Dammit, I’ve Gone And Entered A Marathon!

Dymchurch marathon

Photo credit: http://www.saxon-shore.com/dymchurch/

Don’t laugh, but I’ve entered another marathon. I realise this makes it sound like I’ve already run about 16 of them but, as you’ll know, I haven’t actually ran any and apparently running four half-marathons doesn’t equate to two full ones, no matter how much I argue this – in my mind, perfectly valid – point.

Those of you who knew me in the days before I lost the jog in my blog will know I entered the Kent Coastal Marathon in 2008. I was all geared up for training for this. I was running consistently, I’d done a few 5ks, 10ks and a half-marathon and knew I had a marathon in me if I trained properly for one. But then I realised ‘training properly for one’ meant doing longish runs mid-week. I did one eight mile run mid-week, tacking a bit onto my 6 mile running commute then I found out MP3 players weren’t allowed in the marathon and I also found out the first half was hilly and so I thought, ‘sod that’ and that was the end of my first marathon.

The next year I got caught up in the excitement of the London Marathon when a lot of running friends got ballot places and so I entered the ballot, got rejected but continued trying and finally got a place the year before I would have got one of those ‘five rejections and you’re in’ places (that they no longer do).

I ended up deferring that place because I didn’t do any training (I’m sensing a theme here) but the next year I’d completely lost any interest I had in doing the London Marathon after going down to support and finding the crowds – to be blunt – did my fucking head in.

And there ended any interest I ever had in doing a marathon. Ever.

Until I saw the goody bag the Saxon Shore guys provide. They pride themselves on having unhealthy goody bags, mostly containing food and drink beginning with the letter C, e.g. cookies, cider (or Carling or Carlsberg), chocolate, cheddars and crisps. They even do a vegan version. And also, as anyone who’s taken part in one of their races can confirm, they do the coolest medals ever. Take a look at this beauty.

Dymchurch marathon medal 2014

Photo credit: http://runwithemmy.co.uk/?p=404

Helen and I briefly talked at the end of last year about doing the Dymchurch Marathon at the end of this year but then I forgot all about it. But then after Helen had to drop out of Brighton because of an injury and started to look for another marathon to do, I reminded her about this one. What started off as a throwaway comment ended up in a lengthy Twitter/Facebook conversation where I ended up saying ‘okay, I’ll do it’ (I might have had a few glasses of wine when I said this) but not leaving it at that but dragging Cassie, Rachel, Carla, David, Adele and Angela into it too. Cassie and Rachel are definite yeses. We’re still working on the others BUT THEY WILL SAY YES.

My training’s going really well. I’ve paid my entry fee and downloaded a training schedule. All I need to do now is the training but I’ve been told that’s the easy bit. Also, as the marathon’s at the end of November and along the seafront, it’s going to be flipping freezing, so I’m going to need some warm clothes – maybe some gloves and a hat from e-outdoor.co.uk or somewhere similar. 26.2 miles along the seafront in the winter – I must be mad.

Wish me luck!

July, the month of no crisps

Juneathon always spurs me on to take up another challenge during July and last year I became vegan for a month and so this year I wondered how well being vegan would go down now I don’t live on my own anymore and do most of the cooking and I didn’t have to wonder for very long as I know exactly how well it would go down and it would go down like the proverbial and so I’ve decided to give up crisps for a month and even though there are two multipacks of Walkers and two big bags of Phileas Fogg crisps under the stairs, I will resist.

And even though this morning I was slightly hungover after going to the pub last night to discuss the important business of the Juneathon winner (and yes, I know I promised to announce the winner today and I will later, so it’s at the top of the page and will stay at the top until I run/blog again), I put on my serious athlete head that I thought I’d left in London and look at my half marathon schedule and adapt it so it covers more weeks and ups the mileage to 12 miles instead of 10 miles and today I’m down for three miles and strength exercises that I also got from the Hal Higdon website and so after rehydrating myself with a cow mug full of fruit tea and a pint of lemon and lime flavoured water I get changed, put some sun lotion on and head off into the sunshine.

After 1.14 miles, Sleeper come on and Louise Wener starts telling me not to call her unless I’m dying in a traffic accident and I think I can’t call her at all, traffic accident or otherwise, as the only thing I’m carrying is the back door key and if I am in a traffic accident, the police will have to try the key in all the houses in the local area until they find the right one or maybe they’ll look at my Garmin and check out the houses in a 1.14 mile radius or maybe they know how to use a Garmin properly and use it to navigate back to the house or maybe they’ll go back to the station and download SportsTracks and look on Google Earth and find my house and let themselves in and find my mobile phone and find Shaun’s number so they can tell him I was in a traffic accident but I’ll probably be dead after all that faffing around so I decide I should try not to die in a traffic accident and a car goes past to test the not dying in a traffic accident theory and I don’t die and I don’t wobble or shake or hold on to a tree or anything and I carry on until I get to 1.5 miles and turn around and at 2 miles I stop and I think noooooooooooooo, don’t stop and I skip through my iPod to try and find some inspiring music and I skip past Faith No More and Rollins Band (sorry rock people) and the Levellers come on and I think I wonder what the Levellers would do? and I decide that they would probably stop running and go and sit in the nearest field and drink cider and smoke dope and I decide that’s probably not very good half marathon training and so I carry on with a bit of run/walk for the last mile and I look at my Garmin and I’ve only got .8 of a mile left to do and I think how hard can it be? and I try to run but I’m feeling a bit tired and heavy and sick with lemon and lime flavoured water sloshing around in me and it took me ages to decide between summer fruits flavour and lemon and lime flavour and now it’s making me feel sick and I blame Shaun for introducing me to flavoured water, as good old fashioned plain tap water used to do me just fine and I get home and there’s a million bugs stuck to my sun-lotioned arms and face.

Stats (running)
Distance: 3.02 miles
Time: 35:35
Pace: 11:48 m/m
Calories: 264
Crisps given up for July: all of them
Traffic accidents: 0
Lemon and lime flavoured pints of water: 1
Cow mug full cups of fruit tea: 1
Bugs stuck to me: a million

Stats (weights)
Bench press: 2 x 12
Rowing: 2 x 12
Overhead pull: 2 x 12
Curls: 2 x 12
Crunches: 3 x 15
Lunges: not many as knee started making cracking noises

Stats (rowing)
Distance: 0.6 miles
Time: 14 minutes
Count: 542
Calories: 32.2