Not only are Matt, Elaine and Sarah letting the ups and downs of their running progress be plastered around the web, they've decided to join forces in raising money for Children on the Edge's work in Uganda! You can find out more about the project and sponsor them by going to their JustGiving page. Every little helps, and as beginners, they need all the encouragement they can get!
Since last time I’ve been training hard and am feeling fairly confident about the distance. It took a lot to twist my arm to do the half marathon but I'm so glad I've signed up. The training has been such good fun and so far has given me a fantastic sense of achievement. I think the best bit is running with my colleagues from work. There is a group of us doing the half marathon and we run regularly together. It’s great because we all motivate each other and have found some amazing local routes.
We have practiced Chalk Pit lane and the Trundle which was a challenge but I find it helpful to practice these parts of the route so I know what to expect on the day. We also do a speed session on Friday lunchtimes which is so hard but has definitely made a difference to my longer runs.
We all entered the Goodwood 5 mile hill climb on 19th August. This was a great event despite the pouring rain. The route started with an initial climb up Kennel hill and remembering that what goes up must come down, the second half was all downhill. Ive never run so fast in my life and came in with a time of 41.56 which I was very pleased with. It was a great experience and good practice for the main event.
Doing the Goodwood run gave me the chance to look at what I need to eat and drink before an event. I get very nervous and lose my appetite, running on empty isn’t helpful but I struggle to eat much without getting stomach cramp. A colleague recommended Cherry Active which worked for me and kept me going during the race.
Matt, Sarah and I have put together a Just Giving page so if you are reading this and would like to sponsor us all funds raised will go to Children on the Edge. Thanks in anticipation.
Since my first blog I’ve been doing loads more running and I’m happily back up to 10K. I’ve suffered with a recurring injury called plantar fasciitis - which is a very common foot injury I’m told. So after a couple of weeks out and a strict routine of stretching, ice and sports massage I’m back on it with the realisation that I need to listen to my body and not do too much too soon.
We’ve started a lunchtime running group at work which is great. We have planned an easy run once a week and a hill / speed session once a week and I do my longer runs on Sundays. I have discovered the joy and challenge of running with other people and now the sun is shining its fab to get out of the office.
I entered my first 10K in years last weekend, the Petworth Park Discovery Run. To say it was hilly is an understatement and it was definitely a challenge but I came in just under the hour and was very pleased with myself. It was good practice to know what race day will be like and I’m really glad I did it. I feel much more confident now and was buzzing for days afterwards!
Now I’m putting together my training plan for the next few months increasing my long runs gradually each week and including some strength training.
Until next time………….
I am still wondering why I agreed to do a half marathon, as even though I have a good base level of fitness, I know how hard it’s going to be. I’ve been running on and off for about 5 years particularly enjoying the easier option of the treadmill, the furthest I had run until very recently was 10K. I have done one 5K and one 10K race but never been very up for putting myself out there.
Working alongside the sport team at the council you can’t help but get swept along by their enthusiasm and commitment to improving your fitness and over the years I have found myself doing spinning classes and circuits till my legs drop off! Running on the other hand is a whole different kettle of fish, I really admire my colleagues who can run with what seems like relative ease and I want to be able to do the same. So I decided to let them twist my arm and also agreed to the publicity as well!
So, no more treadmill, I have been running outside trying to increase time on my feet and my speed across a 5K distance. I have always been an average 10 minute miler and am struggling to improve on this but I have managed to increase the time I spend running to 1hr 45 mins which was 10 miles - am very pleased with that so far. So for now my plan is to keep going, gradually increasing the time I spend running whilst continuing with the spin and circuits that I really enjoy. I have time on my side (for now)!
Elaine Thomas is Health Development Manager at Chichester District Council, who partner with Children on the Edge to organise The Chichester Half Marathon. Having never run further than a 10K, Elaine is challenging herself to run the a half marathon before she's 50, and the Chi half is her chosen route. She says "I want to be good, I want to start the race confidently and finish feeling good. I want to cross the line with a smile on my face and show that women of my age can do this!"
Chi Half Beginners Blog
This year the Chichester Half team are following the progress of three beginners, all with their own reasons for giving the Trundle their best shot.