My first half marathon. I have chosen to not let my health stop me doing what I want to achieve. This blog will be updated regularly so keep me motivated and cheer me on!
RACE DAY – Pouring down with Edinburgh’s finest freezing rain! It was certainly not like this in London when it rains, as well as the rain decided to play a part only during the race, and not yesterday or after! I got 2hours 12minutes. I set off in the 2hrs-2hrs30 pen. I made fellow friends in the torrential rain, that it was very hard to see. I was lucky I had my Concept Farm cap! It all made a difference. I was on time for the 3 and 7 miles. Then my knee decided to kick in and was in pain around 10miles. I was powering on through and with 20minutes, later, the pain disappeared. I totally did not notice anything past that as I felt like i was switched on Auto Pilot! I ran alongside with a fellow British Heart Runner Fyonna Scott, and she was great at being my pacer. I was often tempted to speed up, but it was good that I didnt as I had no idea how far teh distance was left the go. The views were amazing of the coast line and into Mussel burg. Everyone was surprisingly slow and some walked. I was glad I did not stop any point, and managed my signature sprint at the end for some distance. It was a fantastic feeling!! I am happy with my time. I managed to run a Half Marathon!! What a buzz!! I was aiming for competition and whereas others did over 3hrs. My knees were shot again at the end when I came to a standstill and i was in agony. I think the cold and the downhill made the impact on the knees. I was in agony the whole day and instead of going home, I decided to make the most of being in Edinburgh and went exploring and had a reservation at The Witchery of my latest achievement. Very chuffed, Very happy. V exhausted!!! Thank you everyone!!
1 day tg – I have been carb-ing up and making sure I am dehydrated and off the caffeine and alcohol. I am feeling confident, but I have had hardly any sleep. My accommodation in Edinburgh was basic and I had a practice getting to the starting destination. It took longer than I thought to walk it, and didn’t want to tire self out beforehand. Also had to find where I was able to get hold of breakfast at a place that would be open earlier enough for me to digest. I went to bed early as I could and I prepped the final parts of the book about any injuries that may occur on race day. I was ready. Garmin and Ipod charging. I tried to memorise parts of the route as well as work out what times I should be arriving at various markers and water points. Plenty of wishes, humorous messages sent to me on FB, my email and on my phone. I felt the support from everyone. Now the hard bit… an insomniac trying to get some sleep!
2 days tg – tempted to go outside as lovely weather outside and had positive news regarding work, but stayed on track and varied my workout down the gym, keeping away from the treadmill. Was good and everyone has been very supportive with words, advice and I even had the Gym staff bar me from the gym tomorrow if at all I am tempted. haha. Trying to round up last sponsors. It has certainly been harder what with the Sumorun close by too. I am feeling strong and ready for it weighing a good weight. Tomorrow I will be R&R and Saturday will be travel day and keeping mind focused.
4 days tg – I did not schedule the idea that I would be working Freelance over the final weekend before race day for very long and late hours. I was completely shattered. Today I did a shorter run, one lap around Victoria Park and I felt it was much stronger, I was feeling much fitter after the break I have had. It has left me feeling fantastic and need to round up as much donations I can in the few remaining days.
10 days tg – wow, never knew it would creep up so soon. good workout. I find after 35mins, my body switches on to automatic pilot and I am able to just keep going. I tried my faster pace and that was fine too. Feeling fitter and hoping for a smooth run soon.
13 days tg – did a tough run challenging the hills, slopes and million of pushchair buggies in Greenwich park! lol. Strangely hardly any runners about, like there are usually on a Sunday. They must be all inside celebrating Easter with families. But there were many more children than usual. I guess as Greenwich had their special market on for Easter. I aimed for several laps and was concentrating on the ups and downs and how to take them. This time the session felt easier in terms of stamina. I definitely feel fitter and my shape starting to feel like how it used to be, which is pleasant. Knees again twinged when I finished my training… just as the snow hail stones began as I walked in home. Must work out what is best to do for downhill…
15 days tg – woohoo. feeling much confident. slowed down pace, and managed 15km+ in the park in the rain. It being a bank hol weekend too, the park was empty. perfect! knee started to ache towards end when i slowed down when i arrived home, but all is good. is slower pace the way to go?
21 days tg – Shattered. Dead legs. Numb. Achy. Drenched and LOVING IT! Managed 1hr40 as planned. Feel like I am getting back to my fitness slowly but definitely. Feels fabulous! Ran around city area, Farringdon, Tower of London, Barbican, Bank, Holborn and was great! Pouring down with rain which cleared all the streets for me! Still on the wagon with a birthday to go to tonight. Going to ache tomorrow. Big time.
22 days tg – feels easy to go into training now. no questions or doubts asked. powered on 40mins, before gym got packed. waiting for nicer day outside so I can get some mileage. hoping for tomorrow weekend. noticed runs easier after 30mins, and 35mins now. getting easier. body feels much toned. wake up aching, but just have to keep going. entered a row competition and the gym guys was spurning me on to go. felt i was pushing self and it felt good. need to get into serious minutes now without distraction.
23 days tg – mapped out diary for training schedule. 25mins solid on bike, pushing self on the least favourite thing. legs numb at end of it. have long run tomorrow.
24 days tg – gosh that crept up pretty quickly. went for a short 45 run. On the wagon now. Work drained me when I was working over a long weekend, and into the nights. Which upset my balance or routine and eating. Tightening down now. Friends still want me to come out. Had my weekend partying and now I am cutting it out to give self a fair chance. Managed a strong run, but energy levels very down. What to do.. Know rehydration is important. Least I can do, if I am working again.
30 days tg – been working non stop. I am so tired. managed 5k.
41 days tg – I was not leaving the park till I had completed two laps, however long it took! I found the circuit easier than two days ago amazingly enough. Chuffed to complete. Aiming for stamina now. When I got home, I found myself still raring to go, but knew not to then hit the gym.
43 days tg – A big difference to my run now off the booze. Feels great. Haven’t had sunshine like this since 2010 and its now March!! Gorgeous outside and I was raring to go. Even went in shorts! Braced the park. Decided to keep close to home and was happy I did so.
47 days tg – Had a huge week of unwell then drinking and partying, that I went teetotal yesterday and was so glad I stuck with it, as I managed a strong run today for over 70:02 and was still able to go on. It was hard at 00:15, but past 00:30 and i was flying through. Cool. Still cannot get over how long I had this bug and only shook it off last few days. Planned and notified (lol) my friends, that I am calming down the partying till mid April. I have will power to their disappointment lol. It’s all in my mind and need to prepare for it. This race is important to me.
54 days tg – Had a great run, powered on through and feeling good about it. I decided to take extra day off to rest and properly give more opportunity to recover. Cough and breathing still not great. Need to update some more tunes for my pod. Rain checked Boot Camp and L,B&T classes, to get more mileage in.
58 days tg – did a great run indoors. Know to keep going. Figured it was due to from doing those classes. End of day, I still need to get mileage behind me.
60 days tg – Bootcamp class and LBT. haha. Don’t know why but I felt as if I weren’t doing much to my physique.
64 days tg – Triceps still in pain. Ridiculous. Hurts in my sleeping position. Getting ready for outside run. Rather I be in the wet, than the snow we are expecting this weekend.
Just got in. It was chucking down. but I was very glad with my recent latest investment of my running waterproof light jacket. Feet were soaked though. The temperature was changing dramatically as on the return, it felt like icy winds and I was freezing when you do, after a run. Remembering my writer’s words, about that I had made it to the London Eye, I made myself think and visualise near Tate Britain, Grosvenor, and I made it past there and onto Kings Road, Sloane Square. Dead chuffed, and weirdly as soon as I slowed down to a walk, my knees began to ache. A dull ache. Very please with self, and felt confident that for all those races I did in the rain!! It certainly didn’t put me off. Glad I did it today as weekend we are expecting snow. As son as I have defrosted I willbe able to work out how far I ran.
67 days tg – My word. Legs, Bums and Tums all fine. Except the back of my arms are killing me and as the day goes on, they are certainly stiffening up, its not even funny. My thai boxing friends laugh saying it sounds like that new pressup was for Tri-ceps!! Groan..
68 days tg – decided to try different activities to vary my routine. I am still coughing. I attended the BootCamp class 1hr, followed by Legs, Bums and Tums class 1hr. It was fun and as usual I am fully aware I have no rhythm except the beats and voices going on in my own head!! Tough on the body, the core muscles. Familiar with most as used to do those when I Thai-boxed many years ago, so if anything it was a shake up and a wake up call to my body. A new pressup was introduced. I am expecting to be in pain tomorrow…
73 days tg – putting i the mileage. Amusing run as treadmill was abnormally set than the speed it stated. It was going noticeably faster, but i decided to do my best. So was sped up quite a lot. Read that it can’t hurt to walk and run, to get distance. So did that today. Great to be doing speed again. (**formed the SumoRun team today. Interesting how to get donations for both going)
75 days tg – yesterdays park run was better in stamina and progress than today’s run in the gym. I must admit the treadmills were occupied, so I instantly went on the rower and worked out there, which was good. Followed by a run but couldnt quite get in to it past 30mins. Annoyed me and was coughing more today, which was unusual, as coughing normally stops when I’m running. Hmm. So I slowed down and stopped. Finished up on one of the cardio machines instead. Left me feeling need to keep going. Friends will encourage me that every little bit counts.
I need to not get frustrated at myself. I need to understand whether I want to just complete this first half marathon, or whether i am sub conscientiously wanting a PB on it, thus stressing self out too much. Especially when I am not 100% recovered.
76 days tg – Freezing. But feeling good. Did a run in Vicky Park. So many other runners! LOL. Everyone just as cold as I was. Tested new lighweight waterproof jacket. Pleased it doenst heat up and is just water repellent. Exactly what i needed. Glad of the investment. Managed a good run outdoors and over past the park for a bit and then headed back.
86 days tg – Know I can run myself. So got myself with Personal Trainer Steve bright and early for some tough resistance training and pad work for the day. Could see where I was clearly tired from being unwell so much, but still had the techniques and response in the fighting says long time friend Steve. Motivation got me through today, with little laughing and a hoarse voice! Worked with the Kettle bells today and a lot of lunges and squats, against the stiff legs. Arms and shoulders are going to ache tomorrow. Been good so far, missed alcohol consumption for days!
88 days tg – 45 minutes run + resistance. Feels great. Powered through sore legs of recent run in Greenwich. Need to drum up more sponsor. C’mon people. Need to add more tunes to my ipod to add variety. Coughing starts only when I stop running. Good thing exercise doesn’t require vocal chords.. bring it on!
90 days to go – I have been so unwell. I have been stuck in bed, with no voice, sore throat for over a week and a half. I’ve been coughing like no tomorrow which results in terrible headaches and wheezing which has triggered off my asthma. I worked through the early stages of it, but the symptoms were all too familiar. Last time I had this, it lasted 6-8 weeks, I was not going to let this one beat me, I was going mad in my bed, and needed to get out and get back on the track. Alerting more awareness to try and get more donations has been tough. But it won’t stop me training and getting self prepared. Was slight worried today but took my given inhaler with me.
Latest update on the heart situation. No significant signs on the 3 day monitoring. I am to wear a different monitor attached to me again, but this time for 3 months. I only worry how it will stay on or not distract my training. Docs insist I am to stick with my routine and activities as if normal so that monitor can pick up any readings. Other note is that blood pressure has been recorded on a regular GP visit that it is extremely high. GP was very quiet and concerned, that took me by surprise. Im not too clear what it means at the moment, except that I want to shake off this darn bug and cough. I’m 29, not 69 and wheezing like a heavy duty smoker at nights when the coughing fits get bad.
Took on Greenwich park on this gorgeous day, heart and lungs ok. Ground wet, but free of snow finally. I deliberately wore four layers due to me not 100% at the moment. Very weak from loss of appetite after being in bed non stop. Feeling frail. Lost my Nike+ sensor on the way there. Great. But I had my Garmin pace watch. Mananged a strong run for 25mins, challenging Greenwich Parks steep slopes, and then sped walked for 10mins and picked up running again for another 25, into Blackheath, New Cross and Further out south on the streets. I seem to pick up more speed when I am on the roads than dodging prams and dog walkers in the park. It felt good. It was only when i finally stopped, i began coughing again and chest was aching. Frustrating. But know to take it easy and a bit at a time as i get back into it slowly. YEY! C’mon sponsorers!! Show us your money!
105 days – 7 days back to back of festive drinking has its reason when I knew I was booked out volunteering at Crisis Christmas this December, where I knew the importance to remain sober on the shifts. Running on 2-3 hour sleeps leading up to NYE celebrations, I had one day of chilling out, laundry and woke up today with a surge of motivation to slowly ease myself back into training. Running was great with a short burst of 30mins and a heavy resistance workout and good stretches after a long stint of partying and Crisis! Body didnt feel what I thought may be a struggle or pain. I know to go into it slowly, so not to injure self plus on my way out, I faced lots of people pouring into the gym.. good timing and a great start to the year! happy new year!
132 days – Yeah yeah! Bring It On! Feeling stronger as I made it to the City, over the Millenium bridge. past the Tate, round to Southwark back along the Embankment and to the Eye. Towards the end, I was ending up dodging tourists and people as the new Christmas market stalls are up and looking pretty, which turned into a chore itself and put me out of sync. Legs felt powering on. Very windy day, and only on journey back, I realised I was running against the wind the whole time! Trust me!
Changed my diet now slighlty, with more protein place, but instead of meats and eggs, can place in nuts and seeds and oats etc as a varied form, along with chick peas and lentils. This should give me more energy and not feel so burned out all the time.
Also booked an extra night in Edinburgh. The ditzy gal I am. thought about the night before the race etc, but didnt think of where I would be showering etc afterwards, and figured I may as well enjoy myself up there and may need to feel whacked out afterwards!! So instead of rushing or actually staying an extra night, its always nicer to know I have a room i can keep my belongings and just take my time after such an event.
Had worried about the other night out drinking, but today with a break inbetween, just says it all, longer runs when i can and that rest is just as important.
135 days – hey hey! Gorgeous day outside! I am hoping it stays like this for this weekend. Had an empty week, since last blog entry, where work has been keeping me busy. Still.. this week, certainly picking up the pace again and the motivation! Friends have now advised me differently:
-do short runs so I still enjoy it during the week when I can fit it in
– then do longer runs over weekends when I have more time, each time lengthening the distance
then I couldn’t work out why I was feeling SO sluggish.. met a nutritionist at a running show, and she says it sounded like i needed to up my intake of protein and try and have it as part of each meal. Think lentils, pulses, and nuts. I am forever hungry, and even though they are already in my diet, I need them with every meal. Advice appreciated and noted.
-had my gait analysed as well and from the sports and car injuries, I have indeed over pronators. Confirming I am in the right shoe, My right leg is much more than my left, but it is good that I had tried out at RunandBecome store a few years back, and they had spotted it at a glance. This time the electronic reader was able to confirm it as well as I could see on screen.
Plus this week as I have been getting back in the game, I felt it became much easier and I wasn’t sure if it was due to my week’s break from training. So I am feeling good and about to go for another run later today.
So far raised 25% of my target on just giving. C’Mon everyone!! Keep donations coming in!!
149 days – not feeling v well. quite run down. Lots of things are happening that is taking its toll from sleepless nights. know to take it easy.
151 days – darker nights much earlier now by 3pm already. its hard to get motivated when I have so much taking place during the day. Thank you marathon friends and sponsorers for more words of motivation. IT ALL HELPS. 🙂
153 days – glorious crisp sunday morning. Eager to get my gear on and I decided to head for Greenwich. I’d only been here on walks 1-2 times and that was just crossing through it socially. There were many runners in the park which always gives you a great spur to join in. Ground wet, but not as many leaves as the RainForest Race! But was pretty much in comparison, never noticed the steep hills in the park before. Even runners infront of me slowed down to a brisk speed walk to get up the hills. I tried my best on one of them, made it – yey! – but by the time I was at the top, I had to watch and check my heart beats… I found the run quite different to usual flat or street training, as this was certainly using the calf muscles and calves. I found going up fine, waking up my Thai box muscles, but it was the down hill which I found hard to work out if I should slow right down or behave like I was 12 again and just bombing it down there, knocking all the elderly morning couples, or dog walkers and push prams that were filling the park! It is a lovely and gorgeous park to run it. So much to take in and the views are amazing to look back over towards the city and on such a lovely day. very glad I did it. Much of a workout than a longer run, but felt good to get out and about. You hardly notice the distance when you are outside. Makes me wonder what type or terrain the half marathon will be….
164 days – hmm. friend says he runs every day around his block. good grief. I’m determined to run minimum of 4x a week. Just so body gets used to routine again. So far got many enthusiastic replies to help sponsor.. but need those fingers on JustGiving donate button.. action over words.. c’mon! I’m crapping myself to do this. Doesnt matter how much. Everything counts. I will fit in a sess after I finish some work on the laptop. Legs starting to resume back to normality. Nights getting darker much earlier, which is a pain, as I prefer to be outside on longer runs.
Sess 1:06:00 = 11km. Wanted to reach the Gerkin from home. Went through the crowds along Whitechapel > pass the Aldgate constructions > reached the Gerkin, but wanted to carry on > pass Moorgate > dodged all the city bankers, everyone was pleasant and made room for me, It was near the end of their 9-5 shifts and everyone was in a hurry > down City Road > and ended up near Old Street > getting very dark, safer to turn facing back east > legs fine, > towards Dalston and back onto near Curtain rd > Brick Lane > Bethnal green and haha.. stopped by the Camel pub (but didnt go in!) I was freezing. I had made over an hour and I wondered if I had made it over 10km… Just mapped it out using mapometer and myrunnermap, and i have done 11km. Neat. Legs surprisingly fine.. but getting cold and started to shiver from stopping, If I carried on it would have been too dark and would have met the 6pm shift people coming out.
165 days – Two days after the gruelling rainforest race and I’m raring to stick to a routine that would suit as well as prepare me. I’m in discussions with various athlete friends, speaking about how they have trained. Everyone is different. Friends have downloaded me new tunes for my pod as well as an added push. I went on the drink last night as an achievement from the rainforest race. I will watch my drink as it gets closer to the race, for now I need to get back into a regular pattern. I need to mark an interesting schedule to keep me going. Passing my justgiving link out now. c’mon and support me guys and raise some funds! And just for that, I’m going to ignore my dead legs, go for a run before I go out with the girls and start the new schedule!
I have chosen to race and raise funds for BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION. Some may know I recently was omitted into A&E for some check ups on my heart, by my GP. From the results, I am instructed to return for more in depth tests for the functioning of my heart. It is this vital organ that we simply take granted on a day to day basis. Now I am sure everything will be clear by the time you read this, so no panics or sympathy needed. But it makes you pause and think, for an active and young non-smoking female to be tested in the first place, it can become a concern and alarms anyone effected by this as you sit through the x-rays, the numerous machines, the cold nodes and being wired up waiting for the results like the engine of a car at its MOT test. Our bodies, minds and general health is being pushed daily to the max in our modern times and it is always when it is when you are suffering or in pain, when you call in for help. The fact I was okayed for the distance of my recent 10k race, by the heart specialist, I am determined to be A-ok and to be in good shape to attempt my next toughest distance: my first half marathon. To mark this brave occasion, I need your support and I have chosen to run the scenic CHRIS HOY’S EDINBURGH HALF MARATHON. (map above) Starting on the track at Meadowbank Stadium, the route will take me out of central Edinburgh with the coastline of the Firth of Forth coast at Portobello as an amazing backdrop, before heading southwards towards a grandstand finish at Musselburgh Racecourse. I hope this gorgeous scenery should help motivate me and keep me focus to get me across the finish line.
If you haven’t sponsored me yet, go to http://www.justgiving.com/msjenfu