Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas 2007 in Pembrokeshire, Wales

In an attempt to escape from the commercialised hectic modern Christmas we rented a cottage near the Druidstone Inn on the rugged Pembrokshire coast... and got a bit more of a historic experience than we anticipated. It was damp and cold and we only had a coal burning antique Rayburn stove for heat! So we arranged our days and nights around feeding the fire and learned strategies for using paper, kindling, soft "house" coal and hard anthracite coal to master the beast! Here's Billy, our fire Master, at work, next to the rack of wet running kit that never really dried out.

But we did enjoy ourselves - knitting, playing scrabble, hearts and valiantly running in the rain. Nick fit right in with the hearty locals, running in a t-shirt and shorts in sleeting rain, while Ali and I opted for full winter gear.

We had two dark but dry days, one when we walked around St David's point, along dramatic volcanic cliffs spotting seals and sea birds.

And on Christmas day, the skys cleared and Ali and I had a spectacular run around the Marloes penninsula meeting Nick and Billy taking photos at the beach. Ali held my ipod Nano while Nelly and I had a run...and dropped it in a tidepool!

One very dead Nano... oh well. But I'll never be able to log the 25 miles I ran on the PDIP Nike+ challenge!!!
It was a memorable trip and the shared adversity made us laugh together and find simpler ways to amuse ourselves without the telly and computers. And we did learn how to knit gloves!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Countdown 17 weeks to the marathon

I'm on track with the plan that I loaded on Listening to John Ellis' PDIP126 Base Running" today while I ran my 7 miles, I took it really slowly and vowed to dig out my Garmin from the bottom of the hall chest and start paying attention to my heart rate again.

I plotted up the remaining 17 week program on a calendar this weekend and discovered that there are a bunch of 20+ mi days scheduled ahead. I'm reading Hal Higdon's "Marathon" and his advice for newbys is keep the runs under 20 mi to reduce the risk of injury...... I think I'm going to follow that particular advice.

Nick and I are now signed up for the Watford Half Marathon on Feb 3rd 2008. Strange that I would have felt it was a pretty big deal to commit to a half marathon in only 7 weeks time, but now it is just part of the FLM training plan... no big deal. I think my mindest is already changing as I'm on my way to being a marathoner!

And the heel feels pretty good. I notice it, and have still been icing, but there is no pain.
We take off next Friday for Christmas week at the Druidstone Inn in Pembrokshire. I'm planning to do my running on the coastal trails but hope that the weather holds. Getting the miles in under sleeting horizontal rain would be pretty miserable! But I've got the gear, all I need is the motivation.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

I've a place in 2008 London Marathon!

After the disappointment on Saturday of receiving my copy of Marathon News (and second time failed ballot letter), yesterday brought a very welcome email from Guide Dogs who gave me one of their Gold Bond places. Yeah!!

So now I need to get really serious about following my Buckeye Outdoor Beginner training schedule... and start thinking about fundraising.

I struggle a bit asking friends and family to contibute, I mean, I'm the one that gets to do the fun part - be in the race. So, I should just come up with the £1500 pledge money? But guide dogs for the blind really is a good cause, and fundraising seems to be an acceptable thing to do. (And I don't have £1500!!) What do I do about business contacts? Is it fair game to put something about fundraising at the end of my email signature... or is that taboo (they don't care about my personal life?). I'm not sure I want to let them know about it anyway.... they might ask what my time was!!

So I've added a widget to my blog. I wonder if I can do the same with facebook. I wish I had paid better attention to the efforts of other runner bloggers. I'm way down on the learning curve.

But the great part is I'M GOING TO RUN MY FIRST MARATHON! I know I can do it.