The reason why……

So I have read every blog, training plan, article etc linked to running a marathon and how to train for a marathon. I had decided that I was going to follow the Women’s Running Magazine beginners plan. It is a 16-week plan. That means that serious training is to kick off on the 23rd of December. As my last post says (read here), I have been building a base. All of it is running without a plan, a pace or any distance in mind – junk miles as some like to call it.

As the date gets closer, I am now wondering whether I should be following the Hal Higdon novice plan – why? Lots of people on twitter that I follower are running their first marathon and that’s the plan they use. Also, I have worried that the WR plan, doesn’t seem to have many long runs!!! Now I’m not sure what I am doing. I seem to think that if I leave it to the 23rd December, I’ll know which to follow!! That is SO me, leaving things right up until a deadline!

I’m not sure if it’s the looming start of the training period or a tired end of term, but I missed my long run at the weekend (actually it was a little (ok a LOT) linked to drinking too much at my staff Christmas Party!) I thought that maybe I should have gone out tonight, but wrapping Christmas presents and drinking Mulled Wine won. After wrapping a few presents, I decided to watch the film ‘I am Breathing‘. The film follows a remarkable man and his wife, in his final months living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND).

I found this very hard to watch, but also the kick I needed. As one of the main reasons that I am running this marathon is to raise money and awareness for the MNDA. My dad was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in November 2009 and died on the 1st of July 2010. He loved that I was sporty. Also, I had told him that I would one day run a marathon. So, when I finally got my place in the London Marathon, I knew that there was only one charity that I wanted to run for.

My dad was an amazing man. He was very brave in dealing with this vile disease. If there is ever a time that I feel like skipping a training run, or think that it’s too hard, I need to remember the struggle and battle that he faced every day!

crop young sportswoman tying sneakers on floor

Building a base

I have been shocking at blogging this week, but the good news is I haven’t been shocking at running. Luckily, I have been consistent with my running. Slowly returning to running and building a base before my training plan kicks in for the Virgin Money London Marathon 2014.

I have read lots on training for a marathon. Also, I have tried to talk to all of my friends that have run marathons and soak up all the wise words. Last week, I read on the RunMummyRun Facebook page, about using the heart rate monitor to help with training. I then googled it to find out more information. I then decided to put on my HR monitor when I headed out for my long run last week. I had read that your long runs should be run at 65% – 75% of your maximum HR. So I decided to learn about another feature on my Garmin (I wish I could be bothered to read the full instructions!) and set the HR zones.

Off I went, and my watch started buzzing immediately, telling me my HR was too low. Give me a chance to warm up, I thought. So once into the flow of running, it buzzed continually telling me my HR was too high, so I tried to slow down. Even with trying to slow down, it still said it was too high. I ended up running 4 and 1/2 miles, at an average pace of 11.03-minute miles (a very comfortable pace for me), but my average HR was still 85% of my maximum HR!!??? Is this normal?

I decided to stick with the HR monitor for the next few runs, but I’m still not sure what it is telling me. Tuesday I managed to run with a work colleague, which was great, as we ran 3 miles and chatted the whole way round! Thursday I met a friend at the gym at 6.15 am to fit in a run before work. Again, we ran 3 miles, but this time she chatted the whole way – she is faster than me at the moment, so the pace was faster than I have run in a while, so I was happy to just listen! This friend that I ran with, Chicken, she has been desperate for me to write a post with her in it, but really I think she should be writing her own blog ‘The Chicken Run’, would be a good name for the blog, and she races almost every weekend, so she would be able to write lots of race reports!!

Today I got out for another Long Run, and ended up going the furthest I have run since Royal Parks Half, back in October. Again I had my HR Monitor on, again it told me my HR was too high, and again I felt like I was running at a very comfortable pace! I actually remembered to take a picture of my Garmin! I love seeing these photos from other runners and I always forget! But here it is…


And here is to another week building a good base, and more blogging. So, should I be concerned about my heart rate? Has anyone else trained using a Heart Rate Monitor?

exercise hobby jog jogger

This week’s workouts…

So this week’s workouts are as follows: I have again managed two runs. Slowly does it… The good news is that I have been able to run a little further or faster, but the bad news is my feet still hurt quite a lot! Tuesday I managed a 3 & 1/2 mile run, with a work colleague. Running with friends is always so much more enjoyable. I think this is the reason that I have entered so many races during Jan, Feb and March! My thinking is, if I am going to be having to run all those miles, I might as well do it with people, and bag a few medals on the way!! 

Rularuns - Asics Trainer
Rularuns – Asics Trainer

So far I have Brighton Half, Hampton Court Half, Milton Keynes Half, Kingston Breakfast 16 Miles and Brooklands Half – Lucky that I bought one of the amazing medals holders from The Runners Wall at the running show!! I am also looking for a 10K, for myself and my cousin to tackle in early 2014, but at that time of the year, most of them are trail – and I’m not so keen on the trail!

Then on Thursday, I ran my trusted 2-mile loop. Running on my own, and the fact that my husband was waiting for me, as we were going out, meant that I ran it at a faster pace than I have been running recently! Today my body made sure that I knew it was faster than normal, as I have aches and pains. I think tomorrow I will be mainly stretching!!!!

So this weekend I am looking to getting out for another Long Run (not that I am actually going that long, but as it will take place on the weekend, I feel I have to call it a long run!!) 

I am considering buying a Strassburg sock, anything to help see the back of this Plantar Fasciitis!! It seems quite expensive, so I’m not sure. Has anyone ever used one? Do they make a difference??

person jogging

Sunday AKA Runday…

Yesterday, my Sunday was certainly a Runday! First up, I had to send a tweet to my cousin. Wishing her luck as she was running her first 10k. I love the fact that she is running too. We have signed up to the Milton Keynes Half Marathon in March together. Hopefully, over the Christmas break, we will actually be able to get in a training run in together!! (Although her 10K time was awesome, so I may struggle to keep up!) Well done K.

They did make me chuckle in the Q & A when a gentleman asked about running at Marathon Pace during training. Click To Tweet

Running Show

I then headed off to The Running Show at Sandown. Having seen this advertised for the last couple of years, this is the first time that I have attended. Honestly, I was SO excited about going. There was so much running gear on sale. I am pleased to say that I was actually a little overwhelmed with the amount of gear. Glad because it saved my bank balance! It’s easy to think that you need everything, but that’s the beauty of running, you don’t need a lot; good trainers, comfortable clothing and you are off! I’d love to say this is how I run. But I don’t! I am a bit of a gadget girl, so tend to run with lots more attached.

Modern Marathoner


I attended two of the free seminars at the show. The first was by Joel Enoch on Nutrition. Although a lot of what he said, was not new to me, it’s always good to be reminded. I do know what I should eat, but I certainly don’t always stick to it! I did like the fact that Joel was very good at stressing the 80:20 rule. Be good 80% of the time! Too many things I have read recently talk about strict rules and cutting out treats altogether.

For some reason, this causes me to crave every treat going. It’s as if my body worries that it’ll never have another treat again!! I have tracked my food intake today. I can’t say its perfect! But after the seminar, I can definitely say that I made some better choices.

The second seminar I attended was ‘Preparing for a Marathon’. This was a little more comical, as the 2 blokes delivering the sessions were not completely technology savvy! The information they gave was pretty basic and general, but helpful. I don’t suppose you can be too specific as every runner is different. What works for one, won’t necessarily work for another!

They did make me chuckle in the Q & A when a gentleman asked about running at Marathon Pace during training. How should he know what pace that is? (I have often wondered this) So they asked him what time he was aiming for. He replied saying it was his first marathon, so he had no idea.

They then talked generally about how long runs are roughly a minute slowly that your marathon pace. But intervals will be a minute faster. All sounding ok…. well then one of the gentlemen said, most people will be running a 5-hour marathon. So that means a 9-minute mile, yes a 9 – 8.30-minute mile. I looked around the room, to see the look on peoples face. There were a few of us shaking our head. But he carried on and said ‘So run your Long Runs at about 10/10.30 min miles. Intervals at 7-minute miles, hehe. Poor guy, if he hasn’t run much before and then tries to hit those times!!!! He may find marathon training is a lot tougher!!

Long (ish) Run

Obviously, after leaving the running show, all I could think about was attempting a Long Run. After only completing 2 x 2 miles last week, I thought 30 minutes would be a sensible run. I mapped out my run, topped up my Garmin charge, wrapped up (It was cold) and headed out.

I followed the route I had planned feeling very comfortable, and very happy to be running. It started to rain, most people wouldn’t be so happy at this point, but I couldn’t help smiling. I love running in the rain. This hasn’t always been the case. I remember there would be a time when I wouldn’t head out for a run if it looked like it was going to rain! But once I saw a poster (below). I considered how many days I would potentially miss running due to the weather. I now head out in all weather!

Pretty predictable, but I got carried away, and my 30 minutes running, turned into 50 minutes! I did split it into 15 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, 15 minutes running. Then a combination of running walking the rest of the way home. I found the last mile tough going. Honestly, I am finding it really hard to know how much to do! This is when I really wished I had a coach! 

So to top off my Runday, I spent last night booking more races. All to help me get through the training. Then adding my training programme from Women’s Running Magazine to my calendar! 

Which running schedules do you follow?

photo of people in a marathon

One week, two runs…..

…with only 142 days until London Marathon I feel resting isn't an option. Click To Tweet

…it’s been a while since I’ve been able to say this. Well only about 7 weeks, but it has seemed like a lifetime! I got up early on Thursday morning and ran before work. After the euphoria of running on Tuesday, I was so looking forward to this run, and even though it was nice, I wasn’t the bouncing ball of energy that I had dreamt about. Why is it when you haven’t run for a while, you picture every come back run, looking like Mo Farah – gliding effortlessly and fast…


The pain in my feet is still there! It has definitely improved with the orthotics and the stretching, but I have been reading about the Strassburg sock, and I am hoping that this is going to finally be the cure I need. I am heading to The Running Show on Sunday, at Sandown Park, and they are on sale there, so I will certainly be purchasing one!

As well as heading to the Running Show, I am hoping to get a long run in this weekend. Well, longer than 2 miles run! It’s difficult, as I am just not sure how much to do? Should I still even be running, when I know my Plantar Fasciitis hasn’t cleared up completely? It’s difficult – with only 142 days until London Marathon I feel resting isn’t an option.

road landscape nature forest

Who’d have thought….

…that I could be so excited over a 1.83-mile jog!!! So I went out again today to try out my orthotics. Choosing to walk the first part of my route, partly to avoid having to run up the slight incline outside my house, but also to take things easy and see how my feet felt. By the top of the hill, I was desperate to start running, so I thought, take it easy and stop when you need too. 1.83 miles later I was back at home!!


This run has made me realise why I love running so much. Even with the nights being dark and the weather heading towards freezing, it felt great to be outside and running. Smiling with each step that I took. I thought about all the training that I am about to embark on in the lead up to London. Can you believe that I am actually looking forward to it? (I am going to have to read this back, around the end of Feb, when I am tired and struggling to stick with my training plan!)


One of my downfalls of late is not stretching. I have read so many times how important this is, especially when training for a marathon! And, even though I haven’t actually started my plan (and won’t until the 23rd December) I am determined to make stretching a habit! So I am using the Nike Training Club App and completing the Kara Goucher’s Pro Running Stretches – I know I’m not a Pro, but I think it’s ok for me to do them!!! On the days that I have not run, I am doing Shawn Johnson’s stretches on the app. So far so good!

The test now is going to be how my feet respond tomorrow. Fingers crossed, as I really want to be able to run again this week…

This run has made me realise why I love running so much. Even with the nights being dark and the weather heading towards freezing, it felt great to be outside and running. Click To Tweet