Positivity, Running, Training

A tough decision…or not

11 days to go until the marathon!

This weekend was pretty busy for me – I had a full day of work on Saturday then walked 10 miles with my dad on Sunday.  That meant no time for the official ‘make or break’ long run, which got shifted to Monday instead.

I intended to do 21 miles on Monday and managed 19, so I’ve still not broken the magic 20 but I am getting closer to the distance.  I also averaged a pace that would get me in under 5 hours, the magic number for me.

The first 10 miles were pretty good.  After they were finished, I looped home and restocked on water and took a gel.  The next 5 miles were HARD.  Back home again, water, gel.  The last 4 miles were rubbish and I was run-walking and thinking ‘what on earth am I doing?’

At that point, I made a decision in my head.  I would drop out of the marathon, and that would mean the holiday we plan to take on October 13th could move forward a couple of days and we could have a much nicer break.  Decision made, I felt lighter.  When I got home, I found that the husband couldn’t go on holiday until the 13th anyway, so the marathon is back on the table.

I can decide right up until that morning whether I’m going to do it or not.  I know I probably can do it (slowly) but I’m not sure if I want to do it, and that’s been the whole issue this year with hindsight.  Will I do it? Probably 🙂  Then standby for the world’s whiniest race review.

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Running, Training

The Yorkshire Marathon…it’s getting close!

Not next Sunday, or the Sunday after, but the Sunday after that I’ll be stood…waiting…nervous…on the start line of the Yorkshire Marathon.

It looks like the husband won’t be able to join me this year due to an injured calf.  The therapist did suggest he could rest and then make the marathon his first run for 3 weeks, but that’s not comfortable position for a first-time (or any time) marathoner to be in.

Last week I was in Italy having a lovely time, eating cheese and sausage and drinking prosecco while not even thinking about running.  When I got back on Sunday I did 15.5 miles, that’s 8 laps of the service road on York racecourse!

If I’d trained better this year I’d be thinking about tapering now but I’ve still not broken the magic 20 mile mark that will be so important for the my confidence on the day.  It doesn’t help that this year has coincided with a very busy time for me at work so even this weekend I have no time for a long run.

The plan is:

  • Long run Monday (break 20 miles!)
  • Then start to taper.

I’ll keep doing between 9 and13 mile runs between now and the big day after that, pray for cool weather on the day and wish myself luck.  Honestly, I’ll be glad when it’s over 🙂

Happy running this week!

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Marathon tips, Running, Training

Getting there – 16 miles done!

The one thing I need to give me marathon confidence is distance.  The one thing I’ve really failed at this year? Yep you guessed it.

This weekend I knew time was running out and I had to get some big miles done.  Slightly hampered by two things – one, a wedding the day before, and two, a big chunk of my normal running route shut because of a SkyRide.  Thanks Sky!

Rather than try and work out a new long crazy route I went for a boring mental challenge instead.  I ran to the race course (2ish miles) then did 6 laps of the service road (also 2ish miles per lap) before running home.  It was pretty dull but at least I knew where I was going and I saw lots of nice dogs.   I chose an audio book rather than music and it worked quite nicely.

When I got home, I had 16.25 miles in the bag.  Hooray! I took one bottle of water and one caffeine gel and there were some walk breaks, but I’m expecting to have some walk breaks on the marathon so I’m not too stressed about that.  As long as they’re managed and structured rather than an elaborate collapse I’m happy.

I find thirst and carrying enough water a massive problem on long runs – to the point where I’m looking at other people with drinks and wondering if they’d mind if I asked them for just a little sip? The husband suggested next week I drive to the race course and load up the car with water and snacks so I can keep replenishing when I run out.  Sounds like a plan to me!

Marathon training…plus picnic breaks 🙂

I’m off to Italy for a few days now so no training AGAIN, but next weekend I plan to do 20+ miles.  That’s a lot of racecourse laps!

Happy running this week.

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Running, Training

Oh hai!

In 2013 I ran the first York marathon.  It was my first marathon too.  After the marathon, I made some ambitious promises.  Of course I’d keep running regularly.  Of course I’d keep blogging, why wouldn’t I?

So, 7 months since my last post, here we are.  I haven’t been running regularly and I certainly haven’t been blogging.  In 2014 I’ve done Leeds and Sheffield Half Marathon in average times (for me) and some training runs, but nothing I’d describe as structured training.

But then (but then…..) dun dun duunnn…there was a little note in my diary on June 22nd that said ‘start marathon training’.

Yep, not only did I enter York again, it’s in just 4 months time.

So, running resumes and regular blogging resumes – every Wednesday, I promise.

This year I’m following the Women’s Running Improver Marathon Plan.  It’s 4 months compared to the 6 month plan I followed last year and comes recommended by a runner I respect who blogs here.  The plan will give me plenty of time to cross train (I’ve kept up the weights and am doing regular spin classes) and I hope to avoid the overuse pains I developed towards the end of my training last year.

I was thwarted on my first training run by the railway tunnel closure on Hob Moor (thanks, running gods!) but things can only improve from here.

See you on the streets.

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Running, Training

Week 24 training

Last week was my final taper week leading up to the marathon on Sunday.  I’ll put a review of the race up on Thursday, but I finished in 4.57.54 – just inside my 5 hour target!

Here’s how my final week of training looked:

  • Monday: jog 20 – 10 minutes to the gym, 1 hour weights (legs), 10 minutes home
  • Tuesday: rest
  • Wednesday: run 55 minutes
  • Thursday: 20 minutes walking and 1 hour 15 yoga
  • Friday: jog 20 – 10 minutes to the gym, 1 hour weights (upper body), 10 minutes home
  • Saturday: rest
  • Sunday: the Yorkshire Marathon!

The only note I’d add about my training was with hindsight I would have taken it a bit easier on Thursday and Friday.  I had some upper body muscle soreness on Sunday, I don’t think it affected my running much but it wasn’t a great way to start!

This week I shall mostly be taking it easy and eating some bad food, before I reassess my goals and decide what to train for next 🙂

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Attitude, Kit, Running, Training

The final furlong

York Marathon are being very good about emailing me EVERY day to remind me how many days there are left to go now…like I can forget!

In 3 days time, I should be coming towards the last few miles of my first ever marathon.  This week has been more tapering and little bits of mental nagging.  I mustn’t forget this…I must be careful to…I should do…

I’ve got my number and my pins ready to go, and I’ve got my outfit prepped as well.  Unless snowpocalypse arrives, I’ll be running in shorts, a compression t-shirt and an asthma UK vest sent by my charity of choice.  Ipod, sunglasses, baseball hat, Spibelt, garmin will then be added on top.  I’ll have some timings written on my arm too so if I fall below my 5 hour goal pace I’ll know and can recover.

The biggest thing I need to do now is sleep!  I need to get lots of rest because I’m pretty sure I won’t be sleeping the night before.  I also need to charge all of my gadgets and gizmos – nothing worse than a flat garmin when you set off on a run.

Have you got any pre-marathon rituals?  Is there anything I should remember or do?

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Attitude, Positivity, Running, Training

Week 23 Training

I’m still not sure I’ve got my head round the whole ‘tapering’ thing, but week 23 was okay.   I’m struggling with tapering because it feels like a chance to relax, when my brain wants to carry on at fever pitch until the big day.

On Sunday night I thought ‘this time next week it will all be over’.  Looks like I’ll need a new goal after that.

Here’s how week 23 looked:

  • Monday: jog 20 – 10 minutes to the gym, 1 hour weights (legs), 10 minutes home
  • Tuesday: run 25 minutes
  • Wednesday: run 55 minutes
  • Thursday: walk 20 minutes, 10 minutes to yoga, 1 hour 45 minutes yoga, 10 minutes home
  • Friday: jog 20 – 10 minutes to the gym, 1 hour weights (shoulders), 10 minutes home
  • Saturday: 10 mile run
  • Sunday: rest

I swapped my rest day to Sunday because I had a lot to do.  The 10 mile run on Saturday went brilliantly and I’m so pleased about that, just what I need to boost my confidence.  I’m having no booze until the marathon is over and I’m eating fairly well, although a few cakes have crept in to my mouth 🙂

This week I’ve got minimal runs to do but I’m keeping my two weights sessions and my one yoga session.  Yoga helps me to stretch out and I’ll train my back on Friday so it won’t affect my running.

I’m very nervous and very excited!  Obsessive checking of long range weather forecasts will start soon…

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Attitude, Running, Training

Tapering

Well, this whole tapering thing is a bit weird isn’t it?  I feel like I’ve stopped training before the event, I’m even one day late with this blog post!

My training schedule for this week and next is very cut down, with fairly short runs.  I’m throwing in some yoga and spin sessions as well to make sure my feet and ankles are rested before the big day.

I’m trying to stay on track with my eating and keep the training mentality going but it’s just…odd.  I feel like I’ve lost my goal and my direction, my focus.  It’s a taste of what’s to come after the marathon too I suppose.

I hope my body is taking advantage of this rest period and will be ready to go, strong, fit and healthy on the big day.

9 days to go!  Have you done a taper before?  How did it make you feel?

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Diet, Running, Training

Week 22 Training

My last proper week of training before the taper begins!  I feel like I’ve been preparing for this  marathon for five minutes and for ever at the same time.

This week I was a bit uninspired as I mentioned in my last post, but a break and some cross training have actually done me a lot of good.  The pain in my ankles is much better for having taken a rest period – funny that eh?

Here’s how week 22 looked:

  • Monday: jog 20 – 10 minutes to the gym, 1 hour weights (legs), 10 minutes home
  • Tuesday: run for 1 hour
  • Wednesday: have nightmare day with the builders, sulk, do nothing – rest day?
  • Thursday: jog 20 – 10 minutes to yoga, 1 hour 45 yoga, 10 minutes home
  • Friday: jog 20 – 10 minutes to the gym, 1 hour weights (chest), 10 minutes home
  • Saturday: rest day – shovelled a skip full of soil until my back hated me
  • Sunday: 16 miles

Overall not a bad week!  The 16 miler on Sunday went well, I had a few little walk breaks but apart from that it was pretty consistent.  Yoga was phenomenally hard but did a good job of stretching out my battered hamstrings.

My focus now is on eating perfectly for 2 weeks and doing little bits of training to keep me going until the big day.  No booze either, and I’ll be keeping my mitts off the builders biscuits.

Happy training this week!

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Attitude, Positivity, Running

Uninspired

This week I’ve been completely uninspired – uninspired about running, blogging…doing pretty much anything.  With 2 and a half weeks to go before the marathon, it’s probably not the best state to be in.

I’ve blogged before about  my tendency to self-sabotage, whether it’s going out drinking the night before a long run or eating a massive chilli pizza 2 days before, I don’t seem to be able to help myself.

It occurs to me looking at my life now that I’ve embarked on my biggest self-sabotage exercise yet.  At the same time as training for my first marathon, the husband and I have embarked on a huge extension build that has turned our home into a filthy, undesirable place to be.   Dust and dirt is exacerbating my asthma, and we’ve had no kitchen for 2 weeks so I’m trying to cook healthy meals in a microwave and will be doing so until after the marathon.  What was I thinking!?

I do wonder if the front of my brain (I can do a marathon!) is in complete conflict with the back half of my brain (no I can’t, and I’ll make sure of it too!).

So, where do I go from here?  I’ve taken a little break to nourish myself.  I had a rest day yesterday and I’m going to do yoga today with only a very short run.  Saturday will also be a rest day before I do one last longer run (about 15 miles) on Sunday.

After that, I’ll follow my taper plan for the last 2 weeks and eat completely cleanly.  No booze, no pinching biscuits from the builders…my front and back brain are going to have to get used to the idea.  I CAN DO THIS.

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