Where has the time gone?

I mean seriously…It feels like only yesterday that I was writing the “14 weeks to go” blog and now suddenly I’ve only got 7 weeks left until tail off….argh!

I’ve been a slack blogger for the past few weeks – but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been running. A lot has been happening since I last posted. My injury seems to be staying away as I have taken on board the exercises, recovery and strength training that was recommended by On Track Sports Therapy. I feel that I’ve learnt a lot about how to look after my little legs so maybe that pesky shin pain was a blessing in disguise. As my house mate is also running the Marathon we have been helping each other out with post run massages which is great for aiding recovery – I’m not sure what the neighbours think of us though as there is a lot of yelping and swearing if either of us is particularly sore (hehe)

The cold snap was not something I enjoyed at all – it just made everything harder, starting with the initial leaving the cosy house phase. I didn’t have to cut back on many runs and I suppose it was a great excuse to indulge in a bubble bath post training – absolute bliss! BUT, I still didn’t enjoy it. I will however have a quick rave about the new Nike top I purchased to keep me warm…It’s fantastic and has the little thumb holes so that my hands are partly covered. Love it love it and highly recommend it http://store.nike.com/gb/en_gb/?l=shop,pdp,ctr-inline/cid-103401/pid-421959/pgid-537397

One of the key points my physio discussed with me was the importance of good recovery and I have to say that the extra time spent soaking my muscles, stretching out and especially massage has really been helping a lot. It sounds so obvious doesn’t it? But when you’re shattered and just want to crash on the sofa, it’s very tempting to think, oh I’ll just leave that for tonight. My test is always the stairs in the morning….If I have looked after myself it doesn’t hurt as much and for now I’m doing ok.

I started my post injury running on grass which has made a huge difference…I focused on keeping up a steady speed and lapping Clapham Common a few times before heading back up the hill. It was a good exercise for me to have to come back in slower as the pace and impact was just too much – I thought I’d get bored of the Common but it’s actually been really nice to run off the pavement and away from the traffic…even if it is only a few metres difference.

I have also invested in new trainers purchased from the wonderful Sweatshop in Clapham. My Nike’s wouldn’t have made it to the Marathon and it was approaching the cut off point for having enough time to wear them in. I went for Adidas Glide’s (pictured above) and so far I really like them. I do love a new pair of shoes and so I was worried I may run into something because I was watching my feet…Obviously the most important thing is that they are comfortable and support my feet properly but boy they are pretty and shiny!! These babies will be running the ACTUAL race with me so we have some serious bonding to do…I felt like Bambi on ice when I first ran in them and *youch* it hurt for the first couple of miles…we’re getting on better now and the test will be the long run this weekend.

Those out there also running the Marathon – are you nervous?confident?indifferent? I am starting to feel the nerves now – I did my revised training programme for the last 7 weeks and I nearly started hyperventilating at the final few weeks of long runs and generally the short amount of time there is until the big day…I feel like I’m still on target but I do have days when I feel totally overwhelmed by it all…no doubt it’s just a phase of the training that I can crack.

I had a fantastic run the other weekend with my friend James who is one of those people who takes on crazy Iron Man and 55 miler style challenges and does them really well (envy). We ran in Richmond in the sun and James challenged me to 5 x 250m intervals in the middle of our training to really help improve my VO2 Max. James is so much faster than me and he also knows how competitive I am so knew that he could push me…wow was it a challenge but it highlighted that it is an area I need to work on. I won’t improve my speed if I simply run long distances and so I’ve built a session a week of intervals into my training programme. It’ a nice way to mix things up too.

So this weekend is half marathon distance for me… I’m excited about it as it’s the start of the real distances kicking in… I’ll be practising my fuelling in particular and testing out the gels I bought…I am hoping that they agree with me.

Distance: 7.37 miles

Time: 55mins 05secs

Pace: 7’28”

————–

Distance: 7.55 miles

Time: 57mins 11 secs

Pace: 7’34

————–

Distance: 5.86 miles

Time: 44mins 32secs

Pace: 7’35”

—————

Distance: 10.23 miles (including intervals)

Time: 1hour 21 mins 01sec

Pace: 7’55”

—————

Distance: 5.16 miles

Time: 45 mins

Pace: 8’45” (<- tired bunny)

I hope training is going well for those out there taking part in the Marathon or indeed other races!

Is anyone running Silverstone half in March?

frankiesaysrun xxx

I am running in support of Variety, the Children’s Charity who help to improve the lives of children who are disabled and disadvantaged. If you would like to donate to the cause – please click here > http://www.justgiving.com/franklesfirstmarathon Every penny really does help! Thank you xxx

Advertisements

Back in the game…slowly but surely

As a very competitive person, the last two weeks have been tough! I was suffering, as you may have previously read, from a very sore lower left leg. At first I thought I had shin splints but after a consultation with On Track Sports Therapy they found that I needed to build the strength in the muscles surrounding my ankles and shin. My calves have been over compensating and had therefore become very very tight and had started pulling on my shin – yowch! I was also advised that I needed to bring my pace down slightly as this was contributing to my sore little legs. So over the last two weeks I have been doing my prescribed daily strength exercises and rolling my calves out on the glorious foam roller… Focusing on each leg at a time during strength training has really highlighted how weak I am on my left side – the easy test for me was trying to balance on my left leg without wobbling at the ankle…lets just say it’s going to take some more practise and constant training to improve that.

So last night I went out for my first “getting back to it” run with the main aim being  – NO PAIN….and we have success!!! My physio has advised that I drop the pace of my runs and trainon grass instead of just pavement. I actually loved it…there’s something much for interesting about running on grass (does that sound silly?) but I really enjoyed it and even though you’re only meters from the road and the bustle of the street, I felt a bit more removed from it all which was fab!! I really focused as well on keeping my stride shorter as I think I was putting unnecessary strain and impact on my legs. I found a really comfortable pace last night that I know I could keep up over a longer distance, so I felt I really achieved something.

Still…slowly but surely…I’m not going to overdo it as I couldn’t bear to take more time off and I have strict instructions that (in the nicest way possible) my physio Amy doesn’t want to have to see me again for anything other than a sports massage 🙂

My plan from now on is to do steady pace middle distance runs in the week with some fartlek training thrown in and really save my legs for the weekend long runs. I have also made the decision to leave a day between each run to make sure that I can recover properly. Lets hope this works….. I have to say, getting in a bubble bath post run is a luxury I am very much enjoying especially in this cold weather…

How is everyone out there in the marathon training world getting on? 11.5 weeks to go….argh…

Got any good soft grassy routes you could share with me? I would LOVE to hear them…

It feels great to be back in the game….

Distance: 7.21 miles

Time: 57mins 51secs

Pace avg:  8’01”

Weather: Cold and dry

Music: My song of the run was Coldplay,Paradise

frankiesaysrun xxx

I am also fundraising for Variety, the Children’s Charity. We work to improve the lives of children who are disabled or disadvantaged and if you need an example of the difference we make, please watch this short film… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOWVNRISdNA

If you would like to donate please click HERE – every penny really does count….THANKYOU!!! xxx

14 weeks to go…

I now have the weeks numbered in my diary as a count down to the start line, the training plan is on the fridge and the freezer is stocked up with meals for ultimate running fuel. In our house, the main focus is the Marathon and more regularly, now that we’re well and truly in to 2012, I keep getting flutters of nerves and excitement.

I’m still having a bit of an issue with my left shin & calf muscle that I am trying to manage through rest, plenty of stretching, yoga and of course ICE!!!! It’s a great excuse to sit still for a bit with an ice pack on my leg…. However, it is extremely frustrating not being able to just head out when my training plan tells me too….it feels like I’m failing before I’ve even got there but as all the sensible people keep telling me, it’s not worth permanent damage so I  put my very competitive side in a little box for a week and took it easy….Not doing the Marathon isn’t an option for me, so physio is booked and hopefully I’ll be back on my little legs v soon. I’m doing lots of reading on recovery, injury management and generally nutrition surrounding training to make sure that I am as strong as possible.

So, since I last blogged, I have completed 3 training runs but with limited internet at home and being a busy bunny at work, I haven’t had a chance to catch up…

Weekend before last, I started my Saturday with some hill training at the gym on the cross trainer…even though I was in the fantastic company of Miss Walton, my goodness, cross training is DULL, DULL, DULL!!! The only thing that kept me going was watching the Tinie Tempah music videos… It felt good to be doing something despite sore shin *grr* but it certainly didn’t give you half the thrill of running outdoors.

Time: 40 mins

Pace: Level 7

Distance: 9.08 km

Music: The sound of Miss Walton’s voice…

Sunday = long run day so after a good breakfast the skins were donned and off I jolly well went. I took this run at a steadier pace as I was very aware of my shin which at this point hated me for even thinking about running… Not far into it I had to stop to cross at traffic lights, which I hate anyway and that was it, the shin was done and my muscles said NO! I decided to loop back towards my hood so that I wasn’t too far from home but could attempt to complete the time. After having to stop, I felt really thrown and out of sync but I figured, if I can’t get myself back home now, how the hell am I going to keep myself going on Marathon day if things get tough. Despite the pain though, I actually felt much fitter as if I was making progress which is a great feeling. The last road to mine is called “death road”…massive hill…nemesis…I pushed myself up it and it didn’t destroy me but it was certainly enough for the day…Recovery shake, stretch out followed by an ice pack on my leg helped me to feel less lame. I don’t like a broken run but when it comes to mental strength, it can’t hurt to practise.

Time: 56mins 03

Pace: 7’25”

Distance: 7.54 miles

A major area I have been focusing on is correct running form – not as easy as it looks. Making changes feels uncomfortable but it is a MUST for me otherwise I’ll definitely injure myself again. Has anyone else out there in the running and twitter world got tips on form or stories about improving yours? I’ve been thinking about the Running School so enquiries are being made.

Tuesday was an Easy Run day *phew* so me and my housemate who is also training decided to run together. London Marathon describe this run as “you should be able to chat while running – 50-60% of race pace”…Naturally we talked boys, bags and all things girlie… It was lovely to have some company while running. Finished off in central Brixton….stretching out on the street was interesting – all sorts of funny looks…ha!

Time: 30mins 12

Pace: 8’07”

Distance: 3.72 miles

The following Monday led to conversations about funny names on running vests – I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. Some of them will not be mentioned on here as there is no rating system and our favourite is definitely not suitable for a younger audience. What will you be putting on your vest? Obviously your name in general is vital so that people can cheer you on but are you thinking of putting something a bit different to make you laugh along the way. My house mate was thinking “fatty” (her idea & for the record she isn’t fat) as it would crack her up to hear people shouting “come on fatty” “keep going fatty” throughout the race…. It may brighten the darkest of Marathon moments…. we will see and report back…

Nearly a week down *dying to run* and the physio is tonight…keep your fingers crossed for me…they fixed me last time so I have faith in them… If you are London based and looking for a good physio, I highly recommend Amy and Isla at Ontrack Sports Therapy.

For all those reading this and training, I hope it’s going really well….

Physio report blog to follow…

For now….Happy running!

frankiesaysrun xxx

It’s my Marathon Year – Lets catch up

Hello runners and readers – Happy New Year!!! After a busy busy build up to Christmas and then a lovely restful break, 2012 is finally here which means it’s MARATHON YEAR and most definitely all systems go.

During December, I was really run down and my shins were suffering so with a mixture of being poorly and and trying to keep my little legs in working order, I took it easy for the final week before heading home to the countryside. My friend Jeanie got me thinking about my form while running as well as she has been doing a course and so I made it my mission of my next run to watch how my feet strike the ground and adapt my form if necessary – turns out it is necessary as I was heel striking and I think that’s what was causing pain in my shins. It feels very strange when you try and adapt how you have been running for a long time but so far I think it has helped so watch this space as it’s a work in progress…*focused face*

While back in Oxfordshire, I donned my kit and took myself out into the country air for some training – It is such a bizarre experience barely seeing anyone and stretches of fields instead of Clapham Common and tonnes of runners but it was a lovely and welcome change of scenery. As a training run, it was a great mix of steep hills, steady inclines and some flatter terrain to pick up pace. I did focus very hard on form and my core and I have to say that after the run, my shins weren’t as sore as they normally are – that was a big positive for me. The other positive was that my lovely mum had made me a power smoothie for when I got up and then a protein and carb dream of a breakfast for when i got back – Could I work regionally for 4 months and train back home? It’s the dream! *love you mum*.

Unfortunately, that was my only country run as my immune system decided to flunk out on me again and I had the most terrible cold which equalled bed for me and lots of hot drinks and sleep… However, I didn’t completely neglect my bod. My Mum teaches Yoga and she taught me salute to the sun which I made sure I did every morning as well as some other stretching….it’s remarkable how much Yoga can help you…flexibility, strength, immune system boosting, calm mind etc etc… I could go on… I have decided to take it up on a regular basis in London as a part of my training and the bid for a healthier mind and body *excited*

Back in London town, I saw in the New Year and then classically spent January 1st recovering from the celebrations. Full of energy on the Monday I took to the streets after mapping my route on nike plus (love it). I am now starting to take on energy drink/fuel as I run so this was my first proper trial with an energy drink that was given to me for Xmas. I have never been a fan of running and holding on to a bottle, but it actually didn’t feel too bad the drink really helped me on my way round. Again I was watching my form and it is slowly becoming easier not to be thinking about it constantly. In general I felt strong throughout and even managed Cedars road *uphill nemesis* without being too crushed…woop! My only downer on this run was a twinge in the top of my left leg as I turned onto Poynders Road to take on the final hill…I had to pause and stretch it out to get home. On my return it was shake time and lots of stretching and foam roller action…The following morning I felt a tad achey but after some salute to the sun I was feeling a lot better. Seriously, YOGA YOGA YOGA!!!

So tonight is first running club back for 2012 at Sweatshop in Clapham and this is my steady run for the week. Really looking forward to seeing everyone. I am now following the “Go For It” training plan in the London Marathon magazine which is 5 days a week of fun times…wish me luck…13 weeks of full training to go and then tail off time….

If you’re reading this and also doing a Marathon, I hope your training is going well….!

Country Run

Distance: 8.17 miles

Time: 1:01:48

Pace: 7’33”

Weather: Drizzly and mild

Music: My ever lengthening marathon playlist

Back in London

Distance: 9.6 miles

Time: 1:12:47

Pace: 7’32”

Weather: Cold and dry

Music: Labrinth, Earthquake was my new addition….Oh yes!!!

If you have any hints, tip or advice based on what I’ve rattled on about, please do leave them below…Its great to hear what other runners are up to 🙂

I must also mention that I am now trying to boost my fundraising for Variety, the Children’s Charity. Please watch this short film about Sam and see the difference that your donation can make. We want to continue improving young people’s lives everyday…Please donate if you can and help me reach my target of £2000. Every little helps…thank you so much! xx

Happy Running everyone….

frankiesaysrun xxxx

“Quote Unquote”

So I am currently sat at my desk doing some work for the London Marathon and it has included looking up quotes to use on correspondence… I thought I would share some of my faves….

These may get stuck up around the house too…

“Run hard, be strong, think big!” – Percy Cerutty

“I’ve learned that finishing a marathon isn’t just an athletic achievement. It’s a state of mind; a state of mind that says anything is possible.” – John Hanc

“I tell our runners to divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart.” – Mike Fanelli

“There will be days you don’t think you can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime of knowing you have.” – Unknown

“There is a moment in every race. A moment where you can either quit, fold, or say to yourself, ‘I can do this.” – Gatorade Ad
“The marathon. How an average runner becomes more than average.”  – New Balance
What inspires you? Do you have a favourite quote?
Please share if you would like to….
Happy Running everyone – I’m running with Sweatshop Running Club tonight for my steady run and getting to try on new winter running gear…the cold has well and truely set in…
frankiesaysrun xxx

Something for your Christmas list…please Santa…I have been a good girl!!

Right you beautiful runners – here’s a fancy new piece of lustworthy equipment that has just arrived at Sweatshop – Running Club Sam is very excited about it and when you purchase the watch you also get £100 worth of vouchers to spend at the shop – great investment-licious!!

Have a read – I know I want one and will be writing to Santa….I’ve been a good girl this year so fingers crossed.

It is launched on Saturday morning so get yourselves down to the shop and buy buy buy 🙂

frankiesaysrun xxx