Monday, 29 March 2010

The Beginning is in sight

Life has been hectic recently, trying to fit everything in has been tough. I should have known that adding the organisation involved to run across Wales would have been pushing it a bit! But, I really wasn't thinking .. "do I have time for this?" ... I was thinking .. "I want to do this!" So I will have to make time.

I have my penultimate assignment due in at the end of the week for my Open University Foundation Degree course in Sport and Fitness, and I don't know when I'm going to do it. I am putting on a fun run for Wales WRN in the middle of April, and the organisation for that, allocating race numbers etc has taken up a lot of my free time. Plus with the bank holiday on Friday I have to fit 5 days work into 4. Im whinging!! I need to!

I need to start writing to local businesses to start raising funding for the Wales Run. With over a year to go there is a suprising amount to do. Just planning the route is a fairly mammoth task. It's impossible to do it well on the internet because you need to be able to see the country as a whole, so that you can check the route is heading as close to the shortest route possible through the country. I need maps laid out on the floor. Apparently there is a cycle route through Wales which can be viewed at Sustrans the cycling organisation. I'm a little nervous of going offroad too far though in case something happens. I'm thinking what if I fall over and twist an ankle, and need someone in a car to get to me, being offroad wouldn't be great. I don't want to do the route on major roads though. Having watched Eddoe Izzard struggling with traffic on his epic Sport Relief run, I would rather steer clear of major routes. But, I have to do the Llanberis pass, and I have to run through Swansea.

After Easter I will tackle the funding issue, and the route with avengance. Hopefully with only a week to go to London Marathon, I won't be running as much, and will have more time, to get stuck into the things that need to be done.

I am peaking in my training this week for the London Marathon. Last week including Reading Half I ran 55 miles, this week it will be 64. Last week was tough physically, having to do a long run just 2 days after a race, it really made me think about the physical pressure of back to back running, and what would be involved in running 215 miles! The intensity of the race was an eye opener. I have run a 70+ mile week before, and found it manageable, but things didn't ache like they have done the last 10 days. I must remember not to sprint any of the run through Wales.

One more big week, and then the wind down for London. I want to get started on training for this run through Wales. As soon as London is over, all my races and training is geared towards the Wales Run. I can't wait!

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Music is fab!

Did my long run today - 20 miles, as there was no time later in the week. I was nervous about it for several reasons. I did Reading Half on Sunday, I had blisters on my insteps, and I had to do it on my own in the rain. So I decided to listen to all the songs I'd transferred to my new phone. What a brilliant idea! I haven't run with music since I started running in 2001, and it really did help. I will most definitely be getting an ipod. The blisters didn't get any worse, I'd put blister plasters on and taped my feet. My route was through town and then out towards Mumbles before finishing on the cycle track. I chose to run into town as I figured at least it would give me plenty to look at, and keep me amused, which it did. It made a nice change from the Gower too.

I spent quite a lot of my time today thinking about the Wales Run. Having raced on Sunday, run twice on Monday, again on Tuesday plus 2 power walking groups, I can't say my legs were at all fresh, so I was pleasantly surprised by how good they felt. It really made me think about how it will be running on tired legs for a whole week. The human body is quite amazing though. Today's run made me feel that I could be doing 70-80 miles a week fairly comfortably at the moment. I have done a couple of 70+ mile weeks in amongst the London training, and it's been ok. Of course it might feel quite different when I am doing months and months of high mileage, but I can't wait to find out!

I emailed close friends and family yesterday with my plans, and I've had some really lovely replies already. The idea of running the length of the country seems to have grabbed people's imagination.......... just thank god I don't live in America, it's far too far to run!

Monday, 22 March 2010

What to do first

Had a short meeting with Swansea Women's Aid this morning about supporting their charity with this challenge. It had obviously come right out of the blue for them, and I think was a nice surprise. They are a very small charity that makes a huge difference to people's lives. It's a good thought that with this run I might make the difference in someone's life who I have never met.

Lots of letters and emails to write now. I need to start approaching companies. Wayne, my sports massage therapist has a contact with Katherine Jenkins the Welsh opera singer, so I am hoping that by sending her a letter to invite her on the run she will give the challenge her support. Once I have someone with a media profile to support the challenge then I am sure the media interest will snowball from there, at least that's the idea!

My dad has also found a contact in Powys who is an old naval friend, who'd like to offer the challenge his support. It seems his granddaughter climbed Kilimanjaro for charity, so extreme challenges have caught his imagination.

Unfortunately I am exhausted today. I ran Reading Half Marathon yesterday in 1.54, which I was very pleased with considering I had a head cold. The legs are fine today, especially after a massage. It's just my feet that are sore. I always seem to get blisters on the soles of my feet in races when the weather is warm, and I am running sub 9 min miles. I've done a small jog this morning with a friend who's training for Snowdonia, and they felt fine running, but I need to get the issue sorted before London in 5 weeks time, as it's only going to be hotter there.

Wayne has given me some tape, so I am going to experiment with taping my feet over the next few weeks and see if that helps.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Starting to get organised

I have now written a list of everything I need to do over the next few months to make sure I am able to start this challenge. The running side of things is easy! I have been given lots of very helpful ideas as to how to go about approaching companies, and what they will expect in return. I've also had some whackier ideas as to who I might contact to raise the media profile of the challenge. But I like whacky! There are a surprising number of Welsh celebrities out there who run, I'm hoping 1 or more of them will be persuaded to run a section of the challenge with me in order to get some media coverage.

It's actually really hard to know what to do first. If I get a celebrity on board, then I'm sure media coverage etc will follow, but sponsorship is vital too.

I have decided I will include Swansea Women's Aid as a local charity, as they do fantastic work, and this challenge is all about the potential of women in Wales.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Long Run

Just done 20 miles long run with 2 x 2M @ marathon pace. Feeling pretty tired, but for the first time ever, as I did Llanelli Half last Sunday in the last 7 days I have run over 70 miles. So, I'm feeling proud of myself, and it has given me the confidence to feel I may actually be able to sustain the kind of training the Wales Run will need.

Had a good long think about who I could contact about the Wales Run, a friend suggested I write to the Prince of Wales, ask his permission like.......... it's certainly worth a try. Have also put feelers out to some local companies with whom I have contacts. There will probably be lots of "no"s coming, but I have to ask.

Every so often I think about the actual run, and I panic. It is huge, so I have decided it's best I don't think about the big picture too often, and just concentrate on the day to day stuff, which is far more manageable.

Going to go an collapse on the sofa now, and watch my sons clean the car!

Friday, 12 March 2010

It's Begun!

Well, I've been thinking about this for quite some time. Having watched Eddie Izzard's amazing adventure, I decided as I wasn't getting any younger I better get on with it. So I have started contacting people, and making my dream of running the entire length of Wales a reality.

The Women's Running Network have been very supportive and promised to help publicise the event, and provide me with any kit I need. Wayne Brown my sports massage therapist has agreed to come along and massage me at the end of every day. I've just phone Cancer Research Uk, with my heart in my mouth - cos this doesn't seem real at all, and they are getting back to me with a contact for an Area Volunteer Manager.

So, the challenge is 215 miles, or there abouts, in 8 days.

For the past 5 years I have been working as a running coach, walking coach and personal trainer. I spend anything up to 5 hours a day running and walking, so to move up from that to 6-7 hours a day seems doable.... I hope! Having come from an unfit fatty and smoking background though, it still seems bizarre to be even talking about doing this. But, the die has been cast now, I am going to do it.

The idea is to promote women's running in Wales, and raise money for the Race4Life charity Cancer Research Uk along the way. I hope that by increased publicity for what I am doing women throughout Wales will realise, that the seemingly impossible, is actually possible, and by joining the WRN or taking part in a Race4Life event they can start themselves off on a fitter healthier life as I have done.

It is 9 years since I took part in my first Race4Life, and now here I am intending to run a country....... strange but true!