Monday, 30 April 2012

MK Marathon 2012 - I survived!

Wow I made it: my first marathon and what an experience!  My own headline is a chip time of 4 hours 12 minutes which means I was about half way in the field.  But hey, along with the 3000 or so runners taking apart, everyone was on their own journey and it was very special.  Here goes with the details....

The weather

I am English; we like to talk about the weather and this is no exception.  Yes it was raining "cats and dogs" and strong winds blew the rain in horizontal at times.  I could feel it stinging against my face and legs at times.  The car park was sodden with all of the recent rain and saw me and many other drivers needing to take it easy as we tried not to get too in stuck driving over the undulating muddy grass.  I was wet and cold even before the race started, not a good sign but being in the middle of the pack in the starting pen, many of us could keep warm together.  We must have looked like a bunch of penguins huddling and shivering together!

At one point I almost wished the rain would get even heavier but instead it eased off for a little while.  When you're wet and can't get any wetter you might just as well enjoy the exhilaration of a real downpour.  All in all I am sure the weather will be a memorable feature for many people; it is things like these April showers and weather which is temperamental at this time of year that makes life in England so great!  Notwithstanding this, it looked like some runners were suffering at the end.


I adopted a steady 10 minute per mile pace, or thereabouts from the outset.  I think this was fairly constant throughout.  As normal, although I started in the middle of the field there were many over taking me in the first half; in my first ever race I was fazed by this but I'm not bothered nowadays.  I liked running with my competitors but I didn't talk to anyone; it was a case of remaining focused.  Quite a few times I would spot someone a little further ahead who looked like a "good" runner and they'd become my pace setter for a couple of miles.  That's nice, especially if it's an older runner who gives me that inspiration to press ahead today and for the rest of my life.  

The pain

When I got to mile 21 I was starting to hurt - some of my upper leg muscles were being worked hard and they were telling me!  And yet that is the wonderful thing about our bodies and the natural pain relief that kicks in.  No sooner had it started to hurt, it was gone again.  In spite of the endorphins, I knew I was pushing myself and I was starting then to feel quite tired when I jogged up some inclines (in Milton Keynes these inclines are short, just like coming up from an underpass) but they were enough to slow everyone down.  I refused to walk, I had to keep going.

A glimpse of the end

I caught a glimpse of the MK Dons Stadium through the trees and I knew I really was nearly there.  Around another corner and on to a (traffic free) road and I knew I was on the home straight.  My pace picked up and ran through some crowds of spectators all cheering and clapping (there must have been someone more worthy behind me) and into the stadium itself.  I made it. " Thank you Lord" I said quietly to myself as I walked around the pitch perimeter to get my goodie bag, a nice way to cool down.

And now, the following day

I feel great within myself.  I did it.  Just sitting here wondering how everyone else is, especially the first timers like myself.  How is everyone feeling?  Everyone feeling the achievement?  

Me?  I'm so pleased I did it.  My blog reader H suggested Vaseline but as I've never had any problems "down there" there seemed no need.  I wish now I had.  

"Wet shorts + 26.2 miles = chafing where the sun don't shine"

I feel a little stiff but okay walking around the house.  I know I'm going to have a hum-dinger of a cold but it is definitely worth it.  Having a bit of Type A personality in me, I am not satisfied with myself.  I could have done better and would have done if I'd stuck to the training schedule.  That's life: I have a job and a family to take care of.  I am so thankful to everyone bearing with me through this race and most of all to Rachel, for putting up with me on this journey.

Some pics from the day....
Not doing much business today!
A group warmup

Runners resorting to plastic sacks to stay warm and dry

Time to go for a "cuppa" and put my feet up!

An impressive place to cross the finish line

MK Marathon Results 2012

Congratulations to the winner Dave Mitchinson (2 hours 41 mins) and everyone else taking part.  Thanks to all of the supporters, volunteers also the Race Director and his team - you were all great!

Click here for the results

Click here for my own blog ramble about it.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Pre Race list

Decided to go to the gym for a treadmill run, for about an hour.  Just a gentle run to keep me loosened up.  Left home in such a rush I got there and found I'd left my running shoes at home.  Now that presented a challenge and some choices.

As there wasn't much time left, there certainly wasn't enough time to get dressed again, go home, pick the shoes up, explain three times (plus a forth time to Poppy the dog) why I was home so early and return to the gym.  I decided to go for a swim, after all, why shouldn't I swim in my running shorts?

And so I did.  Did some people watching, if ever I needed a reminder about staying trim I had both extremes to look at.  While bored swimming up and down I decided to have a go at swimming a length under water.  The first attempt left me about 3 metres short.  Second attempt managed it fairly easily; felt good.  Had a bake in the steam room (love it!) and made a mental list of everything I need to take on Sunday for the MK Marathon:

  • race pack including map, car park pass
  • SatNav with car park post code
  • Ibuprofen
  • race number
  • safety pins x4
  • running shoes
  • I'll be wearing my shorts and base layer top
  • small ruck sack, labelled with race number
  • camera for pre/post race photos (for my blog!)
  • waterproof jacket to hopefully leave in my rucksack
  • fleece
  • mobile phone (battery charged)
  • energy gel for half way point
  • disposable jumper
Have I missed anything?

Have you seen the weather forecast for race day?

Did you see the text "Cloudy, wet and windy for much of the weekend with heavy rain and easterly gales by Sunday"?  

Sounds horrible but I can't wait!  I'm not that confident, have hardly had the chance to run since the weekend but I'm looking forward to the marathon, if not the weather!

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Is Watercress good for you?

freshly picked watercress from our garden pond

We started growing watercress in our pond by accident a few years ago.  Rachel was sprinkling a few seeds onto some soil in a seed tray and some fell into the pond.  Since then we have a regular crop of watercress year by year.  In our family, I'm the only one that eats it and so most of it never gets eaten!

Is it good for you?

Easy answer is yes.  It contains Vitamins A, B, C and E.  Also has some other trace elements which are useful - iodine, iron and manganese.  Amongst the various attributes, it is said to have anti cancer properties and has a general tonic effect.

How is it grown?

Ideally it needs running water from which it picks up various nutrients.  In our pond we have a water pump which circulates the same water through a filter with the aim of keeping the pond clear and healthy.  It seems to work judging from the health of the plants, handful of goldfish and the frog / tadpole population.  We never clean our pond out; it just seems to have the right balance and goes along nicely on it's own.  I think the circulating water helps but I'm not sure it is absolutely essential for watercress.

It dies back to a certain extent in the winter and looks pretty hopeless when it is encased in 10 cm of solid ice but it seems to bounce back alright on it's own.


Watercress has been grown in the UK over a long period of time but became particulalry popular in te Victorian times when large quantities were grown in Hampshire and Wiltshire.  Such was the demand in London, there was even the "watercress line" which was a special train service that brought the produce straight to the market at Covent Garden.  I got reminded of this when I had a bike ride last Saturday and came across these at (I think Whitwell) and had a brief conversation with these two men.  They explained they only sell the watercress through Farmer's markets and not to supermarkets.  They're having some problems in coping with the low water levels we are experiencing at this time of year (for readers around the world, we have a water shortage in the UK with various measures in place to conserve water).
Watercress beds at Whitwell(?), Hertfordshire

How to use it

I like it best raw and I enjoy the peppery taste.  I enjoy it in a cheese sandwich or in a salad, just one or two stalks at a time, not too much.  If you don't like the taste but want the benefits, it could be used in mash potato or easily mixed up with cottage cheese and still eaten raw.

A word of caution!

Always wash and inspect it before you eat it - look out for tiny creatures you may wish to avoid!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

MK Marathon - decided for sure

Here's a bit of a rambling round-up; time to sit back with a coffee as I go through this with you.

Remember me telling you I was a little uncertain about doing the MK Marathon?  About a month ago as part of the training I did a 20 odd mile run, thoroughly enjoyed it, but I managed to pick up an injury that has bugged me ever since.  I've tried to treat it by easing off running but not completely - still need to keep my hand in but I've done some cross training (for me only worthwhile if made to be really hard work - just boring otherwise) and a bit of cycling.

I think I'm mostly recovered and yesterday morning was the self imposed "test" with a gentle 9.5 mile run.  I ran at roughly 10 minute / mile pace (6mph) which is which is the pace I hope to average on the marathon itself as a "get around".  Already I'm thinking I'll be in better shape for a Cheddar Gorge event in September!

Everything was fine, mostly.  Consistent with runs over the last few weeks, my leg was very painful and stiff to start off with.  Being aware I was running along the edge of my foot I consciously made myself run a more even form in making my foot land flatter.  Seems to work and aside from the odd twinge, I was good when I got back.  Not too fatigued so I'm cautiously looking forward to the marathon!

As ever the run was uplifting.  I enjoyed running through some country lanes that are now springing nicely into life.  The fields reminded me of how I like to run in "England's Green and Pleasant Land ".  No hugely inspired ideas, no weighty problems solved, no burdens lifted.  Just a pleasant run, enjoying the scenery and knowing I could do it.

After breakfast I happened to speak to my mother on the telephone.  She is horrified at the thought of me trying to run a marathon.  "At your age as well!  You should know better, I should rest and take it easy if I were you. What happens if it rains, won't you catch a cold?".  All the more reason to do it.  Can't wait to next Sunday and then to tell you all about it afterwards

Later on yesterday Becky, my eldest daughter, needed a lift over to Luton for a tap dancing class, so I took the opportunity to put the bike in the back of the car and go for a ride while she was dancing.

Really enjoyed it.  Got lost and what made it worse was having strayed off the edge of the map!  That is not cool.  As I was on the side of the road trying to figure out where I was, a car pulled up and started talking about directions.  I thought my luck was in, perhaps they were offering me some directions.  Turned out they were lost too and had no map at all.

You can see from the above photo, I was just inside Hertfordshire and a jolly nice area too.  "Very Hertfordshire around here as well" I thought.  The clouds were rather heavy looking and I was probably in store for a deluge but it didn't happen for me - a shame!  I know this probably sounds weird but sometimes it's really nice being out in really heavy rain - it's so refreshing and exhilarating.

I was really encouraged and pleased to see plenty of other cyclists out.  Mostly MAMILs* in pairs, whizzing along briskly, though nobody over took me!  There were a couple of mountain bikers and a woman plodding along - enthusiastically dressed in the Lycra gear and on an expensive-looking new Trek hybrid bike.  She wasn't going fast, in fact it looked a bit of a struggle for her, but the important thing was she was out there and having a go.  Seems there really is an explosion of new cyclists out riding decent road bikes in order to keep fit and lose that city bonus.  Brilliant.

So there y'go.  A "reassuring run" before breakfast and a nice bike ride after breakfast.  On that ride I covered 22 miles and, astonishingly, I hit 42mph as a maximum speed - I had no idea I did that yesterday!

*MAMIL = Middle Aged Men In Lycra

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Book review - Earthing by Clinton Ober et al

Recently I really did enjoy the challenge of a book review by fellow blogger Natasha  for her 'The Nourishing Road' blog.

Click here  for the review, the blog itself and why not take a look around Natasha's blog while your there.  You'll see she makes a strong case for natural foods and it'll be interesting to see how this blog grows in popularity and expertise.

Is there anything you'd like me to review for you?  At the time of writing I get over 4,500 hits a month so plenty of readers.  I'll be honest in my review, so please bear that in mind.  Please - just leave a comment below.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Coast to Coast training ride

C2C practice ride for Becky & Hannah
"Becky how far do you think we've been riding for?"

"About a mile or two"

"Are you sure?  Must be at least 20 miles.  I never knew this mountain was so steep" panted Hannah

"Have you tried changing gear?"

"Ah great idea Becky, I know Dad explained all that gear changing stuff but which one do I press?"

"That small one on the left, by your thumb.  If you go any slower you'll fall off"

Clank goes Hannah's gears.  Much easier now; a little quicker too.

"Do you think Dad will buy us an ice cream when we get to the top?"

We got ice creams.  This was a "training" ride for our mini holiday to do our Coast to Coast ride in June.  We kind of got the idea last year when we stayed in Cumbria and couldn't help but notice all the route markings and fantastic countryside from the Irish Sea to the North Sea.

We're planning to do a short route consisting of 35 miles x 3 days and staying in Travel Lodges.

The great thing is, we're doing it with our like-minded friends Dave and Ruth with their girls Kate and Hannah (in the same classes as our girls).

Saturday, 14 April 2012

I just needed a good run

My MK marathon race pack arrived this week.

Yes, I needed a good run early this morning for a few reasons and that's exactly what I got.  Here goes:

Reason 1

The MK Marathon is looming very close and I'm far from my best.  It is on Sunday 29th April i.e.just 15 days to go.  The race pack arrived this week.  I've got a nice number.  So far everything about the MK marathon points towards a well organised race - I wish I was!

Reason 2

Regular readers will know I injured myself three weeks ago and since then I've eased back on running almost completely in order to allow some healing to take place.  I have done a couple of 10k runs and a couple of shorter runs or jogs to prevent myself from seizing up.  Plus I've had the odd bike ride and cross training session at the gym which I'm sure has been helpful.  So this was the main reason: doing my favourite 7.5 mile hilly run... how would that be?  Could I do that as easily as before?  Could that 7.5 mile run become 26.2 miles in two weeks?

Reason 3

I need to lose 4lbs in weight to feel "right" but I'm still in the middle of my ideal weight range with a BMI of 22.1.  I can feel it as I run, just a little tummy fat accumulating and that 4lbs makes all the difference.

Reason 4

I'm returning to work after the Easter holiday and starting to think about work.  Already I can feel the stress level starting to rise which is not a good sign.   I always used to worry what my offenders would get up to while I was away on leave.  Everyone's nightmare is a Serious Further Offence when there's an arrest for murder, rape or a handful of other serious matters and you're not there to defend yourself or explain why the file isn't completely up to date.  Everyone dreads that message awaiting for your return ("..... needs to see you about X urgently").  Even though I've climbed the ladder a bit, I still dread turning on my computer to see my emails and I have a potentially tricky meeting on Monday afternoon.

Reason 5

This reason is simple for me but maybe not so easy to identify with unless you're already a runner.  It's about the sheer joy of running.  Being free, just doing it and being alone with my thoughts.  Taking yourself to that different plain, thinking things through in a different way and rising above all of those niggles in life.  Feeling my body working and being more in-tune with it; listening to my breathing and my foot steps and rejoicing in the crispness of the early morning.  Sorry, I could wax lyrical about that for ages....

The result?

Not too bad.  I could feel my "shin splint" injury lurking there now and again but not too bad.  I'd say it is 90% healed and at this stage before the race, I'm going to risk going for it.  

I was watching my shadow at one point as this is a good way of checking my running form - again not too bad but not perfect.  My new Saucony's are brilliant, pleased I got them.

Just a quiet and soft dose of the Runner's High, in proportion to the run itself.  Nevertheless, satisfying and rewarding.
Although this was a "see how I do" run, my time wasn't bad and from a cardio point of view I've retained my capacity.  Mentally, a very nice lift too!

Friday, 13 April 2012

World's best saddle bag?

It is all very well for cyclist and blogger Tejvan Pettinger in his truly excellent Cycling Info blog to talk about buying the largest saddle bag you can, he has neglected the above Carradice saddle bags, still made in the UK (thankfully).

I was amused by the thought of other roadies asking him "are you going camping?" upon seeing his somewhat compact saddle bag on his training bike.  If they saw mine they'd be asking if I was moving house.

There are so many fantastic things about Carradice saddle bags.  They're so durable as this one testifies - being circa 1988 or thereabouts.  They're probably "bomb proof", timeless and that adds to the charm, I think.  Certainly heavy duty and comes in handy for carrying some paperwork to and from work, my lunch, mobile phone, wallet, ID badge and clothes for the day.  Permanent occupants are a spare inner tube, some spiders, tyre levers and a spare pair of glasses.

It is amazing what these can carry, having stuffed them full of tins from Sainsburys; I use my pannier bags for less robust cargo.  It is easy to carry a 4 pint bottle of milk, smoothies and tins knowing they're strapped in there really securely.  Hardly anyone ever cycles to our Sainsbury's to stock up on loads of shopping - people look at me and think I'm either a disqualified driver, weird or too mean to drive my car.

These bags are hardly  elegant, aerodynamic, modern or trendy.  Instead they look a bit dated, a bit CTC-ish of old and generally twinned with a Brooks B17 saddle but I couldn't care less.  For use on an all-purpose bike they are great bags.  Mind you, I can't imagine Tejvan Pettinger et al using one - unless you know different (and now there's a challenge).

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Dennis & Eleanor Draper - marathon runners

Photo: Runner's World
I hope Mrs Secret Runner and I can be like these two runners one day.  Dennis and Eleanor Draper caught my eye in the January 2012 edition of Runner's World and they're really worth a mention.  In fact I've competed against some people in Garden City Runners so who knows, perhaps I've been in the same race.

You can see why it's so easy to admire people like this.  They started running later in life, perhaps at the point when many are hanging up their running shoes.  For Dennis, he was in his 40s when he started (just like me) and he then set about persuading his wife, Eleanor, to have a go.  She did and the two of them have competed together in numerous marathons making them local celebrities.  They have been recognised in their local Welwyn Garden City community for a Mayor's award for their fund raising and achievements.

Now in their 70s, they have both had a dose of cancer and yet have not only pulled through but have continued to run.  Arguably lesser people would have given up running following a diagnoses like that and nobody would ever think badly of someone in those circumstances.

With them both seasoned runners, it makes sense to train together and for them to have the same diet and this is a formula that certainly works.  In fact as a way of celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, Eleanor signed them both up to a race in Switzerland; the Jungfrau Marathon.

It's fair to say running has been a real blessing for the couple and they've had their fair share of injury.  Back in January it was reported that Dennis was in need of a hip replacement (I wonder why!) and had stopped running for the time being, on Doctor's orders.

For sure, I can only admire Dennis and Eleanor.  I hope I can take a leaf out of their book and be running when I'm in my 70s.  So, Mrs Secret Runner, what I'd like on our 50th wedding anniversary is.....

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Introducing SR: the Secret Runner

Readers from Couch to 5K (C25K) already know of SR's exploits and her furtive running adventures with her new friend Laura.  For the benefit of my blog readers, here's the story.

Unbeknown to me Rachel, aka Coach and Mrs Ramblings had signed up to C25K back in February.  C25K is an NHS backed fitness programme encouraging people in their first steps in becoming a runner.  It's a gentle start helped by using free podcasts and this is where Laura comes in.  Laura is the motivational coach whose voice breaks through the up beat music at the right time.

There was an elaborate web of innocent deception going on when Rachel would disappear for a gentle walk, jog and run all under the guise of taking Poppy Dog for a walk.  Apparently I caused a few panics when I'd call home and say I was on my way home from work soon, or the times when I'd be tidying up Rachel's running shoes from the hallway.  They thought I had rumbled them but I hadn't.

Meanwhile Rachel the Secret Runner had been gathering quite a following on the C25K forum with lots of people in suspense (juicydee, Bxster, Al1Bi and others) about whether I'd discover what was going on and how Rachel was going to spring the news on me.  People couldn't wait.  A few clues had been left for me on my blog, urging me to check the C25K forum and then there was the Easter egg waiting on the doorstep when we got home from the Easter Sunday service.

Sure, I noticed the wrapped up Easter egg but just left it there.  Nobody ever buys me an Easter egg and if I'd clocked it I was bound to have been spoiling someone else's plan.  Somewhat frustrated by this, everyone else (and they were all in on it!) had to resort to handing me the egg (isn't he so dopey) and putting the little note into my hand.  The little note was a bit cryptic with a website, user name and password.  So.  So I logged on and then I came to realise what this was all about!

I'm so proud of Rachel, my coach, Mrs Ramblings for taking these steps and it's another reason why I love her so much that this was all sprung on me (and my apologies if this is a bit too cheesey).  The Easter egg was iced with the message "Love from a secret runner" and on the back it said "will you come for a run?".  Of course, that simply had to be done.

Off we set, the two of us with the Laura the virtual goosebury and we had a very gentle 20 minute jog with Poppy Dog who , funnily enough, seemed to know the way.  I happened to be listening to the MP3 when it announced to Rachel "So now you're a runner".  Now Rachel has "come out" as a runner, it's great we can go together for runs and who knows where this could lead.  Rachel has even started to pick up Runner's World magazines and actually read them rather than just tidy them away!

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Reasons to run (again)

Little did I know when Beckipeg photographed me last year, she would be running along here herself!
As there are quite a few new blog readers taking a look from C25K, I thought you might be interested to know what drives me.  Click here  for a previous blog post so you'll know where I'm at and why Beckipeg (aka Coach, Mrs Ramblings etc) is supporting me.  Running is such a fantastic thing to do any would really encourage anyone to have a go and persevere.

For C25Ker's I was absolutely gobsmacked and delighted.  I had no idea at all about Beckipeg being SR, the Secret Runner, although I did recognise the clues but confess I hadn't pieced them together.  Thank you to everyone for your part in encouraging her to press ahead - that's really great - thank you and here's to the progress continuing!

Running and inspirational sights can mean so much.

Happy Easter

By Hannah, 12 years old
Easter Greetings to everyone who reads my blog from all around the world - from Russia to Brazil, Canada to Israel.

Are avocados and tomatoes good for you?

Historically I have loathed avocados but now I see them in a different light and really enjoy them.  Besides, some foods just seems to go well with each other: cheese and pickle, peanut butter and mayonnaise (yes, really!) and now I can add avocados and tomatoes to the list.

Before, I happily bought them for Coach Mrs Ramblings but I always used to loathe them - horrible slippery, slimy and expensive.  However I now see them in a different light.  Why?  Individually they are nutritious but together they're even better.  Read on....


I think of avocados as being a savoury fruit which grows from a rather beautiful tree.  Once we have bought the fruits, we store hem at room temperature but it is said you can speed up the ripening by keeping them with apples.  We haven't needed to try that as they ripen at a nice steady pace.  They're ripe when they are slightly soft when given a gentle squeeze - not too much though, they bruise easily.  

They contain glutathione, a powerful antioxidant which is a phytochemical and soaks up free radicals.  This lowers the likelihood of cancers developing.  There's also quite a lot of monounsaturated fat which is useful in reducing bad cholesterol in blood.  There is also a useful dose of Vitamins E, K (useful for recovery) B1, B2, B3 and B5.  In fact, take the time to look elsewhere on the Internet and you'll find nothing but praise for avocados and also some comments about them being fairly high in calories, weight for weight.


In spite of tomatoes being rather watery, they're still very healthy through containing Vitamins A, B3 and C.  It is the Lycopene which is present in tomatoes which is especially valuable.  It is an antioxidant carotenoid which is useful (see avocados above) for mopping up free radicals.  To derive the real benefits of this, interestingly the tomatoes should be cooked and then combined with fat.

And then together....

You know the saying, the sum is greater than the individual parts?  This is a good example.  Through combining these two wonderful foods together, you can then derive so much goodness and real health giving benefits. Put simply, it is the fats in the avocado that bring out the best in the tomato (just like peanut butter and mayonnaise, I reckon!)

I just wonder, if ever I had high cholesterol, whether I could treat myself by diet changes, rather than having to give in to those drugs the Doctor would prescribe.  It would certainly be worth a try.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Shin splints?

I'm struggling a bit with running and I know many of my blog readers will have some empathy here.

After my recent long 20 mile run I've found my left leg to be quite painful when running.  It's between my left knee and ankle.  Not had this before so hard to know how long it will take to heal.  Quite a tricky balance between reducing running to allow healing to take place and not running at all.  I can't afford to grind to a halt just 3 weeks before the MK Marathon but I do need to heal this injury.  My solution is new running shoes (that helps), reducing my running to 10-12 miles a week, using across trainer at the gym and doing a few more stretches.

This evening I went out for a 3 mile run, taking about 25 minutes and using my new shoes. A fairly undulating run , mostly off road.  There was some pain and my left foot is landing different these days - I'm still landing on my heel (outer edge) and then rolling forward on that outer edge more than I used to; it's a bit awkward.  When I did a 10k run earlier in the week I had the same pain but "ran through it" fairly well.  I'm hoping I can do something like this in the marathon.

Watch this space, as they say....

Stop press!

Having slept on the matter of my injured leg, how it feels combined with reading up on it a little further, I've decided to ease off running for two weeks and enjoy cycling instead.  Hopefully this will allow me to stay in good shape and yet allow some healing to take place.  That way I hope to at least be able to jog around the MK Marathon on the 29th April.

So, here goes.  Right now it is 6.00am Saturday morning and I'm up blogging.  Gonna finish the ironing (!) have a coffee and go for an hour's bike ride.  

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Tip for lacing running shoes

Using the extra lacing hole
Here's a tip to try if you ever find your running shoes feel a bit loose at the heel, in spite of them being the right size.  This tip is useful for running shoes of any make, providing there's an extra hole for the lace to thread though.

You can see in the photograph above, how the laces are threaded through an extra loop.  This has the effect of making the heal area a little more firm and less likely to move around or cause blisters.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

New Sauconys!

My new Saucony's
My Coach, Mrs Ramblings ordered a new pair of my favourite running shoes and they arrived by post today - here they are - my new Saucony ProGrid Omni 10.  Coach pointed out it was just bonkers to be running in the wrong shoes or the right shoes that were worn out, if you get the drift.

My Brooks Vapor 9's are charged with contributing to my current dose of shin splints, aggravated by a good helping of pushing myself too far.  My otherwise brilliant previous Saucony ProGrid Omni 10s had got past the worn out stage and begun falling apart and had been duly thrown away, so for the last week I had been hobbling around in a really old pair of Sauconys.

Is there any wonder why running still hurts?

What is troubling me is that the MK Marathon is a little over 3 weeks away and I should be tapering my training now, not still trying to build up.

The strategy now is to stay in reasonably good shape, perhaps some shortish runs, cross trainer and cycling in order to avoid becoming stiff and/or flabby!  I'm eating loads and if I'm not active enough, I know I'll gain weight which I can't afford to do at this stage.

You will already know I like these shoes as they suit me well.  Another reason is they are probably the best of the mainstream bunch as far as ethical trading is concerned and that should be an important factor to all runners.  I wanted to refresh myself and was interested to see their latest position - click here - for a link through to Saucony's UK site.