On Sunday 31st May 2015 I braved the 26.2 miles of Edinburgh Marathon for Beatson Cancer Charity. It was the first time I had attempted that distance although in my training leading up to the event I had managed 20 miles.
Suffice to say it was the hardest thing I have ever done!
Despite the forecast for heavy rain and strong winds, the rain did not appear. For the first 19 miles, in fact, the conditions were perfect: not too hot, not too cold, not pouring – just drizzly. (The light relief of drizzle is not to be under-estimated!) However, the last 7-8 miles were really awful. The strong winds that had been forecast well and truly made their mark on me that day – and on many others of my fellow-marathon-runners. Already tired in mind, body and spirit the last thing I really wanted was to run into a 42mph headwind. But that is what I had to combat. Needless to say, I did my best but those last few miles had me questioning my reasons for being there and whether it was worth it. And was it? Well, see for yourself…
The final total raised for the Beatson by you and many others was: £1082.20!
So thank you, thank you and thank you again for your generosity and support. It was definitely worth it!
So on Wednesday Hilary and I defied the odds and managed to meet up for a run on the canal. For Hilary, it was her ‘biggest biggie’ run of 20 miles and after all her knee trouble it was going to be a tough one. I, however, planned on running about 6 miles with her – but in the end did 10. It’s funny how your mindset changes when training for a marathon. Adding on 4 miles to a planned run doesn’t seem that hard! Anyway, Hilary managed her 20 miles really well (well done Hil) and she even managed to talk for almost the whole 10 miles I was with her (heehee) about The Beatson. Watch the vlog to find out more! (I have included some Baywatch style slow motion running for those who like that sort of thing).
On Sunday I also ran a 10K race and had the very great pleasure of Kali’s company for that one. It’s my last race before the marathon and I wanted to beat last year’s time of 54 minutes (I think). I hoped to get 52 but in the end got 50:48. Argh. Wishing I’d aimed higher from the start and broken the 50!
Ah well. All muscles and joints are still intact and I feel so lucky for that. Hopefully nothing will go wrong over the next few weeks of tapering (a few 3 mile and 5 mile runs but nothing long).
Please sponsor me if you feel able.
We have just got back from a lovely weekend in the East Neuk of Fife celebrating my dad’s 70th birthday. (If you’ve never been I would recommend you find an excuse to visit).
We enjoyed some sunny weather (except for the Sunday which rained by the bucket-load) and a lovely meal for the birthday itself. And some gin. Happily I ran a 6 mile route along the coast on the morning before that so the gin was that much more enjoyable!
Roll onto today. According to the marathon plan (Asics app) I was meant to run 17.5miles. And so I of course tried to do this. But it was torturous from the start. For a start, it was raining which is a crap start to any run. Then my legs were tired and heavy by mile 2. And did I mention the weather was horrible? I had planned to get through this afront by downloading an audiobook the night before so that I could attempt to ‘zone out’ of my misery (I had predicted my inability to stick in) and so at least I had that. So ‘Gone Girl’ by Gillian Flynn was the theme of the day. Not sure if the lack of bouncy beats helped keep my mood low or the topic of the book. Either way, I was rubbish company for this run. Thankfully I was the only one suffering.
Happily, I’m still alive but annoyingly I did what I always do: I chickened out of the last 2 miles as I got closer to home. I had begun to feel nauseous and my brain used this as an excuse to bail out. When I got home not only was I frustrated with myself but I also felt like I was going to be sick. I couldn’t even stand to make a slice of toast to eat so that I’d begin to feel better. And so I lay down on the settee, drank 7UP and ate 3 packets of crisps (1 x Walkers Crinkles Salt and Vinegar and 2 x Walkers Salt and Shake) and promptly fell asleep.
Hardly the work of a brilliant athlete.
I am not really up for this today.
Kali and I attempted 20 miles today along the canal from Clydebank to Kirkintilloch and back again. I haven’t the strength to write more than that except to say that my running friends are all getting sore. I feel a bit like the last wo (man) standing.
2 green parakeets in this tree
New shoes that fit well and don’t hurt. Nothing fancy but I like them 🙂
Not-enough-pixels panorama of a gorgeous reservoir morning. What’s not to love?
And now I’m off to Rome.
Think my title just about says it all. And the video too – totally random and no space on my phone memory to finish: delirium has begun to set in.
There are only 8 weeks left until the Edinburgh Marathon. I’m running for The Beatson Cancer Charity and was going to attempt to talk a wee bit more about it today on my video but instead spent a bit too much time being amazed and amused by the green parakeets we saw en route. Well, it’s not every day you see green parakeets in Scotland, is it now? Particularly on days when you’d rather be in your bed because you can’t see more than 2 metres in front of you because of the constant rain and the grey sky that leans very firmly on top of your head seems to be slowing you down.
Parakeets are much more interesting than that. They make you forget, for a moment, about the rain running in streams down your face, your cold fingers, your soggy (yes, soggy) trousers and pants, your achy knee and the fact that you’ve still got 11 miles to go.
Too many times on this run I asked myself ‘why am I doing this?’. The answer is I’ve put my name forward for the marathon and I’ve said I’ll run for The Beatson Cancer Charity. I will certainly talk more about that in future but here is the link if you want to read no http://www.beatsoncancercharity.org/ The people who work here could well be described as heroes. And that’s what the tune on the Vlog is all about. Have a listen to the words – I suppose it’s a mantra to keep me/others going when it feels too hard.
But for now it’s all about trying to forget what a miserable day it was for a run and remembering those green parakeets. And the fact that we reached our 18 mile goal – hoorah! Not really sure how I’ll ever manage 26 though – I could not have run one more minute let alone another mile. But I’ll have to.
Okay. So the sun is out and the Beatson t-shirt is finally on! And what is evident from this photo is that my Beatson t-shirt and trainers don’t go. At all. So when I buy my marathon trainers this week I will be attempting to find a pair that vaguely follow the colour-code.
What do I care? – the sun was out – hoorah! A run in the sun is all anybody needs to feel awake and feel like you’re making the most of your day.
This morning’s run was up to the Mugdock Visitor Centre and back. If you’ve never been to Mugdock, it’s worth a visit for all the walking routes, running routes and mountain bike trails you can follow. (In fact, at the visitor centre there is a bike hire shop which opened only today so you can even enjoy cycling if you haven’t got a bike.)
It was 9 miles of pleasingly sunny chit chat with Kali. Both of these make the miles go faster.
Here’s evidence that we were out together today (although I’m not sure it’s very flattering).
Peace out. x
Hoorah. 15.22 miles in the bag. Am exhausted thinking about it! Quite slow as was more of a trail run but still not bad.
Only thing was, my knee (old knee injury) got sore towards the end.
This is a worry.
My talents clearly don’t lie in blogging. It’s been a month since I wrote anything so I’m officially not keeping up! Work has been quite busy and even my ‘days off’ have been full.
Let me summarise: 10 runs since my run in Grizedale. 4 x 3 milers. 3 x 8 milers. 2 x 12 milers. 1 x 14 miler.
Some of these have been solo runs and some with other people. The longer ones I’ve been dragged around by Kali and Kipper – both have become a lifeline for my flagging confidence. Me? A marathon? It doesn’t seem to fit. So I’m trying to ignore the nagging doubts and just stick to the programme and for now that’s all I can manage. It’s always one run at a time. Just get through it.
My worst fear about all of this is that I’ll train like a maniac for these 4 months and then get an injury that will mean I can’t take part in the race. Of course, I’m running for a charity so not only would that be personally disappointing but it would also bring lots of guilt about loss of sponsors. Anyway, last week I did get an injury – thankfully not too bad! In almost a year and a half of running I haven’t yet had a blister. But last Wednesday I got my first one. And I don’t know why. Same socks, same shoes, same legs etc. It reminded me of the song Blister in the Sun by the Violent Femmes (go on, Google it). I’m hoping it won’t happen again but it has made me think of buying a new pair of trainers – and this is something I didn’t know before I started all this – more stuff is always what you want!
Let me finish by saying that I’ve been lent a Garmin sports’ watch. I wasn’t that bothered about these before, but now that I’m running for 14-15 miles my iphone battery won’t last long enough to record the run. So I’m a bit excited about this watch. Not only does it log my run as my phone did but it makes me look a bit pro.
I was away at the weekend with the family staying in The Lake District for our February half term holiday. We were with another family of equal number which worked out very well in terms of there being enough entertainment for us all! We stayed at the southern end of Lake Windemere at a place called Graythwaite – named after Graythwaite Hall. We were in one of the cottages on the estate which was a little bit ‘in the sticks’ but only a 10-15 minute drive from Grizedale Forest. We did a big walk there on Saturday with the kids and then Kali and I went back on Sunday to run a slightly different route. I say run but I don’t usually count clambering up stone riverbeds as running! Anyway, we managed it. It was 10.02 miles according to Kali’s Garmen watch (my MapmyRun app couldn’t get a signal). And it was all UPHILL! I swear it’s true. Cue a few strategic stops to catch our breath and take a few photos and eat Kendal Mint Cake.
2 lessons learned:
1. Find a friend to get you out on THAT run you just don’t want to do and
2. The views are always worth it.