Target 26.2 - First Timer Steve's Journey to Paris

1181921232429

Comments

  • I've not checked in for a while but I've got a big weekend planned. Finally getting my 50th parkrun on Saturday and I'm doing the Llanelli half on Sunday. I managed to shave 10 seconds off my parkrun PB last week and I'm now at 22:14 and hoping I can beat my half PB of 1:49. Our times started out fairly even stevens at the start of training but you seem to be flying!

    Good luck at parkrun!

  • Steve loves bacon wrote (see)
    RUTH MCKEAN wrote (see)

    Steve

    Hope to have some menus with me on Saturday! See you then, have a good week.

    Ruth

    Hi Ruth, are you taking me out for dinner then??image

    Look forward to seeing you Saturday - as you may have noticed, I'm pretty easily pleased when it comes to food...

    Steve

    Have to cancel dinner as I won't be there tomorrow! I look forward to hearing how it goes tomorrow.  

    Ruth

  • Been great catching up with steve Mel ady - and alex and Sarah of course - at training day today. But it's looking like steve's fall a few weeks back may have done more damage than we thought. It hasn't really eased off (steve had to abandon a 5 miler this week 1.5 miles in as it was so painful). So the plan is to take off a full 5 days, along with a course of anti inflammatories and regular icing to see if we can calm it down. It's obviously a bit of a setback at this stage in the game but this approach gives steve tge best chance of returning to pain free training. Fingers crossed please, everyone!
  • Sorry to see the bad news image  Hope the rest sorts it out pronto!

  • PC -PC - ✭✭✭
    5 days is nothing, it's like a practice taper. You've worked extremely hard, you merit your place at Target26,2. You're in good hands. Looking forward to seeing you in Paris.
  • jenfjenf ✭✭✭

    Look after yourself Steve x

  • PAUL FORDE wrote (see)

    Hi Steve, hope the knee is feeling better. I have no idea what time to aim for at Silverstone having never done a half before but the plan is just to get out there, enjoy it and see how I get on. I definitely plan on boosting my carb intake in the couple of days leading up to the race...does cake count?!

    What are your other PBs? I know I've only done three halfs but I personally definitely felt like I benefitted from having a goal to aim for and a pace in mind to stick to... It doesn't mean you have to go nuts and smash a world record or anything, but I think having a pace definitely kept me focused in my last two halfs. What do you think Sam?

    Haha I'm sure a bit of cake will do you wondersimage

  • Kandinsky wrote (see)

    Blimey I go away for a week and it feels as if I've stumbled into the Good For Age thread by mistake!

    Which parkrun are you planning to run?  I might be biased but Chelmsford has PB written all over it, almost completely flat and on paved paths for the majority of the route the only thing you'll need to be careful of is the wheezing bearded bloke you'll most likely be overtaking on the first corner image

    Great work Steve, keep it up!

    Haha - good for age... I wish!! Thanks image

    I am probably going to end up doing Southend as I will have my son with me and my friend who keeps an eye on him while I run lives in Southend... Have you run that one? It's also incredibly flat and 95% on tarmac.

  • Clive Kelty wrote (see)
    Hi Steve, sorry not to catch up sooner. Great long run, pacing excellent-
    You must be getting confident for the big day!

    Hope the knee feeling better for the park run this weekend. Another pb planned?

    Hi Clive, no worries - it's so hard to keep on top of all the threads!! Plus we've been catching up a bit on Twitter as well image

    Yes, the pacing went very well - we did a bit of marathon pacing both with and without the Garmins today... was a very interesting session and really made me realise just how much I do rely on the watch!

    The parkrun is not for another couple of weeks so we'll see how it goes!

    How are you? All good?

  • KatyLo wrote (see)

    I've not checked in for a while but I've got a big weekend planned. Finally getting my 50th parkrun on Saturday and I'm doing the Llanelli half on Sunday. I managed to shave 10 seconds off my parkrun PB last week and I'm now at 22:14 and hoping I can beat my half PB of 1:49. Our times started out fairly even stevens at the start of training but you seem to be flying!

    Good luck at parkrun!

    Hi Katy, 50 parkruns is amazing - well done you! I've only done one!! How did it go?

    Good luck with the half tomorrow, are you feeling in good shape for a PB? It sounds like it after PBing over 5k... speed shouldn't be a problem!

    Thank you - I've got a couple of weeks for the knee to recover before then so hopefully I'll be fighting fit for it...image

  • RUTH MCKEAN wrote (see)
    Steve

    Have to cancel dinner as I won't be there tomorrow! I look forward to hearing how it goes tomorrow.  

    Ruth

    We missed you today, Ruth!

  • Tenjiso wrote (see)

    Sorry to see the bad news image  Hope the rest sorts it out pronto!

    Thanks Ten, going to do exactly what I'm told, take it very easy and see how it goes - lots of positive thinking and ice and it'll all be great. image

  • PC91 wrote (see)
    5 days is nothing, it's like a practice taper. You've worked extremely hard, you merit your place at Target26,2. You're in good hands. Looking forward to seeing you in Paris.

    Thanks PC, I really appreciate you saying that. And I definitely am in good hands -physio Sarah and Sam were amazing today and I really did feel so lucky to have them taking so much time over me and giving me the benefit of their expertise! Hopefully it's nothing serious but if it is then we'll manage it... One thing is for sure, I'll be crossing that finish line in Paris one way or another image

  • jenf wrote (see)

    Look after yourself Steve x

    Thanks Jen, it really means a lot to have so many kind words image

    Looking forward to getting back out running after the rest!

  • Training – Week 11

    Well it has been a bit of a roller coaster week, what with one thing and another!

    I have done my usual “been stupidly busy at work”, on one occasion attended four hearings in a single day meaning I left home at 6:40am and didn’t get home until after midnight, ran a very consistent fast session on one day, broke down mid-run, injured, on another day and been to Birmingham and back to meet up with everyone for training day two...

    Monday and Tuesday

    Monday was down as a cross training day but, what with my knee being still very sore following the 17 miles on Sunday, I thought it best to rest it completely and spent the evening with it elevated on a pile of cushions and iced for all my worth.

    Tuesday was the day of many hearings so I swapped the four miles to Thursday and took the rest day that I had scheduled then – this seemed like it was actually a pretty good idea as it gave me another day of “rest” (a relative term when you are out at work for such stupidly long hours, but still!) for the knee... So far so good.

  • Wednesday – 2 MILE WARM UP, 4 MILES FAST (7:10 – 7:25M/M), 1 MILE EASY (8:10 – 9:15M/M

    Actual – 2 mile warm up, 4 miles fast, 1 mile easy

    Feeling very rested and pain-free after my two days off, I headed out for this session feeling full of energy and looking forward to trying out more of my new pacings.

    The two miles of warm up went fine with no problems and I cracked on with the four miles at the fast pace. Me being me, I tried to run at the upper end of the pace bracket I had been given, 7:10m/m, and it felt surprisingly ok. It did feel fast... but then it was supposed to! I didn’t feel like I was pushing too hard and was pretty satisfied at the end of the four miles that I had run a good session. The last mile at easy pace felt fine as well and I got home without incident.

    I got through the miles in the following:

    Warm Up

    Mile 1 – 8:24

    Mile 2 – 8:17

    Four miles fast

    Mile 3 – 7:07

    Mile 4 – 7:09

    Mile 5 – 7:11

    Mile 6 –7:07

    Overall pace: 7:09 m/m

    One mile easy

    Mile 7 – 8:11

    Here’s the Garmin Connect info.

    My knee didn’t feel too bad although, by the end of the seven miles, I could feel definitely feel it. I wouldn’t say it was painful as such, but there was something there. Unfortunately, by the end of the evening, it had flared up quite badly and was pretty painful so I spent another evening with my leg up on cushions and a packet of peas on it.

  • Thursday – 4 MILES EASY (8:10 -  9:15M/M)

    Actual – 1.6 miles easy

    This was the session I had swapped from Tuesday and was pretty much a recovery jog as much as anything so I went out with headphones in to take it easy and chill out.

    My knee had been a little sore throughout the day, which wasn’t ideal, but it hadn’t been exactly painful so I wasn’t overly worried.

    I started to run and within a few hundred yards I noticed that the pain level was increasing... and I didn’t make it much beyond a mile and a half before it was bloody agony and I had to bail on the run. Not good! I hobbled home and did the now familiar RICE routine... Bad times.

    The next day, Friday, I could still feel it so I ended up talking on the phone to physio Sarah to see what she advised as I had another run scheduled. She said it was best not to run on it again until after she had had a look on Saturday (if nothing else, I timed the injury well!) and said that I could maybe try swimming or similar to keep up the cardio-vascular exercise without the impact. In the end though, as it really was very sore, I decided against cross-training and just rested again.

  • Training – Week 11

    Saturday – Training Day Two

    Saturday was another training day and another great excuse to meet up with the gang again.

    I drove up the night before and stayed in what turned out to quite possibly be the loudest, busiest Travelodge known to man. It looked quite nice in the photo on the website but turned out to be on what seemed like a mega-busy street in the centre of the city which was full of pubs and clubs. As I drove down the street, I actually had to lower my windows and turn my stereo up to full-blast just to stop getting funny looks.

    As I headed into reception to check in, what I can only assume was a woman under make up that looked about three feet deep tottered past me on eight inch stiletto heels. I had to look away as her peroxide blonde hair was so bright it was blinding so unfortunately I can’t tell you if she made it safely down the stairs outside...

    I spent most of the evening/night listening to doors banging and drunk people staggering past my door but, come morning, I felt surprisingly fresh and certainly a lot fresher than if I had woken up at stupid o’clock to head up that morning!

    Mel had stayed in the same hotel so we met up for breakfast and both ate very healthy breakfasts, completely ignoring the scrambled egg, sausages and bacon on offer. Honest. The only downside was that I was left feeling a little disappointed as I couldn’t find any brown sauce to go on my... er... fruit and fibre.

    We headed to the university campus and met up with the rest of the Target 26.2 runners, the team from Runners World and the experts.

    After my conversations with physio Sarah during the week, my first session was with her to see how the knee was getting on. She stretched me and pulled me about in various ways to see if she could discover any problems.

    Sarah found that pretty much every single muscle from my back down to my ankle was tight and so she set to work loosening everything up for me (and, as she loves to do, causing me considerable pain in the process!). Thankfully, given that the cameras were rolling, I just about managed to stop myself screaming like a five year old girl...

    Having had a good work through of everything, Sarah advised that it would probably be best for me to give the first session a go, as that was going to be at goal marathon pace, and then see how it all felt before the faster session on the track that was planned for after lunch.

    I then had a chat with Sam and we reviewed my progress. Slight tellings off about exceeding my pacings once or twice by just a little aside, she was generally very pleased with my progress and we had a good old chat about a few things. Sam is so knowledgeable about running and friendly in general that I could have sat chatting to her all day! We also spoke a little about what to do post-marathon in terms of how and when to start building up the running again and also to ensure a period of recovery afterwards as well, which I hadn’t really properly considered up until now so I found that very useful.

    We then headed out to a towpath alongside the canal that runs alongside the university campus to do the first session and had a few photos taken whilst dodging walkers, joggers and bikes on the rather narrow path. Once we had finished, we headed straight into the first session.

    The session involved running two miles at goal marathon pace with our Garmin watches... then stopping and having our watches confiscated before running another two miles and trying to stick to the same pace. I don’t know about you but I rely seriously heavily on my watch to control my pace so I was somewhat nervous about how I was going to handle this!

    I had, rather helpfully I’m sure you’ll agree, left my watch

  • ...

    in the lecture theatre back on campus and so Kat from Runners World, muttering expletives to herself, had to run back to fetch it for me whilst we headed out for a mile and a half warm up.

    We did the first two miles, with watches, and it was fairly straightforward. My goal marathon pace is 8:35m/m and it was fairly easily to stick close to this with the pace right there on my wrist to check... but then we stopped and had our watches taken away.

    We were given staggered starts to try to get us all finishing the two miles at roughly the same time and I set off at my prescribed time feeling like I had no idea at what speed I should be running! Normally it wouldn’t have been too bad but, with everyone watching, especially Sam, I did feel a little nervous about completely mucking it up!

    The route was a simple one mile out, one mile back alongside the canal so we all passed each other during the run... I passed the other four in completely different places to where I had passed them on the first session so I wasn’t feeling amazingly confident that I had got the pacing spot on!

    As it turned out, though, I managed to do surprisingly well – I completed the second two miles in 17:02, meaning that I had averaged 8:31m/m, only 4 seconds off of goal pace. I was pretty pleased with that and it was a lot, lot closer than I had thought it would be.

    So. Kneewatch (think Badgerwatch. But without the badgers). The back of my knee was feeling a little tender following Sarah having worked on it but we were expecting this so I wasn’t too worried. I finished the first two miles and the knee as a whole was starting to feel a little tender and, unfortunately, by the end of the second two miles it was back to where it had started and was very sore again.

    I was thus banned from further running for the day and, while everyone else headed off to the track for a faster session, I headed back into the lecture theatre to have some more work done by Sarah and have some ice on it.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BEbZtVDCUAAy-UP.jpg:large

    Sarah has advised me to have a scan done on the knee and it is possible that I may have torn some cartilage in my knee. When I fell a couple of weeks back, I was running around a corner so there was a fair amount of twisting involved – it could be that it happened then and has gradually built up with the miles being run on it. On the other hand, it may not be that and I could be completely fine! So fingers crossed everybody...

    If it is the cartilage then ultimately it will need surgery to fix but in the short term it will hopefully be manageable and I will be able to run the marathon, just probably a bit slower than I otherwise would have done. I had a chat with Alex and he said he had had a similar injury and still managed to run a marathon so that has made me feel a huge amount better!

    Anyway, we don’t know exactly what the problem is just yet so I will just have to wait and see what the scan comes back with... in the meantime, Sarah and Sam agreed that it was best to rest for five days, take anti-inflammatories and ice my knee twice a day for between 8 and 10 minutes a time.

  • We then had a spot of lunch and some more photos, before I had a chat with Victor, the psychologist. We discussed coping strategies for if I had any tough patches in the marathon and also had a good chat about the injury and what this would mean for my eventual performance in Paris. At the end of the day, it is all about managing my expectations and I have to say that, whatever happens, as long as I can finish then I don’t really give a stuff about how long it takes me. I would love to go really fast and I know that I am capable of running a very fast time but running a marathon is a huge, huge achievement and the time is just window dressing when it is all said and done.

    So five days rest it is... I’m bored already! image

  • I have to say Steve you took everything in we said and that was a very good summary of what we found, sounds just like my notes!!

    Keep me posted as how it's settling.

  • Hi Steve, sorry to hear about the injury. I got round The Silverstone half in 1.52 which I was really happy with as its my first time at the distance. Fingers crossed that a few days rest sorts you out and has you flying round again.
  • Hi Steve, I'm usually to be found on Mel's thread, but I just had to pop in to let you know I have my fingers crossed for your knee - if that makes sense?!



    I'm so impressed by your pragmatic approach - in contrast to my head in pillow weeping extravagantly approach - you deserve to have a speedy recovery and a great race in Paris. They do say that positive thinking speeds healing image
  • A message to Steve's Knee : give him lots of pain when you think he is causing any further damage as you nor I wish no further damage but if you could try really hard and get better very quickly we would all like you very much.

    Steve : brown sauce imageBUT if not doing much running for the next few days please try and keep all the "extras/junk" to not very much at all and portions a little smaller.

     

  • sarah asics pro team wrote (see)

    I have to say Steve you took everything in we said and that was a very good summary of what we found, sounds just like my notes!!

    Keep me posted as how it's settling.

    Hi Sarah,

    I've said it probably four or five times already but, hey, I'm going to say it again anyway - thank you so much for all your support and expertise. Especially on Saturday on training day - it really did feel like you took so much time out to focus on my knee!

    All the stretching, massaging etc made a huge difference in general to my leg and back (I'm always amazed at how tight my back is when you start working on it!!) and I felt so freed up by the time you'd finished.

  • PAUL FORDE wrote (see)
    Hi Steve, sorry to hear about the injury. I got round The Silverstone half in 1.52 which I was really happy with as its my first time at the distance. Fingers crossed that a few days rest sorts you out and has you flying round again.

    Hi Paul, thanks - these things happen so going to make the best of it and see how it goes image

    Great result in Silverstone! I've heard from others that it's not the easiest course so you must be delighted with that time! You should definitely try out the Dorney Lake half next year - it is absolutely as flat as a pancake and all on tarmac/concrete so it's really good for a fast time. Just as a comparison to make you feel even better, I ran my first half marathon in 2:36!!!

    What's up next for you? Any more races lined up before the big one?

  • wiggly worm wrote (see)
    Hi Steve, I'm usually to be found on Mel's thread, but I just had to pop in to let you know I have my fingers crossed for your knee - if that makes sense?!

    I'm so impressed by your pragmatic approach - in contrast to my head in pillow weeping extravagantly approach - you deserve to have a speedy recovery and a great race in Paris. They do say that positive thinking speeds healing image

    Hi Wiggly,

    Thank you so much - I really appreciate you crossing fingers for my knee image

    I think the thing that is keeping me pragmatic the most is just keeping reminding myself that there's no point in worrying over something I can't change. I'm doing everything I can do - resting, icing, anti-inflammatories, hassling my GP - and everything else will take care of itself one way or another. At the end of the day, it may just turn out to be nothing much and the rest will take care of it so there's no point beating myself up over it.

    And if it is cartilage then there's no way I can have the op to fix it before Paris so it will just be a case of managing it anyway.

    What I do know for sure is that I've had such an amazing time so far and met some genuinely lovely people and learnt so, so much from everyone, particularly Sam.

    Alex (the super-fast rocket-powered one) said that he has in the past had torn cartilage in his knee and still got through a marathon so I've got no excuses and will be smiling as I cross the finish line in Paris. Mainly probably due to the thought of the anaesthetic qualities of the forthcoming french wine, but smiling nonetheless!image

  • RUTH MCKEAN wrote (see)

    A message to Steve's Knee : give him lots of pain when you think he is causing any further damage as you nor I wish no further damage but if you could try really hard and get better very quickly we would all like you very much.

    Steve : brown sauce imageBUT if not doing much running for the next few days please try and keep all the "extras/junk" to not very much at all and portions a little smaller. 

    Haha let's hope the knee is listening image

    Yes, I always have brown sauce on my cereal...image

    I had some very healthy chilli this evening and kept the portion size nice and reasonable. As I cooked too much I am going to have the rest with a baked sweet potato tomorrow so I am, on the whole, being healthy! I did chop up two whole finger chillis, seeds and all, and chucked them in so it was pretty mouth-searingly hot... loved it! Definitely enjoying this cooking lark.

    How are we doing with the Paris restaurants? Any closer to a decision?

  • Training - Week 12

    Monday - Kneewatch - Day 2

    Monday saw the start of week 12 of training and the dawning of day two of Kneewatch...

    Of course, I am not allowed to run so I have spent an incredibly frustrating couple of days seeing loads of tweets about people's runs, reading all about running on here and generally winding myself up!

    I never thought I'd say this before starting this training but I've been really enjoying the longer runs and it was really frustrating to sit there yesterday resting when I should have been out for a 2hr 15min run... Argh! It's only been two days but I think because I can't run, I want to run a hundred times more than I otherwise would... Go figure.

    I managed to snag an "emergency" appointment with a GP today. There is one GP at my surgery I have seen in the past who I know is quite into her running but I couldn't get an appointment with her as she was off - I asked when her next available appointment was and was told two weeks!! Scratch that idea then! So instead, I played GP bingo and just grabbed the earliest appointment I could.

    Luckily, somehthing at least went right this week and I got a GP who I had never seen before but who clearly had a good grounding in sports - he told me that he ran himself, did a lot of mountaineering and was an ex-soldier so he fully appreciated what I was telling him.

    He also seemed to know what he was doing and did a lot of the same things physio Sarah had done at the training day to establish what the cause of concern might be.

    Thinking ahead, I had taken the latest copy of Runners World with me to try and convince whoever I saw how important this was to me (and my hundreds of thousands of adoring fans... haha) and I duly set about explaining about the whole marathon experience and what an amazing opportunity it was. He was genuinely interested and actually snatched the magazine off my and actually proceeded to sit and read the whole article whilst I sat there in awkward silence!

    Anyway, instead of recommending more physiotherapy or some anti-inflammatories or similar, he said without hesitation that he'd refer me for an MRI scan on my knee - he also said he would do everything he could to impress the urgency of the timescales involved and said that he expected that the scan would be done before we head off to Paris. So, if nothing else, hopefully we'll know soon enough what we're dealing with one way or another.

    I have been doing as instructed and icing and resting. Sarah said that I should ice for a minimum of 8 minutes and do this twice a day. I've also been taking Ibuprofen, also as instructed.

    I don't know whether it is because it has been poked and pulled about a bit over the last few days, whether it is because I ran another few miles on it on Saturday, or maybe just because I am very aware of it at the moment (or a combination!) but it has been fairly painful today. More of a dull ache than anything else, but I have been feeling it pretty much all day. Hopefully a bit more rest will sort it out!

    I might try a bit of swimming tomorrow to keep up my cardiovascular fitness and I can't see any reason why I can't get a fair bit of core work in over the next few days... Obviously I'll avoid lots of squats and lunges! It's not a setback, it's a good opportunity to do a bit of cross-training image

    So, what with me being pretty rubbish and boring over the next few days, how is everyone else's training going? Any funny stories or smashing times??

  • Training - Week 12

    Tuesday - Cross Training

    I was in a bit of a rush this morning to get ready and get out of the door but I thought I'd try and squeeze a little core work in to keep things ticking over.

    I stated off by doing thirty sit ups, which felt quite reasonable. I am determined to one day regain my six pack!! It's like an old friend I've lost touch with. Unfortunately I've lost it's address image

    The problem is not the muscles themselves - the top part of the six pack is there and is actually pretty well defined, so I assume all of the muscles are the same. The problem is that I have a small, incredibly hard to shift layer of fat that runs around my abdomen, about the level of my belly button area. I cannot shift it; it just won't go.

    So I reckon I could probably do a thousand sit ups every morning for a year and still not achieve a huge amount more definition. I strongly suspect that, unfortunately, it is going to take a diet-related solution...

    I've already made huge changes to my diet and it is, the occasional off day aside, unrecognisable from my diet before this competition started. I actually go to the supermarket and buy some vegetables. Crazy. But my diet is still a long way from perfect so it is definitely something to work on. One step at a time though, and I'm genuinely enjoying cooking fresh so long may it continue.

    After the sit ups (slightly off on a tangent there!), I did a straight-arm plank. I was 'planking' almost every day at one point but I have slacked a bit recently and this was the first one I had done for a while... and it showed! I managed to hold it for 1mins 20secs but "managed" is definitely the word for it!

    That was all I had time for this morning but I am going to do a bit more this evening and hopefully hit the pool as well. It only took five minutes and had zero effect on the knee so there really is no excuse for me to be sitting around doing nothing for the next couple of days... Onwards and upwards!

Sign In or Register to comment.