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March Update

Sweating in Thailand. Cuddly toy colons.

Hello friends,
Sorry this "end of Feb" email is so late and is actually now an end of March update.  My training has been a bit of a roller coaster ride and at the end of Feb I didn't feel I had anything positive to write about.

I started to lose weight, only a couple of kg but seeing as I was still down on my pre-surgery weight I didn’t want to lose any weight at all!  Thankfully, I’ve started stuffing my face at every opportunity and I’ve managed to put those couple of kg back on.

If you've read my sponsor page, you'll remember that my Physio described me as "biomechanically unqualified" to run a marathon. She was proving to be right. Every time I ran my knees were super sore.  After a 6 mile run I wouldn't be able to walk without pain for another 2 or 3 days.  Rubbish.  In fact, after a run, I was so slow going up and down the stairs in tube stations that people were walking into me and tutting!

Weeks of intermittent runs, daily strengthening exercises and daily stretching have allowed me some optimism though. I've now run a longest distance of 16.5 miles which took me just over three hours and I've also knocked four minutes off my post-surgery 10k personal best.  My knee pain, as long as I stretch both before and after runs, seems manageable.

Despite these achievements, I haven't yet run a suitably long training run (20 miles) and my experienced marathon runner friends are now giving me two options.
1) explore a run/walk strategy eg run two miles and walk one or 
2) defer til 2016.

It's a difficult decision. I'm starting to enjoy the exercise and I think perhaps a 10k once a week might be something I do for fitness after the marathon but I'm not so keen on running these long distances again. The absence of my colon (large intestine) means food passes through me quicker than for a normal person as I have 1.5 metres less pipe than you do.  I am jealous of everyone who can carb load as I struggle to keep my energy levels high when exercising for long periods.  Hence, I'm keen to "enjoy" my only marathon in 2015 rather than savour the anticipation of running it in 2016.  I’m still hopeful of running the whole way but I don’t have to make this decision for another couple of weeks.  Hmmm.

Some photos:
1) Last week’s holiday in Thailand - running to the North point of Koh Samui in 25degC+ heat and stupidly high humidity. Suns out, guns out.
2) Rehydrating (in the hotel swimming pool shower) after another 6 mile run on Koh Samui.

3) My mum and I. With our (cuddly toy) colons.

Feel free to share this email with others.

Thank you again for your support, it means a lot.

Brian

PS I’m running the Kingston Half-marathon as race training this Sunday.  Wish me luck!

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