On track

Another 10 miles run on Saturday and after last week’s 14 miler Benny and I are feeling like we can actually do this marathon. I’m please to report no chest pains or heart symptoms although the UC is making running and general day to day not so good. It seems that long distance running means I have a permanent flare up. I’m not giving up though. Through stitches, stomach cramps, blisters and needing the loo on our 10 miles this Sat we invented our team moto; Team Fenben: we don’t stop! And we didn’t.

Runs are getting so long now I’m getting bored of the music on my iPod. So I’ve started listening to a new album every run. It’s expensive but it works. I zone out and quickly get into my ‘plodding state’. That’s when I run so much that it becomes so natural just to keep putting one foot in front of the other and rock along. I’ve never meditated but I’d imagine it’s quite a similar feeling.

We’re at that midway point where running’s ok and the distances are bearable, we’re also getting faster. The next few weeks will start to get tough as we become exhausted by our training. I’m already waking up everyday with the dull ache in my legs knowing that I’m going to have to run again that evening. My list of reasons to be motivated is right by my bed!

Motivation always comes back to the fundraising and charities. This week I had 40 leather bags donated to me by a very generous high street retailer. I’m going to do a handbag sale at work and
hope to raise around £750. At the moment Oxfam could use the money we raise to buy blankets, stoves and hygiene kits for Syrian refugees who’ve fled war and are living in freezing refugee camps this bitter winter. Oxfam’s work is literally life saving for these people. Real refugee stories on the Oxfam website have inspired me to go out and run in the cold this week. The work is amazing.

11 weeks, £4,200 to raise. Sponsor us here: http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/fenben
Find out more about Oxfam’s response in Syria: http://www.oxfam.org.uk

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Running with coughs and colds

This week my training’s been interrupted by an ear infection. I planned to run 2 x 6 miles during the week and an 11 miler on Sunday.

I ignored my grogginess, grabbed a nice head band to look after the ears and went out running twice! 2 x 5 miles. On both occasions I’ve had to deal with the old runners’ conscience battle, ‘Am I too ill to run or just avoiding the cold and rain outside?’

I think a lot of runners beat themselves up about being lazy when they decide to take a break for illness. This comes from the pressures of a heavy training schedule and a daunting challenge ahead. This force can often make people run when they really should rest.

So my question is; How do you know when you’re being lazy vs. actually too ill to run?

When people ask me about illness, I always advise not to run if someone’s feeling under the weather, “rest up and let your body recover till you’re feeling better” I’d say. But is that an easy route out of a training run?! The thing is I never listen to my own advice and I’m starting to wonder whether it’s is the best thing to advise. Almost every time I’ve been out when I’ve felt under the weather, a run has made me feel much better mentally and physically. I feel stronger in fact.

I’d still say, you know your body best so use how you’re feeling as a true indicator of whether you should exercise or not. My advice: Get out there and run, you’ll soon know whether you’re too poorly to keep running!

Training challenges

This week’s been really hard for training. What with the snow, various Christmas drinks, a very busy week of work and a flare up in my colitis, I’ve found it really hard to find the time and energy to get out and run. I’ve managed 2 early morning runs which have been absolutely freezing! Ben and I have a long run planned tomorrow which will be a good run in the bank.

Whenever I have a flare up my energy is completely zapped and I feel really sick. Sometimes running can make this better, sometimes it can make it a lot worse. At these times I struggle to find the motivation to run and that’s when I think of others who have much bigger challenges every day of their lives but still get up and get on with what they have to do. These are the people I run and fundraise for and that’s why every bit of fundraising we do and sponsorship that we get helps to get me up off the sofa and out there running.

I’m taking the right medication and eating the right foods so hopefully my flare up will go away and I can get back to training properly! I’ll keep you posted.

Thanks for reading x

Sponsorship and training all kicking off

This week’s been really interesting. I’ve learnt a lot about fundraising, networking and how Ben and I are going to be training together.

The great news is that we’ve had a few online sponsors (www.virginmoneygiving.com/team/fenben) from people that we don’t even know. It’s shown how talking to everyone about the challenge that we’re doing and the causes we’re raising money for really does work. Thanks to all those that have supported us to date.

My treasure map at work (previous blog post) isn’t going so well. It’s been there a week now and only 3 people have chosen a square. Outrage! However, tomorrow is Oxfam payday and I’m going to send a nice promotional email round. Fingers crossed for some more responses.

I’ve been on 2 training runs this week so far and even managed to fit one into my working day yesterday. It turns out that a cheeky 10k at 4pm then heading back into the office (in full lycra!) is a bit weird for my colleagues. Showing them blisters and other horrible parts of my feet didn’t go down too well either. I’ve learnt the boundaries now!

It looks like Ben and I will only be doing one run a week together which is probably for the best. That’ll be our weekend pace run. We did the first on Sunday and stuck to our marathon pace exactly (9 min miles) for 7 miles. We were really happy with that!

I’ve done some more work on my blog as well so please have a look around and read all about why Ben and I are challenging ourselves to this marathon.

As always, thanks for reading. Lucy x