Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Time is on my side

In our London marathon race packs this year there was a fridge magnet, the idea being that you peeled off the black bits to reveal your finish time.

I'd saved it and visualised it reading 4:45:00.  In my heart I really wanted it to read 4:40:00.  As you can see, it doesn't say either of those!

It will remain on the fridge as a reminder that sometimes things don't go quite as we'd like but also to annoy me and spur me on to get that elusive pb later in the year.

To put my disappointment into perspective, I mentioned yesterday that a young girl, Claire Squires, had died during the marathon.  I read about her death early in the morning and when I checked out her charity page for the Samaritans it was showing around £1000 as lots of people had been to make donations in her memory (before the marathon she had raised around £500).   Her sudden death has really moved everyone across the globe and donations, of mostly small amounts such as £5 and £10, have been flooding in to make her total a staggering £245,000 last time I looked.  My thoughts and prayers are with her family at this sad time.

Monday, April 23, 2012

To pb or not pb

What is it they say - pride comes before a fall? 

Well here I am! Looking happy and relaxed at the start of the London marathon, my 25th and the place I was going to get that elusive pb time.

My training has been hard, focussed and has produced great results at 1/2 marathon distance.

I was well rested and raring to go, armed with a carefully thought-out strategy for pacing myself throughout.

You can see where this is going can't you!

The weather forecast was in my favour - cool and bright with showers. Just what I like. How do they get it so wrong? Apart from the first 30 minutes when it was coolish it was HOT and this is never good news for me as I just don't perform well in the heat.

The race started and I was relaxed. I was on a mission and I concentrated on my pace, maintaining an average of 10.5 minute miling to arrive at the halfway mark in 2:18:51, almost exactly what it should have been. But there was a problem; I was feeling a bit sickly from the heat and maintaining that pace was taking its toll. My head started pounding and my tummy felt ghastly. I was well hydrated and sipped my sports drink at regular intervals but I could feel myself struggling.

I could see a lot of people struggling and there were many people receiving medical attention at the side of the road. I remember seeing one young woman lying in the recovery position with a team of medics around her and I noticed how young she looked. I later learned that a young woman had collapsed and died just near Green Park, which is nearly at the finish, and I wondered if it was her.

I won't do a blow by blow account of my race as that would involve a lot of teary moments, struggles and self-pity, suffice to say that I struggled on and on and even at the 22 mile mark I could still have gained a small pb if I could have maintained 12 minute miling but I just didn't have it in me. Even with just 800 metres to go I was still fighting as I noted that if I upped my pace I could make it home in under 5 hours.

I asked my legs to go faster but they were dying and I just couldn't muster any more energy. This is the first time that I haven't sprinted down the Mall to the finish line. As I finally shuffled across it all I wanted to do was crawl into a corner and sob. When Mike met up with me I was a sobbing wreck who sobbed even more when he hugged me! For some reason I didn't want to have my photo taken - another first as even if things have been tough I usually feel proud and manage a big smile. Not this time.

So, with a finish time of 5:00:47 I was 10 minutes the wrong side of my best time for London.  To make myself feel better I noted that my time 5 years ago was 5:45 so technically I'd beaten that.  But I'd really wanted to beat my long-standing pb of 4:50:55 set in 2006.

At least I got another nice medal and a goody bag and today I'm feeling much more positive about it.

I've got 4 more marathons to crack this year but only 1 of them is a road marathon so I shall have to attack my pesky pb in September at Thanet. Unfortunately this is an undulating route so my task will be harder.

To make myself feel today better I've been out for a 2 mile plod and I really don't feel as if I've just run a marathon

That's given me a great boost. I will beat my pb, I will beat my pb, I will beat my pb!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fumbling along

The cushion front is now finished and waiting to be attached to its backing.

I outlined the flowers and leaves in the same colour that's on the curtains and then created the background by following the same outline in a lighter colour to give it a sense of flow.

The backing fabric needs machining together and then I can attach the crochet panel to it. I've chosen a suede-like fabric which was leftover from another project and matches the background of the curtains perfectly.

I think I might create a crochet border once I've attached the panel but I don't know quite what just yet - perhaps leaves or maybe a daisy chain effect. I'm sure I'll find the right thing when I need it.

In the meantime I'm trying to get to grips with a new crochet stitch and I'm not getting to grips with it at all!

It should look beautiful but I definitely haven't mastered it yet.

Hey ho.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A shiny new pb - no fooling!

If I'd posted this on All Fools' Day you could have been forgiven for thinking that it was a joke!

My training for my 2012 challenge has been tough, especially the speedwork side, and I was bitterly disappointed that I didn't do as well as I'd expected at the Tunbridge Wells 1/2 a few weeks ago. However, on 1st April I ran the Paddock Wood 1/2 marathon, smashing the pb of 2:06:39 that I set there back in 2005 to finish in 2:00:59.

I had a big smile on my face for the whole day and we went out for a lovely meal in the evening to celebrate. It's really given me a boost and I just hope I can use this success to spur me on to a faster time at VLM in just under 3 weeks.