Inner Visual

Saturday @9:00 a.m 24 June 2017


Monday - No More Talking

Ah yes. The running blog…. I've done so much talking about this over Christmas it feels like I don't actually need to run at all. While chowing down on mince pies with gravy dripping down my chin I've been only too happy to TALK about my marathon plans. Anyone who would listen got the full whack of my running glory plans and how I'll feel great doing all that exercise and I'm going to join an athletics club and incorporate yoga and then take over the world.

But it's a New Year, and there are less than 24 weeks to go so it's time shut up and get moving. So, what have I done so far?

I've been 'tipping away' since I last blogged with handy little 2 and 3 mile runs every second or third day. I haven't charted them or timed them, they've just served as a warm up into the whole thing – forcing myself to get out in my skins in that cold crappy weather we had over Christmas. Well, I did it, and it felt great. I've even taken the clothes back off the clothes horse/ ab roller and started doing some crunches, squats and free-weights up in my bedroom. It was made easier by the fact that I had some time off over Christmas so my husband was home to take the kids whenever I felt like going for a trot. That won't be as easy now that Christmas is over, but I've made a few 'windows' and will have to stick to them rigidly.

You could say I'm at a decent enough level starting off a marathon plan, my longest run so far was 6 miles on New Years Day. It felt great to finally break the shorter run barrier and keep going. Now that that one is in the can, it feels like 'I'm back' and actually able to do this. I might add, I celebrated my 6 mile run with a big dirty kebab that night as I swilled down coke and felt like Waynetta Slob on the sofa. Oh well.

The Plan

It was with both excitement and a bit of trepidation that I met with Brian Swaby last Saturday (sorry Brian!) Brian is a Senior member of Waterford AC, a hugely established runner and while cross-country and 1500 metres are his forte, Brian is an experienced marathon runner and has served as a Pacer in the Waterford Viking Marathon previously – you know the guys with the big balloons attached to them that you follow depending on your time target!

My first marathon took me 4hrs 30 mins. I didn't incorporate any interval, speed or conditioning training into it – I just put on my runners and ran. I felt like I should have done it in a better time – but how?

Here is Brian's plan for me for the next two months. I'm going to focus more on time spent training rather than distance covered. So, instead of putting '3miles' on my wall chart, I'll simply make myself run for 30 mins, whatever the distance. The focus here is on the speed training sessions and the long run days. We had a good chat over dodgy tea in the WLRfm canteen for an hour and half, and here's a synopsis of the main points I took from a very helpful meeting.

A blog for anyone who might have considered going for a trot, a run and maybe a marathon.

Karen Tomkins is a 33 year mother of two boys, aged 7 and 4. She presents The Big Breakfast Blaa on WLR FM Monday to Friday 6am to 10am. She used to call herself a runner but that got lost somewhere over the last 12 months. She gets up at 5am every morning but gets home at luncthime to do the creche and school collections. That's when the real work starts. For anyone who regularly finds themselves stretched and pulled in every direction - mother, wife, daughter, sister, broadcaster, cleaner, cook, therapist, teacher, repair woman and referee then you'll know how her day generally goes. A glass of chilled crisp Sauv Blanc is very often her Friday night reward. Oh okay, a bottle. Oh, add in to the mix the burning desire to drop a stone, move her arse again, find more energy and run next year's Waterford Viking Marathon and you have the newest writer to the blog scene - a Mammy Running Waterford.

So this is my first entry. Hello! I thought it would be best to start at the laziest and plumpest I've been for a while so that by the end of this blog journey (the WVM is June next year) I'll look back and scoff my lazy self.

As I type this I'm in bed and my fingers are FREEZING but the heating is timed to come on in a few minutes so I'll wait. Bedtime is usually the 8.30pm - 9pm mark. It has to be, as I'm up at 5am every morning with an hour commute to WLR FM studios in Waterford. My working day isn't really very typical and finding time to go for a run or do any exercise is becoming increasingly difficult.

Here are my favourite excuses for not running so far

1. I'm too tired, just don't have the energy today. Well, in my defence I was diagnosed with an underactive thyroid 3 months ago so I'm trying to balance that out and one side effect is tiredness. See!!

2. It's too cold and I can't find one of my Aldi running gloves/ headband/ socks.

3. It's not right for a Mammy not to sit at the dinner table at 6pm when her husband comes in from work and have her dinner with the family. You see, I don't have anyone to mind the kids all afternoon and although they'd love to be left playing Ratchet & Clank on their PS2 (I know) I wouldn't leave them alone. So, if I do run, I have to wait until my husband comes home, give the family their dinner and head out the door. I actually feel guilty doing it. Call me 1950s housewife but hey, it gets me out of running.

4. Too dark.

5. Wine or run. Wine or run. Run then wine. Run no wine. Run. Wine. Run. Phone rings. Pour wine. Wine it is. Oh well.

6. Sausage and mash and gravy. I cannot help myself but eat the kid’s leftovers. Stitch. No run.

Okay so you can see the 'struggles' I have. That said, I have been managing two fairly short runs a week consistently for a while now (not in the last two weeks though) so I've been 'tipping over' but nowhere near what I should be or need to be if I want to do 26.2 miles next June. I keep thinking 'this will be the day I start' but it just hasn't happened which is why I'm incorporating the help of the marathon organisers who will give me a training plan soon - hopefully for after Christmas (aghh Downton Abbey, crackers and cheese and wine) and I'm hoping this will get me out of first gear.

It's worth mentioning I did run the WVM in 2012 in over 4 hours (okay it was 4hrs33 and being so self competitive I was gutted initially) and looking back it was a great learning experience. I think you're first marathon should be just that - all about learning from mistakes, getting into a training regime, breaking the fear of not actually being able to do this and building confidence for the next time. Maybe it's like child labour. My first child Jack was a tough labour 7 years ago, 10 hours of pain and maddness. The second guy Harry, 4, literally popped out in 4 hours. Still very painful mind you, but knew what to expect and that confidence made it alot easier.

So why do I want to run it again?

A number of reasons as outlined below (I hope I don't sound like a total twat)

1. To have more energy. The 3pm slump regularly sees me scoff a white bread ham and mayo sambo and a cuppa, then fall asleep on the sofa while the kids watch Matt Hatter or Totally Spies. I was never like this!!

2. To drop 14lbs. I'm 5ft 2 weighing in at my heaviest 9stone 11 and believe me, every pound counts. I have a wardrobe of clothes, many still with the labels on that don't fit me anymore. I'll be damned if I'm going up a size and buying more. Time to move your ass Tomkins. Too many double chins of me have emerged lately - I'm one very well fed and happy chipmunk if they're to be believed! I want to get toned and build muscle, even if it weighs the same, the difference will be visible at least.

3. Mental health. It doesn't matter what the world throws at me. Running is THE best stress reliever bar none. I've heard other women use the phrase 'fit to climb the walls' at times, and nothing will beat it quite like putting on those Asics and pounding the roads. I come back from a run not giving a sh*te about the mess of the kitchen, the boxers strewn on the stairs or the three interviews I still have to edit down. I'm like a transformed woman after a 20 minute run, euphoric and full of delicious energy.

4. They're my main reasons really. Also, the hot shower and baths you take after your long runs are so, earned. Eighteen miles on the Tramore Road and I'm fantasising about Radox and a hot soak! I have nothing negative I can throw around as to why I shouldn't do it. I also hope the exercise will help balance out my Underactive Thyroid. In fact, I'm trying to rope my brother and a couple of friends in too. And I might get my husband to do the half. The couple that runs together.....

So, having not actually done any running to report as such, that's my lot for today. Next time, I'll show you my daily schedule and try to work out how and where I'll actually get to run and how often. I don't want to spend loads of time away from the kids or lump them in after-school or extra hours in the creche if I can avoid it. Meanwhile, if you want to join me on this journey, please follow the blog and keep me posted on how you're doing.

I'm off to sleep now, fingers still freezing but running downstairs to turn on the oil? Nah, not in my schedule yet!!

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