Archive for the ‘London Marathon’ Category

MY MARATHON EXPERIENCE

exell

Day at Excel – Proud owner of running number 38203

 

The Thursday before The London Marathon, I was really excited because I had to go to collect my running number from Excel, London.

I had a lovely day there looking around the exhibition stands at the range running gear and trying on different styles of trainers.

There were a couple of informative talks about fueling before and during the marathon and how to cope with the race itself.

 

 

 

THE VIRGIN LONDON MARATHON

marathon train

Traveling to Greenwich the start line

 

I had to be at the Station at 7am to catch the train into London.

The train was packed with Marathon runners some were excited and some were nervous. A buzz of conversation surrounded the train as we were all  trying to get tips off each other of how to cope with the 26.2 miles.

We soon arrived at Greenwich which was the starting line of The London Marathon for the charity places.

 

 

The Children Trust Marathon runners

The Children Trust Marathon runners

 

When I arrived at the start line, it was a beautiful day, the sun was shining and there was a breeze.

I found the other runners from The Children’s Trust and we had some photos taken before we had to hand our bags into the baggage lorries which would then take them to the finish line.

 

 

I then made my way to my starting point.  Everyone was really nervous by this time.  There were so many people in different costumes and some quite funny.  We were all running for charity and all for different reasons close to our heart.

I had butterflies in my stomach.  I thought I was going to feel full from all the extra carbs I’d been eating and the bowl of porridge for breakfast but I felt empty.  It felt as if we were waiting to go on a big roller coaster ride.

At 10am the siren went and we very slowly made our way forward to the start line.  I was quite far back as I was in the 4.45hr group.

I had a plan in my head to take it easy for the first 5 miles.  There were masses of people that we were elbow to elbow to each other it was quite difficult to get a good pace going.   I didn’t want to use too much energy by weaving in and out of people so whenever I saw a gap I squeezed forward.  I could feel the anxiety in the air as we were all trying to find our pace.

At 5 miles, I took my first energy gel which I did every 5 mile through the race.  There were water stops at every mile and Lucozade stops every 5 mile.   We were just taking a few sips and then throwing the bottles to the side of the road.  There were bottles everywhere you had to be careful not to fall on one.

We passed Cutty Sark at Mile 6 but I don’t remember this as I must have been focusing on my pace.

I tried to increase my speed slightly when I could.  These first few miles had been quiet but as we turned the corner I could hear the sound of drums and there were swarms of people either side cheering.  We all had our names printed on our running shirts so people could shout out our name to encourage us to keep going.

The miles seemed to be whizzing past with so much going on around us creating a bustling atmosphere.  We were already at mile 10 and now I thought I really should get a better pace going.  My ankles had started hurting because it was difficult to run properly.

We were not far from London Bridge, the road started to widen and I was able to lengthen my stride but I didn’t want to go too fast as I knew I had a long way ahead of me.  As we hit London Bridge,  the atmosphere was amazing with all the crowds cheering and shouting your name.  There were balloons and banners highlighting the different charities.  There was a ray of colour surrounding us.  This was overwhelming and emotional and I felt proud to be British and to be part of such an amazing event.

At mile 14 I was desperately looking our for The Children’s Trust balloons and banner which is where my friends and family would be standing.   It was lovely to have their support  and to hear them cheering me on very loudly!

It was still quite hard to get a good pace as the roads through mile 15 were very narrow, the pedestrians had come onto the road rather than staying on the pavement and some runners had started to walk.  People were offering us sweets, bananas, biscuits to build on our energy stores.

Still smiling after mile 16

Still smiling after mile 16

I couldn’t believe when I arrived at mile 16 with so much energy in store and the time had passed so quickly.  I ate my lucozade bar to give me that extra boost till the end and really focused on picking up my pace still holding a little back for the last 6 miles.

I remember passing pubs with live music and live bands and dancing with my arms while I was running.

At mile 19 and 20 we circled Canary Wharf where the atmosphere boomed again.  The roads started opening up so I lengthened my stride once more.

At mile 22 I was again looking out for my family.  Once I was them I was on a mission to finish.

I was running my fastest, I could hear the crowds shouting my name, I was overtaking everyone as most people were tired but because of my slow start I had plenty of energy in store.

I was counting down the miles.  It wasn’t until I passed mile 25 that I felt my energy stores were slightly depleting but I kept pushing on until the finish line. I could see a lot of people struggling by this point, some people’s legs were buckling underneath them.

I crossed the finish line in 4.13hrs….I was buzzing from adrenaline, I had enjoyed the whole experience.

All I can say is WOW….what an amazing experience to run The London Marathon.

 

 

My Marathon Experience

london marathon 2014 With less than a week to go.  I have completed the training and am now at the tapering stage.  I feel everything has calmed down now as I prepare for the day.

The training has been especially tough in the last few weeks as I was increasing my long run to 20 miles.  I also added another mid-week training day to help me cope with the longer run at the weekend.  My weekly schedule for the last month was  6 or 8 miles on Tuesday and Thursday and 10 miles on Wednesdays.  I was then taking 2 days rest before my long run on Sunday.   My focus was getting more miles under my feet than speed and was now covering around 42-45 miles per week!

I planned  a 20 mile route  using mapmyrun.com which was quite hilly but had a flat finish along Lea Valley canal.   The first time I got a little lost and ended up doing nearly 22 miles.  I was quite wary so went out at a much slower pace.  I started to feel hungry halfway through and always carried a Lucozade energy bar with me so I ate that.  By mile 15 I was really tired but I still had a long way to go.  When I came off the canal, I only had a couple of miles to go so I kept plodding on.  Unbelievably in the last mile home I suddenly found some hidden energy.  Maybe it was relief of being nearly home.  I picked up my pace and even managed a sprint the last quarter mile. The second time I ran this 20 mile route I felt more confident.  I went out with a much better mindset to get stuck in and get the run done.  It was a much better run but I had completely run out of energy by the end.

Maybe I had gone out too fast or maybe it was because I didn’t have the Lucozade energy bar?  

GADE VALLEY HARRIERS 20 MILE  TRAINING RUN

gade valley

It was time for the final training run with  Gade Valley Harriers in Hemel Hempstead.   This time we were doing 20 miles!  I felt tired before we started the run and was cold and shivering.

The run always started along a canal but when I started the run I was still cold and my ankles were hurting which gave me a much slower start.   On the previous training runs the first hill I found pretty easy and wondered what the other runners were groaning about but this time it  was a real challenge.  I had no energy and struggled the steep climb. It was strange as I’d never felt like this before.  I also felt bloated as I’d been eating more carbs and a had large bowl of porridge which made me feel lethargic and caused me to get stomach cramps during the run.

Once I warmed up I felt a lot better, I met a guy who was also training for the London Marathon so we ran together.  As we approached mile 16 I was surprised how quickly the run had gone and I still had a some energy in store.  We ‘dug deep’, as they call it, and increased our speed till the end, pushing ourselves to the limit and the last few miles we were running at 8.50 min/miles!  I really don’t know where I found the energy especially with  how I was feeling at the start of the run.  It definitely makes a difference to find a running partner especially when you need that extra push.

When we arrived back, we were really pleased with our time until we realised we had gone the wrong way and missed a 3 mile loop out so we had only done 17 miles!!

I took this as a blessing in disguise as I then realised that I’d over trained in the last couple of weeks.  It was still a good run and we did some great speed work at the end.

With most training plans you increase the mileage then have an easy week.  I wasn’t taking that easy week.  A lesson to be learned.  Luckily my body only switched off on the last long run and I have managed to pick it up again through tapering.  I have gradually decreased my mileage but increased my speed to keep my fitness levels up.

Another learning curve was the large bowl of porridge in the morning.  As I mentioned in my previous blog, part of the training is the preparation for the day.  I have learned that my body prefers smaller meals  so I shall have a small bowl of porridge and take a small peanut butter sandwich to eat an hour or so before starting the Marathon.

MY FUEL PLAN FOR MARATHON DAY

Part of my training for the Marathon is trying to work out what you may personally need to fuel the 26.2 miles and this is what I feel will be good for me:

energy gel  lucozade bar

6.30 am    small bowl of porridge with fruit, almond milk and natural yoghurt.

9.00 am    small peanut butter sandwich and glucose/caffeine drink.

5 miles into race and every hour 1 energy gel

10 and 20 miles Lucozade bar

The London Marathon also provide you with Lucozade Energy drinks and gels and plenty of water along the route.

If you have enough glycogen stores in your body which can be topped up with glucose and carbohydrates they can sustain your energy for longer.

TAPERING

Now I am at the tapering stage and feel much better my runs have naturally got faster.   I have gradually cut my long runs down from 17 to 15 to 10 to 8 with midweek runs being 5 miles.  It feels strange to just run for 4 miles in the last week.

It is advisable to have a sports massage a couple of weeks before the marathon.  These can be very painful but definitely well worth it. I had a few niggles in my ankles as I have some shin splints which is why I’ve had a lot of pain during the long mileage.  I have now seen Amrit, my Sports Therapist who did some work on my legs which has definitely relieved the pain.

CARBO LOADING

carbsPart of  tapering and preparing for the London Marathon is Carb Loading.  I’m not a big fan of starchy carbohydrates so I eat plenty of fruit and vegetables but as I will be running 26.2 miles I feel it is important that I add in some starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes, wholegrain pasta and rice and wholegrain bread and whole oats.

Carbohydrates is the cleanest fuel our body uses to it is important to top up our stores beforehand.  In the last 72 hours it can be good to cut the protein down slightly so you are able to eat more carbohydrates.

The best way to get glycogen into your muscles is to eat little and often.  Our muscles can only store so much glycogen at a time otherwise it is stored as fat.

The day before the Marathon I plan to have a high carbohydrate meal around 5pm so I am not too bloated the next morning when I will start the day with a small bowl of porridge.

PACING

My only concern now is my pace.  I should by now have a pace but as it is my first time I am really unsure.  It is important that I don’t go out too fast and pace myself comfortably to last the 26.2 miles.

I do have a plan to start the race quite slow then increase slightly every 5 miles.

I have 3 goals, first is to complete the London Marathon, second is to complete in under 4.30hrs and third is complete in under 4hrs!!

THE CHILDREN’S TRUST

I will be running for The Children’s Trust and it’s stories like this that will inspire me when things get tough.

If you would like to make a donation you can easily through my fundraising page:- http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DavinaGutteridge1

My Marathon Experience

Time has really flown since my last Marathon Experience Blog.  I have really thrown myself into my training.

Since the Watford Half Marathon,  I increased my mileage to 17 miles which was a real challenge especially fighting against the weather.  My first 17 mile run I did one Sunday in very strong winds and by mile 10 I was very tired as not only was I trying to keep a good  running pace but I was having to use all my strength to run in a straight line.  By mile 13 things did start to ache but listening to music while running really does help to push you on.    The route I planned was quite hilly which is great training as although there won’t be hills at The London Marathon there will be more mileage.

DIET

healthy eatingPart of marathon training is a healthy balanced diet packed with protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates.  I must eat the right foods to repair my muscles and give me energy.   My weight has increased due to muscle growth but also if I have extra treats.  So just because I am training for the marathon doesn’t give me a chance to eat what I like because if I gain excess fat around the middle I feel bloated and lethargic.  I always try to follow the 80/20% rule as we all like the odd treat.

I try to eat 3 healthy meals a day and a snack.    Part of the training is preparing for the actual race day by trying different breakfasts.  It is important to fuel long runs.   I have found that a small bowl of porridge with fruit and a spoonful of greek yoghurt works for me a couple of hours before a long run.  My stomach can’t hold too much otherwise I feel bloated and can get stomach cramps while running.  I then aim to eat something with protein within 30 minutes of a long run. If I don’t feel hungry after a long run I enjoy a protein smoothie.  I have also had a wholemeal bagel with egg or peanut butter.

I’ve found that if I fuel my  long runs with a good breakfast such as porridge and a small meal afterwards of protein, good fats and carbohydrates then I am less likely to crave food later in the day as my body is satisfied.

I usually do my long runs on a Sunday and cook a roast dinner which also seems to satisfy me otherwise I feel hungry the day after.

Everybody is different and you have to do what’s right for you.

HYDRATION

It is extremely important to keep hydrated.  I am constantly drinking water or herbal teas so I am hydrated all the time and before a  long run.   I then carry a bottle of lucozade along with some energy gels for the extra glucose during a long run.

ashridge houseGADE VALLEY HARRIERS MARATHON TRAINING

It was time for the next training run with  Gade Valley Harriers in Hemel Hempstead.   This time we were doing 17 miles!   I felt good and was ready for the course.  I did well at the previous Hemel Hempstead 12 mile course.  I had also covered  two weeks of 17 miles in my own training so it was good to be running in a group.

I hadn’t really thought about a pace, I decided just to go with how I was feeling and breathing while I was running.  The most important tip is not to go off too quickly as you  want to try to save some energy for the final few miles.  Some parts of the run I was feeling good and running quite fast. There was a much bigger hill this time at mile 12 but I pushed on.  The weather was much better and the scenery was lovely which makes the run more pleasurable.  The photo is of Ashridge House in Berkhamsted which we ran past where, I believe where they filmed ‘4 Weddings and a Funeral’.

17 miles is such a big step from 13 miles.  I noticed more discomfort in my hips, knees and ankles.  I was fine until I hit mile 14 but we all were feeling the same and everybody is so supportive which really helps get you through till the end.

I was pleased when I finished as I had knocked 10 minutes of my previous time and finished in 2.40hrs.  I feel it really makes a difference running in a group.

THE CHILDREN’S TRUST

TCT 2 The following week I was back at The Children’s Trust for a challenging, undulating 18 mile course of mixed terrain of road, off road and uphill through a field!  They were using the same course as the 10 mile training run but this time we had to do 3 laps and a further stretch of road.   As I had done this route before it was great to compare how far I had come with my training.

At their last training run I really struggled but this time I was surprised how much easier I found it.  I ran the first couple of hours with Phillip Green, Britains Got Talent semi-finalist who made the run much more fun as we chatted along the way apart from when we hit the hills!  These were tough but as my fitness had improved so much I knew how to cope with them.

I managed to complete this course with some energy at the end in 2.52hr.

FOAM ROLLER

foam roller

As the mileage was increasing my muscles were tightening and I was really pleased I’d invested in a foam roller.  By lying on a foam roller y0u can self massage your muscles releasing any tension and toxins.  This can be very painful if the muscles are tight but the benefits you get are worth going through a little bit of pain.

 

Here is a very good link at releasing the IT Band using a foam roller.  The IT band is where most runners have tightness and can cause pain in the knee.  I also use the foam roller on my thighs, hamstrings and glutes.

It was then time to increase my mileage once again to 20 miles!

 

My Marathon Experience

childrens trust

Wow what a month it’s been!  My training schedule is going well, I go for a long run at the weekend which is gradually increased weekly and two mid week shorter runs of either 6 or 8 miles.  I am now at half a marathon level!

STRENGTH TRAINING  I have still continued my strength training a couple of times a week which I find really supports my running especially when tackling the hills.  I work my core muscles to support my back.  I focus mainly on my lower body including my glutes, quads and hamstrings  and incorporate some upper body exercises.

Running is great way to keep fit and with endurance running like the marathon it is important to build on your leg and core strength by adding a weights workout into your programme.  This can be done with weights or even using your own body weight.

SPORTS MASSAGE   As I was increasing my distance I noticed a few niggles so I booked myself in for a sports massage with my friend Amrit of AmritTandT who is kindly donating her sports massages as her donation to The Children’s Trust.

Sports massages are very important when you are pushing your body through a new training programme.  Sports massages help release tension and toxins from the muscles and preventing injury.  Even if you feel pain free a Sports Therapist will find knots and tension in your muscles that you didn’t realise you had.  Amrit found tightness in my calves, glutes, lower back and  IT band.  Amrit also advised that I invest in a foam roller which will help relieve the build up of tension.

THE CHILDREN’S TRUST TRAINING DAY

Marathon_training_day_group_shot

 

I was invited to The Children’s Trust hospital for a marathon training day.

 

We were given a tour of the hospital where we were shown different rehabilitation rooms for the children.  Seeing the Children’s Trust Hospital really inspired me more to push myself through my training and complete the 26.2 mile marathon.

We were then taken on a 10 mile run which was really tough.  This was a very challenging run as we were taken off road and uphill through a muddy field.  Trying to stop myself slipping in the mud whilst running up hill literally took my breath away.  I lost my breathing technique and didn’t think I was going to complete course.  I slowed down and regained myself, when my legs had recovered and my breathing settled I picked up my pace and completed the 10 miles.  At least the sun was shining.

It was a relief to arrive back at The Children’s Trust Hospital where we were given refreshments and advised on stretching techniques.  There was also a Sports Therapists who advised on movements I should be using when using a foam roller.  It was all very informative.

GADE VALLEY HARRIERS MARATHON TRAINING

I found a local club, Gade Valley Harriers in Hemel Hempstead that offers marathon training once a month.  The first one was a 12 miles, I was really nervous because I didn’t know the course and was worried about my previous long run with The Children’s Trust.  I decided to stay relaxed and listen to my breathing.   Despite the torrential rain and winds, I still enjoyed the run and was pleased at how I felt through the run and my pace.  It was great to get back to the clubhouse where we were given a cup of tea and a slice of cake to warm up.

WATFORD HALF MARATHON

IMG_0686 My next group run was the Watford Half Marathon.  This was my first organised, timed race so I was especially nervous.   There were over 1,500 runners.  The sun was shining as we made our start at 10.30am.  It is a slower start when you are racing with so many runners which is good because it helps keep your pace in check. We soon spread out and was able to find our own pace.

The route was through lovely countryside but extremely hilly so it was certainly a challenge.  They even had us running through  ankle deep puddles which made it difficult to run with soaking wet trainers.  I hit half way at 1.01 hr and really wanted to finish within the 2hr mark so I started picking up my pace.  As soon as one hill was tackled we approached another, they were endless but I kept pushing on.  With 3 miles to go and I hardly had any more power in my legs, it was countdown of the miles till the end.

As I approached the finish line I could hear them shouting 30 seconds left within the 2 hr mark.  I don’t know where I found the energy but I pushed through the pain to crossed the finish line in 1.59.43hr.  My legs felt as if they were going to buckle underneath me.

We were all given t-shirt and a medal.  When I looked later at the chip times I had actually completed the course in 1.57.24 hr.

I would definitely recommend anyone who is doing a marathon to do some group runs and even organised timed runs to get the experience of running with larger numbers.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be increasing my mileage as my next group run with Gade Valley Harriers in Hemel Hempstead is 17 miles!  Then there is another Children’s Trust training day of 18 miles.

I will let you know how I get on.

virgin money giving

MY MARATHON EXPERIENCE

IMG_0619     Davina with horns

WEEK 1

My first week I managed to get myself out running 4 times increasing it gradually to a 6.7 mile by Friday.    It was a bit cold but I was wrapped up with my thermal t-shirt and gloves.  Once you start running you don’t really notice the cold.  The mornings were dark but on my way home daylight was breaking through which felt good.  The energy that running gives you really sets you up for the day!

At the beginning of the week my legs were really aching as although I exercised most days, my body wasn’t used to running.   By Thursday the aches had passed so I was ready for my longer run on Friday.

My first attempt at 6.7 mile was tough.  I had planned my route but the hill was at the end of the route and I struggled but made it without stopping!

I went to my gym, Target Fitness on Saturday morning and saw the Gym Owner,  Gary Johnson who advised me  that I should only be running 3 times per week with two short runs and a long run at the weekend and gradually increasing the long run a mile per week.  He advised me to take my time and not to over do it.  The proper training would start in January 2014.

Another guy at the gym said I should have increase my mileage to 10 mile by January.   It is good to have goals through your training programme so I thought I would try to increase to 10 mile by the end of the year and also to be able to run up Cuffley Hill!

cuffley hill  This is the beginning of the hill.  You think it stops where you can see the top but then it goes on twice as long again!

WEEK 2

With daily life and activities it is hard to work to a strict timetable so.  This week I knew I would have time to do two short runs on Monday and Thursday and I decided to do my long run on the Tuesday as I was be able to run in day light.

It was foggy and icy in the mornings this week so I decided to wear my woolly hat.  I also noticed the dark mornings were dragging on as it was still dark when I returned home.

I did a 3 mile short run at a faster pace on Monday morning.  Then Tuesday, I decided to repeat the 6.7 mile again but this time I changed the route so the hills were in the middle.  And I rocked!!  The hill was tough but I took my time and  I even managed to sprint the last 1/4 mile home.  It was colder and I was pleased I wore my hat!

I had heard there would be lots of ups and downs through my training and I had experienced my first one.

I then did my third run on Thursday at a steady pace covering 4.5 mile.  This week I noticed I was gradually increasing my layers as it was getting colder!

On Sunday I was ready to increase my mileage so I attempted 8.7 miles.  It was challenging but I enjoyed it.  I felt I had planned my route really well with the hills in the middle.  I even managed to speed up at the end but the last 1/4 mile was tough as it is a slight incline and I was pleased to be back at the gym where I had started.  It was the first time I had run out in the rain, a friend had advised me to buy a cap as it would cover my face from the rain and I didn’t really notice the rain.

WEEK 3

My Pilates classes were a bit quiet as it was the last week of term but we had fun doing a Children’s Trust Sponsored Christmas Theme Pilates by wearing Father Christmas Hats or something on our heads during the class.   I played Christmas music during the class to get us in the festive spirit.  I also offered some mulled wine and mince pies for afterwards.  I actually made a total of 96 mince pies which were enjoyed all round!

IMG_0613IMG_0636  IMG_0617 IMG_0618  IMG_0620 IMG_0621 IMG_0625 IMG_0626 IMG_0628 IMG_0629 IMG_0630 IMG_0631 IMG_0632 IMG_0633 IMG_0634

This week I had a cold threatening so I took some lemsip and drank camomile tea with honey to soothe my throat.  It wasn’t going to beat me!

I had planned two short runs on Tuesday and Thursday morning and repeat the 8.7 miles on Friday when I could run in daylight.

Tuesday I did a 4.5 mile run with some faster intervals and it felt good.

Thursday a longer steadier run of 5.3 mile although I still put in some faster moments.  I really felt I was finding my running pace.

When I woke Friday morning I was not looking forward to my 8.7 mile run as I remembered how hard it was.  I also knew I wouldn’t be able to run till the afternoon which was a challenge already as I was used to running in the morning.  I had some whole oat porridge and warmed fruit in the morning to give me some carbs and a small lunch as I didn’t want to get the stitch.  I really didn’t know how I was going to feel.

It was 2.30pm by the time I got out on the run.  As I had been running a bit faster this week I thought I would up my pace slightly which actually helped me through the whole run as the hills were much easier and my pace was more steady rather then dragging my feet.  I even managed to speed up the last mile home and the last incline back to the gym.  I flew and I wasn’t really out of breath when I got back and I knocked 5 minutes off my time!

I can’t believe how much fitter I felt in 5 days when I did the 8.7 mile for the first time.  I felt that I must have had it all right…my pace and my breathing….now I was ready for the next level…10 miles!!

hi vis top 2     Arrived in the post on Saturday.  I had won a Virgin London Marathon Hi Vis Top for starting my fundraising.  I had   received an email in the week that this would be offered to the first 5000 runners who had started their fundraising.  I hadn’t really given it much thought until it arrived in the post.  I was really pleased as I never win anything and this would come in handy on my early morning dark runs.

WEEK 4

It was Christmas week and I’d had a couple of nights out at the weekend which I really felt on my Monday morning run.  It was nothing like the last 8.7 mile run I did.  I knew once I started the real training after New Year there wouldn’t be too much alcohol involved when socialising as I really felt it in my body.

Because I’d had a bad run on Monday I did another run on the Tuesday near the gym, around the canal where it is pretty flat followed by some strength training in the gym.

father xmas hat  This is the hat I wore for my Christmas Day run to get me in the festive spirit.  So I had challenged myself to do Cuffley Hill and to reach 10 mile by the end of the year.  I planned to do the 10 mile on Friday which would include the Cuffley Hill.  It would be my first time to complete Cuffley Hill so I decided to do a shorter run with it in first.  So Christmas morning I did a 5 mile including Cuffley Hill.   Cuffley Hill was tough, I didn’t think it was going to end, it just went on and on but finally I reached the top so I was pleased I had faced my first goal.

christmas onsie  I then came home and had a relaxing Christmas morning opening presents, eating mince pies and watching tv.  I had a lovely Christmas breakfast of scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and a bagel.

slasinger hat  This photo was taken after I’d returned from the 10.6 mile run as you can see I look a bit flushed.  I woke Friday morning feeling a little anxious.  The weather had been awful the night before with high winds and rain.  The rain had stopped but it was still windy.  I had a cup of tea and was going to make some porridge but a voice in my head was telling me must to get out there and complete it.  I was also worried in case it started raining again like the night before.  I decided to have my porridge when I returned so I had a banana to give me some carbs.  I knew I had ate well over the last couple of days so I wasn’t worried about burning out.

The run included two large hills, Cuffley Hill and Silver Street, Goffs Oak but there was also a lot of downhill to recover.  I took my time but kept a steady pace so I wasn’t dragging my feet. Three-quarters through I did start feeling tired but kept going.  Once I’d passed the second hill I knew I only had a couple of miles to go.   I still had some more energy to get me home.  I knew waiting me me as some warm porridge and a hot bath.

It was great to arrive home safely.  I had completed my second goal of 10 miles and I felt ecstatic but I was in need of a hot bath.

After every run I always make sure I have a good stretch, holding each stretch for at least 20-30 seconds.

I also feel that my Pilates classes are helping my running as my core is strong and I feel I can control my steps rather than stamping down which hopefully which help the impact going through my body.

This blog is mainly about my running programme but I am also doing some strength work on my legs which really does help to give you strength in your legs for running.

A good healthy diet is also important when training.  I follow a clean eating style of diet and eat healthy 80% of the time. I have also increased my carbs but choosing healthier ones such as whole oats, rye bread, sweet potato etc.

I will include more information in my blogs about my stretches, strength training and my diet.

I hope you are enjoying it and wish you a Happy New Year.  Now it’s time for me to relax for a couple of days.

MY MARATHON EXPERIENCE

virgin money giving    childrens trust

I have always been inspired by the people who run the Marathon especially last year when my friend Donna Lee ran.  After an emotional year with losing both parents, Donna found it difficult to train properly but still took the challenge of  the London Marathon.  It was a struggle and a very emotional experience for Donna but she power walked the 26.2 miles and completed it in 6.5 hours!

The Children’s Trust were looking for runners.

Taken from The Children’s Trust website….’We provide expert rehabilitation, education, therapy and care at our specialist centre in Tadworth, supporting children and families from across the UK. We also offer services in communities around the country and online support for parents. Please support us and make a difference to children with brain injury.’  

I have done voluntary work for The Children’s Trust before and earlier this year had the privilege of visiting the hospital in Tadworth.  I was amazed at how much the The Children’s Trust helped the children and also their families.  There were even special housing for the parents and local schools for siblings so all the family could be together through the rehabilitation.

After a couple of days of thinking and remembering how inspired Donna had made me feel I decided to take the plunge.  I signed up on 30th November 2013!

Before signing up I googled the Marathon training schedules and considered if I would be able to fit in the training.  I workout most mornings and weekends anyway so thought I would have time although I knew it would be tough.  I hadn’t done too much running lately so I knew I had to change my weight training workouts to running workouts but keep a couple of core and strength workouts in. 

I also realised that I would be training through the coldest months of the year.   Through my teanage years,  I owned my own horses and would have to look after them in all sorts of weather.  This was part of my life for 26 years so I thought if I could do that I’m sure I could train in the cold for only four months.

I checked out my running gear and  invested in some thermals, warm socks, gloves and hats and I was ready.

I went on my first run on Saturday, 1st December.  I only did 3 mile but it felt good and I was looking forward to starting my training.