Saturday, 1 January 2011

So the party is over, let the training commence!

For those of you that follow me on Twitter, you are probably familiar with the fact that I am going to be running the Paris half marathon on 6th March with 19 other ladies that I have met through Twitter. Known as Team Bangs on the Run we will be raising funds for the charity Refuge and are aiming to raise £10,000. Check us out on Facebook and if you want to help us reach our target go to
I have never really been much of a runner. In all honesty I am not built for running. I am certainly not slender and my breasts are a bit big for the strappy little singlets but after volunteering at the London Marathon last year I felt truly humbled. I offered my sports massage skills post-race to runners raising funds for the charity Crisis. I was inspired by the absolute dedication of the runners, each with their own story and reason for running. I also watched an interview on the news about a girl that had cystic fibrosis and had recently had a lung transplant. She trained hard and she ran the London Marathon. Her story brought a tear to my eye and made me feel ashamed.
Despite not classing myself as a ‘natural’ runner, health-wise there is nothing wrong with me. Well, nothing that a bit of strapping and a sports bra can’t fix. There was nothing for it and when the ballot opened I entered. In May 2010 we moved back to Barnes which is a picturesque part of London surrounded by amazing parks and very close to the Thames towpath. What better place to start running so run I did.
When I started I could barely run for 5 minutes without stopping but after a few weeks I could manage an hour. I could hardly believe it and the feeling of improvement and achievement was even a little addictive. The day came and the marathon ballot was announced.  I was disappointed not to get a place but not surprised as there is such a high demand. I mentioned to the lovely @BangsandaBun  that I was unsuccessful and she tweeted back that she had been considering doing the Paris half marathon. On 16th October whilst sitting in Starbucks I got a tweet to say Bangs was signed up to do the Paris run. A lady that loves a challenge, I just couldn’t resist and by the time I’d finished my Starbucks soya cappuccino I was all signed up too. Within a day there was a team of 20 of us planning to run the Semi de Paris. There was no going back now!
I had great training intentions but as the days started getting colder and our 3 week holiday to Australia was drawing closer I don’t know what happened to me. I should have been training hard to get a bikini bod. Instead I ignored my running shoes and turned my attention to food which needless to say didn’t help the bikini situation. I carted my trainers all the way round Australia along with my 10 other pairs of shoes and I am ashamed to say that they didn’t grace my feet once. I’d clearly beaten the short lived running addiction. My big plan was to nail the training the day we got back with two targets in mind:
 1) To shrink my ever increasing body mass
 2) To get fit for Paris.
To cut a long story short, on my first day back to work I twisted my pelvis and in case you are wondering it was absolute agony. I’m a stubborn madam and despite being told to rest, after a couple of weeks I started nailing the treadmill. In hindsight this was mightily stupid and has put me behind in a major way.
After a suitable rest period, (that was probably longer than it would have been if I’d not been so stubborn in the first place) this week marked the start of my training. A 4k run round Barnes on Thursday, followed by a 6k river run on Friday and then a 5k parkrun today to welcome in 2011( .) Parkrun is absolutely fantastic but the Richmond Park route is a bit of a bitch to say the least. My legs were burning the whole way round but I managed it without stopping and that feeling of achievement at the end is just unbeatable. Mind you, I’m taking a guess that the feeling at the end of the Paris run is going to be pretty immense.
Today I spotted a link posted on Facebook by two of the Team Bangs ladies(Kaye Sweeney & Gemma K Graham) about Janathon and I just couldn’t resist ( ).  As I said earlier in the post, I love a challenge and anything that is going to help me along the way with my training can only be a good thing. I have signed up to do some kind of exercise every day in January with the condition that I blog and log all of my training. I don’t want to bore you with my training but throughout January I will be making a mention of what exercise I have done on a daily basis as part of the Janathon activity. It is going to be a struggle both blogging and training daily but I am determined and any tips or words of support along the way will be hugely appreciated.   As the party season ends, my training season begins in a serious way. What have I let myself in for?

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