Sunday, 26 April 2015

Paula and me

Before - Lewisham Station - pre warm up walk to Greenwich
After. Happy, happy, happy
Day 376
Warming up jog and walk from home to Green Start, Greenwich Park, then 26.2 miles run at averaging 8:30mins (some 7.50, so others must've been well slow!) finishing in a time of 3:44.08. Warm down in the pub with Kent AC: beer, crisps and good craic, warm down walk from Lewisham

Paula Radcliffe ran her last ever London Marathon today. I ran my third London, and PBed so beautifully I feel it's only the beginning, at 52 years old. As I have said before, I know plenty of over 60s, who still run 3:30 or thereabouts, so there's inspiration to carry on.
What I am signing off from, though, is, of course, this blog, but not before I've bored on a bit about how it went, so that hopefully, when I run the race again next year (GFA place guaranteed!) I can have documented evidence about how to conduct myself. I presume the blog will remain available to me for reference, somewhere in interweb world. You never know, it might be useful for other feisty elderly runners in menopause and feeling a bit doleful. There is nothing like running endorphins to make a woman feel like an Amazon.
So, the last three days of just walking and lots of eating really paid off. By my calculations I ate about 3,000 calories a day. I put on at least 2kg in weight. However, that chunking up, both in muscle terms (thanks Erik, at Team6 ) and fat layer, helped me feel strong today.
I started out worrying that my friend Siggy, knocking out the 8:20 miles, was going too fast for me, but she told me to go ahead at mile 17, when I realised I was happy at this pace, and sometimes at around 8m/m
I ate four gels (yuck) and drank more than one bottle of nauseating Lucozade sport, and I ate two bananas. For breakfast I ate both porridge and Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, then had toast and coffee at the start. I did not feel the need to shit myself.
My stress incontinence threatened, with the urge to wee at 6miles, but I managed to hold everything together and brace pelvic floor, core and everything. I followed my favourite mantra
'hips high and aligned, shoulders loose and low'
I stretched the back of my neck often and was hyper aware of posture. It made me feel strong and bouncy.
So, Paula and I, we were both happy, she with her 2:37 with insufficient preparation and me with my 3:44 after a Year of Training Seriously.
Happy, happy, happy.
Until my next blog
Ronnie x

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Sweet dreams

Gingerbread runner from Hillyfields Parkrun
Day 375
Rest day, with walking to Parkrun to voluncheer, some stretching and strength work on mat and repeating positive mantras

There is nothing more to be done, except check various websites to see if I should be drinking isotonic drinks now (always worry about that, because of sugar before bedtime), if I should add extra salt to my plain pasta, or to keep comparing short shorts, long shorts or full tights as running uniform of choice. It will of course be Kent AC vest on top, but my plans for the tight short shorts I wore for Mallorca (pelvic assistance ones) or the capris of the type I wore at Berlin are giving me mental grief. The short shorts aren't lucky (disappointing 4:01 Mallorca), the capris (3:57, Berlin) may not give me the extra support I need on the wee wee front, but they augur well. There's another reason for the capris, they're looser, so easier to roll down to make room for one's cardboard penis in the girls' urinals.

I cannot believe my head is so soupy with this indecision.

Then there's the weather. I've a whole throwaway outfit for the chilly hanging around hour before the 10.10am kick off. I have bought a cheap rain poncho from Tiger to use as a changing robe, and will pack a change of clothes, wet wipes and freshen up unguents in my marathon bag for the luggage lorry. I will most probably need to change (dreaded memories of Berlin distress), but I won't be able to get my lucky racer bra off under my poncho.

All the while I'm thinking about grub. I've tried to eat and drink well all day, but eschew fibre. I am going to have a little pasta, spinach, cheese and beetroot for my dinner. But not too much. In the morning, it's porridge and banana.

There is nothing more I can do. I prepared as thoroughly as I was able. I perhaps did not run an adequate number of tempo miles. I will reflect on the good times during these long weeks of training.
Look at the stats. If you can do 1:45 half marathon, you can do 3:48 full.
This will be a fun long run with 43 friends from Kent AC. And 37,000 others.

Friday, 24 April 2015

The psychosomatic disorder known as maranoia

Me and my girls: Buggyrunners Greenwich Park
The park prepares
Day 373
Up to Greenwich on bike to coach, walking to and from Brockley, thence to eat in Shoreditch with cool cats - hipsters of the feline variety.

Plenty food, a little more time spent on feet than I'd have liked, and an early night dosed up with cold remedy. That is how I am dealing with this worrying hint of a sore throat, muzzy head, achey legs and general shiveryness. I am hoping it is all in my head and caused by huge anxiety. The weather forecast looks unpromising, I am worried that my pacer Siggy will have to leave me trailing in her 8:20m/m wake. I am worried that my body will let me down. I am worried that the rest of my club will have to commiserate rather than congratulate, when the 44 of us debrief after the race in the pub Sunday lunchtime. There are so many worries. And one more day.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Expo sed

Day 373

Team6 training with Erik : stepovers, ball slams, blades, balance, in and out and more. Glutes work. Then to the marathon exp and loads of walking on various missions

To the Expo! Where runners pick up their numbers, worry about whether they have the right kit when faced with concessions and concessions of brightly coloured technical gear. It's at these times when acquisitive, kitloving runners are like kids in a sweetshop, spending £38 on a pair of compression socks (that was nearly me, until I pulled myself together) in te hope it'll help them run faster on the day. I succumbed to my favourite salted caramel gels and some beetroot juice. Oh, and some chia nut protein butter. I cannot get interested in bright new kit though. I feel a bit hefty and hopeless (as is often the case in taper) and have always been of the opinion that the more 'flattering' the women's running wear is supposed to be the more hideous I look in it. A rather  low mood caused by lack of sleep and a bout of self -loathing occasioned by inability to turn up to anything on time or get organised domestically, professionally or financially has been exacerbated by the  the hideous weather forecast for Sunday. The thought of standing around shivering in the rain at the start is giving me chills in today's glorious sunshine - reminding me of the Milton Keynes marathon nightmare of 2010.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


What a lovely local park for a buggyrunner of advanced years...
Day 372
Four miles easy, plus a cycle ride back from East Croydon

It was a privilege to be in Berlin these past two sunny days, and I was really looking forward to getting up and out to explore this gorgeous local park in the Gesundbrunnen area of Berlin (like Lewisham, this is on the up and becoming more hipster every day). In its centre is a little hugel with a helter skelter style path winding round it, which I jogged up today to see the views. As you can see from the unremitting grafitti and the many trees obscuring the views over the Mitte, the area does not pander to tourists. Indeed I heard very few English or American accents around the local streets. I harboured fantasies of starting up m on little Teutonic buggyrunning business here in Berlin, my newly adopted city. If I am to travel out to see my little grnadson Charlie Catford as often as I want to, I will need a remunerated reason to do so. While I run, I scheme. There must be something an educated, articulate running Oma can do to fund her Berlin habit.

Monday, 20 April 2015


Croydon dawn
Day 371
5am bike ride to East Croydon, walking round Berlin, I expect

Thinking about race-day fuelling again. Some people take it very seriously. I never used to use gels, and my marathon PB was achieved without them. However, some of my fellow Sunday runners reckon they may need four of the sickly sweet sachets of gunk to get them round. A rather more wholemeal woman, of about my years, says her husband will be at mile 10 with a 'date and banana smoothie'. I reckon to have a banana in my waistband. Husband will be en route to Norwich, at a dancing pace, wearing a minstrel outfit. But that is another story, which I will tell you another day.  It's 4.29am and I have a plane to catch.