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Days to go: 192

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

It’s quite tricky writing a blog about running when I’m not able to run at all, but here goes…..

In the last 2 weeks I have been swimming like never before. Daily. It’s bizarre, but I’m starting to really enjoy it, perhaps I should change tact and enter a swimming race? Maybe not.

I asked my running coach for advice on keeping fit, so I don’t feel like I’m back at square 1 when I am able to run again. The main thing he said is to keep the intensity high, I’m not allowed to casually swim laps at the same pace. So I’ve been doing long warm-ups in the pool, then sprints of 50-250m, depending on the day. I think this is the key, swimming is not boring at all when you break it up into chunks and race. Even if I am only racing the clock! At the end of a session I’m a) exhausted and b) experiencing the happy feelings most people would call runners high. Excellent!

One more week like this, then I’ll try a short run. Although, in all honesty, I don’t think my shins are ready yet. They can still get sore, which is not great after 2 weeks rest. Lucky I still have 192 days to go…….

Days to go: 206 Major set-backs: 1

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

The marathon journey has begun… sort-of. It’s too early to start following my Run Coach training plan, so I’ve been focusing on running and enjoying it. Which was great. I ran 15km with friends on Sunday and started to get excited about race day. Then we had interval training on Wednesday, which I love. I had shin pain in the warm-up and was limping a bit, but presumed it would go away. I did my first 2 1km efforts in good time, but finished in pain and had to pull out.

Off I went to the doctor today.

Diagnosis: Shin splints in my right leg. Plan: 1 week of total rest, followed by at least another 2 weeks off running.

Not a great start! But hey, people all over the world have shin splints, it could be worse. The new plan is to rest up, get in the pool and make a full recovery before I get out there and run again. With 206 days to go, I have plenty of time to recover, then re-build my running fitness.

May the roller-coaster ride continue.

Days to go: 213

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

The lottery was drawn today and it’s official – on November 7th 2010 I’ll be lining up on the start line for the New York marathon with 34,999 other runners. If everything goes to plan, I’ll also make it across the finish line…..

The problem is, I’ve attempted a marathon only once before and it didn’t go to plan. I started the 2007 Paris Marathon feeling fit, strong and ready to run. It was a beautiful, sunny day and the crowds were amazing. I was well-prepared and running well. I hit the half-way mark in my target time and felt quietly confident. I knew the eiffel tower was at the 30km mark and started to get a little nervous when I still couldn’t see it. How long can it take to run 9km?

By 30km I was hungry, dizzy and very unhappy. At 35km I started to walk, and wasn’t doing that well. And at 37.5km I wobbled off the road, fainted in the gutter and realised it wasn’t going to happen. Disappointing is an understatement. Why did this happen? I don’t really know. It was partly the heat, maybe because one of my gels fell out of my pocket, I could have trained more and I could have raced smarter. Or maybe it just wasn’t my day?

There’s a bit of background for you, so you can see why lining up on the start line on November 7th will be one of the most daunting things I’ve done. You can follow my story through this site and this time there WILL be a happy ending!


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