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First half marathon! DONE!

I did it! Yesterday I took part in the BUPA Great Birmingham Run. A whole half marathon. 13.1 miles. It wasn’t easy but it was pretty amazing. It was a personal challenge of course but I also raised some money for Kerrang Radio’s Cash for Kids. You can still donate here if you’d like to top me up!

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Before the run. Nervous but ready.

The streets of Birmingham closed off to make way for over 18000 runners of all abilities. The crowds were so great and hearing strangers calling my name out and cheering me on was quite overwhelming. I had a few ‘moments’ as I was running around because there was just so much support. Small children holding their hands out to be high fived, students banging on saucepans, different bands all along the course of all ages. So many people! It made me very proud of Birmingham.

My first 10K (6miles) was pretty easy, I had metal in my ears to keep me going, in fact I could’ve probably run faster but after all the scare stories about the hill at 10 miles I wanted to conserve the energy in my legs. I told myself that once I got to Cannon Hill Park at 9 miles then I would be nearly done (I was wrong on that one!). As I ran through the park I had a packet of sport’s beans I had finished and even though there was all sorts of race litter like bottles of water everywhere I couldn’t bring myself to drop it so I ran over to a woman cheering me on and asked her to get rid of it for me. I hate litterbugs! Haha. My mother and father in law were in the park waiting for me to go past so it was pretty ace to see them.

Then things got a little more difficult. I was running through residential roads in an area I wasn’t familiar with, it was a little quieter and the impending hill made it bit more ominous. As I got onto the main road I could see an incline, I ran as much as my little legs could take and it was OK for a while although my language may not have been the most ladylike. Rounding another corner at about 10.5 miles it got steeper and although I kept my arms moving as if I was running my pace slowed right down and I started to feel the burn. I had to push myself to keep going and I was relieved to see the 11 mile marker. Even though I had run 11 miles I thought to myself, ‘I can run 2 miles easy’, so I went for it, down into the dip and up onto Broad Street, kept on going, then lo and behold in the distance I could see the finish line! A beautiful finish line.

200m from the finish line and the moment I saw my awesome man and family cheering me on. Amazing feeling.

At the 200m marker I heard familar voices shouting my name and I saw my man, my Mom, stepdad, brother, sister in law, Nan, Aunt, Uncle and cousin all cheering me.  Best thing ever. I ran over the finish line and my eyes started leaking. I couldn’t believe it was over and I had done it, I so was overwhelmed by the whole experience. There was quite a walk to get my medal and goodie bag before I could find everyone to get some hugs and I broke down, it was all too much! I felt so chuffed but so knackered.

Walking back to the car park near Moor Street station was a challenge. When we got home the bath was most welcome. I made the mistake of lying on the bed afterwards and then it was game over for a couple of hours. I woke up tired and still quite emotional. Then I heard the news of the runner that passed away at the finish line and I felt very sad.

So that was yesterday. I woke up this morning after a long sleep and it all seems unreal now. I had so many messages of support on Facebook and Twitter too and there have been some brilliant photos taken to remind me of my day. If you’re reading this thinking ‘I could never do that’ then think again. Look back at my first running post when I could only run for 1 minute at a time. Anything is acheivable. Literally one step at a time.

Thanks for reading and for everyone who has wished me well.

Love & hugs,
Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

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Progress & deciding on a charity

It’s all going well!

I got  a personal best  for 5K at Brueton Park Run a couple of Saturdays ago so that’s one of my August targets done. I’ve actually weirdly enjoyed my longer runs more than the 5K’s though. It’s been a hot couple of weeks and I find myself hoping that it rains when I’m running! On Tuesday I managed to run 7.5 miles, that’s 12K. Each week I need to improve by 1k. Well, I would like to. Apparently you only NEED to be able to run about 10 miles before the day but I want to get as close as I can to the 21K 13.1 distance! Seem like a big ask at the moment but then I just have to remember that a few months ago running for 5 minutes none stop seemed like a big achievement. Just got to do my best and hope all keeps going A OK.

Targets remaining for August:

Personal best 10k

Be able to run 13K by the end of the month

Do-able? I hope so.
In other news after much umming and ahhing I finally decided which charity I’m going to run for. I called a nice lady called Kerrie at Kerrang Radio and I’m going to be raising money for their Cash for Kids charity.

Read this page all about it.

I’ve set up the Just Giving page too so start me off if you’d like : )

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Stace’s Great Brum Run
Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

Keep on running – Half marathon?!

I haven’t posted about my running in a while. I have kept up my running although in the month after my first 10k race I found my motivation was affected by not having a goal and I just ran the odd 3 or 4 miles here and there.

At the end of July it was my birthday so for my present I asked my Mom to register me for the Bupa Great Birmingham Run half marathon in October!

Bupa Great Birmingham Run

Now I have another goal set I’m back on the case. My plan is to fit in three or four runs a week and each Sunday do a long run and up my distance 1k  further every week until I can get close to the 21k distance required for the half marathon. It seems like a big task at the moment but then it seemed that way to be able to run 5K and then 10k and I did it so I may as well give it a bash.

Last week I wasn’t too well so my mileage went right down but I’m determined to make up for it. I even got up early Monday & Tuesday to run 5k. I’ve also got another sport’s bra so now I can wash one wear one rather than not running because my bra isn’t dry yet, haha. Now I have a Shock Absorber and a rather nice one from M&S which was a bargain.
I’ll try and keep my blog up to date as it’s another thing that will keep me motivated.

So here are my goals:

Personal best 5k & 10K

Increase the distance I can run to 13k by the end of August.

I’ve typed it now so I have to do it.

Fingers crossed!
Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

10K Race for Life – It’s tomorrow!

Tomorrow I am running my first 10K race! It’s a Race for Life for Cancer Research.

I began running 4 months ago and initially did the NHS Couch to 5K and have since run a few official 5K Park Runs and upped my distances with each run too. Read my previous posts about my Journey to 10K

I am excited about tomorrow but nervous too. I have my brilliant man and family coming to support me and I know this time tomorrow I’ll feel great. I just hope to complete it without walking and maybe get a time a little bit faster than the first time I actually ran the distance. If I do it in 1hr 15 I’ll be happy for my first 10K.

Watch this space for race report and pics.

Stace x
Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

Lurgy running break did me good!

After a week of sneezing and coughing and stressing my fitness would suffer all the worry was unfounded. I had my 24 hour ECG fitted on Thursday I still felt rough but needed to give my heart something to do. The problems were that it was tipping it down outside, I couldn’t get the ECG wet and I was full of cold. What to do? Well I called my local Fitness First who very kindly gave me a free day pass. Off I went to use their treadmill. I’ve never really ran on one before and never let go whilst on one! I can’t say the experience was a good one. The staff were very lovely and the gym was nice but I was already running a temperature and it was too hot in there for my hot blood. Also a problem with a gym is people! Sweaty people. Nope, I decided I much prefer running outside. I only managed 2.5 miles for the sake of recording something on the ECG and trundled back home hotter, feeling poorly, deflated and frustrated. Reluctantly I decided that I would have to give in and leave it another couple of days.

 

Yesterday (Sunday) I was determined that I was going to get back to it. My previous best distance had been 5.1 miles before the lurgy set in so I was fully expecting to be able to maybe do 3. Then a weird thing happened. Although slow my legs kept running! I ran around the quiet Sunday streets deciding on my route as I went along.  As I neared home I checked my Endomondo on my phone and I had done 5.5 miles! As my target to get to before my Race for Life is 6.2 miles (10k) I just thought ‘sod it’ and carried on. The result? 6.25 miles AKA 10K two weeks before my target and despite the break in training due to the lurgy! As you can imagine I am quite pleased! So now I have two weeks to keep my fitness up and maybe improve my time (with the help of @Runningonline).

If you’re reading this and have a quid, or £3.42 or whatever amount then sponsor me pleasey! It will help my motivation of course and will convince me that all this Couch to 5k and Journey to 10k has been worth it to make some money for charidee mate.

Cheers!

Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

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Beat the heat, now beating a cold

My last post was about running in the heat. Surprisingly despite the heat I managed a personal best in my 3rd official Park Run. I had to wear considerably less than usual!

Park Run 3, Personal best in the heat. Whoop!

The weather cooled down for the rest of the week so I got up to 4.5 miles on Tuesday and on Thursday I was really pleased to manage my furthest run of 5.1 miles. I went to Park Run again on Saturday before the Jubilee celebrations wearing my England shorts of course although I think the longer run less than 48 hours before had slowed me down and I was about 50 seconds off my best time. Still, have to hold onto the fact I did 5.1 miles and I have three weeks left before the race.

My 4th 5K Park Run at Brueton park, Solihull

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minor buggeration this week is that I have come down with a cold, or woman flu as I like to call it. I should be running today but as I write this I am lying in bed watching Kylie on a re run of the Jubilee concert! I also found out today that on Thursday I have to go to the hospital to have a 24 hour ECG to check on my heart (for my Long QT Syndrome). Not a bad thing but it’s a mission to the new QE. Would rather know I’m safe though. Therefore I’m aiming to get rid of this lurgy and run on Thursday while I am wearing my trace.

So other than that nowt to report! *sneeezes*

Stace x

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

Upping my distances, trying to be cool

About time I wrote a running update for your eyeholes to read. After completing my first 5K Park Run with the ‘grown up’ runners I’ve been trying to up my distances. I improved my time at my second Park Run and felt a little more confident. Since then (two weeks ago) I’ve been gradually upping my distances and running every other day. The best run was on Sunday when I managed a full 4.25 miles. Very pleased with that! My dodgy ankle has also been behaving  just about.

However, this week that big ball of hot stuff in the sky has scuppered my plans somewhat. Lovely as it is I didn’t realise how a rise in temperature could make such a difference. After a sleepless night on Monday night my attempts to run in the sun on Tuesday proved difficult and for the first time I had to give in. I tend to be quite hot blooded anyway and I’ve already found getting too hot a problem above any other even in cooler weather. I tried again yesterday morning and went out earlier. It was still quite warm and I just did 5K. I’m going to do my third Park Run at Brueton park in the morning and then (weather pending) just keep working on my endurance and getting that distance closer to the 10K mark. I have one month until my Race for Life. Eeek.

The good news is that yesterday I won a competition on Twitter via AXA PPP Healthcare. Just the boost I needed. I won an online running course from this great website Up and Running who you can also follow on Twitter @runningonline

They have all sorts of courses to help runners and I’m looking forward to getting some more inspiration and keeping my motivation levels high.

I’ll keep you posted.

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Stace x

Follow me @StaceInspire

My first official 5K Park Run

This morning, one week after graduating Couch to 5K I ran my first Park Run in Brueton Park. Park runs are officially timed runs which go on all over the country for people at all levels (thankfully!). You can find your nearest one here.

It was a bit early for me on a Saturday morning. We usually just sit in bed and watch cookery programmes! I got up early enough to have a cup of tea and a Digestive biscuit. My Uncle who runs marathons said he would come with me and so I picked him up and we made our way to Brueton Park. I’m not used to running with anyone at all so when I saw so many other people it was a bit scary! My brother popped up out of nowhere to support me which was a nice surprise. Once we’d started it was fine although it took me until about three quarters of the way through to fully believe I was going to finish, despite it being my 4th 5K! Must keep the faith. I was very pleased when I had done it.

Just finished! (Photo courtesy of race photographer Kevin Baldry)

My shady ankle behaved until afterwards when it was very stiff but I’m going to just keep it elevated after each run and hope it strengthens. At lunch time the results were put on the website and I was pleased I had actually beat my personal best by 3 mins 26 seconds.

Click to see the route on Endomondo

I’m glad I did it. Next step is to start the Bridge to 10K on Monday and start training for my 10K Race for Life!
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Stace x

Follow me @StaceInspire

Week 9 – Finished, done, graduated Couch to 5K!

So yesterday I graduated the NHS Couch to 5K programme!

3.2 miles non stop running. ME! WTF!! I am CHUFFED!! Wooooo hoooooo!

It’s seems like ages ago when I first ventured out for that first run up and down my garden because I was too self conscious to go out in the real world! Now I can run anywhere, in any weather and I can’t believe it!

I’m going to do the 5K park run at Brueton park  next Saturday so I get an official time. I’ve signed up for a 10k Race for Life on the 24th June too!! I didn’t share it until I finished yesterday because I wanted to wait to make sure I could do the 5K first but now I can I’m just going to go for it. It doesn’t give me a lot of time but those in the know assure me if I should be fine and I have a 5 week Bridge to 10K podcast programme to follow. So click the link  below and sponsor me pretty please! It’s for cancer research and even a quid will do. It’s so clever you can even donate by text by sending  STAC79 £1 to 70070.

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Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!! : ) : ) : )

Thanks to everyone on the Health Unlocked community for their support, my Endomondo and Twitter peeps and my man and family for putting up with me turning into a running bore! Oh and my Uncle Steven for his advice too, he ran the Stratford half marathon today in the torrential rain we’ve had.

I’ll be blogging my Bridge to 10K experiences up to Race for Life too so do stop by for a visit now and again. : )

Stace

Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

Week 8 – One week to go!

For the three runs of week 8 I ran the same route just so I could compare my times and distances. At the end of week 7 I was doing 2 miles in 25 mins. Here at the end of week 8 I can now do 2.5 miles in 31 minutes. I think this week has been the best so far. I’ve actually felt more like a grown up runner. Run 2 in the rain was great and I actually felt disappointed today when it didn’t rain on me. I’m feeling more confident now that I have exceeded the 30 minute target and so fingers crossed I can make up that half a mile or so this week to get to the 5K mark. As soon as I do I have my next goal in mind which I’m planning to share as soon as I have graduated and run my first park run on the 5th May.

Stace
Follow me on Twitter @StaceInspire

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