100 days until Rio 2016

There are only 100 days to go until the start of the Rio 2016 Olympics.

It’s been an incredible journey so far and with the end in sight, I’m focused on my final few challenges within the sports of Equestrian and Gymnastics.

Loving the kit for 2016. Would be great if I could persuade Stella McCartney to kit me out with some for the gymnastics challenge or even for my next running event!

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The London Marathon

Today was 36th London Marathon. 3 years ago, I crossed the line in a world of pain, in a time of 4 hours 36 minutes.2016-04-06 18.21.13 At the time, I had no interest in running another marathon, now a day hardly goes by without me talking about marathons. I had a place in this years’ event, but having ran 2 marathons last year, I decided that I would defer my place and run next year.

So in 2017, I will (hopefully) have completed my Olympic challenge and be able to put all my focus into achieving my goal in the London Marathon.

I’ve run 4.36 – 3.55 – 3.22 – 3.16 in my previous 4 marathons and have given a lot of thought into the goal for 2017. The obvious, ultimate goal would be to go under 3 hours, but having only just dipped under the 1.30 mark for a half marathon, I think that would be stretching it a bit for next year.

I have never considered myself a runner, and still don’t really consider myself one, however I’m not far off the times needed to qualify for many of the major marathons. In 2018, I’ll be 35. For New York, I’d need a time of 2.55, which isn’t realistic. Boston relax the time for over 35s so the time there is 3.10, although that doesn’t automatically qualify you, so realistically I’d need something around 3.05, which is the Good for Age time for London. I would be ecstatic to qualify for London based on the time I can run a marathon, so 3.05 it is. This equates to an average pace of 7.03 minutes per mile or 4.22 minutes per kilometer.

I’m setting this out now, as although this is possible, it’s definitely going to be challenge and will require hitting a number of milestones along the way. This will be my 5th marathon and from past performances, I have a rough idea of where I need to be in terms of my 5k,10k and half marathon times. Targets are as follows:

2016 – 1st half of the year

  • 5k = 19 minutes 45 seconds
  • 10k = 40 minutes
  • HM = 1 hour 29 minutes (achieved 1.28.51 on 3rd April)

2016 – 2nd half of the year

  • 5k = 19 minutes 30 seconds
  • 10k = 39 minutes 30 seconds
  • HM = 1 hour 28 minutes

2017 – during marathon training

  • 5k = 19 minutes
  • 10k = 39 minutes
  • HM = 1 hour 26 minutes 30 seconds
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Horse riding – The Canter

We had our third horse riding session yesterday. Again, I was on Buddy, with Rhian on Blue. I had always thought that Buddy was much more obedient, but not this time round. The plan for this session was to get the horses into a canter, however with half of the lesson gone, Buddy seemed much more interested in checking himself out in the mirror and relieving himself.

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Luckily, after a stern talking to from Caroline and a reluctant increase in assertiveness¬† from me, Buddy was away. Cantering with the horses was great fun and in someways a lot easier then trotting. Rhian, also enjoyed the session, having said that she probably wouldn’t do any more sessions before yesterday, she’s now signed up to 2 more.

Watch this space, Dressage, Eventing and Jumping are around the corner!!

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Netball

Taking part in every Olympic sport clearly isn’t enough of a challenge for me, so this evening I decided to go for a Commonwealth games sport, Netball.

We’ve entered a Mixed Netball league in Acton. I’ve played a couple of times before and I do actually really enjoy it. I switched between Center and Goal Attack. My fitness is definitely up to it, however, I’m going to need a bit more composure over the coming weeks.

MyGoldCoast2018CommonwealthGamesChallenge has a certain ring to it!!

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35th challenge completed – Hockey

Played in a hockey tournament this evening after rushing back from Liverpool. Lost both games, but I scored one and set up two.

I’ve been attending sessions at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre throughout 2016 and the format of drop in sessions (for only ¬£6) has been perfect for me and an excellent way of getting people into team sports who can’t commit every week.

Tonight was the first round of league matches, which are apparently taking place throughout the spring and summer. With work and Ealing 10k commitments, I’m unable to make any of the next 4 sessions, but I’m definitely keen (depending on availability) to have another couple of matches and see if I can be part of a winning team!

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The change in body shape 2012 – 2016

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What about the running…

I realised that I’ve barely mentioned anything about running in 2016. Although I’m not marathon training I’m still running regularly, but instead of being tied down to a plan and fitting in everything else around the running, I’m running when I can and when I feel like it. I’ve really enjoyed training for marathons, but it has taken up a lot of time and can be stressful when trying to balance this around other commitments, so I definitely needed a break. Well a break from marathons anyway.2016-03-05 13.05.31-1

I didn’t enter any races in January or February, but it the past few weeks I’ve raced a 10k (PB of 40.40) and more recently, Reading Half Marathon, which I completed in 1 hour 28 minutes and 51 seconds – more than 45 minutes quicker than my first half marathon back on 2012.Linney&Steeno QEOP 10k

Rhian has also been running a lot more and we’ve used my extra time to run together.

I’ll be keeping up a similar level for the rest of 2016, with a few 10k’s over the summer leading to the Great North Run in September – then it will be all focus for the London Marathon 2017.Linney&Steeno QEOP 10k (2)

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Horse riding on Grand National day

We had our second horse riding session yesterday. Focused on trotting, changing direction and trying (unsuccessfully!) to convince the horses that we’re in charge.

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Had a really good time again and happy with the progress that I’m making after only 2 weeks – struggling to walk today mind!!

The Grand National wasn’t so successful – 3 horses in the work sweepstake, 2 separate ¬£1 bets but barely a finisher between them.

Next session – galloping!!

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