches, and have been given some more to do. I should keep up the cycling and aqua running (as apparently there are still one or two people in North Wiltshire haven’t had a laugh at me yet). Next week I’m going to be taped up – I tell you, these Physios are sadists!*

Anyway – out on the bike yesterday for just an hour, as that’s my bottom-pain-threshold. Past a lovely Victorian school building (I think!) Took a blurry photo, then promptly dropped my phone. Sigh!

Today I should be doing my cycle-aqua run-cycle combo again that I first tried last Friday. However, in a classic spot yesterday of ‘retail-therapy-is-still-therapy’ I am waiting in for a delivery which includes PADDING!!!

Maybe I should do some more stretches whilst I’m waiting …..

* So what does that make me, who pays to go and see them???