Sunday, 19 December 2010

Now really bored of snow

How does the song go? "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" Well I can safely say without fear of any contradiction that I'm not one of them. I'm now officially bored of it & just wish it would go so I can get out running with my friends. We managed to run on Wednesday night & were looking forward to running Friday & Sunday. Well the weather had other plans.

A stopped & broken Britian!!

I managed to get down the gym on Saturday & did the cross trainer & spin class. As we started spinning the snow started to come down heavier & by the time I got home it was like a blizzard. Had something like 6" of snow in a few hours. Needless to say the whole country has wound to a standstill. Fortunately the gym has been open & I have managed to do some cardio work.

Our blizzard

In preperation for the next bout of snow I have dusted off the old turbo trainer & I plan an hour a day at least on my bike. I'm also looking forward to my Christmas present from Santa, which I understand is a Brooks saddle. If you're not a cyclist it would mean nothing to you!!

Turbo trainer all ready to go

My new Brooks saddle

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Bored of the weather now

I suppose at least now it is starting to get a little warmer, but there is still far too much snow & ice on the pavements to be able to run safely. My training has been severely hampered & it's now getting on for 2 weeks since I last ran.

I have been trying to maintain my levels of fitness, but even this has been a struggle as I couldn't cycle to work, which means that I haven't been swimming either.

To try & make up for this I have been doing spin classes at least once a day, where possible & I have been trying to incorporate the cross trainer as well. Yesterday for a bit of fun I completed in a 5 hour spinathon with my dear friends from the gym & Lin hit me with the bombshell that she has signed up for MACS to do the marathon in April, which means we only have to work on Marcella now for the line up to be complete!!

Marcella, Wendy & Linda at the start

Why did I get the humbug hat??

Wendy & Lin at the end..... well done ladies xx

We are now hoping to get back to our normal routine of running on Monday, Wednesday & Friday with a big one on Sunday. I shall be cycling to work again when I get a spoke mended...... Hot off the press Danielle is now doing London as well..... roll on April, it's gonna be one hell of a party!!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

The Dunkirk Spirit!

You may think in the snow & icy conditions, that I would stop training for a few weeks until it passes away. This is not the attitude that forged our once great empire; so with a little bit of Dunkirk Spirit I twisted Marcella (who is from a Colony & know's who's boss!!) to join me on what we intended to be a 10 mile run. Wendy to be fair would have come but she was away for the weekend & Debbie is on the piste in Switzerland.

We left the club & walked to the main road. The side road leading from the club had not been gritted & it was far too slippery to run. We did look a little bit like Torvil & Dean, only I certainly wasn't as graceful!!

We got onto the meadows & started to run..... well run really is pushing the boundaries of the meaning of words, it was more a run/slip/slide/stagger/walk. We decided very early on that doing a 10 miler was optimistic at best, so we settled for once round the meadows. In the summer we were doing this 2.7 mile route in around 31 mins, today it took nearly an hour. It was fun & we had a good laugh. I had done an hour on the cross trainer & an hours spin class first, so arsing about in the snow for an hour I don't feel too bad about!! Best thing is neither of us fell over!!

Our cold route

Marcella by the frozen lake

Our frozen route

It was deep in places, but fun

Deeper in places than others!!

I'd have worn longer tights!!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Lost a week??

Well winter has definately come early this year & I have done no training since Monday. The UK has ceased to function & my gym has shut. With temperatures of -8 degrees when I have been driving to work, the prospect of cycling through 2 foot of snow is a non starter!!

Sunday I am planning a 10 mile walk cross country as part of my training after spending a few hours on the cross trainer.

I"m now bored of snow & the cold!!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Bring on the weather!!

Dear reader

Winter is quickly bearing down on us & on Sunday, Marcella & I did an eight mile run. It was a challenging hilly route that went through the woods in Chislehurst & then out towards Orpington Golf Club. We did wrap up warm with hats & gloves, but when you were in the shade or in the direct wind, god you felt the raw power of Mother Nature & the biting cold. It was a good run & more encouragingly is that we kept the same speed nearly all the way round. Not a fantastically fast pace, but a comfortable one that if we can maintain it for the full marathon distance, we should be looking to finish in around 5 & a half hours. The mid week runs are still very much part of the training & last Wednesday we did a nice 4 mile circuit & started sprinting at the end back to the club.... What's all that about??

The weather forecast for the next few days is snow, so we will have to wait to see how the training carries on??

Our 4 miler (Wednesday)

8 miler on Sunday (Kept a constant speed too)

Sunday, 21 November 2010

The distances now increase

Sundays are now very much there for running. In preparation (well hopefully this time) for London I am following a program designed to get my body prepared for the physical demands of marathon running. The weekend distances gradually increase up to 20 miles. This Sunday it was 7 miles.

4.5 miles in

My running partner, Marcella

Our 7 mile route

I'm running on Monday, Wednesday & Fridays, but these are only relatively short 3 milers, just to get your joints used to the pounding.... thank God for Ibuprofen is all I can say!!

Saturday, 20 November 2010

19 weeks to go

I am pleased to report that the second week of training is going well. I have been running 3 times & I am even more delighted to say injury free. I still stretch my calf before & after any exercise & it appears to be working. I do however still wear my support.

I am trying to vary my training & not restrict myself to running. I have been cycling into work & if this isn't enough I have been calling in at the gym to swim for 20 mins before work. This is actually a nice relief & warms me up. It's fair to say it has been cold at 6am when I leave home. I am also still spinning five times a week, which is increasing my fitness & helping in the weight loss.... well that's the plan anyway!!
A cold cycle into work...... I wore shorts as well!!

Hung my bikes up until the weather gets better!!

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Day 1, week 1

Today is the start of the training for London which is now only 20 weeks away & was also the first time I have run since New York. It's fair to say that I have been quicker & my legs are still heavy.

I went to the club early this morning & did an hour on the cross trainer, followed by an hour of spinning. I was then joined by the lovely Marcella, Wendy & Debbie & we did a 8k run from the club along North Cray Road, back to the club again in truly miserable weather. At least there was no thunder & lightening!!

I made a schoolboy error & didn't lube before hand & ended up with joggers nipple, which sounds incredibly funny, but trust me isn't!!

Ouch, ouch, ouch!!!

Our route, not bad after 2 hours cardio in the gym....... thanks ladies xx

Friday, 12 November 2010

The start all over again!!

Today was the first day I have been able to tackle stairs & bend down without pain & my legs almost feel back to normal again.

NY was a real eye opener & has given me more of an insight to what I need to do to make London easier. Fortunately my calf was fine last Sunday, but I am now not taking this for granted when I run. I will continue my stretching sessions before & after exercise to help prevent any future tearing. My weight is also a major area of concern & I need a few life style changes to help me reduce this, I have just over 5 months now & want to lose somewhere in the region if 3 stone if I can. I also want to finish in around or under 6 hours. No pressure then for me!!

I went back to the gym today & span for an hour this morning. On Sunday I am running with Wendy & Marcella & we are looking at a steady 5 miler just to keep the momentum going.

Looking forward to the following week Wendy, Tina & I shall start to follow a 20 week program (they don't know this yet asI haven't told them!!) & here is the one we are doing...... I'd better email them??

20 weeks of 'fun'!!

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Job done & home

I'm now home after my latest little adventure & I can say without fear of contradiction that remains the hardest physical thing I have done. I'm not quite sure why I have signed up for another two next year???

I was pleased with the first half & covered the 13.1 miles in just about 3 hours. I was hoping the finish in about 6 hours. I then got to the Queensboro Bridge (where the world champion Haile Gebrselassie stopped & announced his retirement). The bridge went on for ever & never seemed to stop climbing. By this time I was cramping every few hundred yards & having to stop & stretch. As I entered 1st Avenue & headed north towards Harlem at about mile 16 I started to walk. My intention was to walk a block & then run a block & see if I could do this to the end. Sadly I couldn't as the cramps just became too much, so I sadly walked the last 10 miles back to the end. By the time I got to mile 20 I could barely move, but never once thought about stopping.

Sandra & I at a very cold start

Just waiting to start

The first of many bridges to cross

God I was glad to finish, could barely walk though!!

Hooray, my finishers medal!!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Last minute nerves

Hi all,

Last post before I leave home for another adventure. We are flying off to the big apple tomorrow in preparation for Sundays trot around New York. I don't mind admitting that I am a little nervous as this really is a case of the unknown. I suppose I felt like this the first time I did Lands End to John O'Groats. We are leaving at 4am, don't suppose I'll sleep much tonight anyway??!!

It will be interesting to see how my calf performs on the day. Cameron has been giving me weekly massages & if does feel much better. I did manage a 200 yard sprint to the train a few weeks ago with no adverse effect. Four days ago, with my dear friends Linda & Wendy I did a 5 mile power walk with no ill effect. I probably could have run a few weeks ago; but have become paranoid about injuring it again. It will be interesting to say the least, but hey ho it should be fun & there isn't really anything I can apart from stretch.

Can I just remind you that if you click on the 3 circles to the right of this you can sponsor me if you are in a position too!!

I'll be posting pictures of the day on Facebook & if you are on it add me a friend by clicking HERE & you will be able to see the pain I'm suffering!!

I'll write my thoughts on it next week when I can walk again!!

See you soon!!

Sunday, 31 October 2010

That's it I can't do anymore!!

Well I can't do anymore now & I plan to just rest until I leave for New York in a few days time

The last week I have been able to spin & use the cross trainer. On Friday I did do a 5 mile road session with Linda & Wendy. I power walked & they ran. We covered the route in just over an hour & the most encouraging thing for me was that my calf didn't tear again or hurt afterwards, so fingers crossed for NY!!

I did my final spin class today & pushed myself & managed to get my heart rate up to 97% of my maximum.

I have downloaded the route & it looks fairly flat which I suppose is a bonus. My aim is to run as far as I can & I am aiming for 6 hours.

If you want to guess my time & the distance you think I'll run please post as a message

Sunday, 24 October 2010

The final countdown

I really haven't had the best preparation for a marathon & the continuing tearing of my calf muscle has certainly hampered me.

I have been back to the gym & have been spinning & using the cross trainer religiously to just keep my endurance up. I have been doing both for an hour & I feel good when I finish. My next run will be in NY two weeks today. I am continuing to apply heat to my leg, roll it & having sports massages. I hoping this with my magic tape & compression tight gets me at least half way round. I'm hoping the public support, endorphins & the adrenalin do the rest!!

My target now is to finish in under 6 hours...... Anyone what to guess my time??
My new best friend at the gym!!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Ran with no pain

Dear all

Sadly no great distance, but we got to London Bridge Station just as our train was due to leave so I sprinted the 200 yards to the platform to see the bloody train pull out. Good news was there was no pain in my calf. This does not mean however that I shall through caution to the wind & go for long runs, I know it's not healed yet so I shall continue to spin & use the cross trainer

Gives me a little more encouragement that I may be OK for NY??

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Turned a corner?

I have been mindful of the advice I have been given by my friends from the gym & I am now trying to concentrate on my stamina without doing any load bearing exercise. Running is most definitely out & the next time I run will be NY, which to be honest isn't the best preparation for a marathon!!

I stretched & warmed up today before hitting the cross trainer for 30 mins & then I span for the first time in a week & I pushed myself. Got my pulse up to 98% of my maximum & it felt good having my heart working so hard. You get a rush of endorphins & it makes you feel on a natural high..... trust me I'm a policeman!!

Heart rate download from spin...98%

The plan now is to spin, swim & use the cross trainer as much as I can now until a few days before we leave for NY..... hopefully no more injuries...... keep your fingers crossed for me!!

Friday, 15 October 2010

A glimmer of good news!

Dear Reader (do I have more than one?)

I am pleased to announce that I have managed to get back to the gym, did 30 mins on the cross trainer & span for an hour with, it would appear, no ill effects......woohoo!!

I have been having regular massages on my calf (no Neal, no Happy Ending!!) & on chatting to Cam, the strong suggestion is that the rest of my preparation should be non load bearing..... or in simple terms: Don't run you fat bastard, use the cross trainer, spin, cycle & swim......... some people are so cruel!!

I'm off for a week now, so I shall go into overdrive & thanks for all the kind messages about me being a raspberry!!

Sunday, 10 October 2010

4 weeks to go I managed to walk

This is hardly the build up I wanted or expected. My calf injury continues to cause problems & I still can't run. All the exercise I have managed after Monday's set back is to cycle to & from work. Today I went out with Carol & had a gentle 3.5 mile walk. I had no ill effects, but the swelling & bruising is still visible on my calf.

I will still be going to New York & will finish the event. I aim to run as far as I can & will then have to walk. It may be I run all the way, I don't know & only time will tell??

Still really p£@sed off about my leg

Monday, 4 October 2010

If I had a cat I'd kick it!

Frustration is about the only word that does me justice at the moment. 10 days ago I went out with Linda & about 2 miles into the run my calf had a twinge in it & I stopped & walked back to the gym. I've now had 2 sports massages from Cameron ( & he identified the tear & worked on it & it felt a lot better.

I have been cycling to work (I know only 5 miles each way, so hardly tour stage distances) & been doing spin, all with no effect, until Sunday, when I got another twinge in my calf. Today I tried the cross trainer at the gym for an hour, again no issues & then went to the treadmill for a slow jog.

I started at 6.5kph & after 22 mins I felt my calf. It didn't go, as I didn't give it the chance, I stopped & stretched straight away. It feels a little stiff now though.

I do have a problem with my right leg, I snapped the anterior cruciate ligament about 12 years ago & my knee is unstable. Cameron has suggested that my calf might be over compensating for my injured knee, thus causing it to tear? I will try & run again with my knee support on to see if that makes a difference??

If I had a bloody cat I'd kick it!!

My carbon-fibre knee support..... $6,000,000 man!!

Friday, 24 September 2010

Bugger, bugger, bugger

Well dear reader,

It all seemed to be going so well, the runs were getting easier & I was really enjoying them, I have a great selection of friends to run with & we always have a laugh & a joke on the way round. I was really getting into this after my set back a few weeks ago when I damaged my calf. Done a lot of running since with no problems, done loads of stretching & not a squeak from it.

Went to try for the first time the winter route that I intend to do through to April for my midweek runs & got to just under 3 miles & bang, my bloody calf went again. Hobbled back to the gym.

I now have a real quandary, I only have 6 weeks until the New York Marathon, clearly I am still going & I am still doing it. I realistically have no chance of running all the way round now. I will have to rest my calf for at least 2 weeks & think it will have to be a combination of jogging & walking now.

The annoying this was I was feeling great, my breathing & heart rate had dropped & I was running along at over 5mph comfortably chatting to Linda. I can't begin to describe how p*ssed off I am

It went just before the 3 mile mark

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Demelza 10k Sunday 26th September 2010

Dear Reader

I have now entered my first running event, which is a 10km run round Leeds Castle on the 26th September.

There are plenty of places left & you can register here

If you need a lift, I have 4 spare seats in my car, it's a fairly early start so we'll be back by midday.

You even get a medal when you finish!!

More runners

The week has started well after my long run on Sunday, yesterday Laura & I did a 3 mile extended circuit of the meadows. Not only didn't my legs ache after Sunday, but we also ran the route at our fastest ever average speed (5.1mph). I know that this will not worry any of the top athletes, but it pleased me!!

My 'roadrunner' moment!!

I am gradually getting more people to join us on our runs & some are expressing a keen interest to do the London Marathon next year with me. Amongst these is Christina whom I spin with (Tina have you registered yet??!!)

Christina whom is now doing London next year!

Laura & I again ran the meadows, but a slightly shorter route today, fatigue is definitely setting in & both of us didn't feel 100%, so we opted to take it easier today.

Surprisingly we were only .4mph slower than yesterday & we took it easy today?!

Laura, one of my running partners

Sunday, 19 September 2010

I can run!!

I can safely say that I think my injury to my calf is well & truly behind me, ran Sunday, Monday, Tuesday & Friday last week round my normal route of the meadows. Today was the big test though & ran 10.33 miles to see where I am with my training. I have been trying to follow a program & because of my forced 2 weeks off, have had to adapt it.

It wasn't easy & it wasn't at a pace that will worry any of the top athletes, but I did it & ran about 98% of the way round. I did stop & stretch & stopped to let my heart rate, that was at 98% of maximum come down so I could breath!!

Thanks Sandra, Wendy & Rosa for your company & a big thanks to Carol who drove the route with water for us xx

Our route & can you spot where I started to push myself on my heart rate?

Monday, 13 September 2010

Fingers crossed

Dear all

Just a quick note to say that I again ran tonight round the meadow near the gym with Laura & it would appear that the calf is now healed & I am having no adverse reaction to the running. We did our normal 2.8 mile circuit & I am only a few minutes slower than my best time.

I did stop to stretch the calf a few times, can you spot where!!

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Week 5 update

Dear all,

Physically it's been a quiet week for me, was suffering with my calf at the beginning of the week & so was unable to run. I could however spin & cycle, so that's really all the exercise I have been doing.

On Saturday I had a massage on my calf, which seemed to ease it (& no Neal there was no happy ending!) on Sunday with only 8 weeks to go & wearing my new compression sock I went with Linda & Rosa for a 3 mile run over the Meadows. I managed to do this only slightly slower than my best ever time & more remarkably my calf felt tight, but no additional pain

My compression sock

I'm hoping that will be the last injury I have whilst training, I intend to run every Mon, Wed & Fri according to my schedule & next Sunday I need to be doing around 10 miles, keep your fingers crossed for me!!

I knew it was a good idea to marry a nurse & Carol tells me that I have torn my gastrocnemius muscle, which is apparently a common one for runners?!?!


Sunday, 5 September 2010

Week 4 update

Sadly running is on hold until my calf is better. I plan to run again next weekend, but only if I have no more pain or niggles in my calf.

To maintain my stamina I have resorted back to spinning, & am doing all the classes I can at the moment. Got to the club an hour before my class yesterday & did a 30km sprint to warm my legs up!!

In the afternoon went out with a few friends & had a stab at some of the climbs of the North Downs including the legendary Yorkshill.......28% in places & my heart rate maxed out at 103% of my maximum.


The 'Pink Love Sausage' pointing out Hades!!

A huge thank you to Team Cobra Cycling for my new top!!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Not good

Just a quick update on my calf, went running again last night & had to stop after a mile as I could feel my calf getting tighter. I have definitely torn the muscle & will not run now for at least 2 weeks. I can however cycle, spin & use the elliptical runner at the gym, so I can still work on my fitness & weight loss...... fingers crossed it heals

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Ouch, ouch, ouch

Oh dear it was all going so well, my confidence was booming, the runs are getting easier & today when I went across the meadows with Linda, 3 miles in & bang, got an excruciating pain in my right calf & could barely move. Linda has broken me!!

Limped back to the gym & did loads of stretches & seems to be easing a little. I do hope so as tomorrow I am destined to try a 10 mile run....... fingers crossed & watch this space!!

3.5 mile circuit where I broke 3 miles in!

The update is I didn't run today (Sunday) which was a shame as I intended to do a 10 miler with Wendy & Laura. I did however do a spin class, which was hard & I had no adverse effects. I am working tomorrow & plan to run again on Wednesday evening where I shall be looking at doing the same 3.5 mile circuit & hopefully injury free. Next Sunday I am looking to do the South Coast half marathon, but this will depend on how I go on doing Wednesday & Friday's runs.....time will tell & hopefully it will be good news!!

Monday, 23 August 2010

End of another busy week

Dear all

Week 3 ended on a high note for me, when I was joined by Wendy & we did an 8 mile run on the road. I Felt amazingly good at the end & I could have carried on for another few hours!! (Wendy is training for the London 2011 marathon).

My longest ever run

The running has continued every Monday, Wednesday & Friday. Some days I feel better & stronger than others, sometimes I fly round & other times I just plod round. I will start to increase the distance of my mid week runs to 5 miles a day soon.

Those of you that know, will not be surprised to know that the cycling is still going well & I am managing at least one 50 mile ride each weekend with my good friends from the gym. We will be going out again on Saturday for a ride & then Sunday again I will run & try to break the 10 mile barrier.

Breakfast stop (why is Paul in the red breathing in??)

Had a good day today & went & saw a dear friend of mine & we cycled 45 miles round the Hertfordshire countryside in absolutely dreadful weather. Oh well Nikki & I are used to getting wet on bikes, but it all goes to increasing my endurance!!

A well deserved treat after our wet ride & yes she did finish it!!