After my 10k run in Lancaster I returned home to a phone call from a reporter from The News and Star (Carlisle’s local paper) (http://www.newsandstar.co.uk). Apparently I had a won a free gym membership and 10 weeks of personal training sessions for a competition I entered at the start of the year. (Albeit a competition I don’t remember entering but I guess I must’ve done.)
This was just the kick up the backside I needed in my opinion. At the start of April I weighed in at 12stone and 6pounds. I’m under the impression that my ideal weight for my height and build is more towards 11 ½ stone which was a figure I’d struggled to get back to for the last year and a bit.
After a few weeks I’d heard nothing from The Sands Centre (http://www.thesandscentre.co.uk) and when they did contact me it turned out that the trainer they had allocated me was now on leave for a bit so they had to find someone else.
Once a trainer had been allocated my first session was in place for 24th April. I’d managed a 6 mile run on Sunday 22nd April which was my first since the run in Lancaster as work and other priorities had meant that I couldn’t get out running before then. I felt relatively fit and was looking forward to my session with my Personal Trainer, Stu Windsor.
I was a little apprehensive when I arrived for my first session as I wasn’t sure what would be taking place. Once he’d introduced himself and had a little chat with me about what I wanted to get out of the sessions I felt like this was exactly what I needed. The first session entailed mostly of gauging where I was at fitness wise and what needed to be worked on. I knew going into it that my upper body strength was next to none and that was something I wanted to build up (plus it would help when my son wanted carried around town). So after a session on the rowing machine, the elliptical machine and the treadmill it was evident that although I was relatively fit my core, upper body strength and speed could be better. My trainer was confident that if I listened to him and followed the training that we would get there. I mean we had to really, I had The Great Manchester run four weeks from that first session and I needed to be fit as I had an axe to grind with that run and I wanted to make it my bitch.
Over the next two weeks it was mainly core/abs work and a session of hill training. Then it was a lot of interval training on the treadmill to build up my speed. I was running 200 metres slow then 200 metres fast and so on for 4k. I felt good, in just over two weeks I’d dropped six pound. I was close to being under 12 stone for the first time in a year and a bit and I was determined to get to my goal of 11 ½ stone. But more than that I wanted to run a 10k in sub 50 minutes and I felt I had the legs to do it, I was getting faster and as the weight was coming off my lung capacity was improving. My lungs were further improved by a switch of asthma medication which meant that I could now go without taking my reliever inhaler (something I’d never been able to do in all my years of having asthma). Things were certainly looking up fitness wise and all the preparation for Manchester had gone well now it was just a case of turning up and owning that race.