Snow joke, this training-for-a-marathon-in-winter malarkey!

It’s been a busy month since my last blog update, which takes me up to week 8 of my marathon training, and 18 to go to the big day – argh! 18 weeks….that seems very, very close!

A week and a half ago I ran a 10k (6.2 miles) in Regent’s Park, non-stop in 1 hour 2 minutes, so I was really proud of that. Running non-stop was the main objective – I still have a long way to go to build up the endurance and fitness needed for 26.2 miles – and I was delighted that I managed that, although I had to dig deep towards the end. I’d been at a big Christmas lunch the day before – three courses, with cheese after – and got a stitch a mile in, and just had to run through it! So a race I’m really chuffed with, but not one I’ll remember as being especially easy!

And then…huge slump! Not because of motivation, but more the weather in London – ice, snow, frost, so haven’t been able to get out for the last week and a half as the last thing I want is to slip and injure myself. I realised I probably should have gotten some trail runners in anticipation of the winter weather, to stop me slipping all over the place, so will look into that after Christmas. I still haven’t gotten round to getting my gait measured/new trainers to match, so need to get on with that too, especially as my distance is creeping up. My weekend runs to the end of the year are 6, then 13 and 14 miles, so it’s starting to get serious now!

I’m off to Ireland tomorrow for 2 weeks, so will try to fit my runs in as planned around Christmas meet-ups with friends and family, but at the same time won’t be stressing too much if it’s too busy. I’ve been on the fitness trail since July, and maybe this is a good point to pull back a little ahead of the January countdown to the marathon.

My plan, from week one of January for the 16 weeks to the marathon, is as follows:

  • 3-4 runs a week, averaging 2-4 miles
  • Long Sunday runs as follows: 7, 15, 8, 16, 8, 18, 9, 19, 10, 20, 10, 21, 10, 22-23, 8…. 26.2 miles: MARATHON DAY

My new year’s resolution for January, assuming life and all its chaos accommodates it, is at least one official run every month. I work best when I have goals, so I know this will help to keep me on track with my fitness plan, and hopefully the weight loss will follow.

My plan so far is as follows:

  • Jan: Regent’s Park 10k
  • Feb: Regent’s Park 10k, Roding Half Marathon
  • Mar: The Big Half (half marathon), Brentwood Half Marathon
  • Apr: London Marathon
  • May: London Vitality 10k, Moonwalk Marathon
  • Jun: Cork Marathon, Ireland
  • Jul: Richmond Riverside 10k
  • Aug: Hyde Park 10k
  • Sep: Richmond Half Marathon
  • Oct: Dublin Marathon
  • Nov: TBC
  • Dec: TBC

Hopefully I’ll manage most, but a lot will depend on the health of our son, as he gets closer and closer to needing his kidney transplant. We found out from Great Ormond Street Hospital last week that they will begin, in the new year, the process of testing my husband and me to see if we are a compatible match, so am excited about that process starting, and nervous. It will take at least 6 months, so a while yet before there is an answer.

We’ve spent the past 3.5 years since his birth wondering constantly – daily – whether it will be in our power to save his life when he needs that help. I cross everything that at least one of us is compatible and given that opportunity. It’s impossible here for me to describe what that has been – and is – like, but suffice to say it’s a very, very stressful situation. I’ll continue trying to get the weight off, in case that chance lies with me, and only me, so that I’m below the BMI of 30 that’s the limit for what is classed as voluntary surgery.

So with all that looming, perhaps a slightly easy next couple of weeks in Ireland is just what the doctor ordered – then time to grab the bull by the horns on Jan 1st!

I’m also hoping to do a little more come the new year for the fundraising element of this challenge. One idea I’d had is supper clubs at our house – currently a building site as we’re in the middle of a big refurb! We’re moving back in end of March, so I’m hoping things are finished enough by then to host supperclubs to groups of local people, with a different local person as the chef for each night, with the ingredients provided for them, and them kindly volunteering their time and know-how. I bounced the idea off a local foodie group of Facebook, and lots were keen, so fingers crossed we have a house by then in which to do it!! I think it would be a fun way to raise funds, while giving me and others a chance to meet other local people in our East London community! Watch this space for more updates!!

For anyone tempted to contribute, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/donna-hillyer

snow-running

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