Sunday, 29 March 2009

Week 12 - back on the road

Just four weeks to go now and only £500 left to raise before the £2,000 target is reached. A big thank you to Bill, Jack and Bella and Caroline and Nic at work who all sponsored me this week. 

Training-wise it started badly as I was still full of cold on Monday and Tuesday and had football training on Wednesday but I made up for it on Thursday and Friday before doing my longest run yet on Sunday. 

It was a glorious day in sunny Leeds so I packed up my essentials (see picture) and headed off round the ring road. It took a little over 3 hours with a few refreshment and toilet breaks so it was quite a good pace on a hilly course. It was also my penultimate long run before the marathon itself so I feel like the finish line is now in sight and I'm confident that I can handle the distance.

23rd - 29th March
Mon: Rest (ill)
Tues:  Rest (ill)
Wed: AM: gym 1.5 hrs PM: Football training
Thurs: AM: gym 1.5 hrs PM: 50 mins steady (10 km)
Fri: AM: gym 1.5 hrs including interval training (10 km) PM: 50 mins steady (10 km)
Sat: Football
Sun: 3 hrs steady (35 km)

Weekly total: 65 km - training total: 652 km

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Week 11 - got your number

My pre-marathon pack arrived this week with a magazine explaining the logistics of 40,000 people running 26 and a bit miles at the same time round a notoriously busy capital city and it all seems a bit daunting. First you have to register in the week before the marathon at the Excel Arena with proof of who you are before collecting your race number and your 'Champion Chip' timing system which you attach to your trainers to get an accurate final race time. I have been allocated number 41,388 which means I start in the red area in Greenwich Park (the pros start in blue and there is also a green one), with the 3 routes converging after about 3 miles.

It is going to be an early start as the race gets underway at 9.45 am and you obviously need to eat a few hours before and get to the start in plenty of time. Plus we are staying in St. Albans so will have to work out how to get there on the day and meeting up with family and friends afterwards is also a potential nightmare (you can hardly run with your mobile and there won't be a signal at the finish anyway) but I'm sure with enough planning it will be fine.

Running wise, I have not had a great week as I started coming down with a cold mid-week so wasn't well enough to do my long run on the Sunday which was really frustrating but hopefully I will get rid of it soon and be able to step up my training again next week to compensate. I also need to raise another £700 which is a bit of a worry so I'm going to have to start pestering people who haven't sponsored me yet (sorry in advance!)

16th - 22nd March
Mon: Rest
Tues: AM: gym 1 hr PM: 1 hr 50 mins steady (20 km)
Wed: AM: gym 1 hr
Thurs: AM: gym 1 hr + 30 mins interval training (7 km)
Fri: AM: 30 mins steady (7 km)
Sat: Football
Sun: Rest

Weekly total: 34 km - training total: 587 km

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Week 10 - staying the course

I have been busy again this week, running my own charity bookies at work to raise over 100 quid for Comic Relief and get everyone excited about the Cheltenham Festival (one of our clients is a leading bookmaker so it is classed as important research!) The most successful punter over the 4-day festival won a bottle of champagne and the coveted TBH Top Cheltenham Tipster trophy (see picture - it's a thing of rare beauty).

Running wise, it was pretty hard work, especially Sunday's 20-miler with a dodgy stomach (my apologies to Tesco on Roundhay Road and the Streets of Leeds pub). Thanks to Smig for donating his camel pack to me over the weekend, I found it to be easier to carry than the bottle belt (will put a picture up next week). I also managed to stay away from the booze (apart from a solitary glass of wine on Saturday night) despite another disappointing defeat at football but we will hopefully bounce back next week.

9th - 15th March
Mon: PM: 1.5 hrs gym
Tues: AM: 50 mins steady (10 km)
Wed: PM: gym 1 hr 
Thurs: AM: gym 1 hr PM: 70 mins varied pace (13.5 km)
Fri: AM: 50 mins steady (9.5 km)
Sat: Football 
Sun: 2 hrs 50 mins (32 km)
Weekly total: 65 km - training total: 553 km

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Week 9 - taking on the elements

Firstly, a big thank you to everyone who sponsored me this week including my cousins Melanie and Steven, Aunty Cath, Anna Hughes, Dave Hamilton and most of the Crossgates Working Men's Club football team.

Following on from last week's post, we won the semi-final 1-0 (it would have been 2-0 but for my goal being wrongly disallowed for a push and the heroics of their goalkeeper who plucked one out of the top corner). Unfortunately, the exertion and post-match celebration had a negative effect on my running schedule as I could barely move on Sunday (for both reasons!) so I moved the long run to Monday night instead. I then did a steady 10 km in the rain on Tuesday night with Evo and a quick 10 km at race pace on Wednesday before what turned out to be an eventful weekend.

On Friday I left my car at a colleague's house and had my last beer before the marathon (that's the plan anyway!) so had a steady 9 km jog at half 6 on Saturday morning to retrieve it. I then played in another semi-final for Crossgates but this time we lost 3-2 despite outplaying the opposition for most of the game. I was also disappointed to be brought off on the hour but it meant I could save my legs for Sunday's long run. 

I needed all the energy I got from my new pre-race meal of porridge followed by honey on toast (with gorgeous home-made bread) and a banana for a gruelling 18 miler in the rain and sleet with Gav (see post-run picture) that was a real mental and physical test. 

Next week promises more of the same so I just hope the weather improves along with my will power...

2nd - 8th March
Mon: (did Sunday's run!)
Tues: AM: gym 1 hr PM 55 mins steady (10 km)
Wed: AM: gym 1 hr PM: 45 mins quick (10 km)
Thurs: Rest
Fri: Rest
Sat: AM: 9 km PM: Football (semi-final)
Sun: 2 hrs 20 mins (28 km)
Weekly total: 57 km - training total: 488 km