Taper Crazies…

I’ve probably been taking a little to much advantage of the apparent ‘taper time’ this week – by not running AT ALL. Ugh I know, your supposed to reduce the amount of running, not cut it out all together but this week has just been ridiculously ridiculous!

I’m studying part time for a masters at the moment and of course just to spite me the essay deadlines would be 3 days after we get back from Florida, and there would be MULTIPLE ESSAYS DUE ON THAT DAY! I guess it serves me right really for scheduling my first half marathon/holiday right in the middle of November but two on the same day?!? that’s just mean! So naturally, i’m more stressed out than normal about these two essays as I want them done and submitted before we go, which means less time than normal. They also happen to be two of the most annoying I have EVER WRITTEN, with one standing way above the word count and having to be cut down and the other way below the word count with nothing else to say. I wish I could transfer word allowances from one essay to the other… meh…. but anyway, these are student problems, not runner problems and therefore not really what this blog is for!!

I know running is supposed to reduce your stress, but when I’m stressed it takes all my effort to shove myself out the door and it just hasn’t happened yet this week. Add to that the fact that both myself and Gid are getting a little paranoid….. about everything!

Checklist curtesy of www.runnerindenial.com
Checklist curtesy of www.runnerindenial.com

I stumbled upon this wonderful checklist which pretty much sums us up right now. At least 5 of these are currently true. Gideon legs are constantly ‘aching’ but it’s just because he’s freaked out he’s going to be injured! I’m living in constant fear of the sniffles, heightened by the fact that we have to take a 9.5 hour plane journey to get to our half marathon. That’s 9.5 hours of recycled aeroplane air….. THINK OF THE GERMS!

I’m sleepy all day… yet i’m wide awake at night with countless half marathon scenarios swimming around in my brain (most of which involve some kind of GERM sabotage). I wake up at 5am with my stomach growling for food.. despite the fact that i’ve eaten more than the average amount of chocolate this week and haven’t run any of it off. It’s just insane.

The other thing is the DARK. The clocks have changed, it’s dark when we get home from work. There is the fear that we may trip over something we can’t see and injure ourselves. Gid is especially worried about this… but then again he trips over his own feet quite frequently so I guess his worry is slightly more justified than mine.

To get to the crazy point… I cannot WAIT for next Saturday to roll around so that I can actually run the race and go back to being less of a crazy paranoid mess! Until then, I think I shall live in a bubble.

Make-A-Wish

Besides the numerous personal reasons why we decided to run the Walt Disney World wine and dine half marathon, we also wanted to raise some much needed funds for charity, and decided to support the Make-A-Wish foundation UK!

Make-A-Wish operates internationally in many different countries – but the objective is always the same – to enrich the lives of children with life threatening illnesses by granting them wishes! I couldn’t explain it in a better way myself, so i’ve taken the following extract from Make-A-Wish UK’s website which explains a little bit more about what the charity aims to do:

“We exist for one reason – to grant magical wishes to enrich the lives of children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions.

Whether it’s starring in their own films, walking with dinosaurs, going on an amazing holiday, meeting a celebrity hero, or having a life-changing bedroom makeover; our wishes are varied, personal and, most importantly, magical.

We go above and beyond to grant very special wishes to very special children; their dreams made a reality at a time when they need it most.

Because a child’s life shouldn’t be about illness, hospitals and diagnosis – it should be about wonder, joy and hope.”

We have seen children at Disney World having their wishes granted, we have seen the smiles on their faces, the happiness it brings them and that’s why we chose to support Make-A-Wish. Because every child deserves happiness, no child deserves to face a life threatening illness. We can’t begin to imagine what it must feel like to fight such horrible diseases at such a young age, we can’t imagine what a mental and emotional toll it must place on both the child and their family. If we can help to provide a wish that will give a little bit of respite to a child fighting a life threatening illness and their family, then 13.1 miles of achy legs will have been very much worth it indeed!

So far we have raised £364 for Make-A-Wish UK – but we don’t want to stop here! If you have already sponsored us then thank you, it is greatly appreciated, and if you would like to sponsor us (no amount is too small) then you can do so via our justgiving site. 

Weekly training recap: Monday 19th – Sunday 25th Oct

I finally feel as if training has got back on track this week! It wasn’t quite what the plan stated, but it was a solid effort. We decided it was for the best to revise the plan slightly due to the injury and illness we have experienced in the last few weeks so we were aiming for 10 miles as our long run, but managed 8. I’m ok with this. 8 is a solid number, it’s made me remember that I can do long run’s and that I’m probably not as under prepared for the half marathon as I have been thinking in the last few weeks. We stopped at 8 because Gideon twinged his knee slightly when he pulled up to walk and we didn’t want to carry on and potentially hurt it more with the half marathon being so close.

The problem with stopping at 8 miles when you had planned to do 10 miles is that you then have to walk the 2 miles back to where the car is parked. This was slightly annoying as it wasn’t the warmest day (but much better than it would have been in the morning when it was pouring with rain) and we didn’t have a jacket. My stomach was also ready for it’s post run snack after about 5 minutes and did not enjoy having to walk for almost half an hour to get it!

However we did manage to walk those 2 miles in under half an hour – which means that even if that happened at Disney during the half and we were forced to stop and walk to the end, we should be able to maintain a pace of 16 minute miles – that’s definitely reassuring. It’s nice to know that on horribly aching tight legs, we can still walk a decent pace if needed (though I do very much hope we will only need to walk our walk breaks rather than anything longer).

I’ve already started obsessively checking the weather forecast for race day. Yesterday it said the low would be 13 degrees and today it says the low is 20 degrees so I don’t think I can put much faith in it yet! Infact I now wish I hadn’t checked it today because 20 seems much to warm!! Go back to 13!!

Monday:

Ran 2.44 miles with an average pace of 12’09” per mile. I was so happy to have ran over 2 miles – that sounds pathetic knowing we can do 11.5 but honestly after all the colds i’ve been experiencing it was just so nice to be out there for a full half an hour!

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Tuesday:

Ran 1.76 miles with an average pace of 11’12” per mile. It was probably silly to do 2 days in a row, because my legs did ache a lot towards the end which is why it was a bit of a shorter run than intended. If we had waited a day we may have been more inclined to stay out for the full half an hour but oh well, we were able to do something and thats the main thing.

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Wednesday:

Rest day

Thursday:

Rest day

Friday:

Rest day

Saturday:

Ran 8.04 miles using run/walk intervals of 2 minutes running and 1 minute walking. Average pace 12’13” per mile. It took us 1hr and 38mins. We then walked a further 2 miles in 27 mins so overall we were out for about 2hrs 10 mins. If this happened in the race and we still had 3 miles to go even if we walked it I think we could still probably finish in under 3 hours which is very very encouraging!

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Sunday:

Rest day – I did use my new foam roller earlier. I used to read other blogs talking about their foam roller and how much it hurt and treat it with a pinch of Salt… I mean its just foam at the end of the day. I TAKE IT BACK GUYS. IT HURTS. IT REALLY REALLY HURTS…. and my legs still ache… so i’m not sure i’m feeling any benefit lol!

So now it’s time to taper. No more long run’s till the half – just short maintenance run’s so that the legs are fully rested for 2 weeks time. It’s kind of scary that the next long run we do will BE the half marathon, but at the same time, my love/hate relationship with long run’s means i’m not all that upset about it!

We are raising money for Make-A-Wish UK by running the wine and dine half marathon at Walt Disney World! If you would like to sponsor us you can do so here!

Levels.

All week i’ve had the ridiculous Nick Jonas song – levels in my head! It was finally just about gone when I read a blog post from Kellie at Will Run For Ears where she details her goals for the upcoming marine corps marathon she’s running on Sunday. Kellie set them out as levels; level A, level B, level C etc and then BAM just like that Nick Jonas is back in my head!

In all seriousness though – I really like the level’s idea for setting goals. So i’ve come up with a few of my own goals for the Wine and Dine half marathon. If you want to read Will Run For Ear’s (much better) description of the levels you can do so here – but basically your level A goal is a ‘probably-slightly-more-unrealistic-would-be-a-miracle-if-this-happened’ type goal. Your level B goal is a ‘more-realistic-but-still-something-to-be-incredibly-proud-of-goal’ and then your level C goal is your ‘fallback-goal-which-should-be-achievable-but-you-still-never-know-in-a-race-goal’.

So without further ado… here are my level goals for the Wine and Dine half marathon:-

Level C – Finish the race!

So this is my fallback goal, which barring some massive disaster should be achievable (but as I said earlier you never know what will happen on race day so i’ll still consider it a WIN if it happens). I’d like to not get swept off the course.. or get injured.. or have to pull out for any reason. I’d like to cross that finish line, give Mickey Mouse a big high 5 and generally feel awesome (whilst probably also feeling like i’m going to die) about the fact that I just ran 13.1 miles!

Level B – Finish the race in under 3 hours!

This has always been my goal – and i’m fairly confident we should be able to do it as our training pace would bring us in under 3 hours – but as it’s a different country, with a different climate and I might be jet lagged etc, then i’ll consider this my level B goal.

Level A – Finish in less than 2 and a half hours.

This is my unrealistic goal… it would be pretty incredible if this happened, but you never know what the adrenaline will bring! In reality i’m expecting us to finish in around 2 hours 45 minutes so this would be quite a bit faster than that, but a girl can dream… and we will be in Disney where magic happens! (Ha.. so cheesy!!!)

So those are my levels! Only another 16 days to wait till we try and hit them!

Wine and Dine Merch and a 10 minute mile.

This evening I ran my fastest mile yet – 1 mile in 10 minutes and 26 seconds!! A MILE IN THE 10’s!!! I’m thrilled by this as I don’t think i’ve broken the 11 minute barrier previously, and this mile was closer to 10 than to 11!

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My confidence has certainly improved a little again since last weeks horrible cold. I’m starting to remember that ‘oh yes… I can run after all!’

So today rundisney released details of some of the merchandise that’s going to be available at the expo for the Wine and Dine half marathon. I’m not one of these people who goes crazy over specialist merchandise but I can see myself wanting a couple of things to commemorate our very first half marathon. Most notably…. a Wine and Dine wine glass…. because WINEEE!

Some of the merch for the Wine and Dine half.
Some of the merch for the Wine and Dine half.
Pics curtesy of RunDisney
Pics courtesy of RunDisney and the Disney Parks Blog

Given that we get a free t-shirt i’m not sure whether i’ll buy one… although there are some quite nice looking designs so I guess i’ll wait and see on the price! Can’t believe we run in 18 days! Eeek!

Weekly training recap: Mon 12th Oct – Sun 18th Oct

So I didn’t manage to make it out to run today, but I am finally feeling a lot better! Hopefully i’ll manage to go a couple of weeks without picking something else up now – 25 illness free days would be great please,  because then we’ll be back from Florida and will (fingers crossed) have completed our half marathon!

The week hasn’t been a total bust. Gideon’s managed to get some running in and we have had a friend staying which has meant we’ve been out walking and sight seeing quite a bit. Considering the horrible cold i’ve managed to power through with daily living…just not with extra exertion!!

Monday:

Rest day

Tuesday:

Ran 1.71 miles with an average pace of 11’38” per mile. No foot pain which i’m VERY glad of. Hoping that’s the end of my foot related pain for the foreseeable future.

A dusk run... soon most run's will be dark runs!
A dusk run… soon most run’s will be dark runs!

Wednesday:

Rest day

Thursday:

Start of my cold. So didn’t do the run we had planned 😦

Friday:

Walked round Penllergare woods – probably a couple of miles but I wasn’t keeping track.

Waterfall at the woods!!
Waterfall at the woods!!
Love crunching through all the fallen leaves in autumn!
Love crunching through all the fallen leaves in autumn!

Saturday:

Gideon ran 5k with an average pace of 9’41” per mile. He’s so speedy! I’m definitely slowing him down – after this Disney race i’ll let him run anymore races by himself but we are looking forward to running the Wine and Dine half together and sharing the experience 🙂

No running for me as still feeling horribly full of a cold, but we did do a fair bit of walking around Cardiff city centre. Probably another 2-3 miles. We also went for an evening walk around the marina in Swansea which was also probably a couple of miles.

Sunday:

Short walk around the mumbles.

My plan for this week is to run around the neighbourhood tomorrow once I finish work and see how i’m feeling. Hopefully my chest will be clear. I’m looking forward to getting back to it! Then we’ll try to do our maintenance run’s on Tuesday and Thursday and do a long run at the weekend of 8-12 miles. That will be our last long run before the half which is scary! Here’s hoping we can get it all done this week so that I start to feel slightly more confident about everything again. I know I can do it – but when you haven’t done any long run’s for three weeks because of various injuries and illnesses and it’s suddenly this close to race day it does knock your confidence a bit. Hopefully this week we can build some back up and go back to feeling more excited than worried!

On Nov 7th 2015 we are running the Wine and Dine half marathon at Walt Disney World, Florida in aid of Make-A-Wish UK. If you would like to sponsor us you can do so here. No amount is too small, and all will go to a very worthy cause which you can read more about here. 

Another cold….

I’ve been struck down with another cold for the last few days which means I haven’t been able to get my long run in yet and it’s not looking like it’s going to happen :(. I probably should have seen this coming because I always catch every cold around at this time of year! Damn you changing weather!! Finally succumbed and put the heating on yesterday… plus we have a friend staying so I could use that as a nice excuse to make the house all cosy.

Gideon got up and ran 5k this morning but I stayed in bed cause I was still feeling naff. We then went on a little road trip to Cardiff so that he could go to the running shop and get a proper gait analysis done and get some new shoes that hopefully will help ease the knee ache he’s been having.

He ended up purchasing some Brooks Vapour 2’s – when he told the saleswomen that he’d been having some aching and pain across the back of the knee’s she immediately thought she knew what was wrong and his run ‘demonstration’ confirmed it. When Gideon run’s his feet roll inwards slightly so he needs shoes which will stabilise this with lots of inner arch support. She brought out several pairs for him to try but the brooks seemed the best!

Gideon's new brooks!
Gideon’s new brooks!

Fingers crossed the Brooks will solve Gideon’s knee issues!

As for my cold… hopefully I won’t pass it on to Gideon, but I can’t promise anything! It’s not gone to my chest, it’s just stuffing up my whole head, so I may try a short run tomorrow morning if i’m feeling up to it. I know the rest is for the best because I don’t want it to still be hanging around for the half marathon but it’s so frustrating! I really really want to run! I never thought i’d say that! But I WANT to be out there running. Not training feels so unsettling this close to the race. I feel like I need to get out there and do something so fingers crossed that i’ll be able to tomorrow!