KC Running Blog

Monday, 22 May 2017

Life Will Be Changing!

I haven't written for a while and there has been a quite a big reason for this!  I'm 17 weeks pregnant.  

I've continued to run so far and during my first 13 weeks my steady paced running was actually getting quicker!  This was partly due to coming back from time off with my hamstring injury but I was feeling quite good in my legs too.  I've been very lucky and not had any sickness but there have been days of extreme tiredness.  On days where I have woken up really tired and not improved during the day so I have taken a rest day so I'm really listening to my body.  I have found that whether its a 30 min run or a 1 hour run about 1 hour after I have finished running I am absolutely wiped out! I'm very lucky that I work mostly from home as at least I can have an hour's sleep in the afternoon!

The tiredness is so different to any tiredness I've had before - its so much worse than when in the peak of marathon training!  As well as my body being tired my head feels heavy and I find it hard to concentrate.  I have to make sure I get any work done early in the morning before I go out running as I know I will have a hard job sitting at my computer in the afternoon!

Since 13 weeks my running seemed to significantly slow down.  That's been a hard thing to deal with as my legs still want to turn over quicker but I can feel I'm breathing heavier and my HR is higher so I have to make myself slow down.  

I didn't tell my parents until last week when I went down to London to visit them.  Its a good job my mum was sitting down as I think she would have fainted if she'd been standing up!  Its an understatement to say they didn't ever expect me to have a baby!

Its been really hard for the last couple of months when people I know keep asking how my running's going and what races have I got coming up!  I've ended up lying and saying I've got few low key 10ks then a half marathon target in the autumn.  At last I can finally start telling people!

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Back into the Swing of Things!

I've now been back running 8 weeks and almost feel back to normal! I'm still keeping the strength work up but doing it just once a week now (this will have to continue as part of my running plan now). My steady run pace is not too far off what it is when I'm fit.

I'm back to running every day with one rest day each week.  My long runs have increased up to 1 hour 20, I've been doing hill efforts which were put in to try and engage my glutes and hamstrings and now finally my next block of training starting on Monday is actually race focused with proper effort sessions!  

Its coming up to one year since I last raced and its been such a frustrating year!  I blame myself for not getting it sorted when it first happened but I just kept on thinking it was just tightness that would ease.  If I'd had it sorted out around May last year I honestly think it would have been sorted out by the August and I would have been able to race in the back end of 2016.  Lessons learned and hopefully the break has done me good and I will come back stronger!

It's also coming up to the Manchester Marathon which I won last year.  I've decided I'm going to go over to watch it which is going to be really hard for me but may do me some good.  Dan is helping out with timing and I also have two athletes that I coach running in it so it will be great to give them some support out on the course. 

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Running Again At Last!!

After 6 weeks of no running I'm finally back running again!  I can't tell you how happy this makes me! Cycling and swimming are fine but they don't give me the same boost that going out for a run does!  

I've started with running every second day and just keeping them short and at an easy pace. Towards the end of the second week I've started putting 2 days together then a day off and starting to gradually increase the length of the run.  As always for steady runs I've been sticking to my HR zones but my pace is sooo slow!  I've had to switch the average pace setting off from my Garmin so I'm not tempted to look at it as it just makes me think there is such a long way to go to get fast again.

I'm still keeping my strength work in 3 times per week.  I have no pain at all when running now but still have some pinching when I walk especially after I've been sitting at my desk working.  

Saturday, 7 January 2017


I don't know why I put off going to a new physio for so long.  I'd been recommended Leigh from Chiro & Physio on the Wirral by a couple of people I know and finally went there in October.

My hamstring and glute had been no better and my worry was that although I was still running if I tried to race hard what could happen?  If it was just some tightness it should have gone away by now with the much lighter load of running recently and stretching.  I saw Leigh for 3 sessions over about 5 weeks where he gave me some exercises to do.  I then saw him a 4th time and it was no better so with that in mind he suggested I see a consultant and get an MRI on it.  

So I had the MRI and it revealed hamstring tendonopathy and bursitis.  I then had a cortisone injection in the hope of getting the swelling down and ease the pain so I could start a strength/loading programme.  To be cautious I had 1 week of no exercise at all then in the 2nd week I started to swim.  10 days after the injection and there was no change.  I was so frustrated.  After speaking with the consultant we decided I should start the loading programme anyway.  I could also start cycling as long as there was no pain during or within 24 hours after.

So back to Leigh for him to give me the strength exercises.  The exercises I have include weights and bodyweight work for hamstrings, glutes, core and back and I have to do them 3 times a week with at least 1 day off in between.  For the first week my legs were shot to pieces!  Almost 3 weeks into doing them now and my legs are getting used to them.  For the first time this last week I've started to feel that my hamstring is actually slightly better!  

I'm still not running at the moment which is driving me mad but I'm cycling and swimming every day which is helping my fitness.

Amongst all this doom and gloom with my running I've had a few short trips away including the Lake District, Copenhagen and 4 days in New York over thanksgiving.  New York was great and we had 4 days of cramming in as much as possible!  We were so busy that I didn't have time to get down about not being able to run.  

Saturday, 25 June 2016

I've had a tight hamstring and glute since before the marathon in April.  I thought that after a break and gradually building my running up again it would settle but it doesn't seem to be.  I've been to physio weekly for about 2 months now and not getting anywhere.  I really think I need a new opinion on this!  For now I'm going to spend 4 weeks doing more stretching and back my running off slightly.  Its nice weather out so a good time for cycling! 

Friday, 20 May 2016

After the marathon I've had a bit of time off.  Partly due to a few niggles that I wanted to settle and partly just felt drained.  During this time I did several bike rides each week which made a nice change.  I've now gradually been building up my running again and starting to think about racing soon!  

So far my plans are to do some shorter races of 5k and 10k distances during the summer then target some half marathons in the autumn.  I think I'll see if I fancy a marathon either next spring or the following autumn.  

I was also helping out at a local race recently when I was chatting with a fellow club member.  They said they've been with their daughter and seen me out running a few times.  His daughter has recently started running and has been really inspired by me winning the Manchester Marathon.  Its so nice to hear something like that.  

To me races like Manchester Marathon who have a British only prize fund are doing the right thing.  Its not just about winning a nice amount of money (although it does help)! but about British runners finishing 1st and/or top 3.  This is what inspires the young runners to firstly get involved in the sport and then stay in the sport.  When you have agencies that bring in foreign runners it doesn't mean anything down at the local athletics club and they have no local runners to look up to.  

Other races have a halfway house of a separate British only prize fund which is often slightly more than the total.  This is good as at least prize money is helping British runners but still doesn't help with inspiring the up and coming.  We do also need the really big races with big international names as that is great in itself but I think the next tier down races have a responsibility for the future of our sport.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

First Marathon Win!

As I write this I still can't quite believe I won the Manchester Marathon at the weekend!  I had this marathon planned since almost a year ago with my aims being to run a fast time.  I had a great race at the La Rochelle Marathon in November finishing 2nd and just outside of my pb in very windy conditions so this gave me confidence.  I started my Manchester Marathon build after Christmas but for the first time since I've focussed on marathons my build was far from perfect.  

I came down with flu at the end of January whilst in Florida where my plan was to make the most of the warm weather and get some good training in.  This knocked out 2 weeks of training at a crucial time.  I then just felt flat in training all the time.  I probably over did it as I was slightly panicked about getting the miles and sessions in.  So many times I would wake in the morning with a stuffy head and have to force myself out the door to run.  Usually I'd start feeling better after 10 minutes of running but generally my steady run paces were much slower than normal.  I had several weeks of just feeling like I was on the brink of coming down with a cold.  

I chatted with my coach regularly about my options.  I could back off my training but in my mind I might as well not bother with the marathon if I did.  Or I just carry on pushing through and if I get ill then I won't be going anyway but if I don't and come out the other side then I will go.  

About 10 days before I saw the start list for the women and thought there were about 4/5 of us that could finish in the top 3.  Another chat with my coach and I decided that I wasn't in "the shape of my life" and to run the race competitively but smartly and for the first time not worry about my time.  

So race day morning comes around and I'm quite nervous.  Nervous because I'm not sure about my fitness, in the last week of taper my hamstring/glute feels tight and also it being a fairly local race for me I know lots of people who will be there running or supporting and I don't want to look stupid if things go wrong!  

The race gets going and it feels so easy, like I'm jogging.  I time check my first 1km split and its slightly quick so I make myself slow down.  There is a dead turn just after 1km and I realise I'm in 2nd but the 1st girl (Sam) seems to have gone off very quick and I'm hoping its too quick!  As the field thins out a bit I can see a good 100m up the road and I can't see her so I think she has definitely gone off too fast.  I ran with a couple of guys for about another 2km and chat to a few of them.  One is aiming for 2hr 39 another for a sub 2hr 45.  This is about my aim but I think we're still going a bit too quick so I let them go.  The thing that surprised me about this race was that no one seemed to form into groups.  Maybe I've just been a bit lucky when I've done La Rochelle but I've always found myself in group with about 10-20 men until around half way.  

During marathons you always go through good patches and bad patches.  This time it was a mental game from start to finish.  I never went through a bad patch as such with feeling tired as I felt really strong and relaxed the whole time.  I just had to keep telling myself to keep going and stay focussed.  My hamstring started to hurt around 10km which had me worried and it did take a lot of effort to put that to the back of my mind. 

I really badly wanted to win this race and I was a bit worried that although Sam had gone off too fast there was a chance I wouldn't be able to catch her.  I kept telling myself that if I hold 2nd that's still a good result.  I was also quite worried that someone might be chasing me down and I had no idea.

I think it was around 33km I realised that Sam was in my sights.  I was still feeling good in my body (apart from my hamstring) and felt really within myself on my effort.  I caught up to her quicker than I expected and went past her somewhere around 34-35km.  I had a big smile now being in 1st place but that feeling soon turned to worry.  7km is still a long way to go in a marathon and anything could happen.  I tried to push my pace on a bit as I was still worrying about someone coming through stronger than me.  That last 5km was the hardest - I still felt good but my legs were starting to feel it now.  

Around 800m to go and we bear slightly right then its dead straight to the finish.  I can see the finish line now and I can't stop smiling!  There's also a big crowd and its such an amazing feeling.  I was so relieved when I crossed the line.  I can't believe I've done it!  My first marathon win and the best moment of my racing life!!