Tuesday, June 15, 2010

St Alban's Half Marathon

My brothers, Steven and Paul standing with me after the event.

Thank heavens we made it!

Paul, my eldest brother took an early lead as we expected and Steven, my younger brother, managed to keep up with him for the first 8miles. I lost them both right at the start and quite sensibly ran my own race.

Years ago I ran a half marathon with no training and managed a time of 2hrs 15mins and so I set myself this goal for the St Albans event. My training has not been good and I have struggled the last 3 times that I have been out for a run. I wasn't sure how I'd go but felt determined although a tad apprehensive, especially since my trainers have not been the best and I get cramp since I have been wearing them.

Steven and me once we arrived at St Albans, before the event

It was a very scenic run through beautiful country lanes with pretty old English houses. The people were incredibly friendly and the crowds clapped and cheers all the way around the route. Some came out with sprinklers while others had their children out filling up cups of water as we ran by. Over 2000 people entered this event and so credit has to go to the people of St Albans for making the event even better than it was.

The route was tough as there was a number of hills with long, gradual inclines and it was a hot, sunny day which meant it was important to keep the water intake up. Throughout the race there were moments that I felt great which, thankfully, gave me a boost of confidence but soon my right foot started to cramp up again and I could feel my leg straining. "Keep going!" I told myself, "One foot in front of the other."

I wondered if I'd catch my brothers, little did I know that Steven was struggling too and was suffering from the heat. It was his competitive nature that kept him ahead of me and Paul's desire to beat Steven's previous time that drove him over the line ahead of both of us. All in all it was a tough event and I hope to improve on my fitness.

I'm down to the last week of my trip now. This time next week I'll be almost back in NZ. I have had the most amazing time with friends and family and I didn't realise how much I miss them. It is going to be hard saying good bye...alas I must.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


My new running shoes are giving me endless grief. Out on my 10mile/16k run today I was about 15k into it when my right foot got cramp and I slowed up. It started in my foot and went all the way up to my thigh. Unlike me I stopped and Steven, my brother, ran home to get the car to pick me up. NOT HAPPY! With only days until the half marathon things are not looking good. I hope I can complete the event.
I wish that I had brought my old trainers from NZ instead of the new. No more training runs now until the day. I think I need some luck!
I'll add my holiday photos when I get back to NZ. I'm having such a great time here with my friends and family. Still not missing NZ although I think about kindie heaps and of course Shayne and my boys. Love to all in NZ and see you in 2 weeks. xx

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

St Albans Half Marathon

Today my brother and I headed out early this morning for a short 5mile/8k run. Again all around the streets that I grew up in, past some of my friends old houses, along the street that we used to go carol singing in. Lots of memories were being triggered today - AWESOME!

My run was still a tad hard while Steven seemed effortless in his style and speed. My breathing is not too good as I can't get into any rhythm but it is early days of my minimal training for the St Albans half marathon. Both my brothers are doing this event with me and while I hold the record for the fastest time for a half marathon event I am not at all confident that I will beat them this time round.

On the 13 June I will front up to the start line and do the distance probably a good 15 to 20 mins behind them but here's hoping for a tad better than that.

Running With my Brother

My first training run in the UK for years was with my brother, Steven, and I left home at 6:40am to attempt a 21km run. This was an opportunity for me to check out some of the places I used to visit when I lived in here. While much of our run was through residential and industrial areas we also went through a place called Totteridge Lane. My friends and I used to go for picnics to this area as it is lush with trees and fields, cows and horses, quite scenic yet is still relatively close to my home.

We reached just over half way when my right foot started to cramp up. I have been running in my new shoes that I purchased with the spot prize voucher that I was lucky enough to win. I'm not sure yet that they are any good. I sat on a wall to take one shoe off and massage my foot, loosened the laces and got back to it. The whole time my brother was way ahead of me and I didn't enjoy the idea of him having to slow down for me. I haven't lived in London for 16 years and I have forgotten all the streets that were once my local haunts. I didn't want to get lost...

Sure enough, in Queensbury I took a wrong turn and became separated from my brother and so I was forced to ask for help. Back on track and heading towards Burnt Oak I felt a tad better and picked up my pace again. I wasn't sure on the distance I had covered and so ran the rest of the way home. I reached home before Steven but only because he ran the correct route and went back to look for me. Poor chap!

We looked up Mapometer and I covered just over 13.5miles while Steven ran 13.2miles, just over 21k so although I struggled a fair bit, Steven was absolutely fine. The time was not too good and so lots to improve on. Next run will be on Tuesday...