Sunday, 28 February 2010


Part of my marathon prize was a marathon seminar day run by the sports products company Lucozade and a training session with Liz Yelling, marathon runner and Olympian.

Well I was pretty worried about all the super fit types that would be at the seminar, all the gazelles and leopards that would be present, walked into the room, was one of the last ones there, due to the fact I took a wrong turning on the vespa and added an extra 15 minutes more than needed onto my journey, got there in the end, changed out of my scooter gear, walked into the room a lot of people were seated together, felt like the first day at school or college when you don't know anyone, sat by myself, not for too long though was joined by a older white guy who was friendly enough. He would not be taking part in the training session later on in the day, due to an achilles injury.

The day stared with a talk on nutrition which was good, could've been interactive to keep it interesting, but the information given was great, and I got some good tips for hydrating and eating during training and on marathon day, of course they promoted their own products but in all honesty they were not too heavy handed.

Liz Yelling gave a chat and it was great to hear that she too cries during training if she is having a hard time and she is having a hard time coming back to training after a baby, so that made me feel better about my pity tears during my 14 mile swim, sorry 14 mile run the other day. She gave us a run down of how she got into marathon running,what was intriguing was the how hard it seems to be to get everything correct, nutrition, hydration, training,she gave me a real insight into the determination, strength and self belief that it takes to perform at that level.

Liz then lead the way to the outside track for the training session.everyone was in tights and t-shirts, but with rain a possibility and to be honest it wasn't 't that warm I was fully track suited up, I was not even sure if I should take part it as was only two days since my 14 miler and my achilles was still protesting a little. To my surprise I had a great time, two things I did not want to happen, one to be the slowest and two to be the biggest, I was one of the slowest but there was a girl as slow as me and no I was not the biggest. I was also worried about my achilles so decided not to push it, for the warm up Liz ran with me we chatted and had a laugh an she was cool, there I was little old tortoise running with a world class marathoner, I can assure you that will be the only time that happens. I am sure the pace was more of a walk for her, but it was cool and I felt like I had a right to be there. There were some real fit types out there on the track, people who were aiming for a marathon time of under 3 hours, that means I will be out there for almost twice as long as them, instead of feeling bad about that I now consider myself an ultra runner.

We done a few warm up stretches, and then ran at marathon pace for 6 minutes, although Liz did say 6 miles at first and everyone one looked worried, then she corrected herself, so 6 minutes running at your won marathon pace then 60 seconds recovery, I stuck at the back and took my time, let the gazelles and leopards do there thing, then we ran faster than marathon pace with a 30 second recovery, all in all we were out there for an hour and ran about 4 miles, my achilles actually warmed up and gave me no problems, and even though I was back of the pack I felt good and it gave me the confidence and boost I needed after the 14 miler, where I questioned my sanity.

I met a woman who was using running as a way to recover from breast cancer and to lose the weight she had gained from the steroids she had to take, she was 42 and it was humbling and inspiring to hear her story.

Lunch was great sandwiches, pasta, salad, fruit and tiny muffins, I can’t lie I had a muffin,but as I said it was tiny, a few sandwiches and a bit of pasta. After lunch a talk by a British runner Paul Evans who won the Chicago marathon in 1986 at the age of 36. He gave us a talk about his career which was amusing and inspiring then we had a talk by a physio we got us up doing some exercises which should help prevent injury her thing was all about having a strong core. Talked to her afterwards about my injury, she said it was the one injury that you could run with whilst it was causing pain and not have to worry about it.

That was the end of the day, they gave us a load of products to take home and I stocked up on the drinks and gels and some new beans they’ve created, I stuffed it all in my rucksack and my Vespa and I wobbled home.

So all in all a great day, worth going to and just what I needed to lift my sprits especially as the training starts to pick up pace.

Happy running.

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