So tired

God I’m tired! The marathon training is really intense now. This week I’ve had to do three speed sessions, one hill session, 15.5 miles and an hour-long steady run.

All this amounts to about 35 miles in just one week and I am really feeling it today.

Tomorrow I’m having a cake sale at work in order to try and boost the sponsorship a bit. It’s currently up to £450, which is over £1000 off my target.

If anyone reading this hasn’t yet sponsored me I would really appreciate it if you could go to www.justgiving.com/bonniebarnhouse and pledge some money. Even a fiver would be fantastic.

Similarly if anyone has any fundraising tips please sent those my way as well. I’m starting to panic!

Image by jopokele

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Why are you trying to make it harder?

As a consequence of running a race last Sunday at Longleat, and of spending a bit of time on the www.runnersworld.co.uk forum this week, there are a couple of things irking me this week.

The first thing is people running races with dogs. Now, as you will probably know, I'm a massive dog lover, and would gladly train with my own dog if doing so didn't risk me breaking my neck or losing him. I would never though, drag a dog round a race, or force a dog to drag me round a race, as I saw at Longleat on Sunday.

Several runner's raced holding their dogs' leads, and one lady even wore a strap around her waist, securing the dog to her. Her poodle was massive and was clearly helping her round the course.

There are so many reasons why racing with your dog is a bad idea. For starters, the dog may be scared by all the crowds and could easily get trodden on. Secondly it's hard enough to overtake slower runners, let alone if there are dogs attached to them. Thirdly the dog can't drink on the run as you can, so is likely to get dehydrated.

And another thing, some people are scared of dogs and will be made to feel very uncomfortable if they know there's one behind them. Yes it might make them run a bit faster, but it's still not fair to put them in that position.

Ok, that's the first gripe out of the way.

Next is the news that apparently race organisers are going to start banning iPods from races. I use Nike+ (sensor in my shoe that links up to my iPod), so my iPod is not only my source of entertainment but it is my stopwatch, and pace monitor. The entertainment part isn't so much of a problem on a short race, but I expect the marathon to take over four hours, and need music to get me through.

I know the crowd will be buzzing and that's all very well, but I need my inspirational songs, and enjoy listening to them as I go round because the demands I face in my everyday life are such that I get very little time to listen to music, and this is one of the few opportunities I get to listen to the tunes I love.

Of course I love being out in the countryside and sometimes opt for peace and quiet, but I am not happy about the prospect of having this decision forced upon me. Four hours!

The argument is that it's dangerous because people can't hear what's going on around them, but if you keep the volume down what's the problem? I could hear loads of people panting behind me when I raced the other day. I just think it's totally unnecessary to ban iPods from races, and that it's going to upset a lot of runners.

Why are people trying to making running any more challenging than it already is? It's just not fair.

Please sponsor me at www.justgiving.com/bonniebarnhouse

Image by mroth


Stretch it out

I went to a London marathon training seminar in London last week and it was really good. I just wanted to reiterate a few really great tips that I picked up there. I've been using them all since and have really noticed the difference.
  1. Don't stretch a cold muscle – warm up for at least five minutes before you stretch, if indeed you choose to stretch at all.
  2. After you run keep moving for at least 10 or 15 minutes, it will stop your muscles seizing up.
  3. When you come back eat a snack that features both carbohydrate and protein, such as a bagel with low fat cheese or a bowl of cereal. They help your muscles repair so you're ready to run again soon.
  4. Eat a diet that contains all kinds of carbs, they are crucial to your running and recovery.
Well I've got a 10k at Longleat on Sunday and I'm really hoping to beat my PB, but I haven't really been focusing on my 10k pace much in my marathon training, so I'll have to see how it goes. My parents are running too so it should be quite fun. I hope you other marathon runners out there are getting on well, keep up the good work.

Image by Bob.Fornal

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Forget running, get walking

There are just ten weeks to go until the marathon and I'd be lying if I said it wasn't starting to take over my life. Running is pretty much my world at the moment and I'm very worried about the race, although I'm looking forward to it too.

Despite all the running going on, I've found time to take up one more new hobby: dog walking. Our local RSPCA centre allows you to walk dogs for them and so I've been going up there every weekend and walking the poor pouches that have found themselves there.

I was largely prompted to do this after my family got Jack, our new dog (pictured here with me), from a rescue centre. He is the most beautiful dog in the world and I'm so glad we were able to rescue him. I live in rental accommodation so am unable to have my own dog at home; if I could I'd rescue all of the dogs up at the RSPCA centre.

Anyway I just wanted to encourage everyone out there to contact your local RSPCA centre in order to find out if they allow you to do this. It's free, the dogs love it and if you're like me and can't have a dog of your own to care for all the time, it's great to be able to give lots of dogs a little bit of affection every now and again. Check it out.

Please sponsor me for the London Marathon at www.justgiving.com/bonniebarnhouse

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