Wednesday, 4 January 2012

We're not in Kansas any more

Hello and welcome to my first post of 2012.  I hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year.  Apologies if this is a bit of a longer post than usual - I do appreciate that I'm more suited to brevity...

With only 108 days to go until marathon day, I'm going to start each new blog post like this:

Training miles completed this week: 9.5
Total training miles completed: 47
Training miles left: 199

It's as much as a reference for me as anything else, but it saves you reading the whole thing if you're in a hurry... The mathematically minded among you will probably notice that by the time I line up, I'll have banked nearly 10 marathon's worth of training miles.

The official London Marathon 13 Week Training Plan kicked in on January 1st (although I actually started on New Year's Eve).  As I've mentioned a few times, they provide you with a few plans depending on what your goal is.  Given my circumstances, I've opted for the 'Just-to-get-round plan' which, in practice is the 'Just-to-get-to-the-start plan'

Under this plan, you get a schedule of 3 weekly runs.  The overwhelming problem is that I can't physically manage 3 runs a week - certainly not of any great distance.   That's become apparent recently with the amount of time I'm needing to recover.  Whilst I'm not getting the same pain as I've had previously, the aches are becoming more profound and I don't want to do myself any further damage.  The physio exercises do help a bit though.

Instead I've modified their plan into a 2 runs per week schedule, taking the longest 2 of the three runs and adding a little on to the other one.  I might post it as a separate entry so you can see what's coming up.  I'm going to run each Wednesday and Saturday so I've got 32 more runs before I line up at Blackheath on April 29th.  That feels like a long way off yet, but I know it isn't.  If you're interested, there's an interactive map of the marathon route

As part of my preparations, I've now got a hotel booked for three nights from Friday 27th April.  The non-refundable nature of the booking just adds an extra incentive!

Last Saturday I got up and did, what looked on paper, to be a fairly straightforward 4.5 mile run.  What actually happened was that my "local knowledge" conned me into forgetting how unforgiving a couple of hills were and it felt like an incredible slog getting round. I managed it in 52 minutes (just inside my target 12 minute mile pace).

Tonight, I'd learned from that "mistake" at the weekend at chose a flatter route to do 5 miles.  Given the howling winds and rain, I managed a respectable 56 minute time.  However much I may have been seeking a bit of sympathy, I actually really enjoyed it.  It was the first run I've done with music as well and it didn't affect may pace one way or another which was very pleasing.  I also discovered that my running top isn't as waterproof as it looks, so that was fun...

A to B and back again...

With regards to my diabetes, Christmas was as I expected it to be really.  A few highs, a few lows and a bit inbetween as well.  The effects of a sneaky couple of After Eights is not to be taken lightly.  I had a check in with the specialist nurse at the hospital yesterday and she's happy that I'm doing the right things on my own.  I've got an annual review at the beginning of Feb where we'll start to really see how much progress I've made.  As long as my blood sugar is trending downwards, I'll be happy.  I'll have a blood test that works out my blood sugar levels have been over 3 months (as opposed to the tests I do at home myself). Christmas will have affected the results of that test a bit but we'll wait and see what happens.

I'm back on my diet proper after Christmas (where I think I only put on about 3lbs) so I'm confident of a normal return to blood sugar levels very soon.

As an aside, I've realised that as well as pacing myself with running and "hydration strategies" I'm going to have to pay a lot more attention to my blood sugar levels before and after running.  I need to monitor what the distance is doing to me and making sure that I don't go low when I'm 6 miles from home.

Finally, you all know I'm fundraising for Diabetes UK and Sheffield Children's Hospital Chairty but whilst I'm not asking for your money (just yet!) what I am after is your fundraising ideas if you have any.  These are a few that have been suggested so far. I'm not sure I can manage them all but I'm prepared to have a go at just about anything to raise money:
  • Raffle
  • Finishing time sweepstake
  • Have my legs waxed (and apparently ask for extra donations if you want to tear the strips off yourself)
  • Bag packing at a supermarket
If you've got any more, or would like to throw your support behind any of the above, then please let me know.  As I understand it, packing bags at a supermarket is lucrative for charitable donations but I have the feeling you need a fair few people to make the most of it.

I'll leave it there for now - you've been very patient if you've made it this far, for which I'm grateful as always.  This blog managed just over 750 views between 9th September and 31st December and I'm very thankful for each and everyone one of those.  I'm hoping that I can encourage others to spread the message about what this training is like for me and how much it's going to mean to achieve something I've wanted to do for over 20 years.

As always, you can find me on Twitter (@BroomOwl) or drop me a line ( if you'd like to get in touch.

Thanks for reading and I hope that 2012 is a great year for you.

Take care,


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