Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Nearly There!!

So, Half Marathon is on Sunday!!!

I do feel ready now, although I'm not going to break any records.  I was awed when I saw Nell McAndrews coming in at 1hr 25 on the Great North Run last weekend, but there is no fear of me doing that.

My hairdresser did this race 2 years ago when she was 23 and she did it in 2hrs 41, so I'd like to beat her time.  Also one of Mike's granddaughters did the GNR last year in 2hrs 46,  at age 21, so beating either of the girls would do me fine as I'm twice their age. (and the rest).

I finally feel that I have my kit exactly right.

My New Balance 1226 trainers are great.
Garmin Forerunner 610 - v. efficient.  I've pared the info back to the bare minimum for Sunday so I'm not running along trying to work out what it all means.
Runkeeper as a back-up, my old pal and not really an added extra as I use the iPhone for music.
My Senneheiser 680i headphones are excellent, they just don't fall out even when my face and ears are all sweaty. (Nice).
Shock Absorber Run Bra - terrific, now I've finally got the shoulder straps at the right level so they don't unhook themselves as I'm going along.
Best of all 1000 mile tactel trainer liners.  These are the BEST socks ever.  They have completely stopped me getting blisters which used to be a real issue.

I do have a penchant for running with the kitchen sink, and watching the GNR on Sunday no-one seemed to be wearing belts.  I will definitely have a small bumbag on as I don't feel happy without sweeties, and a couple of hankies, even if I don't use them.
There was a man with a fridge on his back.  My sort of runner.  I'd have it stocked with drinks, sweeties, loo roll, and also make-up, hairbrush, spare clothes,  mirror, body spray.

Hoping to finally meet Fortnight Flo on Sunday!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Strange times

So, since my last blog what's been happening?

Well,  In spite of being "Proper Poorly and on antibiotics", I didn't think I could let up on my training, so  I went out round our fields the day after starting the meds.  It was lovely.  I haven't run round there for ages and it was a gorgeous day and Buster came with me (most of the way).  It was only about 3km, but it is on rough and hilly terrain so it's quite hard work.

Had finished most of the run, Buster flying along gamely with his Racing Ears on and streaming out behind him, when suddenly I realised that he was no longer with me. This was after I'd just gone round our largest field and I'd last seen him at the far end of it, which is separated only by a hedge from the main road.

I called him and got no answer so I thought OK I'll do another lap of the field.  Went round again, and on this second lap, (we'll come back to this later) had to cut a corner at the top end as the sheep had huddled in that corner and I didn't want to run through them and scare them.

No sign of Buster. Curses.

Next part of run took me back to  and around the house.  Buster sitting on doorstep watching me go by, had had enough of running and taken himself home. Ignored faithless hound and kept running.

Finished run and saved it on Runkeeper, and on Garmin.

Oh Runkeeper, what is going on???

I could not have got where I am today with my running if it hadn't have been for Runkeeper, it has been my total inspiration to keep going and keep seeing how far  and where I've been.   Lately however it has let me down time and time again, hence my expensive Garmin purchase. Runkeeper and I have been round our fields countless times with no problems, but this time, like so many of late, it told me that I'd run 9.7 km in the opposite direction, very fast!

Garmin on the other hand was astonishingly accurate, right down to showing the exact path I'd used to cut the corner on the 2nd lap of the big field.

I have my gripes with Garmin. I am pretty computer savvy, but it has been a complicated matter getting to grips with the functions of the Garmin and the Garmin connect website. the Forerunner 610 is the latest and best of their products but they don't  seem to have the 'support' part sorted out properly yet for it and on some parts of the site the 610 isn't even mentioned! It is getting better, but it was a bit disappointing at first.

If anyone gets a 610 and is having probs feel free to ask me as I've figured out a lot of stuff about it now that really ought to be explained more fully in the manual or on the support.

Also on the Garmin map of your run it doesn't show km or mile markers, just the whole run.  Being used to it with Runkeeper, I find it very useful, and I'm missing it on the Garmin map.

In spite of buying the Garmin I have also paid for Runkeeper Elite so that my husband can track where I am when I'm out running on my own.  He worries that I'll be murdered or kidnapped so at least he'll be able to find my body when that happens :)  .  It is a brilliant facility and Garmin don't offer it.  Luckily I hadn't shown him how to use it the other day though or he'd have seen me shooting off at very high speed down the road away from home and been convinced that I'd been bundled into a van and taken away!  Police helicopters would have been scrambled and I would have been running around our fields innocently watching them and wondering what they were looking for.

The week went on and I continued to take the antibiotics, the antibiotics and I did not get on too well.  First I developed hives which started on my legs and gradually spread to my arms, chest and scalp. I also began to get a v. poorly tummy.  I still didn't give in though and on the following Wednesday set out again to try for my 14 mile run.  Didn't do 14 miles because I hadn't planned the route very well and was back at the car after 10 miles.  BUT 10 MILES!!  Again I've run 10 miles it is quite astonishing to me that I can do that.

I could have done 14. If I'd been 4 miles away from the car I'd have got back, but I was tired.  However I know that If I can do 10 miles all on my own at this stage and with an upset tummy, I will definitely finish 13.1 miles on Sept 25th with lots of people around me and all the music going on etc.

I don' t think that I really like doing that distance on my own.  It's too far with no-one to egg you on and take your mind off it all.  I'm proud that I've done it - twice - but I'll be glad not to do it again.

Got home and spent the rest of the day rehydrating.  I was SO thirsty.  That night I had another really bad night like I had back in June.  It feels like flu.  Everything aches, every molecule of my body.   I was freezing cold and shivery. I lay awake until 1.30 then I had to get up due to tummy trouble.  That carried on all night and I had 4 loo visits. Eventually I thought to take some ibuprofen and that stopped the pains and I was able to get some sleep.

I looked back at this blog to see what I'd been doing the day before the last instance like this, but it was only 30 mins of tennis, so I don't think that the 10 mile run was directly responsible. Not Nice!

Anyway, have given myself a break since then.  Finished antibiotics on Friday and the side-effects stopped yesterday, so I'm just going to do a 30min treadmill run now.

Antibiotics did nothing but make me feel ill and my tongue is just the same.  Dr. has no idea what is wrong and has now referred me and I'm seeing a consultant on Thursday. Who'd have thought your tongue could cause so much trouble?

I feel ready to do the HM now and I wish it was this weekend I just want to get it over with.

Good Luck to everyone else going to Run to the Beat!! xxxx

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Possible Answers!

So, after yesterday's disappointment I set about making sure it wouldn't happen again.

After researching on t'internet, I concluded that both the crackly music, and the ghostly voice commands, were the fault of the earphones.

Earphones have been the bane of my life since I started running. Either they are too big in my ears and they hurt, or they get all sweaty and fall out, or other irritating little problems to numerous to bore you with.

I recently treated myself to some new ones, Radiopaq Flex.  They go round the ear so are less likely to fall out.

They were recommended as very good on a website that was reviewing sports earphones so they were the ones for me.  THEY are the ones that messed me up yesterday.

The have consistently fallen out since I've been using them.  The voice control issue, is apparently if sweat or a breeze gets into the mic hole it sets off the iPhone's voice control randomly, and I don't know why they've gone crackly after only about 6 outings, so I'm not pleased with that purchase.

Anyway I can't run on my own without music, so I bit the bullet and bought Senneheiser 680i's at a very cheap price on eBay yesterday afternoon, and today less than 24 hours later they've arrived - Excellent service.

I've had a go with them just walking about and they are very secure on my head (they have a headband at the back and go over the ears as well).  No cracklyness either, and hopefully when I take them out there'll be no more random phoning people.

Also, I had a Dr. appointment this morning.  For several weeks I've had a really really sore ............tongue!   I've been trying all sorts of medicated mouthwashes but it hasn't got better so I decided to seek advice as it's beginning to get me down a bit. (My husband says it's probably worn out).


I think it's the only time I've been to the Dr. and he's actually said "Stick your tongue out and go aaaaaahhhhh!"

He's not sure what it is, he had a good feel around my head and neck and made me yelp when he discovered that my lymph nodes are swollen.  (I hadn't noticed).  So now I'm on a week long course of Horse tablets  anti-biotics and he wants me back next week.

Anyone got any ideas about sore tongues???  One of my friends said that with the HM training I'm probably a bit "run-down".  Hahahahah!

So I'm blaming the fact that I'm unwell (I'm on anti-biotics, so I'm proper unwell, no arguing) for my poor performance yesterday.

I'm hoping to go out again tomorrow so we'll see if I do any better with my snazzy new earphones.

Watch this space.