It begins! Annus horribilis… or bliss?

This Saturday, thousands of runners will be bracing themselves to take on the epic Great Wall of China marathon.. after months of dedicated training, sacrifice and pain they experience one of the hardest marathons known to man! That will be me in one years’ time! what the heck!

Thankfully my runner fam picked me up from a confidence wobble the other day, where I contemplated the half rather than full marathon, they all have the confidence in me to bring home the bacon on the day and get the full 26.2 in.

My reasoning being that I could train and do the best job of a half marathon as possible, rather than go the whole hog which just seems so daunting right now, the huge elevations, thousands of steps and heat – it just all sank into me what a massive, epic challenge this was BUT, do you know what… they’re right… why bother flying half the way around the world for a halfie… why not just do my best at the full.. even if I am the last one over the line, I would’ve still completed the damn thing like everyone else.

Its time now to face my fears and really throw down the gauntlet.  Been speaking to some running coaches about training and getting my plan in place (I’ll share that here next week).  Also consulted the lovely Nicola who will taking on the ‘experience’ too, to pick her brains about the best nutrition and training plan.  Feeling much more positive now! I was honestly quite happy to do the halfie and hold the drinks and canapés for Nic when she finished the full… no chance now.

Even bought these… note the fake tan is to stop blinding people with my milk bottle legs ..I may sneak out the house while no-one else is up… not worn shorts since 2003!

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Reiki.. a runners retreat

I can’t harp on more about how beneficial Reiki is… new age nonsense I hear some say… but its not actually new age, its nearly 100 years old in its current form and I would say its a great relaxation tool to help balance out a busy lifestyle, training programme or just much important and needed ‘You Time’…

Developed by the Japanese Buddhist, Mikao Usai, Reiki is a technique which uses ‘palm healing’ through which a universal energy is transferred through the hands of the practitioner to the patient in order to encourage emotional or physical healing.

It works on the principles of clearing the life force of negativity.  This ‘life force’ runs through our bodies, and when negative thoughts or feelings attach themselves to this energy field it causes a disruption in the life force which can lead to other issues emotionally or physically.

Years ago I had a few sessions of Reiki, including one practitioner who laid crystals on me on my chakra points as ‘they were blocked’ – hello, is that negative transference?  Needless to say I didn’t go back…

More recently at a facial treatment where the lady unexpectedly incorporated Reiki into the whole treatment.  I mentioned to her afterwards that I felt ‘centred and balanced’ and she said she had performed it on me.  I knew it!  This got me thinking that Reiki would be great for me to use alongside my Great Wall of China training plan.. to chill me out and centre me.  It also will balance out the ‘terrible two’s’ my daughter is experiencing.  Oh and the lack of sleep her parents are getting too… ha ha

The Reiki session I had locally was just amazing – there were two Reiki practitioners performing on me for an hour and cost £35 in total.  One concentrated at feet level and the other on the top half.  At one point in the treatment I felt almost out of body and totally felt the warmth and cold sensations that some people have mentioned they experience.  Whether there is something in it or its a placebo, who knows… but it works for me ..and I am going back for more!

x

With a little help from my friends…

Another lyric to start my blog off…

Apologies, I have been a little AWOL here lately apart from a few pix of mud-fest trail running.  But, my training is still going to plan, although I have taken a wee break (as in foot off the gas slightly) these past few weeks.  Man-flu scuppered me w/c 27th March and then a family trip to Edinburgh last week, but I actually feel better for listening to my body and taking the rest I needed – a lesson that took a long while to learn.

My runner friend in Edinburgh was nursing an injury too – so we just gossiped, drank wine and espresso martinis…. which was bliss.  My husband said we had done that for 8 hours of my Edinburgh trip (not in one sitting can I add) – ha ha… oh well…. that’s my last bit of booze for a while. GULP.

Note…it was another stark reminder that I need to get some acupuncture booked in and some better sleep to boost my immune system against the dreaded nursery bugs, a constant battle for me.

Fitness wise though, I have had a few gentle runs, STEP and cycling though to keep me ticking over, but with 13 months to go I need to get my serious game plan head on for China.

Running: Still ‘Jeffing’ – but I’ve started to run the first few miles, then ‘jeff’ the rest.  This I am enjoying although I know its not recommended by the great man… so my next run, possibly tomorrow or Weds will go back to the original Jeff plan.  I have noticed how much stronger I feel in the running segments and mentally strong and focussed with the Great Wall challenge.  I have entered the Run 1000 miles challenge in Trail Magazine too… I have a bit to catch up on, well, quite a lot to catch up on…some people are already into 250 miles plus for the year.  I have yet to hit 100 so have my work cut out.  BUT, nothing is impossible.

STEP:  This is still happening and I god-damn love it.  It leaves me in a total sweaty mess but my heart rate is still in the desired range for my age group – so I am happy with that.

Cycling:  Husband has ‘done-up’ some bikes and we went for a test drive a few weeks ago – it was beautiful sunshine all day, then the clouds burst over us on our half hour trip out.  Yesterday didn’t go to plan either as at 3.5 miles in the pedal fell off his bike.  So back to the garage for fixing!  However, it was a gorgeous day here yesterday and we all enjoyed it, hoping this pushes the hubster to finally put the cigarettes down again. ‘Nuff with the nagging.

NEXT UP:

  1. Arms: toning my ‘thigh’ arms, I have been advised by another runner friend that swimming is the best way to do this, so I am planning on another dip in the pool this week so that will be perfect.  Plus I have on order the elastic workout bands that offer resistance to tone and strengthen muscle.
  2. Workouts with FRIENDS: I have a hill repeats session booked in April with my friend Steve who runs marathons with a surfboard…. should be interesting.  I also have a training session in June with my pal Howard who runs running breaks in Morocco and the Lake District.  He is a fell runner and I think training with him will be such a good experience, I’ve told him to put me through my paces with no mercy… gulp.  I will also be swimming with my friend Charlotte when the lido opens in Cirencester next month…however there may be a few more cocktails involved with that… who knows… most likely though ha ha.

All in all, I am still very excited and I believe I have convinced a few other of my Twitter friends to come and run to China, one is a definite and two are ‘most likely’s’ – will be great to share this experience with other like-minded nutcases.

Hope all your training is going well, and you are enjoying the beautiful sunshine.

xx

 

Reflections…

The events this week in London have been truly mortifying.  My thoughts and condolences go to the victims families… there’s no logical thought behind why someone would want to commit a crime like that.  Just seems a pointless waste of life… and another reminder to us all that life truly is too short to waste on not aiming for your dreams, to live every moment…

One of the Buddhism quotes I saw today gave me a kick in my big old butt…

‘Not everyone will understand your journey.  That’s okay.  You’re here to live your life, not to make everyone understand’. 

It reminded me of a conversation I had years ago, when I was asked if I felt that the 4 years I spent in Hong Kong were a waste of time… Seriously I was asked this… why on earth would anyone think that was a waste of time is beyond me. They couldn’t comprehend leaving the area in which we had been born and raised and experiencing something else, I do appreciate that it was completely different to even another European culture. 

They are happy in that ‘safe’ life, that’s cool for them, but I wasn’t, I needed to spread my wings and fly… I still feel that now, that urge.  I feel so totally lucky that I have a husband who likes to travel as much as I do,  its made me appreciate different cultures and made me into a very different person, independent and open-minded.  Always free-spirited.

Since deciding on running the Great Wall marathon, I’ve started to feel a bit like my old-self from 20 odd years ago.. the girl who packed a rucksack and left for another country half way around the world.  I’m returning to me it feels…. but with a 44 year old head on that body.

RunnersReflections

there’s life in the old dog yet….

Behind the scenes I am working away and creating – which makes me very happy too.  With goals set, I am a different person, nothing can hold me back right now.. that crazy, invincible feeling.. or just plain crazy who knows.  I’m in a very happy place though, this decision was 100% right, I’m super excited… Most of all I hope I can pass all this onto my daughter.. to teach her to break free of comfort zones and to experience everything she wants to …. by next year, 4 years old, she would’ve been to so many countries including the USA and China… what a lucky little girl!

Lastly what can we take from this week? Well for sure not being held back by fear, of other people, or nasty tongues wagging… there’s plenty of those out there.  Or even your own self-restricting set of beliefs, that can be even more damaging.  Charge ahead.  Always.

Live it…#peace

 

Step back in time…

Apologies if you now have an awful song in your head… but I have to share my latest training addition to my overall training plan for the Great Wall of China marathon.

I have a new training buddy… Cher!  That’s right… Cher has been dusted off and brought back to my living room for her 40 minute step aerobic routine back from the dark ages of the early 90’s.

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Doing the routine on my new step this morning, I could remember the entire sequence near enough, the bits where Cher starts singing and joking, to where she goes quiet later in the routine (obviously knackered).  I religiously worked out to this ‘video’ back in the day, which was nearly every day for months on end – my legs were like Arnies.

Dad had made me an aerobic step out of wood and I used that, it worked perfectly well, and was still going strong when I left home in 1992, wonder what ever happened to it?

Keli Roberts is the step instructor in the video with Cher as one of the group, she is still in the fitness industry and I am sure I have a ten minute kickboxing boot-camp DVD of hers lurking in my drawer that I will have to dig out.

There are three levels you can workout to, those who want a low impact version (no step), intermediate (regular step & moves) and advanced (higher step, adding repulsion to some moves to make it more of a challenge) and I was impressed with how much I kept up with it… sweating like a pig by halfway I managed the intermediate level (like my pal Cher), but without the black lace, wig and ruffles which she adorns in the video.  Interestingly enough there is a heart rate check at midpoint in the video and I was bang on in the middle for my age range, so very pleased with that.

Its 40 minutes of fun, and the bad hair and outfits are just superb… I shall be doing this again and incorporate this as a regular feature of my training plan – those thousands of steps on the Great Wall are not going to be walked by themselves and the more I get my legs used to this exercise the less pain I am hoping to feel on the Wall.  May be a step warm up / run combo might be called for.

So a big thank you goes to Cher for turning back time this morning for me, wonder if she still does step herself? Or has it been relegated to the loft with her gold discs and Oscar statue.

Now… where’s that Jane Fonda DVD…