Steph's London Marathon Training 3/2/15

Is it really the beginning of Feb? I promised I would start this blog ages ago but like everything I am a professional procrastinator and very good at leaving everything till the last minute.

People have often asked me why I’m putting myself through the pain of running a Marathon – there’s really only one simple answer to that question. “Because I can!”  Dad and so many others like him who couldn't / can’t catch their breath would give anything to be out in the fresh air, wind in their face seeing the sights of London. Dad especially was a very keen walker, having walked the 3 peaks and many long, long walks with mum and their friends. He was never a runner but I know he would be super proud of us running!

 I've watched the London Marathon for 34 years (many times on a Sunday morning with my mum) and even now we always call each other to ensure the other is watching. I've always said “One day I’ll do it”, so here I am, aged 42 (25 stage age) with my wonderful hubby by my side (well he’ll be gone as soon as the gun goes) in year 35 doing it with my mum watching from the sidelines (though I think she’d rather be sat watching it on the TV at home as she’s not keen on crowds!)

Chris and I have been rejected from the Marathon at least 3 times through the ballot. This time I wasn’t messing about, I had a bee in my bonnet about raising money in Dads memory and so went straight to the charity relating to his condition, told them his story and within a day had a phone call from them asking me to join them! AARGH, reality sets in – do I actually have to run 26.2 miles, can I possibly raise that amount of money? To make it worse Chris then piped up that he wanted to do it too, so we went back to the charity again and they asked him to join the team too – fantastic news, only double the pledge needed!

 I started my official training plan beginning of Jan and am doing ok - sticking to it - not sure about this tempo run / hill run / steady run / easy run / marathon pace run malarkey! I only have one pace ( slow) and I'm good at it - well, when I say good I actually mean I can keep going slowly. I'm hoping that living in Heanor (at the top of a hill) means that I do hill running without even realising! 

I started the training last summer, quickly ran into trouble and did my knee in walking the dog! God knows how I did it – just twisted funny I think! Went to decathlon and bought a knee brace, total waste of money, as were the trainers from there as a couple of weeks later I found myself lying on the table at the Physio about hitting the ceiling as she "manipulated" my leg. Told then I needed support trainers due to my obvious overpronation!

Cue trip to Derby Runner. Felt like a total amateur (I am but they didn't need to know that). I asked them if I could go on their running machine to have my gait analysed, to which the owner replied (with half an eye on the World Cup) that there was no need as I obviously overpronate! He wasn’t even looking!!! I then insisted as was well riled!  He then went on to say that I needed at least a size 7.5 (I’m a 6) otherwise I would lose my toenails. I didn’t really want to have boats for trainers so I said I'd have a 7, tried lots on that he brought out, asked his advise which were the best, he couldn't really give me an answer, said they were all much of a muchness so I chose the prettiest! Did I live up to the stereotype he expected me to be, you bloody well bet I did, and I won't be going back there, what a total a******! 


After some more manipulation and lots of cash with the Physio, took my new runners in to show her like a good girl and she said I'd chosen well (think she thought they were pretty too). She signed me back as safe to run and I was very tentative at first as was so scared to injure myself again.

Had signed up to do a 10k mud run (extreme obstacle course) with 2 of my best friends, my sister in law and brother in law so needed to train for that. Dilemma: do I wear my pretties or my crap decathlon trainers which don’t do my knee any favours? Decided on my pretties and got round no probs with one of my best friends Deb – total star, she went through with it and it was really tough, thought her hubby was going to kill me at one point as I saw her go head over heels (that’s the polite way of putting it) from the top of a very high cargo net to the bottom! My God I thought she’d done herself some serious damage, but she kept on like a trooper and though the icy cold water took our breath away and we had mud and twigs in our pants we made it though black and blue! The next day I thought (and looked) like I’d been in a car crash! To make things worse I put my pretties in the washing machine and ruined one of them - nooooooooooooooo! Gutted! Somehow one of the backs wasn’t right and when I was running it felt like I was running out of my right foot, I developed some foot pain as a result ( plantar fasciitis or something like that)  took me a while but I found the exact same pair £30 cheaper online and my new pair arrived just before Christmas, phew! And we're back in the game!

Did a few runs before Christmas and over the Christmas period, no one really out, made me feel good to be running, though wondered why I was the only mug doing so when I should have been wrapping Christmas presents or something normal! God I'm slow, Chris is running so much further and faster. I'm following the Intermediate official VLM training plan, not because I am an intermediate but because the beginner seemed a bit easy at the start (famous last words...)!

My only other ever attempt at a long distance run was the Robin Hood half marathon in 2008, intending to finish in around 2.20 but I picked up an injury and lay on my back at 4 miles with St. John ambulance massaging my calf, not pretty, a tad embarrassing and I hobbled round in 2 hrs 42 powered by sheer bloody mindedness. Hobbled for months afterwards, I really did some damage but I don't like quitting!

Started my running plan Jan, snow meant the treadmill which is just soul destroying, felt like a hamster (though not as fast!) and found myself watching some random man on the cross trainer in front of me, thought I'd watch his time countdown instead of my own hour and would walk a bit when he stopped, I did, 45 long bloody minutes later, jeez ! Needless to say only ran just over 5 miles on the cross trainer, did a few weights and came home, not very motivated at all! 

I started swimming a few weeks ago with my good friend Lorna, didn't expect to but we smashed 50 lengths at our first attempt - Lorna is definitely good for my motivation, she doesn't let me rest long - 64 length last week (1 mile) using swim tag ( measures your time, lap time, distance etc).

Feb 1st

Check me out – 12 mile run! Had a carb gel after just over an hour (Chris told me I needed one) and decided to keep running as I was “drinking” it – very comical, very sticky, goes everywhere – good job no lorries came by kicking up dust otherwise I’d have looked like I’ve been down t’pit! Have decided what they taste like after 6 miles thinking about the disgusting feel of it in my mouth – flavoured phlegm, this one was a particularly disgusting pink grapefruit flavour – nice! Have I really got to have them when I’m doing the long distances? – think I need to taste the lucozade ones – these definitely make me gag!

Feb 2nd

66 length swim (1650 metres) – getting stronger – felt my stamina was better today, breathing better too – even managed a few sprint lengths which totally confused swimtag, not sure it recognizes manic front crawl!