What an error, here I am nearly 38 years of age, with a body that has seen better days. Who hasn`t done a lot of exercise except running around Van den Berghs, and the odd game of badminton, since two operations on my left knee two years ago. "WHAT HAVE I GONE AND LET MYSELF IN FOR !!!!!"
First things first, I must let the family know, I did not do this in the first place, as I never expected to get in. Then I must decide what charity I will be running for.
I have chosen to run for "EASTBOURNE HOSPITAL, SPECIAL CARE BABY UNIT", so now it`s down to training and collecting sponsorship.
Tuesday 2nd January-Sunday January 7th
Tuesday: Just a short run round the block to check how I feel, "rotten", I ran about 2 miles, and ache all over. I must remember to purchase some kind of reflective clothing as the lights in Hailsham are rather spread out, no wonder the dogs all seem to run fast, the length of gaps between lamp posts.
Wednesday: A little bit longer run, trying out a another route, its a shame every where round here is so hilly, walked for about 10 minutes towards the end as came across one hill to many.
Thursday: Just a short run of about 1.5 miles, will soon be able to use a pedometer so at least I will be able to see how far I`ve traveled, perhaps I should try it out at work, as I seem to walk miles each day.
Friday: A short run, complete with new reflective jacket, at least I`m beginning to look the part if nothing else.
Saturday: A longer run of about 4 miles, must purchase a knee bandage, as suffering from the pounding of Hailsham streets.
Sunday: The end of my first week finished by completing circuit of 4.5 miles without stopping. It`s amazing the difference being able to see where you are going makes to the enjoyment of the run. Sponsor sheet is doing the rounds at work, I am trying to raise four hundred pounds. Must buy an ankle bandage.
Monday January 8th-Sunday January 14th
Monday: No badminton yet, so another trip around my 4.5miles circuit, complete with pedometer a great yet simple idea, just measuring each footstep/stride, I guessed at a 25 inch stride but must be over the top as I ended up running 6 miles, (later found to be 4.5 miles). Ran reverse way round the course, complete with long hill, at least I got round.
Tuesday: You get some funny looks as you pound the streets of Hailsham, and even the odd hale from other passing lunatics, the old knee has started complaining about having to do some work, covered about 5 miles this evening, purchase another knee bandage.
Wednesday: Knee still aching, have taken the night off to rest the weary joints, thinking of buying shares in Boots, with all these bandages might end up running in fancy dress as the Mummy
Thursday: To make up for last night I braved the A22 covering about 6.5 miles, funny trying to run along a major road like that at night, some drivers arn`t to bad, but other just don`t seem to care how close they come to you, or expect you to be able to see with their headlights full beam in your eyes..
Friday: Finally got the stride length right on the pedometer, set now to 22 inches,a short run of 4 miles this evening.
Saturday: Joy of being able to see where you are going, must have had some effect on me as I managed 9 miles today, and didn`t collapse in a heap at the end of it. Found new parts of Hailsham I never knew existed.
Sunday: (14 weeks to go) Steady run, weather made it quite a nice jog round this area, tried to come back via short cut, ended up on new estate site, complete with road, but hardly any houses built yet, just this road, complete with crossings, most strange. Still, managed 7.5 miles.
Monday January 15th-Sunday January 21st
Tuesday: Feeling good, on a crisp cold evening, after about a mile frost was setÄ tling in my hair, must have looked like a cross between brylcream and grey hair. Even though it was windy still managed 8 miles in about an hour. Slight strain in the left calf otherwise the best run to date. Plenty of time to think about things as you run along, like what will I say to Bob Wilson if he stops me, for a chat.
Wednesday: Two miles fast, half mile walk, two niles fast, plenty of speed up the final hill. Still feeling slight stiffness in the left calf, and back, could be left overs from badminton. Ended up in a ditch on the A26 when passed by a car overtaking another at a speed to fast to control, so jumped, which was a bit of luck, as the car hit the kerb where I had been running.
Thursday: A test to see how things are progressing, a slow steady pace around the A22 when not blinded by drivers who will persist in having their headlights full on as they approach you. Despite not knowing where I was going (what's knew) some of the time, I managed 10 miles, no problems until the last two miles when I ran into the Hailsham Harriers. One moment I was by myself, the next I was in a group of two dozen people, "why don`t you join us" I was hailed, "meet every Tuesday and Thursday evening". I managed to stay ahead of them for nearly all the last two miles, rubbish I thought, and there me already covered 8 miles before I met them.
Friday: It was a cold and dark night, as all the best stories start, or seem to have done this year. I at last met the problem I had been dreading, "DOGS". I started out just for a small run around the block, however here I met a man walking his small dog, "Shitsoo" or something like that it was called. Next thing there it was trying to get up my tracksuit trousers. I think in future I`ll run with string round the ankles, or buy a pair of bicycle clips. In the end I went 6 miles, hitting ankle pains and the first attack of "Joggers Nipple", must get some Vaseline.
Saturday: Struggled round four miles, aching, ankle, leg, knee, perhaps I am falling to pieces ?Sunday (13 weeks to go): Kill or cure, all prepared, and a full twelve miles covered today in about one and a half hours, still some stiffness in the legs, but extra bandages, plus new trainers purchased earlier this week have helped. Feeling quite good after all this, and being able to see where your going, what luxury, meeting people, out for their morning paper etc, very pleasant.
Monday January 22nd-Sunday January 28th
At last my ADT Marathon training guide arrives, and I find I am doing quite well with my training compared to expected training schedules.
Tuesday: No running tonight as a very sick car, ended up getting home at 21:30 feeling tired, wet and fed up, with the possibility of a very poorly bank account.
Wednesday: Tried out a new route, ended up getting lost covered in mud, surrounded by marsh land, rivers, and more mud. On the way back in the dark got attacked by several wheely type, large, dustbins that people had put out for collection, and that I could not see, ended up more like training for a steeple chase than a marathon.
Thursday: Gales and storms, no running tonight
Friday: Fast run of four miles felt good, still windy, running fine with the wind, slow against it.Saturday: "Grand Old Duke of York" type running tonight, up to the top of the hill and down again.
Sunday (12 weeks to go): Trial long run, set out complete with drinks, telephone card and money (incase phone box was either sort) and loo roll (just incase). managed 14miles with only 15mins walking, in one and three quarters hours. Still windy but pleased that I can manage half a marathon
Monday January 29th-Sunday February 4th
Tuesday: Fast run for 5 miles in the wind (once again) and heavy rain.
Wednesday: Another new route, well that's what the book says to try, ended up on a little country road surrounded by water, able to see where I was going by the odd flash of lightning. The end of January, training going well, except for the odd twinge. The time seems to be going to quick, lets hope that I can continue this way through February.
Thursday: No running weather to dangerous, or that's my excuse.
Friday: Another wet run, the electric bill must be getting high drying off my trackÄ suit etc, all the time.
Saturday, "Squelch, squelch" for 6 miles
Sunday (11 weeks to go): Hard day at work moving comms equipment, then a quick 5 mile run when I got home, rather hard going when the winds in your face.
Monday February 5th-Sunday February 11th
Tuesday: A good fast run feeling better than I have done for a few weeks, must be getting fitter
Wednesday: The weather has been at the beans again, very windy, tried some fast hill running, easy to do with all the hills round Hailsham. half way round started raining, finished tired wet and a bit fed up.
Thursday: Last run for several days due to computer room move, weather very windy again, managed 7 miles, 3 miles quick (wind behind me) the next two taking 30 mins.
Friday-Sunday: No training, computer room move, and then Mondays badminton
Monday February 12th-Saturday February 17th
Tuesday: After 5 minutes got caught in a cloud burst, go soaked, still feeling tired from the weekend work, and lack of sleep, but got round 7 miles.
Wednesday: Night off (again) family valentines dinner
Thursday: A crisp clear night and time to start building up the miles, plenty of time to think, must carry an autograph book with me on the marathon day, you never know who might pass you.
Friday: Steady 8 mile run, must see if Jim can fix it for me to complete the course, or that's what my son says
.Saturday: Thirty eight years old today, ran 6 miles complete in new shorts, which can be used as a tent if I get lost.
Sunday February 18th-Saturday February 24th
As you get older it seems that you are able to write less, hence the weekly reports from here on in are not so detailed.
Total of 29 miles covered this week, the weather has been a lot better, and it has been quite pleasant weeks exercise. No item of note except getting attacked by yet another dog.
Sunday February 25th-Saturday March 3rd
Another good weeks work covering a total of 37 miles, weather not to bad, beginning to feel a lot better and not ending up in a heap after my 12 miles on Sunday.
Sunday March 4th-Saturday March 10th
Thirty four miles travelled this week, slight change owing to machine problems at work, ran on Friday instead of Thursday. Wind beginning to blow hard again towards the end of the week managed some good times with the wind behind me.
Sunday March 11th-Saturday March 17th
After this five weeks left to go, managed 15miles on Sunday including some running through the woods. This proved a bit of a problem, when confronted by a huge horse blocking one of the narrow paths, I say huge for I actually went under it rather than round it. Total of 35miles completed, must now be the complete jogger as have bought a head band.
I thought I would take this brief opportunity to let you know how everything is progressing for my running in the London Marathon on Sunday April 22nd. This as I keep getting reminded by everybody is not that far away, in fact 6 weeks last SunÄ day.
Despite many set backs; hurricanes, storms, car failure, computer room moves, illÄ ness etc the training has been jogging along quite steadily.
A log of my training and the trials and tribulations is being kept, and may end up in future copies of the company magazine. The main problem is an outbreak of red Indian disease, "Blackfeet, Pawnees, and not managing to run Apache on what I should be doing", (amazing what you think of while on a run !)
I managed last Sunday to do a steady 15miles in 1 hour 45 mins, despite having to limbo dance under a horse at one point, so I am over half way there.
The sponsorship is doing very well and I am now aiming to end up between 600-1000 pounds.
For those of you who might come along and watch the pain and suffering, I have now received my official running number this is "16577". I can not say what top I will be waring at this time, I had hoped, after hearing about all the money racing drivÄ ers get for a couple of inches of sponsorship on the racing overalls, that one of the brands might sponsor me in the run. I just fancied running with a great big Stork on my back, might help me get round, but no news as yet.
Sunday March 18th-Saturday March 24th
A steady week covering 37miles, Sunday was very hot and for the first time struggled around my 10miles, feeling very dehydrated. The rest of the week saw me with several new aches, in fact if anybody asks if I am going in fancy dress, I will reply i am running as the Greek philosopher "DodgeyKnees"
Sunday March 25th-Saturday March 31st
Must be going down with something, as am beginning to enjoy this running. Perhaps it`s a case of "alice", after all Christopher Robin went down with Alice. Covered yet another 34 miles, and only three weeks left to go.
Sunday April 1st-Saturday April 7th
Found part of the old Hailsham railway line, with only three weeks to go I find somewhere flat to run!, covered another good 30 miles. As the evenings get lighter, the difference in being able to see where you are running, is quite something, even the drivers seem to be more friendly, I havn`t been knocked into a ditch for several weeks now.
Sunday April 8th-Saturday April 14th
Last full weeks training, started with me losing a battle with a car and a horse for the right of way and ending up, yes, in another ditch. this left me 5 miles to run with one very wet and muddied leg and foot. This week saw a regular service along the old railway line, and another night when I got lost. I ended up covering some local point to point course, but had a refusal and the open ditch, another muddied foot!. Total of 40 miles this last week, one week to go, time to recover and get the body and soul ready for next weekend.
Five days to go, so I thought I would send out one final message before the event to let you all know how yours truly has been getting on.
Since I started training for the marathon on January 2nd, I have covered 480 miles, in sleet, hail, rain, storms, hurricanes and the occasional sunshine. I have been attacked by 3 dogs, 2 cars, one horse, one rabbit and a dustbin. I have lost about half a stone in weight, and according to my wife, two inches in height, and got lost five times.
I will be running/walking/limping on Sunday 26 odd miles or 42.2 kilometers at about 6 miles an hour this Sunday (April 22nd). I will be waring for those of you who I hope might come and cheer me on, a yellow vest, blue and yellow shorts, blue headÄ band and assorted bandages. To save myself from the dreaded joggers nipple, I will be waring elastoplast, this means, even after the torture of the run, I then have the pain of pulling the plasters off.
I believe I am (as my card is red) starting from the red start, (Greenwich), later found out that in fact, I was starting from the blue start at Blackheath. If ??? I complete the course, I hope in around four and a half hours, I will be raising between 600 - 1000 pounds for the "Special Care Baby Unit" at Eastbourne Hospital.
The manual says for the last couple of days before a marathon one should rest, so there I was on Friday on my way up to London to register, standing up for 2 hours on train and tube, some rest.
At Jubilee Gardens I duly registered received my number then went to look round the exhibition that was set up. I picked up my tickets for the Pasta Party, and free train tickets for Sunday, received free samples of Spa (just to get used to it). Had my feet measured, body fat checked, met Eamon Martin, Ron Hill and Charlie Spedding, then left for another long journey home.
Saturday saw the trip repeated as the whole family set of to my parents in Barnet, complete with banners, my son having made one saying "Hurry up Dad, we forgot to put the cat out". Arrived after a long journey (more rest !!) with an hour to spare before my wife and I headed back into to London for the Pasta Party. Once we finally got in this was o.k. receiving our free plate of Pasta, this was helped by a McDonalds when we came out, before going back to Barnet for an early night.
Sunday, I was up at 06:00hrs to get to Charing Cross to pick my train up to Blackheath for the start, arrived at the station at 06:50 to catch the 07:15 special train to find even Casey Jones, (probably the worst hamburger in the world) was open, this was filled with fit looking people drinking orange juice, so I had a cup of tea.
As we arrived at Blackheath station it started raining, we then had a 10/15 minutes walk in the rain to the starting point, where we all huddled in tents or queued for the loo. 08:50 and we got into our starting positions for the off, getting drenched for the next 40 minutes before at 09:30 the gun went off and we shot forward two feet, where we waited for the next 7 or 8 minutes before we at the back got moving. It was about half a mile before we got to the start line, and the clock read 10 minutes 4 seconds.
The early going was full of fun and merry banter,, the crowd were great, though many people had to stop of due to excess intake of water, or just nerves, and many trees received a good watering. I found myself with a person from Bath going about my speed, and we ran along together, picking up our water bottles, receiving sweets, oranges etc from the masses of spectators along the way. There were loads of people in costume, we found we kept passing and being passed by a person dressed up as a carrot. I was going very well and hit the 18 mile mark at just over 3 hours, well up on schedule, it was around here I had a puncture in my trainers, and my legs started to go to jelly. Because I was so far ahead of schedule I was able to take the next 5-6 miles very steadily, but was determined to make it. I even managed to get my legs moving again for the last couple of miles, to cross the line in 4hrs 40min 3 seconds, this meant I had completed the course in exactly four and a half hours.
Then came the long walk to receive my much sought after foil blanket, also my medal before the long task of finding the family and getting back home, no easy task when it`s hard to put one leg infront of the other.
Still at least I did it, all be it coming 19651 out of the 24,600 that finished.
All that is left is the task now of collecting my sponsor money, this is now nearly completed and looks like being over £700, thank-you for your support.
Barry Eva Runner No: 16577
© Barry Eva 1998
YOU ARE THE