“I could go to London” (again!)

Asthma 2016Actually, there’s no ‘could’ about it, I am going to London again.

Yesterday I got a call followed by an email from Asthma UK offering me a charity place in next year’s London Marathon. Bloody brilliant!

It wasn’t quite the “running around like a mad thing crossed with a headless chicken on speed” feeling that I had last year when I got my ballot place but it still had me grinning like a Cheshire Cat and still filled me full of excitement.

After all the drama in the build-up and then the day itself of the 2016 VLM I’ve always felt I had unfinished business with this race – and now I’m going to get my chance.

Hopefully, second time around and with the experience of having done it all before, I’ll avoid the well intentioned but innocent mistakes I made first time out.

Plus I’ve got a fundraising target to hit this time – £1800 – which is a bit daunting but I’m full of ideas and I’ve got nine months or more to hit it.

But forget all that for now ….. I’m doing the London Marathon again! Woo-hoo!!!!!!


Well, that was a bit rubbish – or was it?

IMG_3541Another training run tonight – 5km – and my slowest time over the distance for quite a while.

On the face of it that would suggest a crap run. I’ll not deny it, it wasn’t great at times but there can be positives to be taken from it.

After a stressful evening trying to get Michelle onto the right train back to Hastings from London, not the easiest job in the world when what she sees on the station boards contradicts what I’m seeing online – but we managed it.

Next task was to book her flights home, stupidily expensive given the short timescale and frustrating when the prices went up in front of my very eyes – but again I managed to get something sorted at a price that didn’t totally cripple me.

With all that behind me I decided to go out for my run, to burn off some of that stress and to stick to my schedule, more or less.

Getting ready, I decided to wear my compression sleeves to help my calves. It was a real struggle getting them on and they felt really tight, tighter than I remember but I put that down to the increased fluid in my legs recently.

It was raining, fairly heavily, but that didn’t put me off. It encouraged me, in fact, because I thought I would have the playing fields to myself and could just do a few laps and come back home.

But, oh no, that couldn’t do, could it? For some inexplicable reason there were three young lads out in the middle of the fields playing golf. GOLF!!!!! I mean, come on, really? Golf? In the pouring rain?

Yes, yes, I know – I was also out in the rain, in shorts and a t-shirt but that’s different, so shoosh.

Now, normally if there’s people in the fields but no dogs I’d carry on and run around the pitches anyway but I didn’t fancy trying to dodge golf balls all evening.

Anyway, so I set off on the run, heading towards the industrial estate from the opposite direction (ie: not via the dual carriageway) and I decided to go as hard and fast as I could.

In the end, I was three seconds faster over the first 1000 metres than I was on Sunday but, more pleasing, I actually saw my top pace increase to 7.5mph compared to 6.3 last time out.

Unfortunately that ‘speed’ came back to bite me on the arse for the rest of the run and I really felt it, my legs quickly became tired and heavy (I wonder what effect the compression sleeves had?) and felt as if I was clomping rather than running. The C25K program only pencilled in a 20-min session but since I was combining distance with the schedule I knew I had to push on for the full three miles.

Everyone of the remaining km splits were considerably slower than they had been, except for the last one so perhaps that was a sign my legs were recovering after the fast start.

It’s all a learning curve and I’m not particularly annoyed about the total time. We all get ‘bad’ runs from time to time, after all, and we will continue to get them.

Feeling normal

IMG_3532After a few hours on-off sleep during the afternoon/early evening during which my face began to feel slightly more normal (looks, now that’s another thing!) I decided to go out for a run after all.

I had planned on 5 miles this morning but, this evening, decided to just do 5km instead, just in case.

I moved onto the next phase of C25K and set my watch for 1.5/2 minute run/walk splits. I started off really well, feeling good and recording a time of 7m 50secs for the first km – my fastest for a wee while – and then 8m 0secs for the second, followed by 8m 16secs ….. in fact, all 5 splits ended up being 8-minute something which was pleasing.

Nowhere near my fastest, obviously, but things are going in the right direction again and I’ve got a positive feeling about my running back, reminiscent of how I felt this time last year – only with the advantage of a reasonable amount of experience and knowledge behind me.

I also wore my skin tight under garment below my running shirt for the first time in ages and I felt it made a slight difference. Marginal gains and all that.

Tonight’s run meant I’ve done 10.7 miles this week, my most since the marathon exactly three months ago which I’m sure is significant in some way. Onwards and upwards.