I’m back from a week of skiing in Bulgaria with my lovely mum. I have to confess that I told Zoe I was doing lots of running on the treadmill, because she was virtuously trundling away following our training plan to the letter. I lied: I actually managed 15 minutes one day, which just about killed me. 6 hours of skiing a day was enough – we were so tired that one night we ready for bed at 8pm.
I had a brainwave yesterday – take the dog out running with me! I’ll be safe, she’ll get a good walk, everyone’s happy. Slight problem:
She’s now been sacked as a training partner – halfway round she stopped dead and refused to move. I could sympathise, having been there myself, but having spent the last half of the run encouraging her to keep going I now know how Katie feels when she runs with me. But the good news is that a week of skiing has made me superfit! For the first time yesterday I actually realised there was a chance I might run the whole 26.2 miles, instead of run walking.
More later. Eek, it’s the end of term. Going to have to lock the children in the shed whilst I go running next week.
As it would seem that I really am running a marathon in 12 weeks’ time, I think it’s time for some of the technical stuff.
One of the benefits of all this running is that instead of thinking about dieting I’m thinking about diet.
I’ve been out for a run having eaten nothing (bad idea, got wobbly legs and came home after a mile with a headache), I’ve been out after drinking too much wine the night before (even worse idea: never run with a hangover) and I’ve learned that revolting as it is, nothing sets you up for a run like a bowl of porridge. I’m ashamed to admit that despite being Scottish, I think it’s utterly disgusting. It’s like eating lumpy, congealing wallpaper paste. But I force it down, because I know it works. I’ve tried adding fruit, cinnamon, raisins, maple syrup…it’s still gruesome.
I’ve also been doing some research into gels, which are lovely energy-giving little packets of gloop which you
force down enjoy during long runs. I tried the orange flavoured Lucozade Body Fuel, because Lucozade have drinks stations every 5 miles on the marathon route. It had the consistency of PVA glue and tasted of orange-flavoured medicine. Then I discovered the deliciousness that is the Powerbar Strawberry & Banana Gel, which was so yummy I could just hoover it up as a snack (bad idea, given that it’s just sugar and electrolytes).
But oh no, disaster – it’s made by That Company I Boycott* so I’m still on the lookout for a non-disgusting gel without artificial sweeteners.
Alternatively, I can take my blogging friend Karyn’s lead: she did her first marathon fuelled by granola bars. Her finishing time was 3:37, qualifying her for the Boston Marathon, which is pretty impressive. Think it’ll take more than granola bars, though, otherwise I’d be fab at running already.
Luckily Karyn has some brilliant advice on her blog on pre, post and during race nutrition. She and carpeviam are my two favourite marathon bloggers – both of them could probably run two marathons in the time it’ll take me to do one, but they’re inspiring and have encouraged me from the very beginning.
In other news, I drove 24 miles to visit a friend today, and every single mile I was imagining how I’d be feeling by that point. I think I’m getting a bit obsessed.
My friend P pointed out that I haven’t posted the article from the lovely and very entertaining MumsRock website on here. If you want to read it in all its glory, go here. But here it is for posterity:
I hate running. I look awful in lycra, and my body shape owes more to Dawn French than Paula Radcliffe. So running the Virgin London Marathon wasn’t really at the top of my things to do list. I have four children, I work from home, I have an allotment which recently earned a ‘must do better’ letter. So last April, when I discovered that my cholesterol levels were too high, I decided that I’d run the Virgin London Marathon in memory of my father. He’d have found that highly amusing, given that I was the girl who would run a mile to avoid any form of exercise.
Dad was only 55 when he died suddenly from a heart attack.
Every day in the UK, 700 people suffer a heart attack – that’s one every 2 minutes. I set up a blog and approached Heart Research UK, a charity which funds research into heart disease, as well as educating people in the ways to look after their hearts. My sister Zoe agreed to join in and for inspiration, we watched the Marathon on television. I’d like to say I was feeling proud of myself, but I was wondering how easy it would be to sneakily break my leg.
I set off on my first run at 5am. I managed a whole 20 seconds before collapsing on a handy bench and turning for home. My husband since confessed that he thought I’d forgotten something, but he was too polite to ask why I didn’t go back out. Since then, I’ve managed to master running for a whole five minutes without stopping – it’s harder than you’d think, you know. Recently I’ve discovered that my self-preservation method has a name. Calling it The Galloway Method sounds a lot better than ‘run a bit, walk a bit’.
My thinking was that with all four children at school or preschool, I’d have lots of time to run. It never seems to work out quite like that. Someone is invariably ill, the school is closed because of snow, and the whole summer holidays were a complete write off. I spent two months apologising on my blog for writing about sandcastles and how much washing the children generated, until my husband sneakily bought a treadmill on eBay. It turned out to be the size of a small transit van and takes up half the sitting room. It’s hard to find an excuse not to run when it trips me up every time I try and sneak into the kitchen for a biscuit.
26.2 miles is a long way, but it’s for a good cause, and I want my children to be proud of me. After all, not everyone can say they have a marathonmummy.
Just a quick one tonight because I’m worn out after a hard training session this afternoon…
It’s been a bit cold and snowy here (do you like my understated approach to the coldest winter in the UK for a billion years?) so with all four children off school I’ve had to be creative with my training. Today’s mission: run up a hill carrying a sledge and dragging assorted children, then whizz down. Several hours later everything hurts so I think it did some good. Tomorrow, a dreadmill session. Not so much fun but a bit warmer than -3 at least. Brr.
I can run 8 minute miles. Or I could if I didn’t die of tiredness after about three seconds.
My jogging speed is faster than it needs to be.
My heart rate is, well, it’s going to get better, isn’t it?
And it really helps if you don’t turn the Garmin off after two minutes, whilst debating what to do about the walkers in front, and then forget to turn it back on for ten minutes, because it’s kind of hard to get a good idea of how the run goes when you miss the middle out.
At least I managed to get out today – we’re forecast heavy snow (it’s already falling) and I think the children will be off school for the rest of the week, so it’ll be treadmill trundlings for me. But I ticked off run #1 on the 16 week marathon training schedule:
Tue 30 mins: run 3 mins, walk 1
Wed 40 mins: run 3 mins, walk 2
Fri 40 mins: run 3 mins, walk 1
Sun 80 mins: run 3 mins, walk 2
Next year (and can you believe that I’m writing this!) we’re going to do it faster! When Zoe and I were out on Boxing Day, she said ‘you know, I have a feeling this is going to turn us into…runners’ (said as if it was a bad thing).