Starting over


My place in the London Marathon was confirmed, this week.  I will be fundraising for a fabulous charity, and I’ll upload details when I’ve sorted them out and started my fundraising page.  It’s a charity which supports families suffering from domestic abuse.  A cause very close to my heart, and I’m delighted to be running for them.

Meantime, I’ve 24 weeks to go, and it’s all gone a bit tits up, just lately.  Judging from my data, I’ve been suffering from a bit of a bug and I’ve really struggled to get any running done, at all.  I’ve also been eating badly, and thinking about it I wouldn’t be at all surprised if all these things aren’t intimately linked.

After a summer of niggling upper body injuries, I have lost a lot of condition, I think.  The lessons I need to take from Brighton for this next adventure are that strength and conditioning are not negligible elements of the plan.  I need to pay more attention to them.  And the lesson I need to take from my flirtation with the Hal Higdon plan is that if I’m going to increase the frequency of my running (and I don’t yet know that I am), then I need to pay *much* more attention to nutrition and the way it plays into recovery.

I haven’t quite decided yet what I’m going to do for a training plan.  But I’m treating the next two months as foundation-building time.  Last year, I sat on my arse while I waited for my training plan to start.  And while that didn’t hurt me, it didn’t help me either.  So this year I have done a terrifying thing; I have engaged the help of a Personal Trainer.

I’m going to be working with Becky Hodgson at Hall Training Systems.  She’s going to give me a baseline assessment next week, and then I’ll be going to her twice a week to begin with, to work on strength, core fitness and body conditioning.  It’s daunting and exciting, both.  I haven’t worked with an actual, real trainer before.

img_4237So today I’ve begun the process of pushing my boundaries, by going on a trail run with my next door neighbour and running buddy, Kirsty.  A little while ago, Kirsty had a little too much wine and persuaded me (I was totally sober in this transaction) to sign up for the Hughenden Manor Tough 10, which is next weekend.  So we went out for a local trail route to practice… I have to admit, off-road is not my favourite terrain.  I don’t mind nice smooth woodland paths (how many of those are there?  Answer: none) but ploughed field isn’t funny.  Nor, as it turns out, is broccoli (wet) or sheep shit (slippery).  Collapsed dry stone walls (ankle turning) and tree routes (trippy) were also a bit difficulteeple ofimg_4236 St Mary’s (I think) church in Witney, just beyond the trees in the above photo.t.  In fact I think the consistent thorn in the side was probably Vicki (whingey).  Still, it was pretty.  Actually it was very pretty.  Those of you with sharp eyes will be able to
pick out the steeple of St Mary’s (I think) church in Witney, just beyond the trees in the above photo.

We also found a well…  Which Kirsty admitted to having lifted one of her nieces into, in the past, to climb down the steps…

img_4235I did stick the camera over the top of the wall to see if the poor child was still down there, but could see nothing but ferns…

So next week is learning about what personal training is going to look like, finished off with a little trot out in the cold and the mud, just for fun.  And after that, I’m going to be taking training a lot more seriously.

The fun begins here!