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! 🙂

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Winterpark 10k 2017 race recap

As part of Gideons marathon training (and just for fun) we decided to enter a race whilst on our most recent holiday to Florida. After a little bit of searching we found the Winterpark 10k, which was presented by trackshack & Florida Hospital and which took place mid way through our holidays. It seemed like a great option so we signed up.

As you’ll know if you regularly read this blog, my training as of late has been a little lax. I completed the St. Davids Day 5k in Feb, which was fine, but I wasnt quite prepared to run a 10k in the Florida heat. So I didnt. I walked. 

If you don’t want to hear about my walk you may as well stop reading now. Gideon ran the whole race, and finished in a respectable time. I walked about 80% of it. I did do a little bit of running at the start, but by mile 2 I had made up my mind that I simply didnt want to push my body into something it wasnt trained for, especially with the temperature ramping up rapidly as the sun had just risen. 

Thankfully, this race was perfect for someone who wanted to walk. There were plenty of people out on the course. Trackshack wanted as many people as possible to join the event so encouraged walkers and race walkers. If you wernt maintaining a 16 minute mile I think you were asked to move to the pavement but that was not a problem for me as my miles were consistently in the 14 minute range- and actually I was incredibly suprised I was able to keep that waking pace up for 6.2 miles! My upper thighs certainly felt it in the days after!!

The course itself was fab. Closed roads, all around the beautiful residental area of Winterpark, which was like mansion land- all the houses were huge!! There were also some beautiful lakes, so lots to keep you from getting bored on a 6.2 mile walk. The course was also nice and flat- at least thats how I would describe it coming from hilly Wales! I powered up a small incline much to the dismay of some of my fellow participants from Florida who proceeded to tell me that this was a massive hill by Florida standards (which I suppose it was). 


Overall, a well organised and very scenic race and I was glad I did it even if I didnt really run it. I mean how could I drop our completely when this lovely medal was on offer??? 

Walking around the Gower

Another great walk today to make the most of this intermittent sunshine we have been having, oh I’ve also ran today but I’ll recap that tomorrow!

We are fortunate to live in such a beautiful corner of the UK where you can drive to so many great places in less than half an hour to enjoy a good walk. Within half an hour of our house there are two lakes, country parks, woodland, hills, and numerous beaches and coastal paths.

Today we went for a walk from Bishopston down to Pwlldu bay on the Gower Peninsular. We drove in the direction of the blue sky and it turned out to be a beautiful sunny day down there – unlike the cloudy skies over our house! Our walk was approximately three miles; down to the coast and back.

Some other great walks that we like to do on the Gower are:

Walk from Parkmill to Three Cliffs Bay. This is about 2.5 miles there and back and you get to the fantastic three cliffs bay at the end.

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The coastal path from Langland Bay to Caswell Bay: the entirety of this walk gives you beautiful coastal views.

Rhossili to Worms head is another favourite. You can take the path at the top of the cliffs down to the worm. If the tide is out you can walk over onto the worm, but it gets cut off when the tide is in so you have to time it right! I’ve yet to go over to the worm but it’s something I’d like to do at some point.

And then of course we can’t forget the lovely Swansea Bay. A 5.5ish mile bay (from one end to the other) which we have run and walked multiple times! It’s got great views and is a lovely flat, paved path so perfect for running, cycling or walking!

There are numerous other walks along the Gower which I haven’t talked about here, much of it we have yet to explore. In fact you can walk the entire coast of the Gower. It’s about 38 miles from Mumbles all the way around to Crofty, so plenty left for us to do!

Weekly training (walking) recap: Monday 25th April – Sun 1st May

So we got back yesterday from a lovely holiday in the Lake District. The plan was to do a little running, and we did get out for one run last Sunday which I included in last weeks recap, but that was the extent of it unfortunately (or maybe not unfortunately – depending on how you see it).

There were a few reasons why we didn’t do any further running. One was that we did a LOT of walking and so we didn’t really feel the need to go running. Secondly was that even when walking downhill my knee was really suffering. We walked down some steep slopes in the Lakes and the steeper the slope the more my knee tendons hurt. I’m going to head down to the drop in physio on Wednesday so hopefully they can help with that. There is no pain when walking on the flat or uphill, it’s purely when going downhill. There is manageable pain when running which is felt on the flat and uphill but is substantially worse on the downhill. So maybe the physio can figure out whats going on. Lastly, the weather went a bit insane! The start of the week was not too bad, then the temperature dropped and instead of april rain showers we had april snow showers and hail showers, including an insane 4 hour snow on Thursday which covered the ground! It was super fun – I loved seeing the hills all snowy it’s a real novelty for us as it never really snows here, but we hadn’t really packed the right clothes to go running in slippery conditions and sub zero temperatures so we skipped it.

So instead I’ll give you a little holiday recap this week, with some details of the walks we did and some lovely (I hope) pictures. Tomorrow is bank holiday Monday and we are both off work so we are planning to do a long run (10k if we can make it – depending on the knee) to get us back on track a little. Overall though, I’m sure a week of walking won’t have done us much harm!

Monday:

We walked down to Grassmere lake from the village, and then up and into the Easdale valley a little bit. We were trying to find Easdale tarn, but we got a little lost and didn’t make it that far. We walked up some hills, over some rivers and admired the beautiful views. I couldn’t tell you how far we went as I wasn’t wearing my Garmin, but my iPhone (the accuracy of which I’m sure is questionable) says 10,346 steps. Given that the day before it says 10,913 steps and we ran 5k – I’d say we probably walked around 3 miles.

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Tuesday:

We drove to Tarn Hows and walked down by Tom Gill to the waterfalls. It wasn’t a long walk mainly because downhill to the waterfall was very steep and hurt my knee somewhat. I really enjoyed seeing the waterfall though as I hadn’t been there before. We would have walked around the tarn as well but the weather went from relatively nice to  snow/hail/sleet in the time it took us to walk too/from the waterfall!

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Wednesday:

We walked around the base of Loughrigg fell from where we were staying in the morning. This is the one time I actually wore my Garmin and it said we walked 4.9 miles!

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We also drove to Coniston in the afternoon and walked from the village down to the Lake which isn’t far but it was very nice!

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Thursday:

On Thursday the weather which had been fairly changeable (all be it cold) up until now took a turn for the worst. We got up early and drove to Ullswater before the rain/snow started. It was very cold but we managed a short walk down the path by brothers water to the Lake shore. Then in the afternoon the snow came!

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Friday:

Friday was a very wet day. We walked around Grassmere and Ambleside (shopping) and down to the pub from where we were staying in the evening. The sun finally came out at about 7pm!

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Saturday:

Typically the sun came out but we had to go home!

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Sunday:

Rest day – it’s another horrible day today in Swansea with a very thin misty rain – the kind that soaks you. So we have stayed indoors!

Overall we had a lovely week in the Lake District. I’m pretty glad tomorrow is a bank holiday though, means we don’t quite have to get back to real life just yet!

Weekly training recap: Mon 18th April – Sun 24th April

Well, much to my surprise I have thoroughly enjoyed my first week of ‘official’ training for the Swansea half marathon. We have more or less stuck to the plan this week, getting in the right number of runs even if some of them were slightly different to what was scheduled.

I went to the doctors on Wednesday about the knee pain I’ve been having. She spent a good few minutes moving my leg around at orkward angles to try and make it hurt, but it stayed perfectly painless throughout (as it only seems to hurt when I run – and mostly on downward slopes), so she concluded that it was probably some sort of tendon problem rather than damage to the knee joints or ligaments. She suggested I go to the drop in physio clinic at the local hospital which I intend to do when I get back from holiday, and she also gave me some ibuprofen gel as a stand by to use if the pain gets too much. I could still feel the pain at times during all my run’s this week, though it remained manageable, but I think a trip to the physio is probably a sensible idea before my mileage ramps right back up again.

Yesterday we drove to the Lake District where we will be spending the next week relaxing, walking and hopefully running. We managed to get our (slightly shortened) long run in today, on a non hilly route (which is hard to come by in the Lake District) so we were glad about that. There is also a pool here, so the coming weeks cross training will be in the form of walking and swimming!

Monday:

I ran 2.38 miles at an easy pace with friends. Average pace was 13:04 per mile. We used run/walk intervals of 3 minutes running and 1 minute walking.

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Rest day for Gid.

Tuesday:

Gideon ran 2 miles at an easy pace on the treadmill.

I did a workout DVD with friends for cross-training. It was a HIIT-style workout, with 12 rounds of 3 minutes of different exercises. It involves a lot of squats and lunges (which I hate), but also has a 3 minute kicking session which I love for some reason!

Wednesday:

Gideon ran 5k at a moderate pace on the treadmill.

Rest day for me.

Thursday:

Rest day

Friday:

I attempted a tempo run. Ran 1.34 miles overall with an average pace of 10:06 per mile. Managed my fastest mile yet in 9 minutes 25 seconds! woohoo!

Rest day for Gid.

Saturday:

Rest day.

Sunday:

 We ran 3 miles together using run/walk intervals of 3 minutes running and 1 minute walking. Average pace was 12:08 per mile. We also walked about another mile in total to and from our holiday home. 


I’m not sure if I’ll get any blogging done this week being in the Lake District, but I’ll be sure to update you all on our adventures (and training) once we get home!

A Walk by the Sea…

I haven’t got a weekly training recap for you this week my friends, because I haven’t trained. Thats right. 0 miles of running! I know I said last week that I was going to try to use this week to ease myself back into a routine, but it hasn’t happened. I just haven’t really wanted to. So I guess come tomorrow I’ll be throwing myself back in at the deep end, as my training plan for the Swansea half begins!

Gideon is away with work tomorrow, so to make sure I actually DO start the training plan, I’ve scheduled an easy run with some friends along the sea front. This way I can’t flake out on doing it as I’m meeting people. I’m hoping that it will give me the kick up the backside I need. I’m also hoping that my knee is better. I haven’t run on it for over a week so I’ve no idea if its still going to hurt. If it does, I’ve got the doctors appointment on Wednesday so I’ll bring it up then. If it doesn’t well then that’s great as it’s one less thing to worry about during this training cycle!

So anyway. Despite no running, I have exercised this week. I did the workout DVD with friends on Tuesday, and then yesterday we went for a lovely 3 mile walk around the coast in the sunshine!

On Saturday we are heading off for a weeks holiday to the Lake District, so it was nice to do a bit of walking yesterday to break in Gideon’s new walking boots and re-test mine! We are hoping to be able to run and walk in the Lakes (though no fell running), maybe even climb right to the top of a mountain if we are feeling brave! I’ve spent the last few days looking at walks we can do and trying to find some flat (ish) area’s where we can get in our training runs! Luckily, I’ve been a lot of times so I’m somewhat familiar with the area and have a few ideas up my sleeve!

Anyway, i’ll leave you with these awesome pictures from our walk yesterday. I do feel truly blessed to live where I do! We can drive for 20 minutes and be here! It is splendid!

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Weekly training recap: Mon 11th Jan – Sun 17th Jan

This week has been another sniffly snotty one for me with the drop in temperature, but we’ve struggled on through and managed to get some running done. We’ve also been on some nice walks this week, and have made the most of a few dry (all be it cold) days. There has been no snow here like there has been in some parts of the UK – but I can definitely do without snow complicating my training so i’m not that upset by it.

Monday:

Rest day

Tuesday:

Rest day

Wednesday:

Ran 2.00 miles using run/walk intervals of 10 minutes running and 2 minutes walking. Average pace of 11’12 per mile. This was going to be our 5 mile catch up run from last weekend but the site of the below soon had us turning round early!!

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I don’t do rain!!

Thursday:

Rest day

Friday:

Ran 5.00 miles using run/walk intervals of 5 minutes running and 1 minute walking. Average pace of 12’16 per mile. You can read how this one went here. It was not enjoyable but at least its done – and the sun shone for what seemed like the first time in forever!

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Saturday:

3 mile walk along the seafront to mumbles. It was a cold day but it was nice to get outside and enjoy it! We also did a lot of shopping earlier in the day, which combined with the walk and general activities meant my step count at the end of the day was 12,704! That’s far better than the usual 3000 I manage on an inactive weekday, and even 1000 more than I managed yesterday with a 5 mile run included!

Sunday:

1.5 mile walk around the local woods – the plan was for a run but I’ve finally given in to my snotty nose and didn’t feel like making it worse, so we settled for an after-dinner walk instead!

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The waterfall is doing well at the moment what with all the rain we have had!

If you read my blog on it’s actual website, rather than the WordPress feed or email, you might notice that it’s had a bit of a makeover! I decided to freshen it up a little and add some more detail, so do let me know what you think! The menu has now got a page where you can find links to previous race recaps, previous Disney World posts and recipes! I’ll try to keep it up to date!

Next weekend we have a 10k scheduled as part of our training for the IAAF/Cardiff University World Half Marathon. I’m hoping we can get it completed and that it will be a better experience than the 5 mile run from this week. I also want to try to improve my pace a little on the shorter runs so i’m thinking of trying out the virtual pacer feature on my Garmin this week to see if it might be useful for pushing myself a bit – i’ll be sure to update you all on how it goes!!

Have a great week everyone!