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When You Stand on the Start Line

For all those running London on Sunday – go go DLRR!

runwithchips

WHEN YOU STAND ON THE START LINE

“When you stand on the Start Line, you join the club. When you stand at the Starting Line you earn your membership. Millions dream of being where you are. You are no longer a dreamer. You are a doer.

Thousands more started a training programme but never finished. They started with the same enthusiasm (or more than) you. They started with more or less the same physical gifts or disadvantages as you did. They had no more and no less reason to be successful than you.

But somewhere along the way, they lost that enthusiasm. Somewhere on the road or on the track or treadmill, they decided that the rewards just weren’t worth the effort. They decided that they could live without finding their limits, without challenging their expectations of themselves and without taking a hard look at their image of themselves.

You…

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Outlaw Half Training – Week 3 done – 16 weeks to go – really??

Phew! Struggled this week big time – I’m writing this very quickly before I take myself off to bed. If it tails off a bit, I’ve already fallen asleep. It’s not just the tiredness that is kicking in now, but also the mental toughness that I need to toughen up on a bit if I’m honest.

I’ve completed every session (one tweak to my run intervals as usual while my knee gets better) so I do have a real sense of achievement but am just struggling a bit with the whole putting it together concept – there’s not a lot of light at the end of the tunnel – well it is 16 weeks away still! The bike rides seem hard (I don’t think I’ve managed to ride in anything other than gale-force winds since New Years day), core hurts (never done it before), turbo is mental (jelly legs central) and even running is a struggle (10 miles today – hurt – I ran two marathons last year 10 miles should be a walk in the park…!) and swimming, well, my supposedly stronger element took a bit of a hit this week too.

But, it’s all good as I know I’m getting some good training in, I just don’t think i was quite prepared for how tough it was going to feel. But looking forward to next week – recovery week although still as mad as this week, just not quite as far…

The tunnel - no light showing yet - but I know it's there...

The tunnel – no light showing yet – but I know it’s there…

Categories: Outlaw, Training, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,700 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 28 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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The Henry Allen Appeal – Update

I haven’t blogged for a while as I haven’t had too much to talk about but over the last few days have heard some news which has compelled me to write this post.

You may remember back in April/May I ran both the London and Milton Keynes marathons and raised money for a little local boy called Henry Allen who had been diagnosed with Stage 4 neuroblastoma. My post about this can be read here: The Henry Allen Appeal

It was announced yesterday that the disease has come back in force and it is likely that the NHS in the UK will be unable to provide him with any further treatment. His only option now is to seek treatment abroad in either Germany or the USA. The costs associated with this treatment will all have to be paid for by his family – hence the fundraising I did earlier in the year. Soon after his orignal diagnosis The Henry Allen Appeal was set up to raise funds should treatment in the UK be exhausted.

Yesterday, the appeal team shared an update that it was likley that no further NHS treatment may be possible.

The family need somewhere in the region of £300,000-£500,00 ($500,000-$800,000) and they need it fast.

Since the appeal was set up the appeal team have worked with hundreds of different people, companies and organisations to hold events to raise money to fund this treatment. A large amount of money has already been raised but much more is needed. You can donate directly to the appeal via the Henry Allen Appeal JustGiving page or download a single released for Henry by Juan Camus iTunes

If everyone donates a little, it will become a lot…

I’m asking you as a reader of my blog to reblog this, share on Facebook, retweet on Twitter and whatever other social media you have to spread this message.

Thank you – Hope, Dream, Believe

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London Marathon – done!

Just a quick post to let you know I completed the London Marathon. I really enjoyed it and got round in 4:02 – just missed the sub 4 but my own fault after I just lost focus with about 3 miles to go and my head went. I walked most of the last two miles but am pleased with the way I ran until that point.

It was a fabulous day, beautiful sunshine with a wonderful silence before the start for those in Boston (you could have heard a pin drop) followed by a rousing applause. The crowd, as ever were fantastic.

I hope all my fellow bloggers and readers fared well too – full report to follow.

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The Henry Allen Appeal

Those who followed my blog last year when I was training for London will have known one of the reasons for my blog was to publicise the charity SANDS who I raised money for in memory of three very special angels. Those three angels got me through the final three miles on the day and in a world where it’s very easy to quit it never occurred to me to drop out that day as I’d feel I’d be letting them down.

When I got my entry in the ballot this year a little bit of me just wanted to run t for myself, in my club vest to put right the ‘mare I had last year. But once I got injured I realised that it was a bit of a blessing that I hadn’t chosen a charity to raise money for as the pressure to return to quickly would have been great and anyone following my blog over the last three months will know it’s been a bit of a roller coaster physically and emotionally.

But, with just under three weeks to go, I felt in a strong enough position to commit myself to a cause. As much as I wanted to run the race for myself, there’s bigger and better reasons to apply all that training and why not make a bit of cash for worthy recipient. I’m able to do something that I love, so why not use it to help someone else. So this year, I was keen to promote a charity with a local connection and stumbled across The Henry Allen Appeal via a friend on Facebook. Once I’d read Henry’s story I felt compelled to help. Henry is three years old and has a form of cancer called neuroblastoma. Treatment in the UK is limited so in conjunction with ‘Families against Neuroblastoma‘ an appeal was set up to raise the money to secure treatment abroad.

You can read all about Henry and his appeal at his website. The Henry Allen Appeal. The appeal team have loads of events organised so if you’re in the MK area do pop along to one of them.

So, this year – I’m running for Henry!

http://www.justgiving.com/Nicole-Clarke

The Henry Allen Appeal

The Henry Allen Appeal

 

FAN logo

 

 

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Three weeks and counting…

Don’t want to scare any one, but we are less than three weeks away from the London Marathon.

That’s just two more long runs, perhaps two more physio sessions, trying out kit (still haven’t managed to wear my shorts this year – too bl**dy cold!), a reduction in food intake and trying to get some more sleep.

It can only mean one thing – the taper is about to start….

One or two pictures to get the adrenaline pumping – Blackheath…early Sunday morning…you can almost hear the theme tune…

blackheath_aerial 06-marathon-blackheath blackheath_balloons1Pictures all courtesy of Blackheath Bugle

 

Categories: London Marathon, Training, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

The great porridge experiment – update

Last week I asked for ideas how to make my porridge palatable on the basis I don’t like it and like the milk that goes with it even less.

Following the responses from runkatierun, silentroadiecatslondonmarathon and bgddyjim I’ve tried a couple of the suggestions (sorry cat couldn’t do the almond milk!) and so far have settled on porridge with hot water, a dash of milk, blast in the microwave then a bit of golden syrup mixed in. So far so good – it’s really filling and I’ve done one long run on it so far so we’ll see how it goes over the next few weeks….

porridge2

 

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The great porridge experiment

I don’t really like porridge, but as a runner it’s supposed to be a bit like rocket fuel so this year while training for the marathon I thought I’d step out of my comfort zone (crunchy nut cornflakes) and give the oats a go.

My problem is, I really don’t like milk. It’s nothing personal I just can’t drink it or have any more than a splash in my tea or on my cereal. The same goes for cream, crème fraîche and anything like that.

As you can imagine, this presents a bit of a problem when you want to eat porridge. I’ve spoken to others about how they eat their porridge and it was suggested that I use water with a splash of milk so this morning I tried this. It looked pretty grim when it came out of the microwave and I had to pep it up with some sugar, but I at the whole lot. Not the greatest experience in the world but something to work on!

How do you eat yours?

porridge

Categories: London Marathon, Training, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments

I’m back!

Not that I’ve been away, just haven’t been blogging for a while. After the excitement of the marathon had the blogging equivalent of writers block – bloggers block? I’m still running and have completed my first triathlon of the year – better late than never eh? But just didn’t feel like writing much so rather than send out a load of drivel decided to take a bit of a break.

Quite a bit has happened during my blogging hiatus – I’m now a fully fledged David Lloyd Redway Runner and UKA registered athlete. I’ve also taken the plunge and joined TeamMK our local tri club. I’ve been dabbling with tri’s for years but thought it was about time I learned how to do it properly! Even competed in my first race for them today and earned a couple of placings as a lady and in my age-group so not a bad start!

Had a holiday in the south of France and took on a couple of rides in the Pyrenees – even rode a bit of the TdF route, Limoux to Foix (we did Chalabre to Limoux – the backwards version as you wouldn’t want to ride the direction the pro’s do)! I’ll save the details for another post, but as hard as it was it has refreshed my view on cycling a bit and after my tri today when I was flying past people up hills I know it was worth the pain!

Anyway – this was just a quick post to check in  I’ll be back reading too as I’d neglected that aspect of blogging too – so will be catching up with what everyone’s been up to…

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