Miles better or Miles worse?

At the begining of last week i got in touch with one of the ladies from the Kirkby Milers, Linda Greengrass (permission was granted to name drop 👍😊)

Linda has run 8 Marathons, worked in the fitness industry for 23 years and is a legend for providing and helping other runners with action plans for running a Marathon, she is also training at the moment for her 1st Ultra.🏃‍♀️🏃‍♀️💚

Linda has drawn up a bespoke plan, easy to follow (Hopefully) and lots of hints, tips and links to watch online. Some pointers when to increase my miles and when to run shorter runs to achieve consistency- this week ive converted KM to Miles-Its all about the Miles now.

Due to work and family commitments I only managed to run at the track with the Kirkby Milers on Wednesday, 3.19miles (just over 5k for those still using KM’s 😉)

This was the first week since starting that i have only run once! I wasnt a happy bunny either 😡

Then my Son kindly passed a dose of his Little Man Flu over to me 🤧 so i didnt run at the weekend as planned either ☹️

Tonight – The good old “I’ll start on Monday” mantra.

It’s really cold now but i have to keep on, stretch my legs and progress through my new plan.

Then this happened!

5k all in one go, not only that but the quickest 5k i have ever run! Technically my 1st PB? Erm sorry i meant 3.12 Miles 🤔

Ill get the hang of this KM to Miles! Promise 🤞🏻

Clocking up the mini achievements now and feeling really pleased with my progress!

The week ahead…… follow the plan and invest in some warmer running kit!! ☃️

Jay

🏃🏻🏃🏻👟👟

Back to Basics

Over the last few weeks my distance and time spent running has increased, but what I’ve realised is that I haven’t been consistent.

I’m not taking away the positives, but on reflection, how far can I actually run in one go?

Not stopping to walk, catch my breath or have a quick stretch?

2.3k – my little route from door to door, is the only measurable route I can say I’ve ran in one go.

So this is my 1st attempt at making a little plan for the next few weeks, increasing the distance for my smaller runs week by week, attending the track with the Kirkby Milers and trying to do some longer runs over the weekends.

Who doesn’t love a colour coded spreadsheet?😬

So how’s it gone?<<<
l I managed 3 runs and a track session. Managed to get to 3.44k without stopping so I feel my plan is working.

But the best run and my favourite so far was my run with little man!

#DadandLad

<<<
ing forward, hopefully having a plan will also help to get rid of these doubt Gremlins that often pop in and out my head!👾

Every bad run I start questioning myself:

Am I stupid? ( don’t answer that Mrs J x)Can I do this?Every time I get over one issue, another pops up like, sore knee, then calves, then ankles.🤕

I do shake myself out of it and I’m impressed at how mentally positive I am, it certainly helps having the support of family and friends, new friends from the Kirkby Milers and also virtual friends from Social Media, people you probably will never meet but have no hidden agenda other than to wish you the best.

They say running is good for your mental state and in the short term I totally agree, that doesn’t quite work as well when you declare to everyone you know that you’re going to run the London Marathon! From sitting on the couch to lining up in 7 months!

To me at this point running has become almost like an addiction,

My Names Jay Johnson and I’m addicted to Running!😳
ve thought that would even be possible, I certainly didn’t.

I find myself thinking about running when I am not running.

When will my next run be?

Short or long?

If it’s not raining should I make the most of it?

I guess it’s a cheaper addiction than some available addiction on the market.

Anyway got to go, need my next fix

Jay

👟👟🏃🏻🏃🏻

 

Just going to have to ride this one out

Second run out to break in the new supportive stability trabs (that makes them sound like special shoes doesn’t it?) I managed to clock up 5.4k, I wasn’t able to make the Kirkby Milers group this week so I was happy I had got this distance in the bag.

The next night I got home from work and decided to go for another run, my aim tonight was 6k, do the 4 corners ( which we all now know is 4k not 5) then come around the back of my estate, hopefully this would be close to the 6k mark.

It’s getting darker with each run so with health and safety in mind I decided to dig out an old Hi-Viz waistcoat, looking like a throwback from the Village People I set off.

Having completed the 4 corners and one lap of the estate and just before the turn off to my close I was at 5k, not quite the 6k I had in mind, so I carried on and ran towards corner 1 of the 4 corners with the intention of turning back and heading home.

Half way back and the lovely Kat informed me that I had achieved the 6k point, I felt really good and thought 7k???🤔

At this point I subconsciously switched into Forest Gump mode, (no box of chocolates in sight🎁🍫) 7k ………8k…………9k……….10k!!!!!! by the time I had reached my finishing step I had covered 10.26k!!

10k? Me? I’d covered 10k!!! The guy who sat around his friends table eating a curry not that long ago, saying there was physically no way he could run 1k never mind 5k and with 10k seeming impossible. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t run the whole 10k in one go BUT I didn’t stop, I walked slow or powerwalked to regain my composure and then plodded on again.

I had just reached 25% of my goal, it wasn’t exactly a walk in the park but 6k through to 10k I ran with a smile on my face( I must have looked like I had just escaped the mental asylum.)😁

Taking me back to my Clubland days, my Spotify playlist had me “shaking my shimmy” down the road, “in my eyes” I felt I could “walk on water”, and I was certainly getting into the “rhythm of the night”!!,🕺🏻🕺🏻🕺🏻

10k complete, but I’d been so wrapped up in my progress that I totally forgot I was supposed to be sorting the tea out for the family and I also hadn’t realised that the Mrs would think I had gone AWOL. I was met at the finishing step by a relieved but hangry Mrs J! Take away………………………… Oh well I deserved this kabab!🥙🍟

After the long 10k walk/run I decided to wait a couple of days and rested my legs.

Saturday morning I went for another run, a new adventure, part of an 8k route I had been told about, let’s see how far I get on this one.

To the untrained eye (my untrained eye) the roads where I live are quite flat. Well that was exactly what I thought until I set out on this route, “this is a good 8k loop” I was told, “you’ll enjoy it”, LIES, ALL LIES!! This route is made up of sneaky low inclines, I’d reach a level and boom I’d be slowly climbing again, ahead of me I could see the local pub, I don’t usually drink but I admit today I was tempted only its frowned upon at 9.30 in the morning……..isn’t it?🍻

Once past the pub the route levels off along a country lane, then you reach another pub ……. Ah I’m starting to see a trend, I wondered why I was told it could take 5 hours on a Saturday afternoon!!

From the second pub it was all downhill until I reached the dam, then I met an unexpected really steep incline! I would not be defeated, and imagining I was a Gladiator on the travellator I pushed on and reached the top. The 8k route then takes you around the 4 corners but I was done in, I was tired, my calves were tight and my ankle had started to hurt. I admitted defeat and headed home, I had covered 5.92k, not what I set out to achieve but another run under my belt with the introduction of some varied inclines.

It’s all progress!!🏃🏻🏃🏻👟👟

 

The roller-coaster week, managing to loop the loop

After attending the Kirkby Milers last week, Paul Cope (one of the amazing trainers at the club) posted my blog to their Facebook page, the amount of likes and support that came my way from this point was overwhelming, it gave me a real buzz, I had gained more support, a network of experience to tap in to and like-minded people to help me on my journey from Couch to Marathon.💚

 

Running with Coach Chris!  😁👍👍

Run Number 9 – Time to venture off the estate and into the wild.

Near my house there’s an area known as the 4 corners, it’s popular with joggers and enthusiastic dog walkers and I thought that this would be the next logistical step to make on my training journey. I, for some reason was under the impression that this was also a 5k distance, and with that as my next target I pulled on the trabs, donned my knee supports and headed out of the door in the direction of the first corner.

 What an experience, out at rush hour, me in my gym kit putting one foot in front of the other whilst I passed busses full of people, holding my head up high whilst secretly hoping not to make a show of myself. 

Despite this I felt physically comfortable and noticed that my breathing was more controlled, UNTIL I turned the corner and I could see that incline ahead of me, a bit of a shock to the system but nevertheless I dug deep and kept moving, the 4th corner was in sight and my mantra of 5k goal, 5k goal was running through my head.

 Just as I reached the 4th corner and about to head back onto our estate, my now least best friend, Kat Default from the Runkeeper app, smugly tells me in my ear 4.01k complete! WHAT! HOW! WHY? 4 Corners = 4K– obviously, who didn’t know that? ERM ME, Oh Fook! 😫

I’m shit at making decisions (ask Kerri) but I had to act quickly, turn left and head home or extend this run and reach that 5k target?? I kept on running until my now new best friend Kat whispered seductively in my ear, 5.01k I HAD DONE IT, I carried on, floating on cloud nine all the way home, 5.39k when I landed on my finishing step!

 

5.39k, 9 runs in, that was great, I felt great, what a buzz and a whooshing feeling of self-pride #Fatboycanrun!!

 

 Run Number 10 ☹️😔

After smashing run number 9 and feeling so positive I thought I would try the 4k/4 corners again, maybe try and run one lap round the estates for the final leg, could I get to 6k today?

 In a nut shell no, no I couldn’t…😤

 1k in to my run, my calves cramped up, I tried to stretch it out but there was no let up, I tried to carry on but the cramp grew stronger and the pain became too much, scared I would do more damage and worried about setting myself back I stopped.😢

I walked and managed to cover 4k in total, head down and feeling deflated all the way home (you were thinking of a little pig then weren’t you? Wee wee wee).🐷🐷🐷

This is one of them moments I have read about, a bad run.

So early into my training, despite previously my mental strength and confidence growing with each run the doubt gremlins appeared…………..👿

CAN I REALLY DO THIS?

CAN I PHYSICALLY DO THIS?

WILL THESE LEGS AND DODGY KNEES GIVE UP?

MENTALLY I THINK IM STRONG ENOUGH, PHYSICALLY WHO KNOWS?

I went home and got in the shower, hot or cold? What would help my legs, I didn’t know? What would wash these doubt gremlins out my head?

 

I decided I would give my legs a little rest for a few days, I’d clocked up 31k in October over 10 runs. More than I have run in a very long time, if ever?

 

I used this time to look at stretching techniques and spoke to experienced runners about what works for them, Ice? Heat? Rest? Stretch?

A friend of mine advised me to look into having my Gait analysed, to make sure I have the right footwear and prevent any longer term damage. Good advice I thought.

Putting on my positivity pants I headed to Natterjacks in Liverpool and spoke to one of their consultants, a guy called Rich. 

Rich was extremely knowledgeable and so helpful, I explained my story/scenario/stupidity to him, fully expecting him to laugh or take the micky a bit but no none of that, he was full of enthusiasm, another person telling me I have won a golden ticket!

I tie my Nike Pegasus on and step on to the treadmill and have my run filmed so Rich can analyse my Gait.

 

I was a little worried as I knew my legs where still a little sore and I really needed them to work now! Feet don’t Fail me now, Legs don’t fail me now! Phew they still work!🙏

Computer Says…………………….I over pronate! Lucky Me! 10 to 2 feet was always going to come back and haunt me!👣

However, all is not lost, there are certain running trainers to help and provide stability for this type of running style. Although my trusted Nike Pegasus are quite a neutral shoe and can still be used for short distances or gym work for pounding the streets over the 10k mark I will need more supportive shoes, I wonder if they provide words of encouragement when it gets tough??

 Now the shopping fun begins, trying to find a decent pair that don’t make me look like a biff, I have given my wool friend some stick recently over her choice of footwear so I have to pick carefully!👠👞👟👡👢

 

With my list of supportive shoes at the ready I began searching for the perfect pair and settled on these bad boys, Nike Lunerglide 9. 


Don’t look too biffy and didn’t break the bank, winner winner! 

The first time running in them felt very different in comparison to my others, it took me a while to settle into them but I did and they are very comfy.

 Back to a consistent 5.4k, legs feeling better and given my head a wobble!!

 Still a long road ahead……….my support network is growing by the day and of course I now have the addition of my supportive shoes!!

 On to the next challenge —- the big 10K!!!!

👟👟🏃🏻🏃🏻

The Truth is out there!!!! So are other Joggers!

So it’s been just over a week since my blog went live and I put the links on social media!
I’ll be honest it was quite a difficult thing for me to do and I hesitated a few times before I pressed the submit button.

But, the whole point was to say it out loud and make it real!

 Well believe me, this week its got really real! 

 I have genuinely been surprised and overwhelmed by the amount of positive comments I’ve received on social media and direct messages!

 Friends and family having conversations about it, in true Scouse fashion i have recieved a barrage of piss taking, I didn’t expect anything less from my nearest and dearest but even the banter has led on to positive words of support and encouragement and people asking when my next update on the blog will be?
WELL HERE IT IS!!!

 I’ve had a couple of chats this week with people I didn’t even know had run the London Marathon before. They have all given me the highlights of their experience and advice im sure i will use in the coming weeks.
A lot of friends and family have also told me about things they have booked for next year, 5K’s, Half Marathons, even Tough Mudder! So, if youve signed up for these events, be prepared, im on the look out for running partners, the more the merrier!!!

My inspirational moment this week came in the form of a chat with my Mum! X

After Mum had gotten over the initial shock of me taking on the beast that is the London Marathon she began reminiscing over her running achievements.
When i saw her this weekend she was eager to show me her medals and had dug out her race times.
I knew Mum had embraced her girl power a couple of years back, joined a local run club and taken part in a couple of 5k’s. What i hadnt appreciated is that she had infact run quite a few 10k’s. Proud son moment which sparked a thought of “if the arl girl can do it so can I”!!

Mum went on to showcase her medals to my daughter who looked on at her in awe, wow my nanna has medals for running, what an inspiration. A real example of something to tell the grandkids. I want a slice of this, I want to make my children proud, I will make them proud!!

So what’s happened since last time?

 A milestone achievement happened at run number 6, I finished the 2.3k circuit without walking, a consistant run which ended with me in a bewildered state of euphoria outside my front door. After being so frustrated on run 5 I decided to change it up a bit and I ran the opposite way (I looked a bit stupid running backwards like but it worked! ) 😂

The reason I ran the opposite way was because I had been using certain points on my route as rest stops or goals to aim for, running the opposite way changed my focus and I no longer knew where these points where or how far round my route i had gone. I made it! All 2.3k of my little beginners route all in one go! What made it better was just as I was getting to the end, the Mrs and Kids pulled up in the car, although I dashed past the outstreched arms of my daughter, who was desperate for a daddy cuddle after a long day at school, shouting, “move, move i’ve nearly done it” as I headed for the finish line, aka the front step. GOAL 1 Achieved and feeling pretty good!!!


 

My Finishing Step! 

Run number 7! Lucky number 7? Well it was for me, I wanted to try and get to 3k, I knew roughly where I needed to get to and that was my goal that night, well I turned in to Forest Gump – I just kept on running! And managed 4.3k! I won’t lie I did walk a little bit ( power walking really, like Harold Bishop from Neighbours!) but I would say at least 4k was running! Happy days!

 

I also reached out to the local running club this week. I know a guy who is one of the coaches, i sent him a message and I asked if I could be their Water Boy? He said no! 😔 but said i was more than welcome to come along and join in their training session on the local athletics track!
So tonight can you guess where ive been??? ………………..Pizza Hut!!!!! …………..Just kidding!
I went and ran with the Kirkby Milers! 
I was apprehensive, putting myself out there with proper real life running types but I have a massive goal and need all the help I can get.
It was great!!! 
I was made to feel really welcome from the minute i got there. I met the Coach of the beginers group, told him my story, and he uttered 5 golden words i had needed to hear – you have plenty of time!!! Phew!! 
Tonight I ran as a beginner, in a group of beginners, new friends heading in the same direction and striving for the same goals, well for the time being anyway. Non of them are as bat shit crazy as me and aiming for a Marathon in 179 days!!! Yikes!!!
Cant wait for next Wednesday now!!

🏃🏻🏃🏻👟👟

Week 1 of my Marathon Training

This week my marathon training featured anger, an increase in confidence and getting blown off by a lass called Ophelia.

So I’m just over a week down since I paid my cash monies to Sir Richard and entered the London Marathon this coming April.

I’ve been using Runkeeper and taking the advice of my other half and some mates I’ve told, I’m not doing the usual male ego thing of going hell for leather and hoping for the best. I know I need to build up to it – it’s been a while since I ran.

Since October 3, 2017 (the very first run I did. If you could call it a run??) I have ran 11.7km over 5 runs.

Now I know that’s probably what Mo Farah does round the Asda, buying his multiple packs of Quorn, but it’s actually getting out a whole five times and doing it that I’m most proud of.

I really have gone from zero and so just lacing up those Nike Pegasus and getting out in the dark, wind and cold has been achievement. Especially since we had that hurricane Ophelia going on too.

The first couple of runs I realised I was running with my head down, because I kind of felt ashamed. There’s me, this fat bastard running round the streets. Who the heck did I think I was?

Then I laced on the trabs again.

And a again.

By that third time I felt stronger and better and I noticed my head was up a little higher.

I was actually gaining in confidence.

Last night (run 5) this might sound daft, but I was angry running. I can’t run in one stretch at the moment, I am struggling with my breathing and I do have to stop to walk a bit before running again. Every time I stopped, I was pissed off. With myself. I don’t want to stop, I want to carry on! Yet I know my own limitations and I’m actually really happy with my progress.

So at the moment my loop from my front door, round my estate and back to my front door is 2.3km. This is pretty much the same route I’ve done over all my runs.

Run 1 on October 3, 2017 took me 21:14 and consisted of a lot more walking than running (and wondering what the FECK am I doing?!)

So at that pace, the marathon would take me 6 hours and 28 minutes.

Last night, run 5 on October 16, 2017 took me 17:41 and I was in the wind as that sodding hurricane was here in my face on the way there and blowing me off on the way back (oooh errr!).

Again, running at that pace the marathon would take me 5 hours 17 minutes.

Look at that! I’ve shaved off 1 hr and 11 minutes already!

Pass me that medal 😉

Jay

 

What the heck have I done??? Fat Jay Slim’s London Marathon back story

So a few months ago, whilst sat pigging out on an Indian takeaway with friends we discussed the possibility of doing a 5k run with our kids.

We outlined a training plan and it felt doable.

That 5k run was last weekend. None of us entered. None of us picked up the trainers after a night of tikka, and that was that.

That same night those few months ago, I ended up having a good old nosey on on Twitter and thought “ooh I wonder what the London Marathon is tweeting” as running had been on my mind.

Next thing I know I’m down a worm hole of inspirational marathon stories and somewhere deep in my brain I thought “I’m gonna apply!”. There are blokes at work who have done the marathon a few times and I knew that a ballot place would be like finding rocking horse shite. So I applied, feeling doubly smug. Smug I had been brave enough to stick my name in the hat and smug that it most certainly, definitely wouldn’t happen. There’s no way a chubby Scouse lad like me was going to get a golden ticket.

Sh*t.

This came in the post.

London Marathon provisional acceptance form

All of a sudden the smug turned to terror. I’d only gone and got a place.

After speaking with friends and colleagues and realising how rare this was, I made the downright ridiculous and potentially life changing decision of actually going through with it.

So yes, here it is. My declaration. This unhealthy, overweight Dad of 2 is going to run the 26.2 miles in just over 7 months time.

Double sh*t.

Not many people know. In fact you might be reading this after I’ve sent you the link on a message. It’s my way of putting it out there, and hopefully sticking to it.

My wife Kerri is cautious. She thinks if I’m dedicated I could do it but my track record isn’t great. She’s thinking my enthusiasm might fizzle out, just like those times I joined the gym, got into the Insanity workouts (lasted 6 weeks which was a lot more than normal!) and that time I joined a 5-a-side team.

Yet the thought of her there at the finish line with my son and daughter is enough to fuel me to achieve this.

So the voices in my head say:

I’m scared
I’m anxious
I’m overwhelmed
I’m excited
Can I do this?
Should I do this?
Am I just kidding myself?
Hang on…
Why can’t I do this??
I AM GOING TO DO THIS!

If I can achieve this, I can set my mind to anything, right?

So it’s week one, since I found out I’ve got my place. I paid my fee, and I’m entered.

First things first, all I needed to do was get off my arse and get out for a jog. That really was the hardest bit!

I fixed my Runkeeper app to track my runs (slow jogs) and laced up my Nike Pegasus 33 that I’d also bought that same night I went trawling the Virgin Marathon twitter feed. I mean, it was that long ago that they’ve brought out the Nike 34 or 35 since then.

Not that I’m going to run out and buy all the gear just yet. I don’t want to be a MAMIL (Middle Aged Man in Lycra) so these semi new ‘trabs’ (Scouse for trainers), some new shorts and socks will do for now.

The initial aim is to get out and run/jog/vomit at least three times a week. Nothing too crazy. After all, it’s a marathon not a sprint. Right?

Jay 😱