It’s 3am, and I’ve just been down in the kitchen stuffing my face. Food of choice was bread and butter. Needed another pint of water too.
There are no other words for it, this weeks 20 miler was tough. I really admire anyone who can run marathon distance and further because I’m learning that this is by no means easy!
I set out around 8.30am, took about 5 minutes to get a satellite connection on my Garmin, so there I was waving my arm about like a complete idiot in front of my house. The neighbours must think I’m a bit on the mad side. Still eventually got a signal then off I trotted.
I decided to stick with the 9 minutes running and 1 minute walking that I’ve been doing as it allows time for recovery and means I can take on fluids without having to stop. The start of the run was pretty warm, so the sweat soon started trickling down my face (how attractive) and within the first couple of miles I was my usual sweaty mess.
Was going great guns down Lang Stracht, when I spotted a familiar posterior. This belonged to Ann, who was almost 8 miles into her run. There was no way I could have caught her, even with an epic style sprint, but thankfully she stopped at a set of traffic lights and looked round, so she spied me and came to meet me.
We plodded on together for a couple of miles before she headed for home and I headed for town. By this time it had become quite misty, which meant that it was cooler. Much better temperature for running in. Before I knew where I was I was at King Street and about to head along the Beach Esplanade.
Decided to make use of the facilities in the Shell garage and upon looking in the mirror realised how much of a sweaty mess I was. I did wonder how on earth a person could sweat quite so much! On the up side I think every single pore on my body should be lovely and clear!
I was now at 10 miles and half way there, and yes I was singing Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer to myself at this point. Then the sun finally broke through again. I guess I was not going to have it all my own way.
This is where the going got tough (I’m full of song references!). I had only one option, to get tough and keep going. I so wanted to just go home, but I ticked the miles off slowly one by one. I should say at this time that I’d got a route organised, then changed it at the last minute so that I could meet Shona in Run4it. I even took my credit card with me just in case ;). However this meant I’d chosen a somewhat hilly final 5 miles. Idiot!
By mile 16 I was really struggling. I’d been aware of a blister on my toe, but now it seemed like they were multiplying. Every step hurt. Walking was sometimes marginally less painful, sometimes more. I phoned Shona with 5 miles to go to let her know how I was doing. It was quite difficult to keep the tears back, but when she offered me a get out I refused. I was going to get this run done come hell or high water (sure that’s another song reference!)
I pushed on and hit the hills albeit walking. I wasn’t really familiar with my surroundings, so at around 1.5 miles to go I let Shona know I shouldn’t be too far away, but it still looked like I was miles from anywhere.
Thankfully as I kept going I started to recognise where I was. It actually wasn’t far to go. By now I wasn’t actually feeling much pain from my blisters. I just knew I had to keep on going. It was more of a jog walk though, but I picked up the pace where I could because I so wanted this run to be over.
Finally my Garmin showed 20 miles, but I still wasn’t quite at Holburn Street, so I pushed on. It was taking longer than anticipated, so a quick text to Shona let her know I was pretty much round the corner, which actually turned out to be slightly more than I’d calculated too!
Shona managed to get a lovely pair of trail shoes, which won’t stay clean for long and by this time I wasn’t at all interesting in looking at anything running related. I’d had enough.
Hobbled down to the car and she drove me home. Sitting down was heaven, although I did wonder if I would ever be able to get out the car.
Got home and headed straight for the bath. Ran a cold bath and lowered myself gently in. Was really strange. Felt like my muscles might cramp up, but they didn’t. It actually felt quite good. Only stayed in there for about 5 minutes by which time I was bored, so a lovely hot shower was had. I was no longer a sweaty mess!
Time for compression gear and then best of all, dinner! I was so hungry I scoffed this really quickly and then proceeded to finish off what hubby didn’t want.
Then it was time to sort out the blisters. I love Compeed blister plasters!
It was a really tough run and having struggled on I have the utmost respect for all marathon and ultra runners. It is not easy and I guess it takes a special kind of crazy to even want to do one.
I’m a lot happier having managed to do the distance on what will be my last run before marathon day. I’m still not quite sure how I’ll get on with the final miles on the day, but if I can keep myself blister free I know my legs have just about got it in them. I will finish, I’m just not sure how quickly. Based on today’s run the prediction is now 6:56:12. My actual time for 20 miles was 5:12:36.
I guess it will all depend on how everything goes on the day. I’d really like to do you (and myself) proud by finishing in under 7 hours, but I’m not going to stress about it. Will just do my best to enjoy the experience, because I’m sure it is one that I will never forget.
Taper time now and soon I’ll get to don my Clyde-sider uniform for the Commonwealth Games. That is going to be awesome and I’m really looking forward to meeting up with the Lewis Lassies again and sharing some alcoholic beverages post marathon!