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run me ragged

A quick update on the whole running thing. I did start charting my weekly/daily progress on the preparation for the Cardiff Half-Marathon in October but it quickly became a pain and monumentally boring to read. Suffice to say it was all progressing nice until the last couple of weeks when I have been suffering from the unnamed viral infection which seems to have struck down so many colleagues in my office. Headaches (well, one very long one), aches and pains and bouts of lethargy, lightheadedness and dizziness. Suffice to say running has been quite difficult but I managed the odd session, not all of them successful.

Last night was pretty good, by comparison. I did my three mile route, running the first two miles comfortably before suddenly losing all my energy. A forced brisk run-walk for the last mile got me home, leaving me to feel surprisingly good.

I need to start strengthening my core and doing exercises to stabilise my left knee (it has a tendency to pull the knee cap out of place which is very painful to say the least) and have been recommended a pilates teacher to help do so.

I have dropped squash for the moment, it was too painful and impactive on my running, and have once again taken up badminton, which I love to play. I also am starting to cycle as much as possible, the non-impactive nature of it will be more than useful as part of my training programme and will help later on in the year (see below).

Part of my problem is preparation; my diet hasn't been the best, although I am fixing that, and I do not get enough sleep by any means. I guess I need to rebalance my day to ensure that I do because there is nothing worse than going for a run when you are already drained of energy.

Last year I did the British Heart Foundation Round the Harbours event; a 32 mile cycle ride from Southsea (Portsmouth) to Gosport via ferry, up Portsdown Hill to Hayling Island before catching the ferry back and cycling back along Southsea Promenade. I did this with my brother and his two friends, and my abiding memory, other than the many laughs, will be the three of them standing outside the BHF tent in Gosport, somewhat sheepishly having a cigarette.

I am hoping to do this event again, as it was so much fun; there was great camaraderie amongst the participants, with a number in fancy dress including one mad gent in a tux riding a proper fixed wheel boneshaker that must have dated from the turn of the century (the old one, not the recent one). This year they have added a 35 mile variant and a combined 65 mile route as well, the latter taking in the city of  Southampton.

I have a soft spot for the BHF, as heart disease runs in the family and they work very hard indeed, as do most charities I guess. Their events are always fun and engaging and slightly different.

To that end I have also entered the BHF post work Bristol-harbour 5km run. It looks to be another fun event, with over a thousand people entering last year. They are offering timing chips this year, although I am not sure what the use of that will be in my case.

I would also like to enter the Bristol Rat-Race, but I am not sure I will be fit enough and you need to enter in teams. I will have to think about that, as it is only a month away. Perhaps next year.

I am looking for something slightly longer between June and September, perhaps a decent 10k, so if anyone has any suggestions they would be gratefully received.


borough market, london