Can’t believe it has come round so quickly. Seems like so long since I decided to take on this challenge. I’ve questioned my sanity quite a lot over these past 6 months or so, especially as the big day drawers nearer.
I’ve pretty much stuck to my training plan, although with the longer runs more recently and trying to fit in the rest of the things I do, other than running it has been quite hard. It has also left me feeling quite tired, but a few early nights and some days off will soon sort that out.
This week for my long run I need to do 12 miles, so I decided that I would run from home to parkrun and then do parkrun for the last 3 miles of my 12. I was up at 6am so I could get some porridge down and out the door by 7am. The first couple of miles were really hard and I just couldn’t seem to get going. I realised that the most of my body was still asleep! Thankfully the first couple the miles flew in and I felt much better than I have of late.
I had a bit of an epiphany at 3 to 4 miles and spent the rest of the run grinning like a complete idiot. I’m sure some folks I passed must have thought I’d escaped from an institution!
Last time I tried this run it didn’t go so well, so I arrived at parkrun a bit earlier than expected. I was however pretty glad of this since I had a desperate urge to visit the bathroom. Nowhere on the route I could have stopped for an alfresco bathroom break, so I was very glad of the shell garage!
I’ve also been so overwhelmed at the amount of support I’ve had. Firstly with my nomination for a run4it’s Running Inspiration and then by all the donations which in the last week or so have come flooding in. You are all very generous and I know the money will make so much difference to the kids.
I have been finding that my quads, hamstrings and glutes get quite stiff after a long run and this is probably to do with the fact I’m carrying quite a few extra pounds in weight, so I popped into run4it today to get some compression shorts. I find the calf guards have really helped my calves, so hopefully the shorts should help the rest of my muscles. I’ll be trying them out on my longest run of all which will be 20 miles next weekend!
I’ve also found that I have trouble with socks. Some pairs are too thick and I end up with the most horrible heat rash that itches like crazy and others seem to be a little on the thin side, so I end up with blisters (thankfully small and not painful). Think I’m just going to have to go for the thinner ones on the day.
I think the hardest thing for me hasn’t actually been the miles I’ve been putting in. It’s been sorting out what kit suits best and how to hydrate and fuel myself. I’ve finally come up with a strategy that seems to suit, although the biggest test will come next week.
Overall I think this training has done me the world of good. I’m fitter than I’ve ever been before in my entire life and I’ve managed to smash my 5k and 10k PBs this year, all on the back of marathon training. After Callanish I have the BUPA Great North Run and with that there is a chance to absolutely obliterate my half marathon PB. In training runs I’ve been able to knock around 15 to 20 minutes off the time, so if I actually go for it I know a sub 3 hour time is possible.
For all of you who have still not put in your guess for my finish time and who have donated money, I’ve collated some statistics from my longer runs to help you make an educated guess. These come courtesy of http://www.fetcheveryone.com/.