What have I done? (4 Months To London)

Posted on: 10 Jan 2020

Happy New Year everybody!

I'm going to blame all of you (the community of Realbuzz bloggers and all my other supporters) for my latest development. For writing vivid, inspiring blog entries, for being so passionate and so emotional; for giving me an aspiration. I'm partly to blame too, for looking beyond the London Marathon and wondering what comes next. How do I keep this running momentum going when all that London excitement is over?

So, foolishly, I entered the ballot for the infamous Snowdonia Marathon Eryri and guess what ... I GOT A PLACE!

So now I know what I'm doing next October (Hurrah!) and I'm VERY EXCITED. And I know what I'll have to be doing all summer ... training, training and more training (uh-oh!).  And one immediate problem that pops into my head is where do I find hills?  I mean, just LOOK at this course profile !!!

I need long, hard hills to train on and Northamptonshire is famously gently rolling (i.e. lush and pretty but very flat, compared to Snowdonia!).  That's one to think on over the next 3 months ...

Meanwhile, back to the task at hand - London 2020; as predicted, December was difficult for training mainly because of a pressing lack of time and opportunity.  The weather was awful too, but that was less of a hindrance than I imagined it would be (hat, gloves and lots of layers! Nothing froze, Andy!). Even so, with careful scheduling, longer than expected runs and some evening runs (thank goodness for those new running lights!) I have just managed to scrape past my target for the month:

Training target last month:       130.00 km
Training distance last month:  131.50  km (82 miles)
Training distance to date:          625.8   km (389 miles)

Where I made spectacular progress this month was in my fundraising. I launched my fundraising efforts at work by dropping a flyer onto every desk in the building and my colleagues responded generously, so that, with the donations I have already received from friends and family, I am already £1000 into my £3000 target.  I thank each and every one of you for your generosity and support!  I will be following that up with more fundraising events in 2020 ... did somebody mention cakes?

The other unexpected progress came from an asthma check at our doctor's surgery at the beginning of December. I've been asthmatic all my life, I've carried and used inhalers for 40 years, I know what my triggers are (although I'm still in denial about the red wine ...) and I thought I was well controlled; it's certainly never stopped me running. So I was very surprised when the nurse thought completely differently; she didn't like that I was getting through 1 blue (reliever) inhaler a month (that's a red flag to asthma nurses, apparently) and thought my brown (preventer) dosage was too low.  So she upped the dosage on my brown inhaler and she impressed upon me again how important it was to take them every single day, which, I'll confess, I have been a bit casual about in the past.  Her aim was for me to stop using the blue inhaler altogether. I was somewhat sceptical - I've ALWAYS used a blue inhaler, especially when I'm running (or it's cold, or I'm drinking red wine ...).  But I decided to commit to it, just to see if she could be right. It's now 4 weeks later and I've taken my brown inhalers every single morning and evening and ... REVELATION! The occasional wheezing which I've always lived with has disappeared, my use of my blue inhalers has dropped to practically nothing and none of my usual triggers are setting me off (sadly, except the red wine!). For the first time ever, I am running 10k training runs without taking a precautionary puff beforehand, or needing to take one during the run (despite the recent wet, cold weather), or needing one to restore my breathing at the end.  WOW, who knew?!!  I am, to say the least, amazed; I wish I had listened to this advice before!  If you are asthmatic, book an asthma check now! 

Onward and upward, everybody!  I hope that the new year and the new decade are everything you want them to be and that you'll all be leaner, fitter and faster!  Hopefully, I'll see some of you out there on a course somewhere during the year.

If you want to support me on the way to London 2020 and the amazing work that Macmillan do, then please visit my fundraising page and make a donation! And remember - Gift Aid your donation if you’re a UK taxpayer!

#londonmarathon2020 #marathontraining

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