Marathon Training and a 10k Race

So I did my 5-6 mile treadmill run today! Wooo!

Turns out I look really attractive after an hour on the treadmill! (NOT). And this is AFTER the splash of cold water to the face, and 2 face wipes .. I did take a picture before that, too, but decided that putting my VERY red and sweaty face up on here and giving you guys no option but to look at it was a bit harsh!

I may or may not have set the wrong alarm last night, and woken up 20 minutes after I was supposed to have left for the gym. Boo. This meant that as punishment I got to lug my entire gym kit (along with my usual big heavy metal bike lock, work stuff, and lunch) all the way to work with me on the bike! The hills were OODLES of fun. As was the wind. My quads love me right now.

You might sense some sarcasm 😀

To be fair, cycling home after my run this evening (the gym is about 1.2/1.3 miles from home, so I had 6 miles to cycle to the gym from work and then a mile and a bit to get home afterwards) was extremely tough, and I probably would have struggled if I’d run this morning as planned! Better to struggle a mile from home than 7, right!?

On a more positive note (or rather, on another positive note, given that despite running at 6pm rather than 7am, I still got my run in!) I got a great deal on an awesome marathon nutrition pack from High5 recently. It’s a fun little box full of awesome running goodies (see the picture above), designed to get you through your entire marathon, as well as your pre-race fuelling and recovery afterwards. It includes:

It’s awesome! And the best bit is that it’s all assorted flavours (unlike the usual multipacks of gels etc), so I get to try out all kinds of things! I already have 2 tubes of the Zero electrolyte tablets (the pink grapefruit ones are my favourite), because they fizz up and turn the water funky colours and taste like Refreshers – winning – but the rest of the stuff is completely new, and I’m excited to test it over the next few months!

As (briefly) mentioned, I’ve entered the Bushy Park 10k race this Sunday:


This is the one and only 10k race I’ve done so far, and my current PB (which I got this time last year) was 1:02:47. I managed it with fantastic support from Mum (who inspired me to keep pushing by making it look effortless) and Dad (who was an absolute hero and held back to run with me the whole way, encouraging me when I wanted to stop). I think this race is going to be quite nostalgic, as silly as it sounds, as it marked the beginning of my running journey. It was my first ever race, and the furthest I’d ever run at the time. It’ll be interesting to see how fast I can finish it without the help from Mum and Dad! (I’ll be thinking of you guys!)

In an ideal world, I’d love to cut it down to sub-1hr, but I think I’m looking at 1:01:xx. To be honest, anything under 1:02:00 would suit me just fine. I’ve tentatively pencilled in another couple of 10ks (also Bushy, as it’s a nice location, has pretty scenery and offers a nice flat course) over the next few months, so I’ll have plenty of opportunities to improve. Maybe sub-1hr should be an end-of-2013 goal.

The thing is, whilst I’m a lot fitter than I was last year, the lack of running I’ve done recently has made me feel a lot less prepared than I’d have liked. The cycling has helped with breathing/heart rate, and I can maintain a faster pace over 5k, but I’ll have to wait and see whether my legs can cope with upping the speed for this distance. A sub-30 minute 5k does suggest that I shooould be able to wangle a sub-1hr 10k, but have I trained enough to get there this time round?

I guess the torrential rain they’ve forecast is a pretty good incentive to run faster ..



30 things you never hear runners say

devonThere are some really beautiful places to run in Devon .. Wish I was there!

I was browsing the Running Bug recently and found the following article, which I found quite funny – 30 things you never hear runners say:

1. I hope there are lots of over-friendly dogs out on my run today!

2. I’m so glad I had that burger before my run.

3. I wish all runs were uphill.

4. My shorts are just too short (men).

5. I’m waiting for it to start raining so I can go out on my run.

6. I don’t care that I didn’t get a PB – it’s all about the experience.

7. I just love the muscly calves that running has given me (women).

8. Ooh, let’s take the stairs.

9. No, I couldn’t possibly manage another piece of chocolate.

10. Oh I’m so glad I’m injured so I can take some time off.

11. My shins never hurt.

12. I find my foam roller so relaxing.

13. I’m so flexible – I can touch my toes AND put my head on my knees.

14. ‘Run Forrest, run!’ Bravo. What a witty and thoughtful observation.

15. I’m so glad (insert rival’s name here) beat me today, he/she deserved it!

16. I don’t need a new pair of trainers.

17. Let’s skip running today and watch football.

18. I can run in any old shoe.

19. I’m not hungry.

20. Lycra’s for losers.

21. Running is bad for your knees.

22. I love it when cars get really close to me when they go past.

23. I hate my slender toned body. Now I can wear skinny jeans *sigh*.

24. I always feel so depressed after a run.

25. I think I will leave my watch at home today and just guess how long I’ve run for.

26. I only run to keep fit for my race walking career.

27. I have a mental map of all the public bathrooms within 10 miles of my home (though it’s true).

28. I’m looking forward to hitting the wall at mile twenty.

29. I’m looking forward to mile twenty so I can take my next energy gel .. Yum.

30. I’m one hundred percent fit for this race, my training couldn’t have gone better.

I’d have to agree with the comments and add:

31. I don’t mind it when a group of people blocks the pavement so I have to run around them onto the busy main road.

What would your friends never hear YOU say?

Pain and Suffering

Today, I stumbled across a brand new 10k/10mile race, and I’m not sure what to think of it. On one hand, it looks quite .. well, not fun, but maybe satisfyingly challenging!? And my stubborn, competitive side is trying to make me focus on how awesome it would feel to cross the finish line. On the other hand, the name seems pretty apt, and I think you’d have to be nuts to even consider it.

Maybe I’m just nuts.

The 10k race is The Suffering, and the 10 mile version is the Pain and Suffering. Whilst by the names alone, neither of these sound worth going anywhere near, part of me is half considering it. Realistically,  reading through the obstacles, I’d probably get a mile in and want to go home! 

The legendary Rockingham Castle holds host to its first bout of Suffering in June 2013. The grounds boast vicious terrain, including hills, valleys, mud, water, and nettles, natural and definitely unnatural obstacles including the Land Rover Experience course, The Gauntlets and The Killing Zone guaranteed to make the soul despair.’
When put like that .. yeah, I probably wouldn’t last ten minutes. But imagine if I did! Whilst tough runs can be physically and mentally draining and make you feel like curling up in a ball and never moving again, getting through those sorts of experiences is SO rewarding. My 16-miler was the worst (sporting) experience of my life, but I felt almost hyper once I had showered and curled up on the sofa in a big slouchy jumper with a mug of hot chocolate and a satisfying ache to .. well .. my entire body.
But this one does look excruciating!

Check out a ‘taste’ of the obstacles:

  • The Press: Straight off the bat we get you on your knees, crawling through the mud. A little audience participation here as your friends, family and total strangers pelt you with wet sponges in an area designed to make you an easy target.
  • The HolHollHollow: The first of our water obstacles.
  • The Tunnel: A modest bridge you would normally be encouraged to pass over. Where would be the stinking mud in that. Mind out above you though because there might well be some gunge coming your way.
  • The Training Gauntlet: this figure of 8 in a deep set bowl is here to test you. Visibility might be an issue. Don’t expect to be able to move freely.
  • Valley Run: Steep muddy banks are the name of the game here. Try to stay upright as we send you darting in and out. Watch your footing this is not the time or place for speed.
  • Engineered Suffering: We are not unveiling these obstacles just yet. These are our flagship obstacles. Designed and constructed by engineers who also compete. You will not be able to prepare for these.
  • The Gauntlet: We’re entering 4×4 territory now; this is a ¼ mile of hell. Steep banks litter the landscape, it’s uneven under foot. It’s slippery, water logged and we’re going to chuck in a few nasty surprises. How’s your arm strength, fancy picking up something large and uncomfortable. Now you have to take this over, through, under everything this section throws at you. If you get to the end and you don’t have it, we’ll send you back to the beginning.
  • The Ford: This is the second of our water tests. speed may be your enemy here.
  • The Field Traverse: Barbed wire lines this narrow stretch. Don’t expect to be able to move quickly here.
  • The Nets: This isn’t your everyday set of cargo nets. You’re the meat in the sandwich and the nets are the bread. There’s no quick way through this little beast.
  • The Ponds: Water obstacle number 3. You are going in! Beware though it’s not just water here, there will be a special little something here to make it a little more challenging ;)
  • If you run around Rockingham you’ll know about Rockingham Hill. Many an over confident runner has fallen foul. Of course this isn’t all we’re going to ask you to do. Oh, and you’ll have to repeat this little stretch, on the bright side you get a lovely view of the castle. On the down side your hyperventilating may spoil the ambience.
  • The Assault course: We couldn’t leave this out, tyre runs, A-Frames, cargo nets, crawl tunnels, we will of course have a special little something in there for you too.
  • An obstacle race wouldn’t be an obstacle race if it didn’t have a big wall, but or a sequence of killer walls.
  • The finish: You’ll be the happiest person alive when / if you make it to the finish and we’ll have your goody bag waiting for you. Get your photo taken before getting changed, don’t worry all the photos are free; just like us on Facebook and we’ll send them over to you.

.. Yeeeah, maybe not!