Wednesday, 25 August 2010

ufdance half marathon

The weather has not been great recently, rain, rain, rain, but luckily it held off a tiny sprinkle in the morning but that was it.  I had  my usual shredded wheat and that was it, stomach played up a little bit, but not too much. 

Drive there was cool, no traffic probs, car park was shut, the area is being done up for the Olympics so no showers or changing rooms, but there were four porta loos, of course the line was looooooong, so I took too the bushes across the road,  it was a bit busy a few other ladies had the same idea and there was a dog running around, but luckily I was able to do my business without being shamed!

Once finished, I noticed a girl looking around, seems likes she dropped her IPOD shuffle whilst doing her business, so I helped her looked for a it and we chatted, funny enough when she’d given up, and we were on our way back that’s when she found it. She was running with a friend and it was there first half, they were great girls and we had a little chat, took a couple of pics and went on our separate ways. Bev is on the right she is the one who was hunting for her IPOD, Mariama is in the middle.

I decided not to put any Kinseo tape compression guards or socks on, my reason for this is because my injury has to heal for itself, no amount of gimmicks are going to make it better, so recently I've just been following the phyiso instructions and it seems to be working. Tactic today was to ensure I did not aggravate my injury and if at anytime it had become too painful I gave myself permission to stop.

There was a bit of a warm up, I hate group warm up, I always just want to get started, once that was over, we went on our way, the route was six times around, the route goes through a long wooded area which has a slight incline, then through a grassy area, where there was a water station, then the last mile takes you along a canal, all very pretty, then back on a grassy area then start all over again, every lap was just over 2 miles.

Here go all the speedy bastards!

There I am starting slow, the field was full of serious runners, so even though my pace was around an 11 minute mile at first I was way at the back, tried not to get carried away and start running like my life depended on it, but it can be hard when everyone around you is steaming away. The pics above are of Bev and Mariama starting off as well.

I love pictures of other runners, the determination, the pain, the elation the confidence.

My achilles was hurting I can’t lie took a few miles to warm up, and left leg was cramping a bit, but I am so used to it during traiing, I paid it no mind, plus I think I’m getting stronger and my body is getting so used to my imblalaces it’s just gets on with it.

Above is a picture of a good mate of mine called Grace, we used to go to the same gym together years ago, and even been on a few fitness holidays together, she came to my birthday BBQ in June, the funny thing is I didn't even know she was running, it's only as I was looking through pictures I realized it was her. She looks so happy, so serene and in her own little world, don't be deceived she was pretty quick, finishing in 2 hours 5 minutes. Well done Gracie do proud of you, you look fantastic and your time was amazing.

My average pace was just underneath an 11 minute mile, I tried hard not to go slower than that. The hardest mile was mile 11 that is always a problem for me, I just seem to lose a bit of hope around that time, O.K I was losing the will to live to be honest, I think it's because I’d run so damn far already and I know I still got a way to go, I have a bit of a dip in confidence. I  lost count of the laps after a while, and was unsure how many more I had to go. It’s like you mind losses focus. Luckily my garmin was a life saver and that helped to keep me on track. 

Then I was attacked by stitches the bane of my life, began to attack, right hand side of my stomach and then the left hand side, Lord, I had to stop for a minute, breathe it out, curse myself, sorry encourage myself then continue that must have been my slowest mile I think it was a 12.01 mile, shame on me. 

 Look at the pain on my face in the first picture, notice how I perk up when I see the camera, what a girl would do for a great picture!

Mariama, she was walking so I got her running again, by now my paced had picked up to just about a 10 minute mile. I always get excited towards the end of a race and I always start shifting, she said I was going too fast and stopped, but I wouldn't let her, I literally yelled. "Shit we're too close to the end, you just have to finish your first half marathon in glory." Plus I was grateful for the company, it took my mind of my pain, we kept pushing, final corner and I really let go, the excitement got the better of me I really ran for it and passed three people in the process!

I finished in 2 hours 21 minutes 33 seconds, a 10:54 pace, which I'm very pleased with, with my injury I  was in fact surprised, I was expecting to be a bit slower, I feel as if there is a lot more to come and once I'm one hundred percent injury free, I can really knock some time off, but I'm happy, happy to even be able to run, let alone race.

Mariama and I then ran up to meet Bev, who was walking due to cramp
Kat "What are you doing come on, you have to run to the finish, are you injured."
Bev"I got cramp."
Kat"Great, lets run." 
And we accomapnied her to the finsih line, everyone back safe, she managed it in 2 hours 35 minutes.

Well done ladies you both done brilliantly for your first ever half, and it was a pleasure to be part of you experience, welcome to the wonderful world of half marathons. Mariama good luck for the Great North run (for those of you who don't know it's a massive half marathon, held in Newcastle, North of England, it's the biggest half marathon in the world, and takes place on the 19th September 2010, lots of fun runners, and charity runners, it's very hard to get a place and finally this year I get to run it, yaaaah).


A few people complained on Runners world that the length was not correct but my garmin read 13.03 maybe I cut a corner somewhere, don’t know how people managed to go way under time unless they cut a lot of corners.

Six laps, Lord you lose the will to live after a few laps.


The postitive thing about the laps was no one needs to know what lap your on, so you never feel like your right at the back of the pack even if you are.

Marshalls, very enthusiastic, calling out your name, and being very encouraging, although they had a bit of a nutter on the final stretch home, shouting and jumping up and down and running along with people, I had my IPOD on so did not hear his madness!

Great food at the end, bagels, bananas, lolli pops, oranges, mmm, thanks.


Well after my 9th half marathon, yes my 9th, I've learnt I need to trust myself, stop starting so far back in the field, I can run faster, I just tend to start slow and then speed up, conserving energy as I fear if I go out too fast, I'm going to blow up and embarrass myself and end up crying and walking and.....
See what I mean! I finish and then feel disappointed that I did not push myself more, achilles permitting, it's time to step up.

Time to do some speed work, something I have never done, as my achilles gets better I can start putting some into my training programme.
Have a structured training programme, intervals, fartlecks, hill work, yuck, time to get familiar with these terms learn to love them embrace them and make them work for me.

Try to work on my pace, which tends to be all over the place, 
Do some weights,
Work on my core.

Thanks to the other half for taking such great pictures, and as always for his support, thanks to Bev and Mariama for being such great company, look forward to running with you again in the future and  good luck to anyone who is racing this week. 

Saturday, 21 August 2010



After 28 miles last week, this week has been about tapering for my half marathon on Sunday, I have knocked out 9 miles not much, but with my achilles injury I thought it was best to err on the side of caution. I have taken extra care to ice and stretch and follow the physios instructions, now all I can do is eat well and drink lots of water, fuel well on the day and hope my leg holds together and I do not end up running like a crazed orangutan.

The race is 6 times round an area called Hackney Marshes in East London, it's a well run event, the organisation is always superb,  there is a steel band, bananas and bagels on the way around, and there is  always have plenty of water, and the marshal's are super enthusiastic calling out the names of the runners, and being very encouraging, now six times around anywhere is boring, but being that it is such a well run event and lots of fun,  well as fun as a half marathon can be, they are forgiven.

I have run this about 3 times, although not for a couple of years, last year my achilles ruled me out (yes I have been struggling for that long with it, the problem comes and goes, but fingers crossed with the right treatment it is now finally on the mend). Last year I marshalled and had a hell of a lot of fun but it turned out to be one of the hottest days of the year, and those runners suffered, like they were lost in the Sahara dessert, so I was happy to be encouraging from the side lines, checked the weather report and it looks like their might be a few sprinkles on Sunday, which is fine by me, I'd take a little rain over searing heat!


The last two weeks I have been training, a couple of friends, now these two girls are quite over-weight and unfit, but very enthusiastic, and it's been great fun working with them, last week I worked with the two of them  together, that was really just test their fitness and see where they were at. We had fun, and I really enjoyed putting them through their paces. This week due to a time mix up, I had two sessions back to back.

This week Kat went hard core, I set up a circuit of boxing, star jumps, planks, press ups, shuttle runs, skipping, squats with weights and lunges, the first girl only done the circuit once, I'm a bit concerned because she is quite big and has not worked out for years,and has a knee issue and with the extra weight running might not be the best thing for her, she agreed so for now only minimal running, until she has lost some weight, I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

Here are a few nature shots for you nature lovers out there, all the credit for the pictures goes to my other half, who helped me carry all the equpitment onto the tube and then hung around taking these snaps, all on his day off as well, thank you.

Then I trained the second girl we did the circuit  twice, one minute on each section then done a 15 minute run, one minute run one minute walk. We were in a public park and a few times people stopped and stared, now I know the girls were a bit put off by this, but at least they are doing something about their weight, at least they are fighting back, I say embrace the stares, you know why your doing what your doing, so do it, hold your head high, and work out like your life depends on it, because in all honesty it does.

You can see from the pictures what we got up to. I loved of it, I need to work on my own conditioning, and this is a great motivator, soon I will also set up a group once a week in the evening, as well that will be purely running, there are a good number of people interested, so I thought why not, pass on my addiction to others,why should I be the only one who suffers from this crazy running addiction.

I wish to share the joy and knowledge gained, I'm very proud of them both, because I did work them hard, I took no excuses and forced them out of their comfort zones, and they done it, yes there was a bit of moaning and groaning but I don't mind that, scream, shout, cry it thats what you need to do to get through, but just do what I say!


I am happy with the way my own training is going,I have a lot of work to do and am trying to lose at least another 14 pounds, I really think that will take down my fat levels especially around my stomach, and my fitness levels up,

Latest picture of me above, got some work to do!

I am sick and tired of my belly jigging up and down, it's the only part of my body that now wobbles and I ain't happy about that. I need to put some hard work in, so after the half marathon on Sunday, I need to up my training a lot, and work on condition, sort out my core and get it nice and tight. If I could go down a dress size and lose a few more inches off my hips, chest and waist I would be estatic. I ain't trying to be skinny just fit, firm and athlectic looking.