Searching for blog posts tagged with 'marathon'

The third post of someone who will probably run a multi-marathon!



When I first said I'd write this blog, I envisaged I'd report back every Monday on how well everything was going. I've obviously broken that already, as this week I've waited until Friday to write something. That's mainly because I couldn't think of anything profound to write, and I haven't trained as much as I hoped.

After a stunning start to my training, things have gone a bit pear shaped. Without sounding big headed, I would say I am incredibly fit and healthy. I don't smoke, I'm tee total, I eat healthily and I do a shed load of exercise. So why did I find myself in the queue at the pharmacy today, behind an old lady who smelt like a mixture of wee and biscuits, asking for a pair of stockings?!

I planned to run home from work on Monday, and expected a cold but fast run. Four miles in, I stopped because my leg really hurt. I had a dull ache that burned when I put pressure on it. And I got a kankle. I thought only fat people got kankles, but I had one. There was fluid on my lower calf, I didn't have much sensation in the area and I felt like I had polio and was dragging a dead weight. So I aborted my run and got the train home. That hurt more, because I had given up - but hoped it was for a greater good. What hurt almost as much was that on a packed commuter train from Brighton to Worthingat peak time, I had a table and four seats to myself, because nobody would sit next to a guy in a vest and shorts who was breathless and rubbing his leg! I felt like I had the leprosy and people didn't want to go anywhere near me in case I touched them and shouted "tag you're it. Now you've got the lergy!!!".

Well, after a chat with a doctor friend on the phone, I had it checked out. I have varicose veins in my left leg, and the lack of circulation was causing a numbness. The only treatment for now is hosiery! So there I was, standing in line at the pharmacy, waiting for someone to find a stocking for me, whilst the lady behind me looked accusingly. I obviously pointed to the old lady in front of me with a bag of industrial Tena Lady and gave eyes to suggest 'it's not me, it's her!'. The nice girl in the pharmacy came out and measured differnet parts of my leg and tried to make small talk. It went along the lines of "young people like you don't usually get varicose veins, you know. That's why the stockings are always brown - because old people love brown".

So this begs the question of when does healthy become unhealthy? Have I gone full circle and pushed myself so hard that my lifestyle is detrimental to my health? Talking to some people in the office yesterday, I was told I look tired, rough, dishevelled. Thanks, Bev and Mags. On top of that, I pee'd blood late last week after a particularly hard run/training session. I had the indignity of running so hard on sunday that I was dry heaving as I crossed the finish line of a race. And then I saw my physio today who said I was over pronating my left foot and it was causing excessive pressure on my leg. My answer is that I don't care. I'm not training for or taking part in these events to get fitter. Being fit is a benefit of competing of training - not the result. I have a resting heart rate of 44 beats per minute (normal is about 70) and blood pressure of 101/58 (120/80 is normal). Essentially what this means is that my heart is bigger and/or more efficient than most. 

So why am I taking part? Because I'm certainly not going to win them. I've touched on this before, but I have to look for little wins. The ones that only I notice. Last sunday was the first of my events. The Worthing Lido 4 mile race. My target was to beat 25 minutes. I did, with an official time of 24mins 40secs. That's an average of 15.7kmh or 6mins 10secs per mile. I came home in 27th position out of 436 people - so I came in the top 6%. This is the type of analysis I meant in my other blog - stuff that only I notice. More importantly, I did win in one way. I was the first runner home who does not run for a club - so I was the best amateur amatuer. A small victory indeed, buy one that I enjoyed none the less.

So what's planned for the coming week? A run on Sunday, as well as a photoshoot with the local rag from my home town, and then back to normal next week - apart from having to run with a single knee length sock on my left leg all the time. I have added another marathon to my list and a duathlon, too. For a full list of the events I have planned do far, see the just giving pages at - and whilst you're there, bung me a couple of quid!

On the plus side this week, at least I didn't tread in any dog crap!

Thanks for taking the time to read this - and big thanks to Nic 'Basher' Barratt and Laura 'Bummers' Bottomley for their extrememly generous donations this past week. They're both amazing people. Lest we forget those not with us any more - those are the people who put silly challenges like this in context!



The blog of a man who has just completed his 2nd marathon of 2011



So, only 50 to go. I successfully completed the second marathon of the year yesterday.

There's not yet a lot to talk about. I think things will get interesting in the weeks and months to come. Essentially, this is a marathon of marathons and at the minute, I'm at the start bit with the excitement and comfort and energy. Later will come the slog of the mid-miles where monotony kicks in, followed by the mental and physical agony of hitting the wall and then the success of finishing.

Strangely, I didn't hit the wall yesterday. It was some sort of paradoxical run where I was very mentally taxed but physically I felt generally fine. As I've said before, I love the idea that running causes a great deal of pain and I can stop that pain at any time but choose not to. It's being in charge of how hard I push myself and my mental toughness to not take the easier option.

Anyway... Enough of the cerebral stuff and down to the basics.

Yesterday's was my first ever marathon on a treadmill. Before this, I hadn't ever run further than 10k on a treadmill. Mainly because it's dull. I mean, it's mind numbing! Essentially it was me staying in one place with my legs going round, looking at myself in a mirror (pretty as I am, i can still get bored of myself) and watching numbers go (slowly) round and round.

I have to say, the people at Riptide Gym are incredibly helpful and supportive. They've sponsored me where the University gym wouldn't, allowed me to use all of their equipment and give me advice and support - all for free.

So up I got at 7.30am to go to the gym. On the treadmill ready to go at 9.15. ON A SATURDAY! There were a couple of small issues... Firstly, treadmill's aren't designed or programmed to run for 26.2 miles at a time (surprised?!?!), so logic had to be used. As far as I could work out, you could only time it in for 60minutes at a time, so this was going to be what I did. Under the agreement (with myself!) that as soon as it finished, I would start again! This is what I did. I have some videos that will be uploaded when Wid adds the module that allows it to the website.

So the first 60 minutes was steady if not a little tiring as the muscle aches from last week came back quite soon. I did 11.95km. That then finished and I started doing the next hour's stint. As I came to the end of that hour, I pressed a button and it allowed me to continue. So I did - up to 90 minutes as there were only enough spaces on the screen to go up to 99 minutes and I didnt want to start working at fractions of hours. Anyway... after 2 and a half hours I run at an average of nearly 12km/h and completed 11.95km in hour 1 and 17.92km in the second hour and a half. 2.5 hours - 29.87km done and 'only' 12.33km to go.

I ended up doing that final 12.33km in 67minutes 20 seconds. So a total for the full 42.2km was 3hours 37minutes and 20 seconds. Add in a bit of time for those changeovers (I wouldn't want anyone to think i was trying to steal a few seconds!) and I reckon it was still under 3 hours 40. Which was essentially the second fastest marathon I have ever run!

You know what could have been easier, of course? Instead of adding up all the distance and that sort of thing, I could just programme it to do four equal runs of 10.5km!!! What a numpty. But then did the constant maths in my head take my mind off the running? Probably not, but I'm in an uncertain mind as to whether I should change it or not.

That's it for now. Next week, look out for my chat about putting too much salt in my water, the great audition for a new TV show with some of the Passingiton guys and how I secretly hope my wee is dead orange when I finally finish running!

Remember, I wouldn't be doing this if a) I were not mad, b) I was not running for two really important charities and c) I didn't secretly want an MBE in the future for my endeavours in my life. Please follow me on twitter - @52marathonman or 'like me on Facebook

Remember too, there is lots more information available on my website 

For now - thanks for reading!