Monday, February 18, 2019

RunEveryDay

Firstly, apologies for my delay in posting, I have had a really busy couple of weeks, which included my daughter Dotty’s 2nd Birthday. When it comes down to training or writing about training, the training has to come first. It is one of those things in life that I just can’t delegate I have to do the training myself.

As the title of this post states RunEveryDay you may have noticed that I am running a lot, which is mainly down to my upcoming marathon but it’s also due to my Runstreak and No, this does not involve running naked through any public places. The official definition of a running streak is to run at least 1 Mile (1.61 Km) within each calendar day. Today I completed my 110th day of running. I was also surprised on Saturday with this lovely t-shirt from up and running that Liz and Tony bought for me, so I guess I won’t be stopping my RunStreak any time soon.

Back to Parish training, I have been putting in a few mile over the last couple of weeks, concentrating on shorter walks at pace, as my legs are starting to feel the effects of the ever increasing distance in my marathon plan.
I have scheduled an 18 Mile walk on Friday night, with some friends. We will be walking from Ramsey, Parish Walk Route to Onchan. I like this section of the walk, and it’s a regular route in my training. now I find it almost easier and shorter on the day as I know it so well But it hasn’t always been the case. Rewind to my 2008 parish walk attempt when I retired at Laxey, officially Maughold as I refused to continue to Lonan Church. My heavily pregnant sister got out of the car to try and help me as I was sitting on a wall at the side of the road, when I quickly moved to sit in her seat in the car, the next thing I know I am waking up outside my friend’s house in daylight. I said to our Marie wasn’t it dark when I stopped she kind of laughed and said that it had been, and for the last few hours they had been trying to wake me to get me out of the car so she could go home to Port Erin .. Sorry Marie.

In 2008 I was really surprised how quickly I went downhill, I had walked for around 70 miles feeling great, no bad patches but when I hit the wall, I hit it hard. There is only one word to describe how I felt after my second attempt and that was Gutted, I had really wanted to finish. I spent the following 12 months thinking of little else apart from completing the full 85 Miles.

I learnt in 2008 that if my support were to see me struggling, under no circumstances should they stop the car, let alone get out of it leaving doors opened or unlocked, so for my 2009 attempt I prepped my support that if I looked like I wanted to stop they were to drive on a mile and see how I felt then.
124 days to go

Monday, February 4, 2019

A week of celebrations

We had lots of celebrations with Lee’s Birthday and my 50th parkrun!

This week saw my earliest ever training walk on Tuesday, Lee and I set off at 5.20am to get 10 miles in before breakfast. Neither of us are morning people so it was a very quiet walk I don’t think we even spoke a word to each other till the half way point. This could of have been a bonus for Lee having a bit of peace and quiet. Overall I wouldn’t say I enjoyed it, but I was definitely glad I got it done.

Wednesday was long run day! It was also the coldest night of the year so far. 16 miles I set off from Douglas and Craig set off from Onchan, we met somewhere in the middle. It was really cold out, I had forgotten my gloves and energy gels, I thought I would be fine but I was wrong, just after we met Kathy at the 7 mile mark I started flagging she said she could tell I wasn’t right as I wasn’t talking. At around the same time Craig had started suffering with stomach problems, which he said was from the gels. Craig had a spare energy gel that he wasn’t using so he kindly let me have it, within a few minutes, of taking it I felt great! And carried on happily. At around 10 miles the temperature seemed to drop again, I asked Kathy if it was possible for my fingers to drop off in the cold, she laughed and said she often wondered this about her ears. Thankfully none of my fingers did actually fall off and I survived the distance in a good pace, but I learnt I need to refuel better on these longer ones.

Saturday saw me and Kathy run our 50th parkrun, it was lovely we had cakes and prosecco at the finish line. I was very proud that my eldest daughter Caitlin ran with us on her first ever parkrun. Kathy and I met at the first parkrun practice run so it was great that we hit the milestone together.

Sunday nights have become our main group walk night, Liz had chosen the distance of 16 Miles. We were lucky with the weather, that was until 13 miles, when I said “we have been so lucky with the weather today” and it pretty much turned immediately to the wind in our faces and rain belting down on us. It could have been worse and reminded me of the parish walk I 2008 (I think) when it rained pretty much the whole day.

138 days to go..

Monday, January 28, 2019

Cold, wet and windy...

This week all has gone to plan, I have had a good weeks training. The week began with a 10 Mile walk in Ramsey with Lee. Just as we got out of the car there was a down pour of hailstones so I jumped back in the car and waited for it to pass, and thankfully it did as quickly as it had started. We walked from Ramsey out on the Bride Road, turning just before Bride to head into Andreas, following the Andreas Road back in to Ramsey. I really enjoy walking different routes, it makes it a bit more interesting than my normal Douglas and Onchan routes.

The temperatures dropped during the week, and we all woke to lots of ice and frost on Wednesday morning, and I’m sure I wasn’t alone when I looked out the window praying it would clear up quickly so I could get out later in the day.

For the rest of the week I mainly ran, with the marathon coming up it’s important I get my legs used to running long distances. I find running over winter helps keep my fitness up, with colder weather running is quicker so I am also out for less time. Running to me is very different to walking, with running I have to increase my distance very slowly. I am currently following a marathon training plan that will sees me running up to 21 miles, which is only 5 shorter than the distance on the day. There is no way I would ever walk even half of the parish distance in a training walk, let alone 80 miles.

My long run was 15 Miles. I set off with my lovely friend Kathy at 7am on Saturday morning from the Grandstand. We did a 12 mile loop out to Crosby which conveniently ended at the start Line for parkrun, just before 9am. It would have been rude not to complete the full distance incorporating a little parkrun. Then we headed straight down to the New Noa Bakehouse to meet Lee and the girls for a well-deserved breakfast, which was lovely.

Sunday saw some awful winds and I found it hard to force myself out, Lee suggested taking the girls to Costa, so I thought it was a good opportunity for me to get a 3 Mile run in, by running down to meet them ahead of my planned 13 Mile walk that evening. By the time we started our walk at 7pm the wind had completely dropped, but it was bitterly cold. The 7 of us headed out from my house down Little Mill Road and back down through Onchan following Harbour Road down to King Edward Road. There was a loop through old Lonan before we climbed up Ballagawne Road coming back down Begoade Rd, where we enjoyed the lovely downhill section to white bridge. (Picture below of us at the end).

This week I have so much on, so it is going to be a challenge to get all my training in, but I will give it a good go!

Stay safe in the cold snap, only 145 days to go

Thursday, January 24, 2019

And so it begins..

My entry is in, is yours? it’s only £30 entry up to the 31st January, or £25 if you are a Manx Telecom mobile customer!

I took a little break from walking since October, and had been struggling with motivation to get back to it. I put this down to my experience in the African Centurion. Whilst it was a great event, I didn’t enjoy it, It was so hot, I was very sick and the course itself was very repetitive. So after I returned in October, I switched to running. I plan to run a Marathon in April, so I have been focusing my efforts into training for it, a change is as good as a rest.

I have a few friends who are entering this year, some for the first time and some who plan on their first finish. They have formed a group, to encourage each other and arrange to meet up for training walks so this was a great way to start to get my love for walking back. I have really enjoyed walking with them, getting some fresh air and having a good chat, it’s so much easier to get out if you have people to train with. Long distance walking can be very lonely.

After a couple of group walks I felt ready to get back to my own training, so Lee and I did our first training walk of the year on the 14th of January, It involved a 10 mile loop of the famous Ballakillowey and Sloc. (Ballakillowey is much tougher than the Sloc!). With having young children it can be hard to fit training in, so we try to do it all with minimum interruptions to our family time which means lots of late nights or early mornings while the little ones are sleeping. We eventually started at 8pm, it was dark and cold out, but we soon warmed up. I was pleased to see that I hadn’t forgotten how to walk and still managed it in a very respectable 1 hour 56 Minutes not a bad start to the year.

Only 149 Days to go!

The photo below was taken by Caitlin during the 100 Miles in South Africa.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Introduction

My name is Bernie Johnson, I am 36 years old, I live in Onchan. I am a wife to Lee, a Mum to Caitlin (17), Lola (5) and Dotty (1). I work, I walk, I run, and I drink a lot of Prosecco.

I am writing this blog because Jock asked me too, only joking it's to share with you my training, the highs the lows, along with some tips for walkers and supporters that I have picked up along the way. I hope that within my posts they are in some way helpful to others in their Parish goal whatever it may be.

I have a fair bit of experience with the parish walk itself.. I first stood on the start line in 2007, apprehensive about the road ahead. At this time both my Dad and little sister Lou had taken part in the Parish, with Lou holding the “Ball” family title, getting the furthest by reaching Kirk Michael. So my plan was simple all I had to do was just beat my little sister! I did take the family title by reaching Bride, and I learnt the biggest lesson in the history of my walking Vaseline, why did nobody tell me about the vaseline sooner?

I have been on the parish walk start line 9 times, crossed the finish line 6 times, and supported once. I learnt you are either a walker or a supporter and I am a far better walker than I am a supporter.

Outside of the parish I am also a UK Centurion (C1080), Continental Centurion (CC438) and South African Centurion (C35). A centurion is "an amateur athlete, who has walked 100 miles within 24 hours in judged condition.


If there is anything you would like to ask me or for me to include in the Blog, just drop me an email and Ii will do my best to include it.


151 days to go!

RunEveryDay

Firstly, apologies for my delay in posting, I have had a really busy couple of weeks, which included my daughter Dotty’s 2nd Birthday. When...