running blog


Long run with an old firend

A couple of old friends actually.

First I found my favourite running gloves in the pocket of an old coat  (now you know where to look for yours) which are not only cosy but more importantly small so when they come off after the frist mile they are compact to tuck in my bra. I also grabbed my Thunder Run buff from this summer for the first time to keep my hair back, ears warm and stop me going out totally dressed in black from head to toe.


But  my most successful choice of old friend was putting Audiofuel back in my iPod.  I haven’t run with music recently but now I’m starting my marathon long runs I wanted something to listen to today for 10 miles round and round Hyde Park.  Most music bugs me over a long run with it’s changes in tempo and lyrics so I decided to plug into a continuous long run training mix and see how it went.  It went really well.  Maybe too well as I probably ran at too fast a pace for a long run.

Audiofuel was just right, it’s a smooth continuous couple of hours at a consistent tempo (starts easy, builds, then cools down) the regular beat gets you into a nice long run rhythm and the absence of many lyrics means it doesn’t interfere with your mind’s wanderings while running. A bit of coaching gives you just enough motivation every 10mins or so you don’t feel alone and forgotten! And it was great to hear after an hour or so that my training was helping me to run a good time in my marathon! I hadn’t listened to this one for a year or two (over-did it when I first got it) and really enjoyed hearing some of the tracks again. I even turned back on the way home to loop around Round Pond when my favourite came on. And because some are 10 minutes long a whole mile or so can fly by before you know it

Janathon day 5. 10.37 miles  in 1.37.50



Royal Parks Half Marathon

Today was the second of my autumn races in the build up to my marathon (in 4 weeks time Eek!), my 9th Half Marathon (yes, my 10th will be a full marathon) and the 4th time I’ve run this race.

Running two half marathons only a week apart at a decent pace is pretty hard work! Especially when you’ve banked 3 miles on the way to the second one because you’re not supposed to be running a Half Marathon but bashing out 18 miles of marathon training. The original plan was to race Ealing last weekend and then treat today as an easy training run, enjoy the event and scenery and add a few miles to make up my long run. But I’m afraid I just can’t run a race without trying, whatever I tell myself! Last year I ran this one with friends taking it easy, enjoying the atmosphere and sights because I was just coming back from injury so there was no way I wasn’t going to have a good race this time.

So I started out with lofty ambitions of attacking my PB or beating last weeks pace. I was a bit miffed that I was in the blue start zone (having been in the one ahead before. Am I the only one who puts an honest expected finish time down?) and I was preparing myself to be cross about the overcrowding. It was a very busy race and I did have to do a fair bit of darting in between gaps and had to be patient a few times where the course narrowed to get round people running slower in pairs particularly on slight uphill stretches.

My first wobble came early, around 8 miles (more like 11 for us reminded my militant legs) and because my legs really did ache a bit I had to get realistic and think about adopting plan c, to finish sub 2 and for the next few miles just dug in to hold my average pace below 9 min miles. At 11 miles I manned up with only 2 miles to go helped by a lovely marshal shouting ‘ just think how you’ll feel when you cross the finish line!’ and started to push forward weaving past and overtaking people around me.

I tend to race these days without music. I can concentrate on pace better and enjoy it more without being plugged into my iPod. But I decided to run with music today, knowing it would be harder work on tried legs and because it’s a big busy race where most people are plugged into their own music. I was listening to audiofuel and their Run Wild 2 hour-long run mix for the first time in ages. The timing was perfect, I started it just before the start line and the last 10 mins of the track was fantastic coinciding perfectly with the 12 mile marker and had me sailing across the line on a high. Absolutley delighted to be ony 58 seconds slower than last week.

I was prepared not to enjoy today’s race. I prefer smaller less crowed races where everything takes less time (baggage, loos…) and less crowding gives a better stab at pb pace. I expected to be cross about the crowding and too many slower runners ahead and spectators pushing into the course and the scrum at water stations. Yes there was a bit of all that but it didn’t bother me. It was a lovely autumn day running in a great capital city and beautiful park with great marshalls, many having great fun and encouraging us all along, and a wonderful atmosphere.

So, hard as it is to get into this race via the ballot, its relative high cost, it’s still only 2 miles from home and I enjoy it so I will keep trying to come back for more.

My run today was in 3 parts. An easy run, a half marathon and then I planned to run 2 miles home to make it up to 18. Well I planned to. My militant legs had other ideas… I sent them the message to start running home and the message received back was Pi$$ off! So I walked home trying many times a few pick up ‘jog/shuffles’ but every bit of my legs was agony. All good practice for what it will feel like at mile 25 of the marathon I’m sure!

I was worried, having mainly walked the last 2 miles home, that maybe I hadn’t run my full 18 miles long run. But when I thought about it (I do walk a bit now and then on long runs and am quite ready to walk some of my marathon) I added the time and distances all together which still gives an overall pace which I’d be delighted to run for my marathon! So I am still logging today’s shuffle/walk home as part of my run! I’m sure its time on my feet that counts.

Run 1, ‘Warm up’. Easy 3.11 miles in 32.40

Run 2, Half Marathon. 13.2 miles in 1.57.58

Run 3, ‘Cool down’. 2.16 miles in 33.59

So put it all together and….. Marathon Long run of 18.47 miles in 3.04.45.

RPHM splits


Whoop whoop!

At BMF yesterday I was delighted to find that I really can now run without limping and pain-free. What a wonderful feeling! I took it easy to start with (I was also a bit cautious about hurting myself again, not to mention my loss in stamina) but as the class went on and we continued to run I felt better and better. At one point the Instructor called for a race/sprint to try to catch him so I really put my foot down.

What a fabulous feeling to put on a burst of acceleration and sprint flat-out again – for me the best de-stressor there is. It felt so good that I was very happy to run again quickly afterwards and had to stop myself yelling out ‘whoop whoop yippee my new leg works!’

Exuberance over, I had a timely Physio appointment later to continue to ease my hip and glute muscles plus this time a few other poor bits of me by then feeling the strain from my earlier efforts.

Today I was very keen to run again and was beginning to think about what sort of long runs I could manage before the Royal Parks Half in 2 weeks. Fortunately my sensible side won over and I decided not to overdo it too soon. I went to the gym where I did an easy run on the treadmill doing Audiofuel pyramid 180 intervals (I jogged / ran the intervals rather than ran / sprinted them) for 20 minutes and then after a good stretch I continued on the bike for another 20 minutes to make sure my total calories burned were more than a glass of vino!


Nomal service to be resumed…

After 2 weeks not running because of injury there finally is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I decided that after a week of leg/hip pain I had to seek professional help in order to get back running (and walking normally) as rest alone as going to take more than a while to fix things. Being on the Isle of Wight I researched Physiotherapists on the web and found a practice with a sports injury specialism in Ryde. Turned out to be a good choice, a very friendly practice. The Physio asked me the usual load of questions, watched me walk up and down barefoot and pushed my legs and hip around a lot. An hour later after having my ITB zapped with electrodes, lasers and massaged, nicely and very painfully and with insoles in my shoes I was already experiencing less pain.

I have some stretches to do, have been advised to see a Podiatrist to get more permanent orthotics for my fallen arches and am going back next week for a follow-up. Before that I am hoping to try a small run which has to be 25%. I’m guessing that for me that should be one mile at slow pace…

Later in the day after my appointment the shooting pain on movement of my leg had been replaced by dull muscle ache (result!) and being my left leg I can now use the clutch when driving without having to lift my leg with my hand! The next day my leg was practically pain free and feeling stronger and although the pains returned yesterday after walking a lot shopping in Newport a session with the rolling-pin (my massage torture implement of choice as my foam roller is in London. Actually it’s easier to inflict the necessary pain presure) has cured most of that.

Tomorrow I’m going to try the easy run. I think I’d better not listen to Audiofuel’s new release Adrenaline Junkie 2 for my run because the feedback from everyone taking part so far in the Adrenaline Junkie competition is that it is totally awesome and I know I will not be able to behave myself and run slowly and only for a mile. Boo hoo.

Anyway feeling optimistic about slowly getting back running next week and resuming my Half Marathon Training. I haven’t been totally idle. As a form of diversion I’ve been following the 100 push ups app and have been busy decorating. One small bedroom took a lot more effort that I anticipated but then I did seem to spend as much time scrubbing paint off the places it shouldn’t be as putting it on in the first place…


Half Marathon place restores mojo.

16 days down and 15 to go on my March challenge.  So how am I doing?  Well the scores on the doors are…

Run/exercise 12/16 days.   36.74 miles run,  plus 6 BMF classes.

I had a slump at the weekend. 

Last week was fairly good.   I even had a go at Audiofuel pyramid 200 intervals on Friday to ring the changes and make the most of a short run.  Great, but ouch! that reached muscles that other runs don’t reach.  I can’t believe intervals can make a relatively short run so tough!  Then,  at the weekend I got caught up in family stuff, felt tired, unmotivated and took the whole weekend off.   So I started this week feeling apathetic, sluggish and guilty having missed a good long run over the weekend.  On Monday at BMF, I didn’t feel much brighter. 

However, my mojo was restored on Tuesday by way of an email congratulating me on getting a place in the Royal Parks Half Marathon in the second chance draw!  I literally downed work tools (logged off) then and there and went for a great afternoon run in Hyde Park to celebrate.  Woo hoo 8 miles on a beautiful day! 

 Today, still feeling bouncy and keen,  I went ahead with my latest money-saving scheme of running to Hyde Park for BMF class at least once a week to save all the cash I waste paying to park.  2 miles there, a killer class and 2 miles home… I think ‘broken’ would be a good description of how I felt when I got home.  That will teach me…  I have to confess to having a little lunch time snooze, feet up on the sofa watching neighbours! 

Now that I do have a place in my local half marathon I find myself entered for 2 Half Marathons and 10 mile race over a 6 week period in the Autumn!  That will certainly be one way of making me maintain my mileage over the summer…