It’s me, do you even remember who I am? I’m sorry I’ve been a rubbish blogger but I do have some valid excuses.
It all started when our internet stopped working. OMG, how horrid was that. How did we ever live without it? Not only could I not blog but I couldn’t keep up with all the blogs that I like to read. It also put me very behind on a special project that I was working on.

When the internet finally started working again I had an awful lot to catch up on and that took a lot of time and then I got to the point where I kept starting blog posts but then not posting them as I felt silly as I hadn’t done it for so long…soooooo I decided to bite the bullet and get on with it! Thank you to all those of who have messaged or nagged me to do this! I promise to try a bit harder now…

So I’ll start with a summary

Since I last posted I have……

  • Done some quite long runs
  • Run a 10 mile race, very slowly!
  • Had a hideous cold, followed by sinusitis
  • Done some more long runs
  • Had a shin splint
  • Done some quite short runs (not on the tarmac!)
  • Become adept at mind boringly numb treadmill intervals
  • Done quite a lot of swimming
  • Become well acquainted with the weirdos that hang out in Poole Park (I don’t mean the parkrunners!)
  • Attempted my first ‘back on the road run’
  • Had my first 100 mile total for a 30 day period
  • Spent quite a lot of time working on a brand new marathon…..

So…..I’ll add a bit of detail to that lot but try not to go on! After the high of the weekend where I did a 15 mile run followed by a 4 mile race I entered the doldrums a bit. My training was going okay but I started to struggle on the longer runs. I have a tendency to get up to around 12 miles and then find the rest a real hard slog. I’m pretty sure that this is down to PMA…….either I’m lacking in Positive Mental Attitude or I’m a Plonker with Marathon Aspirations…. I’ll let you know which is it when I’ve made up my mind!!!

I do actually know some of the reason for it. I get a bit down because my times are getting slower when all my friends are getting faster (they are marathon training too so I can’t use that as an excuse). I think I just have to accept that when I’m doing high mileage I get slower. I have to make sure that I go at a good speed for me right from the beginning rather than using up all my energy in the first 10 miles. It’s really hard as that pretty much means that I need to run on my own rather than with friends and half of the reason I love to do long runs is for the company! 

I did two 16 mile runs along the promenade from Sandbanks almost to Hengistbury Head and back again. These were my worst long runs ever. The first 10 miles were fine both times but on the first run I struggled from there all the way back and on the second one from about 12 miles. I’m pretty sure that these runs are what caused the shin splint too. It’s pretty relentless running without change of direction, nearly always with a slight camber to battle against. Luckily, I decided to go straight to Anne-Marie as soon as it hurt (I already had an appt booked but brought it foward) and she was able to confirm what it was, treat it to some pretty painful manipulation (the bruises have just about gone!) and gave me the good news that as long as it didn’t hurt to run on it then I could run, albeit not on a hard surface. This was great news as I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to run at all for at least a few weeks. I did miss a long run in this period but that was as much down to getting drenched and freezing as the leg!

I’ve been going to the gym so that I could run on the treadmill too. Oh my goodness it’s hard work! I get sooooo hot and soooo sweaty and I swear that it takes 3 hours to run a 5k. I can’t imagine how anyone actually chooses that as an option!

So to the ‘how is my shin on the road?’ run….for this momentous occasion I chose a 20 mile race. Good plan huh! I’d booked to do the Mad March 20 ages ago as everyone that was ‘marathoning’ last spring did it and told me what a huge confidence booster it was. I went into it with a very open mind. It’s a two lap race so I knew that I could stop at 10 miles if I felt that was enough (or obviously sooner if necessary!).

The day dawned foggy and cold and clearly that meant the usual ‘what to wear’ dilemma was worse than normal as it was nearly freezing outside but forecast to get up to 17degrees when the sun came out and who knew when that would be!?

I plumped for just a vest but with my shiny new (these’ll make my leg okay) skins but packed my entire running wardrobe ‘just in case’ I met Tish, Belinda and Anja at the ferry and off we went.

It was freezing waiting at the start. The fog did look like it might lift but it definitely wasn’t certain. We really needn’t have worried though as minutes before the start it cleared away and it became very obvious that it was going to be VERY hot. The four of us stuck together at the start, despite Tish deciding to strip off at the last minute and nearly missing the chip mats! It was a really pretty route and as we’d decided on a nice steady pace we were able to have a good natter too. We ended up splitting up a bit as we all found our own pace. I was trying Clif Shot bloks for the first time too and they take a bit of eating. I definitely prefer them to regular gels though.

From about 9 miles I started thinking about stopping at the end of the first lap. I had no reason to stop. My leg wasn’t hurting at all, I wasn’t really that knackered (although very hot!) and I was managing to maintain about the pace I wanted. However the thought of doing it all again just filled me with dread and I didn’t know how I’d find the energy.

I think that this is the worst thing about races with ‘laps’ … it really messes with your head! Luckily for me the last mile of the lap was also the first mile so I saw a lot of my (speedy!) friends going in the opposite direction and they all shouted and asked me if I was okay, which I was, and that made me realise that I couldn’t possibly stop…that and the huge cheer from the lovely Purbeck Runner supporters who’d all turned out to help us along. So…onto lap 2…..

I have to say that miles 11 to 12 were just dreadful, there is a little bit of lane that you have to do a u-turn on to make up the distance which just feels pointless and the thought of the task ahead seemed very overwhelming. I think, with hindsight, that I’d also left taking my next shot bloks a bit too late as by about mile 12 (20 mins after taking them) I suddenly felt really good again. I felt like I COULD do this and that I WOULD. Unfortunately my stomach started to play up quite badly around this time and that affected my pace as I wasted quite a lot of time trying to find suitable places for a quick stop! I actually had to stop twice but at least after that the gurgling stopped and I was able to concentrate on just getting back. My pace did drop down a bit in this second half of the race but I felt better than I had on a long run for ages.

I’ve posted the lap times from mile 13 onwards, as you can see they are quite slow but reasonably consistent, apart from lap 16 which is much more like my times from the first half. This was because I was running alone at that point…with no other runner near me and then I heard some terrible shouting and screaming from up ahead. Some chap was having a full on domestic on the phone with what I assume was his ex and he was effing and jeffing and throwing all his camping gear into the road ahead of me (I think he’d stormed out and camped for the night)! I was terrified and it certainly helped my pace!

The other thing that is worth highlighting is that my best pace of the race was in the final mile….I may only have hit that pace for a second or two but it just goes to show what having your club at the finish does for your times…even after 20 miles!!!!!

Right, I’ve gone on enough for one night. I’ll be back soon to tell you all about the Purbeck Marathon which is a very exciting project!

Thanks again for all your lovely messages


  1. Maria
    Mar 13, 2012

    Glad to see you back blogging 🙂 We had some days over Christmas where our internet went down and it was so annoying- we rely on it so much for things.
    Choosing what to wear for races is so hard at this time of year- looks like you got it right in the end.
    Hope the rest of your training goes well- it can’t be long now is it?

  2. Sarah @ Every Day’s a Picnic
    Mar 14, 2012

    Welcome back! It suck that you’ve been injured, but I’m glad that it’s not too serious.
    Well done on the training 🙂