Tag Archives: marathon training

9 Miles – First Long Run Of 2011

16 Jan

Supposedly 3 weeks into marathon training, today was my first ‘long run’ of the year. After a slow but successful 7 mile run last Sunday with no gliches, I felt up to the challenge of a 9 miler today. After working until 4am last night, I expected to wake up groggy and not all motivated. But, ping! my eyes were open at 11am and I was raring to get out. Having run round Bournemouth and Poole a LOT in the past, I didn’t bother to plan a specific route but took ┬ámy Garmin. I also made the effort to strap up the heart rate monitor, despite having problems with it rubbing on my scar in the past.

I set off at a steady pace, with the aim of maintaining 10:00 – 10:30 min/miles. As a glanced down at the Garmin, I kept slipping back to 9:30! Pre heart op, this just did not happen. I am almost in disbelief. As I ran down the beach at Bournemouth, I was feeling great. I had my iPod on after several runs without music. My mood took a turn for the worse as I turned onto the seafront and faced a hideous headwind, blowing sand and rain everywhere! It was one of those stretches of a long run that tests you to the limits. For the next 4 miles, I looked down, dug deep and fought the elements whilst trying desperately to maintain my pace. Finally, at the end of the beach, I headed through Poole and back home. Again, the endorphins kicked in and I felt on top of the world. I finished in 91:00, an average of 10:07. So pleased.

With many more weeks of marathon training ahead of me, I am determined to keep my commitment and focus directed towards the sub 4 goal. Some might say this is ambitious after having a long stretch off after my operation but I believe if I am careful and sensible, I will reach my goal. As I have been reading about recently, it is mental strength that often leads you through difficult times. In an endurance race, whether triathlon, marathon or anything else, your passion for succeeding will carry you to the finish line. My tactic of focusing on how fortunate I am to be out running when others can’t, is the ultimate kick up the bum when you physically start to tire. Try it! Sometimes, guilt is good!

I celebrated my small success with a delicious cinnamon and raisin bagel plus a banana milkshake. Next week I have a photo shoot for a piece about me running the Brighton half marathon – my first race since my heart surgery. I am also getting some shots of my scar as I feel it is important to share my experience with others (male and female) who might be going through something similar. Pictures coming soon!

Happy Sunday :)

9 Weeks – Recovery

25 Aug

My second week training has gone well. Last week I managed 2 runs and 1 gym session and felt great! Today I attended my second cardiac rehab class and enjoyed the company. It was humbling to hear the stories of others who had suffered heart attacks. Several people described the psychological impact of coming to terms with an unexpected cardiac event. I compared my experience to theirs and certainly feel lucky that my heart condition was easy to resolve. I know I did nothing wrong in terms of lifestyle, diet etc to cause the defect so there is no guilt for me to deal with. All my focus has been on returning to my level of fitness. I am so grateful that I have no heart disease and hopefully never will have!

My main concern this weeks is a very sore neck. This is likely muscular pain following my surgery and is a bit of a pain! I have reduced most of my painkillers down and I am keen to stop them completely. I had a reflexology session on Monday which was fascinating and very accurate about my problems! I am trying Indian head massage on Friday so I am hoping this will relieve the ongoing pain.

I have dropped back on my walks in favour of runs, I completed 2.3 miles today. The endorphins I get from running are incredible. I almost had forgotten what they felt like! It all feels real now, and I am not afraid to tell people I am training for a marathon and fully intend to have a good triathlon season next year. I have even had my first offer of sponsorship from the cardiac rehab team.

3 more weeks until I can get back on my bike and into the pool!

44678_10150259220800343_694765342_14303770_1276627_nMe and my healing scar!