Wednesday, 15 September 2010

This is it

So I guess it's time to sign off. This was started as a way to get me to last Saturday... mission accomplished. Thank you for reading and commenting over the last couple of years. Plan is to keep running, but not the same distances as I have been for the half marathon, but this story's run its course I think.

I'll leave you with my other blog about my other love, food - Eat Big.

Plus some other running blogs to check out:
Around the year in 24 pints
Hauling my carcass
Running Amok
I run because I love food
Bristol Running Resource

And some photos from the big day (most taken by the best big brother I've got).

Monday, 6 September 2010

The day after the day before

Although it would be a lie to say I am painfree, I am surprisingly not too bad today. Not very tired, just achey in the legs, with a very sore back and left ankle. Off for a sports massage tonight to relieve some of this, but actually all the pain is being eclipsed by a cold that is creeping up on me.

I suppose I should be grateful to the lurgy (no doubt a gift from Matt) for not coming a day earlier, but it's still not welcome!

Sunday, 5 September 2010

The Bristol Half Marathon

I almost can't believe that I am saying this after everything that's happened - but today I completed the Bristol Half Marathon.

When I first set myself this challenge, I wanted to break the two hour mark, but as it became clear that I was not going to have an easy ride with the training, I was happy to settle for getting round. And today I did myself proud with a time of two hours, five minutes and 31 seconds.

Unexpectedly (for me at least, having not checked the forecast) it was raining as we left this morning and rained for the first half hour of the race. But I had a good start, and probably went a bit fast but enjoyed it. It was amazing to run along the Portway and see the elite runners coming back the other way ridiculously fast, but not long after I got to see and wave at Matt (who managed, even with a stinking cold, to get 1:24) and after that various other friends which distracted me. I barely noticed the distance of that stretch, it flew by. Only bad bit was getting about three stitches in the first 40mins - not nice.

I stuck behind a girl wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with her name - Emily - to piggy back some cheers for a while, and later ran alongside a gorilla to pretend all the cheers were for me again! At the end of the first 10k I  felt it, but kept drinking at every stop and had a few energy sweets and then for the next 5km or so I felt AMAZING. I felt like I could take on the world and probably finish in about 1:30. I tried smiling to see if it made me feel better and it did, it also made other people smile back at me and cheer. I was loving it at that stage.

I didn't hurt at any stage, but after 15km I started to feel pretty tired. I was getting shivers as my clothes and hair dried which was a bit unpleasant. I also didn't really know too well where the route would take me from this stage. My friend Sophie thrust some jelly babies into my hand near Queens Square, and I had fun clapping the hands of lines of kids who stood around the edge of the square.

After that, the last 4km or so was really hard work. I slowed right down, and got disoriented which is ridiculous considering how well I know this part of the city. There was a nasty hill with about 3km, and I couldn't find the song I wanted on my Ipod shuffle, but then I spied the finish and got excited. Only 2km to go, and I was at 1:50 ish - I delusionally imagined I could get to the end within the two hour mark but then the course cruelly snaked off around the city centre.

I tried to power up enough to look good in the final 100m, to pass my parents, brother and Matt, threw my arms in the air for the camera on the finish line and then very nearly collapsed. I walked in a daze to get the chip taken off my shoe, got a silver foil blanket wrapped around my shoulders, got a kid to put the medal around my neck and picked up a bag - by this time I was really hurting and feeling exhausted.

Matt was waiting for me as I emerged from the finish area, put his arms around me and I burst into tears - I couldn't believe I had done it!

A great morning, great crowd of runners (apart from the guy who ran past me in the last mile and leant in to inform me he was in the second wave of runners, who started half an hour after my wave, before overtaking me - git) and brilliant support from people who didn't even know me as well as my family, Matt and friends.

I lay in a hot bath when I got home feeling awful - really sick and knackered, but I have perked up a bit after a hearty lunch with my gang at Clifton Sausage with a few glasses of red wine! Now have my feet up on the sofa with ice moving from my hips to my knees to my ankles and back to the start. Toes are covered in blisters. But you know what they say - no pain, no gain.

Job done.

Pictures to follow...

The big day

I'm up, dressed, I've had a bowl of bran flakes and a banana and am trying to forget that I feel very nervous and sick! I spent all night dreaming about the race - the main one being that I went on Dragon's Den to ask for sponsorship and Carol Vorderman was a guest dragon and she gave me £20,000.

So we're all ready to go. I just said to Matt that I felt really sick.
Matt: "It's because you are. Sick in the head - we're about too run a stupid distance."
Moments later he added: "Hey, Em - your number's got 13 in it."

I've got my new socks on (thanks James and Ben) and my now semi-famous bright pink t-shirt so that my parents can spot me (Matt: "Are you sure you should wear that? If your photo goes in the paper again, everyone's going to think you only have one top and never wash it.").

Bring it on! I think.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

This time tomorrow...

... I will be done!

Can't believe this day is here. I went for a gentle jog this morning so that's it - nothing left to do apart from drink loads and eat lots of pasta! Matt has arrived home after working away with a stinking cold so I am avoiding him like the plague, I don't need any of that thanks.

Meanwhile, my face has (rather embarrassingly) made it onto the front page of the Western Daily Press today. Right between council job cuts and potholes - where I always wanted to be! Although, as Matt pointed out, I am bigger than Monty Don...

Saturday, 28 August 2010

One week to go!

A week to go until the big day.

I wrote a piece for the Bristol Evening Post about the last couple of years - basically what's on this blog, it's in today's paper.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Sleeeeeepy part 2

A bit yawny again tonight, having done pretty much the exact same run as Tuesday, only backwards. 10km up on the Downs, felt really good tonight and good to unwind after what's been a pretty busy week at work. Got cramp in my foot as my watch read 9.99km... ouch! Hope that doesn't happen on the 5th... aarrgh so soon!

In between days are consisting of icing my knees, eating and resting, although hoping to get some tennis in tomorrow... My face appeared in the Evening Post today - a pic of me and Matt in the Bristol 10k last year where I saw one of the photographers from work and stopped to wave. Bit of a shock as I didn't know it was going in! And also a bit of a joke as the headline was something about "elite running races" - and there I was, a very un-elite runner!!!!

Have booked a lovely meal for after the race with Matt and a few of my old housemates from uni who are running it/supporting - something to look forward to.

Only a week left of this blog too I suppose! Thanks for reading...