Monday, 5 July 2010

just to confirm, i am alive

Firstly, my sincere apologies for how long I have left it since my last blog update. I appreciate I have left you hanging (did Emma finish the London marathon? Is she still out there now? Or is she just drunk?). Yes, I did indeed make it over that finish line in London, and wow, what an experience. Completing in a respectable 04:03:10... race report and some pictures will eventually follow! (just so you know how hard I worked for all that sponsorship!)

Since the marathon, there was a period of contemplation / feeling sorry for myself and generally avoiding anything running/exercise-related. May brought a lovely weekend away with the Garscube lot training up in Aberfoyle and the annual West Highland Way relay at the end of the month. I have been using the marathon as an excuse to get out of any form of training / racing - totally acceptable for my non-running friends, but for those who do run... simply not good enough! So what if myself & Jill decide to take our leg of the WHW relay as a wee excuse for a blether and a nice walk? Do I really have to give an excuse as to why I don't want to run round two laps of an industrial estate namely the Clydebank 10k?? Succumbing to pressure, I did drag myself round the Dumbarton 10k at the start of June - surprisingly in 46:57, only 30seconds slower than my best last year. So it's not all bad!

Now I'm back training again I feel its about time I get my act together and get this blog back on the go. After a run through some of the dodgiest streets in Glasgow with the club on Thursday (that certainly forces you to do some speed-work!), it was off to Millport for the weekend. 11ish miles round the island on Saturday. First five miles were fantastic - I felt great, lovely day, the wind in my hair... ah bliss... then I turned the corner past the ferry slip and my little body was almost swept out to sea - for every two steps forward, it was one step back. Lovely! Had planned to do a few miles on Sunday before we left - however when I awoke to a Winters morning and the prospect that the ferries may be cancelled due to extreme weather conditions, I made a swift retreat back to bed...
No marathons planned for the foreseeable, but I'll do my best to keep the blog updated with more ramblings of a runner in deepest darkest Glasgow... and hopefully have some improved results to report towards the end of the year.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

the uncontrollable factors - planes, rains... and runny noses

Looks like I will make it to the start on Sunday after all, thanks to the re-opening of UK airspace... now just got to hope the flights are back on schedule by Saturday. If not, the road trip Plan B is in place (well, if a guy can drive from Stuttgart to get to the Lochaber marathon last weekend, I can't really complain about a potential measly 7hour drive!).

Well I have never believed BBC weather, dating back to its pessimistic T-in the Park forecasts... but when the trusty MetCheck predicted snow/sleet for Sunday 25th in the forecast last week, I thought surely not... Now its properly about-turned and the weather is looking to be a hot 20degrees. Okay, so its not quite tropical, but its worryingly toasty for a peely-wally Scot whose trained through icy temperatures, rain, hail, sleet and snow! Ah well, at least it'll be a nice

Currently battling the paranoia cold - a nose running faster than my wee legs and swollen glands. Ho hum. But thanks to the my ADF girls and Tracey's husband Billy, I should be alright for the big day... or at least high on vitamin C!

The third video is now on youtube - an expose on what its like to be Emma Ralston. Another humiliation thanks to Fi MacD... seems to have works though - sponsorship has rocketed! thanks :-)

Monday, 19 April 2010

expect the unexpected

Got this card from Jenny & Craig (thanks guys) - don't think there is an event out there that Hallmark haven't thought of marketing! Awesome

First week of taper over... and less than one week left til D-Day. Been looking forward to taper for a while, thinking that by running less miles I would have all this lovely free time to enjoy... maybe, sit on the sofa and do, well, nothing. However, me, being me, its not quite panned out like that, filling my time with all the things I've not had time for in the last few planning, lunch with the girls, Louise's wedding invites, drawings for Walter, and of course, the next video installment... phew.

Tuesday did a 5mile marathon pace run, Thursday the club 8.5mile run with 4miles tempo (ahem *cough* 3mile... hey, I'm tapering, I'm allowed to ease off a little!), gym session with Jill on Wednesday and 8miles marathon pace on Sunday... then a whole lot of "rest" in between.

So the hard graft is over and now it's just up to my legs and mind to get me to that finish line... and with the help of Iceland, I might even make it to the start (seriously, planes grounded due to volcanic ash? It sounds like a plot from The Simpsons). Our trip to London may become a road trip [woohoo!] yet.... This Glaswegian sums up the situation eloquently...

Monday, 12 April 2010

running actually made me cry

Now I'm full swing into this taper, its hit home how close this marathon is - too close (I blatantly have too much time to be thinking with all this time saved not running). With the exception of a few aches and pains, lots of moans and groans, and the 'Fin Flu' of week 6, the training has went relatively smoothly.

Now with under two weeks left, my hormonal peaks and troughs are probably worse than that of both my pregnant friends, Jenny & Gillian (FYI - no I am not pregnant!!). Moods range from stressed, to excited, to nervous, to weepy... and that's just in a 5minute spell. I found myself welling up at my desk in the office this morning just watching someones marathon video from London last year. Rocky's not meant to cry, suck it up Ralston. (though even Rocky did have a minor lapse in Rocky 3, I'm led to believe... so that makes it okay). Good luck living with me for the next two weeks Alan :-)

Sponsorship drive is going amazingly well and thanks again to everyone who has donated.... For those who haven't there is still time!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

ice ice [is back back] baby

After my first failed attempt at the ice bath, Anna & Martin persuaded me to try again.

Armed with my cup of tea and cosy hoodie, I played on my competitive nature and took the stop watch in with me....

New PB! 30 seconds (= epic fail)

lets see what this taper things all about then

Another week of training completed, including the final long run before I start this thing called 'taper'. I'm quite looking forward taper - the thought of sleeping more, eating more and running less is quite exciting - I hope it offers everything it promises!

21miles finished on Saturday. With it being Easter weekend, my original plan was twice round Cumbrae since we would be in Millport anyway... but the the more I thought about this plan, the more I thought TWICE round Cumbrae may be the worst idea ever, setting me off on another low... or worse, giving up after the first lap, somewhere around the sweetie shop no doubt... Decided a run in Glasgow would be a better move before heading doon water.

Saturday morning and it was bucketing down (seriously, what did I expect, its Easter weekend!) After too much partying the night before, Steve called off on me, and I'd already missed the Garscube ladies who were starting at first light. It was looking like I would be going it alone... until Martin & Anna came to the rescue and from their hungover state agreed to join me mid-way (seriously, was everyone out on Friday night except me?!). 13miles up and over Duntocher on my own, then 5miles with Martin & Anna... who then decided to stick with me for my final 3miles home... thank you so much :-) I'm not sure if I would have made it home safely without my two stewards - running long distances does make your head go a bit fuzzy and traffic becomes a problem (or maybe more I become a problem / hazard for traffic?). Very pleased to have made it round the 21... 5.2 more to add to that in a couple weeks time - the crowd better have some good banter to keep me going!

A celebratory drink was in order on Saturday night - think I managed three ciders before it got a bit hazy :-S But still made it up and out for a four mile recovery run on a sunny, Sunday morning (followed by compulsory Millport sweetie shop ice-cream - summer has landed!)

Other than that I did 7miles on Tuesday (quite an effort, given the torrential rain and gales - lovely), core session on Wednesday and club tempo 7.5miles on Thursday.

And on the sponsorship front, the latest drive has brought out the generosity in all as I've went from 44% complete to 91%. Part of that is due to blackmail... but the 'sponsor-me-get-free-Easter-cake' worked a charm! Thank you so very much to everyone who has kindly donated, it really does remind me why I'm doing this mad challenge in the first place.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

four weeks to go!

With less than four weeks of training left, I'm still pretty much on schedule with my training. 20miles last weekend with the Garscube ladies, then 18miles at the weekend just passed. Its strange how my brain works on these longs runs now with me strangely looking forward to 'only 18' this weekend... never thought I'd see the day! (For ultra-marathon Debs 18 must be like a 5k in comparison!)

18miles proved probably more torturous than the 20 the week before, and I'm convinced Steve might have been trying to kill me off with the hilly route he had planned - Anniesland, over Langbank, round the reservoir, then 8 miles out & back on WHW, where we were joined by Anna (our psychological support). Despite an all-time-low around 14miles, I completed the 18miles - though I do think the prospect of hot chocolate and cake in Milngavie may be solely responsible for pulling me through that final four miles (and of course Anna and Steve's chat, thanks).

I did love this little "motivational" quote in the marathon newsletter this week:

"Anyone can run 20 miles. It's the next 6 that count"
~ Barry Magee, 1960 Olympic medalist.

Firstly, is this really meant to be motivational when most people only train up to 20miles in the marathon programme? And secondly, if your an Olympic athlete, you'd know it's an extra 6.2 miles, surely?! ;-)

Sports massage scheduled for today - wish me luck :-) and then its the final long run this Saturday before the taper begins.