Weeks Eight and Nine: Weird legs and dead frogs

I. Am. Exhausted.

It is a very good thing that Easter confectionery has been lining the shelves ever since January because I have needed a lot of it this week. (Aside: I regularly feel that mini eggs are not as good as they were, but still feel the need to quality check them on a weekly basis just to make sure there isn’t an accidental brilliant batch with the old sugar levels lurking in the shops.)

Week Eight was the Half Marathon week, which was actually supposed to be week Seven, but Milton Keynes doesn’t seem to care very much about my running schedule and just set the dates for their races willy nilly. So what I did was just switch around my week seven and eight in the plan. Week eight was supposed to be a drop back week after the marathon, so by switching the two weeks around, I’ve missed out on the R&R that running only ten miles rather than fifteen is supposed to bring you.

Ah well. There is always a Lindt bunny to help.

Anyway, week seven consisted of midweek runs of three, seven and four miles, and then the half marathon on Sunday, which happened to be Mothers Day.  When I last left you, I was fully deknotted and singing the praises of the sports therapist who had tortured me into being pain free. I have continued to feel great in the ankle region and I have been stretching as instructed and trying to stand on one foot on tiptoe as also instructed to strengthen my ankles. Which, FYI, is Very Hard Indeed.

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Stretching…..My legs look weird. Do they look weird IRL or is it only in EVERY SINGLE PHOTO EVER?
So the midweek runs went fine, and I treated my mother to a home cooked pasta meal on the Saturday as an early Mothers Day present because I wanted to eat pasta and I was too busy on the Sunday, like the totally selfless daughter that I am. We celebrated with lots of Prosecco and then on Saturday evening whilst dicking about on the internet, I came across a running chat about how long before a race you should abstain from drinking alcohol. Seven to ten days was the recommended time given.

Ah well. Surely it only matters if you’re planning on trying to win it? I am just planning on trying to finish it.

So Sunday dawned and Mavis and I trekked off over to Milton Keynes for this half marathon that she had kindly signed us both up for. It had an annoyingly late starting time of 10:45 for the half – which is good for getting there if you have to travel any distance, but my main concern was that we were missing lunch because we were running through it.

If you’re interested in reading a review of the race itself , I will try to summarize for you because some running people like hearing about races, but if you couldn’t give a toss about the MK half and just like reading about my misery, feel free to skip the next paragraph. I will just say here that not long into the race, Mavis stepped on a dead frog which caused me some amusement for a few miles. I mean, it was still a properly formed frog, not mushed up or anything. I probably talked about it far too much.

I can’t fault the race organisation – so many portaloos and no queues at all which is always important. The staggering of the different start times meant that there weren’t too many people hanging around outside the Xscape centre at one time. The course was really well signposted, the volunteers were so lovely, cheering us on and calling us all by name, offering jelly babies etc. I prefer to carry my own water in a hydration backpack, but I thought the water stations were really good, small bottles rather than cups – and they never ran low which was fortunate as it was annoyingly hot considering that it had been -7 the previous week. If you care about the bling (which I am not allowed to, as any medal I get is confiscated by the children as soon as I get home) then it was a decent size. HOWEVER, there was no goody bag, just a banana, and if you wanted a T-shirt you had to pay extra, which seems a little tight considering it was supposed to be a ‘festival of running’. I also didn’t enjoy the route very much, but then apart from a lake there isn’t much in the way of scenery in Milton Keynes. I just found it a bit boring to run along the A roads for so long. The last half mile was also running up Beacon Hill back to the Xscape centre, which was brutal.

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Anyway, given that I really don’t do proper races, because I don’t like running with lots of people and also I am cheap and don’t like paying money to run when I could do it for free (well, we say for free, we all know that running is free until you actually start running but you know what I mean) it was a good reminder about running with lots of people, running your own race and not getting carried away by pacers and trying to escape the smelly hairy dude who clearly doesn’t wash his kit often or apply deodorant. It gave me an opportunity to try out jelly babies as a refueling option for the marathon (verdict, I don’t like eating and running. I think I’ll stick to tailwind in the water). It also reminded me that if I don’t have electrolytes in my drink, it is important for me to drink electrolytes as soon as I get home because otherwise I bring up anything I’ve just eaten (So long banana that was not a goody bag).

Mavis and I trooped back off to the car and went home, pretty pleased with our efforts, with both the running and managing a child free Mothers Day. With hindsight, a spa day would have been a better option but maybe next year.

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Before the race started, there was a comedy sized mountain of banana skins and Mavis determined that my post run photo would be taken in front of this.  By the time we finished, the mountain was no more and this bin was the best we could do. 
Onto week nine, and only one day of running rest before the usual three, seven and four midweek runs. Wednesday even saw some spring like weather, who would have thought it, eh?

Sadly by yesterday, Spring was a dim and distant memory. This is the part in the training where I start to run my Longest Ever Distance every time.

I had places to go, people to see and steaks to eat yesterday so I had to get up and out early to get the fifteen miles done. As it turned out, apart from being brass monkey weather, the forecast snow didn’t really appear until much later in the day so we only had the winds to contend with around the reservoir. Every now and then a massive gust would make me utter a screech, but apart from that it was fine.

First Longest Ever Run done. I think that probably merits a scone or something, don’t you, Annie?!

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I don’t wear my watch at night but that sleep record is probs accurate. I sleep A LOT. 
In Crohns related news, Guy is looking forward to his six monthly colonoscopy this coming Thursday. If anyone doesn’t know what this means, it is a camera up your arse. Biopsies are taken of your bowel, and you get to see what your guts look like from the inside. The worst bit of a colonoscopy is the bowel prep that you have before hand. Obviously in order to see what’s going on up there, everything needs to be nice and clean and empty. Depending on what time your appointment is, you can’t eat from a certain time the day before, and then you have to drink solutions that will help to flush everything through (i.e. shit like a chilli eating competition champion – a sudden sneeze could have dire consequences). He has had this procedure done many times and is quite used to it now, but I always admire how he handles the starvation bit. He won’t be able to eat from 10am on Wednesday morning, and he manages this with good humour, despite having to get meals for the boys and me constantly hiding in the kitchen eating out of the fridge. I get hangry if my salmon takes too long to cook, I would not be a nice person on bowel prep.

As always, thank you to those kind folks who have donated to our cause, we really appreciate it. My Just Giving Link is just here if you want to give a few pennies.

 

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