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Happy with New York; pleased by UKA appointments

Posted by Paula
Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:03 pm
Hi All,

Hope thyat everyone is doing well. Again a bit of a delayed post after New York but we have only just got back home so it is kind of quick for me!!

I was really pleased with the run in New York, especially as I felt sluggish the first few miles into the wind but was happy to pull through that and actually felt stronger as I picked it up in the closing stages. I have also been really happy with the way I have recovered since.

We stayed in the States for 10 days, some in New York, where we showed Isla and Gary's Mum, Sally, who was there for the first time, the sights. Isla's favourite was the huge magic piano in FAO Schwarz that she could run up and down on.

Then we spent time in Portland, Oregon where Nike HQ is. We have lots of friends there so caught up with them, caught up with the shoe design guys and I was invited to present at the Nike Maxim awards which were good fun.

Then we were back in the UK for a week, caught up with my parents and friends, had a lot of physio and general check ups before getting back into training. Then last weekend I was up in Scotland for the Scottish Endurance Conference and Awards dinner. I had a great couple of days, really enjoyed meeting everyone and blew out some cobwebs and got to see how unfit I was when I joined in the squad session.

Then home to Monaco where I learned of Ian Stewart's appointment to to the UKA Endurance post and we had our first meeting of the Endurance Committee. It was very positive and hopefully will work well. In some ways it has gone full circle as Ian was in a similar position back in 1993 when I was breaking into senior teams. I think it is a good appointment as he knows what it takes to achieve at Championships and is also well placed to help british athletes get the races and experience they need. I am a big believer that it is not huge amounts of funding that endurance needs but rather good medical and coaching back up, assistance with training camps and altitude and a return to squad training.

Well did my first hill session back today so feeling a bit stiff and off to bed!

Best Wishes


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Onwards and upwards after Beijing

Posted by Paula
Tue Oct 14, 2008 2:18 pm
Hi All,

First of so many, many apologies for the lack of contact and updates. The way this year has gone I totally got out of the way of doing the updates and days have been spent stressing with physio, cross training and injury treatments! Also Jon has been really busy too so the site has been very neglected and I am very sorry for that. Hopefully it will improve now, Jon has updated the site and made it (supposedly) easier for me to post more regular updates, though I couldn't seem to get in there today! Anyway I'm putting it on like this so hope it works. Isla is taking a nap and I have an afternoon off so am taking the opportunity to write an update.

Thank you so much for all the support through this nightmare year so far. At times it felt that all that could go wrong was doing so, then I would look at Isla and think how ungrateful I was to even think that. Looking back I just think I didn't stand much chance from the time that stress fracture appeared with no warning at the end of April.At the time how things would progress were very unclear and as time passed the goal posts seemed to keep moving because of the seriousness and rarity of the fracture that I had. With all the time off it needed plus what i had already missed with the toe injury I had only had 11 weeks running all year by the day of the race and it certainly showed in my legs. It was very frustrating given how hard we had all worked and unfairly the cross training fitness couldn't count as my legs just couldn't handle the impact.

Anyway enough gloom. Maybe the Olympics just wasn't meant to be for me this year,but I still have another bite at it in me yet. Afterwards we took a break at home in Monaco and went with Isla to the beach everyday. She loved it and is totally fearless in the water and very funny. After 5 days off my calf had settled and i got back into running. it took a short while for my low back to settle back into running twice a day as it had become irritated in Macau but just needed gradual progression and time to get back to normal. Then we came here to the Mountains and got back into just running and enjoying training. We let things happen and found that as the strength and muscles came back into my legs (lots of weights and running up and down the ski slopes) my shape came on well. Thankfully that meant that my huge gamble trying to run in Beijijng didn't cost me the chance to run in New York and race this year at all. I am now so excited and looking forward to Portsmouth and New York.

Most of the work is winding up now, just a few key sessions left to do. We are staying at altitude a little later than normal for the inauguration of an improved running and exercise trail up here. The commune wanted to name it after me as I have done so many laps of it, so we are having a big group run on Saturday before we leave! Font Romeu is working hard to improve all the trails in the build up to 2012 and I support them all the way on this.

We have just had my parents and grandma to stay. Isla has been thoroughly spoilt and my grandma is amazing, running round after her and coping with the altitude aged 90! I really hope I take after her!!

Anyway, sorry again for the negligence and i promise the next update won't be so long, and might even be on the right page!

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Diary Piece, Finally!!

Posted by Paula
Mon Oct 08, 2007 11:22 am
Hi Everyone,

I'm very sorry for the long delay again. I don't know where all my spare time goes, well actually I do, it's playing with Isla!
She is doing very well and fits in and adapts so well to the training and travelling, this is great as it allows me to stick to my normal training and recovery schedule, but I still seem to have less spare time.
The last few weeks have been great for me, finally the injuries seem behind me and I have been able to train well. I came out and raced the Great North Run and was very happy to be racing again. In some ways I felt race rusty and in others it was like I'd never been away. While it was great to be back racing and to blow away some cobwebs I was also disappointed with the race. AS one of the posters noted on another post, I was limping slightly on my left foot after the 1st mile. It wasn't serious, but my left foot has a tendancy to lock up ever since I had a bad stress fracture there in 1994. While adapting back to running more miles it had been doing it a bit more and when I felt it lock going down the hill I knew I was going to struggle a bit. It just meant I couldn't load my left foot as well so causes my left glut and hamstring to work differently and less efficiently. Unfortunately as my fitness level is still coming back up this loss of efficiency left me unable to be more competitive when Kara pushed on so strongly.
I was frustrated and felt lacking a little in leg speed but on the plus side stamina wise I felt ok and time wise it wasn't too bad for a first race back and the race certainly brought me on a bit. Also I had my foot looked at thoroughly on Monday and since then it has settled down and been much better so I am feeling back to normal in my running this week. Realistically I also already had half an eye on a marathon so was carrying a fair amount of training in my legs into the race.
So all in all I felt that the race was a step forward and that given how far I had come in the 5 weeks leading into it I could certainly come on a whole lot more in the 5 weeks between the GNR and New York. This made my next step decision easy!
New York is a place that has always been special to me and I have always loved racing there and raced well. It seems a natural place to get back to marathons and given how much I have missed racing I didn't want to wait any longer than I have to. In some ways it seems ages since I raced but then in others it seems no time since we were in New York last year with me and bump watching Gary make his debut! I remember thinking then that it would be great to be back there racing this year. It is a very strong field and will be a tough race but I am looking forward to it and have always found that a harder challenge brings out the best in me.
In truth I never thought it would be this long before I was back racing but did plan that time in as I knew coming back after a baby can be a bumpy road. Isla is so much worth it and what is important now is that I build up steadliy and be at my best in Beijing.
As for Isla updates - she loved being the centre of attenton in Newcastle, is still sleeping great and eating well. She's very active and curious, constantly on the move and exploring. Crawling and cruising everywhere and walking holding adult hands but not on her own yet. No teeth yet although they are certainly on their way!

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Hi Everyone, Diary.

Posted by Paula
Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:45 pm
Hi Everyone, well finally I get to sit down and write a diary update. It seems everytime I have meant to sit down and do it I haven't found enough time in the day.
Isla is 11 weeks old tomorrow and the time has just flown by. She seems to grow and develop more each day and has really become her own strong character. She has now well and truly found her voice and smiles and can laugh out loud and roll over. Its amazing how much fun you can have just playing on the mat with her! She is so alert and observant too she seems to watch and take everything in and loves copying Mummy while I do my core and ab exercises.
She sleeps great too having pretty much gone through the nights since 6 weeks, though we are trying to teach her that 6.30 some mornings isn't really morning time! This has really helped me in getting back into full training and we both have an afternoon nap together.
Training went really well for the first 3 weeks or so out here with me back into full training although being careful to stay on soft surfaces and do grass sessions as well as replacing some recovery runs with cross training. However then I picked up a glut muscle strain, probably because I had trained a hard week and was tired from running and overbalanced a little on my lunge exercises. However a scan showed a little bone bruising around my sacrum so I have had to back off a few weeks back into cross training to allow the bone time to catch up with the training load and not risk over stressing the sacrum, especially after the ligaments can still be lax after the pregnancy.
So although disappointed as I was loving exploring the trails here in Boulder at least I can maintain fitness in the pool or gym and Isla is always here to cheer me up with a big smile when I get back, and I will be back running in no time now.
We are really liking Boulder, everyone here is really nice and the trails are great to run on, plus we are staying near some grass fields which are great for shorter runs and sessions. My Mum was out for a few weeks and now Gary's Mum is here so as well as helping us a lot it has given Isla a chance to get to know her grannys.
On other notes well done to everyone who raced in Mombasa, the conditions sounded horrific but the british teams generally did great, especially Mo. The way that the conditions affected and hit everyone, even the Ethiopians showed that thorough preparation and mental attitude are really key to performance at the top level no matter where you come from. Whether is was a good idea to hold the World Cross there remains to be seen and I hope it hasn't affected the future of the event.
Also congratulations to Liz yelling on a great run and pb in Bath, things are looking great for her going into the Flora London Marathon. Though i would love to be racing there it is still going to be a great race to watch and although I have no plans yet I am looking forward to my racing return not being too far away now.
I will try and post a few pictures of Isla as soon as I figure out how!

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A big thank you all from me.

Posted by Paula
Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:17 am
Hi Everyone,

Sorry it's taken me a week but I want to say a very big thank you from us to everyone for all your best wishes.
Isla is just perfect (of course we are biased) and we are so happy. That she finally arrived on the 17th makes her even more special in our family. This explains the slight delay on the name announcement. We had choices for first name and wanted to see which fitted her best, when we saw her Isla fitted perfectly. She's a calm baby but also extremely alert and curious about everyting that moves her big eyes following everything that goes on when she's awake. However when she arrived on the 17th we decided her middle name should be Olivia after my grandmother who started the whole lucky 17 thing. (born 17 Dec 1917, married and both children born on 17th and me on her birthday, now second great granddaughter born on the 17th!). Grandma is also a wonderful strong, positive person and we would be delighted if she takes after her.
Well Isla took her time arriving and we thought it might never happen but she is well worth the long wait and long labour! She is feeding and sleeping very well and growing fast.
I'm doing great, amazing better than I thought I'd be on less sleep than usual. Walking around lots, she loves her bugaboo pram and has been out lots. Must say its a lot easier pushing her than carrying her inside so that all bodes well when I'm back running. Maybe another week before I think about training though!
Thanks again everyone. Very Happy

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Thank you all.

Posted by Paula
Sun Dec 17, 2006 2:44 pm
Hi Everyone,

Thank you so much for all your kind thoughts and wishes.
I've had a busy birthday so far as I've also had a photoshoot on my pregnancy for Vogue US to do. It's been really good fun but a little cold so I'm happy now to be warming up again indoors. Otherwise all going well and looking forward to updating you all on baby news as soon as it happens!
Happy Christmas Everyone.

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A Big Thankyou

Posted by Paula
Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:43 pm
Hi Everyone.

By now maybe some of you have already heard but I have some very good news to announce.
Gary and I are very pleased and excited to announce that we are expecting our first child at the beginning of January. We had the first trimester scan last week and it was amazing to see the baby moving around and kicking its legs. We feel very lucky and also that now is perfect timing for long term goals in Beijing and onwards to London 2012. With my foot injury this year it was only reinforced to me that I am a long way from wanting to retire competitively but at the same time feel ready to start a family so we had to fit it in somewhere along the line!
At the moment I am still running twice a day ,doing workouts and feeling fine - but obviously this does mean that I will not be racing competitively for the rest of this year. However I fully believe that I will be back stronger than ever next year. Having a family has always been an important goal for us and most important now is that the baby is strong and healthy. Being happy always translates well to my running and I will be refreshed and recharged after the break too. I also know that I will miss racing so will be eager to get back to it with my new number one supporter watching on! Once again thank you all for your support and messages
Anyway more updates to follow as I learn how I have to adapt my training as my belly gets bigger!
Love Paula

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Happy Christmas Everyone

Posted by Paula
Sat Dec 24, 2005 9:46 pm
Hi Everyone,
Just wanted to come on and say hi to everyone and to wish you all a very Happy Christmas. I am going to be in the UK for Christmas and will spend it with my family so I am really looking forward to that. For New Year I am going to be in Madrid as I am racing there in the 10k San Silvestre race . I'm really looking forward to the race, I am feeling so much better than I was a while ago. In fact it is only really now that I realise how bad that I did feel. Feeling bad became normal when I was ill, especially as it lasted for 6 weeks all in all.
Anyway - have a great time !!!
Lots of Love

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Thanks Everbody

Posted by Paula
Mon Dec 19, 2005 6:02 pm
Hi Everyone,
Just to say a big thank you for all of the birthday messages and cards that I received. I hope everyone is looking forward to Christmas - I'll be back on again soon to let you know what i have been up to and what I am up to over Christmas and New year.
Thanks again

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Thank you everybody

Posted by Paula
Mon May 09, 2005 10:28 pm
Everybody, just wanted to say a quick hi and thank you to everyone on the site . I have been having a break but have also been doing quite a bit of travelling and mostly have not had internet access to be able to sit down a do anything constructive in the time that I have been online. I have been reading the guest book and the message board which I really enjoy and hopefully I will have a diary entry up in the next few days.
Again, I really appreciate the support - you guys really make this site what it is . I would also like to do a live chat if we can make it work.

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