Posts Tagged ‘rhinoceros’

Was it all a dream?

May 3, 2009

Well it’s a week since the marathon and I’m still having trouble getting my head around the fact that I did it. It seems so long ago! And not quite real!

It’s been an interesting week. As the aches faded, my friends got bored of looking at the medal and I was forced to eat like a normal person again (or risk re-gaining all the weight I lost), I suffered terribly with the post-marathon blues. I mean, what am I supposed to do with my Sundays now I don’t need to go for a three hour run? Should I carry on running? Should I do some 10ks and half marathons just to keep myself going? What do I have to aim for now? What should my next project be?

I think too much 😉

I have been working hard on my fundraising this week and have just smashed through the halfway mark. I’m at around £2,100 of my £4,000 target so your help is still very much appreciated. I held a charity bucket collection in my hometown yesterday, raising an impressive £222.18, mostly I think down to the fact I had Neil of Running For Rhinos very kindly wearing one of the Save The Rhino official rhinoceros costumes!

Neil in the rhino suit

Neil in the rhino suit

I don’t think anyone had seen anything like it and we did manage to give several old ladies a bit of a shock! My sister also helped me out in the afternoon and while she can’t move her shoulders today, I have sunburned forearms and aching biceps from holding the bucket!

I’ve also been busy making some more trinkets to sell on my Etsy shop. The entire price of these beauties goes to the rhinos… Just need to sell (and make) a couple of hundred of them and I’ll have reached my target!

CMYK Rhino button bracelet

Monet's Waterlilies-inspired Bracelet

Monet's Waterlilies-inspired Bracelet

Button Rainbow Bracelet

Button Rainbow Bracelet

Spring Daffodils and Blue Skies

Spring Daffodils and Blue Skies

London Marathon 2009 Part 2

April 28, 2009

Where was I?

Ah yes, the part at which it all started to go a bit weird. I struggled on, walking but occasionally managing to jog half a mile or so before feeling like I was going to fall over. I knew the 13-22 mile section was going to be difficult, you’re running away from the finish, you’re already tired from running 13 miles, it’s a big twisty loop…normally it’s pretty quiet round there but I have to say I don’t think I saw a let up in the spectators in the entire section! They were amazing!

I was still feeling really nauseous as the course headed back round towards the Embankment, so I popped into a Portaloo to see if I was actually going to be sick. No such luck, but as I headed back out I heard a runner behind me yell ‘Becki’ and looked round to see it was Becca Boop who has been one of the e-marathoners hanging out on Twitter. What are the chances of meeting someone you know amongst 35,000 people!? She will tell you that I helped get her to the finish when the truth is she got there herself and helped me get there instead of the other way round! It was lovely to be going along with someone again after so many miles on my own.

Me and Becca Boop
The relief I felt as we passed Tower Bridge again at about 22 miles is indescribeable – we were on the home straight! The sun seemed pleasant rather than scorching along the Embankment, and the trees made lovely dappled shade. There were still so many people cheering us on! I saw my dad again, and Heather and the JustGiving gang who screamed at me (in a good way)! Soon the Blackfriars Underpass approached, which I managed to jog through and got Becca to jog through too. When you come up from the underpass, you can see Big Ben behind the London Eye, which is of course practically the finish (only a mile and a bit to go). We were so close!

Soon enough we were turning right past Big Ben (which is more sparkly in real life) and down the last long section of Birdcage Walk. It wasn’t long before we saw the turning right past Buckingham Palace and I mentioned that we’d have to do a sprint finish. With 385 yards (the .2 of the 26.2 miles) to go, Becca suddenly took off on her amazing sprint finish. I attempted a sprint finish but feeling like I was going to pass out, so it wasn’t one of my best, but at least I ran over the line! I managed 6:28:32 which is about an hour faster than last time but an infinitely better experience. I was aiming for 5:30 so maybe if I could get the nausea under control I could do a faster time. Not that I’m ever doing it again you understand!

With timing chip removed from my trainer and medal hung round my rhino horn by one of the lovely medal ladies, I set off to find my stuff, and those longed-for Lemon Puffs. I was reunited with Becca briefly before being dragged off to the Save The Rhino rug by one of the lovely STR ladies. There were loads of other rhino runners there, eating, being massaged, chatting about the experience. I was OK until I finally stood still at which point I had to run off and be sick (sorry, too much detail!). Once that was all out the way I returned to the group and managed a civilised (I hope) conversation with Neil and his wife Lorna along with some of the other rhino runners – Louise (who was running in a rhino suit!) definitely launched herself at me for a hug, and I think Stephanie may have aswell, it’s all a blur!

At the finish, sweaty and tired and wearing my medal with pride

At the finish, sweaty and tired and wearing my medal with pride

Heading back to the tube across St James’ Park, I was wandering along in a daze, not quite comprehending what I’d just done. By the time I got back to the hostel and had received loads of congratulatory texts I was on the verge of tears and as soon as I was in my (thankfully empty) room I burst into tears for a good 10 minutes! Probably a combination of exhaustion and emotion and the fact that it was all over 😦

To cheer myself up, I limped out to find some food and ended up having no dinner but two puddings 🙂 A lovely end to an amazing day!

Three is the magic number…

April 22, 2009

…but doesn’t actually feature in this post! Thought I’d continue my song-title-blog-title theme 🙂

I thought it’d be interesting to take a look at some of the stats around my London Marathon experience.

These first numbers are taken from my stats on LogYourRun

Shortest run: Way back in December 08 my first run was 1.4 miles, I had to stop halfway throught and practically died by the end. I managed something like 12 minute mile pace although I was so bad back then I didn’t even bother to time myself. Look how far I’ve come!

Longest run: The epic 17 miler that made me throw up and cry, but I managed to run the whole way round!

Fastest run: Before the training got into the long runs I was working on increasing my speed and by trying really really hard and ignoring the pain in my muscles I managed …. drum roll …. 9:30 minute/mile pace around a four mile circuit. Woo!

Most times running the same route: I’ve run my quick 2.7 mile route 15 times in my training. Most other routes have been run at least a couple of times, apart from those where I tried the route once and swore never to do it again!

Total miles run: 241.29 – just over 9 marathons’ worth of running. And soon to be joined by a tenth marathon of course…

Minutes spent training: an amazing 2532 (or 42.2 hours), making my average pace 10:30 minute miles.

Blog stats:

Total views: 1,889 (wow!)

Busiest day: 100 — Thursday, April 2, 2009 (this was the day I posted up my vest-printing services)

Posts: 41

Comments: 70 (most of them lovely, thank you 🙂 )

Me stats:

Weight lost: 5lbs

Toenails lost: 5 and counting

Money raised: £1,327.28

I’m aiming for £4000. Please help if you can!

Last long run of the training

April 5, 2009

Well, where do I start?

It was all going so well. No feeling of trepidation in the days before, a lovely ‘away with the fairies’ sensation for the first ten or so miles, a nice sunny day with a hint of a breeze. The painkillers were working well and I’d eaten plenty yesterday in preparation. I was mentally prepared and set out at a decent pace.

I even spotted a couple of strange sights – loose Yellow Pages, er, pages scattered along the road for the first mile of my run, and then at about mile 11, someone’s knickers in a tree. The mind boggles!

I was aiming to beat last week’s 17 miles with something like 18.2 or even 19.5 if I was feeling good. Which by the 14th or 15th mile I wasn’t. Legs like lead, all the fairies had disappeared somewhere else, I was nauseous, my legs hurt (and not my knees either, this was muscular). Sports massage ASAP methinks – when the aches don’t leave your legs after a couple of days that can’t be good!

I did manage to equal the 17 miles of last week and felt like I was about to collapse. I’m disappointed that I didn’t manage to run further in this last long run before the taper, but it’s still waaaay further than I managed to run last time I was ‘training’ for the marathon. So hopefully I’ll be ok!

Having forgotten to take a house key, and with my dad out and brother down the pub, I was almost going to have to use a very wobbly stepladder to get into my house. Luckily my neighbours got back about 15 minutes after I got home and I was eventually able to get into the house. I threw up again this week (which I was hoping I wouldn’t do – does that mean I’ll throw up in the marathon??) and then suddenly burst into tears. This training lark is making me go a little crazy I think 🙂

I hope I’m able to feel better after the marathon. Crying will be allowed – tears of joy of course! – but hopefully there will be no throwing up, as that could get a little messy.

I read an interesting article yesterday in the Times in the ‘Marathon Man’ column, in which Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson describes the marathon in terms of

blood, blisters, pain, vomit, crying and dead

Sounds fun, huh?! The rest of the amusing (and scary) article can be found here

More ways to buy a bracelet and help a rhino!

March 30, 2009

I’ve been busy crafting again! As well as, or instead of, sponsoring me, you can also help the rhinos by buying a bracelet (or pair of earrings, or other craft item). Don’t worry about the price being in dollars! That’s just the currency of the site.

All Natural Rhino

Rainbow cascade earrings

Lemon & Lime-o Rhino

Domino Rhino

Do let me know if you like any of these, or would like a different version, or if there’s anything you’d like to see in the future 🙂

4 weeks to go and an even longer longest run

March 29, 2009

The countdown begins! This time in 4 weeks I will hopefully have completed the marathon, got my medal, and be relaxing with the Save The Rhino gang! Positive visualisation can only be a good thing!

After last week’s epic blog post about my 15.5 mile run, I’m afraid there wasn’t much to report today. It wasn’t one of the most enjoyable runs I’ve ever done, as for the most part I was bored out of my mind! Where last week I was floating on a cloud of Zen-like calm and post-Silverstone happiness, this week was just plain dull, and I felt every step of it.

I set out intending to do 18.2 miles but I’m afraid I was losing the will to live at the end and did 17 miles instead. I’m hoping to do that 18.2 next week instead – the last long run before I start tapering. My last couple of runs before the London Marathon are likely to be about 11.5 and 6 miles each – hardly short runs!

I got by on Jelly Beans and painkillers, much like last week, although I think I left it a little late to take the painkillers because the start of the run definitely hurt more this time. The first two miles or so of every run are hellish anyway so I’m not sure how much difference the painkillers would actually make…

Today’s run was based on decreasing loops, meaning I had to run past my house not once but twice! I found the best way to deal with the overwhelming urge to go into my house and have a nice lie down as to pretend it wasn’t my house. Weird, but it worked.

The high point of interest of today’s run was after I got back home and forgot to put my fleece (also know as ‘horse blanket’) on. I cooled down too quickly, and coupled with the overdose of sweet sickly sugary jelly beans, I promptly threw up. Then felt brilliant! Not exactly what I was after though as it’ll now take twice as much effort to rehydrate. Oops.

At least in the London Marathon I’m unlikely to get bored. There are costumes to spot (including the rhinos of course), spectators to high five and landmarks to tick off (and the Gherkin to see, again. I still hate it from last time ;)). And there will be people to run with too, of course (in theory 35,000 although of course most of them will be faster than me).

Why and how I’m helping Save The Rhino

March 25, 2009

I thought for those new to my blog it might be good if I reiterate some of the reasons why I’m running the London Marathon for Save The Rhino and some of the ways that I’m trying to raise my (rather large!) target amount.

Basically I chose Save The Rhino as my charity because it covers so many different areas. If you’re an animal lover, there’s obviously the main rhino-saving aspect, as well as the fact that if the rhinos are saved, many of the area’s sub-species are also helped. If you’re a people person, they help educate local communities about sustainable ways of living, building schools, solar panels and water reservoirs. If you’re an eco-warrior, saving the rhino entails saving its habitat so helping to prevent deforestation etc.

You can find out more about my reasons for helping the rhinos here.

I’m aiming to raise the rather large sum of £4,000 in a number of different ways:

  • Good ol’ sponsorship from individuals or companies. Although it seems like a lot of money, if I can get just 126 people (at the time of writing) to sponsor me £1 a mile, I will have reached my target!
  • Bucket collections, the kind where I stand in the street with a bucket and collect change. I have a few of these lined up in the near future.
  • Making and selling crafts on my Etsy shop or in ‘real life’ if you’d like to commission something.
  • I’m hoping to hold some kind of event at some point but can’t decide between a quiz night, barn dance or full blown Safari Summer Ball. I’d love to hold a Safari Ball but am currently struggling to find a suitable venue…

I hope that you have found this post informative, please leave any questions or suggestions in the comments. 🙂

Circle Of Life

March 25, 2009

Did you know that the first animal featured in Disney’s The Lion King (one of my favourite films of all time) is a rhino? 🙂

Rhino costume…ish

March 23, 2009

Thought you readers might appreciate a close-up on the rhino hat, shown below with my lovely Save The Rhino t-shirt!
Me in my rhino hat and running t-shirt

Here are my thoughts on my original rhino costume ideas:

  • The hat is based on a baseball cap which is slightly too small for my enormous head but the under-chin strap I used at Silverstone didn’t seem to do much. There is a strap going round the back of my head, but if I tone the horn down a bit keeping it on my head probably won’t be an issue.
  • The shoulder pads I was originally going to wear would chafe like crazy. They might be made for sport, but not 26-miles-of-running sport. I will probably try to do a 10k or 5k in them so I can say I actually ran in my proper rhino costume.
  • Although I ran in a grey top at Silverstone, I think having someone running next to me in a Save The Rhino t-shirt probably helped people identify what on earth I had on my head! So I will probably be running in the lovely t-shirt in the above pic.
  • I will be running with a felt rhino tail on my bottom. Well, if half a million spectators are going to see my bum, they may as well have something funny to look at 😉
  • I will probably try and make the bottom of my jogging bottoms look like rhino feet. Having something like a rhino foot sculpture covering my foot is a no-no as they have to be able to remove the tracking chip from your trainer at the end of the race but something based on the trousers should be OK.

Does anyone have any great ideas on what else I can do as far as the rhino ‘costume’ is concerned?

Longest run yet!

March 22, 2009

After last weekend’s high jinks at Silverstone, this week’s run was, in a word, boring. Now I’m not particularly enamoured of running at the best of times but after having someone to talk to last week and lots of spectators to distract me, this week felt a little lonely and lacking in excitement!

As I’d managed to run 13 miles last week without walking, I figured I’d bump it up a couple of miles and see how I got on. There was an early hiccup in the form of a work night out on Friday at which none of us had dinner (everywhere had stopped doing food by that point) – try telling a bunch of inebriated colleagues that you need to carb-load and see what their response is! I was so worried that this would adversely affect my run, although I tried to make up for it yesterday by making vegetarian spag bol and eating tinned rice pudding (great for carb-loading).

I set off for today’s long run at about lunchtime, which is unusual for me as I usually push my long weekend run back to the furthest point of a Sunday afternoon in an attempt to make it go away! I dosed myself up on Jelly Beans and painkillers and hoped for the best. As far as the painkillers go, I’ve found that it’s not usually tiredness or lack of energy that makes me walk, it’s knee pain. I have dodgy knees anyway so thought I’d help them out a bit!

The first couple of miles were, as usual, really difficult. I don’t think the Jelly Beans had kicked in by that point or maybe I just take longer to properly warm up these days. I soon reached town at which point I flung off my cagoule (OK, I took it off and tied it round my waist) to show off my Save The Rhino top with my name printed on it (get in touch if you need yours printed!) as I ran along the main shopping street. Got some weird looks but hopefully people will recognise me when I (hopefully) appear in this week’s local paper and sponsor me!

Headed on out of town again to the long hill that I usually need to walk at the top of. By this point those jelly beans had definitely kicked in and not only did I make it up the hill fairly easily but I didn’t need to walk at the top! This really set the challenge for running the whole thing as there weren’t really any bad hills after that so it was eminently doable. Heading back down off the plateau a couple of miles later is usually quite painful on my knees but the painkillers reduced it to more of a dull ache than a raging inferno of pain so I was pleased about that.

I was soon at the halfway point although it felt like I was further as I started to head back into my own territory – the roads I’ve run tens of times already, and the fact that they’re near my house helps! Speaking of which, I had planned to go a slightly different route than usual today (which would have made it 15 miles) but chickened out at the last minute – I was still going well at that point and didn’t want to wreck it by running unfamiliar, slightly hilly and most of all boring roads, although they’re only unfamiliar in the sense that I’ve never run them, having lived in the same place my whole life I have walked or driven them many times though! So instead I headed back along my road and past my house (so tempting to stop!) and ran my 4 mile loop which took in most of what I had just run in the previous 4 miles. Ordinarily I might be a bit unwilling to run the same route as I’d just run but this 4-miler is my regular route so I am very familiar with it, and I ran on auto-pilot, not caring that I’d just repeated myself.

I was soon back at my house for the second time but of course I was allowed to stop this time! I ran 15.5 miles in 3 hours and DIDN’T WALK ONCE!! Woo! I was very happy with this and I smashed last weekend’s record of the furthest distance I’ve ever run without walking. Next week could be interesting…

Today was a bit odd as despite my usual pre-long-run dread and apprehensiveness, once I was out running I somehow achieved a state of Zen-like calm and happiness and was smiling at people the whole way round. Maybe it was the painkillers. Maybe it’s because ‘spring has sprung’ – it was very pleasant to be out running in the warmth and sunshine with blossom and new leaves all over the place. Oh, and lots of frisky pigeons!

I’m now dosed up on arnica (great for bruised feet), drinking lots of water and looking forward to a big tub of organic strawberry ice cream – well, I’ve got to have a reason to get round!! 🙂

Me, sweaty and tired after my 15.5 miler in my lovely Save The Rhino t-shirt

Me, sweaty and tired after my 15.5 miler in my lovely Save The Rhino t-shirt

Does this mean that running the whole way in the London Marathon is a possibility??