A mild strain…

24 Jan


This blog is a bit of a moan. I guess. I’ll start my saying I am so grateful and happy to be doing these races. I’m lucky to have my marathon place and appreciate the love everyone has shown me.

The training is going well. I need to work harder to ensure I am getting in the weekly long run but overall I am doing fine J.

What I didn’t anticipate is the strain it would have on my body and social life.

I am someone who really suffers when my mind and body is under stress. I get run down, glandular and can get quite ill. I take medicine for it when it crops up. But over the past few weeks its been cropping up a lot.
I wake up feeling fluish and groggy and it goes from there. Pushing through it isn’t really an option. Taking anti inflammatory medicine and rest is how to combat it. But I can’t really rest. I’m on such a tight schedule that taking 3 -4 days out to recover ain’t an option.

Woken up this morning with a very sore throat and blocked nose. Bringing out the herbal teas lol. This, I can feel is just a cold and it’s not going to stop me!! Not at all but for the other symptoms I need to sort it out. Trip to the doctors I think.

I do wonder how those of you who are seasoned in training for the bigger races cope though. What happens when you’re stuck down by a nasty cold or a sticky eye?

I’ve got a sweat rash behind my ear and on my cheek. So itchy and sore.

I’ve got a flare up of eczema behind my knees!! Are these all common runners ailments?

I need to buy a knee support as I’m finding when I’m not running my knee is quite sore. It gets a pain through it when I bend it or sometimes take stairs. Recommendations on good knee support?

So my body is taking a battering but so is my social life. My training plan means that along side weightwatchers My only free weekday evenings are Thursdays and Fridays. Thursdays I see Chris and come Friday I’m so tired I just want to sleep.
Everything is scheduled around running. Making sure I don’t make any Saturday plans until late in the day in order to complete my long run and Sunday’s its game over as I try to do some real rest and get my washing done.

I knew there would be a sacrifice but its tougher than I thought. I had my first booze craving on Tuesday night. Having a good catch up with my housemate who I hadn’t seen properly in over a week and could have really done with a nice, cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc. *sigh* This is the journey I chose.

It’s not all bad though. I am improving and seeing these improvements. Mondays RDC West session was epic. We ran about 9km in circuits around an icy Paddington Rec. I ran with people who pushed me and supported me and I could see I was faster. I think my average pace is about 6 and a half minute km. It used to be 6.50

I will admit I have been scared to test myself in a faster paced group for fear of failure, but when I realised I wasn’t even breaking a sweat in slow hares, I knew it was time to pick it up. Come out of the comfort zone and start to make it count. So at RDC on Tuesday, I led fast hares and ran our fastest km in 5mins 57seconds. Running with fast hares did challenge me but not as much as I expected, but it was a work out. And I felt it after. The group were great and everyone supported each other. We ran just over 8km and we ran it strong.

I always feel so proud to lead the groups as everyone pushes for their best, we work together so well as part of a team and the conversations you have with others constantly lift you. It’s the best feeling! I’m going to work hard over the coming weeks and my goal is to be in greyhounds by the time VLM comes around. Yes!

The strain on my tear ducts has also been intense. I never dreamt that the amount of running I’m doing and the reasons for doing it would cause such an emotional upheaval in me.
I have a good run, I cry.
Someone sponsors me, I cry.
Someone says something nice to me, I cry.

Most of the days I am on the verge of tears. Always happy tears mind you. It must be the enormity of what I will achieve, for myself, for the charity. Perhaps I underestimated how much this really means to me. I’m welling up now as I think about it.

I need to put a lid on it but I don’t know how. So if you see me crying don’t be alarmed just know that I’m in a very emotional place and I’m extremely happy.

Weight wise, my birthday celebrations went well. I put on half a lb last week after all the cake but knocked it off again this week. So back to 15st on the button.

Let’s hope come Wednesday I’ll be under. That would be superb!

I bought my first pair of size 14 jeans. the last time I wore a size 14 in trousers was least 2007. Probably before. So this is a big thing for me. Go team.

Now I’m going to plug my event.

It’s the 2nd of February at Rocket Bar and Restaurant in Canary Wharf.


7pm. £10entry. Cocktail making and fun times.

Plus an excellent raffle!

Please come and support or you can also sponsor me online via: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Leeleegraham


Oh this is my friend Krystal who has been running with me a lunch times. She is amazing! More about her another time!

2 Responses to “A mild strain…”

  1. Simon Freeman January 25, 2013 at 6:48 am #

    Hi Lee. I don’t think we’ve met, but I guess we will have been at RDC at the same time at some point. I just read your blog post and thought I’d offer my thoughts. I am not sure where to start with an answer to your blog post – there is quite a lot of stuff there. So I am going to offer three bits of advice on targets, nutrition and happiness (quite a random mix I know, but hopefully they will help).

    Targets – I’m going to assume that you go to the RDC and I know that there is a lot of enthusiasm there. From reading what you have written, I wonder if you have got caught up in that and perhaps set yourself too steep a target. I do NOT mean that you can’t finish a marathon – far from it. By the target should be appropriate to what you can reasonably do and what you have done in the past. If you have allowed people to convince you that you need to be training six times a week and aiming for a sub-4 hour marathon, for example, that might not be right for you. So be strong and work out YOUR target.

    Nutrition – I can see that part of your motivation for running is weight loss. I can sympathise because one of the reasons I started running for the same. However – and this is very, VERY important – performance, weight loss and restricted diets do NOT go well together. I am not suggesting for a minute that you should eat everything you can lay your hands on, but there needs to be an understanding that you are fuelling for performance and it is all about what your body can DO, not what it looks like. If you haven’t read Chrissie Wellington’s amazing book, I suggest you do: her battle with weight, sport and fuel is very instructive.

    Finally… happiness. I run to be happy. Running helps me improve physically and mentally. Gives me a sense of achievement. Gives me time on my own to think. Has introduced me to some of the most important people in my life. Sometime training is hard, but I always know that ultimately it is about being happy. So I really suggest taking a look at what you are doing. Step back from it for a bit – just a few days doing easy runs and enjoying it will not destroy your fitness, far from it. And try to discover or rediscover the ways that running makes you happy, because that is how you will stick at it and ultimately improve.

    I hope that helps. S.

    • specialee85 January 25, 2013 at 8:36 am #

      Hi Simon.

      Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. And what a great response. It’s given me a lot to think about.
      Would like to just reply with a couple of things. Not negatives just for clarifications sake.

      I don’t have a target finish time, I just want to finish. I’d be a very happy Leelee if I could finish in around 5.5hours but having never run a marathon before who knows what my time will be. I can be hard and strict with myself so perhaps that’s where my desire to train so hard has come from, whilst people around me are very encouraging I want to run my race, not theirs. But I am very competitive with me so perhaps I need to ease up on my self a bit. Not sure I know how.

      Defo trying to get the fueling myself spot on and whilst training I am not “dieting” as hard, to not eat what I need will leave me in a situation where I won’t be able to run properly. So totally get that point and agree with you. And I’ll check out the book you mention right away.

      Happiness! Ah happiness! Lol I am not unhappy, far from it. Just recognising that this is hard. Very hard and it is taking a toll. But yeah there are ways I can make sure I continue to be happy as enjoy what I’m doing. To not recognise the challenges and ignore them would leave me I happy and part of this blog is about me being able to talk about exactly how I feel and find out why I feel like this.

      On Tuesday Charlie Dark asked us to think about why we run, the real, REAL reasons and some of those are becoming clear to me.

      Thanks again Simon and please come and say hi if you see me at RDC. 🙂

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