Wednesday, 1 March 2017

An update after first real race

Thought that it was about time that I added another update on our progress so far. Things have been tough and we have been busy, during the last few weeks I have had a lot going on so I have not had time to add the updates on here that I wanted, however due to the Strava runs being tracked on the left-hand side and the Endomondo progress and the Google Graphs on the tack our progress page it is easy to see how we are doing without me having to post an update.

We had our first proper race of the year at the Brighton Half Marathon, for me I just wasn’t feeling it but Katie smashed another 5 minutes off of her PB and is now close to getting sub 1:50 which will be an amazing achievement and who knows maybe sub 4 hours is possible for the marathon? For me I was 4 minutes off of my PB but I knew early on it wasn’t going to happen so ran the majority of it at marathon pace. However after the run things got better, on Monday I got a message to my charity e-mail account saying that they had seen people in the vests, they have Ledderhose and didn’t even know the charity existed. Now they know the charity exists and they would like a running vest so they can help raise awareness. This is exactly what we were hoping to achieve with the running and the vests and no matter what happens this year we know we have been raising awareness.

In terms of progress against our goals, I don’t think Katie is going to struggle with any of hers whilst I think I will be cutting it fine with all apart from the races one (unless I get injured). I am just above the mileage target at the moment however the taper for the Brighton Half means that the 2 lines are much closer together than I would like and with the Silverstone Half and then the taper for the marathon itself coming up and recovery afterwards I could easily fall behind target. What the Brighton Half showed me however is that the mileage target is the biggest goal for me this year and if I sacrifice a good time in some of the races then so be it. This has a knock on impact on my other goals though, getting in the training and recovery to break the time goal for 5k seems impossible as I haven’t set a PB since last April and haven’t been getting close either!

Anyway overall on the main goal for the year Katie is miles (literally) in front and I am just about in front, as long as I can stay injury free I should make it.

The other thing I am looking into at the moment is a little bit of nutrition for me, I won’t go into the details of the various different energy systems but we are sure that we are best off being low-carb however it may be that during racing I am running fast enough to burn what little carb supplies I do have (when running a half marathon) so I am looking into what I can do about this. I have found a couple of good options and will be staying a long way clear of the super sweet gels.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Update on where we are

The last few weeks have been busy what with us going away, however I am happy to report that we are both on target. Last weekend was one of those occasions where life gets in the way and you just need to take things as they come. In total over the Saturday to Monday I ran 22.5 miles rather than the around 28 miles I had planned but it is no big deal I felt much more rested for it and Katie and I enjoyed the weekend more due to reducing the running a little but. Katie is miles ahead of her target and I am still just in front. Both Katie and I have now won the points race at Eastbourne parkrun and that means we are on 4 races, whoops I need to update that page!!!

If you want more information on Ledderhose disease or Dupuytren's then see the links at the top of this page. Thank you everyone for the amazing support we have already had.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Week 6 Marathon Training

Another week of marathon training is done and dusted. Was a hard week, at least the runs that I did by myself were hard and I was starting to feel the previous weeks miles in my weeks so who knows what next week will feel like!!! After next week I do have 2 slightly easier weeks.

Monday: 3.5 miles and 7.6 miles

Wednesday: 5 miles and 7 miles

Thursday: 5.3 miles

Saturday 8 miles including race #2 parkrun pacer day

Sunday 20 miles

On the Saturday we did parkrun pacer day. We both love parkrun and we were both pacers, this is a great way to help others. I know for a fact that I helped another Polegate Plodder to a massive
PB as well as a few others and Katie felt the same. I was looking at my parkrun stats and wondering if I can get to my 100th parkrun and 25th volunteer to be at the same time.

At the time of writing I haven't actually completed the 20 mile long run but I am in a good place. Only issue is that we will be running the long run at a different time of day to normal, I think mentally this is more likely to have an impact that physically. But hopefully as I will be running most of it with Katie it will go ok, sure I am about to write about it below.

The long run was just that long and very slow. Both Katie and I achieved our goals but I could feel my left achilles just one of those things with the miles.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

Week 5 marathon training and start of 2191

Another full week of marathon training completed and today being New Years day we have officially started the 2191 challenge and my quest to run 2191 miles and Katie targeting 1000 miles.

This week I have done the following runs.

Monday: 3.3 miles and 8.6 miles (second with Katie)

Wednesday: 5 miles and 8 miles (second with Katie)

Thursday: 6 miles with a 21 minute 5k

Saturday 8 miles including 20:15 parkrun, Katie did parkrun with a new PB of 23:57 she is flying.

Sunday (start of 2191): Both did out first "race" as this included New Years day parkrun. It was also a good day with both of us running our longest ever runs to date. Katie did 14 miles which was actually her second ever fastest half marathon. I did 18.6 miles including parkrun at marathon pace and averaged less than 9 minutes / mile.

So

Gary:
18.6 / 2191 miles
1 / 60 races

Katie:
14 / 1000 miles
1/ 60 races

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Week 4 Marathon training - Taper week

Nearly at the end of the 4th week of marathon training. So far weeks 1 and 2 were perfect and week 3 pretty much could not have gone worse. On the Saturday of week 3 I did manage a gently parkrun doing the 1st half with my wife and the second half just seeing how good I felt. 

Week 4 was always down to be a taper week which worked out well to get myself back into running after the sickness. Monday I did 2 miles and then on Wednesday I did a new running club session that is the normal run Katie and I would do but we have invited the Plodders to join us. The session went well and we did a good 7 miles, I felt it a bit afterwards but overall a good run. 

So to this morning, Christmas Eve parkrun and I was hoping that someone would offer to take the buggy, as it was Mia wanted to stick with me anyway and based on the last few weeks I thought I was in with a chance of a new buggy PB. You see they, they being the books, professional coaches and scientists, say that it takes 2 weeks to fully recover from running, so given that the 2 weeks before 2 weeks ago things went perfect and then I basically had no running to recover I was in theory in good shape. Katie has a similar trend to me so I was also hoping that she would do well.

I was feeling good this morning, probably about 95% with the slight cough I have left but just before the start they announced that someone had offered to pace 20 minutes. With my buggy PB, from April, standing at 20:14 I thought that I was in with a shout of sub 20.

It was really busy at parkrun so I had to sprint off of the start, the 20 minute pacer came past me and got about a 15 minute lead on me as I battled with traffic, once we were on the slightly wider path and the field thinned out I managed to tuck in behind a group of 4 or so runners with the 20 minute pacer to help block me from the wind, which was steady but not too significant. The first mile was a few seconds up on what we needed and it felt pretty good, the second mile included the turn around and was bang on the required pace and then it started to feel a bit hard at around 2.5 miles. I knew however that I was on for something special, at least it would be special for me. It was about a year ago that I broke 20 minutes for the first time without the buggy and doing that with the buggy was not something I had considered. 

I had to dig deep and the 3rd mile buzzed through again a couple of seconds up, my pace was holding just about on what I needed and then we hit the grass finish and a push for the line... I am under no illusion that I probably looked awful at this point, with my hands firmly on the buggy I could do nothing tidy myself up. Stopping at the finished I felt done for, I can't really remember the last time I really pushed at parkrun, put everything into a 5k and delighted that I got that buggy PB and that sub 20 with 19:57. 

Stood around telling everyone as I couldn't really believe it myself. 

So the above was typed yesterday but life got in the way and I forgot to post. This morning we ran down to parkrun, did Christmas day parkrun and ran home. It all felt really tough today apart from the last 200m when things started to click, typical!

Merry Christmas everyone. 

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Week 3 Marathon Training - Sick and wrong kind of fit

This week got off to a great start on Monday when I got in my usual easy lunchtime run and plodders session in the evening. I felt great considering the 16 miles I put in on Sunday and the 10 miles I had on Saturday. On Saturday around midday I started to visit the boys room more than I would like and then I took a phone call and started to sweat, and sweat. I put my head between my legs and the sweat was dripping into my bin. My manager got one of the other first aid trained staff (I am one) and I was escorted to the quiet room where I was promptly sick.

I was then sent home from work in a taxi with a bin to throw up into which came in useful several times on the way home. Once home I just keep on losing fluid and feeling worse and worse until the point that I was unstable getting up, which when you need the loo a lot is not much fin. 

Then at around 8:45 I got my wife to help my stand up after another trip to the loo and had a fit in her arms. I can't remember anything about it but from what my wife told me it was very scary, my pupils dilated and my hands locked in place and I started to shake. My head then lolled back and I tweaked my neck or at least that is what it has felt like the last couple of days. My wife called the ambulance service at this time as I was completely unresponsive to her questions and was just staring into space, I came round several minutes into her phone call and don't remember anything after I call her until I came round. 

When I came round I felt awful my head was spinning and I could see my worried wife in front of me and heard her on the phone to the 999 service. We manage to get a message to my parent who live nearby to come over in case I needed to go to hospital. The paramedic arrived and started to do some tests on me, took my blood pressure, sugar levels, pulse and a portable ECG thing was used. We basically think that I was severely dehydrated so my blood pressure dropped so when I stood up my brain went ahhh I have no blood so caused by to feint to get my head as long as possible, not sure why I also had a fit and this is something I would like to discuss with my GP at some point. 

The rest of the night was spent tossing and turning on the sofa as I we didn't feel safe going upstairs in case my blood pressure dropped again. I didn't really get much sleep that night but in the morning I started taking in some fluid, most of it was going straight through me but at least I wasn't being sick anymore and I kept some food down, then had a good nights sleep and then on Thursday (today) I have kept more good and drink down and I am starting to feel hydrated and much better. Just at the point where my head and neck still hurt a little. I am still hoping there is an outside chance that I might be get for parkrun on Saturday and a gentle run on Sunday. Next week is Christmas and was always down as an easy week but will probably make it even easier and then get back into things properly afterwards. 

Annoyingly Katie has also caught the condition, luckily she "just" has the sickness and tiredness. Hopefully she will clear up quickly as well and hers has been drama free compared to mine! 

So there you go, we all have things that come up and things to over-come, hopefully this being early on in the training and us having starting training early gives us plenty of time to get past it. It is annoying as training was going so well that I was expecting on Christmas eve to set a new buggy PB, it could still happen. For now I am just looking to tomorrow and seeing if I can go to my work Christmas party. 

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Week 2 Marathon training, just the long one left

Week 2 of marathon training has been going well, had a little niggle on my left quad but moving a session to the grass seemed to help, need to remember that I am doing lots of miles for me so I should try and get a few more in on the grass. 

Firstly I was contact by the BBC and there is a chance that I may be doing a follow up interview and hopefully getting some publicity for this challenge and helping to raise awareness for Ledderhose disease, fingers crossed this comes to something and I will be contacting some more media outlets to see if we can't really kick start this. 

Monday: (4.5 miles and 7 miles)
Lunch-time run was ok, slow out and back in my lunch break and then the usual plodders session in the evening. I could really feel the 24 miles I had done over the weekend but I did it.

Tuesday rest day

Wednesday: 5.1 and 5.0 miles 
Slightly different sessions to normal as I had the afternoon of work, both sessions were ok and the second session was done either side of the Plodders AGM where I was made assistant coach. I don't have any official coaching qualifications for running but I am a badminton coach, have a science degree and have read a lot about running. Plus my plans seem to have done a great job for my wife and I 

Thursday: 7 miles
This session was the one done on the grass, it made may leg feel much better and was just done round the park next to work. It was repetitive but this is good mental training for running anyway. Had an offer from some people I work with to run with them some lunchtimes, I might be too slow for them given my marathon training as otherwise we run a similar pace. 

Friday rest day - Originally I was going to run on Fridays and I might end up doing that now I am back running on grass, still can't believe I forgot that. I have found the extra recovery really useful. Will see how things go as the Friday run was only 3 miles easy recovery run. 

Saturday: 10 miles
This was 4 miles to parkrun, 3.1 miles at parkrun and then 2.9 miles home. The parkrun was with the buggy and I did 20:30, I wasn't pushing flat out and this showed with the massive sprint finish I did that saw hold off 4 people not running with a buggy. 

Sunday to come - I have a 16 miles long run, juggling this with Katie running 12 miles will be fun but at least Katie has someone joining her for her 6 miles (whilst I cook breakfast) and then we run 6 miles together and then the tough 10 miles by myself. 

Still I am on for another 50 + mile week, have remembered that running on grass is a clever thing to do when I can (though not on long runs as I am training to run a road marathon) and running with others is great fun and should be done. 

The good news is that the above mileage is more than I need for the 2191 but of course I have races, the 5k goal and not idea whether I can maintain it!!