Sunday, March 29, 2009


Did I mention I was doing the Reading Half Marathon today?

Thought not!

Anyhow.... Not only did I get a medal ('k so it was a finishers one, not like a winners one (as if) - but it's still a good solid bit of bling)... BUT.... I also got a PB!! YEAH!

Garmin has me on (drum roll... fireworks and flashing lights...) 1:58:39 (and 13.16miles - who put that extra bit in there?)

So - I'm a very VERY happy lady!

Shall write a full report in due course - but now I need... Sleep... zzzzzzz

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A review

Just a quick one ... (she says thinking how much I can put down when I get going.. control yourself Karen, it's only Tuesday)... yes.... A quick one....

I'm liking not just for the pretty sunflower on it's top bar orfor the banter in it's chat rooms, the challenges you can participate in but mostly for the cool mapping and analysis it can spit out at you.

Here's a map of my 20miler last saturday, colour coded for speed - you can see my sulky pink patch (where I refused to run any further, until the walking pain was too much lol!) - well at least they are done in pink which is a nice upbeat colour (very much the opposite to how I was feeling at the time...LOL)

You can get this same picture with laps or heartrate or altitude shaded on your route rather then speed.

You can also see some groovy charts on time and distance covered (they are nice and colourful!!);

So I'm liking lots of things about RunSaturday (unlike my own personal run(last)saturday which was pure evil!).

Am counting down to a little bitsy half marathon this weekend where I hope to PB (assuming legs are feeling like they can talk/ work for me after abuse of weekend just gone!), I would talk more about that but I said I'd keep it a "quick one"... so.. that's all folks!

Until next time (as Chad would say!)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

I believe

The difference a weekend can make.

This time last week I wasn't sure I could do London - I thought "what was I thinking, thinking I could do a marathon"

Today I sit here and think... "it's going to be tough. It's going to hurt. I believe I could do it. I hope I can do it!"

Thanks again peeps for the support and advice I've got from you.

Yesterday I was supposed to do a 17-18mile long run. Kind of got the route a little wrong and I did the magical 20miles instead (like OOPS!). Ok so I didn't run it all, and I had about a 15min pit-stop for water replen on the 12.5mile mark. Yes I had some sulky moments. And yes it was emotional (in terms of walking really does kill your legs after 16miles), so yes it hurt and yes I did nearly call a taxi for one to get me home! But I didn't... and I did "run" (losely speaking, it was more of a sulky shuffle) the last mile.

I remembered mind over matter.

I finished. Ate plenty of pasta and rested up ... before... today... I headed for the Bike Sportive that training partner Leanne and I had entered a month or so ago. Some 47.5miles of that later we finished, and yes I am amazed I managed to go that far with relative "ease" and yes I am tired. But something has happened. I have belief again.

I read my race report from last years UK 70.3. I remembered the pain and joy of that event... I now believe I could do the Marathon, I may just be able to pull it off (along with thousands and thousands of others!! LOL)... and I hope I do just that.

Friday, March 20, 2009

New stuff

First off, before I begin. Thanks for your comments from my last post. If you missed it then please look as I'm still listening to every bit of marathon advice I can get!

Now then. So I've been working at home today and I know that I can negatively correlate working at home and working out - perversely when I work at home I get no training done. There is something wrong with that picture people. It's like I feel guilty about not working when I'm "working at home", despite the fact that I'll be on line from the moment I get up.

Karen - you need to work on this attitude you know!

Anyhow - I have however made some good use of my time at my laptop this evening for lots of other "training" - cough - related "stuff". Like shopping on wiggle for instance. I have a nice shopping basket ready to be purchased I can tell you.

The other things I'm looking at are two rather cool websites. First then there's "RunSaturday"

This is really quite a good site for analysis of your training, can load from a variety of gadgets I believe and has a nice community to it. There's also some virtual challenges you can take part in. So all in all not bad. Also comes with a plugin to sporttracks (for those sporttracks fans out there) which works very easily and very well - so upload is not a problem (you can even do a month at a time if you like).

So I quite like "RunSaturday", particularly as it has a giant sun flower on the top of the banner page!

OK - there's more.

I was reading Chrissie Wellington's blog earlier (I hope this doesn't make me a stalker... gasp!) - and she's supporting this new social network "GoTRIbal"

This looks like it's well on the way to being an excellent resource for Tribees. At first it appears to be a women supporting women thing but actually they welcome all peeps to it, just as you'd expect from a social network. And honestly my first impressions are good. There's items you can add to your home page and "local" TRIbal groups within the network. And besides - if Chrissie thinks it's a good thing then it's gotta be right ;o)

Tomorrow I'm attempting my l-o-n-g-e-s-t run ever! A friend has kindly offered to be my water pit stop at about the 18k mark. I've plotted a route which will take me on road, path and fields (assuming my map is up to date), I won't be in any hurry and the objective will be to enjoy the scenery and not stress if I walk a bit. The weather looks great for tomorrow so the plan is to get up early for breakie, give that a couple of hours to get down then off out to pound the streets for 3 hours or so. YIKES!

On a final note.TODAY IS THE SPRING EQUINOX! ... and the crowd went wild! No longer will I be s.a.d... no I'll just have too little sleep from being awoken by the birds singing and the squirrals chattering ;o) ... I am, just in case you hadn't realised.... full of the joys of spring (that's what a weeks worth of cold mornings but blue sky days does for us Brits!!LOL)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Advice required


OK I think what I'm going through is "normal"

I'm having a pre-marathon.. PANIC!!
I haven't hit the button yet - but picture how you'd feel if you suddenly came across me in the bath with my SPA SYDELL face mask on....

Yes you would find that sight a little scary, leading you to jump back with fear... and that's the feeling I've currently got about the prospect of running the London marathon!

I need advice (ok and help but that's something different). I've made it to 15miles on my training so far.... the race is just under 6 weeks away (that sounds better then it's 5 weeks this Sunday coming).

I managed 15miles 10 days ago... was aiming for 17 the weekend just gone but miscalculated my route and ended back home on 15.5 and didn't have the stomach (OK quads more like) for another 1.5miles.

I know I need to get a 20miler (or two) in.

Put I'm not sure how much more my quad muscles can take of all this pounding!! Talk about "ouchy" (as my two year old nephew would say!)


On the positive I think I've cracked the nutrition, seem to enjoy a gel at every 40-45mins, 50min interval is too long.

But I need to work on my hydration. I lost 1.2kgs on my long run on Sunday, it wasn't even that hot - and I did have 500ml of gatorade during my run! EK!

Advice - I need advice - AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

I also need new quads - so if you have any spare that would be wonderful.

Maybe I shouldn't have done the 40miles on the bike Saturday, that probably didn't help.

I did manage an easy 3 miles recovery run today. Maybe this weekend I'll get closer to my goal. Aim for 17+miles and see what happens, obviously remembering to drink whilst on the run. At least this weekend my bike is guaranteed to be on Sunday as I have (foolishly) entered a sportive, although I think 60miles is certainly over ambitious, I suspect I may shorten to the 40mile option come the day!

In the meantime - you guys out there have run marathons... and if you haven't you know someone who has... I need any and every bit of advice as I'm sure lacking on the confidence front right now!!


May be a better thing to say is....


Saturday, March 14, 2009

Something funny

OK - so yesterday was Friday the 13th and we know that this can be an unlucky day....

Here's something for your amusement.... picture the scene... Karen wakes up early this Friday and thinks back two weeks of her early morning ride to Tanajio (spl?!) and thinks "that's about the distance to work - get off your butt and cycle in today lazy!"...

She promptly gets up, has porridge, sorts bikey with some lights and packs her rucksack minimally for the journey. As the rest of the world sets about their commute Karen gets on her bike and goes. Not to be scared off by the odd juggernaut passing rather close on country lanes she speeds on her way - full of the joys of spring (although with strangely achey legs due to run drills!). On getting to work in a slightly dishevelled and sweaty state she parks up bikey and proudly walks in, deposits some stuff on a desk to claim it for the day and goes to her normal locker to recover suitable work clothing for post shower.

Remember: It is Friday 13th

The locker was bare! (note the locker is not a locker which locks just somewhere to hang stuff)

No suit, no shoes!

And someone had marked the locker with their name... claiming a prize possession, something the Karen never thought she'd bother with.


Cursing the person who had stolen the locker (and accusing them of getting rid of her suit and being a cross dresser!) Karen thought of what to do; could cycle back home, could stay as she was (smelly) or have a shower and put on what she had (after all it was Red Nose day - maybe no on would notice)

So, she made her choice. A quick shower, put on what she's got that's fresh or dirty. She sat there for the day proudly with bike shoes, socks and long winter padded bikey trousers, wearing lovely underwear and short sleeved white cotton blouse on the top half! Most people didn't notice (until she stood up and start clip-clopped her way around the building!)

I thank you.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cross Training

Happy darn Friday people!

The weekend awaits...

Have still remained a bit tired this week recovering from camp. I've no idea how the peeps out there did two weeks, having spoken to Jules briefly last night all I can say is he sounded completely shattered!

I managed a 2k early swim Monday morning and then an easy run with drills on Tuesday. When I got to Wednesday I should have been biking but went to London early and despite getting home in the afternoon and working at home I just couldn't shift my arse to get my bike back on the turbo. I actually had, for an unknown reason, the urge to go to hockey (field hockey that is) training. Now I've not knocked a ball around in anger for about 4 years.... but still my old club is big, not too far away and trains on a Wednesday evening. So I sent a text to the club captain and they said come along!

So I dug out my stick and stinky shin pads and astro's and headed up. It was actually great to be out with stick and ball if a little (ok a lot) rusty. I think I needed to the break from swim, bike, run ... just for an evening... so I spent an hour an half running around like a lunatic doing stick and ball stuff. Then when the session was over I took myself to the car park to do an extra 20mins of run drills. Surprisingly I didn't ache too much yesterday, although still found it necessary to have a day off!! LOL!

On another note - the marathon training is still happening. I managed (somehow) a 15miler last Saturday. Running on tired legs wasn't fun and the last couple of miles really did hurt. But gotta get those miles in - only another 11 more (which sounds ridiculous) to get the distance in!! I'm trying to get an entry into a half marathon this weekend and throw in 2 mile pre and post the half to get my mileage up to 17. Why did I sign up for this one.. oh yes because I wanted to enjoy the experience... YIKES!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Get with the programme

OK Peeps - the tri camp then.....

It was BRILLIANT and exhausting, although not impossible (although I thought it was when I first saw the programme!), in fact I wish I could have hung on for the second week with Jules and Anita for more of the same - but some of us (ok just me) had to go back to work!

Arrived in the volcanic island of Lanzarote early evening on 26th, only for the skies to darken, not with the setting sun but with a storm cloud brewing! I had managed to "pick up" one stray guy at the airport in England who was heading on the camp (the tell tell bike box gave me all the excuse I needed to go and chat!) and Anita came with two pals who happened to be staying at the resort, the five of us then picked up another "stray" heading to La Santa on arrival on the island and so six people with four bikes ventured to find a couple of taxi's to squeeze ourselves and our trusty wrapped up steads into to get us up to camp. That's when the heavens opened and it lashed down. I mean serious lashings of thunder and lighting! Crikey! There was me thinking I was coming to a warm weather camp!

Got to the resort and got soaked in the 5 yard bag drop dash between taxi and hotel reception. Now Jules had arrived on an earlier flight so we couldn't let our roomie miss out on a soaking so I promptly called him up and asked if he'd mind being a porter for the bags ;o)

Having thus arrived we unpacked the steads, Jules already had done this early so supervised us, when Anita had this bright idea that we could go for an early ride in the morning, *PRE*camp to test out the wheels... I mere 14k hike (half of which is up hill!). Yeah - sounds like a fab plan prior to getting a beasting for a week. Still we did get up early and did the ride (well I hadn't seen the programme then), and Jules and my bike were happy! Anita had a slight misalignment of the rear wheel but soon sorted.... later however on the camp group ride she had two flats and a snapped chain.... oh the irony!!

Anyhow - to the programme - this is what it looked like, I did complete the ones in green and didn't the ones in red (usually because of a sulk or tiredness - or both!)

0900 - Welcome meeting
1100 - Bike Ride (approx 2 hours), followed by 3k run off
1700 - Swim session

0900 - Bike Ride (approx 2 hours)
1300 - 1 hours hill run (negative split)
1500 - Swim session
1900 - Lecture; nutrition

1000 - Brick.... GET THIS.... 20kB, 3kR, 20kB, 6kR, 20kB, 9kR
(note; this was madness - I realised waking in the morning that I'd not do it in the allocated time of four hours so did my runs as 3k, 3k, 6k - some 3hrs 45mins later I was done in all sorts of ways!)
1600 - Swim

0900 - Sea Swim (only did half the session due to work conf call... WTH!)
1300 - Run Drills

0930 - Long Bike (approx 5 hours), I did this very easy due to hip issue/ excuse ;o)
1700 - Swim session (was too tired for words and sulking/ sleeping!)

0830 - Long run (1.5 to 2hrs, supposed to be 3*8k loops)
Didn't do this - long story!
1300 - Swim
1600 - Bike (didn't do this frankly too lazy, oh and I needed to pack bike up!)
1930 - Dinner and copious amounts of red wine!

Wednesday night finished with camp meal and wine. Those lucky enough to be staying on for the second week got two Wednesday nights - lucky them!

Got some good feedback on my swim (ie at least I know now what I'm doing wrong!), and I'm certainly stronger on the bike this year (although still in the lowest although could/ should have gone up a group). Also my running is quicker (ok that is marginal but I'll take it!).

It was an awesome and inspiring week - some incredible age group athletes and pro's (would you believe!) either on or helping the course. I selection of nations also represented (not just Welsh, English, Irish and Scottish), no there was one girl from the Faroe Islands (she was a pro!) and even one guy from Bedford!!

Back to work with a bump this week. Still no news on the restructure/ redundancies - so the gray cloud still lingers over us at work - but at least whilst it lingers my bills happily are being paid!

More next time - thanks for checking in! Will grab sometime before the weekend to check you all out (as it were, before you think I'm coming on too strong .. lol!)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

I'm back!


Got back the early hours of Friday morning from Tri Camp in Lanzarote - what an absolute BLAST! Utterly fab time away, if a little challenging and completely knackering! Got lucky with my roomies... well I knew I'd get on with Jules anyhow and Anita seems to have a similar bizarre sense of humour as Jules and I so we all ended up having quite a giggle - well when Anita and I weren't telling Jules what to wear that is... not that we had much choice in telling him ... before ever session he did insist on asking, I think he wanted the flat to be coordinated ;o)

I'm so glad to have had some decent time off work too - it's been too long.... enough time for some good thinking and some space too. Hurrah.

I'll try and blog some more later in the week... am still recovering some what (I've no idea how Jules and Anita are coping with another week over there, although I am jealous!)... at least all the dirty washing is done!

Work tomorrow and the first time in an age I think I only have one road trip this week, I may even get to put in my expenses claim (haven't done those since December!)

Hope you are all keeping well out there - will try and get back up to speed with my fellow bloggers!