The Last Post

Here I am on New Year’s Eve 2012, bracing myself for 2013.

2012 – such a year!

  • I’ve continued to beat personal bests at all distances from 1 mile to 13.1 miles.
  • I ran my first Great North Run, in a very respectable time, along with 40 odd thousand others.
  • Every race I’ve run before I improved on this year.

So 2013 has much to live up to.

I’m currently planning my racing year, avoiding big races as much as possible, and concentrating on doing more for less. Entering races is a costly business and, as much as I enjoy racing, I have to think about balancing the books!

Today I did my last run of 2012. I ran with my semi-silent coach come reluctant running husband at his improving pace for exactly 20:13 minutes, inspired by my running friend Paul Smith who had just run 20:12. One run for the old year, the other for the new one.

So, I’ll leave you there, with grateful thanks for your support during 2012 and wishing you all a very energetic 2013!

Streaks and Crunches – that’s the life!

I’m sure that you are all desperate to know how the run streak is going! Well, it’s going well as it happens and no one is more surprised than me!

When I started, just over a week ago, it was purely a means to an end. My running was suffering because I was so busy and I didn’t know what else to do. Running for just 15 minutes a day sounds ludicrous, but I’ve been managing 2.5 – 3km a day in that time and yesterday I did my fastest ever treadmill 5k with ease. There must be something in it.

I promised myself that I’d streak to tonight and then that was it. If I can fit in a run on Christmas Day I’d really like to do it, especially if I can take Murphy down onto the trails for half an hour or so. After that, who knows? I don’t think it’s necessarily a good thing for me to be tied to running on a daily basis. Im afraid that as someone with OCD that might become a burden and running should never be that to me. It must always be fun. Something I do because I want to and not because I’m making myself do it.

That said, running for 15 minutes a night hasn’t been much of a hassle, although my poor old washing machine is struggling with all the extra gear I’m throwing into it! Run streaks are heavy on the laundry pile!!

I’ve also been dutifully doing my ab crunches and I’m delighted to see a 2-pack appearing already! I haven’t seenmy ab muscles since 1991, the year before my son was born! It’s hard work, but seeing results already is spurring me on!

This will probably be the last post I make until after Christmas so I’d like to say thank you all for your supportive comments over the last year – they are always appreciated (at least I know that someone reads my blog!)

I hope that you all have a very…

See you on the other side!

The Streak #2


Yes, I’m still bright and cheery. Despite not running until gone 6 last night and not eating until past 7 (we usually eat at 6ish) I’m still happy with the idea of running every day. I was still doing paperwork when hubbie arrived home and after I’d finished hubbie decided that he would run first. That meant that I would have to cycle and do my core exercises first, then run and leave preparing dinner to my kitchen challenged husband.

I rode a decent 3 km in 8 minutes and then did my 10 ab exercises before standing around a bit waiting for hubbie to get to 2.5 km. He achieved that in a reasonable 18 minutes, running mostly at 9.5 kph, which he would never have attempted last year.

I decided to just run my 15 minutes, rather than look for distance. I was hungry and, if I’m honest, worried about my kitchen and my meal. Admittedly hubbie only had to put the peas on and heat up two frozen packets, but still.

I ran at a fairly steady 11kph for most of the 15 minutes, far easier than yesterday, and hit 2.7 km. I was happy with that. Running on the treadmill means that I can happily ditch my walk breaks and concentrate on upping my speed. Managing anything under 9 min/mile pace is great!

Will I change anything tonight? Well, first I’ll make sure dinner is ready. My husband couldn’t find any peas and my macaroni cheese packet supposedly didn’t have any microwave instructions, so we were having (emergency) tinned carrots and he was guessing the timing on my meal. He didn’t think to look in the freezer for the peas and, apparently, must have had his hand covering the macaroni timings when he was checking “the entire packaging”. This is why I am so busy at home!

Roll on day 3!

You can tell it’s nearly Christmas…

…when my updates become once weekly, if you’re lucky. Apologies.

If I’m perfectly honest that’s because I’m not up to much, running wise. I’m working six days a week and when I get home it’s too late to think about gearing up for a trip into town. My weekly mileage has been pretty pathetic recently. I use Daily Mile to log my miles and looking back I can see what difference the dark nights have had. In October I was running between 15 and 25 miles a week, which has gradually declined. One week in November I managed a grand total of 2 miles!

I really didn’t know what to do about this. I’ve thought about taking my kit to the gallery and running around town before coming home. That wouldn’t help with training up my husband – he often finishes after me and isn’t often in town. My day off is so packed full of all the jobs I can’t do during the week that, like last Monday, I was running at sunset!

Yesterday I came up with an answer.

A runstreak!

Generally speaking I’m not keen on running every day. I believe that my body needs a day to repair and relax. However I have set limits. For my runstreak I will run every day this week for at least 15 minutes. Most of the time I envisage this happening on the treadmill. On finishing I will cycle the equivalent distance on my exercise bike and finish off with my Daily Ab Workout, if I have enough time. I know 15 minutes doesn’t sound much, but that’s 15 minutes pure running time (i.e. not including getting changed, warming up, cooling down and showering.) In reality 15 minutes running can easily become an hour’s worth if you include all the faff.

I started my runstreak yesterday. I did a pyramid interval run, starting at 9kph and climbing to 12kph and down three times. It was a good workout and, if I’m honest, it was tough at the start. I’ve lost some of my speed running with my hubbie and this is a good way of getting it back. My husband ran after me yesterday (not literally – he wouldn’t catch me if he tried!), complaining about the width of the treadmill belt, but he did his 15 minutes whilst I pedalled and crunched.

This morning I feel good! Normally I would be sitting here trying to work out when I could fit in a long run on my only day off, but today I’m not worrying. I did 2.5km yesterday. If I can do at least that every day by the end of the week I will have run over 25km by Christmas Day, which is over 15 miles. If I feel good and have time, I’ll do more.

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And hopefully, come the big day, I’ll look slightly more svelte than Santa here!


Fitting in Short Runs

As we approach Christmas (and thank you, by the way, WordPress for my snow! <if you read this after the festive season, there was snow…honest) fitting in any running is becoming increasingly difficult.

This week we resorted to running the third of a mile length of the village which is lit by street lights enough times to get 2 miles out of it. Incredibly boring running, but running nonetheless. Needs must!

Today is our only day off together and, in an ideal world, should be a long, easy run day. In truth it will end up being a short, just fitted in run as we are trying to get our house looking slightly more finished looking. Having just dismantled a chimney and put up Christmas lights, we are now about to fit a kitchen cupboard and erect a spare bed, whilst moving furniture around the house like one of those sliding puzzles!

I’ve been researching marathon training. I bought Jeff Galloway’s marathon book and set this against my diary. There is no way I will be marathon ready for the Blackpool marathon in April. I worked out that I would have to start today on week 9, an 11 mile run, and, not having run any decent distance for a month or more, that would just be silly and begging for injury. So, if I am going to do this marathon, I need to look at doing one later in the year. At the moment the Loch Ness Marathon is high on my list, although I’ve heard that it’s a toughie and the flat nature of the Blackpool 26.2 was seemingly ideal for my first try. I’ll keep looking, but would appreciate any ideas for marathons which aren’t too far away from south west Scotland! I think I might do the Blackpool Half though. In fact, there are many half marathons beckoning from the events guide of Runner’s World! If I don’t end up doing a full marathon then maybe this could be the year of multiple 13.1s!