Hello, sorry for the delay in blogging.
I have to admit, I just wasn’t feeling it over the weekend. There has been snot. There has been chafage. There has been a general feel of despondency.
But I don’t want to get ahead of myself and tell you all about the fun highlights now, let’s go back to the week before last, week twelve of the plan.
So the week consisted of a Tuesday 4 miler, Wednesday 9 miler, Thursday 5 miler and then a long weekend run of 18 miles which I was going to up to 20 in the name of doing what I am told by the sports therapist.
Now, the last long run that I did prior to week twelve resulted in a bit of under boob chafe*. I decided to invest in Body Glide, which I must say is unfeasibly expensive for what you get – basically a deodorant stick’s worth, as it appeared Vaseline was no longer up to the task. Unfortunately, given that the damage had already been done and the fact that the schedule doesn’t allow for chafe repair, this last fortnight has just been a case of grin and bear it. After a while, I stop noticing the sweat sting.
*I realise that men don’t get this, but do you get under ball chafe? It would really help my mental well being to know that there were people out there worse off than me.
The other annoying thing has been the lingering threat of a cold. I decided to stop trying to fob it off, better to get it over and done with rather than constantly feeling a little bit snotty all the time. Generally I feel fine, but my nose is like Niagara Falls and whenever I started running, my chest felt tight and it was hard performing the necessary action of breathing in and out. An inconvenience rather than a cold, but irritating nevertheless.
The midweek runs were all quite non eventful, and I also had the pleasure of doing them all on days off work, as it was Easter, rather than trying to get up really early, walk the dog, run, and then start work. My plan is a low mileage one, how people have full time jobs and knock out 100 mile weeks, I don’t know. Do they get up at 2am or something?
Come Saturday and a recording of a new Longest Ever Run, and I struggled. I knew I would struggle, it was 20 miles after all, and as always I set off too quickly and then became a bit of a cropper when it got to miles 14-18. The reservoir was full of flies, and having to run twice around it was not good for morale*. I had to stop a couple of times to stretch out my calves, but I gathered myself for the last couple of miles and finished strong (Reality: last mile was downhill and I ran past my next door neighbour so had to look like I was running well not like the hobbling, sweating, limping mess I really was so as to look impressive and fit and gazelle like).
*Note to self – need a very exciting route for the next long run, possibly just a constant flat strip of 23 miles in constant shade with performing acrobats or suchlike along the roadside to entertain me, a puppy or two to cuddle, also with a portaloo every mile should the need arise. Does anyone living in Rugby know of such a route? LMK.
So that was my 20 miler done. I learnt a few things, firstly that the jelly beans that my mum got me at Easter to try instead of jelly babies are much better. I can just chomp down on one in one bite and then hold it between my teeth, plus I have the added excitement of 39 different flavours and no idea what it will be when I fish it out of a pocket. Crazy times.
The other is that I need to watch my pace more. I don’t believe that the Shakespeare marathon has pacers (I read this somewhere, might be wrong though) and so it is really important for me to not shoot out at the start like the elite athlete I seem to think that I am, only to then suffer in the second half. When a race is paced, you can just stick with your pacer and they do all the hard work for you.
I also learnt that it is very tiring trying to blow my nose whilst running, seems to be a complete waste of oxygen. Possibly a gap in the market for some kind of sporting wear nose cork……
Despite all the whinging, I did do 20 miles, which is a big step forward in this marathon training malarkey. I felt really good afterwards, did all my stretches and foam rolling, Epsom salt bath, and then went to my friend’s for a delicious curry, staying as active as possible (by which I mean I stood in her kitchen watching her cook me food).
This last week was a drop back week. 5, 9, 5 and then 14 (15 for me) miles to get through.
On the Wednesday, we took the boys to a trampoline place, due to the fact that the weather had been rubbish for days and they had so much energy. This meant that my 9 mile run didn’t start until about 11am and I snottily ran through the rain, with only the thought of lunch carrying me onward. It wasn’t much fun for me, but the boys had a great time and that was the important thing.
I wasn’t too fazed by the thought of the 15 mile long run because this was not a Longest Run Ever. I have run this distance a few times now, surely a piece of cake?
Well no, actually. Pride comes before a snot infested miserable run.
It was hard. The nose blowing, the tight chest, the flies. Nearly two miles of having to keep my head down because of the flies, which then caused my nose to run. Everything just felt wrong and I hated life for a little while. Still eventually it always comes to an end, and yes it is true that I could just give up and walk, but running gets me home faster. I’m surprised that I have managed to make it to this point and still enjoy the running, so I acknowledged that I wasn’t always going to like every week and I just had to get over it. Plus I was able to keep my pacing fairly consistent so that was an improvement on the last run.
When I got home, I found that a few flies had snuffed it by getting squished in my sports bra and socks. What a way to go.
So now we are into the final month. The first couple of runs this week have been good and I seem to be feeling less congested. If I have stirred any pity in you and you want to sponsor me in my plight, the link is here (where it says ‘here’. Just click on the word here.). Thank you so much to those of you who have donated.
Right, I’m done, nothing about himself today. This was all about me. Personally I think boob chafe is up there with the daily squits.
Yoda picture credit: Runners Be Like