We have had a lovely weekend. Paul visited this weekend and we decided to have a quiet weekend. Luckily the weather has been dry this weekend which meant we could get out and about.
Saturday we took a drive to Dunwich Heath where we enjoyed a stroll along the beach and the coastal path. It was cloudy but the sea was like a mill-pond. I don’t think we have ever seen it so still up there. We wrapped up well but to be honest it was much milder than usual for November.
Following our walk we drove to Saxmundham where we enjoyed a very welcome lunch before heading home.
We spent our time catching, chilling out and generally enjoying one another’s company. Richard cooked a lovely dinner Saturday evening and we enjoyed some lovely aperitif, sherry and wine which made for a very relaxed evening.
This morning the sky was clear and sunny, Paul had escaped for an early run (it was about 3 degrees outside) and returned in time for a full English. As it was nice we decided to make the most of the day before Paul had to leave and headed over to Frinton on Sea. After observing the 2 minute silence at 11 am we left the car then headed down to the beach to watch people walking their dogs and riding their horses along the shore.
As it was chilly the beach was pretty much deserted which was lovely as it felt like we had the place to ourselves.
After returning home for tea and biscuits it was time for Paul to head back to London, and as usual a weekend with friends comes to an end far too quickly.
We said our goodbyes than I ensured I made the most of the weather and got my New Balance trainers out of the cupboard and went for a run.
Following our run on Friday I noticed that the leaves on the ground made the terrain a little slippery so I decided to switch to the New Balance trainers as they have much more grip.
It was chilly but I wore my long sleeve running Run Breeze top which was more than enough protection and got into my stride.
I enjoyed the run and my pace was good so I mentally set myself a route and decided to keep going until I reached 5K. This is the first 5K I have run in a while and it felt good to reach that virtual goal.
All in all I am feeling much better and am glad I am back into the running. It’s also nice not to be training for anything as it ensures there is no pressure or plan. I will get some races booked so I have goals to work to but for now I am happy to go out, run, switch off the head, switch on my legs and enjoy the me time out on the road.
All in all a lovely autumnal weekend.
Having completed my correspondence, the bits and pieces around the house and helping Richard unpack the groceries I noticed I was feeling better this morning and decided that as Richard wanted to tidy up the front and back of the house, this would allow me a window to go for a run, so without hesitation I took it.
This is my first proper run in about two weeks as I haven’t run since I fell ill during our break to Luxembourg. I have had a bit of rubbish still sat on my chest and decided it was best not to push myself too far for fear of making myself ill again. It’s also gotten colder and damper and this only aggravates my asthma.
Any I got out today, it was still, sunny but 12 degrees and there was a breeze in parts but nothing too major.
I must have looked a site though as I was running with three devices strapped to me today. I had my replacement Garmin to test as I haven’t run since it arrived. I had my iPhone running the new Nike+ Running app as I have not tried that since the iOS7 upgrade AND I ran with a Polar FT2 Heart Rate Monitor which I have been asked to review for The Running Bug.
Amazingly all that tech didn’t slow me down or confuse me but I must admit it did take a while to find a satellite on my new Garmin and the Polar took a bit of getting used to but I got on with the run and didn’t let the technology distract me.
I ran for 4K as I didn’t want to push myself too far on my first outing in a while and was pleased with my pace. I got back into the form and pace quite quickly and it felt (at the beginning) that I hadn’t missed any running at all. Wearing my Royal Parks Half Marathon t-shirt helped though as it reminded me of my fantastic achievement at the beginning of October and what I am capable of.
The run did wonders for my chest, it feels clearer than it has for week and my head feels much clearer too – I have had a week of high volume stress so this has helped blow the cobwebs away.
As I said I was happy with my pace but didn’t want to got too mad on my first outing in a while – I did start to feel my legs get a little heavy but I persevered until I got to the 4K marker then had a decent stroll back to the house to cool off.
I am so happy to be back running and as I have the winter gear out (I went out in compression shorts and top under my normal kit today), I know that I am well protected from the elements.
Look out for the Polar review when it’s published on The Running Bug.
I woke up following yesterdays half marathon feeling a bit tender in my Sartorius (upper inner thigh) and had a slight twinge in my left ankle but felt ok otherwise.
I was a bit stiff getting around but the advice of some friends and reading up on this has helped.
I had an easy start to the day (booked the day off) and after breakfast headed out for a 10 – 15 minute run.
Don’t worry I am not mad – this wasn’t any strenuous – it was simply a way to ensure that the muscles I used yesterday got some heat and blood pumping back into then. I felt ok with this leisurely jog but I was sweating like a loon when I got back.
Afterwards I had a soak in a cool bath before getting on with the rest of my day.
This will be the last run with my current Garmin Forerunner 210 as it has been playing up for a while (and I only got it in June). Basically the damn thing refuses to switch off. It takes several attempts before it manages to successfully.
I wrote to Garmin and there must be a known error as there was no quibble (after confirming my watch was less than a year old) and today they have sent me details to send my watch back for a new device to be sent to me.
At least it held up for yesterday’s race around the Royal Parks
So today was the day and what a glorious day – the weather was very good and we were treated to a spectacular autumnal day.
I was more than a little stressed/worried en route to the bag check but there was still time for Richard and I to stop and take some photos of the phenomenal sunrise.
I joined the 2:30 group and was worried it may take 3 hours to get to the end because of how long ago I started to taper but once I got started I needn’t have worried.
The atmosphere and the buzz of the crowd really do help carry you but I was sensible enough to ensure that I did not run too fast and that I maintained a good pace.
I was ahead of my average pace for most of the race but was sensible with my splits and ensured that I had a couple of gels at the 50 minute marks. That and the ample supply of water and Lucozade, I was more than hydrated and fuelled enough for the run.
Richard and I stayed in town to enable us to be there in time for the start of the race (bag drop was from 7:30 am). We walked down from the Hilton in Queensway and made our way to the baggage area. Shortly after that we met Paul and then briefly Em and her boyfriend Liam.
We dispersed at that stage and that was the last time Paul and I saw everyone again. We didn’t get to catch Enda or Faergal at the start and by the time Paul and I completed our warm up (courtesy of the Royal Army) – it was already time to get going.
Well it wasn’t – we queued for a final pee stop but it took 30 minutes to get to the toilets. That’s my only compliant this year as I missed the start as I had just got to the loo. That’s not a big problem when 16,000 people as my group didn’t actually cross the line until 9:30 anyway.
There were runners of all shapes and sizes and as usual they were all very friendly.
The route was brilliant and I was privileged enough to run on roads that are usually chock full of cars in London. Running over Westminster Bridge in the road, down the centre of The Mall towards Buckingham Palace, up through Whitehall etc – all made for a very inspiring and fun race.
Here is the full race route – how many famous sights can you name?
I wasn’t completely ready for such a grand crowd but boy did it help! For the first time I had my name on my running top (thanks to the British Heart Foundation sending me the letters) and it was fun to run and hear your name. I tried to thank everyone who called out my name (Ian Waite from Strictly Come Dancing called out my name as I crossed the finish ) but to be honest I did concentrate a lot and didn’t hear everyone.
I have to say thank you though to:
- The blonde lady on the Embankment who gave me a very loud cheer and a smile
- The guy by Embankment bridge who shouted “go on my son” and as I turned to thank him, he winked at me
- The support team from the British Heart Foundation – I have never given so many high fives!
- All the other charity supporters who were great at getting you motivated
This really made a huge difference and I spent most of the run with a smile on my face.
I didn’t start to feel uncomfortable until about the 8 mile marker but to be honest it was nothing I couldn’t handle and even though my mid run maths was a bit dodgy I was determined not to stop running, not to walk and to do as best I could.
I was a little annoyed by tourists and Londoners who insisted on crossing in front of the runners (thanks for that) and by those who chose to walk whilst not moving to the side of the tracks but that’s all part of racing I guess.
I did set RunKeeper which (even though I didn’t think it did), actually did a great job of tracking my run and uploading my information to the web live. The Royal Parks App only seemed to work for a while but as Richard said this morning it had to fail given how it had to broadcast live updates of 16,000 runners!
I did see one celebrity – Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim) was decked out in his tracksuit heading towards the baggage area whilst smoking a cigarette – don’t you love superstar DJs!
I want to say a big thank you to Richard for supporting me through all this and for the late dinners and all the rescheduling of our weekends we have done to enable me to fit in all of my training. After all I even did some training in Vancouver! I could not have done it without his support. Richard has taken some brilliant photos from the day and even though I didn’t see him and Paul in the crowd on the home straight, he did manage to capture my progress perfectly. I love my baby x
I also want to thank Paul for all his training advice and support, for coaching me through my running and joining me on our odd lunchtime in London. Thank you so much Paul you are a star!
Thanks have to go to WalkJogRun whose Beginner Half Marathon training plan I used to get me up to speed and to the guys from Full Potential who were brought in by the British Heart Foundation to help the Heart Runners train efficiently and effectively.
And of course thanks to all of you for your support, your encouragement, for sticking with me and following my journey on the blog.
And last but not least thanks to everyone who has sponsored me in my efforts to raise as much as I could for the British Heart Foundation. There is of course still time to sponsor me but thank you all for helping me break through my target and raise a massive £1,365.65! Thank you all.
Here is a selection of photos Richard captured today
That’s it my final training run before Sundays Royal Parks Half Marathon.
The run went well and I tried my damnedest to run slow – I managed to slow down but it was hard. This is now a worry for Sunday as I need to make sure I don’t hit the start at race pace and over do it… I must slow down, I must slow down!
So no more training updates. I am not putting on my shoes or kit again until Sunday…
There’s no going back now!
Please remember I am running in aid of the British Heart Foundation and this is my first ever half marathon. Thanks to all my new sponsors and if you are yet to sponsor me… there is still time! Please visit my online sponsorship page to donate. Thank you.
Well the title says it all. It has taken a while to get back into the swing of things and I felt up to a run this morning.
I started my tapering early for the Royal Parks Half Marathon (next weekend!) and continue with this as there is no point in pushing myself too much.
It feels good to be running on my old stomping ground again but to be honest I would even swap the country lanes of England to run around Stanley park at dawn every day
I was starting to worry about whether I am up to the task of running the Half Marathon next weekend but I know that I managed 7K in Canada without worrying about it and much the same today. I only did 5K but to be honest with the jet lag I think this is sensible as my headache was a bit painful when I finished running.
I reminded myself it’s all about my mental state, I am sure my body is more than up to the task with all the training I have put in over the summer. I also remind myself how happy I was to complete 10 miles and that today’s 5K was a challenge for me a little over a year ago so I have nothing to worry about.
It has come to my attention though that the UK is much cooler than when we left a couple of weeks ago and I can start to feel the cold air filling my lungs on the run. I have to get used to the before the race as it starts at 9 am so it won’t be a particularly warm start to the day.
I am pleased with todays run and feel ok considering. I was worried as my knees were really sore on the plane as I could not get comfy – and it’s a fairly long flight.
I wanted to run more in Canada but the circumstances didn’t allow for it. It took Richard and I a while to get used to the time difference and it was the final full day in Vancouver when I felt alert enough to get out and hit the streets.
I chose not to run in Tofino as it’s very rural, lots of winding roads, lots of lake and precarious sea-side paths, not to mention the presence of Cougars, Wolves and Bears to watch out for.
Richard and I walked for miles whilst we were away and although we didn’t cycle in the end (I wanted to enjoy the views and not worry about focussing too hard on cycling) we did get around. On one day we walked to Davie Street, back to Canada Place and along the harbour before reaching Stanley Park to walk the entire perimeter along the Pacific Coast (9k) – in total I worked out we walked about 21k that day. With all the other stops, look outs, hills and trails we completed I am sure I covered more than enough to make up for not running!
I have a few more days off before returning to work so I will put in at least another run before the Half Marathon next weekend. My fundraising is going very well but there is still time to sponsor me if you have not done so already. The British Heart Foundation do such excellent work, anything you can donate will be gratefully appreciated by me and by them. Thank you.
I was determined to get another run in this weekend as I didn’t run during the week due to work and headed out to do an easy paced 5K.
I decided nearly mid way through the run not to turn around but to head into the country trail, across the farmland, through the wood and then home. This was a great idea as it really did shield me from the wind.
It didn’t however shield me from the ploughed up fields or the manure that was being cultivated into the ground which I very nearly slid on mid run.
I was going to stop to snap the scene as some of the fields have been bailed and it looks very picturesque but I decided to keep going.
It was a bit tough and boggy in places and now I understand why parts of the meadow have boardwalks as it was completely boggy today.
I also noticed a lot of activity from the squirrels in the wood this morning and spotted that the Oaks had started to drop their acorns due to the high wind. I had to be very careful as the squirrels were dashing about the place collecting and burying their nutty stash for the winter.
I feel ok considering I just rain two days in a row but they were easy 5K’s and I have had a quiet weekend at home.
Richard and I are both packed and now have to do final checks before we head off on our Canadian adventure tomorrow.
Don’t worry, the lumo Lunarglides have been packed and I plan to try to get in at least one run in Vancouver (maybe Stanley Park) and another when we are in Tofino on Vancouver Island.
I hope to keep the blog up to date when I am away but I am not promising it as we are both looking forward to very relaxing break.
Whilst I am away why not sponsor me? Just after we return from Canada I will be running the Royal Parks Half Marathon in London (my first half marathon) in aid if the British Heart Foundation. I would be so very grateful if you were able to sponsor me and all my running efforts. Thank you.