Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Swapping four legs for two!

Well it has taken me a couple of days to recover after sunday's half marathon. I am extremely pleased to say that I made it, all in one piece, minus what felt like a lot of blood, sweat and nearly tears!

My aim was to complete it in 2hours 30 mins and I am pleased to say I came in at 2hours 26 minutes! Considering 6 months ago I could barely run to the end of the road and back, to actually keep putting one foot in front of the other for 13.2 miles is a pretty big achievement for me!

To give you a brief lowdown... the first 8 miles were easy... actually enjoyable I have to say. I came up to my beloved Chequers Inn (my favourite pub in the village of Laddingford) water station at 8.5 miles and the reception from my friends lifted my spirts to give me a spurt of energy to reach around the 10 mile point and then I ran full pelt, head first in to THE WALL!

Because I wasn't one of the speedy - almost pro - runners who were long gone and through the finish by this point it was quite a lonely patch of very long road back in to Paddock Wood. If it wasn't for my lovely husband, Will, who arrived on his bike with an isotonic drink in the nick of time, I don't know how I would have got through those last 3 miles. But I did. It was pretty much one of the hardest things I have ever had to make myself do and I decided at this point that I am 99% sure I will never run a full marathon. To say that pretty much everything hurt would sum it up pretty concisely.

So, my first half marathon is complete. I am definitely going to do another one, being slightly competitive I now want to beat my time. I know I can do it now and I have to say the buzz afterwards was pretty amazing.

Thank you to all my sponsors, friends and family who helped motivate me through the training and without which I don't know if I would have made it through that finish line. I am so chuffed to have raised over £400 for the Saddle Up for Spinal Research campaign. It's still not too late to sponsor, the Just Giving page is open... http://www.justgiving.com/Lauren-Barber

For the minute I am going to stick to four legs rather than two, so signing off the running blog... until next time!

Saturday, 10 April 2010


Well it has finally come, the months of training and preparation are going to be tested to the max today! In just under two hours time I will be running the Padock Wood Half Marathon in aid of Saddle Up for Spinal Research.... eeeeeek!

I have chosen the perfect fuel... nutella and peanut butter on toast. It is a tried and tested recipe and what I based my past two 10 mile runs on so I hope it doesn't let me down now. Disgusting as it sounds I like to think of it as 'Snickers on toast'... yum!

The ipod is full of running tunes... including a bit of old school Backstreet Boys (yes I am a teeny bopper at heart) Bruce Springsteen (my Dad's influence coming through) and of course Baby Got Back to put a smile on my face when things get tough.

I am so amazingly chuffed to have raised over £400 for my charity - thanks to all my amazing friends and family - it means a lot to know I have their support and this charity certainly deserves it.

So all that is left now is to run the darned thing... wish me luck!!

Thursday, 4 March 2010

First week nearly over...

My first week of training is nearly over - phew! I have done two 5 mile runs and will do one 3 mile quicker run tomorrow. Monday's was 56 minutes and I have to admit I did at times wonder what on earth I was doing. Today's was a teensy bit easier and I managed to cut down the time to 54 mins and 30 seconds. It may not be much but those few seconds make me feel good!

Running really does make you realise how many idiots there are out on the road - I am running on relatively rural roads and people drive far too fast - somehow when you are on a horse you have a bit more presence but on two legs I do feel a tad vulnerable. However I am geared up in my high viz jacket so no excuses for them not seeing me!

My motivation for this weeks running has been a Dark Kit Kat sitting on my side board in the kitchen... I have resisted the temptation so far and it s my reward for sticking to my training - just one more to go and it will be mine!

Thanks so much to all who have already donated, every penny that I raise makes me run that little bit harder. I appreciate it is tough times at the moment but any donation, no matter how small, will help the fantasic work that Saddle Up for Spinal Research do.

One week nearly down, only 6 to go!