1005 kms

28 06 2009

A tough run today in quite warm conditions (early 20’s again). It was about 20 degrees when I set off and 25 or so when I got back.

The run took me to Thurstaston and back along the Wirral Way. I took it very easily but still found it hard going. I knew roughly where the 1000 kms would come (about 9 miles into my run) and did that bit steadily. Then the suffering started post 10 miles. Felt some pain in my right Achilles but fortunately stopped as suddenly as it had started. I shuffled home in a very sweaty state.

There really weren’t many runners out today. I think because most marathons are in the Spring there is a large drop subsequent to that but lots of cyclists on the Wirral Way. I was amazed how I could smell the perfume of women as they cycled past. They probably needed it to protect them from the smell of runners !

The heat made things a lot tougher than I expected even with the slow pace I adopted. It is set to get even hotter this week.

I am well into France on my virtual map – past Le Mans and approaching Tours. I have completed approx. 9 months of the challenge and have approximately 9.5 months left until the Madrid marathon. I am bang on target as far as mileage.

Tomorrow is my rest day. Bliss !

Wirral Way near Thurstaston

Wirral Way near Thurstaston


Grinding it out !

27 06 2009

This is tough. The nature of my running has changed completely since I have started my marathon programme. I am now just aiming to run the miles and survive each week.

Last week I did complete my long run and notched up nearly 35 miles.

This week I have ground out a run Tuesday through to today. I have 25 miles in the bag and need to do a 12 miler tomorrow which will bring me up to the required 37 miles for the week. I am following the programme to the letter.

The highlight of the week was a run to Thornton Hough Village (see picture) and back This really is a “picture postcard” village with its traditional green surrounded by cottages, a village shop, blacksmith, village school, two churches and in the centre the Seven Stars pub

Temperatures have increased to the low 20’s but it has been particularly humid on occasion. I have resorted to adding a flannel to the kit I take with me. The insects are also becoming quite annoying although amazingly I am free from bites up to now.

Studying time and pace has been replaced with focussing on distance. There is no kick in the legs. My legs almost feel as though I have run a half marathon the previous day. Day after day of running is just sapping. My only focus each run is just to keep on my feet and keep going. What a change. The week is long. I yearn for the rest day.

It has been quite a big leap up from 25 miles or so a week to 35-37 but now the increase will be gentler and I hope my body will start to acclimatise.

Helen continues to be so supportive and understanding despite me spending so much of my free time on the road. I couldn’t do it otherwise.

If I can get around tomorrow I will have run my first 1,000 kms of the challenge. That is something. I am really quite chuffed.

Hopefully I will blog tomorrow and update the map.

Marathon training take 2

19 06 2009

Well I’m off and running again and joined my intended programme in week 4. I think I can cope with the schedule.

As we both run now and my programme involves a daily run I have introduced a morning run to keep some evenings free for Helen.

So this week has been as follows:

Monday – rest day … great start
Tuesday – morning run 4 Miles
Wednesday – morning run 4 miles
Thursday – evening run 6 miles
Friday – evening run 5 miles.

and so I am attempting to do the shorter runs in the morning before work. Now this involves getting up at 6:30 and leaving at 6:45.

It has been HORRIBLE. At that time THERE IS NO GOD ! I HATE IT.

I think I’ve made it clear that I am not a morning person. I will persevere. My performances have been fine but the act of running at that time in the morning feels obscene. When I get back I just want to go back to bed ! Don’t believe what you see in the cereal adverts. It’s a load of rubbish.

I need to run an additional 14 miles over the weekend and that will make 33 miles for the week.

I’ve just sneaked a look at next week. Oh dear that reads from Tuesday-Sunday : 4,6,5,6,4,12. The following week gets more gruelling again with a 14 mile run.

I think I am going to be hurting soon !

It always looks so appealing. LIES I TELL YOU LIES ... STAY IN BED !!!

It always looks so appealing. LIES I TELL YOU LIES !!!

Run for Life

14 06 2009


Helen did it and got round. There was a sea of 3000-5000 runners many dressed in pink. Well done to them all and well done wifey I am very proud of you. She was so emotional at the end – we are so alike in that way.

I was lucky enough to spend most of the race crammed in a portaloo with a backpack and my sons whilst Eddie performed. Happy days !!

Simon says…

13 06 2009

My son Dominic was so excited by the lunch time visit of my friend Simon as I have so few friends !! Unbelievably, during his morning swimming lesson during a game of “Simon says” he waddled across to tell the instructor that Simon was actually visiting us at lunch time.

As my wife later pointed out I was myself so excited to see Simon that poor Simon didn’t get much of a chance to “say” anything …let alone see the boys. If you read this Simon I’m sorry about that.

I have known Simon since school. He decided to cycle across from home on the other side of the Wirral and the plan would be for me to run back with him towards Hooton later on in the afternoon.

We set off at around 3. Whilst fairly warm I was soon into my rhythm again and after a while I was even able to manage a short surge.

Unfortunately I had to alter my original route due to cows blocking the way..”Cows have right of way” we were told. Well it’s the first I’ve heard..bridleways are for horses last time I looked.

It was a case of trying to squeeze past a herd of cows and their “perfume” or turn back and choose another route. We chose the latter.

It was great to run with a cyclist actually and hopefully Simon will join me for one of my 15 mile plus runs.

As it was I felt sad as I set off back home on my own but after a mile or so I cheered up and comfortably ran the last two miles.

9.5 miles at a sub 9 minute pace. That will do me !

There were even more than this !

There were even more than this !

Back on track

12 06 2009

Well the answer to my previous question of “Where do I go from here” has turned out to be fairly clear in my mind … SOUTH. I keep going.

After nearly two weeks since the dreaded phone call after my last run I felt able to try and run again. My form has been much more patchy and I have lost a little bit of edge but my base fitness still seems to be there.

My first run of the week was with my dear wife Helen, she has also lost much training time and is due to run the “Race for Life” on Sunday. A 5 km run for charity in Chester. Her last few runs had been poor due to shaking off a virus and then she has also not felt or had the time to run over the last fortnight or so. As we went out I said to her the only goal is to keep going. I was worried about feeling very emotional on my first run due to the circumstances with my mum but I was ok. I just focussed on getting Helen around. We did our 5k training run without any stops in a steady 32 mins or so. Well done to Helen. She will do ok on Sunday I’m sure.

On Thursday I did a 5 miler on my own. I surprised myself. It was a little emotional and I did have a little cry at one stage. I keep thinking about my mum coming to see me in my last race just a couple of weeks back and it does haunt me. I was most surprised to get back in a PB time though by three seconds.

Finally today I ran a slightly more hilly 4 miler. It was pretty humid and I felt very tired. Probably overdid it yesterday ! When I got close to home who was shouting encouragement out of his car but my running partner Peter. He probably noticed I looked exhausted.

Tomorrow follows a big test my first long run with an old friend on tow who will by cycling with me for part of the way.

I am now approaching Le Mans on my virtual map and have covered over 800 kms. The mileage is to increase now if I can manage to stick to my first marathon programme.

Let’s hope !

Sad news

1 06 2009

I lost my mum last night.

She had a major stroke on Thursday and unfortunately was not able to recover.

She was the major reason for me wanting to run in Madrid.

The last time I saw her before the stroke was as a spectator at the Chester half marathon. I ran across to her and gave her a kiss and hug.
She looked so delighted.

I know she had strong reservations about me running the Madrid marathon for medical reasons.

I am not sure where I go from here.