Half-way there

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Well it’s been a while. I’m not sure what happened to February- it appears to be March now! I’ve been really busy with work and have had kids half term as well as a little one off school for a week to contend with.

But.  I haven’t missed a single run – of that I’m very proud.  I’ve finished the dreaded hill sessions; my skinny jeans don’t fit over my calves any more; but I do feel fitter (and a bit faster) than I have done in a long while.

And now that it’s March, it’s the Bath Half Marathon on Sunday.

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I feel fairly well prepared for this thanks to George and his very Intelligent Running programme. I’ve started a sweepstake for my finishing time to raise some extra money for the wonderful Breast Cancer Campaign – it’s quite scary what some people have put down as their guesses for my finishing time….
The lovely people at Breast Cancer Campaign sent me letters to iron on my shirt – difficult having such a long name but I just managed to get them on:
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So now I’m feeling a little more prepared for Sunday.  The weather looks suitably cold and drab which suits me just fine – last year it was so hot I really struggled.
My lovely friend Winky seems to be doing really well. Here she is swimming with dolphins 🙂
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One of my mother’s very close friends has also just been diagnosed with breast cancer.  Life is so unfair. She has already had cancer, had her leg amputated because of it and had a stroke.  But she takes it all in her stride and deals with all the horrible blows life throws at her.
All this reminds me that the cause I’m running for is so worthwhile so if you have a spare few quid, please feel free to sponsor me.
So from here on in the training is going to get much harder.  The long runs get longer, the short runs get longer, the threshold runs get longer….. I’m going to need all the motivation I can get!

Happy New Year!

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A bit cliched I know, but I thought I would post about what my goals for the year are. I follow quite a few running blogs and most have been posting a recap of their year in running.  Mine has been spectacularly uneventful so I thought I wouldn’t bother with one of those. But a couple of things I have taken away from 2012…. I should have given myself more of a break from training after the NY marathon. I thought having the Bath Half Marathon booked in in March would keep me running but the reality was that I wasn’t really committed to the training and thought that just by doing the long runs every week I would be fine.  I did manage the Half – my legs felt fine at the end but I didn’t really enjoy it very much (mainly because it was too hot!) and my time was a whole 10 minutes slower than the year before.   I think now having studied the programme I am following this time, and based on some other things I have done this year, I understand a bit more about what will make me a better runner.

Simply put, in my training programme George Anderson says: “Running isn’t the only way of getting better at running.”  The programme includes body conditioning and having followed a programme in the summer to help me get into shape, this is definitely something I need to include more of.  So I am hereby committing to do more of this in 2013 as I know it delivers visible results.  I’m also following Dax Moy’s January Jumpstart.  I’ve followed his programmes before and they REALLY work – if you’re looking to get into shape this year I can thoroughly recommend it.

So, there we have it. Committed to ‘paper’. Will have to do it now in case anyone reads this!

Christmas ham

Christmas ham

After a good few days of lots of great food and wine, I’m looking forward to getting back on track. Bring it on!

What are you committing to do in 2013?

Getting ready for Christmas (and a spring marathon)

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So my marathon training has officially started.  I had 1 December in my head as my start date which would give me nearly 5 months to get myself ready for London.  And this month I’ve been training, but without following a particular plan and gradually building my mileage up in the long runs. I’m up to around 10 miles now. 

But I’ve now found the plan I want to follow.  A 16 week training plan based on three runs a week – a lot less than most plans out there, but one that’s certainly realistic for me as fitting in more than three is always hard.  There’s another day of strength training but that’s cool because I can do that early in the morning inside in the warm and I know what a difference that will make.   I’ve joined the training group and there is a Facebook group for questions and support which is great.

For me, the more places where I’m ‘accountable’ the better.  If I say on here I’m going to run three times a week then I will do my best to do that because I’ve said I would.  And of course, when I see people one of the first things they ask is how my marathon training is going so I really should be doing something so I have an answer to that question.

So far, I’m really enjoying it.  I am enjoying the feeling of pushing myself.  And with this programme I feel I understand a lot more about what I am trying to achieve – or trying to avoid.  Junk miles is a concept I was aware of but now having read all about this programme, I realise I have been very guilty of running many junk miles.  There’s nothing wrong with going for a run just because you want to, with no particular goal in mind, but when you’re training for something like a marathon it’s important to make every mile count.  Each of the three runs in my week have a specific purpose and I like that. I like that it makes me realise how important each run is in its different way and it keeps things varied.

The eating side hasn’t been too bad lately either.  We went out for the first Christmas meal last week – a girls night out to Jamie’s Italian which was great fun and nice to catch up with some people I hadn’t seen for a while.  

The good thing about this economic downturn is that it has meant there haven’t been nearly so many parties – bad for the social life, but great for the waistline and the alcohol unit count in the run up to Christmas!  I’m determined not to overeat over the holiday period and am definitely going to use the extra time to get some more runs in (there, I’ve said it – I’ve got to do it now).

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The house is all decorated and the kids are so excited.

Now I’ve just go to finish my Christmas shopping….