Sunday, 13 February 2011

Paranoia, PB's and why I shouldn't be in a Loreal Advert

What an eventful week! (Warning Long Update ahead!)

With the excitement of Monday morning (see previous post) I didn't think much else would happen.

By the end of an easy 3 miles Monday night I became convinced that I had broken something. With continual achy knees and people (mostly non-runners) telling me I was running too much I began to think I really might have over done it.

So I did a further 6 miles on Tuesday just to check. I call this the 'see danger and run towards it waving a red flag yelling "Oi danger - what're you looking at"' method. If you say this with a chav accent it can enhance your blog reading experience.

Anyhow I decided to go a see a sports injury genius type chap on Wednesday, mostly because Carl had inconsiderately decided to go skiing and didn't leave me his hotel number. And he (the sports injury chap)  pretty much told me to man up. Well not quite like that, but I definitely wasn't suffering from IT Band syndrome, runner's knee, shin splints or Achilles tendinitis. I definitely had a good does of hypochondria and my IT Band is not where I thought it was (good indication that I wasn't suffering from IT Band syndrome). I just needed a bit of rest and another good sports massage, which was convenient for him because he just happens to do sports massages.

This left me with Thursday to recover from having pressure put on muscles I didn't know I had and Friday to be trapped in London wondering how anyone actually gets anywhere using the underground system.

I learnt some good lessons from these days. Rest is important, listen to your body not other people and your IT band is no where near your ankle/shin/ear region (it's somewhere round your knee/hip area - if you've come here for proper facts I am afraid I'm not in the right mood - complaints can be made it writing to The London Underground, Transport for London, Boris Johnson's House).

So we creep into the weekend of PB's.
PB = Personal Best, also sometimes referred to as a PR = Personal Record. If you've just run a WR then I'm not quite sure why you're reading this blog - but welcome anyway.

Kicked off on Saturday with a ParkRun ( My local is Frimley Park and they were celebrating their 1st birthday. It's irrelevant in the grand scheme of things but congratulations Frimley park and to everyone that turns up there early on a Saturday morning. There was a good Sandhurst Jogger turn our and everyone was talking about taking it easy due to the Wokingham Half Marathon the next day. With my new 'man up' medicine and the cooped up lack of running from the week I decided to adopt my aforementioned danger+red flag tactics and bomb it round.
Super run and I took 28 seconds off my PB and clocked a 20 min 32 sec finish time. This was helped by the 'taking it easy' group consisting of Jenny G, Dave B and  Richard J pacing me round (even if they didn't realise they were). Very pleased with result!

I took a brief interlude to swan off to Birmingham to see Russell Howard live. Highly recommend if he's appearing anywhere near you. Very funny guy - who happened to run The London Marathon last year. Even my comedy is running related! I was eternally grateful to Jon for driving back at nearly midnight so I could get as much sleep as possible for the next day....

Wokingham half!
I carefully chose my cakes for maximum sugar/chocolate content and was kindly picked up by Sarah H, who I didn't recognise in the snazzy car! We dropped off our stuff and most importantly our cakes at Jenny and Graham's house, where everyone was meeting after and then I braved the cold in just my shorts and t-shirt to the start line.
Had a great opportunity to meet up with Pete J. who I had only found out was running the day before. Hadn't seen him for ages and it was so nice to catch up with an old friend before the race. Loving the fact that we've both found running since the house-sharing days. Shame we didn't discover it earlier but I suspect our student lifestyles are the main reason for that. Pete was telling me he planned to run a 2hr 10 race but having looked at the results now he completely smashed it and whacked 20 odd mins off coming in at 1hr 53. Huge congratulations mate! The sweeper van couldn't lay a finger on you. Sorry I couldn't get there in time to cheer you to the finish. Also want to mention Pete as he's sponsored me for the London marathon. Thank you so much for your support and keep up the good running work!

Race went like a dream - everything seemed to fall into place and I'm sure the vision of all the cakes at the end helped to push me round. Pacing seemed right and I did my usual trick of starting slow and then 'kicking' at half way. Crowd were great and once more I have to rave about how much I love my club. Everyone who passed me and everyone I passed said something encouraging. When we finished there was nothing but congratulations and genuine excitement for each other, those that had run new PB's and those who were just happy to be at the end. I cannot recommend joining a club enough if you are just getting into running or even if you're a seasoned record runner. You will find advice, encouragement and support - whatever your level. Whilst it might not be Sandhurst Joggers (arguably the best club in the world) it'll still be a great foundation to your running.

Anyway - for all those wondering I ran a 1hr 31min half! Dreading the finish line photos because I couldn't stop grinning like a fool - and that was before I'd remembered about the cakes!

Back at Jenny and Graham's everyone was congratulating each other and exchanging race stories whilst Jenny zipped round handing out tea (incredible after the time she ran!). And there was a conversation about hair and finish appearance states. Everyone finishes differently. Some people look like they've been for a stroll and others look like they've been dragged through hell by a pack of raging badgers (although it's the finishing that matters - not the way you look!!!!)

When I am running I like to imagine I look like a strong athlete who is bounding along with glossy hair and is the picture of fitness and health (think of some naff Gillette womens shaver or shampoo advert). After a glance in the mirror when I got back it turns out I'm probably more the 'to hell and back' type with crazy porcupine hair that's matted together like seaweed (Sarah will know what I mean!). So I don't think I will be joining the ranks of Loreal hair advert models anytime soon....but I bet I could beat them in a race!

So because I am worth it I'm going to dig out a pack of biscuits, continue being competitive with inanimate TV adverts and leave danger alone for a bit.

Keep running!

Biscuit Nikki x
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