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…. 🙂

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

Advertisements

“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”

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

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

Fire those glutes…and then get a rub down

After a week of being under the weather and tucked up in bed, I took to Brockwell Park on Saturday morning with my roomie Laxy for some strength and hill training. We went to boot camp together a couple of months ago and wanted to do some of the workouts that we had learnt there for strengthening our core and legs. It was such a beautiful morning that it made getting up and out a lot easier and Brockwell park certainly didn’t let us down…..lots of runners, cute dogs and PT sessions going on so it makes you feel like your not alone in getting fit.

We went for power training – 30 mins non stop and if I’m being honest I had to lie down at the end as the world went a bit spinny for a few seconds *woops* – Those burpees always get us both…! See below for our little routine and if you happen to see a blonde and brunette running up and down the hill at Brockwell on a Saturday morning and cursing burpees, it’s probably us! I also did some bed time reading before hand to make sure we were focusing on the right exercises – Paula Radcliffe’s book “How to Run” is great and really breaks things down well. I would definitely recommend it!

A bit of strength training

Deep squats (10 reps), Kettle swing 3kg (15 reps), Plank with wide steps (10 reps), Burpees (10 reps), Twisted press up (10 reps)

Between each of these, sprint up the hill to your staggered markers – we had 3 different distances and just carried on repeating until 30 minutes was up….it makes for a decent work out and a good toosh!! If you need inspiration, check out this girls work out videos…we sat and gasped for quite a while at the weekend – http://www.bodyrock.tv/ (of course this is how good we look in our living room first thing in the morning….)

However…my treat after our workout was a full body sports massage at On Track Sports Therapy based in Fitness First, Brixton. Amy and Isla treated me when I was injured and they were amazing so I can fully recommend their knowledge and skills. I am going to be having regular massages there in the build up to the race as I hope it’s a good way to spot any possible injuries early and be able to sort them out before they become anything that will stop me running the marathon. Amy pointed out a weakness around my knee and recommended that I focus my tennis ball massage on that area after my next run…which I did and it feels ok today 🙂 *happy face*. Amy is also running the Marathon and so we nattered about our training and talked muscles and joints…I find it all a bit fascinating *geeky hat on*

By the end of the day on Saturday my legs felt very tired so the weekend was for rest and Monday, as you will read in my next instalment was definitely all about running…

If you have any good strength exercises to share I would love to hear them….

Happy running

frankiesaysrun xxx

I am running the London Marathon for the Variety club Children’s Charity – if you would like to know more about what we do, watch this short film and see the difference the money I raise can make…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWt1H3q9ETI&feature=related

If you would like to donate, please check out my Just Giving page – every little really does help…thank you xx