For 2012 | A Year of Running for the British Heart Foundation

Last year I ran for the Alzheimer’s Society in the Bupa Great Birmingham Run with a target of 200 hundred pounds, I ended up raising over 400 pounds and won an autograph from the legend that is Haile Gebrselassie. It was a great introduction to the world of half marathons and the fantastic people who run alongside and cheer people on the route, it is friendliness that I have never experienced before and I love every second of it.

In 2012, I will be running for the British Heart Foundation in an ever growing series of runs. I am hoping that over the year I will raise over 500 pounds for the BHF Hope Tank project and hopefully help in the many heart problems that plague my family and many families like us. It is a brilliant cause and I look forward to it motivating me throughout the year and get a new PB in Birmingham this October.

I am hoping to get a new mini video camera that I can capture some of my runs and training to show progress over the year. My website will keep track of my progress and the expected niggles that go on with it. I will create a poster for my fundraising effort in the coming months that will inform and no doubt delight you.

I have set up a new JustGiving page that will see me through the year, you can visit it here –

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Bupa Great Birmingham Run 2011 – Report

My first half marathon, my second only race, the 2011 Bupa Great Birmingham Run (Half Marathon) was a challenge. I struggled at around 8 miles for the rest of the run but I shall talk about that in a minute, previous to that it was the greatest and hardest experience of my life. I loved every second of it though.

Starting with 15,000 people there was a buzz, doing the communal warm-ups before we were called to the front, through a squeezing barrier and then we were off. Running down part of Broadstreet, through the back of the bull ring, into Digbeth and out onto the Pershore road. This was one long road, lots of lovely noise provided by bands until we got to chocolate production heaven that is Cadbury on the other side. Round Bournville which looked for all intense and purpose like the whole suburb had come out to the support us runners (I love Bournville) at this point I was overtaken by two people dressed as elvis which was a little shock. Down from Bournville back on to the Pershore road, passed the halfway stage. This was all fine, I was in a rhythm and then a massive stabbing pain at mile 8 hit me I ground to a halt.

My chest had a massive stabbing pain across it, I decided it was best to walk and see whats what, eventually it subsided and I could run about 400metres without it hurting then I would have to stop. I had to the do this until the very end of the race. Until I got to the last mile and then I decided to just run the whole lot, by the end I was in agony, I was crying with pain my chest was hurting so much but I got through it and I felt better for it (Once I had recovered!.)

I will be back next year, fit and healthy! (hopefully.)

From my target of £200 – I have reached nearly £390 for the Alzheimer’s Society and I am overwhelmed by the amount.  Thank you to everyone! I would like to make it £400 just to round it off nicely – please donate:

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Ice. The Methods.

As stated in my previous post, I am using the RICE method to control my knee post running. A vital part of this is the use of Ice. The use of ice reduces any bleeding in the tissue, prevent/reduce the swelling, reduce pain and numbing the area down. This all leads to reducing the stiffness in the knee and reduce the inflammation,

There are several methods of ice at the minute I am using the cheapskate method, peas. Everyone has a pack of these in the fridge, they are inexpensive and do mould slightly to your knee. There are a few disadvantages however, they do not keep cold for long and if open can lead to spillage of green peas on your new sofa!

There are more expensive methods that I will buy in t0 soon. Ice gel packs that mould around the knee and keep cold for a long period of time or an ice knee wrap at gives much more contact to the affected area. I shall review these new items when purchased.

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Running Slower. A Pride Thing?

Since my knee injury I have told myself to run slower, build up gradually and make sure I don’t injure myself again.

I have put into place the RICE method of recovery which is as follow, this has kept away any inflammation that has arisen:


Rest is a key part of repair. Without rest, continual strain is placed on the area, leading to increased inflammation, pain, and possible further injury. Also, most soft tissue injuries will take far longer to heal. There is also a risk of abnormal repair or chronic inflammation resulting from a failure to rest. In general, the rest should be until the patient is able to use the limb with the majority of function restored and pain essentially gone.


Ice is excellent at reducing the inflammatory response and the pain from heat generated[citation needed]. Proper usage of ice can reduce the destruction over-response which can result from inflammation. A good method is ice 20 minutes of each hour. Other recommendations are an alternation of ice and no-ice for 15–20 minutes each, for a 24–48 hour period.[5] To prevent localised ischemia or frostbite to the skin, it is recommended that the ice be placed within a towel before wrapping around the area.

Exceeding the recommended time for ice application may be detrimental, as blood flow will be too reduced to allow nutrient delivery and waste removal.


Compression aims to reduce the edematous swelling that results from the inflammatory process. Although some swelling is inevitable, too much swelling results in significant loss of function, excessive pain and eventual slowing of blood flow through vessel restriction.

An elastic bandage, rather than a firm plastic bandage (such as zinc-oxide tape) is required. Usage of a tight, non-elastic bandage will result in reduction of adequate blood flow, potentially causing ischemia. The fit should be snug so as to not move freely, but still allow expansion for when muscles contract and fill with blood.


Elevation aims to reduce swelling by increasing venous return of blood to the systemic circulation. This will not only result in less edema, but also aid in waste product removal from the area.

But running slower, this is something that I have found hard. I have tried consciously to slow down my pace, starting fast and then trying to slow down whilst running. Yet when I look at GPS data I am going faster than when I was fully fit. I will have to see how it goes.

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Alzheimer’s Society Running Top

Yesterday I received my Alzheimer’s Society running top for the race in October. The Alzheimer’s Society is the lead charity for Bupa Great Runs in 2011 so the shirt is covered in Bupa branding which is pretty nice.

Please donate to the Alzheimer’s Society for the Bupa Great Birmingham Run (Half Marathon) 2011 –​-Hetherington

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