Tuesday, 6 March 2012


I'm having a real Fleetwood Mac fest at the moment and I can't get enough of my favourite tunes. Fleetwood Mac's greatest hits was one of the first CDs my dad bought when he first got a CD player and I made him play it over and over again. Gypsy has some of my favourite opening lines for a song. The sense of bittersweet nostalgia and sadness hits home at the moment for me, because several months ago I ceased a nomadic job and came back to the home and man I love. Lightnin strikes, maybe once, mabye twice.

1 mile warm up, 3 x 1 mile fast with 0.25 mile recovery in between and a 1 mile cooldown. In the cold rain and it felt great, like I was only just warming up by the end.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Today was one of the days when I really wonder why I run. Sundays are the day I do my long run, and today was going to be the longest one I have ever attempted: 15 miles. I woke up and it was grey and cold. No hint of the spring I'd seen over the past few days. Plus it was drizzling. Then it began to sleet. Then it began to snow and I really, really didn't want to run in the snow.  Not one mile, let along 15. Finally the weather cleared and wrapped two date-lemon peel-walnut-cardamon balls in clingfilm, popped them in my running pouch, taped up my right knee to alleviate any possible aggravation of my kneecap, and headed out.

It was tough. It was still drizzling when I started. The first 5 miles involved a loop through the next village, unfortunately I had to run a mile along a country road to get there. A country road which was covered in puddles but due to luck and considerate driving from passing cars I avoided being splashed.

The next five miles took me in the other direction toward town. It was still tough even though the route was mostly down hill and I chugged slower and slower. The next five miles were running through town before heading back up the long slow hill to home. It was incredibly tough and by this time my legs and back were aching. I felt like I was trying to run through mud and had to walk up the steepest sections of the hills.

Ugh.  I ran 13.1 miles last week and flew round. I think I found this run so hard because I did a hills session yesterday and I was more tired than I realised. Either way, I found the date balls more palatable than the gels I'd used on previous runs. The burst of sweet-salty body-temperature goo always makes me want to gag and some gels taste positively vile. Plus they're never easy to open or drink and I spend the rest of the run thinking, "I have sticky fingers. Really sticky fingers. I wish I could wash them. I hate having sticky fingers. Sticky sticky fingers."

I was incredibly thirsty by mile 10. I'm going to be drinking water from stations during the marathon so I need to get my body used to that. At the moment I don't carry water. I can't stand holding anything in my hands so a bottle of any shape or form is out of the question. My running pouch can just about take my ID and keys and a gel pack if I liked them so I can't stash one in there. I could carry cash and buy something, but I abhor the idea of going into a shop all sweaty and out of breath. I need to find a good belt with water bottles, I think.

Miles this week: 36
Runs: 5
Feeling: Achey
Knee-strengthening stretches: Lots.

Thursday, 1 March 2012

February Round-Up

Crikey-bob I'm glad it's March. The cold weather  of winter is mostly behind me, as are the dark nights and mornings. I'd gotten to the point where I was always surprised I could see my watch during long runs at the weekend because it was the only time I ran in the daylight.

I've mostly stuck to my marathon training plan. I've done the distance if not the speed in the hope that getting the miles in my legs will increase my endurance and fitness and not sweated the petty things. It's mostly worked and I've noticed a marked improvement in my running. I've overcome the lethargy of January and am feeling comfortable and happy.

Last Sunday I ran 13.1 miles, the first time I ran in double figures and the longest I'd ever run before. It took me 1:10:40 and I averaged out a 9:59 minute mile, which I was very, very pleased with. Unfortunately my knees have been less pleased by the increased mileage I've put them through and began to protest with stiffens and aching, especially after long runs and walking down stairs. A quick trip to the physio and I was diagnosed with Runner's Knee in the right kneecap.

It's not acute enough to need immediate rest but ideally I know I should stop, rest and slowly build the mileage up again. Unfortunately with the marathon on 6th May I don't have the time to do this. The physio taped my kneecap to pull it back in the correct position and advised me to keep it on for three days to cease aggravating the joint and give it some time to heal. I've been told to ice it immediately after I finish exercise, and also do strengthening stretches 3 times a day to strengthen the muscles around my knee and prevent it from worsening. I'm doing them twice a day because I'm too chicken to do them at work...