Still Here…

I realise I haven’t posted for a while, but I’m still here, so thought it was time to check in with a quick update.

The training hasn’t been going too well over the last few weeks. There hasn’t been much running lately, although I did manage an out and back 30K walk/run along the coast a couple of weeks ago.

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I won’t go into a blow by blow account, but let’s just say that I learned a few useful lessons for the 50K that’s coming up:

  1. Trim toenails a couple of days before the race
  2. Don’t forget the sunscreen, even when it’s cloudy.
  3. Prep feet with zinc oxide tape before going out.
  4. Check that running socks don’t have holes in them.
  5. Remember to pack the blister kit

In short, I got sunburn, blisters and almost lost a toenail, but apart from that it was kind of fun. And I got at least one good photograph.


The photograph was taken on the way out, at about 10K, looking back towards Saltdean. Brighton is further back beyond the cliffs in the distance, so I was feeling pretty good that I’d managed to tackle those hills that you can see.

Even though it was mostly walking, with some downhill running, it was good practice for the 50K as the first part of the race will be pretty much like this. Not that it’s going to be much of a race for me now, but it will still be fun running down all the hills.

How’s your training going? How do you prepare for long runs in the heat? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

Getting Some Miles In

What with all of the excitement of the Euros and Wimbledon, I haven’t managed to get much running in this week and, with some big matches this weekend, I was getting a bit concerned about my already haphazard training plan. But then I remembered… I have a treadmill!

Yes, running while watching TV has become one of my favourite things to do. So, I set up the laptop on top of the ironing board and tuned in to watch McEnroe (the younger) and Bahrami take on Woodbridge and Woodforde in the Gentlemen’s Senior Doubles Invitation. Bahrami’s antics on court were certainly entertaining and gave me something to focus on while trying to complete my 10K.

My strategy was to run 0.9 miles and then walk 0.1. This seemed to work pretty well and I was able to stick to the ratio throughout the run, finishing the 10K in just over 1:08.

As I’m only 7 weeks away from Race Day, however, I really need to be getting more miles under my feet. So, after a bacon sarnie and a bit of bimbling around, I decided to watch the Women’s Singles Final with a second 10K.

My legs were pretty tired after the earlier run, so I decided to change the ratio to 0.45 miles running and 0.05 walking. The time would be about the same if I could stick to it, but I figured it might be a bit easier on the old legs.

The first 3 miles were a bit of a struggle, so I decided to take it mile by mile and see how it went. I even considered reducing the ratio, but then I remembered that saying about how running is more mental than physical and realised that what I really needed to do was to knuckle down and start training my mind to not give up.

So, again, at about 1:08 I completed 10K, and just in time to see Serena win the match while I was doing my cool down walk.

I also did another 5K on the treadmill yesterday evening, which gives me a weekly total of 25K so far. Not bad for a week without running! I may even do the same thing again for the Men’s Final, but I’m not making any promises!

How’s your training going? Did you get your running done this weekend? Please share your thought in the comments.

An Eventful Treadmill Run

Who said treadmill running was boring? Well, I have, because they generally are, but today’s treadmill run was a bit more eventful than usual.

I was supposed to do a Half Marathon distance run/walk this morning, but when I remembered that ‘Paddle Round The Pier’ was going on I figured that by the time I would be heading back, the seafront would probably be mobbed, so I opted for a treadmill run instead.

Knowing that the hardest part running for over 2 hours on the treadmill would be sheer and utter boredom, I decided to watch one of my favourite YouTube documentaries on the run – it’s the one where a guy runs Badwater for the first time and almost wins it, which is about 2 hours long.

The only way I could watch it while running though, was to put my laptop on the ironing board, put the ironing board in front of the treadmill and hope that the cat wouldn’t do her usual trick of sitting on the keyboard whenever I try to watch something on the computer – luckily she was otherwise occupied with the window for most of the morning.

So, that being done, I grabbed my Garmin (so that I could upload my workout time), and hopped on to the treadmill for a bit of a warm up walk. I’m still not certain about whether the treadmill is in miles or kilometres – the manual says kilometres but since I’ve been running outside more, I’ve been comparing the two and I reckon it has to be miles.

This does mean that the running on the treadmill is a bit faster than running outside, but without wind, hills and other humans to contend with, that might make sense. Anyway, I figured I’d assume it is miles and see what happened on today’s run.

Of course, pretty much as soon as I started the run, my stomach started complaining. I think I managed about half a mile before I had to give up and sort myself out.

The second attempt was slightly better. I decided on a ratio where I would run for 0.9 of a mile at 6 mph and then walk 0.1 at 3.5. This was working quite well for the first 23 minutes, until my bottle decided to launch itself from from the drink holder and I accidentally stopped the treadmill trying to retrieve it, setting everything back to zero again.

I was a bit miffed to say the least, but the guy on the Badwater documentary gave me some hope, so I reset the Garmin (again), found a better place for the bottle, and hopped back on for round three. Third time lucky, right?

Even though my legs had already covered 2.5 miles (or thereabouts) I was feeling pretty good and continued with my ratio for the first half of the run. By half way though, my legs were getting tired, so I started reducing the running sections and increasing the walk breaks. This seemed to be working, but as I watched the timer on the treadmill pass the 9 minute mark, I realised that there was no space on the console for anything over 99 minutes and 59 seconds.

I kind of hoped that nothing would happen other than that the clock would continue from zero again. That would be fine. My brain could deal with that. What I didn’t expect though, was that the treadmill would slow down to a stop and the distance I had already covered would disappear!

Luckily, I clocked the distance as 9.04 miles just before everything stopped, so I knew how much further I had to go. My legs were drained of energy by this point and I was running less that half a mile for each run segment, but I was getting there. I just needed to get in another 4.06 miles and I’d be done.

In the end, I completed the 13.1 miles in 2:29:54, which is slower than most of my previous Half Marathons, but a bit faster than I expected. Taking into account how I felt at the end, and the fact that running on the treadmill ought to be a bit quicker than running outside, I’m pretty much convinced that miles win over kilometres where the treadmill is concerned.

Either way though, a two and a half hour run/walk should help to get the training back on track.

How’s your training going? Have you had an eventful run recently? Do you plan your training runs according to distance or time on your feet? Please share your thought in the comments.

I Need A Plan…

There’s just over eight weeks to go until race day and my training has hit a slump. I’m not sure what’s going wrong. I try to get in regular runs and gradually increase the distance, but it’s just not working the way that it should.

Maybe I’m expecting too much. After all, I did have a long break from running after my injury. But even with that in mind, I still don’t feel I’m making the progress that I need to.

What tends to happen is that I have a couple of good weeks where things are going well, followed by a slump where I just don’t have the energy to have a decent run, which is pretty much where I am at this week.

This evening though, I made myself get out for a bit of a run. I told myself that even a slow 5K would be better than nothing, but it was slow. I had very little stamina and had to take way more walk breaks than I should have – not good when you’ve got a 50K race coming up and you’re still finding 5K a bit of a struggle.

I think I may have to resign myself to the fact that August’s race is going to be more of a walk than a run, which is a bit of a shame. However I have raised £200 already for charity, with another £40 on its way from last month’s virtual races, so I shouldn’t complain too much.

I just need to come up with a new training plan…

How’s your running going? What do you do when your training isn’t going to plan? Do you adjust your training plan or try to stick with it until the end? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

A Funny Old Run

Screen Shot 2016-06-22 at 20.42.39This evening’s run was a strange one. I have to start increasing my distance so I planned to step my mid-week run up to 6K instead of 5K. After last week’s improvements I figured I should be able to run at least the first half without a walk break, but it didn’t quite work out like that.

I started slowly with a couple of 1K laps of Hove Rec, but it was a struggle. It was warm and humid and there wasn’t much of a breeze to cool things down a bit, but I did manage to keep going without walking.

As I approached the 2K mark though, I decided to head down to the park.There was a nice little incline on the way, but once I was in the park I realised that enough was enough. I needed to walk, just for a minute to cool down a bit.

I wasn’t feeling great and even briefly considered ditching the run altogether, but I was on the wrong side of the park for that, so reverted to my favourite run/walk ratio – 3 minutes running and 1 minute walking.

This helped a lot and I started to feel much better, even extending the running sections here and there.

Once I started to get into my stride, I became more aware of the other people in the park. There were a few runners around, so plenty of smiles, waves and friendly grunts were exchanged as I made my way round a second lap and completed the 6K in 43:17, which isn’t too far off pace, all things considered.

How’s your training going? Did you get a run in this week? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

A Long, Slow Run/Walk

With ten weeks to go until the South Coast Challenge, I figured now would be a good time to start increasing the distance on my long runs.

My plan for today was to run/walk 12K on the trails, but after consulting my legs, they told me that a hilly run was not a good idea today. So, I opted for a nice flat route alone the seafront instead – well, you’ve got to listen to your body, especially the old legs.

I set out at about 7:30-ish. It was warm and sunny and there was plenty of space to run along the promenade, so I headed East towards the Marina. Knowing that I had no chance of running the entire route, even if it was mostly flat, I opted for a flexible run/walk ratio with a one minute walk break after each kilometre.

As I approached Madeira Drive, I realised that there was an event going on. In addition to the open air cinema on the beach (for the European Football) a large section of the road was cordoned off with British Heart Foundation banners. As it turns out, this was the finish line for the London to Brighton Cycle Challenge, so I figured I might pop down later this afternoon to have a better look and cheer on the finishers.

As it was though, I was only 3K into my run, so I didn’t want to stop there and then, and plodded on towards the Marina and up the switchback to the road above the cliffs. I’d forgotten how long the inclines were on that road, so I took a slightly longer walk to keep myself going and managed to complete the 6K in 42:34 before turning round for a nice long downhill section.

Typically, however, as I started the descent, my stomach started to grumble and I realised that I was going to have to find somewhere to sort myself out. As it happens, there was an ASDA at the bottom of the hill, so I took a short detour to see if they were open.

Unfortunately, they weren’t, so I had to press on until I was back on Madeira Drive. I figured no-one would mind if I used the porta loos that had been set up for the cycle race, but in the end I didn’t have to as there were some public toilets in between so I used them instead.

After that, I felt much better and started to enjoy myself again as I ran past the banners and saw a couple of the cyclists finishing their race. They looked surprisingly fresh considering their long journey, as did the volunteers who (we were told via the loudspeaker) had been there for 8 hours already to greet the finishers and present them with their medals.

Before long, I hit the 10K mark and realised that my detour meant that I would hit 12K a bit sooner than expected, so I decided I to carry on to 13K, which would take me just beyond the starting point. Of course, when I finally reached 13K, I figured that since the roads and streets were still quiet, I might as well plod on for another kilometre to get me a bit closer to home.

In the end, I managed a total of 14K in 1:44:15, which isn’t bad at all for me at this stage. And, when I got home I also realised that the first 5K was the fastest 5K I’ve done in a long time, even with the walk breaks.

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So, all in all, it was a pretty good session. Now I just need to figure out what’s going on with my stomach before I do my next long run.

How’s your training going? Did you see anything interesting on your run this weekend? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

A Nice Little 5K Run

Two mid week runs? Yup, that’s right, I managed to haul myself out the door again tonight for another little 5K run. Well, when I say run, it was more of a shuffle, but it was a good shuffle.

The plan was to try to keep going for as long as possible without a walk break, so I started off nice and slowly, with the  1K loop at Hove Rec. Even with my slow pace, I found it hard to keep going though. I was tired and my breathing wasn’t great, but I kept running for the first kilometre and soon started to get into my stride.

However, the more I ran, the more I realised that I really needed to get to a toilet. I reckoned I would be ok for another kilometre or so though, so I decided to head down to Hove Park and run the long way round to the public toilets.

Despite the bladder issue, I managed to keep running for almost 3 kilometres, and could probably have reached the 3K if I hadn’t reached the facilities first. But needs must, so I paused the Garmin and did what had to be done before returning to the path for another loop of the park.

In the end, I completed the 5K in 35:17 (excluding the pause) and only had one short walk break, so it feels like progress.


How’s your running going? Have you run this week? Feel free to leave a comment and let me know how you’re doing – I love getting comments. 🙂


Can you believe it has been three years since I started this blog? Three years since I made the decision to embark on a journey from Couch to 5K and then… well, I had no idea where it was going to take me.

At first, it didn’t even take me to the end of the road, but slowly, run by run, week by week and month by month, the distance started to build up and I ended up running (and sometimes walking) much further than I ever thought possible – 5Ks, 10Ks, Half Marathons, a Marathon and even a 100K ultra marathon.

OK, so the marathon and the ultra involved much more walking than running, but the point is, I never thought that covering that kind of distance on foot was possible – not for me anyway.

Of course, there have been a lot of ups and downs along the way. The past year hasn’t been great for running and it’s hard not to feel that you’re back to square one again when returning from injury. But with just over 10 weeks to go until my next big race (the South Coast Challenge 50K), I’m not going to let that put me off.

So, this evening, in celebration of my Blogiversay (which is also the day before my Runiversary), I decided to get my backside out the door for a nice little 5K around Hove Park. It was slow, and there were walk breaks, but I managed to complete the distance in bang on 35 minutes, which is an improvement on my recent efforts, so I’m happy with that.

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I plan to get a couple 5Ks in this week, maybe a longer one too, but I also need to get a long walk in this weekend to build up my distance for the 50K. My recovery time isn’t what it used to be, so we’ll see how it goes. The important thing is just to keep moving.

How’s your training going? Did you get a run in this week? Please share you thoughts in the comments.

Lovely Day For A Trail Run

early-morning-exercise-2-fb-2I woke up early this morning and decided to head out for my scheduled run before my brain had a chance to figure out what was happening. Not that I would have talked myself out of it, but it was promising to be a very warm day, so putting it off would only bring trouble later.

As it was warm and sunny (and early!) I opted for a pair of shorts instead of my regular running trousers. I don’t often run in shorts and my legs have barely seen the light of day in years, but I figured there wouldn’t be too many people around before 8 am to be blinded by the strange blue glow emanating from my skin, so I went for it.

I started the run nice and slowly with a kilometre of easy running through Hove Park before hitting the trail. It was the usual plan, walk uphill and run downhill and on the flat, but I did manage a couple of short bursts of running to get me to the top of the first climb.

In fact, I would probably have run a bit more if it hadn’t been for the nettles and weeds that have started making their way across some of the narrower sections of the trail. Luckily though, despite my bare legs, I managed to escape with no stings and only a few scratches.

After emerging from the trail, I crossed over to the field on the other side of the road. This section is fairly flat so I tried to run as much of it as possible before the next hill appeared, reminding myself that I wasn’t out to break any records – just take it slow so that you can run as much as possible.

Before long, I was heading into the woods for my favourite part of the trail, with a nice long downhill section and lots of dips and turns to keep me on my toes. Of course, the climb back up again isn’t quite so much fun, but I managed to maintain a good walking pace for the most part, and even got in a few short bursts of running here and there.

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uphill sections are in red

After that, it was plain sailing, with a bit if a run walk across the field and then a good run back down through the nettles and weeds before returning to Hove Park.

Usually, I stop running when I get to the bottom of the hill, but for some reason this morning I found that I was still going once I hit the park and didn’t want to stop.

I checked the Garmin and realised that I’d completed more than the 8K that I had planned to do, but I was having so much fun that I decided I’d keep going to 10K instead. Naturally, I was pretty tired by then, so slowed back down quite a bit and reverted to run/walk even on the flatter sections, but it didn’t matter because I was feeling better than I’ve felt in a long time at the end of a run.

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I guess the training is starting to pay off after all.

How’s your training going? Do you like to run in the morning? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 10.40.58This morning’s run was an early one. I left the house just after 7:30 and headed for the seafront for a nice slow 5K.

The plan was to take it easy with the running so that I could take fewer walk breaks and try to build up my endurance a bit more. I figured that, after Tuesday’s improvements, if I could keep going for 1.5 to 2K without walking, I’d be happy. But the main thing was to be out running.

It was pretty quiet down on the seafront. There were a few runners out and about as usual and some people setting up some kind of event. I’ve no idea what it was, but they were sectioning off a small area of the promenade with blocks of wood and there was a small container with what looked like surf boards inside. I guess I’ll pop down later and see what’s going on.

But back to the run itself. I headed East as usual, but when I completed the first kilometre, instead of turning round and heading West,  decided to keep going towards the pier. From what I remembered from running that part of the seafront before, it was about 2.5K from my starting point to the pier, so it would make a good ‘out and back’ while things were still relatively quiet along that stretch.

Before I knew it, the Garmin beeped at 2K and the pier was well within reach. My pace was slow, of course, but I knew I could keep running and get to 2.5K without walking, so that’s what I did.

I took about a minute of walking to catch my breath and then headed off on the return journey along the seafront, past the bars and up towards Hove Lawns.

It would have been nice to have completed the rest of the run without walking, but at 4K I decided to give myself another short break. There was no point in pushing too hard, especially as I plan to do a longer, hillier run/walk tomorrow, so I took the walk break and then upped the pace a little bit for a stronger finish.

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Overall, I completed the 5K in 35:46, which is slower than when I use a shorter run/walk ratio, but that doesn’t matter. The plan was to reduce walk breaks and build up endurance for continuous running, so progress was made, even if it was slower.

How’s your training going? Are you running or racing this weekend? Please share your thoughts in the comments.