Tag Archives: Life

Ok, So This Is Actually Happening

I had a minor freak-out just over a week ago. This arrived

I remember clearly sitting down and entering the Brighton Half Marathon one gloomy, rainy night in September. At the time, I thought it was 50/50 whether it would actually happen and I didn’t tell a soul about what I’d done for a month. Now with  three weeks to go, I’ve realised this really is actually happening, and I’m kinda excited –  very, very excited! Following on from my last post, things have been better. I ran 10 miles last Saturday which went well and breaking into double figures was a real psychological boost.

Yesterday, my new thing for the day was to take part in my first ever organised race – a free Park Run. I was really nervous beforehand, having visions of the park full of Keenos running the 5km in 6.87 minutes with me shuffling behind half an hour later.  Although I didn’t exactly win, and initially had flashbacks of horrendous school cross country, it was actually really lovely and people were super friendly. Before we started, Park Run Virgins (there were about a dozen of us) were asked to identify ourselves and we got a big clap and cheer from the rest of the 280 strong group which genuinely put a smile on my face. I ended up running 5K faster than I ever had before, didn’t come last and even passed a few people. It also helps when you’re running round places like this.

Don’t get me wrong, although the people there were mostly Normals, there were a few Keenos as well. I overheard things like ‘well, so, maybe Tim could run that 5k faster, but I totally feel like I could run that all again at the same pace – maybe even quicker. Bet Tim couldn’t do that’ That statement would be annoying even coming from a 13 year old, but this guy was at least 30. Seriously dude, get a (non-competitive) hobby. So, a lovely first race followed by a further 5mile jog back home. Will definitely be doing it again.

(WARNING, SOME SMUGNESS COMING) Without getting too dramatic, pressing ‘send’ on that half marathon application turned out to be one of the best, and most important decisions I’ve ever made in my life. I feel a million times better than I did last year and genuinely feel like a whole new world has opened up over the past few months. If you’re teetering about entering into your first race, in the words of Nike, Just Do It. I’m so glad I did.

Enough with the pep talk, until next time

Peace Out


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Where Will it End??? This Madness has to Stop

So dear readers, it’s been a while, and for much of it I’ve not been allowed to run. I have been keeping up with other things but if I’m being honest, the past few weeks I’ve been a bit down hearted. By this stage T day has long since past and my weekends should be filled with runs of 7miles+ and recovery drinks. Instead my  torturer Physio has only allowed me to do tiny little runs and even with my theme song, it’s not stopped the real worry that I might not have enough time to get prepared for the half marathon in February.  That good old English winter hasn’t helped. Last week I got up at six am to go for a run. It was pitch black, lashing with rain and  freezing cold – I lasted approx 1 min 37 seconds before I cried a few actual tears and headed back home. I really, really don’t do cold.

I had a moment where I seriously thought of chucking it in. Six am starts are becoming wearing and the woman in the Pilates DVD is starting to get annoying. Then I came back home for Christmas yesterday and remembered why I’m doing this. I’m running for the Alzheimers Society who have provided my family with incredible support over the past couple of years. People have already pledged to give me money and I would hate to let them, or the society down. So, dammit, I’m going to do it. I went out this morning for a little bit longer and remembered how much I love my latest hobby. I felt fab afterwards and the offending hip was 89% ok.

I’m going to have to modify my training plan and throw myself into a dedicated physio routine, but I’m officially back in the game 🙂 Talking of physio, here’s another rant. Remember when I talked about the yoga mat. Well, this pales in comparison to what I’ve added to the list of stuff I own. See below

Since when did I become one of those people who owns a Yoga Mat AND a Trampoline. Last week I spent 45 mins standing one legged on a trampoline while this brick of a torturer Physio threw rugby balls at me. It ranks up there as one of the most surreal experiences of my life, but apparently, from his perspective, I was developing balance and co-ordination skills. Hmmm. Anyway, I need to keep practising this at home so a trampoline was acquired and assembled. The day I get a Pilates ball is the day I know it’s gone too far!

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What’s Your Theme Tune?

So, T day (the start of my formal training plan for the Half Marathon in February) was supposed to start this week, and my hip is better, but still not right. I paid my Physio good money to feel round my ass and hurt me for 45 mins this week. He put the full force of his rugby players physique into working on the knots in my hip – I’m glad he didn’t implement a swear jar policy, because a fair few expletives definitely left my lips…. I’m still not allowed to run and it’s driving me mad. However, I’m pretty much on first name terms with the swimming pool staff now and the yoga mat is getting lots of use, so silver linings all round.

It’s at times like this I’m glad I have a theme song. Aly McBeal is one of my favourite TV programmes and my favourite character is her therapist Dr Tracy. One of Aly’s first therapeutic tasks is to find a theme song for her life – something which will give her a boost and a spring in her step whenever life gets that little bit tougher. I think everyone needs a theme song, not just for running, but for life. Once you find it,  you ‘know’ – it becomes part of you, deeply seated in your soul.  Whenever I hear mine, no matter how foul, irritable or grumpy I’m feeling, a smile instantly spreads across my face and I feel I could take on the world. So what is this sainted collection of notes and words which brings so much light to my life??

Every time I hear Jump (the Glee Cast version) I transform into a vessel of joy and literally erm, glee! It works even better if I can watch the video. Do Your Thing by Basement Jaxx comes a very close second. Actually, when I think about it, there are many tunes which can perk me right up. Yesterday, for example, when walking home from the swimming pool with my music on shuffle, I actually caught myself dancing in the street (Martha and the Vandellas would be so proud!). So I would encourage everyone to get a theme song – it will make your life better-  and because you’re worth it 😉 So, feel free to share – what’s your Theme Tune??

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Going ‘All The Way’

Somethings happens  when you walk into a room full of people for something very specific like a Running Training Day. You quickly spot the divide between the ‘Normals’ and what I like to call ‘The Keenos’. Keenos seem to talk another language, while they were discussing gait analysis and negative splits, I was with the Normals sniggering over the word ‘Fartlek’.

As well as speaking in a foreign language, Keenos on a group jog seem to be overcome with what I can only describe as Runners Tourettes. Things are shouted at random –  stupid things that don’t make any sense. My favourites include  ‘C’mon – Let’s Go’; ‘All The Way ‘and ‘Let’s Pick It Up’. Sorry, I wasn’t aware I had yet to ‘start going’ – I had been moving what I thought was fairly fast for the last few miles.  And thanks for reminding me we’re going to go ‘all the way’ there. I stupidly had it in my mind I would go some of the way, but not ‘all the way’ – your words are wise and profound indeed.  I’m still unclear what I’m supposed to pick up, maybe when I graduate to being a Keeno I will learn (if I ever start talking like a Keeno, I want someone to shoot me in the head).

Another thing you learn is that people who are really, really super fit don’t look very well. Our facilitators, while I have no doubt are so bendy they could tie their ankles in a knot behind their ear lobes, mostly looked like they needed a good feed. I spent much of the time wishing I could make them some stew and maybe after a decent dinner they’d look a bit happier.

Cynicism aside, the half marathon training day I attended yesterday was great, well worth twenty quid. It was run by the race organisers in a lovely hotel in Brighton. Lots was talked about race day and training plans and we went out for a 5k along the seafront. My worst fears were not realised – I wasn’t the slowest, least fit and some other people look much funnier than me when they run! Lots of plugs for drinks and gels and erm, sports bras. But most of all lovely, lovely people – always amazing to hear people’s stories and why their running.  Yesterday also made me realise how much further I have to go (literally) before February – it’s certainly going to be an interesting few months……

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Nice Way To Start

So, full of enthusiasm and gusto, I headed out for my longer run of the week. I’d planned seven kilometres but within a few minutes my GPS went loopy and had me running a kilometer per 23 seconds – I wish….. It was promptly switched off.

Anyhoo, it was a beautiful, beautiful morning and I made my way along the banks of the River Thames with some banging toons churning out. A few miles in, I had ‘a moment’. The sun was shining upon the water,  canal boats were rolling gently along the river and I had ‘One Day Like This’ by Elbow  humming nicely between my ear-drums. I felt like I could run forever. And I did. Well, for considerably longer than I’ve ever done before. I was truly in ‘The Zone’ and loved every second of it. I reckon I managed around 10km but with my dodgy iphone GPS I can’t be sure.

Have started to tell more family and friends about my plan for February. My mother nearly dropped the phone when I told her I was planning to run a half marathon. She’s really proud though and have no doubt that her and my Dad will be some of my most passionate supporters. So, more runs like this please

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