28 02 2010

Carrot and Orange cake.

I’m not sure if this is typical of marathon runners but I’m now constantly hungry. People have started saying I’ve lost weight so I’m probably not packing enough calories away. I’ve got plenty of bananas, dried apricots, raisins and other healthy snacks around the house when I get peckish but on Thursday I buckled under the pressure and bought a couple of cakes:  Carrot and Orange cake and Walnut layer cake.

The walnut cake has now gone and the Carrot cake is a lot smaller than the picture and that was only taken an hour ago. I think this could be a very pleasant way to get through the next 6 weeks as I head towards the big day.

Managed to do Parkrun yesterday morning (5km) then a bit of football coaching until lunchtime. In the afternoon I ran out to Southwick and back past Shoreham Harbour. In total about 25km so 15 miles or there abouts. It should have been 18 miles but it will have to do.

This morning the weather was so bad that both football teams had their matches called off.  After yesterday, I’m feeling quite tired so it’s good to have a quiet Sunday for a change. This week I have 3 consecutive 6 mile runs leading up to a half marathon next Sunday.



24 02 2010

Spot the puddles

Despite the beautifully bright and frosty conditions for Brighton Parkrun on Saturday, there was heavy rain overnight. On Sunday, the U14’s   match against Wild Park Rangers went ahead in a downpour and by the end of the game, the pitch resembled a battlefield.  We managed to come back from 2-1 down at half time to win 6-3. At the same time, around 6000 people were doing the Sussex Beacon half marathon – horrible conditions but well done to all that completed it.

Did my 10 mile run in the afternoon and felt fine so beginning to think I’ll be OK for next Sunday’s 18 mile epic – not sure where to go yet but Lewes and back sounds good.


18 02 2010

I sometimes forget that although the cause of my brain haemorrhage was an AVM, I was affected far more by epilepsy than anything else. Thankfully I haven’t had a seizure  for many years now and that’s made it possible for me to get into running. For those people who do have to live with epilepsy every day, I have enormous sympathy and remember only too well how difficult it was to deal with.

I can remember my first seizure as though it happened yesterday. I had just started a job in Horsham and a group of us went over to Crawley sports centre one evening for 5-a-side football. About 20 mins or so later I started to get totally confused – it was as though I was seeing snapshots of the world around me every few seconds – I really had no idea what was happening. Next thing I’m in hospital. It turned out that I’d had a full seizure – the first of many that occurred over the next few years. I didn’t get many invites to play football after that but looking back, I can almost laugh at some of the incidents – like the time I went out to pick up a take-away from the end of my road, only to return 2 hours later having collapsed on the way home. I must have lain on the pavement  for all of that time, yards from my house, without anyone seeing me – or perhaps they just walked past thinking I was drunk. Whatever the reason, I had fallen flat on my face onto the pavement and looked pretty beaten up when I eventually got back.

Falling over is just one hazard. Luckily I always got a warning that something odd was going to happen and I learnt to sit down or tell someone immediately. I always felt a sense of panic and would try to calm myself down in a futile attempt to somehow stop the seizure from happening.

So now, to be epilepsy free, is a massive relief and I hope that my fundraising goes some way to helping others with the same problem.

Epilepsy affects a surprisingly large number of people – about half a million in the UK.

Epilepsy action UK based information and news.

Talk About It Hollywood celebrities trying to raise awareness of epilepsy.

Not top of the table

17 02 2010

Oh well, it was good while it lasted! We played Hollingbury Hawks on Sunday, going down 3-2 in a really tough match. With 5 players either ill or on holiday, we just got a team out and everyone looked worn out by the end. Our nearest rivals, Mile Oak and Polegate both won so it puts us under a bit of pressure with just 4 games to play. We’ve still got a chance of promotion although we absolutely have to win our remaining matches.

Avid readers of this blog (both of you!) will have been wondering where my daily posts have got to over the last week. After completing my longest training run yet last Sunday – 14.2 miles – I felt a bit of a twinge in my hamstrings so decided to ‘listen to my body’ and take a break for a few days. Seems to have worked as I’ve managed two 6 mile runs this week without a problem. Looking at the schedule, I’m pretty much back on track. Over the next month, I’ve got two half marathons and a 20 miler. If I can do that, I’ve got another month before the actual marathon so I should be able to do it. I haven’t quite worked up the enthusiasm to jump into an ice bath yet as I was advised to but I’ll keep it in mind.

Today’s target: Rest

Top of the table!

8 02 2010

Preston Panthers U14s

Yesterday was  a special day. We started our match against Mile Oak Wanderers just one point behind top spot. Just to be in this position is special in itself. In four years, the current Preston Panthers U14s have usually finished in the lower half of the table and it looked like things would be much the same this year. After 5 matches, the table read P5, W2, L3.

I’d like to say it was a Capello-like injection of discipline from the manager that turned things around but in truth, it’s been a great team effort. Seven wins on the trot and yesterday’s match turned out to be our 8th. For the next week we can enjoy being top, even if it is on goal difference!

Got back from the game and psyched myself up to go on a 15 mile run out to Rottingdean and back. I set off with Jelly Babies in pocket and Lucozade in hand. Felt great going out, taking little sips every 15 mins or so. On way back started to get aches but they soon disappeared with stretching so must remember to do that more often. Got home 2.5 hours later – not that tired but aching like mad. Had hot bath and then nearly fell asleep. A friend phoned today and said that what I really needed after a long run was to stand in a bin full of ice-water. Apparently it helps the recovery! Hmmmmm.

Jelly Babies

4 02 2010

See full size imageAt the Parliament Hill cross country last week, I got talking to a rep from Lucozade about eating during the marathon. An impressive graph was quickly pulled up on the laptop showing how performance levels typically fall during the race – the message being that you need to keep your carbohydrate levels up as you run. I remember 60g of carbs per hour as the amount to consume.

I’ve been looking around for suitable running grub and it appears that Jelly Babies are almost perfect – although there are plenty of other high energy foods that can be eaten, such as raisins and glucose tablets, not to mention all of the sports drinks. I’ve also tried a gel but it made me feel thirsty almost straight away. I don’t think there’ll be any problem eating Jelly Babies – in fact I’ve polished off several already without running at all!

Today’s target: 6 miles decided to mark some homework instead – maybe tomorrow morning…….

Tuesday night at Withdean stadium

2 02 2010

Last year I was a regular at the training sessions run at Withdean stadium for aspiring marathon runners. Then I missed a few as a result of illness, work and then the snow. So last night was quite hard work as I haven’t been doing any speed work for a while. The format is like this:

4 x 200m (with a 100m walk to recover – this is repeated after each run)
3 x 300m 
1 x 1000m

4 x 200m
3 x 300m
1x 1600m (approx 1 mile)

so a total of 6km over 1 hour.

As I came through the finishing line for the mile, I heard Sam call out 6:20  – I’m aiming to get round in under 6 mins to try to get a pb for Parkrun but 6:20 is fine for now. For the marathon, I’ll be aiming for about 9 mins  per mile.

Today’s target: 6km  Was supposed to do Fartlek training over 6km which is similar to the track training.

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