100 days to go!

IMG_9265All this training and preparation is starting to kick up a notch. Am I excited, overwhelmed, enthusiastic or just in denial? Well, It depends what time of day you ask me!

There’s so much to start thinking about and every time I pick up a running magazine the information I get is different to the last. I’m not sure how much I really need to pay attention to or how much of it is overkill?

While I get my head round the ins and outs of staying hydrated before, during and post run, what food I should be eating, what combination of running sessions I should be doing and at what pace, I thought now would be a good time to ask for a favour.

Even though I have a ballot place this year, I would still like to run the marathon for a good cause. Actually, two good causes. They are two amazing charities and I have picked them because they’re both close to my heart. If you can spare the money, however small the amount please consider helping me to raise money for Mind and JDRF by making a donation to my fundraising page.

Claire’s London Marathon fundraising page

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26.2 reasons why I’m running a marathon

It’s JUNE!! Which for me means the month that I pay my ill or injured entry fee into the 2015 London Marathon. It’s paid. I’M IN! To mark this scary exciting moment I have put together my 26.2 reasons why I’m running a marathon.

  1. It’s the biggest fundraising event in the world. To say that I’m going to be a part of the 35th one of those is quite cool (to me at least).
  2. It’s in London, and London is amazing. I may be slightly biased on this one since I work in and live near to London, but I think it’s the best city in the world. I’m lucky that my marathon debut will be here.
  3. It’s a flat course. No hills – hooray!
  4. It’s one of the few courses where spectators line every single mile of the course. Which means there’s always someone there to cheer you on.
  5. The spectators are amazing. I should know, I’ve been one three times!
  6. I’m young and (relatively) fit and healthy. Now is as good a time as any to put my body under the pressures of a marathon.
  7. I want the medal. (AKA I want the prestige).
  8. I made a bucket list at the age of 15. And running the London Marathon before I turn 30 is on there.
  9. It will be fun… right?
  10. I can pass the time by trying to spot celebs running it too. Note to self: Google which celebs are running first!
  11. I can also pass the time by daydreaming about this turning into a reality: #wishfulthinking…tumblr_mj7h6xHP5Z1s2cmkto1_500
  12. As a runner you get to travel on the underground for free! I love a good freebie.
  13. Free burger and prosecco. When you show your medal on the day at GBK you get a free burger… did I mention I love a good freebie?
  14. Sense of achievement. Twenty-six point two miles of achievement.
  15. Running is my stress reliever. Training against this back drop helps all my troubles fade away…cropped-1959814_814117365478_489781666_n1.jpg
  16. To inspire others. My mum is now a runner! That never would have happened if me and my dad hadn’t taken up running.
  17. I don’t know if I can actually run that far. But I’m crazy brave enough determined to find out.
  18. Carb loading before race day. This has got to be the best part of all that hard training. Getting to eat lots of carbs in the few days before the marathon. Pasta party anyone?
  19. I enjoy running. I’d have to to want to run 26.2 miles!! I may not be comparatively very fast, but I’m competitive against myself and myself alone which suits me down to the ground.
  20. An excuse to listen to that cheesy pop music I not so secretly love. One Direction, Five Megamix, Eye of the Tiger…you name it, I love it.
  21. Because it’s quicker than walking?
  22. And no one really needs their toenails…
  23. To give this blog a purpose and fill my friends’ Facebook feeds with inspirational quotes like this: ca713e962d3211e39d5922000ae91047_7
  24. I’ll be raising money. For Mind, the mental health charity.
  25. And possibly one other charity…watch this space!
  26. If a 101-year-old man, a woman missing half a lung and a man carrying a fridge on his back can run a marathon, what’s stopping me? 

26.2 I got a ballot place. I know a lot of people who have tried for a ballot place five or more times with no joy. These things are like gold dust!

 

Slow and steady really is best

Let me post my first of probably many many running stats:

500 meter sprints:

09/04       22/04
1: 2.45 2.36
2: 2.41 2.34
3: 2.40 2.35
4: 2.50 2.45

An average of 6 seconds faster per sprint! To some that might not mean anything, but to me it’s a great achievement. Over the past two weeks I have not focused my efforts on running, I haven’t set out to get faster and it was by pure coincidence that I decided to do these sprint sessions two weeks apart.

Over the past two weeks I have mainly been going to the gym, trying out (and loving) hot yoga, and training my mum up to be able to run 5km. Her pace is somewhat slower than mine and we walk portions of the 5km route. At no point during these two weeks have I gone out and run at my pace.

And yet, I managed to beat my sprints! This just goes to show that slow running (aka slower than race pace) does not mean you aren’t improving. I googled a little bit about slow running when I was stepping up my training before I deferred my marathon place but I don’t think I ever saw the benefits of the method – until now. Here are a few other benefits:

  • It’s good active recovery. Meaning it helps your legs to recover by facilitating blood flow to damaged muscles.
  • It builds aerobic fitness, endurance, and fat-burning capacity.
  • It’s a way to build mileage in your training without putting your body under too much wear and tear. (The theory is, run slower = able to run further).

I will definitely be building some easy runs into my plan when I step up my training from now on!

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This was supposed to be me!

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Well ok, not quite…

But I was meant to be running in the glorious sun two days ago in the London Marathon. It was good sense that I deferred my entry to 2015 due to foot related issues – If I’m going to compete with Mo I need longer to prepare!

I’ve got just over a year now to get myself ready for the 35th – and my first ever – London Marathon, and right now I’m buzzing from the atmosphere on Sunday. I’m hoping to harness that motivation to get me through the next…375 days!

First up, I have created a little ‘marathon log’ and pinned it to my bedroom wall to track my exercise and progress. My dad is running the Brighton Marathon next year so is reading up about anything marathon-related. Recently he found an article that said Hot Yoga is great for runners, so that’s where we’re heading tonight! 1 full hour in a room heated to 40+ degrees…wish me luck!