Friday, 2 December 2011

'I lost my mojo baby'

This is what happened (almost) without the hot girl at my side, and the slightly suspicious 60's ginger locks. (sadly) I woke up one morning to find I had lost my running mojo. Gone. Just like that, and I could not get it back. Perhaps it was the fact that not one single person donated after my  newspaper appearance  (not a penny), or the fact that the North pole had migrated all the way down to where I live, who knows, but it was gone, and it stayed like that for a very, very long time.

God knows it has been a long time coming, but here it is a short blog to let you know that, yes I'm still alive, and yes I'm still running. I had a crisis of confidence. Rocking in the corner, crying, eating lots of ice-cream. However I'm well and truly back in the game. For me, giving up is much harder than trying.I will not give up. I will cross that finish line.

Sorry for lack of  longer blog coming soon. Thank you all for the support.

In the meantime if  you have some overwhelming urge to donate to someone in the world, make sure it is me.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

I'm in the newspaper.

'If you get into the London marathon then count yourself lucky indeed! You had less than a 1 in 5 shot. 100,000 entrants will have been turned down to run in 2012.

If you managed to grab a charity place then count yourself even luckier. To grab one of the 12,500 guaranteed places you have a 1 in 8 shot!

Unless you’re a celebrity, the hardest part of the London Marathon is getting in!

Guaranteed Golden bond places come at a cost. Sponsorship targets range from £1000 – £2500 and most charities will make you sign a form to say that you will have banked the money by a certain date.'

I was lucky enough to get a Golden Bond place with Leukaemia Care (see link at top) However now I'm faced with the daunting challenge of raising a whopping £2,000. The problem I have is that most of my friends have got what is called fundraising fatigue, or as I like to call it ' please bugger off'. Not only do I have to get myself in shape for the big run but I have to somehow raise the money.

Great, bit daunting. I'm trying not to rely so much on donations from friends and have set out annoying the local folk of Hastings and surronding areas. Yay.

I managed to get into my local newspaper, The Hastings Observer. Hopefully, fingers crossed that will bring in some much needed donations. Other plans consist of flyers, charity events such a pub quizzes, bake sales/boot sales etc.

legs for leukaemia!

If you have any fantastic ideas on ways I can fundraise and reach my target then feel free to email me at

If you are nice enough to spare a pound or 2, also feel free to click the link and press donate. It is quick easy and totally secure.

Please please spread the word to family friends and local businesses. To read about Leukaemia Care and how amazing they are, and how your money really will help click here:

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Jog On!

A long overdue marathon training update, my apologies:-

I have been taking it slowly since my crying-nervous-breakdown phase. This is due to two things. Firstly, my groin injury, and secondly well, this is embarrassing but... I think I'm scared of running. I know what you are thinking, I can hear you say it now:-

'Ro, how can anyone be afraid of running? It's just running, one foot in front of the other- jog on!'

However, the mind plays horrible tricks on you when you run. It's not only a physical but a mental challenge. The voices in your head you hear, the I cant's, the I wont's, the THIS REALLY HURTS!!!. After my previous long run debacle, I have been putting off long runs all together, and sticking to short, sharp bursts.

 I have changed running every day, to running every other day to prevent injury and help me recover from injuries better. There have been some running positives. I feel a lot healthier in myself, it is nice to breathe in nicotine unscented air, and to be able to walk up a hill... without collapsing mid-way and having to hike the rest of the journey dragged along holding on to the backs of passers-by heels. However, I'm still encountering the dreaded stitch, or as I like to all it 'death incarnate'. Surely I should be getting fitter by now, no? 

It starts with a tingle, nothing serious, something I can run through, but out of nowhere. BAM!!! Someone is digging in a metaphorical screwdriver, so painful that I physically can not run through it. This happens 10 minutes into a run, and knocks my confidence so much, that I just want to stop and go home. I have taken other runners' advice on twitter and started doing core strengthening exercises. Hopefully this will help alleviate the pain. I will keep you posted.

On some runs I feel fine, for example on Friday I did a 5k, felt great, no stitch, no voices in my head. I literally did what it said on the packet and put one foot in front of the other, slightly achy, but after a hot bath I felt great, proud of my accomplishment etc etc.

The next run: horrible stitch, mental blocks, stopping and starting, whining,whimpering, chucking my water bottle on the floor in a fit of frustration, whilst on-lookers gazed on in shock. Why is it that as soon as I feel I'm on track, I take 20 steps backwards, right to the start line. Is this due to boredom, tiredness or just the fact I'm not made to be a runner?

Anyway I'm going to join my local gym this week, as the nights are drawing in and the thought of running in good old English weather, in the dark - well, that is not helping to motivate me either. I will let you know how that goes.

My apologies for these bleak blog entries recently. I know I'm starting to become a broken record, but this blog is all about documenting the truth, and the truth right now is this...

...I'm in a running rut.

"Oh Piss off!!!"

Friday, 16 September 2011

Ginger curry and copious cups of tea

If this guy can do it age 100!!! then so can I.

'He's the world's oldest marathon runner - and at the grand old age of 100, Fauja Singh is certainly showing no signs of slowing down.

The quick-footed centenarian, who has completed seven marathons since turning 89, has become the first person to sign up to the 2012 Edinburgh race.
And he has revealed the key to conquering his daily 10-mile training regime is eating plenty of ginger curry and drinking copious amounts of tea'

Read more:


Sunday, 4 September 2011

Buddha could do it.

To all my readers (if you are out there)

The week or two since my last post have been horrible. I haven't felt like writing here simply because I have lost my mojo for running, When I signed myself up to do this challenge I knew it would be hard, and I knew my body would disagree with it, just like a young child would disagree to being fed sprouts with a broccoli sauce, but I never really comprehended the amount of work, the limitless amount of things that would hinder my training, the amount of consideration that goes into diet and fluids, breathing, running form,  posture AND the pain I would suffer. I really was that naive to think it was a simple matter of putting some trainers on, running around for a bit. EASY.


I have a new respect for Madam Marathon.

If you are wondering why the stocks and shares of Deep Heat have gone up, you're looking in the right place. I have had blisters the size of gumballs, a small metatarsal fracture on my foot, chronic stitch, severe groin pain, oh and did I mention the vomiting?

If Google had some form of search result monitoring system, I'm pretty sure the google men in black would have been round my house to rush me to A&E, or failing that, register me dead.

There have been tears and tauntrums that have made me look like a mad woman. I have always considered myself to have a strong will, but running.... well, running is my nemisis. Who would have thought that putting one foot in front of the other and kind of hopping would break even the strongest of minds. I would like to see Buddha try. Perhaps a few readers out there are looking at this and shaking their heads, as if to say 'get over it' but for me it's hard, and this blog for me is all about the ups and the downs, not just the ups (although I would like some of those now please) 

On my latest 6 mile 'run' (more of a hobble) I was in floods of tears. The passers-by must have thought something traumatic had happened. Oh no. If a friend was there, they would have reasured them and said:-

'Oh don't worry. That's just Ro. She's just attempting to run, nothing to be alarmed about, she cries a lot when she runs, not sure why'

Instead, I had to drag myself home whilst other runners sprinted past. 

Whilst out and about in town recently I came across one of those Halmark -type posters, splashing waves on a sunset backdrop, quite beautiful, The words read...

'“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.

Now, pre-running Rowen would have embraced this sentiment, smiled and walked away. Post-running girl ... well, I looked at the words, shook my head in a patronising way, the same way I had shaken my head at the white plimsoles. I gritted my teeth, smiled, laughed to myself and thought:

' To whoever wrote this: I will kindly allow you to run a mile or two in my shoes and see how you feel about this after. OK?'

(An example)

This is going to be hard, but I'm no quitter.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

"You run like a penguin"

What a week it has been: there have been ups and a lot of downs. Where to begin?

Since my last blog entry, I have been recovering from some type of sports injury at the top of my foot, largely due to wearing incorrectly fitted trainers. I spent ages rubbing lotions and potions into it, binding my foot so tightly the Chinese would be impressed. On one hand, I was very excited about the prospect of not having to run, on the other I was extremely frustrated. This is not to say I have found a love of running (yet) but for weeks since I received a comfirmation that I would be running the marathon, my whole existence has been focused on training; blogging; researching - and when you can't do the one thing that connects all these activities - you go a bit stir crazy.  I devoured all my boxsets and probably ate my body weight in chocolate and crisps.

(RUN 1)

When I finally became bored of Sex & The City and Ugly Betty, I attempted to go for a long run. After a week of doing nothing, I was excited to get back in the game. So off I went, new trainers on. My Facebook status read 'off I go to do a 6 mile run'. How naive could one girl be? I trotted around for a while, but for some reason my mind just wasn't in it. I merely did a full length of a path before giving up and going home.This was unbelievably boring. I'd discovered something worse than watching paint dry - watching your left foot come down on the ground, then your right foot come down on the ground, then your left foot come down on the ground, then your right foot come down on the ground.....then... What was wrong with me? My injury was fine now, yet I was finding every excuse under the sun not to run. If this was 'THE WALL' most runners talk about, and I had reached it after 5 metres, then I was in serious trouble. On the way back, I strutted past the people I had passed only a few minutes previously, trying to look as if I had actually done some sort of exercise. Their eyes fixed upon me as if to say 'didn't you just walk past here only ten minutes ago looking so smug?'  I held my head in shame. I spent the whole evening wallowing in my own self pity. How am I ever going to do this?

The park where I 'run'

(RUN 2)

Run 2 was slightly better: I took my mother along for good measure, she pedals behind me on her old pre-war push bike as I run. She reminds me of scenes in Belleville Rendezvous, a French film in which a little old lady paces behind her son's Tour de France training, blowng a whistle. It's quirky. But it works, and having someone there to motivate me does spur me on.
 However, never ask your mother, "Do I run ok?". In fact, never ask your mother 'Does my bum look big in this?' or anything , if you don't want the frank and brutal truth. Her response was "Yeah.... kinda....well, sort of like a penguin really, if penguins could run".
 Thanks mum, now I feel great.
I continued that run trying to over-compensate by turning my feet inwards which made me look like I had bow legs or like a retarded young Forrest Gump. Great!!

See little old lady blowing whistle, AKA- mum.

(RUN 3)

For some silly reason, my boyfriend thought it would be a good idea to go on a 5 mile run with me. This was the first big run I had done.  Ever.  I was apprehensive to say the least. There was me kitted out in all the latest sports gear, new trainers at the ready. I was feeling good, and then there was him who decided to run in the only shoes he had, a pair of £5 white plimsoles. I looked at them blankly, and tutted like a fierce primary school teacher: "You will never do this Matt, you dont have the right shoes, and you have never run before. You seriously want to do this, I mean pffffff, really?" 

"Yes, I want to do this, I will be fine" he said, tight-lipped, giving me a blank gaze.

"All right, if you say so", I replied, knowing full well with 100% certainty that he would give up straight away. I'd have bet money on it.

It was a baking hot day, which is unusual in England, especially in summer. We planned to run from one end of the seafront to the other and back, a total of some 5 plus miles. (see picture).
 I was sweating even walking, but with an assured egotistical attitude I started to run. I had high hopes of showing off about the amazing training I had done, whilst Matt crumbled into a withering mess. THIS DID NOT HAPPEN. 

"Can we stop, Matt, can we stop? My side really hurts" (10 mins in)
"Can we stop Matt? Seriously, I can't do this. I've got a blister. I mean a blister, a really really real blister" (20 mins in)
"Matt!!!!! I'm dying, I'm actually dying, its too hot, I'm dying, I'm going to die at the side of the road" (30 mins in)

This went on for the whole run, whilst he effortlessly strode next to me with an air of superiority on his face.

I had chronic stitch, a humungous blister on the side of my foot, my legs ached, my heart was pounding - I was a mess. 

He, on the other hand had not one adumbration of an ache, not one sign of a blister and he looked effortlessy cool. I HATED him. 

Although I found my stride after mile 3, it wasn't a pleasant experience. I finished the 5 miles, clutching my side in pain. I was proud that I had done it, but at the same time I felt literally sick at the thought that this was only 5 miles, and to complete a marathon would be an extra 21 miles.   I have a long way to go.

I couldn't walk for a whole day after, and will never again be able to look at a pair of white plimsoles without feeling like an idiot.

From point, A-B, and back.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

It's okay, I don't hate you...

Why is it that when the likes of Jennifer Aniston or Reece Witherspoon attempt a light jog around the block it looks effortless and sexy, yet I somehow get reduced to a red, sweaty, out of breath mess? And this isn't me over-exaggerating either, oh no no. On a run, I think I caught a small child pull on its mother's hand, look up and say "Mummy, why is that tomato running around?" in genuine fear. Okay that didn't happen, but still, you get the point.

Just when I was about to give it all up, assign myself to the sofa where I shall rot under piles of cheesy puffs and Pop Tarts I came across an image.

From this moment on, Kate Hudson, I shall forever be indebted to you: