I realised I haven't done an update for a while, nor had I input my mileage.
If I'm honest there has been quite a lot of things going on and trying to deal with the ever changing world of Covid hasn't helped.
It seems that as we went into the 'Second wave' i the virus has been a lot closer than it was in wave 1, and lots of people locally have had symptoms and some sadly have not survived. This has brought everything very much into ficus and I needed a little time away from things.
Plus - and this hasnt helped - my foot has been preventing me from running. A stress fracture and now Plantar Fasciitis, has drastically reduced my ability to 'plod' around the streets. The lack of running has had an impact on the way I have been feeling.
Thankfully I have secured an exercise bike, and whilst I don't find it fun, it is keeping my cardio fitnmess levels up.
I was managing a short walk each day, but from the start of December I have needed to reduce this as well. So just doing a few miles when I can.
According to the map I am about half way around Anglesey, with 140 miles left to go. It looks unlikely I can be finished in 2020 but it wont be too long after that.
What a fantastic weekend.
I have commentated on MoRun since it first came to Cardiff around 9 years ago, We have had amazing runners and fabulous crowds right from year 1.
Always loads of MoRunMoFun - with fancy dress, great Mo's and even a visit from Mr MOtivator.
Like everything else 2020 meant this year was a virtual run. I decided as I wasn't on commentating duty I would run for the first time ever.
I posted my idea and was delighted to be joined by friends and family as part of TeamMo870.
The 870 linked to my ongoing 870 mile Wales Coastal path Challenge, which is also for Movemeber.
We were soon up to a Team of 11, all of us planning to run on either the 14th or 15th November, the usual weekend of the Cardiff MoRun.
4 Venues, 3 Countries, 11 Runners, 65 Miles
Due to various lockdowns, and timing issues the Team could not run together so we all linked up via social media to support each other.
First to run was Jane in Taiwan with Kate and Jeremy back in Wales. Then just before 10 I met with Kate, Kerrie, Trudy, Rebekah and Michelle in Cardiff, whilst Rachel joined us in Exmouth. Jon was running on Sunday and Jeremy ran a second 10K with him (Thanks JC)
What an amazing feeling to be running with people, all be it socially distanced and virtual. I n fact we had great social distancing between the UK and Taiwan.
An hour or so after starting everyone had finished their set distance, some doing more than they planned, some doing their first ever 10K and some very glad that their foot held out so they could complete the race.
The comments, photos, support and fundraising effort from TeamMo870 has been fantatsic and I am so grateful to everyone who took part and those who have supported us.
We are already looking at when we can meet to run together again.
Fundraising for Movember
From its early mustachio growing beginning Movember has been about supporting mens health, both Physical and Mental. In 2020, the challenges of mental health are even greater than before.
A big thank you for all your donations - if you can support us further
Thank you again
Nic, Kate, Jeremy, Kate, Jon, Jane, Rachel, Trudy, Rebekah, Kerrie and Michelle
Movember has arrived, and with it MoRunning.
I am delighted that TeamMo870 now has 9 members all ready to take on a MoRun from 5K, 10K or more.
My plan was a 10K but apparently I have a hairline fracture and plantar fasciitis in my foot so my original plan may have to be rethought!
However, the physio did say I was to keep moving on my foot, which is heavily strapped, and I have another appointment next week ahead of our planned weekend of running.
Plan B - will be to still do 10K but do a little bit at a time and rest in-between.
The injury has also slowed my progress on WCP challenge - but I have now arrived on Anglesey. It has been so hard to go from 40 miles a week to less than 16 but better to complete the event than be laid up with foot in plaster.
Trying to keep strong and focus on all things Mo - excited to be undertaking Ambassador roles this month as well,
They say when a door closes somewhere a window opens.
I won't lie its been a tough few weeks.
There are a number of things going on at the moment, including a second Lockdown for Wales that has been looming for a while. The 'come down' after the London Marathon, even though it was virtual, was bigger than I anticipated.
Then to top it all on a 5k run, where I got a new PB, I did something to my foot which has prevented me from being able to do more than a mile walking at a time.
Things weren't helped by seeing picture of people with their VLM medals and T shirts, whilst there was no sign of mine.
Now as an event manager I know how difficult it is to fulfil 45,000 t shirts and medals, but I was starting to wonder where mine was.
Today however....it arrived. I am so thrilled! This is just the sort of pick up I needed.
I know I have completed other races but this has felt like a major achievement. As my friend Paul said - "Only 1% of people have evr completed a marathon" - Well thats me.
I am taking things easy, allowing time for my foot to get better, but I also want to get on with my Wales Coastal path Challenge - less than 250 to go.
To keep me occupied I have be helping MoRunning prepare for this years 'virtual' races and did a video chat with them today - see their FB page.
If you can spend a little time supporting mens health then please join me at MoRun this year - ok you will be running on your own but happy to run on the same weekend (14/15 Nov)
Up early and as I had been told "stick to the normal routine". I had decided to have a warm shower to help get the legs ready for running. My usual bowl of cereal and as it was a running day - no tea - I find the need to find facilities increases if tea is involved first thing..
We headed out to join the rest of the Every Runner Counts runners at 7.30.
Kerrie has been an inspiration for me, ever since we first met. Her determination to complete London in 2019 set me on the journey I now find myself on. Kerrie did her Live piece for the BBC as we watch on the TV inside race HQ, well there was no point in us all being outside getting wet.
The weather was awful, cold, wet and windy, so my running jacket was over the top of my MoRunning T shit and my running number. I normally take my jacket off after 2 miles as I get too warm....lets see what happens today!
Just after 8 we set off. I knew my pace would be different to Kerrie and we had already agreed that it was important to run your own race. The first 3 miles went well and it was lovely to see Chris and Sarah, complete with cow bell to cheer me on in Hailey Park - I'm a real runner now.
I was running with Adam and with us both was Richard on the support bike. We headed up the Taff trail stopping briefly at just over 6 miles for a selfie, as this due to lockdown was the furthest up the trail we could get. We had all noticed lots of other runners, all being very polite but not the encouragement we thought there would be. As we got back to Hailey park our wonderful Medic Ellen was waiting along with my friend Alex plus Darren, all with supplies of Jelly babies and water. Adam and I decided to take our numbers and pin them to the outside of our jackets, so people could see the challenge we were on.
From then on everyone was giving us encouragement, it felt amazing. Very soon we were at the half way point at the Welsh Institute of Sport, Sophia Gardens, for a meet up with Jay, Pip and Kate with more supplies of fluids and homemade flapjacks. Richard had been keeping me motivated with discussions about food, so these were very welcome.
As we turned into Castle street to join the Cardiff Half route, it hit us! The wind was blowing directly into our faces - this was not pleasant. Suddenly road running was difficult. We turned towards Leckwith and then Sloper road, I had plodded on a little faster encouraged by the wonderful people in cars and vans all tooting and waving and shouting encouragement. On to Penarth road and a big wave from the staff at Nathaniel cars before heading to new ground the path that goes to Grangemoor park.
We were still together as we approached Ikea, but my feet were finding it difficult to walk, strangely plodding/shuffling was easier but it did mean I was moving away from Adam. Richard did well keeping an eye on both of us.
Due to the lockdown rules the route had changed a few times and as I entered Hamadryad park I realised, I didn't really know where to go next. Thinking 'just head to the Bay area and if necessary make the distance up elsewhere', I got a little lost but soon was heading towards the Norwegian church.
I knew in the Bay there was a few things I had to do, meet Michelle, Rick and the family, make sure Richard had coffee, he had mentioned it a few times and go to the World Harmony Peace statue and hold the torch - this is a must for any runner.
Whilst Richard had coffee, I plodded around Roath Basin, stopping only for a selfie and a jelly baby by the BBC studios, this seemed appropriate as its the home of Dr Who. The weather now was bitter, the rain felt like little needles on my face. Meeting back up with Richard we headed through past the WMC into Sloper road to meet with Kate.
I decided now, with 5 miles to go, to change socks and trainers - OMG what a difference to have dry feet again. Somehow Adam had caught us up, he also git a bit confused in the park so we plodded slowly towards the mansion house where the rest of my family, plus Kate and Alex were waiting. By now I needed to walk a bit, knees were hurting, clothes were damp, hands cold....but at least I had dry feet.
We walked together with Alex for around a mile, before turning at Waterloo gardens to head back to the finish. My knees and feet needed my to run(plod) so I set off around Roath park for the final few miles.
It was amazing to have people encouraging me along, people running to the end of the street just to give me a cheer, cars tooting, friends appearing it seemed from nowhere. I had Paula Radcliffe cheering me on via the official app as headed to Fairoak Hill (Cardiff runners know this well) and the final few yards to the finish.
I am so grateful to everyone who took time to support me, physically, via social media and of course by sponsoring me and the work of Movember. Physical and Mental health are so important, probably now more than ever.
I am also grateful for all the advice I have received from people, you all know who you are. For me the key things I remember are:
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.
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.
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.
After 24 years of helping others to achieve their running goals - it is now my time.