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These day late blogs are becoming a bit of a bad habit, but its better than staying up late all the time and what should be 15-20 minutes of typing turns into 1hr+ because I keep nodding off and end up typing garbled rubbish that doesn’t make any sense. Anyway, Saturday was a lovely day and started off nice and bright, perfect for the final training run for the half marathon. The goal was 11 miles and I was worried that my running partner may struggle a bit. We had been building up the miles over the previous couple of months, but due to a mix up with dates, we had one less weekend to train on. Ideally this would have been another 9 mile run like last weekend, but with no time left we had to go for 11 miles. I wanted to push my running partner as she’d only ever done a 6 mile (10 km) run before and this required a different sort of tactic. Seeing as I had signed up for the half marathon myself, making this my 5th half marathon, I was also keen to put some distance behind myself to make sure I was ready for this run. I am still nervous about this run after last years nightmare where it all fell apart for me. I started the run feeling okay, but by mile 5 I was quickly becoming aware that I wasn’t in a great place for this run, and by mile 6 I was desperately running out of steam, I literally wasn’t even half way through the race and I felt like I’d got nothing left! By mile 9 my stomach was feeling like a washing machine and I knew I wouldn’t make it to the end without finding a toilet. Unfortunately having gone through Cannon Hill Park I’d just passed the final block of temporary toilets that had been put in place for the run. I had three choices, turn around and go back, push on to the end and keep my fingers crossed, or find a spectator that would let me use their toilet. It turned out that the last option was my only hope, and a shopkeeper turned out to be my hero of the day. By the end of the race I was ruined. My legs were shot and I felt like I’d been hit by a bus, on top of which I was 15 minutes SLOWER than the previous year. It dented my confidence, I was sure I could only improve on last years time, but it appears my over confidence was my downfall! Completing this years Tough Mudder challenge was a huge confidence boost, as I’d managed to run 12 miles and tackled 20 tough and challenging obstacles along the way and still had energy at the end of it. Hopefully this years half marathon will be much smoother, as I know how to prepare myself better for it now. Eating the right food next week will be important as well as taking on the correct amount of fluids. Getting enough rest will also be important, as will the right breakfast on the day. It isn’t just a case of signing up, turn up on the day and run, any rookie can do that, what I want to do is be able to keep up a challenging pace, and maintain it throughout the entire 13.1 miles and make sure I break that 2 hour barrier that I’ve only done on the Silverstone half marathon, but never at Birmingham. I also need to make sure that toilet breaks don’t slow me down as they have for the last two years, whilst at the same time making sure I am hydrated enough to keep pushing all the way. I want to thank all those who read this and have sponsored me, I am truly grateful. I only signed up at the last minute, and had previously decided that if I did sign up it would only be for fun this year as I have already badgered people for sponsorship enough in the past, but to take part in such a huge moneymaking event, it seems a waste to run this distance and not even make a little money for charity. The training run this morning went well anyway, and we both made it to the end feeling great, so I am feeling good for next weekend. I took Saturdays photo when I got home and had opened my amazon delivery, a huge box for what was inside, that could have actually fitted inside an envelope! I left Olivia to play with the box for a bit… its the simple things that kids love. We have bought her all sorts of colourful noisy toys, yet she finds great pleasure in a simple box and an empty pepsi bottle that we had washed out and put some rice in. It could make for a cheap christmas!

Shortly after I took the reigns and looked after Olivia for the afternoon while Clare took her mother out for a belated birthday afternoon tea. I had a couple of visitors while she was out, one of my sisters and our good friend Tracy, and thankfully they both hung around until Clare got back. After they’d gone we cooked up some pizzas, the asda frozen special, no expense spared kind, and settled in for a film with a few drinks. It comes as no surprise that I was left watching the end of the film by myself again as Clare had taken herself off to bed. In fact the only film she has stayed awake for recently was 28 Days Later that she admitted, after it had finished, that she didn’t enjoy much! I can’t win, I think we’re destined to watch films separately!

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