Monday, February 26, 2007

A couple more Photos from the Draycote Ultra Marathon

Deep in serious conversation with Ruth (aka 'Plodding Hippo' from the Runner's World forum) at the start, with 'Ultra Gobi' in the foreground (he was disappointed with his finishing time of around 4 hours 10 minutes!!!!!).

 It's obligatory to have a silly name if you post on Runner's World so you sometimes get strange looks when you're cheering eachother on in races!

Heading towards the finish line and still smiling!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I Feel Like Knitting Tonight

Well, I'll have to admit it - I've lost interest in the second fingerless glove I've been knitting for Mike so it's been stuffed into my 'work in progress' bag to be resumed in the future. So now I need a new project to inspire me and I've been looking at the latest Rowan magazine, number 41.

This caught my eye immediately. It looks like lots of crocheted flowers and rounds joined together. I haven't done any crochet for a few months so this really appeals.

Another crochet design for this rather attractive little bag. It could look really summery in the right yarn.

This wrap looks very interesting as it's the sort of thing you can pick up and do a bit on every so often. A good "summer evening on the porch with a glass of wine" type of project.

Hmmm, I can feel my credit card trembling as I type!

My First Ever Ultra-Marathon

Hoorah, that's 35 miles done and dusted in 7 hours, 36 minutes 40 seconds and I ran all the way except for brief stops at the feed station. This is me back at home wearing my bright yellow race tee shirt and feeling rather proud. I wish I'd got a medal too but they didn't give one.

Here are a couple of photos showing part of the reservoir that we ran round in Draycote Country Park - 7 and a bit times to be precise. Each circuit was 4.71 miles so we had to run a sort of dog leg to make up the difference. The weather was kind to us and it was really quite warm for the first few hours with just a gentle breeze along one exposed side of the water. One side was undulating and the inclines felt like mountains later in the race. Sadly I didn't take the photos in the morning when it was sunny, but waited until later in the day when it went a bit cloudy and misty!

How was it? Well, it was tough, fun, demanding, exhilarating and a massive effort all rolled into one day. As it was my first venture over 26.2 miles it was a bit of an unknown entity. I got my pacing just right up to the 20 mile mark which I passed in bang on 4 hours. About 2 miles later I had a bit of a wobble and slowed right down for a few miles. It's times like that you need to dig deep and use your mental stamina and after a bit of a cry and an encouraging phone call from my hubby I managed to get myself back on track.

I learned some important lessons from the experience:

- An ultra marathon is not like an ordinary marathon of 26.2 miles with extra miles tacked on the end - it is a whole different ball game and requires a very different approach. When I do the Kent 50 mile Challenge in July I will have to run for another 17.4 miles on top of what I ran at Draycote. I think I've got some serious training to do!!!!!

- I need to do some work on my neck and shoulders as they were incredibly stiff at the end. Also, my arms ached terribly from being held in position for so long. This will be really important in the London Marathon when I'm knitting at the same time.

- My core muscles need strengthening. Towards the end I was finding the downhill sections really difficult and was getting pains in my tummy muscles. The uphill sections were fine, oddly enough.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Woman's Weekly Magazine

How exciting, the interview I gave for Woman's Weekly magazine has appeared in this week's issue. The article is entitled 'Marvellous Mum' and appears on page 24. It was about the special things I remember about mum and what I'm now doing in her memory to help the Alzheimer's Research Trust. There's a lovely photo of mum aged 77 digging in our garden when she first moved in with us. It's one of my favourites as it summed up her practical attitude to things which is one of her greatest gifts to me. There's another photo of her taken on her 80th birthday and then one of us together which was taken in the mid 1980s (please ignore my Crystal Tips hairstyle and enormous glasses!). I wish I could scan them into my computer but I haven't got a scanner.

The magazine very kindly also put details of the ART website and my fund-raising page at the end of the article, so I hope people will go and take a look at the wonderful work they do.