Wednesday, October 10, 2007

What not to do.....

What not to do in the last 10 days before your first ever half marathon;

1. Run 10miles followed by a full game of hockey less then 24hours later.
Not to be recommended as legs take a bit of a battering (both from stick/ball/ oppo as well as from repeatitive motion on the ground). They will take more then 4 days (and counting) to feel normal again

2. Live in a country with a nationwide postal service who have two 48hour strikes during this period.
This leads to a rearrangement of registration information. Rather then numbers, chips etc arriving in the post all competitors (> 2000 for half marathon and fun run combined) are to report early on the day to register and get new numbers/ chips, sure to be chaos!

3. Attend a staff meeting, despite the fact it's your new bosses first one, where one (or more) of your colleagues evidently have a bad case of the dreaded lurgy.
This leads to the risk of potential infection - why do that to yourself - either arrange to dial in on conference call or ensure there are adequate isolation facilities in the meeting for lurgy carriers.

4. Decide it would be a good idea to attend the annual bike show in London the day before the race (this is a planned activity, obviously anticipated to happen this Saturday)
The danger here is not only one to the wallet but undue time on feet less then 24hours prior to the big one - see also point 1 above for stupidity of such type of activity.

At least I have not had the opportunity to get drunk (yet!) and thus have a hangover ;o)

Now in answer to some comments from my last blog;

Wes: Yes I am an official retired (just out of retirement for 2months only) field hockey player. Sort of hung up my stick prior to busting my hand in January, but have been drawn back into it for another final swan-song as a result of watching a few games since September.... and how do you like the pretty picture my garmin has drawn of my first half running around last Saturday? And just FYI I was playing sweeper infront of the back 3 defending the goal to the left. Obviously I got a bit carried away a few times trying to score ;o)

As for just cricket and football (good use of the word, glad you did not say soccer), I see you have managed to forget that little subject of RUGBY - would that be because the US did not make it!?! ;o) .... and yes we are all (at least I'm sure 95% of the nation) still a little stunned having seen off the Aussies in the quarter finals last Saturday. The French game on their home soil this Saturday is going to be a good 'un!

Chad: Field hockey, kinda like ice except less body contact, more players on each side on the pitch (11) and no barriers (oh or ice)... and a ball rather then a puk! Surface usually astro, preferably water based or more likely nasty old sand base (good example of which is above).... Oh yeah and the goals are bigger! Umm oh and you can rotate subs and you can get a sin bin type of punishment thing.

Best of luck in your race ....Cactus Cha Cha isn't going to know what's come past them..... I am so jealous of your run time!!

My northern, fake Scottish, friend..... ;o)..... oh and less of the "it's sunny in Glasgow" already - you've gotta get the sun once a year!! ... where was I... Oh yes thanks for the race info - think we all have got an email from the race director - but cheers anyhow. As for the course profile..... ummm... yes heard about the hill.... here's the course profile if you'd care to take a look;

A nice 1.5mile "steady" climb... .at the 8 mile mark... hummm my tactics for this will revolve around caffeine, music, the mantras "what doesn't kill you makes you strong", and "embrace the hill", and not looking up. Having said that I think I may try and drive the hill prior to Sunday just to see exactly how bad it is!

As for pacing/ plan target.... haven't finally decided on this yet. I don't want to go as slow as I went last Friday for my 10miler as that was, at times, uncomfortably slow although I never actually got out of work once until the last mile when I blatted it for home. In my mind I think I'm likely to still do a run/ walk strategy with running 1.5k and walking 1min (this will take me to a mile most likely)..... rather then setting a pace as such I think I'm going to go with something like my mid aerobic HR (at least what I assume that to be), making sure I keep to the lower side of the zone for the first 6 miles. There's no fuel on the race just water stops so am running with my little race belt with a bottle of hydration/ fuel in it and a couple of gels for good measure. Once I've done the first 1hr 15 I'll just suffer till the end, need to ensure I have good music on the iPod! As for time....... I expect to finish in less the 2hr 30 even with run/ walk. If I don't it will be because I've picked up an injury or something. I'll be really happy to come in under 2hrs 15.... eventually (but not this race) my aim is to get nearer the 2hr mark, but that is definitely not on the cards for Sunday (unless the course is about a mile or 2 short!!!!)

TJ - my house still stinks of paint - every time I open the front door and come in I get a right ol' wiff of it up the nose.... I'm hoping it'll go away soon!!!! ... Oh and great 5k ... WINNER!

.... Now there's something missing from this blog... Oh yes - training!... Now obviously I'm tapering - quite how you do this when you've not been building is beyond me ;o) ... anyhow... the week so far;
Monday (am): Gym swim - 1500m 45mins drills and easy. Followed by 15mins in hydro pool to try and heal my hurting legs ;o)
Tues (am): X-trainer - not wanting to punish my still weary legs by pounding the streets I decided a 30min x-trainer session was in order followed by 15mins of stretching. I think this was a good idea as got my legs moving again and the blood flowing and I certainly needed to stretch out.
Today (pm): 45min Body-balance course. This is part of the "what needs to be done" over the next few weeks. A great class, Tai-Chi, Yoga and Pilates... I didn't know I could stretch into those positions.... alas I think you're then supposed to balance... hummmm

Rest of the week plan is to have another x-training session and another swim, oh yes and visit the annual bike show up in London on Saturday!!! I'm not going to start my "light weights" until at least next week as I think, if I did start now, I'd be adding that to the list of "what not to do" ;o)...... Right "Heros" has started on TV and what better way to relax ....!!!!


  1. OK. Karen, now what exactly is Rugby? LOL. I asked Kate the same question, but I think she's a little down under because NZ got whupped by the froggies :-)

    You wore your Garmin playing field hockey? Brave, brave, brave!

    I get that same thing when I referee a match. My heels hurt and it takes days to recover. That's why I have cut back to almost naught during this marathon training.

    Thanks for the kudos on Football... When I think of football, I think of Aussie Rules :-) ROFL...

  2. Sounds like a good plan for the race. The thing you might want to add for your taper would be a one or two mile run at race pace or a little faster the day before the race. This will kind of prime your legs for the race without depleating you at all and should help you not have that heavy feeling the first couple of miles.

    Just a thought. Good luck with the race. I'm sure you will do great.

  3. That map from you Garmin during hockey is hysterical.

    Best wishes for the race!!