My Blog

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Not exactly sure what I'll be posting about, but will be centred around preparation for the marathon - fund raising ideas, run routes, things that annoy me when I am running, etc. Will look to update and maintain every other day (or until I lose interest).

My reason for starting a blog is to keep you kind people who have (or will) sponsor me ( informed of my progress in preparing for the marathon. Additionally, once my running career is over I imagine I will look back fondly on the drivel posted.

Lastly, I appreciate any support you can provide. It would be great if you could donate but also any tips you could give for fund raising or preparing for the run would be much appreciated. If you want to join me on a jog, let me know - cheers!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

An Unmitigated Running Disaster...

The first draft of this is being written on a train going up to Waterloo, I feel like a writer and am sure those sitting around me are impressed, if only they could read the drivel that is being written.
This has been the worse running week thus far of my running career, with me covering only two agonising miles and picking up a potential injury - more to follow.

As promised in my last post (, my teenage running years will be explored.  I think my biggest achievement over the 7 years at St Georges College (,_Weybridge) was skiving the most collective days of games sessions out of anyone in my year - I remember that I used to be jealous of the kids with asthma as they had this golden ticket off games.
My best and most used excuse was my ingrowing toenail which matron kindly gave me a sick note off each week for.  However, as kind as matron was it was not always guaranteed and occassionally I was forced to don the maroon shorts and head out onto the boggy pitches.
One event I dreaded each year was the inter house cross country, my house (Southcote!) was the top performing house but strangely declined after I joined.  I always fell in the bottom 10% of this gruelling 3 mile run (mas o menos) except for one year... where I cheated and did pretty well.  The start of the run you would do one lap of the running track and then head out of the school gate turn right and head towards Chertsey and its meads.  Rather than turn right I went left and hid in the caravan site (by the bins) which was at the end of the run.  One tyrannical sports teacher did complement me on my time and made me feel a pang of guilt (rather that than a stitch though).
During lower sixth I approached one games session seriously after research running online - carbs = more energy = better performance.  Because of this I had a big pasta for lunch and was eager to impress come the afternoon games session.  I was placed in the slow running group and we had to do one lap of the new running track.  This did not end well and in the last agonizing 100 metres sprint of the track I came to an abrupt stop and promptly threw up all my lovely pasta lunch - a mass of cream and mushrooms.  The plus side to this was that I was excused for the rest of the games session - huzzah!
That same summer I decided to get in to shape and bought a treadmill with the money I saved stacking shelves at Sainsbury - I was too embarrassed to run outside.  The treadmill was in the garage and I set-up a TV opposite it and worked through my collection of Family Guy DVDs.  I didn't run that far (max about 5K) and my pace started very slowly but gradually got faster.  This persistent exercise combined with me going on the Atkins diet resulted in me losing 2 stones - a runner was born.

I ran Hampstead Heath for the first time last Sunday, this is a green oasis in North London and would encourage couples and dog walkers to visit.
In my opinion (and I may have taken the wrong route) this is not ideal for runners specifically road runners.  It is very hilly, the path is uneven (roots) and there is a constant stream of yappy dogs getting under your feet. My pace for this run should have been 12 miles @ 8 mins a mile, I felt I would struggle as I was ill on the Saturday and my energy was low. About a mile into the run I attempted a steep hill climb. I passed a oldish bearded gentleman (good look) in baggy grey sweats and stated to increase my pace.  At this instance I felt a pain in the back of my right thigh (I believe), I wasn't in immediate pain and ran on.  After 3 miles (few more inclines then declines) I collapsed on a bench next to the frozen pond.  My energy was spent and I rested for 15 mins then slowly jogged back home - crucially I didn't stretch when I got back.
I got up early the next morning to go for a long run to make up for Sunday's poor showing.  I knew straight away something was wrong as my right leg (not the knee) was in agony especially the back of the right knee and my right upper hamstring.  I tried to run this off and after two miles I had to stop due to the pain, I limped into Russell Square station and got the tube the rest of the way into work.
I have subsequently seen a physio and we think it maybe a hamstring pull (although I am very concerned that it might be worse than this).  I have some exercises to do and will try running again on Thursday. As I noted in my first post ( my goal is to run the marathon in sub 3 1/2 hours - this injury may have put me back 3 weeks (at least or potentially more if this doesn't heal up) and it make me feel sad and frustrated.

This week I won't take the opportunity to plead for your money (  Enjoy the rest of the week and I will let you know how the hamstring is getting on in my next post.

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