Seven more days, all I gotta do is survive

Yes, one week and counting…

This morning, as we’d just finished ringing a touch of Stedman for Easter Sunday service, I was asked what I’d be doing in a week’s time. It was a few minutes after 9, so I imagine I’ll be heading towards the start line, probably at little more than a crawl, until the crowds start to open out.

At present all my worries are related to making the start. Curiously I have no worries about completing this marathon. All the fears are the things I can’t control. Will I miss the park and ride bus? Will we find a car park space ? This despite the fact I’ve bought and got a permit for one. Will Mum ever talk to me again once she discovers I want a 6:15 departure Sunday morning? She knows now… All these things worry me. And, I imagine, will continue to worry me until 0900 next Sunday.

And so to the last long run. Today had 10 miles on the plan, the last double digit run ahead of M-day. And it went OK. The husband, acting as chauffeur,  dropped me off on our way home from ringing, and I ran home. Weather was OK for running, cool but not cold, a breeze but not blowy, overcast and with just the hint of moisture on the breeze. Not the best for doing anything outside, but ace for running. A repeat order for next week would do nicely, if the weather gods are listening??? Tootled round the nature reserve, then up the railway path and home. Did run just beyond home to make the miles up to the full 10. I didn’t obsess about time, this was about running comfortably, not setting good times. But, as it turns out, the pace was pretty good too. No real niggles or aches, legs all loosened up nicely once I’d got going. Stretched out once home and had a few toasted hot cross buns for lunch. I’ll start on the Easter eggs later…

Facts & Figures:
Distance – 10.05 miles
Time – 1:56:10
Average pace – 11:33 min/miles

As I sit a type this, it’s 6:30 pm. In one week’s time I’ll have finished this marathon journey, in one way or another. Hopefully with a medal round my neck and my head held high. Between now and then there’s the small matter of 2 runs, a birthday and lots of rest and relaxation.

As I come to the end of something inspired by a milestone birthday, I must mention another of my friends who is embarking on a quest. One of my slightly nutty friends, it has to be said. Andy, who I run with at the club and has gamely been my partner at the back of numerous speed sessions, hits his 50th birthday this time next year. In the meantime he intends to run 50 different events, clocking up as many kilometers as the year of his birth (that’s 1963 for those not quick at arithmetic) and raise money for the National Autistic Society. His webpage is here and is well worth a look, if only to be inspired. No speedy whippet is our Andy, but his heart is completely in the right place and he deserves every ounce of support.

One year and six months

Thursday’s club run marked a significant milestone in my running career – it’s a year since I joined the club. In that year I’ve run over the winter for the first time and have decreased my 5 and 10k PB, as well as run a half for the first time. All worthy of mention.

It’s not so much a calendar year, as Thursday’s session was the 3k challenge, which the club do annually, just to check group allocations and so on. It was the first session I ran when I came to the club for the first time last year, and I felt like I was going to die! I seriously considered never going again afterwards. I’m glad I did give them another chance, as it’s been the best thing for my running. The challenge is administered by Alan, one of the elder statesmen of the club, a gentleman who disguises his wish to kill us all annually beneath his mild-mannered exterior. It involves a series of shuttle runs, 100, 200, 300 and 400 m, without break, pushing hard the entire way. The return of each leg is uphill – just to make it that bit more difficult. The you get a break, then one last run to 500 m and back. It hurts. Quite a lot. The first block is 2k, the second block 1k, making 3 in total. The cumulative time for the 3k is used to divide group, move people up and generally even things up a bit.

I saw this was scheduled on the training calendar, and nearly didn’t go along. I ran a half on Sunday, you can’t expect me to push that hard on Thursday, can you? I knew full well what the answer would be.

Facts & Figures:
Total run, inc warm up & cool down – 5:40 in 1:12:49
2k in 10:53, average pace of 8:55 min/miles
1k in 5:37, average pace of 8:58.
3k cumulative time of 16:30 or thereabouts.

Which I’m impressed with. Although I’ve not long moved up a group, I was nowhere near last. I also seem to remember last year’s time was at or over 20 minutes, so that’s definitely some improvement!

As I sit and type this, it’s a beautifully sunny morning, with friends in Norfolk. I’m about to watch Wales beat France in the rugby world cup (fingers crossed) before heading out for a run. But one thing does sneak into my consciousness – today’s date. It’s the 15th October. In exactly 6 months time, I’ll be on my way to a start line for a marathon. That does attract the attention – seems so close!

Hello World!

This is a little voyage into the unknown for me, so welcome along for the ride.

Those of you who’ve been fooled by my youthful demeanour may be surprised by the fact that I’m fast approaching a rather significant milestone birthday. Since Richard hit the same milestone a few years ago, he’s been on at me about celebrating this. I am yet to be convinced that any birthday requires celebration, let alone a large one ending in naught. But he did plant a thought – maybe I ought to do something special. And so I am doing something special, and this will record my progress (I hope).

I’m going to run a marathon. Yes, really, the whole 26 miles, 385 yards. It wont be fast and it wont be pretty. But it’ll be one hell of a ride!

And seeing as this is something I only intend to do the once, I’ll be using the opportunity to raise a bit of dosh for a worthy cause. Please see the link below for further details.