Thursday, 9 June 2016

Magical Memories

So what happened?

We did it - New Guinness World Record
(David J Bentley Photography)
I guess you knew this already if you are on social media.

I have tried to write this blog several times but words can not describe the 5th June but I know I will never experience a race like that again.

Pre race was not what I expected.  I thought I'd be a quivering wreck but as my friends and family turned up I was just beaming with happiness.  The only near breakdown I had was 5 minutes to the off and I still had no pram or Archie as we had left him with friends while we warmed up and were struggling to get him back through the crowds.  Stood in the sub 1:20 section, the fast whippets started to question. "Aren't you suppose to have a pram and a baby?"

Finally the main man of the show arrived.  We laughed and joked on the start line, the gun sounded, the wheels turned, the screams from our support crew could be heard and I felt privileged to be there.

Archie was a top little dude with only a temporary cry going through Derby town but I was under strict instructions from dad not to stop.  We hit 6 miles and to be honest I don't know how we got there, it was going too quickly and I wanted to soak it all in.

I was comfortable, running faster than expected and feeling like nothing could stop us.  We had huge roars of support from friends and family along the route with #TEAMJAMES banners.  It was starting to heat up until we got under the tree canopy's of Elvaston Castle.

There was some sheer looks of disbelief from supporters seeing a woman with a buggy.  Funnily they seem to be more suprised that I was pushing a baby.  I'm sure I would have been more suprised seeing someone running with an empty pram and be slightly concerned that they had lost a baby!

The final 3 miles run down the river bank with a slight incline.  I knew we had it in the bag at this point but I didn't know by how much.  If we had got a puncture I swear I would have put the buggy on my back and ran with it into the IPro Stadium.

The final bend we turned into the IPro. All I can say is WOW the atmosphere was electric, everyone was willing us on.  Seeing the sheer joy and excitement in peoples eyes was so moving.  Mum this last 400 meters is for you.  I couldn't contain the smile, nor could my amazing team.  Witnesses Kevin Doyle and Andy Lockwood and camera man Owen James, all were whooping and shouting 'Come on.'

I saw the finish line and I hear "A new world record." It hit me we'd done it, unbelievable.

It wasn't until we were interviewed did I ask the time.  1.27.34 WHHHHAAAAATTTTT!

A memory to last a life time.  Still now when I think about it I well up, I am so happy on what we have achieved but what makes me happier is how genuinely happy everyone around us were.

While this was one of the best days of my life, sadly it was the worse day of other peoples lives.  A runner collapsed towards the end of the race and unfortunately lost their life in hospital.  My sincere thoughts go out to the runners friends and family, I am so saddened by your loss.

So again thank you to everyone for your continued support we have currently raised £3340 a superb amount for Macmillan and the Rotherham Hospice.  The fundraising page will stay open for a while.

So what next?  Any ideas feel free to let me know......

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Lets do this thing

The bags are packed, the buggy is pumped and raring to go and I'm watching 2 pigeons mating on our fence.  Owen's grinning like a Cheshire cat after his one liners 'It's a new cocktail sex on the fence', followed by 'I bet she's up the dove now'.

I feel a little odd, this time tomorrow it will be over but yet the outcome is a mystery.  Where has all the time gone from my first buggy run in January?

People say time is a great healer when you lose someone.  To be honest I don't want to heal. I use to fear grieving but I think it's a good thing.  To hurt means that someone really mattered to you, so I accept that my grief wont go away and nor do I want it too.  

Tomorrow is never promised, so I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone of you for being a part of this journey and I feel humbled about how fortunate I am that you are a part of my life.

Although I can not see you tomorrow mum I know you will be by my side. This is for you and for everyone who has their own story to tell about cancer.

For you and everyone who has a story to tell about cancer

Big cheers for the #TEAMJAMES crew tomorrow

Super big cheer for this little fella - Archie
1st to cross the line out of our team.

Lots of sponsorship's have come through today.
It's not too late if you want to donate!


This weeks training:

Who cares, lets do this thing!

Sunday, 29 May 2016

A new beginning

This blog is less about the training and more about heart.

There has been a complete stirring of emotion inside this week.  Along with training for the World Record we have just packed our home for a house move.  They say one of the most stressful things in life is moving house.  So I thought I'd build up the pressure by adding into the equation a World Record attempt 1 week later!

There are many reasons for moving but one is a new beginning.  We live just down the road from the hospital where my mum deteriorated so quickly and the Rotherham Hospice where she spent her final days.  I pretty much pass them both daily as they are on my running route and it fills me with such sadness.  I want to leave these memories behind and remember life when she was happy and well.

I also received a letter from the solicitors this week to say my mums estate has been finalised.  I just wish I could give everything back and have my mum instead.

With only 1 week to go until the Ramathon all the emotion of what I've been training for and why has started to build up.  I am so moved by every kind word, the belief people have in me to achieve this and the generous donations of those close to me as well as complete strangers.

The focus of this challenge will hopefully have raised awareness of The Rotherham Hospice and Macmillan and provided some vital funds for both charities.  I hope I have given some people belief to follow their own dreams and aspirations.  I know it's inspired many mums to start running again (with or without a buggy) which is amazing.

Training for this challenge has certainly given me a positive focus on how to deal with losing a parent.

I will do one more blog before race day if I can get out of the toilets!

So one week out how am I feeling?

Anxious, uncertain, worried I'll let people down, worried I'll let myself down, embarrassed and fearful, but also....Excited, hopeful, lucky, blessed, grateful, dedicated, focused, loved, brave and determined.

So that's enough of diving deep into the heart here is my head part taking over.  There are many of you special people travelling from near and far to support me on the day.  This means the world to me so thank you sincerely.  All of the Ramathon event guide information including timings, parking, maps, entertainment etc can be found by following this link:

Ramathon Event Guide

The race capacity is 5000 including the children's race so get there early as it will get extremely busy for parking.

Additional to this Macmillan have a gazebo at the event and are happy for any of my supporters to stop by or take cover if needs be although the long range forecast is hot, hot, hot.  Also as mentioned before I have a section of The Merlin pub reserved for a post race get together, it would be great to see you all.

The Merlin

Thank you for all of your donations so far.  I have both a fundraising page:

Or you can donate by text:

I will also have live tracking, I'll post the link on Facebook on the day.  Also follow us on Twitter #TEAMJAMES

This weeks training:
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 50 min recovery spin
Wednesday: 50 min recovery run with buggy
Thursday: 15, 4 x 200's, 3 x 1k, 2 x 200's
Friday: Rest/ 15 hour house move packing/unpacking
Saturday: 50 minute recovery
Sunday: 15, 40 level 3, 15 buggy run

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Never say never.

As part of my Ramathon build up I entered the White Peak half marathon as a tune up race.  Owen is a bit of an expert at predicting race times and when he told me what he thought I was capable of I thought he was mad.  He expected me to run the race between 6.20 - 6.24 minute mile pace which I had done my 50 minute tempo at and I couldn't imagine sustaining that effort for another 40 minutes.
The race is a scenic route meandering through the White Peak trail finishing down hill into Cromford. It is known as a fast course generally but Saturday brought us a lovely treat of a strong head wind for most of the run.  I started out fast but on target with my heart rate zones but after a couple of miles the wind kicked in and it was a mental and physical battle.  I felt the time slipping away but knew I was running at my limit so I just had to accept that it is what it is.

There are three sharp downhill sections which were great until it flattened back out and my legs went to jelly.  Three miles to go I just had to dig in.  I stumbled a few times when the fatigue set in and the last .75 miles on the canal bank felt like it went on for an eternity.  I crossed the line as first lady.  I hadn't even looked at my overall time for the whole of the race and it wasn't until I'd staggered about, downed some water and gathered my thoughts that I checked my watch.  The big beaming smile from Owen said it all, 1:23:00, a 1.47 minute PB.   The first thought that crossed my mind was, why didn't I run it 1 second quicker? Good is never good enough.

I finished 9th place in the race with 249 runners.  I would never have thought I was capable of ever running a time like this.  This kind of time in my mind is for those fast girls you see at races looking tiny, serious and in hot pants.  Not me, I'm just a 38 year old mum in training, trying to find the right balance of everything in life, hoping I don't neglect anyone or anything.  My first half marathon was back in 2001 in Nottingham finishing in over 2 hours and I can remember having 2 thoughts.  Firstly I will never be able to run faster than I have today and secondly I will never do another half marathon again! Never say never.

It's now Sunday and I am walking like the Tin Man.  A few easy days recovery and a hand full of quality speed work sessions then it will be judgement day.  Only two weeks to go and I feel a whole concoction of excitement and complete anxiety.

This is me and my family looking a little less anxious.  Chris from Dark Wolf Photography offered to take some professional photo's of us to support our fundraising, thank you so much. He does some fantastic portrait work check out his website - Dark Wolf Photography

Thank you also to Wendy and Ewan for coming to the rescue when they heard about the buggy run melt down and provided a phone holder to try so Archie can now listen to singers in tune rather than me trying to breathlessly entertain him on the run Running Buggies

I am overwhelmed by the generosity, kind words and just the general belief family, friends and strangers have given me throughout this whole adventure.  Thank you for being a part of the journey.

Summary of this weeks training:
Monday: 10, 40 level 2 10
Tuesday: Recovery 50 buggy run, Pilates
Wednesday: 15 mins, 4 x 5 mins 6 x 200, 1 x 5 mins, 15 mins
Thursday: Rest, ab's and glutes
Friday: 30 minutes 10 x strides
Saturday: White Peak Half Marathon
Sunday: Rest

Sunday, 15 May 2016

The horse has bolted

After Sunday's shocker I had one aim this week which was to repeat the session and smash it along with any dip in confidence.

Monday and Tuesday were recovery days as Sunday had taken a lot out of me physically.  By Wednesday I intended to hit target half marathon pace with the buggy on the Trans Pennine trail.  It was more important for me mentally to nail this session so I could forget about Sunday.  After a 15 minute warm up, the familiar sound of the Garmin beeped it's count down as it warned me the fun was about to begin.  The horse bolted pushing its chariot rather than pulling it.  I ran 2 x 25 minutes hard with Andy who will be one of my independent witnesses on the day of the World Record attempt.  We smashed it so Sunday is a distant memory.

I'm now counting down the few hard quality sessions which I have left before the big day.  I was happy to see the back of my last 2 min, 1 min, 30 seconds eye balls out session on Saturday as the last 3 reps felt like I was Mr Jelly running in sinking sand.  It would have been easy to give up but I think if you give up in training you remember that and it then becomes easier to give up in a race.

Thank you Archie for being a super training partner this week

We went to our running clubs 'Kimberworth Striders' presentation night this week.  They are a great friendly club who promote a 'Run for All' ethos.  They have supported me in the past with various charity events and without fail they donated the proceeds from the raffle to my charities.  A big thank you for the £108 you raised, I love being a part of the Striders family.

With only 3 weeks left now until judgement day.  Why don't you take a little visit to my fundraising page.  Every little with go along way for MacMillan and The Rotherham Hospice.

This weeks training:
Monday: 50 minute bike recovery, pilates
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 15, 2 x 25 (5 min jog recovery) level 3, 15 buggy run
Thursday: 50 min recovery run
Friday: 30 min recovery run, pilates, glutes
Saturday: 2 min, 1 min, 30 sec x 8
Sunday: 10, 40 level 2, 10 buggy run

Sunday, 8 May 2016

'I may not be there yet but I am closer than I was yesterday'

Only 4 weeks to go and I know these last 4 weeks will fly by. After a really strong week of training and exceeding my target pace for my 50 minute tempo.  I can now see the progress I have made from when I started training for the world record in January.

The main session of the week was the final run of the Ramathon route before the big day.  The aim was to hit target world record pace for the last 5 miles and to leave the session feeling positive.  I'd love to say that I achieved both or just one of these, but I didn't.  I started the run feeling slightly tired and thought it would pass.  By the time I hit the golden gates at Alvaston Castle where my pace was due to start, I felt like I was giving my all but couldn't hit the pace.  My head dropped and to be honest if I was on my own I may have backed off but Owen kept me going.

I was trying to turn my negative thoughts into positive ones.  I tried to turn the discomfort I was feeling into thinking about an anonymous person who left a generous donation this week, saying cancer is very scary - I should know, it needs to be beaten.  Whoever you are, I was thinking of you in those last 2 miles knowing that what life has thrown at you will have been far worse than what I was feeling so I needed to pick myself up and give it my all.

Seeing the IPro was a great relief and when I finally hit 13.1 miles I felt a range of emotions. Disappointed, worried, upset and uncertain for the first time.

I can not grumble at all as I have had a superb spell of consistent training, I just hope I can do it on the day. I'm left questioning what more I can do in the next 4 weeks to give me that extra chance.  If you can think of anything and it's legal please let me know! 😉

I am blessed with so many family and friends coming to support me on the day which I appreciate.  I would love to see you all after the event and have secured a section of the Merlin Pub which is a short walk from the start/finish line.  The tables will have my name on it so please hang around if you can.

'I may not be there yet but I am closer than I was yesterday'

Summary of weeks training:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 15 min, 50 minute tempo, 15 min. Pilates
Wednesday: 50 minute recovery
Thursday: 10, 40 minutes level 2, 10, Pilates and strength
Friday: 4 x 6 minutes tempo, 6 x 200's
Saturday: 50 minute buggy recovery run
Sunday: 13.1 mile Ramathon buggy run last 5 at target world record pace

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Chewing Chihuahua & Tiny Tears

Tiny Tears - and not just the baby!

Many people have asked how Archie behaves when I run with in.  In a proud mum voice I reply smugly that he loves it as he either sleeps or just watches the tree's go by.  Leaving me feeling confident that he will be on best behaviour on race day.

Not no more, this weeks performance put me in serious doubt.  On my buggy reps session of 8 x 6 minutes with 1 minute recovery Archie was not playing ball.  My 1 minute walk recoveries involved 1 minute of trying to pull every soothing technique out of the bag to calm him down.  It is the first time I can say that I've sprinted whist singing 'Say hello to the sun' nursery rhyme which in the past never fails.  It didn't have the same effect with the panting and gasps for oxygen in between.  My only rep where he wasn't having a melt down was interrupted by his mitten flying off out of the pram.  I thought sod it I'll pick it up on the cool down, until a walker decided to pass it to me while I was going at full pelt.  It was like the 4 by 1 Olympic relays, we did an excellent change over.

I pray he isn't like that on race day if he is and you are in the crowds can you all sing 'Say hello to the Sun' for him/and me please.

Speed session 2 of the week was not interrupted by Tiny Tears but a Chihuahua trying to crew my ankles.  After 3 attempts of the Chihuahua nipping at me whilst in full flight, I finally lost it and dropped some expletives at the dog/owner (very out of character for me).  What effect did it have? None. I endured 2 more attacks until I stopped the Garmin and barked (excuse the pun)
'Do you not have a lead?'
'Will you put in on then?'.
Finally the dog escaped short of me booting it into Rotherham canal (sorry dog lovers).

The organisation for the race day is starting to come together.  Every time someone say's they are coming to support us on our attempt I get a warm glow inside followed by butterflies and a rush of adrenaline.   Thank you to everyone who is planning on coming from both near and far away.  I will hopefully have a gazebo there on race day for you all to meet in should you be wanting to stay at the start/finish as well as a pub meeting point for those who want to stay a bit longer.  We will also have live tracking on the day which I will post the link to closer to the time.

Thanks again to all those who have sponsored me this week, most of you have never met me before so I feel humbled by your support.

Lindsy's fundraising page

Summary of this weeks training:
Monday: 50 minute recovery spin
Tuesday: 8 x 6 minute buggy reps
Wednesday: 50 minute recovery run, pilates & strength
Thursday: 2 min, 1, min, 30 seconds x 8
Friday: 15, 50 level 2, 15 buggy run
Saturday: 1 hour 20 off road hilly run
Sunday: 50 minutes recovery run, pilates