Thursday, 29 December 2011

New Shoes...

Have not really updated recently due to Christmas etc,but have been running every other day. I am not using the c25k plan at present as week 8 is running for 28 mins and week 9 is running for 30 mins, but instead I am just running.The 2 mile milestone for me was amazing and I have had to keep proving to myself that I can do it.

 I have completed four 2 mile runs since my last update and on one of the days I managed 2.5 miles,I was so energised afterwards I went out again and completed another mile, so 3 and a half miles in one day. I think that run however was a bit much and have got quite bad pains in my shins..I went out today and only managed 1.2 miles :(

The pains in my shins however have prompted me to seek specialist running help, so I took myself and my running shoes to a recommended running shop in Newcastle to have my gait analysed and try on different shoes. I took my shoes along so he could analyse the wear and see what type of foot I have (neutral,supinator or overpronator) and I was told that my shoes were actually trail running shoes,for running on grass and soft land, they dont have the support for hard running surfaces,and for a large person like myself. That will explain quite a lot of the pains I have been getting.

Anyway, I need a wide shoe and because of this the shoe I opted for, after about 45mins of advice and trying different options was not in stock. I kind of new that would be the case but nevertheless was quite dissapointed I could not take them home there and then. I have opted for a very supportive shoe made by 'Brooks' called the 'beast', a woman's version is also available known as 'Ariel'. It is well known and has some very good reviews for the heavier person running on hard pavements. Hopefully they will arrive very soon.

Friday, 16 December 2011


IN THE SNOW...This was fantastic, not only did I run for 25 minutes non stop on the C25k plan, not only did I run in the snow (which was really refreshing actually), not only did I run for a whole 2 MILES but I also beat my personal best (for a mile) by 30 seconds. I didn't even know I had a personal best (my Blackberry tracker told me).
The whole aim of C25k is to get people running for 30 minutes in total, I am nearly there now and apparently (according to the podcast) I can now call myself a runner.

Me after my 2 MILE RUN....
I know I keep mentioning it but a few months ago I wouldn't have even walked for 2 miles let alone run,what a fantastic feeling it was....C25k what a fantastic plan.

Thank you most sincerely to everyone who is giving me support, I would not have done it without you.

Monday, 12 December 2011

And the winner is....

As well as training for the Sunderland 10k in May and the Great North Run in September I am actively planning some charity fundraising ideas,events and challenges for the next couple of years. In order to come out of my 'comfort zone' and embrace the idea of fund raising I thought I would start off with a very un-challenging raffle, this would enable me to gauge the response from the general public and enable me to tweak my plans,events and challenges accordingly.

The response from people was fantastic and the raffle raised £102 this will be matched by my place of work, Barclays Bank, so in total £204 was raised for Epilepsy Research UK.Thank you very much to everyone who helped raise the funds,by donating prizes,selling tickets and of course buying them.This was my first ever fundraising attempt and I am very pleased with the response and the funds raised.

And so the winner of these Christmassy treats is....Colin Gemski, nice one Colin!
Thanks again to everyone who took part.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Back on track...

#c25k week 5 day 2 Done.Toughest run yet with high wind resistance in parts.Still on track for 20 mins on Saturday..#backontrack

Todays run was very tough, it was very windy outside and I could hear my excuses as I tried to decide whether or not to run. But for me I am not happy if I am starting to make excuses to not run, I want to get out and run. I decided that I was just going to go for it and it was tough,the hardest run yet.
Once I had started out both of my legs started aching, one in the shin and the other in the knee, but I had now started and was not gonna turn back so it was a case of mind over matter and allow my mental positivity to get me through, which it did, but only just. I was glad when Laura off of the podcast said I could stop. I stopped,bent over and exhaled 'Bloody Hell !!! '

I am going to have a 2 day break before 'The Biggy' on Saturday morning, a full 20 minute run with no breaks. I don't feel like I will get through it, but I have done it before and am definately looking forward to doing it, once it's done I will be so chuffed with myself and I will be truly back on track, wish me luck. I am of course hoping for a lovely bright,non windy day,definately no snow, if anyone could sort that it would be appreciated.

Thank you for your support once again :)

05/‎12/‎2011 #c25k Week5 Started this morning.Tough run but felt fantastic once completed.#imbackontrack
Sunday morning weigh-in concluded that since going in to hospital I have lost 4lb, this I was very pleased with considering that for 4 weeks after my op all I was doing was eating cake and watching TV,so actually losing weight was a great boost to my confidence and I feel like I am #backontrack

‎‎03/‎12/‎2011 ....Nothing to declare,must have gone ok then...

01/‎12/‎2011 #c25k week 4 day 2 completed, another windy and quite tough run,however now can't wait for the next run on Saturday.

Monday, 28 November 2011

Week 3 Completed AGAIN..

When you get in 'The Zone' your mindet shifts from 'Can I find time for a run' to 'When can I find time for a run'. (The Little Red Book of Running).

DONE IT completed C25K week 3 AGAIN.. Did seem like a much tougher run than the first time around. I changed my routine and decided to run on sunday morning less than an hour after waking,so with this in mind I didn't want to have any breakfast as I felt this would slow me down,but I couldn't run with no fuel so just had a banana and cup of tea. I think most of my worries for the run were because of the changes in routine, however Elaine (other half) said "get out running and stop over analysing stuff", she was right, I do feel that I can over-analyse some stuff sometimes.

It was a very windy sunday morning at 9.30, very few people about but a lovely bright, fresh and crisp morning and the run went OK....
Jog 90 seconds
walk 90 second
 jog 3 mins,
walk 3 minutes and then repeat-
The last minute was a real toughy and I was wishing it was over, but when I got back home I wanted to get back out there and do it all again. It does seem a lot more difficult this second time round which is a bit crazy as I have only had 4 weeks off, moral to this story DONT STOP RUNNING (unless of course,like myself, you have to)
Anyway I am (slowly) getting back into 'the zone' and have noticed this particularly with my eating - I am now again watching carefully (ish) what I eat and am only eating if I really need it - hence and open packet of exceedingly nice mince pies still uneaten in the cupboard,that would not have happened this time last year.

Till next time take care everyone and Keep on Running...

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


YAY!!! I'm back on my training programme.. I have just completed WEEK 3 DAY 1 of the C25K running programme, and it was NOT easy,which is annoying as only 4 weeks ago I managed to run for 20 minutes non stop on week 5... OK I admit it I have put on about 6 pounds since then but I have been keeping active.

Anyway I have an excuse - I've had an operation (thankyou to Sarah for pointing that out) but now I am back on track,have moved back a couple of weeks on the plan, and even though it was quite tough it was still do-able and I feel very happy for getting back to it.

I have really enjoyed the c25k plan and particularly the podcasts,so I felt for me to continue with this plan was the best idea. I had a look at the plan last night to try and decide the best place to restart and week 3 sounded good,not too much of a challenge but a challenge never the less, it also keeps my overall training plan on track quite nicely.

Looking forward to the next run on Friday and for my running buddies to get back to full health :)
Thank you for your support as always.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Just a quicky..

Post Op Quick update..
..3 weeks and 1 day since my last post, exactly 3 weeks since my operation and I feel very good indeed.  I have been on some 5K walks this week to keep my running muscles moving and in preparation for when I re-start on the Couch to 5K in a few weeks time, not sure yet at which point I will be able to slip back into C25k and may even look at the Couch to 10k as an option, but I must admit I do enjoy the NHS podcasts. I have been told I can't run for a total of SIX WEEKS so I am half way there.

Because of my recent lack of running I am slightly anxious  as to whether I will still be able to do it, and about the fact that in 169 days I'm running the Sunderland 10K and in about 300 days running 20K,  however I do feel very good and in a very positive frame of mind and I'm sure (I think) I will get there :)

Since embarking on this challenge I have become very interested in charity, the way it works and particularly how I can raise funds for local charities. I don't have a charity set up for the Sunderland 10k in May so if anyone has any ideas please let me know.

Thank you for your support as always..

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Week 5 Day 3 DONE

   #ohmygoodness that's never happened EVER before, I have now completed WEEK 5 DAY 3 of c25k, that's the one with the non-stop 20 minute run.
I was not feeling perfect before the run- my knee was aching slightly and I had had a late breakfast (hence a late run at 11am, I usualy try to get out by 10) however I didn't want to find an excuse for not running, this was to be a major milestone for me, and I had to do it.
So I did it and it was excellent, it went really well, for someone who hasn't ran for 30 years I am very chuffed and am looking forward to my next run. No major problems and a quick recovery time, must be getting fitter then. Week 5 DAY 3 is a worrying week for all of us on the c25k but let me tell you in honesty ' if I can do it then so can you' .  It is definately more mental than physical and that comes from a man who is carrying a few too many extra pounds.
Unfortunately my next run will not be for a few weeks as I am due in hospital in the morning and therefore will be unable to run for at least 2 weeks and maybe more, I will however continue to walk to keep my muscles from completely seizing up and I'm going to start working on ways to raise funds for my chosen charity of Epilepsy Research UK while I am off work, so will not be completely stuck in front of the television #stircrazy.

Thank you for reading my blog and bye for now...

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Week 5 Day 2

‎25/‎10/‎2011 #HOLYSHAMOLY week 5 Day 2 Done. Now that was definately more mental than physical,on the first run the first half was tough then my body just seemed to take over,on the second run it was the other way around and my body wanted t give up. After the second run I just wanted to sit down and my legs were a bit 'wobbly'. But I DID IT (16 minutes of running) now 10 mins later fully recovered and want to do it again (well almost).
My knee was fine,actually felt worse when I was walking.

A tough run and a big challenge,but as usual I feel great that it's done and to re-iterate...
'I always feel better after a run than I did before the run' 

23/10/11 Week 5 Day 1 Done...Now that was a challenge, spurred on in part by the fact that 4 weeks after starting the couch to 5k  I have now lost another 9 pounds, that's 9lb in one month and 32lb in total.
 Todays run was a challenge,actually one minute less running than week 4,but seemed like it was more running down to the fact that each run was 5 mins and seemed to come around a lot quicker but I suppose that is the whole point,to push myself to get fitter and faster,it was definately a great achievement when I got to the end with all runs completed,however their definately was a few points when I thought I'll just walk from now.
I am writing this the day before week 5 day 2 run, I have a pulled muscle or something behind my right knee, did it on the last run, not very painful but slight concerns over whether I should run tomorrow or not,don't want to cause more problems but dont wan't to not do the run. Will see how I feel in the morning could just maybe go for a brisk walk instead, weather permitting of course.

21/10/11 Week 4 Day 3 DONE. Certainly doesn't feel like it's getting any easier but I am still enjoying the runs and the challenge, and looking forward to week 5. Pulled something behind my knee.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Week 4 Day 2 Done

 #c25k Week 4 Day 2 DONE. It's a cold and windy day and set to get colder and windier, but I'm glad I did run (no choice really) and now I feel great. The last 5 minute run was hard and I nearly gave up with 2 minutes to go, but I thought I've got this far what would have been the point of giving up now?

My breathing on the runs seems to be getting more even and relaxed but maybe this is down to me running slower,not quite sure yet. Quite a tough run that did seem harder than monday's (day one of week 4), but I suppose there are many factors that can affect a run, not just if my legs have recovered fully from the last run. For the first time my legs are actually aching this morning, that hasn't been the case so far.

It doesn't feel at this point that I am ready for week 5 of c25k,the increase in minutes does seem like madness and the Great North Run seems an impossible goal at this point, however I look at how much I have progressed from week one (keep telling myself I'm only 4 weeks in) and that does feel good.  I am strangely enjoying it, get a great buzz afterwards and if I feel a lack of motivation I think to myself  'I always feel better after a run than I did before the run' this makes perfect sense and is completely true for me.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Week 4 Day 1 Done

17/10/2011 WeeK 4 Day 1 DONE,I really didn't think I would be able to run for 16 minutes total, but I did it and it felt fantastic. I can't pretend it was easy cos there were point's that I wanted to give up running and have a walk, but I felt that now I have started I may as well continue to the end, and it did hurt, but to repeat what I mentioned earlier 'the feeling of achieving it does far outweigh the pain during it, SO TRUE.

I am now feeling great, have acheived an amazing milestone and am now buzzing for the next run. I only have 4 more runs until I go to hospital but with what I have achieved so far I am confident that I will be able to complete my challenge,may just have to train extra hard next year.
Running 20k is a daunting prospect for me and I seem a long way from it at the moment,my op next week  seems a huge hurdle to cross (others being my weight,general fitness and cakes) but I will be glad when it's done and I can get back to training seriously and get this running thing nailed.

I found this on a great blog I follow (  I think it is very relevent to my current mindset and the fact that I want to see mysef as a runner..

"If you run, you are a runner. It doesn't matter how fast or how far. It doesn't matter if today is your first day or if you've been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run." - John Bingham
‎Even though I see myself as a runner,I do feel that on the C25K rest days I need to be doing something so...
15/‎10/‎2011  Cycling 6.3 miles in 46m:14s
Average Speed: 8.0mph

Friday, 14 October 2011

Ahhh the memories

Week 3 Day 3 DONE...What's this all about? Why did I even start this running thing? I don't even like running !!!
My memories of sport were being told that I had to walk for what seemed like miles to the playing field, get changed into shorts and run 'cross country' for what seemed like miles,with no structure,reason or training.  I hated it and would take the afternoon off school regularly ending up in record shops searching through the latest 45s. Weirdly and probably just as scary was that the teachers didn't even realise I wasn't there, those were the days eh.
3o years on and I have a structure,a reason and a training plan,it's working and it feels great. I still check out the latest 45s but don't need to 'bunk off' school to buy them.
Even though today's run was the same as wednesday's it seemed harder,I think it was a mind thing rather than a body thing. I feel extra good now that I have done it. As Laura (off of the podcast) said the feeling of achieving it does far outweigh the pain during it, that small sentence does seem to get me through.
Weekend off now but must do a bike ride to keep loose, a big 16 minute run on monday.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Week 3 Day 2

#c25k Week 3 Day 2 the rain,but it didn't matter, its like I have no choice anymore my body just wants to run.Weird I know. I know it sounds crazy but it is getting easier with each run,each run seems to be the best run and each time I get better at it. Its strange but 3 weeks ago I couldn't run for toffee,now I am running (albeit a jog,but I call it running) for 9 minutes in total.
My breathing also seems to be sorting it self out and my recovery time is getting better. YAY to me and bring on the next one. Note to self : stop panicking about week 5 day 3

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Ups & Downs...

The Ups..Have today registered my interest and have been told I have a guaranteed place on the GNR running for Epilepsy Research UK ,very pleased although a small amount of panic has set in, I have now committed myself to doing this.
I have also managed to secure one of my work charity days to help raise the sponsorship money I need ,it fits in perfectly as the Charity day will be August 27th  and I will be running September 16th.

The Downs..I have been aware for about 6 months that I will need to go in for an operation to remove my gallbladder,the last 6 months have flown by and now I have a date and the op in imminent. I assumed (wrongly) that maybe a week or so and I would be running again, however 6 weeks is more likely to be the case. A bit dis- heartened but still determined, this is only a small set back and I have plenty of contingency in place I'm sure.

Monday, 10 October 2011

To date so far..

  As this is going to be a journey of just under one year until the Great North Run and during that year I hope to have run the Gateshead 10k, I thought I would get it down on 'paper' to chart my progress so far.
  My plan is to break my training down into small bite size chunks,C25K (9 weeks) then B210K (6 weeks), with plenty of time laid aside for contingency I may be able to complete the GNR (approx 20k) in about 50 weeks time.
I have just started WEEK 3 of the C25K plan this is how its gone so far...

09/‎10/‎2011 Week 3 Day 1 Done...With new running socks..Buy 1 get 2 pairs free at New Balance shop,they even have a L and R on just in case. Great socks but most importantly great run,feel chuffed to bits.YAY.Can't wait till next one.

‎‎‎09/‎10/‎2011 Weekly weigh in  -2lb
07/‎10/‎2011 Week 2 Day 3..Done
06/‎10/20‎11 Cycling 3.85 miles in 26m:16s   Average Speed: 8.8 mph
Tried to make it a relaxing bike ride,however the wind made it quite hard work.

05/10/2011 Week2 Day2... Done,a bit tougher than monday's run probably down to a few  general aches and pains,and running against the wind,but still completed each run and feel really good now.Recovery time is getting quicker which is a great sign.Well pleased and looking forward to Friday.

04/10/2011 Cycling 6.15 miles in 40m:11s     Average Speed: 9.2 mph

03/10/2011 Week 2 Day 1..DONE. I was really looking forward to todays run,but was also quite nervous. I did a few stretches prior to going out about 2 minutes in total as I have had 2 days rest between.The run was excellent and I did really enjoy it,it was harder but I took it at a really even pace,and focused on the music. Couldn't quite get the breathing part correct (as per podcast). About halfway through, Laura (off of the podcast) said "you may be getting tired now" she was right,but it was fine cos now I had a 2 minute walk.Looking forward to Wednesday.YAY

02/09/2011 Weekly weigh in  -4lb
30/09/2011 Week 1 Day 3...Done...Feel great and got into a really good rhythm,not fast but felt right.
29/09/2011  Cycling 4.67 miles in 33m:23s      Average Speed: 8.4 mph
28/09/2011  C25K week 1,day 2 (with running shoes) DONE
26/09/2011  C25K Day One Done...GN Run here I come (probably).
25/09/2011   Cycling 5.59 miles in 36m:12s     Average Speed: 9.3 mph