I'll be running the 2014 Brighton Marathon for Burgh House on 6th April! I am raising funds to pay for new educational resources, and renewing the displays at Burgh House, to keep the museum relevant and engaging for everyone.
I'll be blogging about my training (including hill training on Hampstead Heath!), nutrition (and how the wonderful Buttery cafe food will fit into this), and of course plans for work we'd like to carry out in the museum.
As my training runs are increasing in length, so too is my
appetite! Whilst I’m attempting to keep my diet healthy, I am craving carbs and
craving cakes, to be more specific! Fortunately the Burgh House Buttery is in
plentiful supply. YUM
My longest run to date has been 12.2 miles, which was a hard
slog! I split the run into two 6.5 mile loops, stopping for 5 minutes in the
middle to eat an energy gel and drink some water. I have only just started
using gels, as I haven’t really run long enough distances to warrant taking
them before now. Fuelling during runs is completely new to me, and I’m also
only just appreciating how much healthy eating impacts the way I feel and how
well I run too.
I recently purchased EasyNutrition for Runners,
which I’m looking forward to devouring (pun intended hehe). Interestingly,
ultra marathoner Scott Jurek advocates eating ‘real’
food during long runs, and has also adopted a completely plant based diet which
he credits for his amazing endurance and running ability. I have just ordered
Scott Jurek’s book Eat and Run, so am
looking forward to absorbing that for some tips and inspiration.
The marathon is just 65 days away! Eek. To prepare, I will
be running the Hampton Court half marathon on
Sunday 23rd February, which I’m really looking forward to! I’m going
to run it as part of my training rather than as a race, so will just aim to get
round comfortably and pain free. I’m still having some knee issues but have
been seeing a brilliant London based osteopath who has
pinpointed the problem and has been working towards correcting it.
If you’d like to come and cheer me on at the Hampton Court
half please do! And please do consider sponsoring me for the Brighton Marathon
in April! I’m running to raise money for Burgh House, a brilliant, free to
enter historic house and museum in the heart of beautiful Hampstead. To donate
click here. Every pound makes a huge difference!
I am now in week two of marathon training! This is a frightening/exciting prospect for two reasons. Firstly, it reminds me that at the end of this week, there are just 16 weeks left until I run 26 miles. Eek! Secondly, every week I'll be running further than I've ever run before! From now on, my Sunday mornings will involve running a mile further than the previous week, which kicked off with a 6 miler last Sunday.
I have only run 7 miles in one go once before, but due to some difficult lessons feel that I now know (generally) how to prepare for these longer runs.
Here is an example of my most difficult running lesson:
I won a competition last year to take part in the Adidas Thunder Run 2012 as part of the Womens and Mens Running magazine team. I entered the competition because I love running in the countryside, and the course looked beautiful! My team mates were all so nice, but I don't think I had any idea how hard it was going to be running at least 3 10ks in 24 hours. It turned out much harder than I thought. I had run a few 10ks previously using no training plans, and had just run a rather muddy hilly cross country 10k that I had not prepared for. Little did I know, the ache in my ankle was achilles tendinopathy, which morphed from a niggle into excrutiating pain during my second 10k of the Thunder Run - that I ran in the middle of the night. I liked the prospect of running at night (there is a video on the internet somewhere that attests to this) but as soon as I started the lap my hips ached, my legs felt like lead and my achilles hurt like anything.
Needless to say I fell over at around mile 4, cutting my knee open (I still bear the scar) and crying with frustration more than pain. I hobbled back and finished the lap in 1:20 hrs. My team mates were all consistently running 40-50 minute 10ks so this was quite embarrassing. And it was all my fault, I only had myself to blame for poor preparation.
The lesson: learn how to prepare for long runs!
After this experience (which I am grateful for-thank you Women's Running!) I consulted a physiotherapist, had a sports massage and 6 months off running, then researched getting strong and organising my training. Following the Hal Higdon plan, I feel I'm being sensible. I've actually stepped down to a Novice 1 plan, which is an even better idea for me, as it has taken the frequency and distance of my runs up just a little notch. A managable, safe, injury free notch. In addition to a sensible plan (indeed a plan!) I have decided to schedule in regular sports massages for my knotty legs and tight calf muscles, have bought a foam roller and am still endeavouring to factor in strength training in the shape of squats, lunges, planks whenever I can.
I had a mini lightbulb moment during my 6 mile run on Sunday when I got half way round the circuit and realised that I felt really good. Nothing hurt. I wanted to continue running. And I was enjoying myself! I got quite emotional.
I'll never be a brilliant runner, and don't think that I'll ever run 40 minute 10ks like my Thunder Run team mates, but with any luck and a lot of preparation, I'll be able to run the marathon.
Ah yes, training. It isn’t going quite as I’d planned but it
is going, which is the main thing!
I didn’t end up running the Richmond half in September, as
my knee was still giving me problems. Fortunately the osteopath seems to have
sorted it out, so I’m building longer distances back up slowly. I ran the
Southend 10K on Sunday 6th October, and got a personal best by 8
seconds (which may be a small achievement but still worthy of celebrating!), running it in 55.31 minutes. I had it on good authority that this race was
really flat, so was fairly confident about it despite the fact that I hadn’t
been able to run over 4 miles for a good few weeks.
I’m using Hal Higdon’straining
programmes for some guidance, and am on week 8 of the 12 week Spring Training Novice planwhich
will be followed by the Marathon Novice 2 18 week training plan at the
beginning of December. The Hal Higdon programme calls for a half marathon on the weekend of 1st/2nd February, so if you know of any in the London/South East region let me know!
This week I’ve decided to go back to running with the
Victoria Park Harriers, and will aim to take part either in the weekly speed
session or long run. I joined over a year ago, but have only been a handful of
times because I am supremely lazy and will give myself any excuse not to go
running for an hour in the evening! I really enjoyed the sessions I did take
part in, especially the friendly atmosphere, camaraderie and support as well as competitive edge!
group running providing great motivation, it also provides a safe way to train. I
often run alone, but have been a bit wary about going as the days draw in, as a
female runner was recently attacked in the park near my home on a dark early
morning. This has made me consider safety when training much more seriously, prompting me to go back to the Harriers once a week, take advantage of light weekend
runs, but also to remember these important tips:
·Stay visible with high vis/reflective clothing
·Stick to busy or street lit paths if I need to run alone after dark
To finish off, here is a picture of me (in the orange t shirt) before the Southend 10K! I ran with some members of the Rayleigh Road Runners, including my dad (with the yellow t shirt on) who ran his first 10K in 1:03.51, which is brilliant!