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by Val Baxter

March 30, 2014

Coping with the (blood) pressure…

Don’t know what has changed since last week. I have raised my game considerably following the downer I was experiencing last week. Last Sunday’s run was awful, but I have a very good ‘back room team’, some good advice and encouragement and yes I am back up and at ’em. Mo Farah had better watch out cos I just about have my mind fixed!

Sunday was my 20 miler, already mentioned in last week’s tale, but that was awful. However, following a stern telling to man up and sort myself out, I had a decent week this week. As a grown up (really?) you tend to know who and what to listen to.

On Sunday evening, I took a call from Keith Robertshaw. Keith is one of my oracles, he is one of the two reassuring influences I have. Keith told me of Ian Bloomfield, the other major influence in my preparation, had run sub 59 minutes for 10 miles at Thirsk.

 You know, everybody needs a hero/role model to look up to for inspiration when facing a challenge; it’s a fact doesn’t matter how old you are, it is always good to know someone who has done it before you. That was amazing, but after that a stern talking to about my diet; no good seeking advice unless you take notice!!

Following Sunday I did 9 1/2 on Monday, a steady sevenish with Chris Blyth…just managed to work his way into the diary 😉  Wednesday was just 5ish but that was an improvement in itself, the fact I am back doing my midweek runs again and feeling good.  I did 5 1/2 miles in a decent pace, then Thursday was a good paced 7 miles with Ruth.  I enjoyed that run, we really worked hard, but I am aching in the upper quads still from that run.

I was at the doctors on Tuesday, partly the health check to make sure this run isn’t going to kill me. That may sound bizarre, but I really believe that you should make sure that you are healthy enough for a 26 and a bit mile run, as well as training to make sure you are fit enough. Adrian has a leaking valve in his heart, I just needed to know that my heart was healthy and could shoulder the load that will be exerted on it. The doctor took my blood pressure which I thought would have been low, but it was actually high, at 138/92 I am told not to worry about that however I was booked in for another appointment.  

I returned Thursday, had an ECG and then the nasty woman stuck a needle in my arm and took some bloods, about an armful!!! The ECG was fine and confirmed my healthy heart, and heart rate of 47, I have to go back on Wednesday to get the results of my blood test. I feel much better for the reassurance, however still don’t feel 100%. The doctor did however confirm my suspicions and what a lot of people have been telling me; I am just not eating enough!! The Garmin said that I burn off almost 2400 calories on a 20 mile run, and the doctor does say that is  just about a days worth for the normal sedentary adult. So, I need to be eating nigh on 5000 calories on those days!

That is almost impossible for me with my little tummy. Ian however has advised me the sort of things to eat and avoid in the lead up, and as I only have two weeks to go, it should be manageable, it just means Linda is going to have to start feeding me the same volumes as her second and third favourite men (Mark and Adrian…I am obviously her favourite)  They said it wouldn’t be easy, but they didn’t say how expensive it would be.

I had my routine massage on Friday lunchtime, that has been a very important part of my preparation each week. Ian was round on Friday, and gave me the motivational pep talk, it is really good and interesting  listening to him. Generally after his talks I feel like I could actually win the race. Seriously, he does settle you and give you self belief. Ian knows a lot of people and can share a wealth of experience, and does so very willingly.

 You may notice that there is no mention of a long run this weekend. Last night we had a house party, potatoes and chicken were on Ian’s list of what I should eat that box was ticked. Also I think I had  my 5000 calories for the day in the form of red wine and tiramisu, but having lost an hour, I  didn’t manage to rise this morning.  My run will be either tea time tonight, or tomorrow but whatever happens, I will be doing it, can’t afford not to this close to the big day.

Cannot seem to get away from it anyway cos people keep texting me to make sure I am doing the right thing. I do appreciate that I must say, seriously, it is nice people are interested and care enough to support me.Right…going to get changed; I have a run to go and do!!!



Posted in Diary entry 4 years ago Permalink


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