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:

Friday, 12 August 2011

When do I stop drinking?

I have spent many a fatal morning hovering over the loo, wishing that I hadn’t had that last Sambuca shot, like most things in my life, it seemed like such a good idea at the time. But come morning I’m forever regretting the state I got myself into.

No judgements are ever made by Mr Loo Seat, unlike my real friends who roll their eyes as I drag my sorry self into the room, and pat me on the back in a patronising fashion as I cry and moan to them:‘I’m never drinking again’ as if it wasn’t my fault, someone held me down and poured the contents of a small bar down my throat.

If Mr Loo Seat, Loo for short, could speak he would say:

Ah, Rowen, welcome back. Drink too much last night? That’s OK, come slump your head down on my shoulders until you are feeling better, what are friends for?”

He has been there for me, through birthdays, Christmasses, New Years and well, any random Friday/Saturday night really. So close is our friendship that sometimes the couch gets jealous.

So when is a good time for me to stop drinking?

Marathon runners' opinions will differ when it comes to drinking and training. Some can balance both, rearranging their Saturday morning long runs for later in the day etc.  However it can take as much as 3 days to completely rid yourself of a hangover and you can unknowingly damage yourself during training, and heighten your potential for injuries, as well as feeling completely rotten. But, if you’re used to running the next morning, then here are a few tips that can see you through your training and rid your hangover hell.
  1. Top up on potassium.
    Alcohol, as a diuretic, reduces your sodium and potassium (electrolyte) levels so eat a banana and drink some orange juice in the morning. Drink sports drinks like Lucozade to top up your electrolytes.
  2. Drink water.
    Another pleasant product of diuretics is dehydration. Drink more water than you think you need, take drinks with you on your runs and drink a pint of water before you go to bed the night before!
  3. Don’t drink as much.
    It sounds simple but the less you drink, the less time it takes for your body to recover from the effects of drinking. Going for a run on a hangover over will increase blood flow and flush out those toxins even faster. ‘
(extract in pink taken from SirJogAlot)

I like nothing more than a cold glass of white after a long day, and as much as I would love to fill up one of my fuel belt bottles with wine, (it would make the long runs go by so much faster) it's time to say bye bye I think. No time is better than the present, the present being training for a small 26 mile jog.  BRING IT OON!!!!

Adios, you beautiful, beautiful thing,

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

26.2 facts about the London Marathon.

1.The first race was held on the 29th of March 1981 and 6,255 people finished the race.

2. More than 500,000 runners have finished the London Marathon's 22 races, between them covering 21 million miles - roughly half the distance from Earth to Mars

3. Lloyd Scott ran the slowest ever time in the same race. Wearing a 120lb diving suit, he took five days, eight hours and 29 minutes

4. Runners have completed the course backwards, playing the clarinet, or juggling balls, but never all three at the same time.

5. Like all great ideas the marathon was thought up in a pub – the Dysart Arms in Richmond – by Chris Brasher and John Disley.

6. The first race was held on the 29th of March 1981 and 6,255 people finished the race.

7. The race holds the Guinness world record for the largest annual fund raising event in the world.
8. The race used to finish on Westminster Bridge, but because of repair work to the bridge, the finish was changed to The Mall in 1994, where it has remained ever since.

9. Organisers provided 88lb of petroleum jelly for medical use including avoidance of "runners' nipple"

10. The marathon was originally run over 26 miles, the distance covered by Phidippides to bring news of Athens's victory over the Persians at the battle of Marathon in 490 BC.

11. The London Marathon is the only one requiring athletes to run in two different hemispheres.

12. There are 29 people who have run in all 24 London marathons. One of them has flipped pancakes around the course for the last 10 years.
13. There are 76 pubs en route.

14. Chickens are the most popular costumes.

15. The London record for a conga line to complete the course is 25 hrs and 13 mins.

16. Record for the marathon backwards is 3:56.

17. The current 26 miles and 385 yards distance came about because at the 1908 London Olympics, the start was moved back to be closer to Windsor Castle so the Royal Family could watch.

18. The course record for a pantomime horse is 4:37.

19. There are 23 water break stations on the course, one at each mile point after Mile 3.

20. Every competitor receives a ChampionChip, a small electronic device that sends a signal at the start and finish line allowing personal times to be recorded.

21. Over the last 23 years, only one runner in 1,000 ends up in hospital.

22. 50 physiotherapists and 30 podiatrists are on duty.

23. Seven brothers, the Cullen family from Croydon, south London, ran dressed as the Seven Dwarfs.

24. About 7.5 acres of silver-foil space blankets are handed out to finishers.

25. The London record for a conga line to complete the course is 25 hrs and 13 mins.

26. Best represented age group is the thirtysomethings.

26.2. There were..

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Did someone say shoe shopping?

If the shoe fits.

Unfortunatly on this occasion I will not be hauling box upon box of overpriced Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks back to my house, a la Sex and the City. No no, this shopping trip is slightly different, this shopping trip is for trainers!!!. Who would have thought it.

For the couple of days I have been rubbing my foot with all sorts of lotions and potions to try and mend what must be some kind of sports injury, even typing the word 'sports injury' makes me laugh because I had never considered, that I, a self -confessed couch potato would ever incur one. But here I am sitting on the sofa where I clearly belong, with a bag of Asda frozen peas on my foot. Life is very glamourous for me right now. How is it that I have managed to totter around on ridiculously high stilettos since I the age of 16, with no real problems apart from some nasty bunions, but what leaves me unable to train, miserable and hobbling around like Quasimodo are a pair of incorrectly fitted trainers.

Pronation is the way the foot rolls inward when you walk and run. It is part of the natural movement that helps the lower leg deal with shock. Some people pronate more (overpronation) or less (underpronation) than others. Though this is not bad in itself, it does affect the way you run and it may increase the likelihood of injury. This makes your pronation pattern an important factor in choosing the right running shoes.

Running shoes are designed today specifically for different pronation patterns. When you pick your next pair of running shoes, your pronation type is a very important factor in your choice. The best way to find out how you pronate is to consult an expert, who will perform a Gait Analysis and then advise you on the best type of running shoes for your pronation pattern. Many experts will ask to see your old pair of trainers, as their wear pattern gives an indication of the way you pronate. Of course, other factors than pronation, such as weight, also play a role in choosing the best shoe.

So off I went to my local sports shop. On this occassion I didn't have a Gait Analysis. I did want one but the shop in my town didn't have the necessary equipment, I will visit a flagship store in London around Christmas time when I buy my next trainers. I picked up a pair of ASICS running shoes. A nice pair of Gt-2160s to be precise. They had to be pink, didn't they?. I have heard many good things about Asics, so hopefully this pain will subside quickly and I will be able to test them out, instead of looking at them with detest.

Less 'Jimmy Choo' 
 more 'ASICS' and 'Nike'. No wonder
she looks miserable.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Word of advice...

...Never type in 'Running' and 'Stitch' into Google together, unless you have a subscription to ‘Sewing and Needlework Monthly'. To save you the trouble of trawling through page after page of  embroidery related sites I thought I would explain all the ins and outs of that pesky pain.

I have been getting increasingly frustrated with having to start, then stop, start then stop mid- run due to being in tremendous amounts of pain. I'm telling you now, if I didn't have to deal with this I would be up there with all the elite athletes (or at least I like to tell myself.)

Are you ready for the boring fact bit?

What is stitch, and why do we get it?

'The reason for stitch is simple. The inner organs are hanging from several ligaments, which, in turn, are fixed to the diaphragm, the muscular "plate" between chest and abdomen. Liver, spleen, stomach, small intestine and colon form a weight of several kilograms, hanging from the diaphragm. The impact of every step forces the inner organs to move downwards. Additionally, the diaphragm moves upwards on every expiration to force air out of the lungs. This continuous up/down stress may cause a cramp in the diaphragm: stitch. Stitch occurs most often on the right hand side because of the liver being the heaviest organ, and therefore the one stressing the diaphragm the most.

How to get rid of stitch?

Should you suffer from stitch, the first (and best) cure is to slow down or stop until the stitch is gone. If you do not want to stop, you can try to press your hand onto the part of your abdomen where the stitch is, and release the pressure on expiration. Repeat this several times.

·  Slow your pace slightly
·  Grasp your side where you feel the stitch just under the bottom rib and half way across      between the side and the belly button. Thumb to the rear and fingers to the front
·  Squeeze firmly and bend at the waist (45-90 degrees) while still running
·  After about 15 metres slowing straighten
·  The stitch should have gone

An alternative method based on the theory it is caused by the synchronisation of the movement of the organs and the diaphragm is to synchronise your breathing pattern with your running, and exhale/inhale when the foot on the non- hurting side strikes the ground.
For example: if you have stitch in your right hand side, change your breathing pattern so you exhale/inhale as your left foot strikes the ground'

OK, so keep an eye out for me on my next run. I will be the girl running at a snail's pace, bent double at a right angle, breathing erratically with my hand pushing firmly into my side. A sight for sore eyes.


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Raise your glass...

Katherine Switzer will always be best known as the woman who challenged the all-male tradition of the Boston marathon and became the first woman to officially enter and run the event. Her entry, (using a gender neutral name, K Switzer) created an uproar and worldwide notoriety when a race official tried to forcibly remove her from the competition. Pulled to the floor, she eventually got up and finished the race.

‘Every time a female runner enters a marathon, a small offering should be made to Kathrine Switzer. Through her tenacity, stubbornness and belief that women can too run 26.2, she scaled the male bastion of the Boston Marathon that barred women from its race and helped to open its doors to women’

Training: Day One

So it all begins here, Day 1 of training. Some may think I'm starting far too early, but given my previous confession it's safe to say I'm not in the best possible shape, and want to give my body as much time to get used to the idea that I wasn't joking when I pressed 'send' for my Golden Bond place.(I think its still in shock)

Training Day 1: I awoke, refreshed, alive confident. So far, so good

Ok, so now to get my gear on. I was sporting a grey tracksuit bottom and top, (bought pre-New Year when I had high hopes to hit the gym and get fit. That went well)

 I can honestly say at that very moment, without any shame, I felt like Rocky, the theme tune circulating through my brain: ‘Dun, dun dun dun...dun, dun....duuuuuuuuunn’

Its almost as if I had completely forgotten that a couple of weeks ago before all this marathon palaver started, I had taken part, on a whim, in ‘Race for Life’ for Cancer Research.  A 5k dash in my local park, without any training, none, nada. What’s the worst that could happen?.  It rendered me nearly dead. The finish line picture, wherever it is, probably has me pushing the vomit back into my mouth.  Lovely thought. I was walking like John Wayne for 3 days. Why on earth had I then considered running a marathon? I have no idea. After the pain had passed, and the feelings of nausea had faded, something inside me thought: ‘Hey you just did 5k, now time for 26 miles'.

So, time to dig out those trainers. Now where had I left them? I rummaged around my closet, trying to find even what resembled a running shoe, tossing out stilettos, purses and sandals in the process.

Bingo! From the bottom of my closet, right at the bottom, where light rarely ventured, right where I had hidden them, soooo far down after my 5k attempt, in the hope I would never have to see them again, I  pulled out my pristine Lacoste Tennis shoes, - Not ideal, but, well its a start.

 I stepped out of my house, stood on the porch, preparing myself for a one hour sprint along the seafront. Stretches, knee up on wall, looking good, looking good.

 I began to run, I felt free, exhilarated, I was a running goddess, I was one of those people I hate, one of those joggers that look effortlessly cool: look at me go. I was going to run a marathon, nothing could stop me, I was Rocky, I was unstoppable....oh wait: stitch.


Training Day 1- take two.

Nothing to be too alarmed about. Just a minor set back, but that wasn’t going to faze me. When my delusions of grandeur faded and I realised I was, in fact, the girl that vomited at the end of a 5k, I realised I might have to take a more realistic approach, taking it slow at first then building up momentum. So I was no Usain Bolt, so what, get real Rowen.

I logged on to the official London Marathon website:,
and had a look at their training plans.

'Rate your ability'. My mouse hovered over the options...


The mouse went back and forth over the two,

Suddenly an image of the morning’s Rocky-esque antics appeared in my head. I held my side firmly.

...’Beginner’ - click. ‘Definitely beginner’.

The plan consists of 24 weeks, 10 min jogs each day of the week, followed by a long run at the weekend, building up by 10 mins each week, that didn’t seem so bad. That could be done, no problem.

So, with a deep sigh, this evening I stepped off my porch for the second time, and lightly jogged at a snail's pace for just under 10 minutes, I still felt like I was going to die. This was just the beginning; how was I ever going to manage 26.2 miles - 4 plus hours of solid running - if I couldn’t even run for 10 minutes?

I passed other runners on the street.
They must have got quite freaked out at this out of breath, sweaty, mad woman jogging past, holding my side, with a look of utter contempt on my face.

‘Evening’,  one lady runner said timidly, a look of concern on her face, a weak smile, and quickly sprinted away.

I have decided.

I either need a jogging partner (to keep pace with) or to join a running club, because otherwise I’m slightly afraid I will get jogger's rage and kill someone.That would make an interesting piece on the 6 o’clock news, wouldn’t it?

 I will keep you posted.


And for your entertainment......

(Far right): Mini me at the starting line eyeing up the competition.
Am I winning? I think I am.

Just what the doctor ordered...

Before I begin training. I wanted to check all the right parts were where they should be, and the old ticker was still  beating away okay.

 I got myself down to my local GP for a check up.  Your doctor will be able to offer advice tailored to you, taking your medical history into account.

A fitness test isn’t always enough to detect heart problems, so if anything in the list below applies to you, it’s best to get a full cardiac assessment before you take up running.

  • There’s a history of heart disease or sudden death in your family.
  • You suffer chest pains or discomfort when you exert yourself.
  • You experience sudden shortness of breath.
  • You have rapid heart palpitations. 

In my case it was surprisingly all clear (dam it, no way out) 

Apart from the common response ‘are you completely out of your mind’ I was all set, ready to go.