About an hour ago I got back from a 21.5 km cross-country run, so just over half-marathon distance.  It’s the furthest I’ve run (I ran 16.8km last Monday, my previous best) and if feels quite momentus getting over that 13.1 mile hurdle.  The context, however, is that it took me 2 hours 20 mins and in 8 weeks today (gulp) I hope to be running nearly twice as far at a considerably faster pace!  Today’s run was over very uneven terrain, though, and I had to contend with a bazillion kissing gates, several flights of steps, climbing over a couple of farm gates, dodging cow pats and dropping my water bottle five times.

The water bottle finally fell out again just over half way round… but without me noticing this time so the last half of the run I had to make do without a drink.  Grrr.

When I got back my troublesome ankle was a bit sore and my right quad was tightening up so I thought I’d make like the pros and try an ice bath.  Unlike the pros, however, we don’t have bags of ice on hand for just this eventuality so I made do with running a cold only bath.  I can definitely confirm that it really is as unpleasant as you might imagine – I could only stand five minutes.  If the professional runners do that regularly then they deserve their lottery funding, as far as I’m concerned!

Bollin Valley slow run

Posted: March 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’ve been struggling with first the foot injury and then a nasty cold (which stopped me doing any training from after Tuesday last week). So my last two important Sunday “long runs” had been shortened to 30mins and then missed this last Sunday. So yesterday, itching to get out there again (and seeing the days tick away!) and still rather coldy, I set out on a long slow run along the Bollin Valley Way.

Lovely scenery and perfect running weather. I did 16.5km, though really slow (1hr 52mins). Partly the slow time was that I didn’t know the route and had to stop and then backtrack a couple of times, plus lots of kissing gates but I was also taking it very conservatively because of my lingering germs. Trying to be sensible, for once.

The upside was that I really enjoyed the run (saw a really large Heron standing stock still in the river less than 20feet away!), it seemed to help kill off the cold remnants (rather than set me back) and my foot has held up pretty well today – a bit sore but not bad.

30mins aqua running in the pool today. Boring.

Enforced rest

Posted: March 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’m supposed to be doing a 100 minute run today and, despite the rather suspect weather, I’m itching to get out there.  But unfortunately, under instruction from the physio, I’m resting up instead. I’ve managed to injure a ligament on the top of my left foot. I actually did it four weeks ago and it’s been niggly since then but after last weekend’s 10km time trial it really flared up and I finally accepted that I couldn’t keep ignoring it and hope that it just went away. So this week has entailed aqua running (running in a swimming pool), seeing a physio and then, on her advice, buying orthotic inserts to put in my running shoes (45 quid for two bits of molded plastic) and a bunch of new stretches to be done three times a day.

And no long run today.

More aqua-running on Monday and Tuesday (and, yes, you do feel a right plum doing interval sprints in a swimming pool, moving at a snail’s pace and thrashing about whilst the swimmers glide past looking bemused).  Then, hopefully, by the second half of the week I will be able to hit the treadmill and roads again and be pain free. Fingers crossed!

10km time trial

Posted: March 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

So rather than the usual Sunday “long slow run”, today I ran a 10km time trial.  This is the first point in my training where I start to get an indication on what might be a realistic marathon time (you take your 10km time and plug it into an online marathon pace calculator and it spits out a marathon time).  I mapped a 10km loop route, down through Prestbury village and back, using MapMyRUN.com (which uses Google Maps) so hopefully it was very accurate.  I ended up completing the 10km in just under 50mins so I feel like I’m on track.  I ran hard, like a race, so I was knackered as I finished (average heart rate over the 10km was 165bpm) but, as I sit here writing this half an hour later, I feel fine.  Really good actually.

Still very early days in my training and a lot can go wrong (injuries or illness, mainly) leading up to May 22nd… and of course then on the day itself.  Still, on course at the moment, I think.

Macclesfield weather

Posted: February 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

Out the door at 8:30ish on a Sunday morning for a 10 mile run, but it felt earlier. It rained. Hard. The entire time. Even the bloody dog walkers were sniggering at me, I think. Was this really my idea?

Also, note to self: pre-run evening meal – pasta good, half a bottle of shiraz… not so much.

Recovery run

Posted: February 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

Today was a short, easy recovery run. 5 miles, 41 mins. Only a couple of months ago that would have been about the limit of what I could run (and I would have been pretty knackered at the end of it), so I’m definitely making progress. Still a very long way to go, though… starting with 10 miles tomorrow morning.

Welcome!

Posted: February 23, 2011 in Uncategorized

Dan SelbyOn Sunday 22nd May 2011 I’m going to be running the Edinburgh Marathon for Oxfam.  My first marathon (VERY new to running) so excited and nervous in equal measure.  Oxfam is a fantastic charity helping the poorest and most needy in war-torn and disaster hit parts of the world.  Please support them and me by donating here:

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/danselby

Thanks!