Birmingham International Half Marathon in T-14 weeks

On 17th July I signed up for the Birmingham International Half Marathon, taking place on 15th October. I planned to blog after each week of training, but only now, in week 4, have I had time to post one. 

So this is it, I am signed up for my first ever half marathon! It has not sunk in yet that in 14 weeks, on October 15th, I will be running 13.1 miles… The furthest I have ever run is 10k (6.2 miles), but that was about three years ago.
In true ‘all the gear but no idea’ style, last weekend I headed straight to Sports Direct and bought a brand new pair of running trainers – pink, of course.
I am going to be following a 12-week training plan I downloaded from BUPA. I will be training at least twice in the week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) plus a longer run on a Sunday. I can currently run 3 miles, so that will be my baseline. As I have 14 weeks to go, I am using the next two weeks to make sure I am at the right fitness level to start the plan, and get myself used to exercising more frequently, especially as I have been doing less cardio recently in favour of weights. For the last year, my treadmill cardio has been interval training: 45 second sprint, 30 second pause/jog.
Today was my first day of training, but due to health issues I wasn’t able to start with the 30 minute run at a regular speed I had planned. For the last two weeks, I have been suffering with light-headedness and general weakness to an extent that I have been nervous to drive. I’m also suffering aches and pains in my back as well as my right knee, from an injury I sustained last year in New Zealand. Today, I went to the doctors and had a blood test for anemia, thyroid problems, and a few other potential causes. I am so desperate to find the problem as the sooner I know what it is the sooner I can fix it and start training properly!
Week 14 Training, Tuesday:
·      Exercise:
o   20 minute speed walk (6.3 on treadmill) on varying inclines up to 4.5%
o   10 minute run (7.5 on treadmill)
·      Distance: 2 miles
·      Time: 30 minutes
·      Calories: 190
I felt surprised with how well I coped with today’s training, after I had blood taken this morning and felt particularly ill at work today. I needed to be very careful as over-exertion can make you feel light-headed even if you aren’t ill, so today’s training was very light. It felt so great to get out of the office and put my running shoes on, even if I was on the treadmill. For the 20 minute speed walk I used a programme on the treadmill where I was ‘running’ around the Grand Canyon. I’m not going to lie, the pixelated treadmill screen did little to transport me from the poorly air conditioned, sweaty gym with hot pink walls, but it was a nice idea. The inclines varied depending on what part of the Grand Canyon I was ‘running’ on.
The 10 minute run was just enough before I began to feel faint. I did notice the benefit of my new trainers. They are my first pair of road-running trainers and are incredibly lightweight and well padded.

Despite this illness forcing me to take it slow this week, I am feeling very positive. Exercise works wonders for my mental health, so training for this race is going to benefit me both mentally and physically. I am excited to see and record the changes in my body and mind over the next 14 weeks. As for sponsorships, I as yet only have £1 I donated myself to check my text donations work!

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