Pain is temporary, pride is forever…

I’ve spent this week looking at the blank blog page like an essay that I can’t seem to start writing – How can I put something down in words that hasn’t properly sunk in yet?! It all still seems a little surreal even though as I type, my medal is hung up next to my bed and I am wearing my London Marathon finisher t-shirt which drowns me but I love it.
And so I did it…London Marathon, my goal for the past two years and the race that has consumed my mind for the past 6 months is done. The surreal feeling is similar to when I used to do school plays and once I’d finished I wouldn’t know what to do with myself because I had dedicated so much time and energy to it…frankiesaysrun is a bit lost!!

The week building up to Marathon Day was really busy as I was exhibiting with Variety at the Expo – The bonus of being there was the buzz of the occasion and being able to see my Team before the weekend. It was a great atmosphere this year but obviously more surreal being a runner as well. It still didn’t feel like it was actually going to happen that weekend. I watched the ribbon be cut and went to collect my number and chip…still didn’t feel real…even talking to people about it didn’t make it click properly.

As I was still suffering with my ITB it was playing on my mind a lot. I got treatment from the physio, had a final massage and also dragged my foam roller everywhere to make sure that I was doing everything I could to be able to race! Work was proving a good distraction from how nervous I was and it wasn’t until I got home on the Friday afternoon that the butterflies went into overdrive…Only two more sleeps and race day would be here and I was definitely feeling jittery! I had lots of positivity around me in the form of Robs (my lil sis) and Stacey who arrived Friday night to cook me a delicious pasta dinner. It was lovely not to be sat alone driving myself mad.

The following day began with a slap up breakfast with sis, friends and fellow runner Sam – All part of the prepration and again, trying not to go crazy with nerves. As the day progressed and more things got done….playlist done, kit washed and prepped for the morning, garmin charged and number pinned to my vest, I felt strangely calm and focused. Once #travellingwrenskitchen arrived to cook for us, I was like a giddy child before Xmas, just itching for the day to arrive now. I didn’t go to bed particularly early either as I knew I wouldn’t sleep…so after a delicious carb loading dinner and final finishing faffing touches I put myself to bed, alarm set for 6am and I slept like a log…phew!

And all of a sudden, Marathon day had arrived…I woke up to my alarm flashing “Never Give Up and Smile” and starred at my vest hanging at the end of my bed for a few minutes focusing my mind on the challenge ahead…Then we were all up, power smoothie was consumed, peanut butter on toast and banana was forced down with plenty of water and dark chocolate was nibbled on. Final step was kit ON…that great super hero lycra feeling!!! Last minute nervous toilet stop and we were in the taxi on our way to Greenwich…

While we were standing at the gates waiting for Team Variety to arrive you could feel all of the nervous energy from the other runners arriving – I couldn’t stop jabbering away and everyone else was itching to head up the hill to the start line. From that point everything went really fast and after deciding not to resort to female urinals we stretched out in the SUNSHINE (no rain to be seen – hurrah) and headed to the pens. I stuck with my friend Sophie and I was so pleased she was there. I think I would have felt much more nervous without her. Shuffle shuffle, scream for the BBC, shuffle shuffle…..and there was the start line…no crazy gun start, just a gradual increase in pace and we’re on our way….the actual London Marathon had started….”take it all Franks” is all that was going through my head as well as making sure I didn’t trip over anyone while maintaining a steady pace.

Right from the start, the crowds were absolutely incredible – so much cheering. The first 10 miles seemed to fly by. I lost Sophie at mile 2 and so I just focused on my own race and made sure that I enjoyed it while keeping my own goal of sub fours hours at the forefront of my mind. My left leg was taped up, strapped up and I was dosed up on Voltarol to reduce as much of the inflammation as possible. No pain….surely this was too good to be true…something was going to have to give, there was going to be serious pain to push through. Isn’t the body a wonderful thing though. Not one problem throughout the entire race…I still can’t quite get over it.

Along the route, Variety had three cheering points set up and these were my small goals throughout the race… It’s hard to describe, but when I was running I felt like I was in a bubble. I had taken my music out of my ears as I didn’t want to miss out on the atmosphere. It was electric – There were kids lining the pavements giving out sweets and high fives, people who don’t know you were willing you to do well and pitched up on the sidelines were the bands, gospel choirs, singers and drummers to keep us entertained on our journey. Before I knew it, I was running on to Tower Bridge….this was one of the moments I had been looking forward to and it was spectacular….the sky was blue and I smiled all of the way across (take it all in Franks)…My next goal was mile 14 (dedicated to Kat) where Variety staff and my family were waiting…I was so excited running towards them. As I spotted the balloons I picked up my pace and I was suddenly completely overwhelmed with emotion…there were my mum and dad cheering away with my colleagues waiting to see my go past…Despite the obvious gels and lucozade, seeing their faces was the greatest fuel of the day. Just on from that point and completely out of the blue I heard Fraaankkkkieeeeeeeee!! And there’s Robyn and Stace on the other side of the road…amazing…smiles smiles smiles…more of that mega fuel!

The next section of the race was always what I was most nervous about…the dreaded point that a lot of people start to “hit the wall”. And there were a good few runners starting to struggle and stumble off to the side of the road…I just didnt feel tired at this point and I was getting frustrated with the slower pace and crowds. I had promised myself that I would be patient and not use too much energy trying to overtake, but at this point it needed to be done. Finally a bit of space. Heading towards Canary Wharf was great…the crowds were immense I still felt ok – no leg pain at all. I made sure I took on an extra energy block to keep me going through the difficult miles.

My next goal was mile 22, the next cheering point and suddenly it was there…time was flying by. A second boost from the amazing supporters and now it was on the the final push…As well as mile 20, I dedicated mile 24 to CJ, a friend who died in 2008…mile 20 had been smiles and this one was going to be speed…he kept me going and despite some tears, I smiled for him and ate jelly babies ūüôā

I knew when I started getting problems with my ITB that I would have to take it slightly easier on my way round the Marathon so as to make sure that I actually completed the race. As I hadn’t suffered for 22 miles, I decided to up my pace and it felt good….I still had a lot of energy and I was full of determination for my time. At mile 25 there’s a Lucozade sign that reads “in 1.2 miles you’ll be a part of history”….. push push push…..focus and go for it…. in the distance I could see my final cheering point…some runners were starting to flag at this point and so I hopped up on to the pavement to pass everyone and the noise of them all gave me all the drive I needed for a strong finish… Never Give up and Smile…this is final 600m.

As I turned off of Birdcage walk and past Buckingham palace my stride opened up…this was the final sprint…it felt amazing, the speed, the total elation that I was about to finish a Marathon, London Marathon in Olympic year….I can see the clock and it’s ticking towards 3:57….come ooooooooon! You can do this, you can break four hours…..arms up (that much thought about finishing pose) and I am across the finish line… done…keep moving… and then came the emotion… tears… and noone to immediately share the moment with… thank goodness for the lovely lady who came over and gave me a hug….it was just what I needed.

After the finish line I was just drifting along collecting my stuff and feeling pretty good, not wobbly or out of breath just a bit stunned that it was all over. I was then greeted by Robs, Stace and Cat and that was fantastic! Salty hugs all round before being whisked off to the RAC to eat, shower, see everyone and get a well earned massage. This was also all a bit of a blur. I went through a phase of not recovering very well and feeling really unwell…nothing that a bit of recovery shake can’t handle and I was feeling a lot better in the end.

I was trying my hardest to take in all of the amazing feelings from the day and congratulations from people. It was the most overwhelming afternoon in the best way possible – friends, family, colleagues and your team mates all there!! I was still pondering…did that just happen?
After an evening of steak, wine and a sofa in the White Horse I crashed in to bed at around Midnight, utterly exhausted…I don’t even remember my head hitting the pillow…

Working towards the London Marathon, blogging about it, hearing other peoples stories about it, getting support for it, being inspired by it, becoming a running geek, and working hard at it has been the most incredible,¬†challenging¬†and emotional journey and it is a race that I will remember for the rest of my life…the training both physically and mentally has taught me so much about what I can achieve when I put my heart and soul into it and that we are all stronger than we think.

What will the next challenge be?

NEVER GIVE UP…AND SMILE!!!

Marathon time: 3:57:50

frankiesaysrun xxx

I would like to thank everyone who has supported me during my London Marathon journey, whether its been by reading my blog, sponsoring me, listening to be rattle on about running, tweeting me with hints tips and positive thoughts, rubbing me down, treating my injuries, inspiring me or being there on the day…I couldn’t have done it without you! I hope you enjoyed the journey too….xx

The final count down…

With 5 days to go until Marathon Day I am full of mixed emotions. Since the disastrous race at the end of March I haven’t been able to run much and have been constantly worried that I wouldn’t be able to actually do the race after so many months of hard work training. So this is making me anxious! All of the final plans are now coming together for Team Variety and the rest of the Team are¬†driving me along¬†which is giving me butterflies of excitement about the day. Along side that is that bizarre feeling of not quite wanting the journey to end…

The past few weeks have been quite a rollercoaster – after two weeks rest and massage¬†I still couldn’t get past 1.6 miles without excruciating pain to the left of knee… I have been suffering with my IT Band and it’s pretty much floored me. Most people I have spoken to have advised rest, rest, more rest, ice and stretching. I have found it utterly frustrating not to be able to head out for a run and maintain my training programme to the end. As much as a physical struggle it has also been a struggle mentally. Trying to stay positive when I’m limping¬†around has¬†been¬†really hard for me. After the Easter break, two sports massages¬†and plenty of rest I still struggled to get through the 5k Sweatshop run but it was definitely an improvement on the last run I had tried. I was desperately trying to focus on that fact that it was recovering more quickly but I was having to let in that thought that I might not be able to take part in the Marathon – I was feeling pretty devastated even by the thought. I arrived into work the next morning to find a Good Luck card on my desk from some of the children who Variety support and that was my breaking point – tears tears tears! It was the culmination of a good two weeks of worrying and it naturally all comes out on my managers shoulder who was positively lovely about it. That was my miserable day when I looked into back up marathons and every single type of treatment I could squeeze in before the big day. After a great appointment with Amy at On Track Sports Therapy¬†discussing options and a leaving with a plan made me feel much more positive. I had also spoken to my friend Sophie who I am running with on the day and she recommended her Phsyio at Back¬†on Track¬†who had treated her for the same problem with a mixture of exercises and also acupuncture. Acupuncture is something I have never tried before but heard goog things about….at this point I will try anything to get me across that finish line…. Soph actually came along with me and we had a right laugh and being present for each others analysis was fascinating (running¬†geeks). I’m not going to lie, the treatment was just a tad painful but no pain, no gain in my eyes. Acupuncture felt bizarre but it hit the problem points and I have since been doing my exercises to improve the strength in my glutes¬†and stretch out my ITB. Despite leaving with a slightly dead leg (normal after acupuncture), my positivity¬†was restored and I felt more determined than ever that I¬†CAN do this Marathon. My friend James who takes part in all sorts of crazy challenges also advised me on some training techniques¬†and the dreaded ice baths. WOAH, it took a lot of guts and dubstep¬†playing¬†to lower my toosh into the bath that evening….It was a great sight (ha)…thermal top, beanie and not much else…recovery is sexy stuff.

My plan now looks like this… IT band strap, one more physio¬†session, ice, foam roller, stretching, healthy eating, rest¬†and a hit of Voltarol¬†before the race to see me through…Oh and not forgetting positive thinking…The past few weeks have really made me realise how easy it can be to get sucked into a spiral of negative thinking and just how detrimental¬†it can be to let your head drop….positivity positivity positivity!!

As I write this I have a book sitting next to my lap top which I have just received from my friend Lucie. She is a triathlon machine and introduced me to the mantra of Chrissie Wellington “Never Give Up…and SMILE”.¬†I loved it so much I have adopted it for my Marathon training and now I am¬†the delighted owner of Chrissie’s book “A life without Limits”¬†I think it has to be the perfect pre marathon reading ever! I can’t wait to get started!! (thank you Lucie…a millions times over)

There is still a lot to prepare before race day but it is game head on now and I WILL¬†achieve what I have worked hard for….those months and miles simply can’t be wasted and failure is not an option.

The support from friends, family and colleagues¬†has been and¬†continues to be¬†immense and I can’t wait to see them as I make my way around the Marathon route.

5 days to go….let the final countdown begin!!

Thanks for reading – as promised, there will be a pre race blog entry¬†which will include my race day playlist and also my race day dedications….My playlist¬†is full of songs from friends and family as well as the tracks that have seen me through those cold winter runs…I know it will keep me going!

frankiesaysrun xxx

 

Tears at Mile 15.5…

Its been a busy old week and I’ve finally¬†arrived back to the Cotswolds and got the time to sit down and write… phew!

Running wise, I have had a week off after a rather frustrating and painful race on Sunday. We were all back down in Surrey for the Cranleigh 15/21 miler and this was going to be my longest run before Marathon day. The sun was shining, I was a bag of nerves as ever but felt confident and excited to complete the distance. The last 3 weeks of early morning races have been amazing practise for fuelling, dealing with nerves, mental preparation and generally just getting in to the race day mood. Last Sunday the sun was shining and it was a lovely atmosphere….

When the race got going, I felt great. I found a nice pace to run at, didn’t feel strained or out of breath…just steady and strong. However, by about mile 3 I started to feel a tugging and tightness to the left of my left knee which didn’t seem to want to go away. I considered stopping there and then but a few more miles in it had eased slightly so I decided to carry on. Beyond¬†mile 9 or 10 I started to feel it again and this time it was becoming more painful. Being a country race we were on the roads and being directed to stay to the left of the road. I think it was the camber flaying havoc with me as well as a very tight ITB, something that I hope won’t be a problem on the big day. Other than this annoying niggle, I was absolutely fine and¬†really enjoying the run….

By half marathon stage I was really struggling and tried to decide what to do…The good thing about this race was that you could either continue on for 21 miles or complete at 15 miles. After a massive incline I had to stop and stretch my leg out and a lovely runner who I had chatted to earlier in the day stopped to help me which was so sweet.¬† By this point I was in a lot of pain and panicking that I had done some serious damage…this is also the point that the tears started to flow…I picked it up for the last mile and then optimistically turned the corner to try for 21….by 15.5 I was out…My brain kicked in over my stubborn¬†heart and I decided it’s just not worth¬†continuing if it puts me out of the Marathon. This challenge is too important to me and I have worked too hard over the last 6 months for pride to lead me to injury….I pulled over and stretched out…tears tears tears as runners passed me. I felt such a rush of disappointment that I couldn’t finish the 21.

After letting the marshall know that I had stoppped after trying to continue I called my mum (aww)¬†and by this point I was really upset as I couldn’t manage to run through the finish line to get an official time… However, the lovely lady at the end of the race¬†came over while I was on the phone and gave me a 15 mile medal, took my hand and helped me hobble to the St Johns Ambulance to get my leg iced… Tears = medal. After icing, rehydrating and watching friends come through the finish line¬†I hobbled back to the car very slowly to stretch out and down a chococlate milk.

What I learnt on Sunday is that it is easy to be competitive and try to push yourself through pain in order to achieve the goal in¬†place that day,¬†AND it’s also¬†very hard to be¬†that competitive person and to pull yourself out…It was the best decision I could have made!!

On Tuesday I went off to On Track Sports Therapy¬†in Brixton¬†to have a full body rub down and it was so very needed by that point. Isla did an amazing job, especially¬†on my ITB (youch) and I left feeling far less stiff and sore which was brilliant….Keeping up the foam roller work is not vital to keeping in shape for race day…

This Sunday I am planning on doing a steady 10 miler and then for the final week and a half of training, shorter runs before tailing off…last weekend has knocked my confidence a bit but I am focused on looking after myself in order to make it to that all important start line (and finish line)¬†injury and illness free….

If you’re running a Marathon soon, how are you feeling about it? Have you completed your longest run yet?

I CANNOT believe it’s only a few weeks to go but it is also very exciting – making plans for the Charity really brings it all home….cheering points, post race celebrations and pasta party plans and picturing the course and London sights en route….this is what¬†I and all those taking on Marathons have¬†been working towards for 6 months…..BRING.IT.ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As the actual running tails off, I am focusing on other aspects of the day itself and this week is music…I have been building my playlist gradually while training but now I am looking for input from friends and indeed other runners….If you have any suggestions, please leave them as a comment…. I am going to post my final list the week before Race Day…. ūüôā

Happy Running everyone and thank you for reading…

frankiesaysrun xxx

I am fundraising for the Charity I work for called Variety, the Children’s Charity….It is an amazing cause supporting children who are disabled and disadvantaged by providing specialist equipment such as wheelchairs, sensory toys and coaches… the difference the Charity makes to a child’s life is instant and every time I meet the children we help, I am humbled by their positivety and strength. If you would like to support the work that we do, please follow the link below…every little really does help….Take a look at Sam’s story……http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FClp1HIr0Es¬†THANKYOU…

Frankie’s page….http://www.justgiving.com/franklesfirstmarathon

“The route is mainly flat with a few short sharp hills” YEAH RIGHT

Last Sunday I took on my longest mileage to date with other lovely friends training for the Marathon and one crazy friend who just ran 20 miles for the crack – crazy boy! It was the Spitfire race in Surrey so it was a lovely change of scenery from the streets of London and not one set of traffic lights to stop at. Hooray! Oh and we started on the Top Gear airfield so that was an added level of excitement for us all….

All 4 of us have run in bigger races so this felt like a much more intimate race in comparison and we were happily surrounded by other fellow running geeks all discussing their watches, trainers and eyeing up other peoples running gear with envy…

We were a bit rushed starting which wasn’t ideal as we didn’t get a chance to warm up properly, so we were all desperately stretching & bouncing around trying to prepare while furiously attempting to pin on the blasted running number… Finally we were all ready and dashed up to the start line…we’d missed the fog horn but the race was chip timed so there wasn’t an issue with crossing the start slightly after the¬†stampede¬†of runners. I have to say that I was trying not to think too much about the distance I was about to take on but instead break it down into four Sweatshop runs so that the distances were bitesize…. The race was also a double loop route so whatever we took on in the first loop we knew we had to do again – I still haven’t decided whether that was a good thing or not.
Charlotte and I started the race together (see perfectly in sync photo) and it was really lovely to run with someone else at the pace that we had chosen…we decided to try and keep a steady eight to eight and half minute mile so that we didn’t burn out early…It’s so easy to rush off especially when you’re as competitive as me so I was super strict with myself. What we did find on our way round was that these “short sharp hills” turned out to be never ending, absolute killer hills that we knew we would have to do AGAIN… Joy!

This was a fantastic day for practising race day fuelling as there were water points throughout and lovely volunteers handing out jelly baby’s (yum). As well as that I was stocked up with gels, jelly beans and lucozade to keep me going. Having water along the way was great, however, trying to drink out of a cup on the go and at pace is not an easy task…it did make for some amusing moments during the race though…trying to drink desperately and ending up snorting most of it while losing the rest of it down my front made me laugh a lot which is also not easy while running so all in all it was generally hilarious at each stop…. The volunteers were fantastic and so supportive on the way round congratulating those racing and cheering us on.

After a quick loo stop half way it was on to lap two and by this point Charlotte was way ahead so it was just me and my little legs… I was still on target for the time that I wanted but as I approached mile 16 and the hill that I was dreading second time round I was very aware that I would be achieving my furthest mileage so I focused my mind on that and failing was not an option. I forgot to write Never Give Up and Smile on my hand for this race but by the final miles when my hip flexor was in a fair amount of pain and my lower back was aching more than it ever has before I said it out loud for those blasted hills…I just didn’t want to stop at all as it affects my mentality for the race…Giving up is not an option and neither is stopping…the hills will not defeat me! At mile 18 there was final incline and I have to say I was not impressed…A man running behind me laughed as I swore out loud when I saw it… I think my mind had blocked it out but I kept going….never give up and smile, never give up and smile, never give up and smile….. The final corner couldn’t come fast enough now… This was the toughest part of the race for me and by now I was in pain and wondering, if I had to do another 10k, could I? Mentally, that day….no! But I was determined to finish in under 2:50 so when I saw the final 100 metres and the crowd I pulled it together for a fast finish…. It was an amazing feeling and Charlotte was there cheering me…yay! Over the finish line and I’ve done it!!!! 20 miles on a Sunday and its not even lunch time….BOOM! Bless the lady taking the chips off our trainers…I couldn’t get my leg up on the bucket so she had to kneel down to help me out…loved her at that point. We all got medals which was also a fantastic feeling! This was followed by stretching, yelping and downing recovery shake.

I couldn’t lift my left leg very well which I was a bit worried about so we all went in for a rub down which was one of the best decisions I made that day…bliss.

That evening, we arrived home, ordered take away and generally crashed out. Totally and utterly shattered and very very sore. The following morning the stairs were not my friend and ¬†so I booked in for an On Track Sports Therapy session for the Tuesday to help recovery. My hamstrings were agony but it was worth the exquisite pain – Amy, if you’re reading this, I don’t know what I would do without you right now….

So the next run is this evening but I am just doing an easy five miler to give my legs a bit of a stretch out in preparation for the race this weekend. Yes, that’s right, another Surrey country run…just the 21 miles to achieve and I think this will be my longest before Marathon day. Just to add to the nerves, the clocks go forward this weekend so we lose an hour over night…not what I need! Carbo loading begins tomorrow…..bring on the pasta!

My final race time for the Spitfire was 2:49:32 which I was really pleased with considering the hills and the pain by the end… It’s all great practise but makes race day feel very very close….

Not long now!!!

How is everyone training finding the longer runs now? Are you doing races or pounding the pavements?

Time: 2:49:32

Distance: 20 miles

Pace: 8:30 Avg

Music:¬†My tune of the race was Chase and Status, Eastern Jam….It got me up a very tough hill and kept me going.

Happy Running – Good luck with any races and long runs this weekend

frankiesaysrun xxx

Silverstone DONE!

Last Sunday was race day….My first half marathon race ever and I was nervous but very excited to meet some of my Marathon team and get a run out in our new Charity vests. My day started early with a massive bowl of porridge and dark chocolate, followed by plenty of water, Lucozade and my favourite chocolate milk. I was trying to eat as much as I could before getting on the coach as we had a two hour journey to Silverstone but with butterflies in the mix, I struggled to cram it all in. So I headed on out with a stash of bananas, bars and even more Lucozade to keep me going.

It was such a beautiful sunny day and Silverstone was buzzing when we arrived…We warmed up, took on the last fluids before the race and had the all important final toilet stop before heading off to the start line…At this point, the butterflies in my stomach were in full force… Music in and off we gooooooooo…..

My race plan was to find a comfortable pace to try and stick at and make sure that Lee from my running club stayed in sight…. My parents were there to cheer me on which at miles 4, 7 & 11 gave me such a rush of running happiness. I know this will sound obvious but it is so different running with a big group of people compared to training on my lonesome around the streets on Brixton, Clapham and Battersea. I found it really positive as the competitive side of me wants to beat those in front of me and make sure that I don’t get stuck in a pack of runners at a slower pace…

Overall I felt really good throughout the race – I had enough fuel on me to keep topped up and my little legs felt strong. I also felt extremely determined as I knew I wanted a particular time and once my mind was set on it failure was not an option. Never give up…and SMILE was written on my hand and at any point that I felt my head go down I reminded myself why I am running and focused my mind again. My toughest miles were 9 and 12. Once I reach mile 10, I feel like I’m over the big hill for a half marathon but the midway miles are always hard for me…12 was the mile where I could see the finish line but it is still just out of reach and 13.1 just seems to take forever to arrive…Luckily for me at the point that I felt at my slowest and my head was dropping, Beyonce, Run the World started to play and WOW, I swear it was better than ¬†a carb gel…serious energy and power in my legs for the final stretch…the crowds are in sight, the finish line is in sight, the clock reads 1:38:00 and final sprint hits…it feels amazing!! I clocked in at¬†1:39:10 and my goal was under 1:40….HOORAY!!!! Race one in the bag….

Practising a run in very warm weather with no shade was extremely valuable for training…it can be really draining and the importance of keeping hydrated is certainly highlighted to the max. In my opinion there could have been more water stations and less Lucozade on the day but I survived….and because of all the sunshine my freckles are out early…bonus!

Post race recovery consisted of chocolate shake, lots of stretching, hugs from my team and mum and dad and then home for a hot bath and a slap up steak dinner – BLISS. Back in London town I treated myself to a post run rub down from Amy at On Track Sports Therapy…and blimey did I need it. I always seem to time my massages on DOMS days so I am constantly reminded to breathe through the pain..ha! Amy and Isla are extremely good at what they do Londoners so if you need a sports massage check them out… They fix me every time…

This week I have been absolutely shattered so I did a quick 5 miler with the girls from running club on Wednesday but I am saving my legs for the weekend…I haven’t decided yet whether to run 18 miles on my own or join in a 20 mile race in¬†Surrey….either way it’s a big mileage so the butterflies will kick in tomorrow morning no doubt…Let the carbo loading begin…

It’s not long to go now until the big day so for all those reading this and running a Marathon, I hope training is going really well…Just remember when the mileage gets tough….NEVER GIVE UP…AND SMILE! We’ve come this far…. lets conquer those 26.2 miles…

Happy Running and thank you for reading…

frankiesaysrun xxx

I am fundraising for Variety, the Children’s Charity – an amazing cause supporting children all over the UK who are disabled and disadvantaged… If you have 1minute 40seconds to spare, watch Sam’s Film and see the instant difference a wheelchair can make to a disabled child… If you would like to donate, please follow the link below….Thank you xx

http://www.justgiving.com/franklesfirstmarathon

Distance: 13.31miles

Time: 1:39:10

Pace: 7’34”

Distance: 5 miles

Time: 40 mins

Pace: 7’40”

Never Give Up…and SMILE!

Blimey it’s been a busy couple of weeks with running and work which at the moment is mainly focused on the London Marathon….There really is no escape! The constant reminders on Twitter and Facebook that it’s only 44 days to go (yes, that’s right…argh) also add to the fact that my mind is totally consumed by running running running…

With the mileage is cranking up and after a frustrating half marathon distance a couple of weeks ago, I was feeling anxious in the build up to my 16 miler last weekend and a bit disheartened in all honesty. Luckily for me my friend Lucie who is a machine of Triathlons posted an article on my Facebook about the Iron Man Champion Chrissie Wellington¬†which literally gave my goosebumps as I read it. She is so inspiring and has a Mantra that is now on my fridge and gets written on my hand for those long training runs…. “Never Give Up….and SMILE” So simple yet so effective! It is well worth a read…

So after a hit of homemade smoothie I kicked off March with an early morning intervals session on the treadmill to help increase my VO2 Max and also shake up my training program a bit. I did 60 seconds on and 60 seconds recovery for 8 sets and it felt good… That lactic acid certainly kicked in a bit earlier each time though and by the end it was more of a challenge but I do love a bit of interval training… I felt all glowy for the rest of the day…and maybe a tad smug that I had managed to drag myself out of bed super early…

Leading up to my long run, my week consisted of two easy pace 40 minute training sessions which both went pretty well. The second run was a bit tougher as I have found that my legs do like to rest for a day in between training so I could feel that my calf was a bit tight and causing that annoying pain in my shin… Thankfully it’s nothing that a bit of stretching, ice and a rub down can’t get rid of.

For the ¬†next two days I focused on resting, eating well and making sure that I reduced my fibre intake in¬†preparation. If anybody remembers last weekend you will recall that Saturday was blissfully sunny and breezy….delightful weather to run in right? Did I run that day? Of course not…I was working at our Charity event and decided to attack the miles on Sunday….well, that served me right…RAINING! Not just a bit of rain…torrential, constant and bloomin freezing…Add in a bit of hail bouncing off my face and that sums up my 16 miles in weather terms. I really wasn’t expecting it to be so cold and so I definitely wasn’t wearing enough on my bottom half – Skins just don’t suffice..This equalled very pink legs by the time I got home.

When I woke up that morning, I really wasn’t in the mood to run 16 miles…So I gave myself plenty of time to get ready, fuelled up on my favourite recipe of porridge and dark chocolate, stuck on some TUNES and got my brain in gear – Does anyone else get that super hero feeling as they put on their running gear? I can be completely unmotivated, but pull on the Skins and BOOM, I’m a runner.

I purposely chose to run two parks so that I could break up the training into smaller chucks and it really helped. It was also the first time I had tried Lucozade gels and so I didn’t want to stray too far just..in..case. They were actually ok though….thicker than I expected but I found that if I took on half a tube and then carried the rest with me and fuelled up in small squeezes over the next 15 mins, I was absolutely fine. I could actually feel the energy hitting my legs…amazing. I managed to keep a good steady pace throughout but by the time I reached the final hill, soaked to the skin and cold it was a real push to keep going…so what came to mind? NEVER GIVE UP AND SMILE…so I didn’t and I smiled and I made it…HOORAY! Home, hot bath, chocolate milk and a stretch followed by sorted me right out…

Brick Box in Brixton Village is perfect refuelling – Gallettes filled with spinach, meat, eggs and veg…Delicious…Can’t recommend it enough.

Two days of rest and recovery was topped off by and a well earned sports massage at On Track Sports Therapy in Brixton Fitness First – Again, I can’t recommend them enough…Amy and Isla are fantastic at what they do and Amy is also taking on the Marathon so she knows what we’re all going through first hand… Back in next week for another rub down…My little legs are excited!

This Sunday is my first half marathon race…EVER, and so I am attacking Silverstone with some of my Charity Marathon team…I’m excited it about it but also hugely nervous. It’s great practise for the big day and I have been doing plenty of reading about diet and¬†preparation. I will be wearing my vest proudly for Variety, the Children’s Charity and running strong… With my lovely Mum and Dad watching, I want to make them proud too…

My main photo for this blog was sent to me by one of my fundraisers…he spotted it at an exhibition…I will be purchasing! Frankie Says Run is catching on…ha!

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend and also those tackling long training runs… Remember…NEVER GIVE UP…AND SMILE

Breakdown

Distance: 5:08 Miles

Time: 39mins 57sec

Average Pace: 7’52”

Distance: 5:19 Miles

Time: 40mins 35sec

Average Pace: 7’49”

Distance: 16miles

Time: 2:07:32

Average Pace:¬†7’59”

Happy Running everyone… Not long now…

frankiesaysrun xxx

I must take this opportunity to thank everyone who has donated so far to help me on my quest to raise ¬£2000 for Variety, the Children’s Charity. There is still a way to go and every penny really does count – If you would like to support the amazing work that we do, please click here¬†and if you would like to see how your donation can make a difference, take two minutes and watch this short film…¬†Sam is amazing…http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNiBbWgwhbc

Thank you xxx

An interesting 13 miles…

So I did my first half marathon distance at the weekend and a couple of important things went wrong early on in the session…

Firstly, my running belt dropped my carb gel which I was intending on testing out (argh) and then my Nike chip decided to give up and tell me that I was running and zero pace…I think not…(double argh) This didn’t help at two miles in but I decided to crack on and see how I got on. On the plus side it was a beautiful day – so sunny and there were plenty of people out running which was great!

In the morning I got up nice and early and fuelled up properly to practise the routine – Every long run, I am noting down what I eat before hand so that I can monitor how my body takes it on. So far I haven’t any disasters…phew! This time I had porridge with grated dark chocolate on top (yum), plenty of water and then some Lucozade to give me a kick just before I left… Even with the minor issues at the beginning, the first ten miles felt really good and breezey… Then I started to run out of energy as the Lucozade was running low…As ¬†was approaching Stockwell, I decided to throw myself into Sweatshop and steal a drink…I was a total sweaty mess by this point…what a lovely surprise for Tim and the gang! After that point and having to pause to get some energy my legs just felt so heavy and it was total mental strength to keep going… I managed it though and even found some kick deep down for Brixton Hill (we have a love hate relationship)… even if people did think I was a bit nuts telling myself to “keep going”… I didn’t care at that stage…

All in all, I learnt a lot from this training session¬†– the importance of regular fuelling and also mental strength when things get tougher… Taken on board and stored for the next big mileage…

Next weekend is Silverstone Half Marathon and I’m heading up with some of my Charity Marathon team – I’m really looking forward to spending some time with them all, donning my vest and getting my race head on…An added bonus for me is that my Mum and Dad are coming to watch me and then take me home for a nice steak…what a treat eh!?

As my Nike chip broke, I don’t have a full breakdown but I ran 13 miles and was on my feet for 1hr 48mins…. this included time to stop for a drink, get lost and have a word with myself…It’s not a time I’m particularly proud of but I think in a race environment I can knock off some serious time… Fingers crossed…

How are all you Marathon runners finding the fuelling while doing long runs? Any good gels? Tips?

Has anyone started a low fibre diet before long runs? I have heard this is a good plan so I’m trying it for the next two days….

I would also like to mention that I am running for the Charity that I work for – It’s called Variety, the Children’s Charity and we fundraise to help improve the lives of young people who are disabled and disadvantaged – I am passionate about what we do as I have seen the difference that can me made first hand and it humbles me every time… If you would like to support the cause, every penny really does count…. My JustGiving page is below along with a short film about a little boy called Sam…. Take 1 minute 48 seconds and see how your donation can change a life….

Thank you xx

http://www.justgiving.com/franklesfirstmarathon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNiBbWgwhbc

Happy running everyone

frankiesaysrun xxx