Ahhh I have Daniel Bedingfield on a loop inside my head! The same three lines repeating every time I think of the 17 miles. Not sure which is worse, the lyrics or the vivid flashback to ankle pain and a concrete road stretching out as far as you can see. The biting wind made my hands swell like the Michelin man (remind me to google why?)… Oh wait l’m being a tad dramatic.
Although I think Dan would agree it was quite brutal. Personally I was very complacent, 15 miles was great, how bad could an extra 2 miles be? Well to start with, it was a Monday night, after hen do 2. In hindsight, we didn’t carb load and we didn’t hydrate (not enough to recover from a night of cocktails anyhow). The beginning was fun, ticking off the landmarks through the city following the river to Vauxhall, Wandsworth, Clapham and then suddenly it felt like we hit a desolate wasteland.
The scenery didn’t change for miles and the temperature dipped to sub zero. I’ve not felt ankle pain like it, and I could hear Dan’s knees creaking. We looked like a pair of frail elderly runners on the last couple of miles (Anyone read ‘the 100 year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared’? If not, do, it’s great!)
But I am reminded this week that this is all for a wonderful charity, St Joseph’s Hospice, and for dear friends and dear family that rely on the support of us all!
To start with, oh ‘you-know’ a normal Thursday evening, Dan and I ran our furthest ever. 15 miles. Slightly nervous we set off from the V&G headquarters. With the help of google maps shouting directions in our ears and despite a mile or so running by moonlight on a ropey footpath, we made it back to the ‘burbs’ in a pretty respectful 2 1/2 hours! Runners high (cue happy dance)!!! Shame we had to stop in via Sainsbury to get dinner, funny looks and wide berths doesn’t cover it – bright red and still out of breath, arms laden with peppers, chicken and milk this could have been a great photo op! Or not….
No aches or pains, just a sleepless night… The real challenge, how to survive my hen? Without giving too much away, it was 3 days surrounded by best friends in a wonderful house with a heated pool, games a plenty and not a trainer insight! You will be pleased to learn that proper decorum was kept at all times, ah hem, and cross training was kept up with the help of inebriated swimming and Malteazer bobbing! It was the best ever and I’m feeling incredibly lucky to have such amazing friends!
Until I had to run midweek… It was the worst run of my life and I blamed each and everyone of my girlfriends for every shot! My legs felt like lead, my time was beyond slow, I even think I may have been going backwards. I’m sure alcohol was still flooding my system, uuurgh. But I didn’t bail (I did complain the entire way, sorry Dan). And so to this weekend, when hen do round 2 commenced, another cocktail affair and another crown to wear.. so much fun.
Literally milestones have been nailed – we crossed the half marathon barrier and I survived my hen dos! Just gotta get through 17 miles on a Monday night….please help us along the way..
So have I mentioned Dan isn’t a long distance runner? His last words after I forced the Hampton Court (his first and only) half marathon upon him last March was ‘never again..unless it’s the London marathon’…uh oh!
But those who train together stay together (lol, cue sick bucket!) I HATE the interval/fartlek sessions and would give them up in a heartbeat. Dan says he can literally feel my eyes boring holes into his back as I try and catch him up. But to be honest, he is lucky I’m not chasing him down the street with wedding magazines!
l will however, happily keep the momentum on the long runs. An hour into our 13 miles on Saturday and Dan had‘are we nearly there yet’, ‘I’m hungry’ written all over his face. Inspiralized sweet potato carbonara is sooooo delicious but I think double portions may be needed..
The importance of hi – vis!
or an excuse to wear neon..
Running up the aisle, suggests that I should turn to the ‘wedmin’ *cringe* part of the blog. 3 weeks after the run we are getting married. It has been suggested I run to the venue (3 lovely short miles) but no matter the distance I always turn the colour of a tomato. No joke, an old man once stopped me in the street to tell me that perhaps I should slow down. I had only run 10 mins. The fact that I sounded like Darth Vader probably didn’t help. I will be totally vetoing that idea (but thanks for the suggestion, Dad).
So, how to fit running around the wedding planning (note wine tasting) and the ‘dos’ aka stag/hen, the inevitable hangovers and the inability to leave the sofa? No idea – right now my plan is to be running 17 miles after work, the night before my hen (which is next week!) ahhhh this s*@t is real!! On paper this idea works, in reality? Let’s see!
It’s almost pay day, please don’t forget to sponsor us!
On Tuesday evening I met the other runners for St Joseph’s Hospice. Eyeing them up across the table I instantly began playing ‘guess the marathon time’ in my head. All men and half of which looked like elite runners, erm, what the hell have I let myself in for?
And so a group of runners came together tosupport St Joseph’s Hospice and swap tales of early training weeks’ woes and worries. Matt Lovell and Roger Love generously donated their time to quell our panic, patiently reassure, and guide us on nutrition and training. Dan and I definitely took away different snippets of advice (I might add they directly contradict – I may be quite loose with interpretations – there is a wedding dress to fit into after all!) Then out of the blue I get butterflies, as we watch the car, which seemed to take forever, drive the route … Why have I agreed to this?
This is why…one of Dr Ruth Freedman comments that will stay with me during my training and fundraising efforts, is that St Joseph’s Hospice is ‘life affirming’. In what can be a a sad, confusing and lonely time, St Joseph’s Hospice provides a place of hope and peace. I’m not going to re-hash the website but I did want to share a few of the things that resonated with me and are still on my mind (even after a week of training), hopefully without trying to sound cheesy or preachy. When walking around the hospice, you get an almost ethereal, zen like sense of calm while at the same time a clearly active and very present community – it’s also not in the least bit depressing. The beautiful chapel that survived the blitz hibernates within the hospice like a Tardis, patient’s artwork and photos adorn the walls and with touching memory trees at each turn I think they have thought of everything. I’m not trying to make light of the situation but the hospice felt ‘happy’, for want of a better word.
It definitely clicked that I’m not just fundraising for the patients and their families, we are also fundraising for the wonderful staff- the passion and commitment in their words on Tuesday evening was unmissable, and the hospice is obviously a cornerstone oflocal community. Palliative care, complimentary therapies/holistic therapy/counselling.. And so the list goes on. I’m very proud that Anna works there and totally determined that we should smash this challenge. However, I can’t do it alone… I just might need some help from you all please…Just giving!
I don’t know what is making me more nervous – running 26.2 miles or blogging? Being a novice to both, I ask you to please excuse my crude mistakes and cringey updates, it’s all for a good cause! St Joseph’s Hospice.
It’s 2am on the 2nd January, today is the day it all begins. Not the 1st? No, that was spent on the sofa nursing a hangover, result of which I am now rudely wide awake. Having spent the last three weeks totally overindulging and excusing it, because ‘oh well it’s Christmas’, I got on the scales today and nearly passed out! This is going to be epic but I know (and Dan will testify) I can be very stubborn when I want to be, just need to channel it in the right direction. My challenge is three fold, to run a marathon, raise money for St Joseph’s Hospice and to get wedding ready (in every sense). Ahhhhh.
The first official training run is 7 miles TODAY. My reading has told me take all the long runs slow, really slow, and that this is really important. 90-120 secs slower than marathon pace. Having not done more than 13.1 ever, I will probably be eating my words later, but for now I’m feeling positive and looking forward to the challenge ahead. Apart from its raining….