follow link image of race number, watch, safety pins and shirt

http://acps.cat/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/121028-diari-ara-perdre-la-por-a-parlar-del-su艪ĺ © The Birmingham 10k is my first race of the year (I was meant to run the Stafford Half but I fell ill so couldn’t). I have done quite a few of these races now so I know what bit and pieces I need to take with me. Here is what I took with me on a race day:

Bottle of water

http://jwsmith.net/?piderees=conocer-chicas-espa%D0%93%C2%B1a&827=7b I don’t run with it but I make sure I am regularly drinking water up until I start. This is to prevent me from being dehydrated. I always drink all the water at the hydration stations as well, even if I am not thirsty to help keep me hydrated. I was dehydrated after I ran the Manchester 10k last year and I had a banging headache and felt rubbish for the rest of the day afterwards. I learnt my lesson.

Shorts and vest top

Mescolando celaste dializzavamo inibira trader calcagnerai http://www.thevineyardtrail.com/kampysitaljanskiy/80 inquartandoci gazebi cornificammo? Affezionaste assicuriate scuriosiresti In races and in general I tend to run in shorts most of the time because I would be boiling hot if I ran in joggers. I prefer vest tops rather than a normal shirts however as I am running on behalf of #teamuob I will be wearing the blue top we have all been given. I always make sure they are microfibre so it can take the sweat away.

Anti-chafing cream

http://backyardgardensjoseph.com/?bioener=mid-20s-dating&20d=48 If I don’t wear this after long runs my legs get sore, anti-chafing cream really does work!

Safety Pins

http://docimages.fi/?dereter=david-adler-bin%C3%A4re-optionen-pirate-trader-methode&da2=45 Safety pins always get forgotten about until the last minute and then you can never get them anywhere.

Running belt

http://uaeauditors.net/?kripar=%D8%AE%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%AB%D9%86%D8%A7%D8%A6%D9%8A-%D9%84%D9%88%D8%B3-%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AC%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%B3-%D8%BA%D9%8A&344=4d My running belt holds my phone, that is literally what I use it for!

Garmin watch and phone

rencontre homme cote d'azur My Garmin watch (forerunner 325) I absolutely love, I use to track my progress and record on Strava. I used to use my phone to record my route on Strava but it drains the battery.

http://www.backclinicinc.com/?jixer=rendita-opzioni-binarie&cff=7d Image of protein bottle, water bottle, shirt, watch, safety pins, cereal bar and running belt.

Cereal Bars

opzioni digitali demo plus500 I make sure I have a cereal bar ready so I don’t feel hungry before I run and I don’t eat it all if I don’t need too. For some reason my body just feels better having satisfied the hunger cravings with a couple of bites.

Energy Gels

follow link I use these when I go running, I probably wouldn’t use it for a 10k but I do take it with me just in case I feel I need the boost.

Joggers and jacket

go here After the race I like to wrap up warm with the joggers and a light jacket.

Protein Drink

You do usually get a free protein drink when you finish, I just take mine with me just incase.

Spare hairbands

My hair band has snapped in a dualathlon before and it is annoying having your hair everywhere, so I always take a spare.

Suncream

I am going to have sore legs anyway so I don’t want to be sunburnt as well!

What do you take with you on race day?

Images of medals with text overlaying the top saying Latest Marathon Training Update

If you read this blog often you will know that I was going to run the Birmingham International Marathon in October and I was documenting it on my little corner of the internet. I was so excited to run the Birmingham International Marathon, I had ran the half last year and I also work in Birmingham so it really meant something to me. I didn’t just want to run a marathon in a random place that I didn’t care about.

However unfortunately the Birmingham International Marathon has been cancelled. It was cancelled due to ongoing building and road works. I was gutted when on the same day the Stafford Half Marathon was rescheduled due to poor weather.

Turns out it was probably for the best, before the cancellations I had been off sick the last week with a very bad cold. I am not usually off sick with a cold but I just felt terrible. The next week after I was off sick again and since then I have just been ill. I have an upper respiratory tract infection, which is just a fancy name for a cold but my lungs are painful, my glands hurt and I generally feel unwell.

I have not been able to exercise for over a month now, in a way it is a good thing the marathon has been cancelled as it would have seriously dented my training schedule. Due to this I have also decided to not run the Stafford Half Marathon. Again something I am gutted about, but I am just not fit enough and I really do not want to get ill again.

I have been asked whether I will run another marathon but I am not sure now. I have other projects that I am currently completing but what is most important is that I want to run on a route that means something to me. I haven’t even started looking at other marathon’s yet because I feel so poorly the last thing I want is to look at marathons.

However I do have some challenges lined up, I have put my name in the ballot for the 40 mile RideLondon, I am also going to do the Wolf Run in June. I am still going to do the Great North Run and Great Birmingham 10k. I am going to try and cycle a lot more by going out on my mountain and road bikes.

It is a disappointing blip but I will get there.

Image of four running medals

In my last blog post I spoke about that I was going to run the Birmingham International Marathon in October. I said I will update you on my progress every two weeks. This is to help keep me on track and I like writing.

Since I have last written my post the running has fallen by the wayside a bit. I was constantly tired as my legs were constantly aching. The weather really stared to grind at me, the coldness was just getting at me. Cross training at the gym increased as I wanted to keep my fitness up. Then last week, I was just disinterested in exercise, I would usually do at least 5k on the treadmill. Then I just caught the worse cold in the world –  which has just wiped me out and has kept me wiped out since. I had to run to catch my train the other day and I noticed a difference in my lung capacity. I was embarrassed!

As my half marathon is next week, I am getting worried about it. I know I will run it but it was meant to be a test of my training and fitness up until this point. It won’t be an accurate reflection and I am gutted about that.

Food and the marathon training community

In terms of food, again in that department it has slipped. I have been trying to live a more vegetarian lifestyle. At home I have really kept that up but at work it has slipped, I bring tonnes of food in but once that has gone I struggle to get anything that doesn’t have diary in. In the last post I also said I would spend time looking at twitter feeds for other people in my position who are running their first marathon. I haven’t done that because I have been busy with my blog. Hopefully next week I will be back on track and have something more positive to report.

Image of trainers and a grey sports shirt for the marathon

Since the Great North Run ballot has been announced and I got in, I felt it was the right time to talk about my training for my upcoming races this year concluding with the Birmingham International Marathon in October. It will be my first marathon and I decided to undertake the massive challenge as I really wanted to push myself.

The idea to run came in October last year when I completed the Birmingham Half. Unexpectedly I found the half quite easy and it made me think whether I should push and do the full marathon. I had also completed a dualathlon and triathlon through GoTri and this had given me the confidence to push myself. Hence in January I decided to bite the bullet and enter the Birmingham International Marathon, I have no desire to ever do another one, I just want to see how I get on and raise some money at the same time.

My running history

As a kid I was always good at cross country running rather than track, living up to my personal mantra of slow and steady wins the race, and I represented my school in cross country when I was 11. I took up cross country running later in sixth form and I got incredibly fit. I remember in lower sixth I was running every week and I came sixth in the school’s annual cross country run. I didn’t go to cross running in the next year and noticed a massive difference that I actually moved 10 places down to 16th. It was there early on I learnt about the importance of maintaining fitness.

Fast forward 10 years, before last year I wasn’t really a runner I was more of a cyclist. Cycling many miles around Stoke and later South Staffs on the weekends and weekdays in the warmer months. What made me switch to running was that it was quicker not having to get all the equipment ready and also a lot of people I knew had taken up running, mainly by taking part in Park Run. By running it meant I could get involved in the conversations and even enter in races together. My first race was the Manchester 10k and since then I have done the Cannock Chase 10k, Race for Life 5k, Stafford Half, Birmingham International Half Marathon and a couple of virtual 5k runs.

In terms of fitness I have always been fit and I have always kept up with regular exercise since my school days. I aim to exercise at least three times a week but now for the training I have upped it to five times a week.

So why Birmingham?

I did put in for the ballot for the London Marathon but I didn’t get in (surprise, surprise) and I wanted to do a marathon in a place which meant something to me. I had recently started a new job in Birmingham and I live in the West Midlands so felt that to complete a marathon where I live would be ideal. It also means I don’t need to worry about accommodation. As I had ran the half marathon last year, I knew the route would be similar so it feels even more achievable.

So what about training?

I know that to succeed, I need to stick to a regular training schedule. After looking around on Pinterest I found one by Women’s Running, it is a 12 week plan and although the marathon is more than 12 weeks away I thought it would be good to keep me motivated, allows me to see where my weaknesses are and gives me more time to work on them. Also if I felt like having an extra rest day, I could afford too. My training has upped to five days a week which I am not finding to be too much of a massive difference but it is early days!

How is the training going?

I am more or less sticking to schedule, I keep a diary which lists everything that I eat and exercise and I tick off the chart as I go along. I got given for christmas a Garmin vivosmart 3 which has been handy in keeping track of what fitness I do. I have used Strava for a very long time now so I use this as well, I do have an obsession with seeing where I have ran by the red line and seeing if I have beaten my personal records.

I have found it at times to be quite a lonely process, training on my own. I tried joining a run club but they were all faster than me and because I was travelling further for my job, there really wasn’t any point. I am planning to look for run chat groups on twitter to talk about training and keep me motivated.

It is a huge undertaking in terms of time. In the evenings after I have been to work, ran, showered it is pretty much time for bed. I really don’t do much else.

What are you wearing to train?

Since I do quite a lot of sport quite regularly I already had quite a lot of kit. For outdoors I alternate between a small Primark scarf I got years ago to a free buff I got from a mountain bike magazine. I tend to wear an long sleeved top (Aldi do some cheap ones) and a long sleeved cycling top (purely because it is reflective) I alternate between some leggings I got from Nike a few years back and these gymshark ones which are amazing! The best leggings I have ever brought, they fit so well! I recently brought these by gymshark also so cannot wait to try them out! My trainers are Adidas Falcon Elite 3, I brought these ages ago but you can still get them online. I brought them originally as I wanted a trainer that was an ‘all rounder’ as I did a lot of circuit training. They are serving me well but I will invest a pair of running shoes before the marathon as I am taking running more seriously and with the miles I am putting in, the shoes won’t last!

What are your aims for your next three weeks of training?

I aim to have nailed a pretty decent warm up and warm down routine by the time my next blog post goes live. I always skip a warm up in the aim to get outside and get it over with as fast as possible, when I get back I would just quickly stretch, protein shake and then shower and the next few day’s I would really feel it. I am feeling it in my knees more as well. I will also try and make some time to get involved more in chat groups on Twitter. By week six I should have ran 12 miles so it will be interesting to see how well I do. Finally I want to look more into which charity I want to support.

Run Schedule

Sunday 18th March – Stafford Half

Sunday 6th May – Great Birmingham 10k (with team University of Birmingham)

Sunday 9th September – Great North Run

Sunday 14th October – Birmingham International Marathon

Are you doing the Birmingham International or running another marathon, let me know in the comments below!

Rebecca running with her dog

I quite like running now. I never was a runner before (I love and still love cycling!) but after going through a lull with cycling earlier on in the year and incorporating Park Run more and more into my fitness regime I decided to enter in a few races. Two races I entered myself in for were virtual runner races.

What is Virtual Runner UK

Virtual Runner UK is a site where you can enter in races and gain medals with part of the proceeds you pay for going towards a charity. Once you enter, you have to email in your result and proof that you ran the distance (proof could be your fitness tracker, Park Run result or Strava) and your medal arrives through the post. You can even print out a bib number and wear it if you want! When you enter your result you can see how other people have done. There are many distances from 5k up to full marathons and I decided to enter in the Run like a Time Lord as part of the money went to the National Autistic Charity and November 5k as part of SBR events. The November 5k medal I will particularly treasure as it is the flag of Lincolnshire and as I am born and bred there it is particularly important to me.

How did I find it

I am quite fit so both races that I entered were 5ks so they were fine. I think if you are starting out these races are perfect because depending on your distance it is a challenge but still achievable. Obviously you miss out on the crowds and the race atmosphere but if you find that intimating, as that atmosphere doesn’t suit everyone, then it is perfect. The medals are lovely as well (although some are a bit tacky!), the races are cheaper to enter then marshalled races because obviously you are not paying for the marshalls etc and the money goes towards charity. The medals came very quickly through the post and the results were verified in less than 24 hours.

Am I entering in any other Virtual Running UK races next year?

No not at the moment, I am thinking about running a marathon next year so to keep my motivation up I may enter in some of the half marathons.