Oh my! The adrenalin started to kick in about 6.30am when I "woke up" and realised "Today, is the day!"I was filled with excitement, not fear. I hadn't been able to do much running in the last week but knew my basic core strength would be enough to allow me to complete this event safely. My outlook and my strategy is to make sure I can waddle steadily, with a good consistent pace, soak up and enjoy the atmosphere, and finish with a smile.I had a lift to Portsmouth with Becky Smith , also running with me (for Macmillan), and we stayed over night at her friend's house (Thankyou for being a wonderful hostess Tanyia!).
Usually I would have a plain grilled chicken with potatoes and vegetables, hydrate with nuuns and get an early night, before an event. We stayed up until nearly midnight, had a chicken tikka with rice, and a glass of wine!I didn't sleep very well but that was mostly because I was staying somewhere different
and my body often wreaks havoc by going all insomniac on me when I don't need it to! At least the clocks had gone back so I gained an hour to just lay there resting some more!Had a decent breakfast of "GetBuzzing Bars"
(the most moist delicious mix of oats, dates and bananas), Plus a peanut and oat Trek bar. As I was staying at some one's house I didn't want to carry my own milk and porridge. Had 2 mugs of water and was then race ready!Had a decent short car journey to the Southsea Common to park up and wait.. and wait some more! It was relatively quiet at 8am and I was able to go to the loo twice without queueing. However, at 10am when the announcement was made to start going to your "wave coloured area" my bladder demanded some attention, and relief, and I ended up in a queue for hours, for a third wee!I ate a Cashew Cookie Nakd bar for some extra energy
, washed down with a blue rinse of Powerade Ion 4 (free on the day). Ok, I am now chomping at the beak to get going!Under my ducksuit I had my favourite compression garb on! My Born In A Field compression top and my Skinz compression tights. These are my "Dumbo feather" as I am sure I run better with them on. Plus aids recovery!I hate crowds. I hate being jammed in amongst people. But I can honestly say that I wasn't at all frustrated by this today. I managed to squeeze into my area and stood with "War Horse" just behind me. He insisted on necking with me until the race moved off! Wonderful piece of engineering ingenuity and a 41/2 stone "outfit" with 4 runners beneath it. Respect you guys! They were collecting for Royal Marsden. It seemed an eternity before the Green Wave was moved out onto the esplanade. Eventually, at 11.15am we were off!
Check out the maps
to see the routes we took.For the entire run I kept a steady pace, occassionally having to get the gazelle like Becky to slow down and pace herself.
There were cobblestones in the area near HMS Victory, and a gentle gradient out of town, but generally the course was flat and fun. I loved the beating drums and bagpipes that played around the course. Loved hi-5-ing the children who all shouted out "quacks"!I also loved seeing my neice, Alexia and her boyfriend, Perry,
at about mile 4! Thankyou guys! I had goosebumps to see "family". Although the rest of the crowd were very warming and supportive of all the runners, not just their own kin and friends.At 7.5miles I was feeling a little dizzy and had a couple of bites from a seed bar Becky had on her. Didn't help. Had some water at the water station, and started to feel better. The jelly babies at 9 miles were my saving grace. I also had a tightness in my lungs at mile 8 which is when we were running along the sea front into a fresh easterly wind. I was chatting with another competitor and was aware I couldn't breathe in properly - just like how I would imagine an asthmatic suffering and not getting the oxygen. I think it was just the sea salty air as
I didn't collapse at the end.I was running with a little duck in my hand and wanted to give it to some one special. I saw a fellow fibromyalgia runner, who hadn't heard of fibroduck, so I gave it to him. He was running for his wife who has fibromyalgia and runs a blog called Follypogs. So, in the aftermath of this Great Run, how did I feel? Bloomin' quacktastic.
How did I do? 2hrs 11mins - not bad for a waddling duck!I may not have been running the distance for the last 2 weeks but my attitude to running has changed. I do not like it, but I am no longer in fear of it. Kettlercise and Zumba are key to my basic core training and strengthening. With the continued support of Gareth France and the wonderful team at revive, I know I can now enter most events to enjoy it and complete it, with a smile. After all, I run the miles for the smiles!
I will also step up to run some extra miles in the week to improve on what I have learned and experieed today.A big thankyou to Becky for driving me home to Reading, before she had drive back to Thetford! We were stationery in the Great Portsmoth enmasse exit gridlock for hours! I enjoyed a jacket potato and sausages for dinner, 2 glasses of red wine
, and a few squares of dark chocoalate. I may have burned 1300 calories but didn't want to eat them all! Couldn't quite go to sleep until midnight! I am also pleased to say that I have no aches or blisters, and was up bright and early the next day ready for a double shift! Bring it on!
Slowly, Slowly, with patience and a focused mind,
your desire and you become One - Janine Lewis
Training is doing your homework. It's not exciting. More often than not it's tedious. There is certainly no glory in it. But you stick with it, over time, and incrementally through no specific session, your body changes. Your mind becomes calloused to effort. You stop thinking of running as difficult or interesting or magical. It just becomes what you do. It becomes a habit.
Workouts too become like this. Intervals, tempos, strides, hills. You go to the track, to the bottom of a hill, and your body finds the effort. You do your homework. That's training. Repetition--building deep habits, building a runner's body and a runner's mind. You do your homework, not obsessively, just regularly. Over time you grow to realize that the most important workout that you will do is the easy hour run. That's the run that makes everything else possible. You live like a clock.
After weeks of this, you will have a month of it. After months of it, you will have a year of it.
Then, after you have done this for maybe three or four years, you will wake up one morning in a hotel room at about 4:30am and do the things you have always done. You eat some instant oatmeal. Drink some Gatorade. Put on your shorts, socks, shoes, your watch. This time, though, instead of heading out alone for a solitary hour, you will head towards a big crowd of people. A few of them will be like you: they will have a lean, hungry look around their eyes, wooden legs. You will nod in their direction. Most of the rest will be distracted, talking among their friends, smiling like they are at the mall, unaware of the great and magical event that is about to take place.
You'll find your way to a tiny little space of solitude and wait anxiously, feeling the tang of adrenaline in your legs. You'll stand there and take a deep breath, like it's your last. An anthem will play. A gun will sound.
Then you will run. - Jeff Edmonds (www.TheLogicOfLongDistance.blogspot.com)I have literally copy and pasted this and full credit to the author. Please do log onto his blogspot and read more of his inspirational writings
.His email for further comments is firstname.lastname@example.org
We are writing to you to ask for your support. Read College
are having a Grand Christmas Raffle this year to raise much needed funds for young talented students.
The Read Dance and Theatre College charity was set up in 2008 to help train, support and nurture young talented performing arts students. The College strives to make professional performing arts training accessible to all gifted young people who have both the talent and determination to build a career for themselves, whatever their financial situation.
We hope that you will be able to support us, and our guest charityThe Rambling Duck
, aka Janine Lewis. She is fundraising for The Veterans Charity
and Fibroduck Foundation
). She is training hard to run 5 marathons in 5 days for these two causes!
Our Grand Christmas Raffle Tickets will be distributed among our 200 Thatcham based Theatre School students who help to support the Read College charity every year, as well as families and friends based all over West Berkshire from Thatcham to Reading. Please give generously to help us raise these much needed funds.
There will be a dedicated online Thank you page to acknowledge your generosity.
Your gift can be sent to the address below, or call/email
us to arrange collection.
Many thanks for your time in reading this, and in anticipation of your support,
On behalf of Read Dance & Theatre College
Read Dance & Theatre College
The Performing Arts Institute
Old Leisure Centre
Reading Lake Hotel Complex
Reading RG30 3UN
Tel: 08451 307 408
Charity Number 1142899
Alarm - "Blllllliiiinnnngggg!" Me - "shurrupp!"
That was the alarm ringing at 4am for me to get up and out for the 2 1/2 hour drive to Peterborough for a half marathon!
Thankfully as the World Cup Rugby has been on very early I was getting good practise in for early jumps out of bed..but usually onto the sofa and under a duvet!
Enough rambling, the day had arrived to put into practise some of the things that worked for me last weekend for Shine
. I had been hydrating and carbing up all day yesterday. So today I just had to top up with a glass of water, and my dissolved bee pollen. Have 3 oatibix for breakfast, and a protein drink.I was also doing this run as a Naked Duck - it was Damian's show, so to speak. I was a Duck incognito, not stealing the ducklight. Also, I had about 10 Nakd bars on me so I was also very much a Nakd Duck!
In the car I had a sports drink to sip on as I drove, and nibble on some home made flapjack, 2 Nakd bars
and 9seed bar.
I had also packed a recovery drink and protein drink, plus Trek bar
to eat in the car for the journey home!
Took me 2 1/2hrs to do the 120 mile trip. Got out for a stretch and light jog around the car park to recover from sitting and driving.
Becky then arrived, as did the rest of TeamVC and Damian. Damian was doing this half marathon in a 25kg bomb disposal suit, part of his Bombsuit Challenge
. Digger was also wearing full battle dress and carrying a 55lb bergen/rucksack to keep him company.
I christened us Team VC as our fund raising is for The Veterans Charity
, predominantly through Damian's "Bombsuit Challenge". But of couse, this was also part of my own agenda leading up to the Forces march, for my own Veterans Charity fund raising. A little aside here and the reason why I drove so far for this event - Damian and Digger are also doing the Forces March next year, with me. The Perkins GER organisers deemed it essential that Damian would need ten people to support him for healthy & safety reasons. So I volunteered. It would also be the first time of meeting Damian and Digger, too. This proved an invaluable meeting for so many reasons. Whilst running with Digger we chatted about the Forces March. I got the opportunity to learn about his experience and get some great tips. Training on the hoof in the middle of a marathon! Worth the journey, being a part of this half marathon and being a part of the fantastic support team.
The team moved straight onto Cathedral Square. Met the rest of Team VC, watched Damian get interviewed by the BBC, plus we all did team photo poses.
Poor Digger got caught up in bad traffic and arrived half an hour before we all due to race off.
Prior to us setting off I did a final pitstop, and hoped I wasn't going to need a wee enroute.
Also had a final Nakd Bar
for energy, but didn't want to eat too much as I hate getting stitch!
In my bumbag I had some jelly beans and the GF Nakd bars
, plus a sports bottle of energy sports drink (powder one from Decathlon).
We set off with the fun run Runners, half an hour ahead of the main marathon runnners, as requested by the Race organisers, for healthy & safety and also it was anticipated Damian would need a little more time.
I was slightly ahead of the Team VC, chatting to Digger. After a couple of miles of striding through a fast pace, as a team, Digger needed to keep up a faster pace, finding his own natural rythmn and as I was already supporting him by his side at this point, I increased my pace so he also had continued support. So now I am running lightly alongside this awesome man running with his 55lb pack! I just had a small bum bag weighing, oh, a mere half kilo of jelly beans and Nakd Bars!
Through out our run together, we kept an eye behind us on the Main Event, Bomb Suit Man! In our wake we left people eager for his run through! Digger and I had fun as a comedy duo singing and shouting along with the enthusiastic crowd of onlookers. I felt an enormous swell of pride as runners passing by, and onlookers, shouted out to Digger "Respect" and "well done" for his effort of running with that pack. I was enormously touched when Digger paid the highest compliment saying "Do you know what an amzing woman you are!". Actually no, I hadn't really thought about it. But then I realised after 6 miles, I was now in my "no-duck land" of running for longer and further than I had ever done before!
I can only credit my ability to do that run to my bee pollen, Kettlercise training, stubborness, and good attitude to sensible diet and training plan and also get up towalk about ache free the next day!
Digger and I have an official time of 2hrs 49mins for crossing the finish line, but we did start with the fun run Runners. We also walked initially so our slow time then may have a bearing on our chip time. Regardless of time, we both finished an amazing event, with the best support I have ever witnessed and been a part of. A big thankyou Quack to Peterborough and the wonderful organisation of the Perkins Great Eastern Run.Took me 2 1/2 hours to drive home. A littl stiff after that journey so I had quick 5 minute run around the block to release the muscles,joints and ligaments. Husband had done me proud by cooking the best "recovery" meal I could have hoped for - eggs, bacon, baked beans and waffles!2 glasses of wine polished me off for the day and a much needed early night to bed was had.
This story has a fairy tale ending too. Becky stayed with Damian, and the rest of Team VC to see him across the finish line (Digger and I went back to see them in for the final half mile). On the finish line Damian dropped down to one knee, got out a ring, and presented it to his girlfriend, Sam (running as support wiht Team VC too) and proposed. She said Yes, and all of this was captured on BBC East :0) Yay! I salute Team VC, Digger, Damian and of course Veterans Charity - as we did it all for you!A big thankyou to my dear friend Becky Smith who I coerced into another event. She is running with me on our next event..The Great South Run..whatta Girl :0)And just for the record, I was up and out of bed at 6.00am on monday walking dogs, running with the horses, without a single ache or pain. Loving my body getting fitter - nearly an elite athlete?? text your donation to 70070 DUCK65 £5
I have just completed a 26.2 Night Time Marathon walking the streets of london for Cancer Research. However, it may have been 28ish miles, as a few people have tweeted/fed back our GPS readings of the night ranging between 27 miles and 29 miles!
One tweet suggested it had been comfirmed by CRUK ? will await further news.But whatever the distance, whether some did the half marathon, full marathon, or didn't complete it, we showed a united desire to raise awareness and funds to help further research, enhance treatment and comfort for cancer sufferers and their families.The event itself was very well organised with some fantastic Volunteers (people in orange t-shirts) and medics who made the evening fun, safe enjoyable and memorable. It was the first time it had been held in the O2 arena. It had to be held somewhere big to accomodate over a ten thousand participants!I was also impressed with the amount of food and drinks there were available at the pitstops. Yes, there were also portaloos, with long queues, but to be honest no event can get that part right!It is only when the walkers are truly thinned out that you can go to a loo without a queue. Luckily I had got my hydration right so my body cells were awash, and not my bladder.
I sipped water from 8.30pm as we started the event.Ah, now, about that whole start thing. Really not my thing to do the enmasse aerobics thing, but I got into the groove with a smile. Seemed a shame and waste to warm my body ready for action only to be be trapped within the O2 as we were slowly, oh so slowly, syphoned through a narrow tunnel to slowly be drip fed over the start..stop..start..stop...START line! CRUK need to brainstorm the whole START thing!
(But it's constructive critism to help them out)The "Finish" experience was fun though. I arrived to a sparkly tunnel in the arena, from around the long..tedious perimeter mile of the O2 as dawn was breaking. There were some to-die for images of the Thames Barrier and Canary Wharf lit up in it's finest sparkly night lights against the back drop of a most beautiful sunrise. Breath taking!
As I got close to the Finish Line I was grabbed by the commentator who asked how did I find the walk and event? "QUACKTASTIC" said I, of course!I was keen to find my Trek bar to munch on as I was now quite hungry and craving the wrong carbs of bacon butties and chips.London seemed to be partying outdoors all night, possibly due to the unanturally warm weather. This provided an awful ot of entertainment. Drunk tux wearers, staggering high heeled girls in some flambouyant cocktail dresses, tall man carrying a naked inflatable doll with Katy Price written on her bottom. I was also asked to pose for a few photos
, with donations duly given as a means of thanks. Who says Ducks can't get propositioned or solicitored for financial gain ..keeping this clean, people!!!I have enjoyed reading through the twitter tag lines for #shine and #shine2011
.It has been fun and also quite emotional to read peoples experiences. Through this I have also made a few more twitter friends. I stood out a bit so a lot of people came to find me to say Hi, or said Hi then followed it up on Twitter. I also had an unexpected donation from one of the cycling Marshalls for my efforts. Thankyou!For me, doing Shine, is part of a journey. I can now walk long distance. But a lot of people can't. I have enjoyed helping a group of friends with their training and motivationg. I felt rather awful that our group broke up. Par for the course of a large number of people, of mixed ability
, doing an endurance event, I guess. It is only after the event that I realised the enormity of taking part in #Shine. I have been part of a large group of people, almost Family, who want to raise funds for Cancer Research. This is a bigger story than I can write. It's part of a personal journey too, to overcome weight issues, get my body fit, to hopefully reduce my risks of cancer and other illnesses. I can now do these endurance events.. so it fulfills my need to want to do more for charity, something I am very passionate about. I can use my strength to help others.Having just read the blog of Sarah, I feel even worse that not only was I not there to help when she was very ill, but that I didn't wait the extra hour and a half to see her over the finish line. I can't put back time but I can learn from that. I didn't have to soldier on, but I helped some one else over the finish line. Just not the whole team.. although I was there to cheer them through. Remember the rules of the 3 Muskateers!The other part of the journey is my learning how to plan for not just one endurance event but several in quick succession..as indeed I will need that experience when I do the Forces march in May 2012
- that is 5 marathons in 5 consecutive days. I had to get the hydration and carbing up right for the Shine weekend, taper off to conserve energy for the event, then rehydrate and refuel after the event. plus let the body rest and recover. Most would give themselves a week or sob. But I have to get back in to training on tuesday for the Perkins Great Eastern Run (Peterborough) half marathon nest Sunday, 9th October! No peace for wicked Ducks!
I have already blogged my training notes
, so I shan't dull your senses further.I am keen to stay positive for this event and encourage all of you to take part next year. It is a worthy cause as well as very challenging event. It is a big ask for the body to not only walk the long distance on a hard tarmac/concrete ground but also thorugh the night. Do not underestimate the impact it will have on you during the event and the few days after. You realy do need to train for long distance walking, and get your carb and hydration right. That is something to practise, too. Not just all brawn but brain too! Guess my three critisms of the evening was the route itself was quite dull, poorly marshalled and the health & safety issue of bottle necking out of the arena and the first major junction/roundabout (Blackwall Tunnel Approach)The route- overlapping the extrememly tedious start and return journey! Then the section out to Green Park. Poor mileage marking also meant that not only was the route 28 miles but between mile 12 & 13 (Green park end) it was more like 2 miles or more! The Marshalls (employed?) by G4, of whom only 2% actively helped us. The other 98 % just stood there, not really taking notice of us, or actually marshalling. There are issues or concerns that they even sent a large group of people off in the wrong direction around the Buckingham Palace stage (mile 14). Very demoralising and annoying.Plus as mentioned, the mass bottle necking to get everyone out of the O2 and at the large junction after a mile or so. Over an hour to do 2 miles. Plus the danger aspect. A healthy safety issue.I could go on writing but I have just tried to give you a taste of my experience. Why not try it yourself? Go on, set yourself the challenge of doing Shine next year!
I shall be as a tribute to all of those who have kicked cancer, and as a memorial to those who sadly haven't.Some more blogs to read of other peoples journey and experience -Rich of Reikan.co.uk (Photography)Register your interest for 2012 and be a part of a fantatic journey from training to finishing at the O2 as dawn breaks! Watch out for the promotion video - there may be a Duck in there ;0)You can still donate by text to 70070 DUCK51 £5
HALF MARATHON ROUTE The half marathon completes the first 6.5 miles then loops back to return along the same route for the second 6.5 miles.
FULL MARATHON Full marathon uses the same route as the half marathon for the first six miles and last six miles of the 26.2 mile route.
START O2 Arena
PIT STOP 1 & 6 University of Greenwich - Used as the first and last pitstop for both the full and half marathon.
PIT STOP 2 & 5 City Hall - Used as the second pitstop for the full marathon and the turn-around point for the half marathon participants.
PIT STOP 3 Westminster Abbey - Used as the third pitstop for full marathon participants only.
PIT STOP 4 St Bartholomew's Hospital - Used as the forth pitstop for the full marathon participants.
FINISH O2 Arena
I did the event with a group of people I had predominatly met through the social medium Twitter!
Naturally we called ourselves #twittershineteam - @rawker28, @theramblingduck, @MsSmythe, @surzy, @philkemp75, @mrfraig, @crukwalton
(missing from picture is @thornykate1)