Friday, 27 April 2012

MK Marathon 2012 - "Men in Tights" - Week 16 of 16 - Day 5

48hrs to go!

BBC weather forecast for Sunday: "Wet, windy with heavy rain and strong easterly winds -
coastal gales possible" - so much for the sunglasses then!!!

Well we're all trained out now and not much more we can do. The calf seems to be reacting well to
treatment but haven't done a serious run for over 10 days now. It's all been gym work to keep the
cardio up and keep the stress off the calves. We've done a couple of long walks this week, one of
which was a 19miler on the actual route of the course which certainly helped.

We expect the calf to go at some point but uncertain whether we last 13, 5 or 2 miles before it
pings. Needless to say, we'll give it our best shot and hope to get through into Stadium MK at
some point in the afternoon/early evening.

Current fundraising total at the moment is standing at a healthy £1192.12, just over £300 short of
our target. A real big THANK YOU to everyone for your contributions for these 2 worthy causes.
It's been a great support, especially through the latter stages, and has kept us motivated throughout.

A thanks to our sponsor, "Extra Technologies" for their hefty donation and for the printing of the

All that's left to do now is to try to push past that total of £1500 and then the small matter of
actually completing the run on the day. We'll post a final blog along with a photo in the forthcoming
days, but a real big thanks for all the support, and hope to see some of you on the day!

Men in Tights signing off.......

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

MK Marathon 2012 - "Men in Tights" - Week 15 of 16 - Day 2

So, 1.5 weeks to go and we should be at our peak of fitness? - wrong. No road training
for the last 7 days due to the calf injury. However, it's been daily gym work on the
X-trainer, stepper and bike to maintain the cardio work which in itself has been tough.
It's a pity, we should really have been tapering down towards the run by now but it hasn't
worked out as we expected over the last 3 weeks. We're confident we'll get through based
on the cardio work, but it's whether the old calf will hold out.

Needless to say, we've thrown absolutely everything we can into this so it's not for want
of trying. There aren't going to be any records set here, so it's quite simple - complete the
marathon however long it takes!

The running tops are in print and expected e/o this week or early next so we'll post a pic
of them once they're available.

Thanks again for all the support and donations. We're still some way off from the £1500 target
but we're optimistic.........

Monday, 9 April 2012

MK Marathon 2012 - "Men in Tights" - Week 14 of 16 - Day 1 

Just under 3 weeks to go and training not going quite to plan. After the calf setback 10 days ago,
Mr A may have come back too soon and injured the calf again after 3.5 miles on Saturday! Mr H, 
however, seems to be knocking out the miles and although a slight twinge in the calf, is looking in good 

To quote Mr Ferguson, "'s squeaky bottom time"! We're in daily massage mode (thanks Mrs H 
for the massage oil's!) with daily stretches and cross-training in the gym. It's going to go to the 
wire but we're pretty sure we'll be ready for the big day.

With the charities sorted, we have a kind, generous sponsor who has promised a "substantial" 
donation and we'll be advertising them on our race day kit (thanks Mr BSJ). We should be receiving
our race details this week so need to make sure we get the shirts printed in good time.

Finally, we need another push on the sponsorship front so please do donate what you can 
for these very worthy charities.

Friday, 30 March 2012

......1 step forward, 2 steps back!!!!

MK Marathon 2012 - "Men in Tights" - Week 12 of 16 - Day 6

Well, what can I say........Goal for this Sunday was 15 miles.
With all good intentions, we left fully hydrated, pre-carb meal the night before, but
only managed 13 miles before Mr A was suffered a left calf strain, .....again!!!
This is a real major setback given we only have 4 weeks to go. However, this will not
deter us from completing the marathon. It does however mean a change to our existing
program and probably entails us running 5 times a week once recovered from the injury.

It's demoralising, but better now than the week before the marathon. At least we have
recovery time before the big day. The physio (big thanks to Campbell at re-leaf mk) worked
his magic the best he could, and had us in serious pain during the massage but all for the
right reasons. We need rest, recovery and then need to come back fighting for the final

As you may have seen, we've selected our 2 charities which are:
   o Cancer research
   o Diabetes UK

We'd be immensely grateful if you could find a few coppers to sponsor us for these very
worthy causes at the link below and please do leave your name:

A massive thanks has to Bob Harrar and Tracey Moran for being the first to donate, we
really appreciate it.

So, on with the training for the next few weeks. It's been a recovery week but intend
to get back to the gym for cardio and machine work for the next 5 days before hitting the
road again.

Many thanks for all the support and we won't let you down so please support us however you

Monday, 19 March 2012

Electrolytes and ISOGEL's

MK Marathon 2012 - "Men in Tights" - Week 11 of 16 - Day 1

So, not a great week. Target was to run 15 miles yesterday, a massive ask in itself, but all
we managed was 90mins on the X-trainer. Mr H was suffering from a calf pull and I'd strained
my neck somehow so we couldn't really take the risk of a long run and potentially setting us
back a few weeks - In hindsight, probably the right thing to do. We'll continue with the
short runs this week and target next Sunday for our 15 miler.

Running for 3hours requires more than a glass of water before the run as we've found out.
There's the pre-run "carb-up" meal the night before followed by the pre-run breakfast as a top-up
as well as the DTM (Deep Tissue Massage) that is required, not to mention the compression
gear to keep everything tight and supported.
Nutrition is an education in itself. Not only do we need a steady intake of electrolytes to replace the
salt lost through sweat, but also an intake of carb's in the form of gel's.

"You'll need to try a few varieties out to see what agrees with you", was the advice I received when
I picked up a few samples to test. Now, Mr H won't mind me saying that his stomach is tender at
the best of times, and "it" decides what it will digest and when! It's pretty predicable now,
especially at the 4 and 6 mile markers......:) Anyway, needless to say, the ISOGEL variety he
took after 1hour through the X-trainer yesterday didn't seem to agree with his constitution,
so onto the next sample test......

On a final note, the charities of choice will be in the next post so credit cards at the ready......

Friday, 9 March 2012

Half-way house blues........

MK Marathon 2012 - "Men in Tights" - Week 9 of 16 - Day 4

Firstly, apologies for the dates on these blogs. They're a bit out of sync as we still get used to all this blogging lark.

Poor week all round - the first dip in our program since we started.

We did complete 11 miles on Sunday as planned but it was full of stops and starts and really only just crawled through to the end. At this stage of the game, we need to be taking on enough electrolytes to replace the lost fluids and ensure we are carb'd up prior to the run. Given that we're still in the experiment phase of this, Mr H ate a little too-much-too-late, I needed to run a few strides ahead of him (so as not to be downwind....) and I probably took on a little too much fluid as well so a few toilet breaks were also required.

Recovery time after this run was 2 days, so we missed our recovery 40min run on Tuesday and also had me doubting if we can actually pull this off. Need to re-focus and finish the week strong to bring us back on track.

This Sunday is labelled in the program as a gentle 10KM race so we'll probably do a 6-7 miler at an increased pace.

Half way there.......

MK Marathon 2012 - "Men in Tights" - Week 8 of 16 - Day 3

10 miler done and dusted!!
Big, big milestone for us both. Never thought we'd be able to say that we can run 10miles!

We tried to capture a snapshot of the route but it didn't come out quite as we'd hoped. 10 miles in just over 2 hours. Not a great time but hey, we're injury free! To be honest, by mile 7, I couldn't really feel my legs so it was a case of continuing to run without stopping, which is when the real problems start.

Even more surprising was the fact we managed to get the run in after a night of mixed grills, amber nectar and a few shapes on the dance floor (the less said about that the better).

So far so good. We're half way through the training program and currently on track. There is the MK half Marathon on Sunday which we really should have entered but are on baby-sitting duties - bad planning all round.

Next big run is 11 miles on Sunday..........

Monday, 20 February 2012

MK Marathon 2012 - "Men in Tights" - Week 7 of 16 - Day 1

So, an 8-miler, 93-min run nailed and under the belt last night. The route took us from Grange
Farm through Stony Stratford High Street, and back again. Probably my worst run to date as
felt washed out and knackered after the run. Mr H however, never ceases to amaze me - from
someone who struggled to run more than a mile 18 months ago to completing the long run with
relative ease, AND after missing a midweek run! Well done Sir.

I'll put my poor performance down to insufficient pre-run fuelling in the build up to the run, i.e a
sheesh kebab and chicken tikka wrap at midday is not ideal preparation for a 7:00pm run!!

Our current schedule has us running 3 times a week - a long run on Sunday, a recovery run on
Tuesday and a speed running session on Thursday. The recovery and speed run's are no longer
than 40-50mins and are intended to build a sound running base for the long run's on Sunday.
Current pace is 11.32min/mile which is hardly Olympic pace but as long as we keep injury free,
I'm happy with that. Unfortunately, that has *US* completing the marathon in around 5.5 hrs,
taking into account that our pace will drop - I'm sure I've seen the fancy dress Rhino complete
the London Marathon quicker than that!

Next big run is a 10-miler on Sunday.......we have a bit of a do on Saturday night so we may
need to play this one by ear..;(

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

MK Marathon 2012 - "Men in Tights" - Week 6 of 16

The last time I wore tights, of any sort, was back in 1994 at the work's Christmas
fancy dress bash where I turned up as Captain hook. Not sure why I was provided tights to wear
with knee length boots, but I'm guessing the trousers must have been in short supply that year.
I didn't think I'd ever see myself in tights again, .....until now!

Roll on 29th April, 2012 - the first ever full Milton Keynes Marathon. After being declined around
6 or 7 times for the London Marathon, it was time to mobilize Plan B while I was still
capable of breaking into a jog of some description.

So, why the blog?
Well, first and foremost, motivation! To say that I may have bitten off a little more than I could
chew would be a massive understatement. Having been very active playing football twice a week
and  regular gym work, surely I could wing it with a few miles preparation before the day?
2 calf strains in succession proved me wrong, massively wrong!
Running 3 times a week in -4.5 degrees C (as we found last week) requires a certain amount of
focus and determination, but most of all, it's the encouragement from those around that makes the
biggest difference. We're hoping that this blog provides a forum for us to look to for inspiration
and keep us focussed on the task ahead.
The second, and more obvious reason for the blog is to keep everyone informed of our progress
in achieving our goal and where we are on the fund raising front. Yes, you ARE helping us raise
funds for the charities (soon to be announced) so any contribution will be very well received.

Now, as you've figured out by now, I do have a training partner and co-author of the blog, hence
the title "Men in Tights" (abtly named by someone...). Mr.H has vowed to join me for
part of the Marathon run, actually 10 miles, but I'm hoping this will turn into the full 26.2m
in due course (active encouragement required here). It goes without saying that I wouldn't be
writing this today without the support and training partner that is Mr.H, who it must be said,
would be the last person I expected to train with 12 months ago but that's a blog in itself for
another day.....

Finally, we'll endeavour to keep this blog updated at least once a week and hope that you can
leave a note once in a while as way of encouragement, banter, but most of all to keep us focussed.

Many thanks.

Mr.H and Mr.A