Marathon Training Review, October 2015

Well, I’ve begun.

This of course means I’ve gotten a cold immediately and have had to readjust my schedule.

I’ve always sort of questioned the marathon training season as it falls into “awful winter season” and ends, usually on the day of the marathon, with either the hottest, coldest, or rainiest day on record (take your pick).

“But,” you say, “You’ve willingly taken this sort of thing on more than once, didn’t you know this is what is going to happen?”

Yep.  But I can marvel at the madness of it all much like some people marvel at the fact that the sun keeps managing to rise every day… except for those people who live in places where the sun doesn’t at certain points of the year.

I digress.

So yeah, I’ve adjusted my schedule down slightly but otherwise have stayed on track.  As I’m in the “running for running’s sake” portion of the training I’m not too fussed.  One of the things I’ve picked up on is that my body, outside of the cold, is pretty cool with running more regularly after the first week.  The first week it was like, “&*%*!!!” (exact words) but after that it was fine.

And so I enter into November.  For fun I’ve again signed up for Nanowrimo, which means that I will be writing a marathon while training for a marathon.  This is because I welcome both mental and physical pain, obviously.

I’ve also managed to get close to halfway for my initial fundraising goal, which is a guilt fuel.  (Thank you to those who have already donated – and to the mystery donor who jumped me to my halfway point!)  Remember, every pound you donate results in me putting on my shoes and pounding out the miles whether I want to or not.

Until next time!

Running the Numbers

So… I started my marathon training this week.  Tomorrow is my last day of my first week.  I’ve calculated that the training plan and it’s calculated at 28 weeks. This translates into 110 runs of various distances + 28 gym sessions + 28 pole fitness sessions.  If I can swing it right I’m going to attempt my long runs to the gym where, depending on timing, I can possibly hit up 28 yoga sessions over the 28 weeks.

Now, you ask yourself, how was this first week of training?  Was it inspirational?  Joyous? A breeze?

No, not really.

First, I can’t believe how hard running 4 miles is at the moment.  My stomach and legs really aren’t pleased with the whole idea and were really annoyed to find out that I decided to do this run not once, but twice this week.  You should’ve heard them yelling in protest this morning as I commuted into work.

(Well, it was me yelling in protest, but let me tell you: Absolutely no walkers got in my way.  TRAINING TIP: Try screaming, babbling incoherently, or carrying on conversations with your imaginary running friends as you run.  It can really clear the path in busy city centres.)

My legs and stomach are likely going to really freak out with the 2 miles I have planned for tomorrow as well.  But before you go off on one about how I’ll injure myself I am currently “just moving.”  Translate into: Not worried about being fast at the moment. Well, trying not to be.  My little running tracker tells me that I’m currently not only struggling to make 4 miles but I’m also slightly faster than a sloth.

(Hey, did you know I’m fundraising for sloths?  And pandas?  And panthers?  I’m also fundraising for the humans as well.  Check it out!  Give me a fiver!  Guilt me into continuing this madness!)

Thing is, I’m not letting this get me down.  If I were a few days from the marathon and only up to 4 miles, then I would be down.  I started all this super early because the first thing I want to do is build up the ability to endure.  The majority of doing the training is just building up the tolerance so that you can, come marathon day, willingly endure.

But until then I’ll enjoy the funeral marches being played on the Spotify running app, which is supposed to match your tempo to the music.  All being well in a few months time I’ll be up death metal… and lapping that sloth.

How to plan your marathon training in 6 easy steps.

  1. Grab a handy weekly planner.  You’ll need about 15-17 weeks to properly train for a marathon.
  2. Search the web for training plans that meet your marathon goals.  Though I hasten to add you need to be realistic in your planning.  If you have, for instance, never run a marathon before you may want to consider solidly finishing your first over qualifying for Boston.
  3. Once you’ve found a good plan get your calendar out.  On the days you work, block out work time.
  4. Every other free space you have left write in “running.” You can elaborate to match your plan later, but this is pretty much what you’ll be doing.
  5. Say goodbye to your friends, family, and social life.
  6. Begin marathon training.

Donate now for extra tips on why the above is seemingly a good idea for me for the third time.

On Wussing Out.

So, tomorrow is the Oxford Half Marathon, which I registered for.

I registered right after they released the course information.  For those who had run the earlier courses, which kept you mostly out of the city, I was thrilled.  If you go to the course info right now it pretty much outlines my absolute favourite areas of the city to run.  The whole idea of people blocking off said areas for me to run through excited me.  It would be like the Rome Marathon all over again. (PS – To anyone reading who didn’t get into London – RUN ROME)

I had meant to get around to training for it.  It’s not like I’m just lazying about.  I’m still bike commuting, pole fitnessing (I can do this now!), and eating seasonal like a hippie.

But I wasn’t putting in the distance training.

See, here’s the deal: YOU HAVE TO DO THE TRAINING.  I know this.  I’ve been running for a long time, the mantra is etched into my brain.

But yet, I didn’t.

I wish I could tell you it was because I was sick.  Or I broke something.  Or I was jet setting across the world with all my billionaire friends and the personal trainer was too busy with Beyonce.

But I don’t have a good reason.

I just didn’t do it.

If I go tomorrow I know I’d be fine through the 10k point.  Likely a bit further.  But, just like with a marathon, there is a wall.  For me it’s 9 miles.  I would be 4 stinking miles from the end and my legs would be in this conversation with my brain like so:

Legs: “Hey, um, brain?”

Brain: “Yeah?”

Legs: “Um, we haven’t done this in awhile.  Can we stop?”

Brain: “No.”

Legs: “We disagree with your assessment, we’re going to stop now.”

Brain: “It’s not a good idea, guys.  We’re 4 miles from the end.”

Legs: “Shutting down now.”

Brain: “What? No…”

Legs: “Yeah, here we go… from the knees…”

Brain: “Noooooo!”

(After writing this I’m glad my legs cannot act independently of me.  They would totally do this.  I know it.  Dang you, legs.)

So, long story longer I’ve decided not to run the Oxford Half Marathon.  This, of course, drags up all sorts of emotions.  It’s odd because I go from relief to wanting to cry.  It’s like I’m doing what I know is right for me while disappointing myself at the exact same time.

Instead, I’m going to start my London Marathon distance training.

And, like a good trainee, I’m starting small and building up so I can be strong come April.

I’ll be taking a route away from the fanfare, and I’ll be rocking my jersey from the National Autistic Society, who I will be supporting along with the WWF come April.

But, yeah, I feel like I’m wussing out.

There’s a bee in my house. #LondonMarathon

On Thursday, October 1st I came home to a startling revelation:

2015-10-01 19.50.23

That’s right.  I got myself back into the London Marathon.

I’m fairly sure this was some sort of freak result, likely an error in the ballot system because surely this could not be mine.  Flabbergasted, I took a photo of a woman dressed as a bee, posted it to Facebook, and then immediately went to bed.  My assumption was I would awake and there would be a rejection magazine and some rejection article of clothing (I was looking forward to adding a rejection shirt, water bottle, or bum bag to my collection).  But no, the bee was still there.  She was looking at me with her eyes as if to say, “Yes, you know this is true.” That or, “I’m at mile 18 here and pretty much hallucinating!  Yay!  I’m a bee!  London Marathon!  Yay!”

And I had to accept it.

Okay, so I had to still process it for a few days.

Primarily the acceptance came from my husband, who would giggle at me whenever I looked at him.  The rest from my colleagues, who looked at me like I was crazy… except for one of them who ran it last year.  Upon my announcement he said, and I quote, “Congratulations!  And my condolences.”  Following this he patted me sympathetically on the back and pointed out he was wearing last year’s finisher shirt.  “I wear this every Friday to remind me I’m awesome.”

And so, after day four of the bee still being in my house I’m saying it to the world, “I’m running London in 2016.  I’m running it again.  For a second time.  Willingly.”

And yes, of course I’m going to fundraise.  Guilt is what makes me train.  I’ve got a half marathon next weekend and I’m going to run it on the wings of stupidity because by not signing up to fundraise I didn’t properly train.

You’re going to love that blog, I just know it.

Dearest Readers of the Orange Squeaky


Guest blog by Natassia, cat and Reigning Monarch of the Orange Squeaky Household.

Greetings to my loyal subjects both here and outside these four walls and five windowsills which encompass my realm.

I wished to thank you for your support of my chambermaid’s efforts to run to, I assume, fetch me some tuna or perhaps a better spot of sunlight in which to bathe my black fur.

I must admit when I first allowed the human to serve and house me I did not quite understand her decision to leave my realm only to return in a stinky state one or more hours later.  However, as I do enjoy a good smelly shirt or perhaps a tool bag or large and unwieldy quantity of catnip now and again I thought it was simply to please me.

Turns out that she, like myself, cares for all creatures.  For instance, she raises money for the PDSA.  I allow a dog to live in my presence.  It’s these types of incredible acts which show that I am truly a compassionate monarch and have merely inspired my on demand lap to look to similar activities.

So, feel free to carry on supporting her.  She’s nice most of the time though should consider upping the quantity of chin scratches she could dispense.

Not that I’m complaining, I’m merely suggesting.  I have claws.  I just wanted to make her aware of this fact.

With loving and warm regards,


The Orange Squeaky is demands making


hullo humans.  i is finley doggie.  i is orange squeaky.

where is ball?  go get ball?  go outside play?

i be distracted. i pologise.

human lady who love me win spot in running.  i like running.  i like orange ball.

where ball?  go get ball?  outside play?  chase outside kitty?

oh no, i be distracted gain.

human lady tell me she wants to get monies for doggies and kitties.

mostly doggies.  i like kitties.  kitty bing my best friend.  but mostly doggies.

human lady say she loves me.  i am good dog.  i think she wants to give me bath.

no like bath.

human lady shows me pdsa.  human lady say they help doggies and kitties.

human lady say they give good tummy rubs and make sad doggies and kitties happy.

mostly doggies.

please give for my human.  she go running outside.  maybe she take ball.

where ball?  i get ball go outside?

oh dear, i distracted.

please give human lady. she nice.  except when i take bath.  no like bath.

like ball.

go get ball?