The comeback is on!

Ok guys, so my last post was a couple of weeks ago where I told you that I’d signed up for some races because I needed to get back to being fit and healthy. We’ll it took a little longer to get back to it than anticipated, but the comeback is most definitely now on.

Soon after I wrote that post, I ended up getting some sort of viral thing, which gave me a cold for a few days and then migrated up to my ears where it has been causing me hassle ever since. I spent a couple of days feeling really dizzy and off-balance, and still haven’t quite got back to normal (although it’s a lot better than it was) so I only started my workouts again this week.

I’ve managed to get in 3 gym workouts in this week. I haven’t stated running yet because I’m still feeling a bit dizzy and off-balance. Instead, I’ve been using the bikes and the cross trainer in the gym. Heres how the weeks workouts looked:

Tuesday:

  • 10 minute warm up on the bike (resistance level 3)
  • 20 minutes on the cross trainer (resistance level 3)
  • 10 minute cool down walk on the treadmill (speed 2.7)

Calories burnt: Don’t know – forgot to write it down!

Saturday:

  • 23 minutes on the cross trainer (resistance level 3)
  • 1000m on the rowing machine (resistance level 6)
  • Weight machines (3 sets of 8 reps – between 7.5kg and 15kg depending on the machine)
  • 10 minute cool down on the bike

Calories burnt: 262

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Yet to perfect the art of the gym-selfie!

Sunday:

  • 25 minutes on the cross trainer (resistance level 3)
  • 10 minutes cool down on the bike

Calories burnt: 221

It’s been so nice to get back into working out, and I’m already feeling the beneficial effects. I feel much less lethargic, even though it’s only been a week. Exercise really is good for the mind, body and soul!

I weighed myself when I went back Tuesday and I was 70 kg (11 stone) so I’m aiming to drop a stone although I’m not putting a time scale on it. As long as things are going in the right direction then that’s fine by me.

I’ve also been tracking what I eat via myfitnesspal. Even though I often go over my daily calorie allowance, I feel like the tracking is definitely helping me to curb my snacking, e.g. instead of having 5 biscuits I’m just having one, because I’m more mindful of how many calories each of those biscuits contain. We’ve stocked the fridge and cupboard with lots of healthy and low-calorie snacks, such as feta cheese, blueberries, melon, popcorn, and my absolute favourite at the moment – Jaffa Cake flavoured alpine cereal bars!!!

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These things are the best!

So things are definitely going well. I hope to start a bit of running this week. I’d like to do a couple of short runs to get back into the swing of things. Gideon is still suffering a bit with the shin problem that bothered him at the London Marathon, so we are trying to take it easy and let that heal. Hopefully with a bit of rest from running that will sort itself out, and we’ll be able to get back on it properly. For now, I’m enjoying the cross trainer at the gym!

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I’ve been signing up for things….!

Oh dear….

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Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear…..

That’s right. I’ve thrown my hat in. Maybe 2018 will be my turn to run the London Marathon. Maybe not. We’ll have to wait till October to find out. In any case, I’ve made Gideon promise not to enter the ballot this year so he doesn’t end up stealing my place 😛 Stupid I know as there are probably 150,000 other people who’ll steal it, but I’d be livid if he got to run it again and I didn’t ha!

I enjoyed spectating this year, watching everyone run by from the fastest to the slowest, and at the time it almost put me off a little seeing the pain on a lot of people’s faces. But despite the fact that everyone looks in pain at the time they all rave about it afterwards. No one regrets doing it. Everyone says what a wonderful (though hard) experience it is, and that’s what has made me enter the ballot again. It’s an inspiring kinda race.

Anyway, if one wants to (maybe) run the London Marathon in 2018, then one really should get her butt back into gear and actually bother to do some running in 2017!!! Hence I’ve also signed up for this…

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After having horrible experiences at both the Swansea half marathon and the Swansea 10k, I’ve basically decided that Swansea races are not for me! It’s the out and back nature of them I think, I just don’t like seeing how far I still have to go laid out in-front of me like that. I’d rather the distance was concealed by lots of corners so I can pretend the finish is closer than it actually is. Hence I’ve gone for the Cardiff 10k as my autumn race this year.

And I’ve decided I’d like to get a PB in this race, so I really better get my arse in gear, as I’ve put on about a stone in weight in the last 6 months and I’ve done barely any running past the 5k distance since Christmas.

I’ve finally managed to polish off the easter chocolate today, so the aim is a more healthy diet from now on. Obviously I’m not going to deprive myself of yummy unhealthy things, but I’ll try to keep them to ‘in moderation’ rather than ‘all day every day’. Hopefully the combination of more exercise and a better diet will help me feel less like a slob and improve my running speed (I know it will – it has before).

So consider this my comeback post – it’s time for this potato to get back off the couch!

Gideons London Marathon 2017 race recap!

Sooooo I can officially say I am a MARATHONER!!! It definitely didn’t go the way that I wanted (as you will find out) but I did it!

After months of training in every weather condition you could think of, enduring runs ranging from early early morning to late at night the big day finally arrived. I left Amy’s aunties house around 7am to make the journey to the start line in Greenwich, and during the whole journey my stomach was full of butterflies and I couldn’t stop thinking what if I don’t make it.

We arrived at Greenwich park at about 8.30am and I said my goodbyes to Amy and her mum and headed into the red start area. It was just absolutely mind-blowing and amazing to see the pure amount of people around you, all wearing their individual charity bibs and costumes (who can say they ran a marathon alongside amongst others; a Rhino, Mr Bump and Robocop).

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I dropped my bag off at the Arctic lorry with my race number allocated and slowly headed to my pen, it was at this point around 9.45 reality was starting to kick in. The pen started to get really really full and finally it was here I was about to start.  Over the tanoy at 9.59 you had the 1 minute countdown and the finally 5,4,3,2,1…….starter goes and I did not move a muscle it took a further 33 minutes to actually cross the start line.

Once I started immediately just from the crowds at the half mile point I knew this was going to be a race to remember, the first 5 miles were just pure bliss I managed after mile 3 to get into a really good rhythm, my body was feeling good passed mile 6 but then at 7 disaster struck, I got what I think was shin splints in my right leg ouuuuchhhh! It was a pain I had never experienced before, but I was determined that I could “run” it off.

I managed to get to Tower bridge (just before the half way mark) and the crowds were just amazing at helping to keep my mind off the pain, I also knew that Amy was going to be quite close to mile 14 and that it would help seeing her and some other family/friends. I finally got passed where Amy was (she was on the other side of the road). Seeing her and the rest of the cheer squad was just what I needed. I powered on up-to mile 16 when the pain was just all-consuming, I pulled up and really had to think hard could I do this? My dream of a 5.15-5.30 race was over but I knew I just had to finish.

The next 6 miles were probably the hardest I have ever run since I started, I was in agony, determined not to pull out but I also wanted to do well, the crowds were the only thing that go me through these, they were just amazing, pure strangers feeling like family and also the amazing support of my chosen charity Children with Cancer at their cheer stations. those guys were just so encouraging!  At mile 22 I managed saw Amy and the family again and got a hug and the encouragement that I needed to finish. I carried on and at around mile 24 I saw a guy really struggling so I went over to run with him, his name was Paul and it was great just to encourage each other to get ourselves to the finish.

Then it came, 600 meters to go…. 325 meters to go… turning that corner down the mall and the finish was finally there! I looked at Paul and he looked at me and we both said ‘sprint finish’? and we ran (to others it would have looked like a power walk) ourselves to the finish line. I couldn’t believe it! I actually completed 26.2 miles – me – little old me!

A lovely lady called Beth was stood in-front of me with that all important medal, she put it around my neck and I just had the biggest smile on my face. I went and got my kit bag and headed to find Amy at the Children with Cancer meet point. As I entered the meeting zone there was a group of volunteers from the charity ready to congratulate me and point me in the right direction. When I got there Amy was there waiting with a huge smile on her face, she came over and congratulated me and the guys from the charity got me a chair and some food and drink to have.

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Not only did I manage to run my the bucket list marathon and complete it but I also managed to raise a lot of money for an Children with Cancer UK, so thank you so much if you sponsored me and for all the kind words of encouragement. You guys kept me going when times got tough.

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Will I do another marathon?? I think I’ll let my legs recover a bit before I make that decision. Despite it not going to plan, it was a great day, with an amazing atmosphere and I’m so glad I got to experience that!

Tomorrow’s the day! London Marathon 2017!

Hello everyone! It is the evening before the big day, so I thought I would recap the last 2 weeks of the hated taper and some info from the expo!

So anyone who has run a half or a full marathon would have gone through the taper period. This has been the most mentally challenging period so far!  Your mind decides to really play games with you from constant fear of injury, phantom pains and with the reduced mileage, the worry you haven’t done enough.

However I held my nerve (just) and kept to the taper plan, I have tried my best to keep calm (but as Amy will tell you that hasn’t always happened) but it’s here, no turning back now!

This morning we headed out to the excel centre in London to get my bib and chip. It was so great to finally meet the team from Children with Cancer, they have been so supportive and helpful ove the last couple of months and it was great to put faces to names!

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We headed around all the various stalls, with people from various races from around the world trying to tempt me (I must say the Barbados marathon does sound quite appealing). We sat and listened to some seminars to ensure that we were aware of everything tomorrow, including some advice on what to eat and drink and some reassuring words from the one and only Martin Yelling!

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So there’s nothing else I can do now except just try and get a good nights sleep, trust in my training and in my own ability and just remember that the pain, sweat, tears are going to be worth it to help raise funds for my chosen charity; children with Cancer UK. I’m so close to raising a whopping £1,000, so if you would like to help me get there please visit my page : www.virginmoneygiving.com/gidrunslondon

Other than that- just wish me luck!!!

Gideon’s London Marathon 2017 Training recap: Weeks 16, 17 and 18!

Hello All! I hope that you are all doing well and have had a lovely weekend. It’s been a little while since I have blogged due to a manic 3 weeks of holidays/work but I am here now so here’s the recap!

Week 16  – 20th March

So this was our first week of holidays, my TomTom was telling me that we were averaging around 5.5 miles a day walking which is good so here are my stats for the week:

Sunday – 1 mile run around resort in 10 mins & 15 seconds.

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Monday – Walked around the Park (EPCOT)

Tuesday – Birthday!! Today was my birthday so it was filled with many yummy treats but also a lot a lot of walking!!!

Wednesday – 8 mile run. After all the birthday fun and indulgence It was time to get back to business and get a good run in which I did! I ran 8 miles in loops around the beautiful lake at our resort (Caribbean Beach) in a lovely 19 degrees! I managed it in 1 hr 34 mins with a average pace of 11.45 which I was very very happy with.

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Thursday – Bit of Shopping and lots of walking again around parks.

Friday – Lots of walking around the parks.

Saturday – Race Day! As I was going to have to run lots for my marathon training, we decided why not get some bling at the same time. We entered the Winter Park 10k which was a lovely run around the picturesque town of Winter Park but boy oh boy was it warm! It was around 23 degrees by the time I finished at 9 am but I still managed to get around in 1 hr 15 mins.

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Sunday – Another day around the parks and a little bit of swimming.

Week 17 – 27th March 

Monday – Again much of the same lots and lots of walking around the parks.

Tuesday – Today I had planned to do a 12 mile run which I am sorry to say I didn’t complete. Instead, I smashed my longest run to date of 20 miles!!! I decided after reading lots about peoples marathon training that I was going to leave it too late to Taper if I didnt do the long-long run whilst on holiday, so I decided to bite the bullet and go for it.

I set the alarm for 4am (the first hurdle as no one wants to get up at 4am, let alone on their holidays). I got up and had a bagel and then headed out around 5am. It was still dark but already quite warm and humid. The first 2 hours felt good. I managed to get into a comfortable rhythm until the sun fully rose and the temperature soared to 24 degrees and it was hot hot! I managed to get the whole run completed in 4 hrs 31 mins. Even though this is slower than I would of liked, I was pleased with my efforts considering the many influencing factors such as the heat, humidity and a week full of unhealthy eating!

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Wednesday to Friday – Pretty much just spent the days walking around the parks and generally just spent a lot of time on my feet.

Saturday & Sunday – These days were taken up travelling home from the US.

Week 18 – 3rd April 

This week hasn’t exactly gone how I would of liked, I am currently in my taper stage before the marathon and had wanted to get 3 runs in this week however my body decided that this wasn’t going to be case. I came straight back from holiday into starting a new job which involves quiet a long commute. This, mixed with jet lag and the continued recovery from my 20 miler meant I have quickly come down with a scratchy throat and head cold.

I know it’s not helpful to taper to much and not do any running, but I felt like I really needed to listen to my body this week so I only managed one speed mile which was 1.03 miles in 9 mins 23 seconds. I am feeling a lot better today and have planned out my runs for the next two weeks until race day, so as not to let this low level week affect me to much.

I am now only 2 weeks out from the biggest hardest most nerve wrecking thing I have ever attempted. I’m doing this for an amazing charity – Children with Cancer UK, and if you would like too it would be amazing if you could sponsor me: www.virginmoneygiving.com/gidrunslondon

Also if you are praying type please pray for no injuries or further illness – the maranoia is setting in! 🙂

Gideon’s London Marathon 2017 training recap: Week 15!

Hello All, I’ve actually remembered to blog this week yay! So here is my recap for the last week:

Week 15 – w/c 13th March

Monday – Rest Day

Tuesday – Run

  • 3.01 miles which took 31 mins and 58 secs with an average pace of 10.38 per mile.

Wednesday – Rest Day

Thursday – Long Run day!

So today was my attempt of 20 miles and lets say it really really didn’t go to plan, about an hour before I was due to start running I wasn’t feeling great but I thought it would pass. The first 3-4 miles were good, my pace was on point and my legs were feeling good but disaster struck at mile 6, I took a gel like normal and then I promptly threw it back up.

I thought that it was just me and the gel not mixing, I continued to run and wasn’t feeling great, I got to mile 9 and attempted another gel and I again promptly threw this back up and was feeling really really unwell. So after walking for another mile to 10 still feeling awful, I abandoned the run.

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As much as I was gutted that I didn’t get to the miles I wanted, I still managed 10 miles at a solid pace, with each mile split being within 2 seconds of each other! I’m learning that not hitting my targets isn’t failure –  it’s just life sometimes.

Friday – Went to the gym and did a recovery walk 3 miles easy pace and gradient

Saturday – Rest

Sunday – Car-boot sale!!

So as you all know by now I am taking part in the marathon to help raise lots of money for the amazing charity that is Children with Cancer UK. Today as part of my fundraising the wife and I did a car boot sale!

Myself and Amy had researched car boot sales in the area to ensure that we got the best possible place to maximise our selling potential and we found a good one housed in a multi-story car park all undercover which meant sun, rain or snow we would be able to do our sale…or so we thought!!

We turned up at the car park at 6.30am only to find that there has been a serious police incident and that the multi-story and the surrounding roads has been closed. They had however managed to secure use of the small carpark next to the multi-story, which could only house about 30 cars. Thankfully we arrived just in the nick of time and were the last car into the car park!

As we had planned for a covered car-boot we hadn’t bothered looking at weather forecasts. We managed to have a dry hour or so but then heavens opened on us and it rained for about 45 mins. It then cleared for another couple of hours and then started to rain again quite heavily at around 11am so we decided to close up shop (about 1 hour before we were due to). Despite the less than ideal conditions we managed to raise £60, which will help towards our target, and we still have some stock leftover to sell online and hopefully make even more!

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This week I am planning to re-attempt my long run. Originally, I was going to do a 20 mile run (that should have been this weeks) and then a final 23 mile long run after I returned from holiday, but given whats happened, I have adjusted this plan slightly and will be doing an 18 mile run this week and then a 20-21 mile run when I get back from holiday. Having spoken to lots of people and researched marathon training plans on the internet, I am confident that a 20 mile final long run should be sufficient. Hopefully, this week, I’ll manage to get those 18 miles in and feel a bit more confident about things going into my holiday weeks in Florida. And don’t worry – it might be holiday but plenty of running is planned for then too!

I’m running the London Marathon in April for Children with Cancer UK. If you would like to sponsor me you can visit my sponsorship page here. Thank you.

St David’s Day 5k 2017 race recap.

So yesterday I completed my first race of 2017 – the St. David’s Day 5k in Cardiff!

As I said in my post last week, I was not expecting to break any records with this race, it was mearly a fun run. I hadn’t trained enough for it to be anything more, and quite frankly even if I had, I think it the sheer nature of this race (I will explain more further down) would have prevented any 5k PB’s from emerging!

The weather forecast for the race was not good. It went from looking dry but cold at the start of the week, to looking wet and windy by the day before. In the end, it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. Heavy winds and heavy showers were predicted, and whilst it was windy, the 45 mph gusts that were predicted hadn’t quite materialised by 10 am so the wind wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I was expecting. The rain also held off for the most part, and all the really angry looking clouds just seemed to skirt their way around the edges of Bute park, where the race was taking place, so that was a bit of luck!

The whole bad weather forecast thing left me dreading this race, but actually it was totally fine. We rocked up about 30 minutes before the start and sat in the car for a bit before wandering over about 10 minutes before the gun. This worked well for me because I wasn’t stood around in the cold for ages beforehand contemplating how miserable it was going to be. It was literally, get there, get going and then before you knew it it was over. Poor Gideon had to wait until midday to run his 10k, so he was feeling a bit grumpy at having to stand around in the cold, but I didn’t have that problem!

I think this race has slightly outgrown it’s location. The starting gun went and we all funnelled through the start line onto the path that lead to the bridge over the river. It was total gridlock for at-least the first .5 mile, and there were times in that first part where I had no choice but to walk even if I’d wanted to run because it was completely bottlenecked. Unfortunately the path’s just aren’t very wide, and because it was incredibly muddy nobody wanted to veer off the path (I tried it once to overtake someone and nearly fell on my face). Hence, if it had been a PB attempt, I wouldn’t have been a very happy bunny! But as it was,this was just a bit of fun for me so I wasn’t overly bothered.

I ran my way around the course, stopping to walk when I fancied it. It’s really quite a pretty park to run around with mile 1.5-2.5ish alongside the river. The river was in full flow today because of the wind and all the rain we have had, and actually looked a bit dangerous and scary, but in a beautiful sort of way, if that makes sense. Eventually, I crossed back over the river and that’s when it started to rain a little, but it was a nice refreshing light shower rather than a heavy downpour so all was well.

I crossed the line in an abysmal 38 something minutes, but that’s ok. Like I said, this was a fun run, not meant to break any records and I did enjoy it, despite thinking I wouldn’t. Plus I got this lovely (all be it slightly smaller than I was anticipating) medal.

This is the second time I have run the St. David’s Day 5k, and both times I have enjoyed it. It’s a lovely flat scenic course. The race is well organised and marshalled and is perfect for beginners. I would say that it’s gotten so popular now that unless you fight your way through to start right at the front I wouldn’t expect to break any records. Bottlenecks are a problem, but if your just in it to have a good time, then it definitely ticks that box.