Pete Blach’s Half Marathon
I’ve always wanted to run a marathon but haven’t got off my backside until now. A friend completed the London Marathon last year after intense training but without having run before and it got me thinking. I’m getting close to 40. Maybe I should get on with it before my joints need oiling. I’ve picked half a Marathon to start with because there’s one taking place near where I live in Folkestone. Would also be a good tester to see if my legs are up for this malarky.
If you are considering doing something similar yourself, here’s a bit about my experience so far.
I pulled my cheap trainers out in May after a friend advised me I should start training 3-4 month before. After a quick read on the internet I found a gentle beginners scheme of 3 runs a week.
Week one went well. I got to catch up on “Mark Kermode’s” film reviews downloaded on the ipod. After 2 weeks I could jog for an hour without feeling exhausted (surely it couldn’t be this easy). Then the trouble started. A pain began in my right foot after each run and lasted several days. I stopped for a week to rest and picked it up again. The pain continued. It didn’t bode well. I fell behind with my scheme to give my foot time to rest. After 2 months, the pain still hadn’t gone.
I spoke to people with experience and decided to follow two bits of advice. 1) spend more then £15.99 on trainers and 2) build up your muscles slowly. I went to The London Marathon store in London and ran on a treadmill. They recorded the way my feet landed and (surprise surprise) I needed support in my shoes.
Armed with new expensive trainers I was determined to build up my muscles slowly and focused on 30 min runs for the next couple of weeks. It seemed to do the trick. A slow build up and no more foot pain.
One thing I wished I’d been told before I started: When men go past the 1 hour mark, their nipples start to get tender. At first I thought it was the temperature but the soreness became a stinging sensation the longer I ran. One day I came home with spots of blood where the skin had been rubbed off. Imagine what it felt like when I exposed them to hot water from the shower. Ouch,… I wondered whether this is what it’s like when women have to get used to breast-feeding. Jo looked it up online and found some pretty grim images. The thought of blood streaming from my nipples made me resolve to tape them up on my next run. It worked but it was seriously painful when the tape had to come it off. I’ve now created some homemade nipple patches made from cotton wool pads which I tape on with surgical tape. They work a treat but are not exactly sexy!
Another thing I wished someone had told me. When you get past the 1h40m, chafing starts to build up between your thighs. This can be painful for up to two days after. I overcame this by getting rid of my pants and smearing my upper thighs in Vaseline before each run. Not very sexy either.
The run is on Sunday 25 Sept and I never thought I would actually look forward to it. But that’s actually not far from the truth. I’ve really enjoyed getting into running and it keeps me up to date on the radio programmes I never had time to listen to before.
If you have a few spare pennies, please donate through the site and help my good friends in their quest to fund a PHD student at the Lab of T-cell Immunology to undertake research into the causes and treatments of T-cell leukaemia in children.
I’ll upload pictures and a few words about the day once I’ve crossed the line.