Tag Archive for Brighton

Day 205 – I felt like a runner today. Briefly.

I’d left the run until very late today. Very late. I headed out and found myself around a 7min/mile pace and very comfortable with that. I actually felt like a runner for once, I felt like running worked ok for me. That lasted about a mile. Then I began to feel the tightness in my left quad, my right achilles, my left arm and in my patience! The second miles was hard, the third was agony as the aches just got worse. I could do with a day off, clearly!

In all the fanfare and fuss over Sunday’s marathon time, I’ve forgotten to congratulate everyone who ran their first marathon on Sunday, including our very own Damian. Well done one and all. It’s a massive achievement and you should be very proud of yourself indeed!

I was watching a video earlier of Lance Armstrong, a true inspirational figure for someone who is really into their cycling like me. He said he was told, whilst he was working to qualify for the Boston marathon, that “20 miles is half way”. It’s an interesting concept and I get it. When I ran my first marathon, I’d happily have agreed. But not this time round. The last few miles were tough and the legs ached, but not anywhere near as tough as the first time! Maybe I’m not running hard enough…

I’ve had a few interesting days lately as word gets around about my marathon time. I seem to have become an authority on running for a few people. I don’t really know very much, just what I’ve experienced in my own running. I suppose I’ve had a hell of a lot of injuries and problems though!

I had an interesting chat with a colleague today who’d asked about the marathon and how often I trained for it. I told him the story, the mad challenge, I’m an idiot, da de da de da. He asked me if changing his three to four runs a week to three miles a day would get him a 3:30 marathon. I promptly said no and explained the list of injuries I’ve had through the sheer bloodymindedness of running every day and never giving up. It isn’t good for the body and the rest days make all the difference in my opinion. Running should be something you enjoy and doing it every day doesn’t help with that 😉

I’ve also been asked for advice on shin splints by another colleague. I found this RunnersWorld article on the subject. I generally find runnersworld to be a useful and reliable source of advice so had no problem with sending it on. However I was thinking about the advice given in there whilst I was out for a run this evening. I smell a rat. Read this…

“Make sure you wear the correct running shoes for your foot type specifically, overpronators should wear motion-control shoes. Severe overpronators may need orthotics. Have two pairs of shoes and alternate wearing them to vary the stresses on your legs.”

Now, ‘wear the right shoes for your foot type’, yes, big tick. I agree, you’re right. But ‘Have two pairs of shoes to vary the stresses on your legs’? No. Wrong. Big time.

By implication the two shoes would be different types or at least models/manufacturers of shoes. In order to vary the stresses as they suggest, they would need to be significantly different shoes, surely, the difference being in the support offered. If they are significantly different, they cannot both be offering the correct degree of support, or they would be applying the same “stresses” to your legs. I’m merely applying logic here. If anyone knows of a decent argument to the contrary, please do share it, but it seems quite wrong to me!

Anyway, have a read of Damian’s race report and congratulate him on being yet another new marathoner. Well done mate!

Rambling over. Back tomorrow…

Andy.

Today’s shoes: Newish Kayano 17′s (~120 miles)
Miles today: 3.03
Target: 615
Miles to date: 800.56
“Even if you fall flat on your face·at least you are moving forward.”
Sue Luke

Day 203 – The post marathon punishment and the full ‘Brighton Marathon (…The Return)’ race review

I left the run until late afternoon. My left ankle is very dodgy, just like a few weeks ago when it went ping so I’ll be very cautious. I cannot walk down stairs with any control or indeed composure! Every muscle in the lower half of my body aches a lot. I still have a smile on my face, I broke three and a half hours, did I mention it? 😉

Last night I woke up every two hours, doubled up with abdominal pain. No doubt that was the result of the preventative medicine I’d had to take in the morning just before the marathon and I had a thoroughly terrible night’s sleep. I’m still suffering now, 36 hours later. Being this worn out and then getting very little sleep leaves you in a horrible state the next day and I feel truly shocking today! Add to this the neck and shoulder are still not right, I still feel stiff and they ache constantly, my stomach is tied in knots, the abdominal pain persists and you have the recipe for a terrible run.

Today’s run was really tough. My legs weren’t up for it and it hurt all the way to three miles. I managed to keep just over a nine min/mile pace somehow, but not without pushing through some serious pain. Even the act of stopping myself running to walk after I’d hit 3 miles hurt in my thighs, but I was pleased to find that the stiffness in my calves and thighs had eased a little in the post run shower.

And now for the full Brighton Marathon race report

The 2011 Brighton Marathon

It’s been a long build up to today. This is the big one. The truly long run of the challenge year’s calendar.

Brighton hosted it’s second marathon today and along with a good few other runners I know, I lined up at the start to see Steve Cram fire the pistol and set us all on our not-so-merry way, 26.2 miles shy of the finish line.

I’m here today to compete in a marathon, though there isn’t a single person in the field I’m actually competing against. I’m here to beat myself. Break my PB. Even that’s a bit of a misnomer really, having only run one marathon before (and that was Brighton last year). The time to beat is 4h41. It went sort of like this…

07:00 Against all the rules and all of the advice I tuck into a bowl of cornflakes, a full english and a large pot of strong coffee. How bad can it be?

07:15 Off we go to Preston Park. The barriers are up, the marshalls are out, there’s a buzz about Brighton this morning.

07:30 Time for the Imodium to combat the adverse effects of anti-inflammatory pills. This is not going to be a good day!

08:00 There appear to be a sea of runners making their way up to Preston Park for the 2011 Brighton marathon. It’s a hilly challenge in parts and many are here sporting t-shirts advertising they’re return competitors from last year, as is your’s truly. Damian and I find James and our official photographer does a great job of capturing the moment. James appears to be sporting a knee support and receives intense interrogation on the subject. Turns out he’s still as crazy as he ever was and is planning to run his three heroic events this week on said dodgy knee!

08:15 Whilst discussing target finishing times I show my 3h30m target finishing time wrist band on my right wrist and my back stop 3h40m timing band on my left. Damian says that breaking 3h30m will qualify me for the Boston marathon. It’s unanimously agreed that Boston would be a great place to go, so I agree that my target is now to break 3h30! I text my brother and tell him that 12:30-13:00 finish is no longer the target, he should be at the finish line from 12:15, I’m feeling good this morning. Frankly all of this is pie in the sky at this point. I have no real basis upon which to claim I could run sub 3h30.

08:30 Damian and I wander off to the back pen discussing his plan for the run, making sure he’s comfortable with everything and on the way I spot Heather, a lady who volunteered with me on a Sense holiday a couple of years back. Damian tells me I know too many people!

08:45 I wished Damian the best of luck and headed down to the blue pen, just behind the club runners and elites. In the pen I meet a guy called Sacha who is running for Sense. Nice bloke, we had an interesting chat about what Sense do, the 1095miles challenge and his running career too.

The Front Runners at the Start

09:00 Bang, the gun goes. We’re stationary for an awfully long time. Then I hear the PA announce that the 3h30 pacer has just passed under the gantry. He’s some way ahead of me so I resolve to catch him up, but not before a good 15 or 16 miles at least. We’re off. This is exciting. I click into an 8 min/mile pace from the start, only slowed a little by the large proportion of the field who seem surprised by the hill after the first bend!

Another 'Where's Andy?' Competition ;-)

The Guys at Saucony Clearly have a Sense of Humour

What little time I’d lost on the way up the hill (to the highest point on the course!) was quickly regained on the way back down. As I passed by the Start line for the second time, I spotted Damian still walking towards the start. I shouted over to him and he replied “Run faster!”

Settled in my pace, the next few miles went really nicely. I’d set the Garmin to ping every half mile and update me on my average pace for that section. If you click through to the Garmin map for yesterday’s post, you’ll see just how consistently I managed to hit my target 8min/mile pace (look at the lap splits).

After about 5 miles I met another Sense runner whose name has sadly slipped my mind. We had a brief chat and on I went. I caught up with Heather on the way back down to St. Dunstan’s and wished her luck before she told me to get going and let her know how I did at the end. At 10 miles I saw Damian again. He’d have been at about 6 miles I guess and he looked like he was enjoying it. Once again, more “Run faster you slow coach” type banter came my way.

I crossed the half way point at about 1h42m. That’s only 6 minutes shy of my half marathon PB so I was a little concerned I may have gone out too quick in the first half. I finally saw the 3h30m pacer in front of me at around 15.5 miles and caught him up by mile 16. I had a chat with him about how he was pacing the miles and he seemed to think I was looking good for finishing it at this pace, mainly due to the fact that I looked ok and wasn’t really feeling it yet. We compared stop watch times and I jokingly said it was so I could work out exactly how far I could let him get ahead of me at the finish! I carried on creeping ahead of the pacer and met a guy called Kris who was keeping an eye on, and trying to keep ahead of the pacer I’d just been speaking to.

Kris and I ran and chatted for the next nine miles. This was a really good thing for me and I think for Kris too. At least four miles just seemed to pass without notice and even the tougher later miles were made somewhat easier as we shared the odd joke, often about how we kept looking back for the 3h30 pacer, and discussed why we had chosen to support the Charities we were both running for. At 24 miles or so, Kris was looking much stronger than me for the finish so I wished him luck and off he went at one hell of a rate! Nice to meet you Kris.

Then my ankle went a bit wobbly. The same left ankle that plagued me all those weeks ago. I plodded on for the last mile trying my best not to twist it unnecessarily and slowed down a bit for the last half a mile. I really had no clue what time I’d run, only that Mr 3h30m Pacer was behind me so I knew I’d broken the revised target!

Moments Before I Smashed the 3h30 Target!

Crossing the Line in Under 3h30m!

Wearing my Post Marathon BacoFoil

I'm Smiling Because I Know it's a Fast Time!

I found out moments later that I had crossed the line in a chip time of 3 hours 25 minutes and 38 seconds (PB). That’s an hour and sixteen minutes off last year 😉

My brother had assumed the faster target finsih time was just bravado and missed me crossing the line by about 5 minutes!

We headed back to the hotel and I showered. Met my brother and had a quick beer, then dashed out to try and spot Damian coming in. I’d expected him at around 4h50m, given the 21 degrees predicted (And I’m very sure it was 21 degrees!) but he was nowhere to be seen. I did spot Keith though, coming in to claim a superb 4h57m. Very well done mate! I even got a photo.

Keith!

Having decided we’d missed Damian, we began to walk towards the pub that was planned as the venue for post marathon celebrations, with a workmate of mine Sam whose wife Megan had run the event too. As we walked along, there he was! We shouted over, but he’d put the dreaded headphones in and couldn’t hear us. I’ll let Damian blog the story for himself and save the punchline for him to reveal…

And speaking of Damian. It turns out that the qualification time for Boston is 3h05m. Well done buddy, you got me to break 3h30m, even though you were wrong!


Damian and I have agreed to have a go at beating our PB’s in Chester in October.

I said if I ran a marathon in under 3h50m I’d call myself a runner. Done!

Oh, and I’ve redeemed my priority entry for 2012 already. I’m in!

Andy.

Today’s shoes: Newish Kayano 17′s
Miles today: 3.00
Target: 609
Miles to date: 794.33
“You also need to look back, not just at the people who are running behind you but especially at those who don’t run and never will… those who run but don’t race…those who started training for a race but didn’t carry through…those who got to the starting line but didn’t cross the finish line…those who once raced better than you but no longer run at all. You’re still here. Take pride in wherever you finish. Look at all the people you’ve outlasted.
– Joe Henderson

Day 201 – The pre-marathon 3 miler

So, we’ve made it this far. The big one is tomorrow. By the afternoon, somewhere around 10,000 of us will have finished another marathon. Hopefully.

I headed down to Brighton this morning as early as I could get my ar$e out of bed. I was sat outside a certain well known coffee house next door to the Brighton centre by 09:15. Then all of a sudden a queue appeared. I figured it’s be a good idea to get in it, it is the national sport, after all! They had a couple of 118 men doing some comedy stretching and poses to keep the crowd happy. As I was standing there minding my own business, I recognised someone about 50 yards away. There’s a story to this guy…

350 odd days or so ago I was standing at the start of the inaugural Brighton marathon. The start was delayed. I got chatting to the bloke next to me. His name was Keith. Keith and I proceeded to claim to want to run about the same time, 4h30 ish yet set off in totally different ways. We met and passed each other repeatedly throughout the marathon and offered support and motivation to each other each time. Then at 24 miles Keith overtook me again. I was dying by this point, nothing left in the tank, I struggled to muster a little more pace (frankly barely above walking pace if I’m honest) and catch him up. As I caught him I said I’d race(!) him to the line. We crossed a couple of seconds apart.

Anyway, standing in the queue, I spotted Keith again. I said “It’s you!” and he said “It is, we finished a marathon together a year ago!” (He’s the guy to the right of me in the picture, in the green singlet). A great start to the morning and a good opportunity to reminisce about nearly killing ourselves last year!

We both made a bee-line to the priority entry for 2012 desk and coughed up our fiver each (and I got one for Damian too). I then had a look around at the running gear the stalls were trying to sell. I tried on a pari of Vibram Five-Fingers (Google it if you don’t know what I’m on about) and came to the conclusion they are a weird thing to wear but could imagine you’d get used to them fairly quickly. As for running in them? I’m still far from convinced but would happily try!

I then met Steve Cram again. Looking forward to meeting him at an event in the near future…

Next was to check into the hotel and get myself out for the day’s run! It turns out the hotel had a few goodies for any customers who happened to be running in the morning.

I overdid it on the distance, not great the day before my biggest event of the year, and ran 3.5 miles along the seafront. It was HOT!

Wandering about the town we spotted this –>
What was it doing out on it’s own? 😉

We walked the seafront in the afternoon to see what was going on and how preparations were progressing for the event in the morning. Here is the target for tomorrow (and a bit)…

Later this evening I decided to review a couple of energy gels I’d managed to pick up at the Marathon Expo earlier.

I’m used to Lucozade Sport Orange energy gels. You buy ’em in Tesco, they’re really cheap, small packs and I think pretty easy to use (though Damian hates them!). They are like syrup in a reasonably strong orange flavour and I find if you just squeeze the contents of the pack in as fast as possible and down a mouthful of water after, they work well. They’re 45g a go and give up about 125 kcal each.

Today I’ve abused my body with the following two alternatives, both in orange flavour…

Multipower Multicarbo Energy Gel
These are little 40g sachets that pack 104 kcal in. The tops rip off easily and the taste is a bit like the lucozade ones but stronger. They were good, I’d happily use them again.

SiS Go Gel
I have once again got my hands on an orange flavour one. First impressions are ‘how the heck do you get the top off?’ as I struggled to get into the sachet. Not a good start. They also taste a bit like the lucozade ones but watered down. And then I felt a bit sick. Not for me I’m afraid. Want to hear the worst bit? They’re 60g a sachet and only 86 kcal. Bigger, heavier and inefficient compared to the other two options above.

Injury update: The shoulder is still giving me grief. The crazy anti-inflammatory pills are obviously doing some good, but I have to report the adverse effects of taking them are not compatible with running. I suspect I’ll be starting tomorrow’s run with something to block things up!

Now time to go and rest.

Today’s quote is the most appropriate I could find…

Andy.

Today’s shoes: Newish Kayano 17′s
Miles today: 3.50
Target: 603
Miles to date: 764.93
“No doubt a brain and some shoes are essential for marathon success, although if it comes down to a choice, pick the shoes. More people finish marathons with no brains than with no shoes.”
Don Kardong

Day 200 – That’s a nice round number ;-)

The doc says sprained shoulder, limited range of movement. Great. They’ve given me crazy strong anti-inflammatory pills. Fingers crossed by Sunday they’re doing a good job. Today they’re not. Pain started within a few yards and although it’s not as insanely bad as yesterday (though not far off), it’s a significant distraction from running. And it really hurts!

I received a lovely email today from a friend. I hope she doesn’t mind being quoted…

“I hear you have had a very difficult couple of weeks. I’m so sorry to hear about your nan, that is really sad news. I hope you are ok. A week including a funeral, car accident and a marathon is quite a week. I hope it goes really well at the marathon on Sunday for you.”

Thank you 😉

So, today is day 200. That’s way more than half way isn’t it?!?! Well it sounds like it!

I’m also over 160 miles ahead of the minimum target. Having to make up 305 miles over the year to hit 1500 is still going to be a challenge though. I’m over half way and still have 144 miles to pick up somewhere. That’s an average of nearly a mile a day for the remaining days!

Tomorrow we travel to Brighton, to spend the weekend there and fit a marathon into the middle. I’m really looking forward to it and just hoping this blooming shoulder injury isn’t going to completely destroy the day!

I think I’m going to head down early tomorrow and catch some of the marathon expo at the Brighton centre. I’ll try and catch up with Steve Cram if possible. We still have a run to do! 😉

I’ll be wearing the 1095miles.com t-shirt on the day, as will Damian. Say hi if you spot either of us, we don’t bite. I’m 1566 and Damian is 800. There’s an iPhone app to track the Brighton marathon and runners you select available HERE for those of you who have one.

Enjoy the run if you’re doing it and best of luck. It’s going to be HOT!

Blogging may be brief and unreliable for the weekend, depending on how much internet time I can get over the next few days.

Wish me luck….!

Andy.

Today’s shoes: Newish Kayano 17′s
Miles today: 3.12
Target: 600
Miles to date: 761.43
“Runners like to train 100 miles per week because it’s a round number. But I think 88 is a lot rounder.”
– Don Kardong

A charity element added to the running – please donate

I’m still sore and still haven’t taken any ibuprofen for three days and so this morning’s run saw me take a go-slow around Tooting Common.

I’ve also signed up to go and visit the sports injury clinic at Crystal Palace next week to see if they can do anything to get rid of the tightness in my calves – all this running over the last six months has really taken its toll and I’m considering dropping the 22mile run I have planned for this Sunday as training for the Brighton Marathon on April 18 and just do a regular three miler instead.

The amount of mileage I’ve put on my total in the last two months has been pretty high thanks to my adding a marathon into the middle of it all and my legs could do with a week off long Sunday runs. If it makes me finish Brighton a little slower, so be it.

What I have done though is finally add a charity element to my running – if Im going through all this pain, hobbling around South London and on my travels, someone should see the benefits.

I’ve chosen two charities to benefit: one at home and one abroad. Both are ones I care about and I hope that by splitting the proceeds evenly, people will be touched by one or the other if not both.

From a home perspective and as a Leeds United fan, I have chosen Candlelighters – a children’s cancer charity based at St James’s Hospital in Leeds.

Candlelighters is also the chosen charity of Leeds Fans Remembrance – a fundraising effort to recognise the 10th anniversary of the senseless killing of two Leeds fans, Chris Loftus and Kevin Speight, while they were following the team in Turkey on April 5, 2000. LFR has been set up by the families of Chris and Kevin.

The other charity is the Waterside Charitable Trust and I have to declare a personal interest: my father-in-law, Eric, is one of the trustees. The WTC raises funds for health, sanitation and education projects in the slums of Kisumu, Kenya’s third largest city.

The area the WTC works in is called Obunga and, having visited, I can testify to the poor conditions people live in there: shanty houses, no running water, no sanitation, high incidences of HIV/Aids and other communicable diseases….

The WTC has attempted to correct some of that by installing public toilets and shower blocks, building a community and health centre, funding education for youngsters and helping set up small businesses so people can help themselves. They are in the process of planning a new youth centre in Obunga alongside their partner UK charity, the Hunslet Club.

If you do think either of these charities are worthwhile or want to support my running efforts, please click on this link to my Virgin Money Giving Page.

I know charity fatigue is an issue so to set the ball rolling, I’ve sponsored myself to the tune of £100. Please pass on the link to your friends and keep coming back to 1095miles.com to see how much I’ve raised and read about me moaning about my aching legs!

Click here for a Google Map and full details of today’s run

Miles today: 3
Target: 558
Miles to date: 734.94

Please donate to my chosen charities by clicking here

Trying to plan ahead to the upcoming races

After yesterday’s mammoth, I left it till the early evening to go out and run today, which is a shame as after a lovely sunny day, it was getting chilly again.

I decided to run Streatham Common to get some hills back into the training and actually felt surprisingly good though, naturally, a little stiff. At about 1.7 miles I had a bit of a scare when my right knee just locked up but I stopped for a minute, stretched it out and it was fine. Cramp around the knee? That’s a new one.

I’ve also not mentioned much about nutrition on here (other than the occasional hangover run!) but I am trying my best in the run up to the upcoming Water Of Life Half Marathon at Bisham Abbey this weekend and the Brighton Marathon in five weeks. One of the things I have introduced after most runs is a smoothie: half pint of milk, a banana, punnet of blueberries and a scoop of Maximuscle Promax protein shape all go into the blender… I figure it’s got carbs, protein and antioxidants in spades and doesn’t taste half bad either.

I’ve also been indulging in my running consumerism ahead of the race. With the sun out yesterday, i had a few of those bits where when you walk or run past a fence, it has a strobe affect and no I’ve ordered some cheapish running sunglasses from Wiggle to try out… I also ordered a hydration pack that stores about 2 litres of fluid in a bum bag with a hose to drink from during long runs.

I’m not sure how much use it will get but running with a bottle, either in hand or in a belt is a pain. The hydration pack should, theoretically, sit in the lumbar of the back making it easier to carry. I’ll let you know how it fares when it turns up.

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3
Target: 531
Miles to date: 697.56

Want to dedicate a run to someone or have one dedicated to you? Click here

Seriously concerned about an injury

I was supposed to do a long run today as part of my training for the Brighton Marathon, but it would have been impossible.

I’ve still not really recovered from last week’s Portsmouth Coastal half marathon and Friday’s 20-mile cycle into the peaks, three-mile run yesterday morning and 12-mile hike yesterday afternoon haven’t helped – my left calf has started to give me some seriously worrying gip.

I’m not too bothered about not doing the long run… they’re mainly about getting time on your feet as much as distance and the fact that the hike took us more than five hours is good enough for one week – but on the face of this morning’s run, I might have to drop Brighton.

David and I set off around 8am while the other boys were still in bed. The wind war swirling sprinkles of snow around and we headed downhill into the village. Less than half a mile in, the heavier force of running down hill kicked in and I felt the calf tweak tighten right up.

We continued on but I was hobbling behind David with gritted teeth until we completed the circuit.

I’ve iced and taken lots of Ibuprofen but it’s not really helped much. Tomorrow will have to be very light and I’ve an hour of sports massage on Tuesday that I am finger crossing for… having to drop out now would be a real pain. Especially as I have another half marathon coming up in three weeks and have also signed up for the Leeds half marathon on May 9.

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3.17
Target: 486
Miles to date: 624.36

Want to dedicate a run to someone or have one dedicated to you? Click here

Why you should always pooh before running

Still with a bit 0f  soreness from Sunday’s Posrtsmouth Coastal Half Marathon and with a shift to do in town, I was up early for what I thought would be a nice, slow recovery run this morning. In a bit of a rush, I threw some clothes on, wolfed a banana and went out.

Regular readers wont be surprised to see a crucial incident missing from my pre run prep… a visit to the bathroom.

A mile from home, I started to feel the first tummy cramps but knew finding a loo at 6.45am in Streatham other than the one at home was going to be impossible. I momentarily weighed up the idea of running back, making a loo stop and what would have been two miles and setting off again but I convinced myself I could sweat it out… quite literally as it happens.

Each step over the next two miles sent another signal to my brain saying ‘you need the loo, you need the loo’ and as I ignored the stiffness in my legs and speeded up the pace to get home quicker, there was more sweat coming from the feverish need to go than the running itself.

Past two miles was a total nightmare… to the point where I began to feel light headed – I was clinching my bum as though I’d just got in to the prison shower with Mr Big and his very big gang.

I finally made it home in time, bursting through the door and frightening Laura and the cats… but I dont think I could have taken another step if still outside.

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3.00
Target: 474
Miles to date: 612.19

Want to dedicate a run to someone or have one dedicated to you? Click here

The hills are alive

As part of my regime for the Brighton Marathon, I was supposed to do some hill training last week while in Orlando. Pushed for time though and given Orlando is as flat as one of this Tuesday’s pancakes, I’d missed it out in favour of a flat run and so decided to do it today.

I’m not absolutely sure of what the benefits are but it hill training is in every training programme and, I think it is meant to strengthen certain muscles that are perhaps not put under the same stress when running on a straight.

Anyway, the program involved running for a mile as a warm up, finding a hill and running up it for two minutes fast before jogging back down in three minutes to the start. And then repeating this nine times.

So I headed out into Norbury as far as Norbury Hill – which is pretty steep – and went up and down it, veering off to side hills a couple of times to break up the monotony. Some builders in one of the houses there were just looking at me as though I was mad.

Toward the end of the run it started to rain, heavily and I began to curse my stupidness at going out in just shorts and a tee. By the last hill, my arms were red and sore with cold and to compound things, it started hailing as I was running home. Hard, fast hail that stung as it hit my head – but quite enjoyable in a masochistic way.

I’m off to do my first official half marathon on Sunday in Portsmouth and was chuffed to hear the doorbell ring this morning with the postman announcing the arrival of my new pair of trainers. There are the ones I’ll hopefully be running Brighton in but I’ve had to upgrade from Asics GT2140s, which you can’t find any more to Asics GT2150s… I’m hoping they’ll be as good and faithful as the last pair.

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 5.27
Target: 456
Miles to date: 584.32

Want to dedicate a run to someone or have one dedicated to you? Click here

Sometimes you just don't feel like running…

… and today was one of them.

On top of a slight cold I’m sure I got by taking an ice bath after Sunday’s 15 miler, my legs are still slightly sore from that run and my chest muscles ache from a weights session at the gym yesterday.

To top it all, I hardly slept last night and gave in at around 4am to take a melatonin tablet which is meant to release sleep inducing hormones – cue me almost not being able to get up this morning and feeling like I have no energy all day.

I was supposed to do a speed session this afternoon as part of my training regime for Brighton but I just didn’t feel like it (plus I was worried about the legs) and so I did an easy 3miler around Streatham Common.

Unlike my mood, at least the sun was out as I set off on the route which takes me straight into a massive climb. I wasnt too fussed about the steepness as at least it slowed me down but on the way back, when running on the Common itself, it was ludicrous. The heavy rain from last night was still running down the grass (water on Streatham Common gathers from the Downs I believe) which was waterlogged and had me slipping and sliding all the way back.

I’ve never been more glad to see the front door but I guess day’s like today come to test the resolve. I managed to grit the teeth and carry on and, as a reward, ordered some new trainers ready for the big Brighton push.

Click here for a Google Map and full details of the day’s run

Miles today: 3
Target: 453
Miles to date: 579.05

Want to dedicate a run to someone or have one dedicated to you? Click here