Thursday, 15 March 2012

Fairy Glimpses!



No going back now! I managed to pack almost everything I needed for my trip to the West Country – there seemed t be so much to remember! Train tickets and times, the B&B and how to get there from the station, booking details, money to pay for it, tickets to Bath for Race Day, camera, Garmin, meter, strips, insulin pens and needles and sundry medications, changes of clothes, toiletries, Kindle to  read on the train, reading glasses. hypo treatments and snacks, phone, and of course the fairy outfit – socks, dress, wand, wig and wings! The only thing I forgot was the phone, which was still sat there happily charging away on the table at home when I was about fifteen minutes into the journey, and would still be sat there when I got home two days later!

Bristol was already warm when I arrived, not hot, but worryingly warm for someone contemplating running thirteen miles clad in the world’s finest nylon accoutrements. After spending a very pleasant afternoon with some of the forum members, and trying desperately hard to avoid drinking beer in the pub, I retired for an evening in front of the telly back at the B&B, and hopefully a peaceful night’s sleep. Unfortunately, I hardly slept at all, partly because I was so worried about not waking up in time and missing the race. The way these events are run, you have to be there in plenty of time before the start – runners would be called to the start a whole hour before the gun, and I also had to consider the train journey and time to get to the venue and get changed. A rich person would probably have stayed at the Carfax Hotel on Great Pulteney Street, from where they could have walked down the stairs from their room to the start line in about a minute. However, I am not a rich person, so for me the day started with a twenty five minute walk, a train journey and another ten minute walk to the start!

At the DUK stand before the race

They advise you not to do anything differently on Race Day to what you would normally do on one of your long training runs. This is not possible, firstly because of the reasons I’ve just stated above, but also, as an insulin-dependent diabetic, I have to time my food and injections so that I have sufficient of both at the right time to get me through the race. On a training run I decide when this conjunction of circumstances will occur, but with the race starting at 11 am, I had to think long and hard about how I might achieve it. If I ate and injected around 7:30 then I would have little circulating insulin remaining at 11:00. On the other hand, I didn’t really want to wait until much later to eat and inject because my blood sugar rises if I don’t have food an insulin shortly after rising.

In the end I decided I would get up early enough to inject and eat so that it would be time for my next meal around an hour before the start. I decided against partaking of the continental breakfast offered by the hotel, with its unpredictable carbs, and had a pot of instant porridge made up with hot water from the kettle. Normally, I would just have a slice of Burgen toast which is about half the carbs of the porridge, but I didn’t want to risk giving myself too much insulin so erred on the side of caution, expecting to be on the high side when I got to Bath. Injecting at 5:30 meant that most of the insulin would be ‘done’ by around 9:30, when I planned to have a cereal bar and more insulin to get me through the race.


I decided to go for one of the earlier trains, just in case there were delays or overcrowding on the later trains, so set off at around 7:55. It was a reassuringly damp, cool and misty morning, although the forecast was for a warm, calm and sunny day ahead. Typically, I had missed a bus by a couple of minutes so I decided to walk to the station at a gentle pace. It took about twenty five minutes and I was already feeling warm at the end of it. There were already hundreds of runners on the platform, so I walked to one end where there were some seats and decided to test my blood. Problem number one – try as I might, I couldn’t get any blood out of my fingers. It was then I realised that there were no lancets in the finger-pricker! This was the finger pricker I had planned to take on the course with me, so a good job I had tried to use it beforehand! Luckily, I had another finger-pricker – my normal ‘everyday’ one – so succeeded in the test. I was 4.2 mmol/l! Will omeone please tell me how, when I have eaten more carbs than usual, reduced insulin, and had a gentle walk of a mile or so, my levels were half what they would have been if I’d my usual carbs and insulin and gone for a five-mile run?!!! I popped in a couple of jelly babies to top myself up!

Stupid spibelt!

The train arrived on time and we all piled on. The train was actually the Cardiff to London service, and I felt very sorry for anyone who was getting on at Bristol who wasn’t a runner as it was quickly standing room only! I’d managed to bag a seat though, so had a relatively comfortable journey. We were delayed for about ten minutes coming into Bath Spa, for no apparent reason (none was given), and finally offloaded onto the crowded platform. I hadn’t bothered to print off details of how to get to the Runner’s Village from the station since I (quite correctly) assumed I would just be able to follow the other runners.

It was fairly busy in the Village, with everyone milling around in their running kit. What alarmed me slightly though was that, scanning across the multitude, I could not discern a single person in a costume! Surely I wasn’t going to be the only one! I plucked up my courage and entered the male changing tent, fairy outfit in hand…

Lots of very serious-looking runners stretching and applying their various salves and balms to ward off cramps and friction injuries turned their eyes towards me as I donned my gossamer gown. I informed them that it was quite possible I would be in the wrong changing tent by the time I had completed my transformation…

Since it was now around 1:20 before the start, I injected and ate my cereal bar. Testing before the injection showed that my two jelly babies (and possibly a late peak from the porridge) had raised my levels to 10.4 mmol/l. I included a correction unit of insulin, but was a little worried that, since it was now much later in the morning, my insulin sensitivity might have increased so that my ratios would be closer to my lunchtime than my breakfast ones. I didn’t want to risk giving myself too little or too much, so I asked myself ‘What would Goldilocks do?’ and plumped for a dose that was somewhere in the middle of the doses I had been contemplating. Not very scientific, I know!



I stepped out into the village and instantly started to receive amused glances. I was a little downhearted when the reply to my question ‘Does my bum look big in this?’ received the reply ‘Yes, I’m afraid it does!’ I decided to go and find the Diabetes UK stall where a couple of young ladies showed a little trepidation as I approached them in all my glory. We chatted a little about DUK and also DWED, the chief reason for my somewhat unusual appearance. They took a couple of pictures of me and then, with a wave of my silvery wand, I was gone and off to the start line! At this point I had yet to see another person in costume…

Scanning the crowds assembled at the start, I spotted two people who were clearly not in Nike so I decided to go and have a chat with them. They turned out to be two young students, Charlie and Miami, who were dressed rather splendidly as Dastardly and Muttley. It was their first event and they were a little worried about the heat as the Sun was now beating down on us and tere was nary a cloud in sight. Charlie was concerned that she might get sunburnt in the shape of her Muttley outfit on her face, and given that I ended up catching the Sun on my d├ęcolletage, I imagine her worst fears proved true!

Miami and Charlie aka Dastardly and Muttley!

The announcer counted down and the starting gun went off! Nobody moved. By now, the elite men had probably covered  a few hundred yards and were well into their first mile. We all moved forward slightly, then stopped again. There were probably something like ten thousand people in front of us, and it takes a few minutes to get everyone moving safely. Finally, we could all take a few steps forward, then move from a slow walk to a gentle jog. Off in the distance the actual start line appeared and as we approached a tremendous cacophony built up, formed by the thousands of computer chips registering as the runners passed over the mats at the true beginning of the race. I pressed the button on my Garmin so I would be able to keep an eye on my position throughout the race.

After a couple of minutes there was a gentle downhill section, and it was whilst running down this that I discovered I had a problem, possibly a big one. I was wearing a spibelt around my waist which contained my meter and finger-pricker, novorapid pen and needles, hypo treatments and general sustenance and my small camera. On a training run I would not normally be carrying so much stuff, but I hadn’t wanted to leave my camera in my bag and it fitted neatly into one of the pouches so I thought it would be fine. Unfortunately, it appeared that the weight of all the objects was too much for the normally unnoticeable belt and it began bouncing up and down as I ran. In fact, it began bouncing mostly down and began to slip off my waist, threatening to wrap itself round my ankles like a bolas! For the next couple of miles I had to keep trying to pull it back up which really disrupted the beginning of my run. Not a great start.


I finally decided  that, since even tucking it into my shorts beneath my costume didn’t work, I had to stop and sort it out, so at the first water station I walked on a little way  and stopped to consider how to solve the problem. I decided that the only thing that was vaguely likely to work would be if I strung it across my shoulder in the manner of a holster, which was a bit awkward because my wings got in the way! I got going again and it seemed satisfactory, although I was very aware that it was now rubbing on the side of my neck. Sure enough, I am still suffering from a sore neck two days later!

It was only really at this point, having got the niggling problem more or less sorted, that I began to notice what was going on around me. The crowds were absolutely fantastic in their support! I was no longer some anonymous runner, undistinguishable from the motley crown – I was ‘fairy’, ‘fairy godmother’, ‘angel’ and (from a group of student lads drinking beer by a roadside pub) ‘weird fairy-man’! Every time I rounded a corner or came into view I would get a loud, enthusiastic cheer, which gave me a real boost and I waved my wand vigourously back at them. It was so lovely especially to see little children mouth the word ‘fairy’ with pure enchantment in their voices and faces as their parents pointed me out. I only hope that the experience hasn’t scarred them for life!


As we approached five miles the marshalls asked us to keep to the left as the lead runners were coming through. They were, effectively, around six miles in front of us on the two-lap course, and came flying past at an unbelievable pace. When you are used to being surrounded by less-than-perfect specimens of the human race it can be quite a surprise to encounter such athletic perfection as it rapidly recedes into the distance. As the race progressed, the elite came past in ever-increasing groups and their pace gradually declined until it more or less matched the rest of us and I realised at that point that probably all the good runners had finished by now and we were in fact at the tail-end of the race…

I quite enjoyed the fact that it was a two-lap race. This meant that we got to see the front runners, and also meant that by the time I reached the second lap things started to become familiar. This included many of the people who had cheered me on the first time, and now did so again with equal gusto, as if they were old friends I had known all my life! One particularly familiar face stood out as I passed seven miles when I heard my name (Alan, rather than ‘fairy’!) and turned to see Shiv who had come out to cheer me on! I stopped and had a brief chat (glad of it as there was a little uphill section just ahead). As I set off again up the hill I was really surprised at what a boost it have given me to see someone I actually know and it felt like a new lease of life with just six miles remaining.


After about another mile I decided that it would be prudent to check my blood sugar levels, so I stopped off by one of the first aid checkpoints where the medical-looking procedure wouldn’t look out of place and in case there were any squeamish spectators around. I was pleased to see that I was at 5.3 mmol/l, just about perfect, so my strategy before the race was obviously working well. I had a couple of jelly babies to sustain me through the remaining five miles.

By this point the heat was definitely taking its toll. I wasn’t actually tired and my legs felt quite strong, but I found I had to run and walk for the remainder of the course as I quickly began to overheat during the running sections. I put on a couple of Usain Bolt-style sprints to amuse the crowds and got a great response. As I passed a small family group I asked them if I was winning and the all laughed, which I took to mean that I had probably blown my chances of taking the top step of the podium. In fact, thinking about it, by now the winners would have had their presentations and no doubt be back in their hotels having a nice long soak in their ice-baths – luxury!


As we approached two miles to go I found myself in the company of a large group of extremely fit-looking Frenchmen who were carrying between them two chair-like structures containing children. The children looked very happy and the Frenchmen were full of enthusiasm as they chanted and sang as they ran. I also came across a young man dressed from head to toe in a lion outfit who actually looked hotter than me. He had removed the head and was carrying it beneath his arm like in the song by Stanley Holloway. It might have seemed like a good idea at the time as he started training in the cold winter months, but here on the hottest day of the year so far it was proving very difficult. We sympathised with each other and decided as we reached the final corner onto Great Pulteney Street that we would pick up speed and keep going to the finish.

Me and The Lion

The clock on the finish gantry showed 2 hours 56 minutes as I sprinted (!!!) triumphantly through, the lion at my side. Taking into account the fact it had taken me nearly six minutes to get past the start line, my actual finish (or ‘chip’) time was 2 hours and 51 minutes. I stopped my Garmin as I crossed and looked down – it showed 13.28 miles covered in 2 hours and 42 minutes, which confused me for quite a few minutes until I realised that the Garmin stops timing when you are not moving – I had been still for nine minutes variously adjusting my spibelt, talking to Shiv and testing my levels!

As I made my way through the finish, collecting my goody bag and having my race chip removed I heard the radio commentator interviewing Charlie and Miami aka Dastardly and Muttley who had finished about fime minutes after me. It was good to hear their enthusiasm as the both said how much they had enjoyed themselves and would definitely be doing it again! I might have had an interview myself, but the large party of Frenchmen had finished immediately before me and both me and the lion passed by unnoticed. A shame, as I would have liked to have got a plug in for DWED.


Once in the changing tent (again, lots of amused glances!) I tested and found myself to be 4.1 mmol/l, so pretty darned perfect I thought! I topped up with a couple of jelly babies, pleased that my levels had behaved well and not caused me any problems – after all, this was actually my longest run since The Hague half marathon exactly four years previously, which was three months before I was diagnosed.

Getting back to the B&B after a very cramped train journey back to Bristol I managed to get a few minutes on the lobby computer so I could let people know on the forum that I had made it. I was choked up to see that, in my absence, the members had rallied to help me reach my sponsorship target – how fantastic! All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my day, despite the physical distress I went through. The event was extremely well managed and supported fantastically by the public and running in costume had made the whole occasion extra-special because of all the superb encouragement I got from the crowds. I’m already planning my next one!



Time               2 hours 42 mins (plus 9 mins stationary!)
Distance        13.28 miles
Pace               12:16 per mile
BG before      8.5 mmol/l
BG during      5.3 mmol/l
BG after         4.1 mmol/l


Friday, 9 March 2012

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Blood, Sweat and Fears!


My circumnavigation of the City

Training has reached a point where, rather than aiming for several relatively short runs each week, I am having to combine longer runs closer to race distance with plenty of rest and recovery days in between. Hence the reduction in blog entries of late! I did go for a mid-week run of around 4 miles, but was still feeling some twinges from last Sunday’s long run in my right Achilles, so wanted to make sure I recovered fully before attempting today’s epic tour of the city!

I had it in my head that I wanted to run ten miles this morning, so I spent much of yesterday going through possible routes in my head that would be both interesting and feasible in terms of the inevitable hills I would encounter and at what points on the route. In the end I decided on some variations on last weeks long run, with the additional diversions hopefully making up the distance to ten miles – as it turned out, I actually ran 10.38 miles, so a pretty good estimate of distance there!

I chose to start off up a long, steep climb that was nevertheless not as monstrous a challenge as the steep hill of last week, which practically required pietons, crampons and safety ropes. This new hill took me to the top of that monster, but less precipitously and also adding some of the necessary distance to the morning’s run. There was still a small, sharp ascent right at the top, but then it was a gradual downhill stretch until I reached the eastern end of the broad bridge spanning the river.

It was a lovely, crisp morning and I opted for leggings to keep my muscles warm and t-shirt to keep my torso cool. I set off at sunrise, so the sky was already brightening and as I ran up and over the bridge I had the wide river ranging  far off into the distance on either side, its still blue water unruffled by any hint of a breeze and merging with the blue sky as the view extended out to the south and the Solent.

My aim throughout was that this should be a gentle, steady ten-miler, so I endeavoured to keep my pace nice and even and not overtax my lungs on the occasional climbs. Important too, that I should not run too quickly down slopes, in order to avoid the excessive impact on my fragile muscles, tendons and bones. Passing through the town centre I was heartened to realise that over four miles had now been completed in total comfort, with the prospects for the remaining six looking promising!

As I approached the Common I was passed by a runner, a much younger man (I had at least 30 years on him), who quickly disappeared into the distance. It’s good to see younger people run like that, and it reminds my of how glad I am that I was inspired by a friend back in 1983 who ran the Sheffield Marathon that year, and I was determined to equal his feat the following year, which I duly achieved. I was never a sporty person at school – most of the sport concentrated on rugby and cricket, neither of which particularly attracted me. But from the first few weeks into training for that first marathon I was hooked. Since then I have run many more marathons, but running has also been a big part of my everyday life. It gets you out of the house for very little outlay, takes you to places you may never go and offers immense flexibility in where you go and quickly or slowly you choose to get there.

Running undoubtedly has contributed to very good management of my blood sugar levels since diagnosis. The contrast in my sensitivity to insulin during running periods and lazy period is quite astonishing. During my last really lazy period where I probably didn’t run for a month or more, my insulin requirements doubled, and more. Currently I have one unit of lantus per day, back then it was eleven units, with similar hikes in bolus insulin. It’s something a non-diabetic simply isn’t aware of because they don’t need to consider it. I certainly had to consider it today though, as I finally reached the last stretch of my run through the park. As I was now at 8.5 miles I thought it prudent to eat something, so paused a moment to consume a jelly baby. I didn’t test as it didn’t seem worthwhile. The short pause and the sweet appeared to give me greater energy and I felt that the final couple of miles were easier – easier indeed that the first couple had felt!

So, I was very encouraged by the fact that I had achieved my goal of ten miles, and not only that, but ran the distance faster than I have done for many months or even years. It augers well for the race which is now two weeks away. The main concerns I have after the morning’s experiences are that I was very hot, and will be even hotter on race day in my costume. Another concern was that, just as I reached my door I wiped my nose against the back of my hand  - and noticed that it was covered in blood! For some unknown reason I had had a nosebleed – hope that doesn’t happen on the day, it might ruin my fairy dress!

Time               1:46:09
Distance        10.38 miles
Pace               10:14 per mile
BG before      8.7
BG after         6.5
Calories         1341

Sunday, 19 February 2012

A Circuit of the City



Once again, apologies for the dearth of blog entries lately, but I hope you have been amused by the candid shots of The Fairy! I have been continuing with my training, completing runs of 4.6, 5.4 and 3.6 miles this week, although since they were largely unremarkable and uneventful, I didn’t wish to bore you with the details.

I’m very aware that the race will be three weeks today, so I was determined this morning to have a longer run that would give me confidence that I would be able to attain the full distance on the day. My target was to run at least eight miles, but the difficulty lay with where I should run in order to complete the necessary distance without terminal boredom setting in. Where I live there is a lovely park, which you have already heard much about, but it is only 1.75 miles to its farthest extent, and I had little enthusiasm for running four to five loops of the same old scenery. For this reason, I decided to run a route I haven’t done for quite some time, and which I estimated to fulfil the eight mile criterion, perhaps with a little to spare.

The temperature had taken a severe dip overnight, and all was frost as I set out, sensibly (I thought) clad in my leggings and thermal top, t-shirt and gloves. My route took me in the opposite direction to the park, down the road and across the main junction (thankfully free of traffic this early on a Sunday morning), where I was then presented with the vision of a monstrous hill that climbed ever-skyward before me and lay down the challenge to my legs and lungs. I don’t dislike hills, and they are often good to start a run with because they get everything awake and working very quickly, but I knew from previous experience that this one was perhaps a little too steep for comfort. The initial, longer section is merely steep, but the final short section is (honestly!) virtually perpendicular, and your nose practically touches the pavement as you run up (especially if it is generously-proportioned, like mine!).

The junction at the top of the hill inches closer and my lungs are close to bursting point as I broach the summit and can finally suck in great lungfulls of air as I turn to my right and have a gentle downward slope to negotiate for the next mile or so. I observe that my fitness must be good, as I recover quickly and am soon again breathing normally. I’m aware that my pace is more of a jog than a run, but I have a long way to go and need to conserve my energy. Another reason for checking my pace is to reduce the impact of each footfall as I descend the long road, heading to the base of the great bridge that spans the river.

In the past, I used to run a slightly different route, but one that involved running beneath the structure, then ascending about a hundred steps to reach the eastern limit of the bridge, but I have since discovered a route that means I can avoid those steps, which sap the energy and would jeopardise my ambitions for a long run. Thus follows a long, steady climb across the span, with superb, broad views of the wide river below and the surrounding city. Some twenty five years ago, I would not have been able to run this route, since there was no bridge, and the only route across the river was by a ‘floating bridge’ – a chain ferry – hardly suitable for a distance run!

It feels good to reach the apex and descend again, down and towards the city centre. The city is blessed with a series of parks that form a green lung from one end to the other, so I can enjoy the greenery all the way through. As I pass the City Hall off to my left and behind the trees I can hear the bells chime the tune of ‘O God, our help in ages past’, which they do here on the hour, every hour. I estimate that I have run around three and a half miles at this point and am pleased to realise that I am feeling strong and fit, albeit a little on the hot side, and this gives my confidence that I should manage the eight miles envisaged.

From here, there’s a section of road to run along, until I reach the Common, where I decide that I have the strength and energy to do the wide circuit and return home via a reverse of the route I ran a couple of weeks ago. Although this means ascending another steep hill, from the top the remainder of my run will be largely downhill or flat. There are a few other runners here, some of whom I pass, and some who pass me. I’m aware I’m not moving particularly fast, but I have already attained my longest run of the year so far by now, and at 6.65 miles am also at half the half-marathon distance. I really ought to stop and check my blood sugar levels at this point, since I know that my levels generally start to fall after five miles, but I feel fine and don’t want to go to the bother of interrupting the flow.

As I leave the Common I find I have a problem to contend with. Although it is nice to see blue skies and have the nascent warmth of the early morning Sun, that big glowing ball in the sky is starting to make me feel ill as its light flickers and strobes through the denuded branches and confusing my pupils who cannot adjust quickly enough to the constant light/dark/light/dark. At least I am now descending, and well on my way home, and I try to seek out larger areas of shade to avoid the Sun’s rays.

Back in the local park and I see that I have now passed the eight mile mark – success! On race day I will ‘only’ have another five miles remaining! This morning, however, I am now virtually home, and arrive back with a great sense of satisfaction that I have succeeded! It would appear that most of the moisture formerly enclosed in my skin has now relocated to my clothes and I am literally steaming as I come to a halt!

Time               1:28:03
Distance        8.63 miles
Pace               10:12 per mile
BG before      8.1 mmol/l
BG after         4.6 mmol/l
Calories         1108

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

A Bit of R and R



After a long day’s mischief-making there’s nothing the Diabetes Fairy likes more than to kick back with a bottle of voddy and a selection of her favourite chocolate bars. People may not realise it, but it’s hard work thinking up ways to completely cock up the blood sugar levels of thousand upon thousand of diabetics on a daily basis, and then put all the plans into practice. But it does give her that deep sense of satisfaction at the end of the day when she thinks of all the confusion and mayhem she has caused! What about that person’s face when they got two completely different readings from the same finger! Or sending someone’s levels sky high when all they had to eat was one chocolate button! How she laughed!

She was a bit split though, because for every hundred disasters she inflicted, she felt the overwhelming urge to reward one person with perfect levels all day, or a two-minute wait at the pharmacy instead of the usual hour and six return trips for missing items. Still, it was another day well spent, up bright and early tomorrow to go skipping through the streets, hopefully unobserved by the local populace who might take fright at seeing a fairy at any time, let alone as dawn was breaking!

Monday, 13 February 2012

Clothes Maketh the Man!



I’ve never felt more like a man than when I’m wearing a dress, it’s a strange, but true, fact. I’m no He-Man, Master of the Universe, nor am I a pre-Bullworker Charles Atlas, constantly getting sand kicked in my face by the Beach Bully, I’m a pretty average ectomorph, straight up and down, with my chest circumference hardly exceeding that of my waist and hips, not particularly tall or small – about five feet nine – and weighing in at a smidgen over 11 stones (or about seventy kilos for those of you that have finally succumbed to metric after a forty year rebellion!).

So what, exactly, am I on about? Well, it’s my size you see. Given all of the above I would have expected that I would be of similar proportions to a woman who might, in these times in which we live, think that she was OK, maybe ought to perhaps try and drop a dress size or two, and consider herself fairly average. I’ve lived long enough and observed enough women to be aware that size 6 or 8 might be thought of as ‘petite’, 10 or 12 as ‘slim’ and 14 as ‘real’. Anything above these numbers and it seems it’s time to get out the Atkin’s or the cabbage soup, or the tomato peel, or whatever is the diet du jour.

But I have discovered that I’m a 16-18! Now don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, it just came as a big surprise to me as I am quite a skinny bloke, and I sort of expected that I would be a comfortable size 14. What is an even bigger shock though is that, having seen myself in a dress, I couldn’t help but wish that I was just a little bit skinnier, that my waist was a little trimmer and yes, that my boobs were bigger,,,

Now, the main reason for me running in this fairy outfit is for the comedy value it provides, so really the more ridiculous I look in the outfit, the better, but it really did make me think about how many women must be driven by this picture of perfection presented by society – that you must look just so, that you should do whatever it takes to conform to the glossy magazine image of the perfect shape and size. Which is one of the reasons why there are eating disorders, and why we need to support such a valuable charity as DWED.

I still haven’t plucked up the courage to go for a run round the block in the fairy outfit! The problem is that, if I don’t do it soon then I will have to do it in broad daylight as the days are getting lighter noticeably earlier in the morning now! I was half tempted to give it a go this morning, as the temperature had risen by about ten degrees since my run on Saturday, but instead I opted for the more conventional t-shirt and shorts as I felt up for a longish run.

The air was cool, but because it has become so much warmer than of late I didn’t really feel the cold, and I felt like I had quite a spring in my step as I set off. I’ve found over the years that it’s important to try and preserve this ‘bounce’ that helps drive you forward – once it has gone then running becomes a chore and a drudge, trying to drag one foot in front of the other. For this reason I have developed a mental bounce that takes over when the physical one is all but gone. Mind over matter, if you will – you know that once the mental bounce has gone then life becomes hard however near or far you are from the finish.

I felt like I was maintaining a decent pace all through the park, but declined to check my Garmin, hoping instead for a nice surprise when I returned home. And surprised I was, for I discovered that I had actually run the course at my fastest pace this year, just a touch under 9:30 per mile. Not a patch on my seven-minute mile days, but good for the amount of training I am doing at the moment, so I’m not complaining. I will expect to be much slower in the actual race, of course, not least because I will be wearing a highly-charged nylon fairy dress!

Apart from the unexpected pace and freshness in my legs after Saturday’s run, and after a long layoff, the run itself was uneventful. No playful puppies or stray llamas, or herds of zebra were to be seen anywhere. In fact, when I think about it, there weren’t a lot of people either and not a lot of traffic – perhaps I should have done my trial full-costume run this morning after all!

Time               44 mins
Distance        4.64 miles
Pace               9:29 per mile
BG before      ??? I forgot to test!
BG after         8.3

Saturday, 11 February 2012

The Perils of a Prominent Proboscis



Many apologies, dear readers, if you have been avid followers of my blog, for my protracted absence from the blogosphere! Unfortunately I have suffered injury and illness in equal measure, and this has resulted in a dearth of anecdotes and stirring stories of great bravery these past two weeks. Firstly, I was the victim of a terrible injury which left me in pain at every step and quite unable to run, whether as a winged fairy or mere mortal. OK, possibly not such a terrible injury, but it felt like I had cracked a rib or something, possibly due to an over zealous response to the urgings of the Gasper during my fifteen minutes at her mercy one day. Probably just a pulled muscle, but very painful nonetheless.

As if to compound my problems, I was just about recovered from this when I fell victim to a lurgy of the head, nose and throat which has persisted these five days past. As I am in possession of a nose of generous proportions, I need elucidate no further, and I am sure you can imagine the enormity of my distress. The nose will feature again in today’s report, but more of that anon.

Given the sub-zero temperatures of recent days I considered it wise not to venture out and potentially exacerbate and prolong the awful fever, but instead to remain in the relative warmth and safety of my draughty abode until the sickness was passed, and would have wished to remain indolent beyond that time. However, the day of reckoning will soon be upon me, when I will have little choice but to don the silvery gown, waggle my wings and wand, and step forth on the fine streets of Bath for what I expect will be well beyond the two-hour mark! So, with this in mind, and much recovered this morning, I rose in the darkness before dawn determined to exercise my limbs and lungs along the frost-bejewelled paths of the local park.

Surprisingly, despite the minus 8-degree temperature, there was very little actual frost due (I surmised) to a dearth of vapours in the early morning air. Bonus! This means I had little fear of holding my footing and could concentrate instead on keeping a good tempo and pace. Frost, maybe not, but the cold was extreme for my unaccustomed body and brain! As I sucked in the icy air I almost cried it was so cold! Here was Mother Earth using the heat of my core to warm her atmosphere thirty times every minute, and it felt I was receiving little in exchange. Well, maybe some precious oxygen, so I suppose I mustn’t complain!

There were few fellow residents out at this hour, when the Sun was yet to cast her golden gaze upon the river, save a couple of young women in loose charge of a border collie who was delighting in rolling on his back on the frost-covered grass and running furiously in  long zigzags in front of them.

As I passed the two women I heard heavy steps behind me and wondered if it was the echo of my own bouncing back from the opposite bank in the surrounding stillness. But no – I was presently passed by a madman, around thirty years my junior, clad only in singlet and shorts! Here was I in thermal top, gloves and space pants, and there he went with his red calves driving him off into the distance in front of me! I estimated he was running around ninety seconds a mile faster than me, but as I rounded a corner he was suddenly nowhere to be seen! Had his raw flesh succumbed entirely to the cold and shattered into a billion pieces, leaving nothing but fragile frosty dust to mark his passing? No – glancing to the side I noticed dark footprints in the frozen grass, separated by long strides and leading inexorably to an ever-diminishing figure in the distance. He was taking shortcuts! Tut! I felt a sense of smugness that I had no intention of curtailing my excursion – I would fulfil my remit and not shirk by shrinking my planned course!

I was surprised that, given the conditions and my not inconsiderable layoff, I was running quite strongly. My breathing was good, my eyes were not bulging out of their sockets, and my legs, toasty and warm in my space pants, felt comfortable and fresh. As I passed the weir the waters of the river became seemingly motionless, as if waiting anxiously to cast themselves over the precipice and join the broader stream below and meet the incoming tide. A wispy mist hung over the river here, and there emerged black forms squeaking and flapping their stubby wings – moorhens, I think, if moorhens squeak.

There were little islands of ice on the path as I ran along, marking the small depressions where moisture had accumulated and frozen, an no doubt completely invisible on a warm, dry day. Up to this point I had been aware of frozen fingers and a face taut as a plaster mask, but as I made my turn I began to feel the bloodflow returning to my hands and a warmth pervading my body. All but my tongue, it seemed, which with every inhalation was frozen to the core, then reheated and revitalised with every hot exhalation – how wonderful is the human body to cope so admirably with these two extremes in such rapid succession?

As I embarked on the final half-mile home I could hear a low groan each time I expelled breath, which I must assume was coming from my throat – perhaps protesting at this exertion after a period of comfort and convalescence? No matter, I was soon home and back in my relatively warm house. It was only after a short thaw that I began to notice the pain commencing – my nose, having been subjected to an unprotected thirty-five minutes of subzero temperatures was now beginning to heat up again and as the hot blood returned my thoughts became entirely concentrated on the pain of its revival! Ouch!

Very surprised to have recorded my fastest time for this morning’s course during my current period of training, despite my layoff, so that at least is encouraging and I may actually make it to the end of the Bath Half Marathon in four weeks time!

Time               34 mins 52 secs
Distance         3.63 miles
Pace               9:36 per mile
BG before      8.8 mmol/l
BG after         10.0 mmol/l

Monday, 30 January 2012

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Oxford Forum Meet, January 28th 2012

The venue, Far From the Madding Crowd

Yesterday was a rest day from training, chiefly for the reason that I was out all day (and most of the night, as it turned out!) meeting with lots of lovely people from the Forum. There was a terrific turnout, with all but one of the people who had said they would attend turning up (apologies were sent by Chris, hope you feel much better soon, and sorry we missed you).

The venue, Far From the Madding Crowd, was a good one on the whole, with lots of space available and relatively quiet throughout the day, largely due to the absence of music, a big TV or a dartboard - the latter omission causing dismay for some attendees who had hopes of staging the first Forum Darts Grand Challenge - we'll pick a better-equipped pub next time around Steff and Nicky! No TV either, sorry Duane! Another major gripe was that we were left standing outside the pub for at least a minute after the official opening time of 11:30!

Great to see so many people, some I had met before and others who were totally new to the 'meeting potential axe-murderers from the interweb' situation - we kept our axes well-hidden so as not to scare them off! Really good to be able to chat freely about diabetes, or any other subject that cropped up. Diabetes, I believe, is so much easier to handle when you no longer feel alone with it, when you can 'witter on' to your heart's content, swap stories and experiences, test and inject without censure in full public view, and generally have a good day out amongst friends previously only known by their forum monikers. Putting faces to names helps strengthen the bond, I believe and the continued and increasing success of these informal gatherings is a great illustration of how support can make such a difference to people's lives. 

Unfortunately, The Diabetes Fairy saw fit to tamper with DizzyDi's chicken, and she became very ill. Thank you to all the members who did whatever they could to ensure that she did not have to worry about being stranded or having to make a long journey home alone, in particular to The Ypaulies who eventually drove her home - you guys are amazing! 

As usual at these Meets, my blood sugar levels rocketed and I recorded one of my highest ever numbers since diagnosis, at 15.8 mmol/l! I am convinced it is due to Diabetic Osmosis and will be applying for generous funding in order to investigate the phenomenon! By the time I was back on my own on the train home, my levels had dropped to 5.0 mmol/l, adding weight to my hypothesis!

Several of us had problems on the train journeys home, myself included, due to the overwhelmingly terrible situation around Reading - I eventually arrived home around 90 minutes late on what should have been a two hour journey. So, here are the pictures!

Steff and ukjohn

Willsmum, Tina63 and DizzyDi

TomH

Jane and Natalie123

brightontez and Northerner

brightontez

DizzyDi and Sazzaroo

Nicky1970

Ian and wife SimplesL

ypauly, with nurse and daughter

Apologies that I did not get photos of Scootdevon, Robert@fm and William - I really must start trying to take a leaf out of Shelley's book and start taking lots more pictures! Normal training reports will resume shortly!











Friday, 27 January 2012

Dainty and the Wall



A few of the more observant amongst my readers may have noticed that I have taken a few days away from the training and, consequently, the blog. Four days, in fact. Monday was always going to be a rest day after Sunday’s Long Slow Run, and as it turned out, Tuesday was also a rest day since my head was unable to rise from my pillow for an undisclosed number of hours beyond my normal pre-dawn rising time.

So what of Wednesday and Thursday, I hear you ask? Well, on Tuesday night it seems I fell victim to what we shall euphemistically refer to as a ‘head cold’, brought on by the ingestion of copius quantities of Real Ale and a couple of double vodkas…The ‘cold’ persisted throughout Wednesday, and though much recovered by Thursday I was overwhelmed by extreme laziness and did not venture out that day.

So, this made me very determined to go out this morning, come hell or high water! I almost didn’t make it, waking for a second time after first being shocked awake by my alarm, but managed this time to throw my legs out of the bed and head to the bathroom for my ablutions. My house is quite old and isn’t the best insulated, so I can usually tell with a high degree of accuracy what the weather outside will be like. It would be cold! And so I was proved right, although I opted for ordinary running leggings and t-shirt, and left the space pants in the wardrobe, estimating that there was insufficient chill factor to warrant their warmth.

I was all set to go out when a memory drifted back to me from many years ago: a time when I had first sported such leggings and presented myself for inspection before my then-girlfriend. Hospitals and ambulances were put on alert and the local neighbourhood was subjected to such loud hilarity that it was feared that a tanker of nitrous oxide must have met with some disaster and released its mirth-inducing cargo for miles around! Yes, she thought I looked ridiculous, with my bony little legs encased in skin-hugging lycra in barely believable imitation of Linford’s Lunchbox!

Clearly, that was many years ago, and since then my legs have become quite magnificent, admired country-wide for their strength and line. But, I must confess, the view from the mirror reflects the Max Wall/Billy Dainty physique of those many years past. You probably need to be of a certain vintage to appreciate the comparison, but the picture above should give you some idea.

So then it occurred to me, why am I stressing about running this half marathon dressed as The Diabetes Fairy? Is it likely that the vision of me in fairy frock and tights is likely to shock or amuse more than my ‘Dainty’ tights? So Alan, be brave! Venture out in that dress and feel no fear!

The run went well, feeling strong all the way and confident of going for 7 miles on Sunday!

Time               35 mins 12 secs
Distance        3.64 miles
Pace               9:40 per mile
BG before      6.2 mmol/l
BG after         10.0 mmol/l

Monday, 23 January 2012

Who's that Girl?


An actual photo of me in the costume!

It’s a rest day today after yesterday’s longer run. Legs are a little sore, but not bad considering I’m now up to nearly half race distance already. I may not be running today, but that does not mean my mind is not occupied with the prospect of the terrifying ordeal fun day out in Bath in just under seven weeks time! I have to give serious consideration to how the costume will perform, and how I will perform beneath its diaphanous and ethereal folds…

One thing that did worry me as I was running yesterday was how hot I got, even though it was quite a cool morning and I was wearing a cotton t-shirt. How much hotter am I going to be enclosed in gossamer and silk (polyester and nylon!)? I’m not really very happy running in the heat, and there’s also the possibility that it will be a warm Spring day and therefore exacerbating the situation. I also need to consider the fact that, unlike my normal running gear that is specially designed for the purpose, this costume is likely to rub and chafe in unexpected regions, so ideally I need to know where to position protective sticking plasters and copious quantities of petroleum jelly!

So, I have a big decision looming: do I ‘test-drive’ the full regalia before the event? It’s something that I imagine every person who has made the decision to run in costume has considered. Yet how many of them actually go through with it? How many giraffes, bananas and seventeen-stone men in  hula girl outfits have you ever seen trotting around your local neighbourhood? Well, I’ve been running for many years now, and have never seen such a vision!

I really think I should do it though. The whole thing might fall apart and if I wait until the race then I might be running as ‘The Diabetic in Underwear’ instead of The Diabetes Fairy! I think that my best option is to get up very early in the morning and just run around the block when hopefully it will be extremely quiet, very dark, and totally devoid of neighbours out for their morning constitutional!

Oh dear! Why-oh-why-oh-why did I get myself into this?!!!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Up, Up and Away!



I decided to vary my route this morning, as variety is the spice of life and it can become very boring just panting past the same old scenes all the time. I also decided that, since it is Sunday and therefore nice and quiet and relatively traffic-free, I would run a route that involves running alongside some major roads – not something I would enjoy during the week with all the nose-to-tail commuters in their smelly, choking fumes alongside as companions on the journey.

The weather is cool, but not cold, and there is a light breeze, thankfully much lighter than yesterday’s strong, fence-flattening winds! I don’t mind much weather, but strong, gusting winds can knock you this way and that and sap your energy, making a run into a battle with the elements. Some people find that invigorating, but not I! The first mile or so is my usual run through the park. This is the section when I start to get warmed up, my heart and lungs up to speed and my muscles working. Even after nearly 30 years and countless runs I still find the very start of a run difficult. There’s a short, moderately uphill stretch right at the start, and this where I have to get everything woken up and working – a downhill section just wouldn’t do it, so my house is well-positioned in that respect!

Hills are at the forefront of my mind this morning, as I know what lies ahead. This is a route I have run many times in the past, but not for some time now – possibly since early last summer. I spend the first mile through the deserted park mentally preparing for what lies ahead – the relentless climb from the park to the Common, a large area of woodland and parkland just outside the centre of the city. As I leave the park I note the details on my GPS: 1.03 miles covered. I will note them again when I reach the summit. I don’t mind running up hills at all, as much of my early running was in a very hilly city that bordered on even hillier countryside – hills were unavoidable so I learned to love them. There’s no point in hating hills if you can’t avoid them, and I always think to myself that they involve different muscles, so the ‘flat’ muscles get a bit of a rest on the way up. You can probably tell that I’m not medically-trained!

Up then, then up again, a slightly flatter stretch then up and up until I can see the crossroads right at the top and they draw closer until I am upon them. I glance down at my Garmin – 2.79 miles, so a climb of 1.76 miles accomplished in just short of 16 minutes. Not bad at all! And now I’m at the Common, away from the roads and through the woods, lovely and peaceful and surprisingly free of spaniels. Well, it is still relatively early for a Sunday, although later than I would run during the week. Actually, to be able to see clearly where I am heading is still a bit of a novelty, as I’m used to the half-light of pre-dawn in recent runs.

It’s pretty much all downhill from here, or flat. There are quite a few runners around, of varying abilities. One young man streaks past me and shrinks into the distance, and I think to myself that he is probably thirty years my junior, has never broken his femur in a race, and probably doesn’t have diabetes to contend with – this helps me justify the disparity in our relative speeds. Oh, and he probably hasn’t just run uphill for nearly two miles. I try hard, but can’t think of any more excuses why he has become an ever-decreasing dot in the distance!

Being familiar with the route, I know that it is going to take me much further than my recent training runs, and I am starting to tire as I glance down and see that I am now 4.5 miles into the run. I’m still quite a way from home, but I’m leaving the Common now and on my way back – a different route, more direct, and either flat or downhill all the way. Happily, my legs are not too jarred by the impact of running downhill, so I manage to get back in one piece and fit to run another day (probably a Tuesday, and probably this week!). In all I have covered 6.24 miles in around 63 minutes, which in metric equates to 10 kilometres! Not bad, given that I was finding 3.5 miles so challenging around ten days ago! I’m also interested to see that, for the first time since starting this blog, my blood glucose levels are actually lower than when I set off. This confirms previous findings that I can run for around 5 miles before needing any extra carbohydrate. This is something I will need to bear in mind and monitor as my training runs get longer.

On the fundraising front, things are a little slower, although I have many pledges of donations before the month is out, so it will be nice when they come in – I may even approach my revised target of £500!

Time               1hr 3 mins 24 secs
Distance        6.24 miles
Pace               10:10 per mile
BG before      8.4 mmol/l
BG after         6.3 mmol/l

Friday, 20 January 2012

Good morning Mrs Mallard!



I was feeling up for another run this morning so it was no trouble getting out of bed at 05:30. At one time, before diabetes, I would have had a mug of tea, donned my gear and been out of the door, but diabetes has changed this. For me, it’s one of the most inconvenient things about this disease – the lack of spontaneity. I discovered early on that I now need two things to have happened before I can set off for my early morning run: I need to have injected insulin around ninety minutes to two hours before setting off, and I need to have some food in my stomach. If I don’t inject and eat then my blood sugar levels will climb and climb, and I would place myself in danger of developing ketoacidosis. Having experienced that just the once, I never want to experience it again!

Diabetes is complicated at times, and it’s something that most non-diabetics would be totally unaware of – it’s not simply a case of injecting a fixed amount of insulin each day, you have to take into account how your body behaves at different parts of the day and alter things accordingly. Like many people with diabetes, mornings are the times when I am particularly resistant to insulin, and this, when coupled with an enthusiastic liver, eager to pump forth vast amounts of additional glucose into my bloodstream, means that my breakfast doses of insulin are much higher than at any other time of the day or night.

I discovered some time ago that the only way to keep my levels reasonable is to inject, wait for around half and hour, then eat a small amount of food – usually a slice of toast – then wait a further hour or so for that to begin to digest before I can get out of the door. This, unfortunately for me and my running, means that I have food digesting as I run which often causes sensations of nausea which in turn can make steady breathing difficult.

More of that later though, I am off out of the door in a shorts-and-tshirt darkened day before the dawn has broken. It’s cool, not cold, with a bit of a breeze which scarcely ripples the surface of the river alongside. My breathing is good and my legs feel strong, so I am striding out into the depths of the park, when suddenly I have to skip to the side upon encountering a man flanked by German Shepherds. Not two teutonic wolf-worriers out to defend their flock, you understand, but two large hairy creatures of canine descent. I was brought up to think of German Shepherds, also known as Alsations, as police or guard dogs, aggressive and to be given a wide berth at all costs. It’s probably a very unfair image, and these two hardly bat an eyelid (do dogs have eyelids?) as I pass, and my heart can slow again to a less agitated rhythm!

Passing alongside the far reaches of the river and approaching the bridge, a loud quack breaks the tranquillity, and I see a small group of mallards paddling past. I don’t speak mallard, but I imagine she is wishing me a cheery ‘good morning’, so I give her and her party a little wave. Of course, for all I know she may be saying ‘hey! You forgot your shorts!’, although I am not entirely sure what levels of humour might operate in the brain of a duck.

Up and over the bridge and I’m still feeling quite good. If it was light enough to see my Garmin, then I might be able to check my pace and progress, but it’s still quite dark and about twenty minutes from sunrise. I wonder to myself what time those ducks wake up and what prompts them? Down the main road and I find I am moving much faster than the adjacent stream of traffic, as it is stalled in the queue for the busy roundabout. Makes me feel smug! The smugness dissipates though as I turn the corner to encounter my last challenging hill of the route, and I realise that I still have a significant degree of fitness to acquire before the race!

Back in the park again, and that toast is starting to protest in my stomach – so annoying! Having not had to deal with this for most of my running career it’s taking some getting used to. It’s at this point that I realise what the wise Mrs Mallard was trying to tell me – ‘cut short your run by a quarter of a mile, that’s enough for today!’ So I do, and arrive home slightly earlier than planned!

Quick update – the postman has just delivered my fairy outfit! Eek!


Time               41 mins 33 secs.
Distance        4.24 miles
Pace               9:52 per mile
BG before      8.9 mmol/l
BG after         9.7 mmol/l

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Get thee behind me, Laa-Laa!



One advantage of regular training is that I am sleeping better. From about Christmas to a week into the New Year I had had great difficulty getting to sleep, and most nights I was able to listen to the full output of the night time selection of the BBC World Service, unabridged by any impromptu interludes of deep sleep or even dozing. Why, I don’t know. I always make it a rule though to be up and about at my normal time and not go to bed too early, in the hope that the build up of fatigue will ensure some restorative slumber.

Last night my efforts seem to be finally paying off, as I actually slept through the shipping forecasts at either end of the night (00:45 and 05:30), even extending my bedbound oblivion well into the Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme! Before bed I had had a slight notion that I might run again this morning, but it really wouldn’t have been sensible. I arose to slightly sore and fatigued legs, particularly calves, and know that to venture out would have been folly in the extreme. This is sensible, as muscles and bones need time to recuperate and this is often when they gain their strength, stimulated to react to the stresses and strains they have recently experienced. Exactly what I didn’t do that time when my leg broke!

The endorphin rush is missed, and will have to wait until tomorrow, but hopefully I will be better prepared to repeat my run of yesterday, but more comfortably and possibly even in a faster time. It occurred to me that yesterday’s run of just over 4.5 miles is actually just a touch over one-third of the half marathon distance. Could I have managed a further nine miles at the end of yesterday’s run? Well, it would have been very difficult, but hopefully I will be in much better shape in seven weeks’ time. No doubt on the ‘big day’ I will have additional impetus due to the fact I will be dressed as The Diabetes Fairy, and must at all costs not be beaten by Laa-Laa the teletubbie or the group of Royal Marines running in full kit and carrying a small frigate!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Dreich!



Dreich is a Scottish word to describe cold, grey, drizzly weather, where you are engulfed in the clinging wetness of ground-level cloud and dampness dominates all around you. Such was the weather as I stepped out this morning, with pavements shining from the watery sheen reflecting the orange glow of the feeble street lights. Sounds miserable? Well, yes, under normal circumstances, but actually it is ideal weather for a run! Not raining as such, so you don’t get soaked to the core, yet enveloped in damp mist that keeps your skin cool and your temperature at a nice gentle warmth as you run.

After yesterday’s rest and recuperation day, I’m feeling up for running a little further today, so plan to go an extra mile. My pace is cautious which means that I can breathe easily – no desperate panting and sucking in of precious air, but a relatively relaxed rhythm, ideally suited to distance running. It’s dark still, so it feels a little precarious running through the park, with the occasional black silhouette appearing in the distance and gradually resolving into a recognisable dog shape as I draw closer. I always feel a bit more vulnerable in the dark, as I imagine the dogs might be a little more startled as you suddenly come upon them and may react with surprise and aggression. However, it seems that the only dog to show any such instinctive reactions is a tiny lhasa-apso that stupidly tries to manoeuvre itself under my feet, squeaking furiously and no doubt imagining itself to be of Pyrenean proportions as it attempts to strike fear into my heart!

The tide is coming in fast, and you can almost see it rushing in as a stiff breeze whips across the surface. Off in the distance I can see two small lights and as I approach I see that they are in the prows of two boats from the local rowing club. I feel like waving to these fellow athletes, so I do. They don’t wave back. I have to stop briefly as I cross the road to the latter half of the park – most annoying! Thankfully, I don’t have too many roads to cross on this route, so minimal frustration is endured. Because I am running further this morning I turn left at the bridge and continue out behind some houses to run alongside the main road to the local airport. The road is very busy and it occurs to me that it really ought to be getting light by now, since the build up of traffic usually only gets to this stage after sunrise. Not on a grey day like today, it seems!

Round a corner, up a hill and past the railway station and I'm back in the park. My legs are starting to tire now, and even though my breathing is not laboured I feel the urge to stop and walk for a while. I don’t however, I keep going, because I know that it is when I feel like this that I mustn't stop – in a marathon or half-marathon it can mean the start of the slippery slope to ever longer stints of walking interspersed with ever shorter stints of actual running. Mind over matter. At any rate, I want to get back home and have a nice mug of tea – I feel I have earned it!

It’s interesting that my current levels of training have produced a significant fall in my insulin requirements. For the past couple of nights I have been injecting only two units of lantus – when I was diagnosed I was on twenty units! Where will it all end? Might I only need one unit soon, or even no lantus at all? Two units seems such a tiny amount and is the lowest basal insulin requirement I have had since diagnosis.

The fundraising is still going very well, I am now up to £360, plus gift aid, with lots of pledges of donations come pay day! I’d love to make £1,000 – who knows?

Time               45 mins 54 secs
Distance        4.55 miles
Pace               10:05 per mile
BG before      7.6 mmol/l
BG after         8.9 mmol/l

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Does my bum look big in this?



Most definitely a rest and recuperation day today. My legs don’t feel too bad, but just a little bit heavy, so hopefully giving them a day to recover will mean I can tackle some extra distance tomorrow – I’d like to get a couple of 5-milers in before the week is over. Still having my 15 minute sessions with the lovely Gay Gasper though (what a name for a fitness instructor!). There’s one point in the routine where she asks you to do an exercise and then says ‘I surprised you!’ Gay, nothing you say surprises me after we’ve been together all this time – for those 15 minutes I know your every thought and movement! I could probably do the whole thing without actually putting the DVD on, but it is encouraging to be paced through the routine by Gay’s commentary. I did buy another DVD that I thought might be good, featuring Flavia from ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ and teaching you how to do an Argentine Tango with a chair, but it’s about ten minutes of complicated instructions followed by the actual routine, which I promptly get lost in about thirty seconds after it starts!

So, what’s all this about today’s title then? Well, I now have my costume for the race! Managed to pick up a cheap outfit on the interweb – just hope it fits! I still need to complete the ensemble with a wig and a wand, and have my eye on some stripey stockings, but hopefully these will be easy enough to pick up. And no – I’m not going to tell you what the outfit looks like, you’ll have to wait! My biggest worry is that I will look far too pretty and people will just imagine that I am Nell McAndrew rather than a bloke in a frock!

Hope to have a good run to relate tomorrow!