We are a few weeks into my training for London Marathon and hit a bump in the road, figuratively speaking.
A few weeks ago I had my second 'jab' and within 30 minutes felt quite sick. It didn't come to anything but the next day it happened again, a general feeling of nausea. On the Sunday i set out for my usual 10 mile plod and gradually felt worse and worse. I think a combination of heat and the jab were taking their toll and at 8 miles I gave up. Still 2 miles from home I had to walk on but felt very strange.
Over the next couple of weeks I limited myself to shorter runs and thankfully I'm back to a least 10k now without too much effort, although it has been very draining.
As I write, we are at the end of a very hot week in South Wales (31degrees) so running has been a bit more tricky. I had a great 5k last night with the weekly running group and plan a 10k early in the morning with a 10 mile Sunday to test how things have settled.
To cheer myself up during this hic-cup I have signed up for a further challenge, form the lovely people at End to End. This time taking on the original 874 miles of Lands end to John O Groats. With my marathon training this will help to give me a focus and a reason to get out even if it is for a few miles walking.
The online community for End to End are amazing - such great support, tips, general chat about running and challenges. This is now my third event with them and they have all been amazing.
To be honest the last couple of weeks have got away from me a bit. Life has taken over and the effects of Covid-19 have had an impact, fortunately not in a medical way.
I have had fantastic support from my friends at Movember and MoRunning who have been like an extra support network and for that I am grateful.
Training for London Marathon.
This has been a great way to get out and clear my head. there is something about being in the open air that helps to reset the head. taking in the surroundings beiong aware of other people walking, running and in my case plodding along, each of us with our own story to tell.
I managed to complete a 16 mile training run, and that would be the longest distance I will run before virtual London. It is my plan on the day to run 3 miles then walk a bit....and repeat. This will be my first ever marathon so any time is a PB.
Talking of PB's I managed to do a sub 30minute 5K during training, I set out just to do a quiet head clearing run and at 2 miles I saw I was running under 10 minute miles. So with a little push I hit that magic milestone.
Everything got a bit real when my pack arrived. I real set of running numbers to wear on the the day and a good luck message from the team.
Weeks 14 and 15
In the excitement of longer distance and with London looming I forgot to input my miles for these weeks
Week 14 - 40.46
Week 15 - 37.47
Week 16 will be lower due to tapering but then 17 will be longer again.
There is still the small matter of the Wales Coastal Path challenge to complete as well. As I write this I am 583 miles complete with 287 to go.
And by the look of things I'm on a bit of the coastal path that may not be suitable for running.... That yellow marker is me!
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.
Another week completed, thats now 12 in total and I'm officially at 445 miles so far (425 to go). It has been an interesting week as I am clocking up my WCP mileage whilst also training for the London Marathon (virtual). weekly mileage 44 miles.
I am finding my legs are feeling heavy so a bit more work on strengthening and foam roller maybe required.
Also looking at fuelling - gel or not gel. Lots of great advice out there.
The week started with a great 6 miles in the company of #fordyruns #BabooRunning on a Sunday morning around Cardiff. It was great fun to be able to run with some other people, and a plus we did a pretty good time.
I decided after this to up my mileage and completed my first 10 mile run/walk, although it was mainly running. After I finished and for most of the next day I felt great and managed with my strengthening exercises and stretches kept everything moving.
I entered the officialVirtual London marathon - I know I am part of the event anyway with Kerrie, but it feels good to be part of this as well.
Thursday was an interesting day, my run started out in a light drizzle, and my plan was to do around 8.5 miles. I chose a nice route and was happily plodding my way around listneing to David Tennant on a podcast.
The weather had other ideas.
Gradually the rain got heavier and much much colder.
Eventually after 4 miles I admitted defeat and called for back up.
Disappointed that I had to give up, but I was shivering and soaked through.
Not defeated though the next morning I git back at it and did the route again (in reverese) and this time did the whole 8.5.
Delighted that with todays 3.5 miles I have done another 40 miles this week, and completed over 400 as part of my challenge. And as a bonus my August 'Through the Seasons' medal arrived, and links perfectly with July.
End of week for and so far 176 miles completed in my Wales Costal Path Challenge. with todays 6 miles puts me near the entrance of Pembrey Park a venue I have been to many time s with running events over the years. Back in the early 2000's Pembrey was one of the venues chosen as a race For Life venue, the series in Wales was being expanded from 1 event (Cardiff) to 6 and Pembrey was one of the five new locations.
At the time I was commentating for them and was delighted to be able to support at three of the five new venues. Pembrey always had a special feel as lots of people made a day of it and had picnics and BBQ's after.
In 2004 when I was the race organiser we hit the race capacity, 3000, for the first time and let's just say there were a few traffic issues, which meant a change of venue was needed.
I was delighted to return to Pembrey again this time with the team from Invncbl, and enjoyed a number of events with them, including watching the Lions play via a large screen.
I mentioned before that to make the 870 challenge more achievable I break it down into smaller challenges and I am currently doing the Run around the Clock, run the distance the hour is - so today I run 9km at 9am - you get the idea.
Now on to week 5.
End of Week 4 an d 142 Miles now complete. I am managing to maintain my position inside the first 100, although it got close in the week as I was number 99.
Today was a hard slog, I had no motivation and the first mile was tough. But I thought I'll just keep plodding and see where I end up.
I gave myself a little game - Spotting event t shirts - it is lovely seeing so many people running in t shirts they have from taking part in events. I did start keeping count but it got a little complicated, I did see a few Cardiff 10K and Cardiff Half, a Porthcawl 10K just to name a few, and a variety of charity running tops.
At around 7K I spotted a TeamKW t shirt coming towards me and I wondered if it would be anyone I knew....it was Dr Mike.
It is so lovely to see people you know and particularly around that point for me, when I am normally starting to flag. With renewed energy I carried on to complete 10 and a bit more with my cool down walk home (every tep counts on this challenge)
During the week I caught up with Movember and they would like to do a piece on why I am running/walking /plodding for them - they mentioned they will have a stylist for the photoshoot!
So I think I better restart my Mo again....just in case they choose me!
Have worked out at the current weekly mileage we could have this challenge done before Christmas, but there is a lot of miles between now and then.
Please is you are reading this and you can help with the work Movember do across the Uk and the rest of the world visit my JustGiving Page - 870miles
After my 10k on Monday, the pat two days have just been about walking, making sure I am getting for the Wales Coastal Path Challenge, keeping my legs moving and preparing for Saturdays World Day of Running.
When I first entered I was aiming for the 5k, but last week I asked the organisers to swap me to the 10k - this was a way of motivating myself to do more, plus by this time I had the 870 mile challenge to do....so every mile counts.
Whilst walking I have also been investigating different routes, that will come in useful as the challenge progresses.
In Wales we still have more Covid restrictions than England, and with this in mind I wondered if anyone would be able to run(Plod) with me on Saturday at a safe distance.
I have designed myself a fairy flat 10k course (the normal MoRun Bute Park course is out of action currently so this was my next choice)
I asked friends and family if they would perhaps plod along with me at some point on the course - many use this route as part of their own training so it is very rare I don't see anyone I know somewhere long this route.
I have been in touch with Movember and look forward to be able to do things with them over the year. The link between physical and mental health is so key, we all know someone Im sure who has ha d 'wobble' over the past few weeks - make sure you keep talking...it does help.
My 870 tshits are on order and of course the Justgiving page is avaialbe if you can help in any way. www.justgiving.com/fundraising/870miles870miles
Another First - a whole 10K with stopping, and actually enough left to run up the hill as well at the end!
Was up early as I wanted to get whatever distance I could done before it gets too warm, I feel there will be some early runs this week. I was aiming to do a 10K in whatever way I could, and set off, then realised I couldn't remember the route I did last time (doh).
Figuring that most of it was the same as my 5k I continued on and thought I'll add a bit at the half way point and that should mean I finish before the hill at the end.
So plodding along I just kept going and managed a quick photo at the furthest distance form home I have run. I nice dog walking lady stopped whilst I took my photo, and wished me luck on the rest of my run (nice).
As I ticked off the km it was clear I still didn't have enough to avoid the hill, i added in a loop, still not enough the distance seemed to be increasing so slowly. Oh well run up the hill untill 10k!
However, when I got on the hill a surge of energy came and I just powered up to the top.....I have no idea how but hill climbing today was easier!!
In total another 10.98k in the bag (6.82 miles) off my 870mile total. Will walk the dog a bit later so there will be a bit more to add today as well.
Today was not about time, but it was about how far I can go at my ploddy pace.
I made the decision to warm up with a walk down the hill, and then run on as much flat as I could.
The weather was pretty warm again, which was nice and being the start of the week the streets were quieter again.
Having done 6.5 on Saturday, I though 7k would be a good goal, and I thought the route I chose would be around that distance turned out I was a bit short, but more of that in a bit
The Walkers and other runners were on the whole good with their social distancing, bar one lot who insisted on walking and filling up the pavement - what is wrong with people!!
I spotted by Roath Park lake a fantastic Runner, at present a lot of the road is coned off to allow for social distancing, and many of the cones had been knocked over. This amazing guy was walking and putting each of them back correctly - hero. I made sure to thank him for his work.
I took some water with me today, partly as it was warm and also so I could have some water when I finished - However, carrying the water battle really annoyed me - so I will need to look at other options.
I have taken a photo each time I get to the furthest point away from my house - just as a record of where I have been. Todays photo wasn't quite as picturesque as I intended (lamp lamppost) but I was also trying to do it without stopping.
As I was nearing my target finish spot I noticed I was under 7k - well nothing for it I would just need to keep going. The only issue being we now need to go up hill.......
So off I set, and sailed passed the 7k - in fact I think had it been a little earlier in the run I probably would have gone all the way up the hill.
After 24 years of helping others to achieve their running goals - it is now my time.