rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
3.5 miles in 60m46s => 17.1 min/mile

A useful reminder of how much I enjoy this when I do it.
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
I have a new icon - my finish-line photo where I look very happy and much less tired than I actually was. So it turns out I had on both my plastic mac and my hat, which I couldn't remember. Charles keeps trying to steal the hat, but I may make a point of wearing it on future walking training.

MoonWalk 2010 Finish Line

I also took a nice close-up of the medal today:

MoonWalk medal

I've put the images on my sponsorship page today, and I'm probably going to add a short link to my email signature for a bit, to see if it triggers any more donations.
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
It took me about 8h15min, and I crossed the line tired but feeling very positive. I now have a pewter bra-embossed medal on the pinkest ribbon I've ever seen, and a huge sense of satisfaction.
Read more... )
I have even more respect now for those who actually run marathons.
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
I have been mostly "resting" since the 20-mile nearly 2 weeks ago - just my normal-life walking around plus a lot of leafletting for the election. A few timed fast walks have had me come in at

23:15, 23:20, 23:30 for 1.65 miles => 14 - 14.2 min/mile

so that fitness is still up. Things are looking good, and I am almost over the grumpiness of the 20 mile walk enough to look forward a bit to Saturday night.

For a change, some diet notes:

I have been gently calorie-restricting throughout this training, mostly to stop the exercise leading to weight gain through increased appetite, which is what happened during half-marathon training last summer. Mostly I've eaten 0-250 kcals below maintenance, and this has led to gentle weight loss. It's not hurt the training, and has cut back about half what I gained last summer.

For the last few weeks I've been paying attention to the composition: the percentage of calories from carbs, protein and fat. My default had become about 50/10/40, and I decided to shift to a low-fat diet of 60/20/20, which seems to suit me quite well, even if it takes more time to plan. I have been amused to discover (again) that low-fat food really does fill you up more because it's less energy-dense. Or at least it takes longer to eat.

Today I stuck to the usual 250-below-maintenance calorie level, but shifted to 70% carbs (I don't care how the other 30% distributes itself really) and it's actually been hard to eat it all. My plan is to do 70% carbs on my maintenance calorie level for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, so I've at least 72 hours of carb-loading before Saturday night. I'm just not sure how I'm going to manage to eat it all!

On Sunday I will eat whatever I like, or more realistically, whatever I can get down. After the 20-miler, I had an uncharacteristically low appetite for about 24 hours, when I was expecting the opposite. Some strange reaction to excess exertion I guess, just like my body really doesn't seem to like hydrating during and immediately after walks over 8 miles or so.

On Monday, back to the 60/20/20 plan, for the next nine months at least. But that's the topic of another post.
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
We spent 10 days on holiday in France, where I didn't keep up my usual schedule of timed, measured walks. But I did make sure of going out walking the dogs most days: 2 young Jack Russels and a young Labrador/mixture cross, they kept me working hard. On our return I kept up the walking with some election leaflet delivery.

Today was the last big preparation walk: 20 miles. The training guide says "if you do this, you will be sure of completing the MoonWalk". Well, I did it, so that's a good sign. I think this is the point where I am supposed to be cheery about how great endorphins are and the rush of success, but it wasn't really like that. I hated the last 5-6 miles and greeted the end not with triumph but rather grumpy relief at being able to finally stop. My legs started aching somewhere about 12 miles, and from about 15 miles it was pure slog and grim determination keeping me going. I've stretched thoroughly but everything still aches unpleasantly. I hope the MoonWalk itself goes a bit better.

Anyway, the vital statistics:
19.8 miles in 311:20 => 15.7 min/mile

Which is not dreadful, but not as fast as I was hoping either. I set a fairly deliberate pace of about 15 min/mile at first, but slowed rather on the third loop and the last 3.8 miles were just grim (around 17 min/mile).

16 min/mile implies a finishing time of about 7 hours and 15.7 min/mile implies around 6h52min. So that gives me some idea of what to expect, though the event is not a race and the only person timing me will be me. I will probably try to set a slower pace of 15.5 min/mile and see if that's more sustainable than 15 min/mile for 10 miles and then catastrophic slowdown.
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
Today was supposed to be 16 miles. And it went very well, right up until 6.2 miles where I tripped and fell very hard, thumping and scraping one knee and badly bruising both hands. I briefly considered carrying on, but discretion won and I limped home (only about 10 minutes away) and cleaned up, and gave the knee a good long soak and plenty of rest. It seems to be getting better but I did resort to painkillers earlier.

I find myself feeling annoyed and cheated of my long walk, and will have to do more training on my holiday once I'm sure the knee is up to it.

I am sufficiently timing-obsessed that I stopped my stopwatch as soon as I'd finished falling and I've just mapped my walk as far as the fall site.

So: 6.2 miles in 90:15 => 14.6 min/mile Not bad, wish I knew if it would have held over the whole distance (probably not).
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
Shorter walk this weekend, to work on speed a bit more.

8.5 miles in 123:23 => 14.5 min/mile

Jolly satisfying over that distance. I was able to eat a sensible meal shortly after finishing too. Going to work on eating plenty of carbs this week as I've another 16-mile to do next Saturday. I am so pleased that 8 miles is now something I can do without much difficulty. I think that longer-term (After The Marathon) I'd like to keep up a habit of doing 8-10 miles at least once a week.

Very few timed sprint walks last week, with one thing and another. Just one that I remembered to note, which was 23:15 => 14.2 min/mile. Satisfactory but nothing to shout about.
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
Last weekend should have been 8 miles and 5 miles, but I was in the middle of a week-long migraine and had visiting relatives. So it wasn't, and between the migraine and the childminder's holiday I've not kept up the usual daily training.

But anyway today was

16 miles in 246:55 => 15.4 min/mile

I think that's the furthest I've ever walked in one go in my life. I did an Oxfam sponsored walk in 1998 or 1999 where I did 14 miles but I can't think of anything else comparable. Today also neatly slays the half-marathon ghost. I did a little happy dance in my head when I reckoned I was safely past 13.2 miles.

I walk a loop of 5.35 miles - the first two were ok, the last was much harder. The first two loops were done averaging more like 15.0 min/mile each, and the last loop rather slower. I begin to see why people talk about long-distance events as being won in the mind.

I'm trying the same approach to rehydration as last time ... so far it seems to be working.
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
12.2 miles in 180:45 => 14.9 min/mile
Fractionally slower than last time, not bad for the extra distance.

I handled the aftermath a lot better this time: didn't rush to eat or drink anything until after I'd stretched and showered and then just eased my way in by putting drinks and a sensible snack to hand while getting on with something else - sure enough my body took over and took drinks as it needed, and then food.

I procrastinated getting started yesterday; I felt a bit headachy and worried I had a migraine, which would mean not going. Eventually I figured out I was nervous about feeling ill again afterwards. Then I managed to talk myself up into going (if I did have a migraine I was going to feel ill anyway, so I might as well get some training in while I was at it) and of course it went much better.

Weekday walks:
Mon 23:55 => 14.6 min/mile
Tue 25:30 (carrying a charity bag, couldn't powerwalk) => 15:5 min/mile
Wed 22:48 => 13.9 min/mile
Thu 22:43 => 13.9 min/mile
Fri 22:46 => 13.9 min/mile

I'm still delighted about breaking 14 min/mile, and continuing to do so consistently for the rest of the week.
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
Yesterday I covered the 1.64 miles to the childminder in 22:48. Which is 13.9 min/mile. I can't quite believe it. I knew I was going fast, but that's just stunned me.
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
10.7 miles in 157:41 => 14.7 min/mile

Which is utterly brilliant, especially as the last two times I powerwalked 10 miles (the half-marathon and the earlier training walk), I came in at 15.7 min/mile both times.

Less happy about the aftermath, where I felt shivery and sick for a couple of hours. My feeble googling suggests this is most likely a combination of overhydrating when I finished, and being unfit.

Daily walks (only 3 this week due to migraine):
Mon: 24:24 => 14.9 min/mile
Tue: 23:19 => 14.2 min/mile
Wed: 24:10 => 14.7 min/mile
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
2.71 miles today, powerwalked (mostly) with 16kg of child on my back, who claimed to enjoy it. I was rather hot. We ran/walked the last half mile or so home together, which was good education for both of us, and he joined in stretching with enthusiasm.

Time: 41:51 => 15:4 min/mile which is not great, but not bad considering the handicap. I plan an 8 mile walk tomorrow, this time without passenger.

Recent weeks have been the proverbial plan meets reality failure, however I will try to post at least weekly now. I am still walking roughly 5 miles a day weekdays, and notching up at least 10,000 steps on the pedometer, often more.

Daily 1.64 mile sprint walks (spot the days on which I powerwalked!):

Mon 1/3: 24:35 =>15.0 min/mile
Tue 2/3: 23:40 => 14.4 min/mile
Wed 3/3: 23:30 => 14.3 min/mile
Thu 4/3: 23:10 => 14.1 min/mile <--- best time yet, I think!
Fri 5/3: 24:31 => 14.9 min/mile

Going back in time:
Read more... )
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
5.34 miles in 79:45 => 14.9 min/mile which is quite satisfying.

I've been failing to fit into the delivered training regime of 3-4 walks per week, but on the other hand my daily walking has been improving in speed and consistency. My normal weekday has me walk at least 5 miles:

0.9 miles to work
1.64 miles to the childminder (timed, and generally power-walked these days)
1.7 miles home

plus any diversions we might run on the way home.

So, I have a goal of doing 26 miles in 14 weeks time, which means being able to do 20 miles in 12 weeks time, and trying to squeeze extra walking in on weekdays is not going very well at the moment. So I'm going to look at weekends, and make sure I do at least 5 miles on each of those days too, and powerwalk on at least one of them, and start ramping up the powerwalk a bit at a time, to go from 5 miles now to 20 miles.

I need to plan the specific targets, but for now I got nearly 5 miles in yesterday, I've done a 5 mile power-walk today and I'm feeling pretty good.

Timed daily walks this week:
Mon: 23:28 => 14.3 min/mile (best yet!)
Tue: 23:41 => 14.4 min/mile
Wed: 23:44 => 14.5 min/mile
Fri: 27:50 (Worst time in ages. I had a bad headache and just couldn't face powerwalking it. Useful for the contrast it displays though - actively trying to powerwalk really does make a time difference. The headache seemed a bit eased by the fresh air and the endorphin rush.)

Previous weeks this year have been 24-25ish mins, apart from when there is snow and I don't try to go at speed. I'm going to regard the timed daily walks as "sprint" training where I go as fast as I can, as opposed to the long weekend walks which will be about extending my stamina. I'm also going to try to post weekly to summarise my times and distances.

Just note for future reference:
15 min/mile is 24:36
14 min/mile is 23:06
13 min/mile is 21:19 (I will be very surprised, if delighted, if I break this any time soon.)
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
My last post, 2.5 months ago, bemoaned how I hadn't been training much because of colds. Well, that didn't improve much and then I had flu and then I had post-viral fatigue. HOWEVER I have finally kicked the post-viral fatigue and I went out today and did:

3.2 miles in 47:30 => 14.8 min/mile

Which is pretty much up there with my fitness before all the illness, so I am pretty chuffed, and the endorphins were good too.

I have a place on the London MoonWalk on the night of 15th May, so I am sitting down with my training plan and planning the next couple of weeks - I think I have 19 weeks to go and a training plan for 12 weeks. However, repeating the last few weeks of training a couple of times won't hurt, and it does give me some contingency if I have more badly-timed colds.
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
It's 6 weeks today since the Bristol half-marathon and I've been very quiet since - I've not done any training in that time due to a series of colds and exhaustion and colds and migraine and colds (there is a theme here). However I have managed to get some proper running shoes for training, and I've been sticking to walking as much as possible and timing my daily walk to collect my son (1.65 miles, time usually between 24:30 and 26:00) but I haven't been recording it very well. I may have to resort to paper recordkeeping.

This week was notable for 3 things:
1. I made the walk in the fastest ever time (23:57 => 14.5 min/mile)
2. I have signed up for the London Moonwalk next May, so I have 8 months to train up.
3. I went out training! (2 miles, new shoes, breaking in)

So, today was 2.2 miles in 32:04 => 14.8 min/mile.
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
Didn't complete :(

I found another Walk-the-Walker at the beginning and we kept similar pace for a long time together. I was really pleased, I was steadily knocking off miles at 14.5 min/mile, and the route doubles back on itself, so we had a lovely long walk from ~2 miles to ~5 miles with faster people coming the other way. The atmosphere was amazing, and the scenery fantastic - we went under the Clifton suspension bridge and along the gorge, then turned and came back again.

7th mile was 15 min, and I never saw the marker for mile 8 but at mile 9 the lap time was 32 min. Somewhere between 7 and 9 my partner drew ahead and I just couldn't keep up with her. By 9 miles I was limping and I limped to the 10 mile marker in 21 minutes and soon after that I started feeling quite woozy, but I remembered a St John's Ambulance point ahead, so I struggled that far and then stopped.

I explained I wasn't injured, just out of steam, and they gave me a space blanket and said they'd call me a minibus to get me back to the finish. With one thing and another, that took over an hour, during which I occasionally stretched and moved around, and generally tried to recover. Tony sweet-talked the hotel into extra time on our late checkout, so I had some time to shower and change and shove some food in before getting back to the station and our train home. That had to be on foot, as most of the roads were still closed for the race, and I'd seen from my lift that traffic was awful. So one extra mile at quite high speed and now I am comfortably sat in our reserved seats on the train eating enormous quantities of food.

I'm quite disappointed that I didn't complete, but I'm not put off trying something similar again in future. I clearly haven't got quite enough stamina, but hopefully training regularly will build that up. I need better walking shoes as blisters have been a problem on every walk over 6 miles so far, so a trip to get proper gait analysis etc is on the plans for the next credit-card period.

Onwards and, well, onwards. I'll probably go out training again Tuesday or Wednesday.

Ready to go

Sep. 6th, 2009 08:52 am
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
Lurking in my hotel room with another 20 minutes or so before I need to go assemble with "wave 2" i.e. the slow people (and pink numbers are slowest of the slow, one gathers).

The hotel is full of people doing the race. Breakfast was a complete scrum when it opened at 8am: I think the usual weekend customers are less likely to have breakfast and certainly less keen on getting it down before 8:30am.

I have my Walk the Walk tshirt with my race number pinned on, my race chip on my walking sandals, and a belly full of butterflies (and toast).
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
No response from the person at Walk the Walk by yesterday evening.

Last night I lost my nerve and had decided to give up on the race qand just walk 13.2 miles in Cambridge to prove to myself I could. But this morning I re-read the final pre-race package from Bristol half-marathon organisers and it looks like in practice there will be 3.5 hours between them sending off the second, slow, wave of entrants, and "no longer guaranteeing" any support. I can definitely do it in 3.5 hours, so even if they are slow getting the 'wave' over the line I don't care, I'm going to do it.

I set up my JustGiving page and will start seeking some last-minute sponsorship.

Better start decorating that bra too.
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
Training goal: 3 miles in 40-43 min (13.3 - 14.3 min/mile)
Actual: 3.2 miles in 46:30 min (14.5 min/mile)

Still too slow, but at least I seem to have broken 15 min/mile decisively.

The training plan has 2 more 3-mile walks next week (in 40 min, ho ho) and then the race on Sunday. I must ring the Walk the Walk organisers on Tuesday to ask their advice about this speed issue.

And I managed to make new blisters, what fun.

10 miles

Aug. 28th, 2009 02:19 pm
rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
I got a huge blister and I was shaking when I stopped and I didn't do it anywhere near fast enough, but I did do the 10 miles on the 28th without feeling it was impossible.

Time was 157:11 rather than the goal 140. I do not know how I am to get fast enough in the next week: the blister only healed up enough to walk seriously on again today. My best idea is to do short (1-2 mile) fast walks every day between now and the race, possibly with the exception of the previous day.
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