We never know where life is going to take us or what challenges it brings. In January 2010 I was happy, so happy I wanted to stay that way for as long as I could. I realised that if Ali and I wanted a long and healthy life together, we had to change. I was clinically obese, had a bad back and my knees were feeling the strain. I had various health problems and I was ageing faster than my years. I looked ahead to a life I did not want. It was time to change. By the end of the year I had lost 4 stone - 56lbs. My confidence rocketed - I had taken control and it had worked. I was exercising, enjoying buying clothes, speaking up for myself.

I began to believe in myself again, I began to dream. For years I had watched marathons with admiration and a lump in my throat. In April 2013, I ran my first marathon.

This blog is about living life as a slim person, staying slim and fulfilling my dreams. Come and join me, support me, advise me!

Take care, Sue

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Preparing to succeed week 2: Running Roots

Second pre training prep week and it's been a very useful week for learning new things and remembering what matters most, what underpins everything and what I already know:  I run because I love it and that is the most powerful training aid anyone can have. #that is all!

Started off in techie mode. Monday I was up with the lark and very aware that there are people with colds everywhere, spreading the germs.  This reminds me I need to boost my immune system and stock up on remedies. I started an echinacea burst, stuffed the first defence in my bag and checked cold remedy supplies. I need to beef up my cold avoidance strategy. This coincided with some useful advice from @XFmGirl on garlic and ginger - definitely my kind of cold remedy.

This week's running - Monday a tempo run - according to the running gurus, the most important thing in marathon prep next to the long endurance run.  This will increase the ability of my muscles to process lactic acid, increase my running efficiency and my aerobic capacity.  I like that!  Thanks to my garmin I know that I ran at around 80% of my capacity which is about right. But a problem. As I hit the shower I got that horrid nippy feeling - chafing alert in the sports bra region, a new and totally unexpected experience. Body glide and a new sports bra (different model) go onto the shopping list.

Tuesday was supposed to be a speedy 5k, but ended up a not very fast 5K, my legs were sore after Monday. No Garmin, so I don't know how hard I worked, but by 11 am, I could barely walk. I was sooo stiff despite some quality stretching and a bit of yoga. It was a real novelty, it's been ages since I was stiff after running and in totally new places. What has been going on? I was pleased in a weird sort of way, it helps me remember I've worked hard.

Wednesday morning,  I'm still stiff, so I do an easy run to try and loosen up. Despite the macho air in the gym, I go very slowly, listening to my body, carefully monitoring aches and pains, ready to stop if anything seems a bit iffy. I'm not sure why, but I hurt the same amount in the same places all through. It didn't feel like an injury, but boy did it slow me down. I do a slow 2.2 miles in 30 minutes and hobble off the machine for some more stretching and yoga.  A Pilates class at lunchtime really got the legs moving and got me on the road again, but Thursday and Friday were rest days so that my legs were as best they can be for an essential long weekend run.

Weather and having a nice time with Ali took precedence on Saturday so Sunday I was ready for my long endurance run.  And I couldn't have timed it better. I had a marvellous run, it reminded just what I love so much about running. I felt great and loved every minute (almost!). Set off into a howling westerly and as I ran, I knew, the wind is my friend. It gives me resistance to add to my endurance training. Looking at the Garmin, it was certainly boosting my workout rate! Plus it cooled me down, yes I am at an age where the cooling  breezes are often welcome.

What a wonderful run. Slow, I walked a bit. I managed a nut bar as fuel. I realised that you cannot run to Willie Nelson but the Vatersay Boys and George Michael can give a real boost.  I revelled in East Lothian, surely the most beautiful county in Scotland? I am forbidden by my Yorkshire upbringing from making grander claims, but my heart swelled. And that is what running is all about for me.

So here's this week's weekly stats:
  • Monday - tempo run. 6.4 miles on 60 mins. 520 calls. 9.22 mm
  • Tuesday - 3.1 miles in 30 mins. 250 calls 9.40 mm
  • Wednesday - easy recovery run. 2.2 miles, 30 mins. 108 calories 13.38mph
  • Sunday - endurance (with resistance!) 13.5 miles; 2.14 mins; 760 calls 9.14mph
Total miles - 25.2 (16.40). Total mins - 254 (155).  Total xtrain 0 (30). Total cals - 1,638 (?)

I've been slower this week, but longer. That might reflect treadmill running; I might just be slower in the mornings (now that would make sense!). Is it a women's thing? Who knows!

So this week has brought some useful reminders about two predictable unpredictables - chafing and colds. Plus a lesson that my legs do in fact have limits, and that they can only do so much. If I over do one run it has knock on effects and I need to make sure I am up to doing my core runs Thank goodness for the easy run, it is such a useful tool in the runners toolkit in so many ways. It is going to be a good friend over the coming months.

I also had some very useful advice from @crammy76 and @juliesmith08 about the merits of integrating club running into my training. I can see the benefits and I am drawn to it, but I'm not that organised (and it has been said that I am not 'clubbable'). It has however reminded me that I need to book a few races into my training schedule and get along to jogscotland one Thursday if I can. But my heart is with @rowenanews, I have the best running club in the world - Twitter and the Tweeps!

The best bit about this week is the most important lesson of all. You need to love your running. I got a mile high run today that will keep me going through the cold dark mornings and the treadmills and the late night runs. Bliss! I've had a good week, aided and abetted by knowing that Mum is recovering happily and safely in hospital and I had a modicum of control over my time.

Next week the training schedule proper kicks in and I start stage 1. I'm starting early because - well why not! I may need a week or two in my back pocket over the coming months. Golden rule 1 - run when you can!

Three months, twenty days, 15 hours and 52 minutes to go until the big day. I'll be there.

Hasta la Vista babies!

Have a great week everyone!

Take care