And so it begins – the journey of a middle aged marathon runner

This is it, week 1 , day 1 of my 16 week VLM training programme. I feel like I’m a complete beginner, but I’ve been running 6 years now after deciding aged 40 I needed a new challenge and thought planning a 10km would shift some weight and give me a good challenge. Running had so miraculously changed the life of a work colleague, I wanted a piece of that action. Nevertheless, this challenge feels like the biggest one to date (because it is ) . I’ve done 4 half marathons and I’ve got faster, but I can safely say that I’ve never felt at the end of any of them I could turn around and go back to the start !

Still, it’s a marathon, how hard can it be? Well it’s exactly this hard……

Pretty easy start as I can run 10 miles right now !!

Pretty easy start as I can run 10 miles right now !!

I chose the Bupa beginners marathon programme as it needs 3 to 4 runs a week which I think I can manage. It actually takes my current running distance capability right down to build it back up again. Seems sensible based on a new knee niggle that’s appeared.

I’m excited but terrified especially based on the knee niggle that appeared on a Christmas Eve run and which was still there on New Year’s Day despite resting up and avoiding snow and ice over the festive period. Can you believe it, no injuries for a couple of years , a successful hilly half marathon in December and now there’s a niggle. I’ve rested it, I’ve iced it. In fact my Waitrose frozen peas have been in and out of the freezer more times than the festive mince pies have been in and out the cupboard. So training day 1, week 1 started with an immediate visit to the physio , I actually had a sleepless night over Christmas panicking that my VLM journey would be over before it had begun. I’ve told everyone I’m doing it, I’ve bombarded social media about doing it and my fundraising has already begun. I don’t want to defer , I don’t want to admit failure.

The result was good, nothing key appears damaged or torn….it’s a mystery niggle, it’s on a watching brief and it’s strapped up with very beautiful pink tape. I am to carry on with the week 1 plan which for me is pretty light and head back on Monday to see if we’ve cracked it.

Very pretty strapping for the mystery knee niggle

Very pretty strapping for the mystery knee niggle

With the excesses of Christmas (oh yes there were many excesses) only just behind me, I did promise that my body would now be a temple. To be honest my diet is excellent most of the time, I find you can’t train well if you don’t eat well. Running makes you eat well. Still, I have added a few newbies to my eating regime though. I welcome chia seeds, which I have read so much about, in fact so many good things, I can’t actually remember why they’re so marvellous and I’ve also finally bought some protein powder to add to smoothies once my runs get longer which I have been threatening to do for months. Hope I don’t end up looking like Popeye !

Just check out the difference in my diet that just 24hrs makes.

The end of the festive splurge with tea at Grandma's

The end of the festive splurge with tea at Grandma’s

Body is now a run how you eat

Body is now a temple…you run how you eat

So session 1 = 20 mins easy….I can manage that in my sleep,keeping the pace easy was the hardest bit, a gentle 10.5 min mile pace. But do you know what, my knee niggled the whole way so I iced it……so this is perhaps the most sensible way to start. Onward and upward as they say.

Follow my journey, I might inspire you to run a marathon too or I may confirm your long held theories that marathon runners are somehow deranged nutters of unsound mind. It might be a bumpy ride before I’m heading down The Mall to the finish line but I’ll try and keep it a humorous one.

Mustn’t forget that my endeavours are to raise £2000 for CLIC Sargent Children’s Cancer charity, one very close to my heart, so if you feel you can help me reach my target that would be amazing .

Categories: Ladies of a Certain Age Running (LCA), Runners Problems

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