Week 13 of the Wales Coastal path Challenge and I thought I should take it easy as I knew I had my first ever Half Marathon to do at the end of the week.
Sunday I ran with Roath Park Runners and completed 10 miles, good prep for the half, and I felt we were definitely running faster. Checking the splits later in the day I was under 10min miles for at least 5 miles (normally for me 10.48). It felt great to know I could push myself faster and complete the run, so dropping my pace would mean I could do the half.
Monday I went and got some 'running fuel'. up until now it's just been water and Haribo, but I thought as distance increases I may need some help.
The helpful people at 'Run and Become' suggested Tailwind to add to my water. Other research included what to eat before and during the run, so now its a case of practicing.
Had a good catch up with Kerrie #everyrunnercounts sharing training and fuelling, she is doing loads of hours training for the marathon on 4 October with a great training plan from Richie Rees. We talked about future plans and contingency for the marathon if lockdowns increase - its felt good to have some plans in place.
By Saturday, I checked my weekly miles, and there were a few walking miles (these also count for WCP) and we were up to 46.75 this week - biggest week so far. Oops.
Half Marathon Sunday (technically week 14)
My first ever run over 10 miles.
Was up early to make sure I did my warm up, made up my running fuel and arrived at the park before 8am.
Had decided to start off with Roath Park Runners, and there was a nice number of socially distanced runners ready for the run. My pan was to do first 2 miles with them then join the Cardiff Half route. My sister, a marathon veteran, had agreed to run with me, we decided not to run too fast, and anyway whatever time I got would be a PB.
The first 8 miles went well, including the 'flat/not flat' bit of Penarth road, and then we got to Cardiff Bay and had to wait for a boat to go through the lock.....so a jog around the car park was needed whilst we waited.
At mile 9, we met Mrs Clarke with replacement snacks, although mainly fluids was all I needed.
Around mile 11 things started to slow, but I was determined to keep plodding on. Just place one foot in front of the other, as I had been helpfully told.
As we got back to the start point and made it to 13.1miles I felt fantastic. Challenge complete.
Ok still more miles to go on WCP and a full marathon to do on the 4 October, but for today - done.
What an amazing feeling!!!
Officially passed the Half Way point on the Wales Coastal Path Challenge - with todays ru I am now at 439.74 miles so I guess its downhill all the way now.
I had my official Half Way James Bond Award - I think I have worked out the link, but it did take me a while.
Starting back on the 15th June my goal was to do at least 16 miles a week, but aiming for 26 miles, I figured a marathon a week would be a great target.
Looking over the weeks so far the least I have done is 27 and the most 43, with 39 already done this week with one more day to go so that will be me over 40 again this week....yeah go me.
I celebrated with a photo by the lake and the lighthouse.
This week also I have had the pleasure of meeting, virtually, with the 2020 Movember Ambassadors of which I am now an official one. What an inspiring group of MoBro's such great energy and support for each other. As is the way these days a WhatsApp group has been set up..my phone has never been so busy.
I am looking for people to join my Mo Army - MoBro's and MoSista's - more info to follow.
We managed to get a few days away from the 4 walls we have looked at since March and took a trip to Sussex.
This did have an impact on my running, but managed to get some resonable miles in walking instead.
When we got home I was delighted to receive not 1 or 2 but 3 medals form all my efforts during July. For my birthday I had a medal hanger, so now I have to work out where to put it as the medals are starting to add up.
The past 3 weeks have helped me add the following mileage to the 870 mile challenge
Week 7 - 28.81
Week 8 - 27.26
Week 9 - 38.9
All of this has also put me through the 300 mile mark, so another postcard for my collection.
I was talking with my running buddy Kerrie, who was due to run at the rearranged London Marathon in October. As we all know VLM has been made an elite only race, so the mass race have been offered to complete the distance virtually.
Kerrie has decided to run her race and has a route set up locally. She is working with a number of others and they have opened the event up to a small number of others.
I have decided to join the team, so on the 4 October I will run/walk/plod the 26.2 miles and complete my first marathon.
Looking back over the month, it seems incredible to think about what I have achieved:
The way I am dealing with the 870 mile challenge is just to break it into smaller more manageable bit, and I suppose this is a lot like life. A big task can be overwhelming but if you can break it down and deal with one bit at a time things start to seem easier.
The Movember foundation are supporting mens health issues across the world, and the importance of mental health is huge. I know from very personal experience how much things can get on top of you, to the point where you really cant see how to complete anything. Often the clarity of breaking the tasks down starts to clear the fog.
That said we often cant do this on our own, and it is never wrong to ask someone to help. It may be just by talking things through you can get the clarity you need to move forward. But seek help, or offer help if you can.
Please if you can help support the work of Movember make a donation to my Justgiving page.
This week has been mainly about my Round the clock challenge - each hour dictates how far you run - 1pm=1km, 2pm=2km well you get the idea.
It has been interesting working out which order to do the runs in, and as I write this I still have 4k, 10k and 12k to do.
On Thursday night I arrange to run with two friends and we actually ran the official Cardiff 10K route. As we all have a connection with the organising of the race it seemed appropriate.
To fit in with Round the clock, we set off at 6pm so I could measure the 6km time, and then complete the rest of the 10k course.
Whilst I was setting the pace, the others (more experienced runners) were making sure I was being challenged. I normally run around 11:45/mile but it was clear the pace was quicker.
At the 5K split I had already taken 2 minutes off my 5K PB running at 10.04/mile. The second 5K was quicker, a negative split and a pace of 9.43/mile.
Whats more I had taken 8 minutes off my 10K PB. I had my MoRun T shirt on - clearly it is good for faster running.
I could hardly walk but what a feeling. A big thank you to Danielle and david for getting me around the course and helping to push me.
With the extra running also means extra miles and I have now recieved my 200 Mile postcard from the WCP Challenge.
The week ahead gives me 3 more runs to do - I am aiming for Run around the Clock to be finished in July. I have already done over 100 miles running and walking this month and will be close 100 miles of running only which would be a massive achievement.
To aid me I have been trainer shopping, I spent a happy hour with people from MOTI and have some new Brooks Ghost 12 for the next part of my journey.
Birthday today so didn't want to over do things.
Decided to walk 5.1 miles to match my new age. Plus my legs were a little tired after my run yesterday and it was still early in the week.
I spent a lovely hour or so wandering and investigating around Roath and Penylan. Soon my 5.1 miles were complete. Just needed to walk home which gave me a little extra towards my Wales Coastal Path Challenge.
Decided I would sign up for another event....just to keep me on track, so I am doing Run around the Clock - you chose your distance either Km or Miles (km for me) then on the hour you run that far eg 1pm 1km 3pm 3km - you get the idea - I have a month to do it so that should be fine and it will add some more to the WCP 870.
With todays walk i got my next post card - 150 miles done.
Week 3 has been a busy one!
It started fairly gently with a trip to the bay to see the Norwegian Church, then an 8 mile round trip walk into town. Add a walk along the actual coastal path, a 5k run, and then the South Wales Running Community Relay, it all adds up.
The upshot being I have hit a number of goals.
At todays relay I was allocated the 12- 1 slot, originally I thought that could be hard going if the weather is warm.....it wasn't I got soaked.
But I was determined to see how far I could run in the hour, I already knew from the World Day of Running I could do 10k in 1.15, so if I pushed myself how close could I get to 10k in the hour?
I started well, and the first 5k (32.38 which is a new PB and 2.5 minutes faster)
I knew I couldn't maintain that pace and around 7k I started to struggle....at that point Richard (Safety cyclist) turned up and it was enough to bring me back to focus.
At the 60 minute mark I was at 8.7k and pushing on 10K was completed in 1.09.56 (6 minutes faster than last Saturday and another PB)
On top of all of this I passed the 100 mile mark on my 870 challenge, and was greeted by some special emails and postcards.
Not bad for a week (in numbers):
New 5k PB
New 10K PB
Weekly mileage 43.25
Total so far 106 miles
27 June 2020 - World day of Running (and my first proper 10K)
Considering how hot is has been, the day was overcast and little blustery, which was a bonus. I had posted a message to see if anyone fancied a socially distanced run with me and was very pleased to have Mel for company. We met just before 9.30 and set off on out carefully measured (via mapmyrun)route.
We had agreed a slow but steady pace, my 870 challenge is about distance not time, so off we went. Around 1k we saw Richard who was stood in the middle of our route with a big arrow....just to make sure we were going in the correct direction.
We continued and I felt great, able to keep up a conversation, which I had heard was a good way of knowing how you are doing. Tracey and Richard joined us on their bikes and pretty soon we were past 5k.
Towards 8k we spotted Richard and Tracey again, this time they had found a local resdident who had set up a Fresh Lemonade stall, and as tempting as this sounded....we were on a mission so no stopping.
We headed into the last 500 meters, when I realised the route would be short..despite all the measuring, so a quick extra loop and then We Had Finished. 1:15:51 a new PB for me, but then it was only my third 10K distance so PB's come fairly quickly to start with.
I felt great and happily walked the rest of the way home (every bit counts).
A huge thank you to Mel for keeping me going and motivating me, and to Richard and Tracey who just seemed to appear when we needed them.
First week completed of my 870 mile Wales Coastal Path Virtual Challenge and 26.77 miles in the bag.
My goal in my head was to try and do a marathon distance a week, which may or may not always be possible but it gives me a managable chunck to work on as 870 miles seema huge target (and it is)!
Didn't start welltoday, the top of my foot is hurting, I think it needs a bit more streching, plus I went off a bit fast, so by the 2k mark i needed to stop and loosen my trainers slightly and give my foot a strech.
Returning to my plodding pace we managed the next 5k without much problem and then completed a further 1k up hill, just so i can say the first hill climb wasn't a fluke.
Finishes off with a walk to cool down and stretch out.
Pleased with progress this week - currently near the Transporter Bridge in Newport and position 72.
Monday 15 June 2020 - today I received my first ever medal for completing a running challenge. When I started this blog one of my goals was to get a medal, but I wanted it to be for an event/cause that was close to me. Movember's Miles For Mates was a perfect fit. I have supported and worked at Movember events for a number of years, I had time on my hands during lockdown, I could run at my own pace, update my time as it improved and raise awareness of Mental and physical health In total I walked, ran (plodded) over 100km (62 miles)with my fastest 5k (34:58).
As I sat and wrote my blog yesterday (before the medal arrived) I realised that 10K would be a great distance to aim for next, I had already completed 7k run, plus nearly 2k of walking, so we were nearly there already.
I was at writing when I spotted an number of the South Wales Running Community telaking about a new challenge.
The Wales Coastal Path Virtual Challenge - 870 miles!!!
I started thinking, this is a long distance but something you can do over 12 months, thats works out at 72.5 miles a month or 16.73 miles a week - suddenly this is a bit more doable.
So with a little bit of apprehension - I signed up
This is a huge challenge and so far with a walk last night and a 10k today i'm about 1% of the way - but it will give me a focus and something to achieve - plus I can use all my other events
as every mile counts.
I am going to use the event to continue to support the work of Movember, with the support fo the team from MoRunning (thanks team) - find out more and help with the link below:
After 24 years of helping others to achieve their running goals - it is now my time.