Wednesday, 7 January 2015

2014 was awesome, 2015 could be even better...

A belated Happy New Year from me.

Its been a while since my last post as not a lot has been happening, well not from a training point-of-view.

My last update was man-flu related.

I ended up losing 25 days to whatever the hell I had over December.  It wasnt much fun.  Even after a course of antibiotics, a 7 day dose of additional steroids followed by a super-strength course of antibiotics, I was nowhere near 100%.  At one point I ended up in Queen Mary's at Sidcup for a Chest X-Ray, just so that the GP could rule out possible Pneumonia or some other nasty.  I cant tell you how relieved I was to find the X-Ray was all clear.

Thankfully, the almost constant coughing and wheezing has now stopped which has allowed me to start training again, all be it very slowly.  I'm now religiously taking my steroid inhaler, something thing I've never done since my teens and I'm carrying my Ventolin inhaler around with me everywhere.

As you'll see from my Strava feed, my first run back was on the 29th December.  That was a huge eye opener for me.  That ended the longest break I've had from training since I started taking my fitness seriously and it has affected me badly.

My stamina has gone, my leg muscles are aching after each run, so much so that my quads have felt bruised upon return and stretching and my HR, both active and resting has gone through the roof.

I've since run 5k on Jan 1st, 5k on Jan 2nd and then what I would call a very conservative 10k on Jan 5th, despite my average HR being much higher than it should be for a run of that pace.  However, that is to be expected after the time off.

As I build up my training again, no doubt my HR will come back down again.

It's disappointing and very frustrating to know that I ran my quickest 10k in almost a year in my last run before coming down ill but its one of those things that you just have to accept.  Illness and injury will occur and there's not much we can do about it.  We need to manage our bodies and try to look after ourselves as much as we possibly can.

I ended 2013 with a review, so I really should officially end 2014 in the same way, all be it a week later than it should have been.

2014 was pretty awesome.  Here are my final stats:

Not only did I run my first marathon in April, I ran another three, making it 4 in a year.  I managed a fraction over 1,016 miles for 2014, a little less than the 1,055 I racked up for 2013.

In terms of my 2014 targets, I achieved #1 (successfully running Paris all be it not sub 4hr as planned) and #5 (running more marathons). Target #2 of running a sub 50 min 10k totally evaded me as I didnt actually run one competitive 10k in the year.  I'll leave that one as a work in progress.

As for Targets #3 and #4, neither really happened.  I think my cycling days are well and truly over, if I'm being honest with myself.  Although I enjoyed a few of the rides I had last year, cycling doesnt physically challenge me any more.  I cant be hassled with the maintenance required for a decent road bike and I certainly cant be hassled with traffic.  The last two rides I had ended up with me getting a sh*t-load of road rash, thorns and my life flashing before my eyes.  I've got an 8 year old daughter and I want to see her grow up.  I know I can trust myself on my bike but sadly I cant trust other road users.  As much as cycling is becoming popular, the roads are becoming unsafer.

As for social life, mixed really.  Hopefully that will improve in 2015.

However, totally out of the blue I met a woman and she's put a smile on my face.  Its a  pretty tough thing to do in all respects so 2014 has been a pretty decent year.

Unlike NYE on 2013 when I went running just before midnight to totally forget the New Year was coming, NYE 2014 was spent partying.  Talk about a change lol.

So on to 2015.  Hopefully it'll be even better than 2014.

As for objectives & targets, I'm going to leave them as open as I can...

1) Achieve a new marathon PB.
2) Achieve a new 10k PB.

Stating numbers is counter-intuitive.  I'd desperately like to run a sub 4:00 marathon and a sub 50min 10k but until I actually do it, I wont know if I can.  2014 taught me a lot about my body and a lot of the time is down to timing.  I was in decent shape ahead of Amsterdam but being ill the night before the race ruined the run for me.

If its going to happen, it will.  Of course, we need to train to give our bodies the best chance of making it happen but I'm going to try and run this year without putting myself under any pressure.  I want to enjoy my hobby and not get overly compulsive about my targets, although I intend to train as hard as I can.

To give my body the best chance to succeed, I've now knocked the booze on the head for the foreseeable and I'm back to counting the calories religiously again in an attempt to drop a few more pounds (25 days of no training over the Christmas period is not a good scenario as you can imagine).

So here's so a happy, successful and most importantly injury/incident free 2015.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Still Struggling

Unfortunately, I now havent run for 11 days.  I'm still struggling.

Having spent the GDP of a third-world country on Asthma medication, along with Cold & Flu remedies and a tube of Deep Freeze (I'll come on to that in a mo!), I'm still wheezing.

How much Asthma medication can one man take?

Let me take you back a week.  First GP appointment.  Dr Adams checked my chest with the stethoscope and he said it was reasonably clear although a little crackling suggested a the beginnings of a chest infection.

He prescribed a 7 day course of Antibiotics and recommended I start taking my Becotide inhaler, 4 squirts twice a day.  Ok.  Up until yesterday morning, I was getting a little better.  The cold symptoms seem to have cleared up but I was still waking up in the middle of the night having coughing fits and again first thing in the morning.

Yesterday, even numerous squirts of Ventolin couldnt control the coughing kit.

So, much to my disappointment, I found myself agreeing with Alison that I really should go back and see my GP.

On the drive to Canary Wharf, I managed to get an appointment for 5:45pm.  I was to see Dr Stoate (former Labour MP for Dartford for the record and an eight-time marathon runner so I heard last night - he couldnt believe I had ran 4 in one year!)

Anyhow, went to see Dr Stoate and he recommended a 7 day course of steroids which should calm the wheezing in my chest.  Fingers crossed it does the trick.

Despite not being able to run, at least I'm back at work now and burning some calories with the usual amount of walking I do every day.

Steps as per my iPhone 5s - calibrated to my Garmin Forerunner 620

Sadly, however, my lack of running and current state of health means I'm missing the annual Plumstead Runners Santa Run tonight.  I'm absolutely gutted but there's always next year.

Friday, 12 December 2014

The M Word

I said dont mention the 'M' word.  Too late.

I've been off work sick for the last four days and I dont seems to be getting any better.

I seemed to be on top of the sniffly nose last week by popping the Lemsip max tablets and I ran Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.

For the record, Saturday I ran the quickest 10k in well over 6 months...

I was well chuffed with that. I was pushing a little but not too much and I was plugging away at the 3:2 breathing rhythmn and it all started to come together nicely. However, it was cold that night. Really cold. The pavements were beginning to frost up and so were my lungs.

After a shower and some pizza and sitting on the sofa for an hour, I was still wheezing like hell, so I went to find my Ventolin pump.  A quick press on the top of it and nothing came out.  Panic.  A quick phone call to my bruv to confirm he had a spare and I was off down the road like a shot (in the car!) to go pick it up.  Within 15 mins of getting some Ventolin into my lungs, I was feeling much better.

Sunday was ok.  Monday I felt naff.  The cough was coming on and I was wheezing again.  The Ventolin wasnt touching the sides so I called in sick and visited the GP.  Diagnosed as a Chest Infection.  Antibiotics was the result.

Its now Friday.  I havent run in 6 days.  I'm still coughing and wheezing and my cat allergy seems to have kicked into overdrive.  I cant stay in Alison's house without wheezing, the only relief I seem to get is when I'm not there, sadly.

I've also developed a really badly swollen bottom lip.  So swollen it looks like I've been in a fight...

Swollen bottom lip...and I'm not even turning it outwards!!!
I feel like sh*t quite frankly.  I cant breathe and I'm feeling beyond knackered through lack of sleep.  My legs ache now more than they do at the end of a marathon.  I'm now 4 days into the course of Antibiotics so I would have thought I would have started to improve a little by now but it doesnt look like its the case.

Fingers crossed this lurgy clears up soon.