6 weeks to go!

Today I was planning to run 17-18 miles. Originally I’d thought I’d do 17 as the last time I did 17 it was really tough, so just consolidating seemed a good plan. Then Karen seemed surprised I was only doing 17 so I felt I should up it!! Saying 17-18 gave me a get out though, if at 17 I felt like I couldn’t go on!!

Karen has been researching and reading lots about running & has discovered that a run, walk split can actually be more effective. She tried it and ran an amazing time over 6.5 miles, as a result I thought I’d give it a go. I also tried it over 6.5 miles this week & I had my best average pace in ages! So I decided I’d try it over 17 – 18 miles.

Last time I ran 17 miles, it was HARD WORK! A friend saw me at about 16 miles & commented I looked knackered….I assured her I was! There were a number of factors I thought could be to blame; a bottle of prosecco the night before, general fatigue from the constant high miles, & running ‘off road’ along the canal towards the end of the run. So I wasn’t particularly looking forward to today….although did limit my prosecco intake last night!!

Not only did I decide I’d try the run walk split to try & avoid the usual slow down towards the end, I decided I’d try a new breakfast. Porridge works well but on the day I’m getting a coach at 6am so would rather I could take something to eat on the way. Bagels, cream cheese & smoked salmon went down very well…although Tim did ask if marathon training was just an excuse for a fancy breakfast!!

I did the same route as last time, but reversed it. I don’t like to do that as I quite like being able to compare miles, but it meant I would be off road nearer the start this time!

From 3 miles every time I hit a mile I walked for a minute. This seemed to work really well & meant my average time was much better than when I ran 17 miles. In fact 18 took me just 1 minute more!! I still slowed down from about 13 miles, so wonder if I need to consider more walking from about 10 miles. I’ll have a play with that next time.

The run was a bit of a mixed bag. I spent a lot of the run feeling like I needed the loo! In fact I ‘may’ have veered off the tow path to relieve myself behind a tree! Apparently going to the toilet outside makes you a real runner & if it’s good enough for Paula Radcliffe & Vassos Alexander it’s good enough for me! Although probably not the best day to be wearing a fluorescent orange top….I would have been easy to spot!

At about 10 miles I’d already run out of water, although still had some lucozade left. It was turning into a beautiful day & I was hot & drinking more than usual. Thankfully I was just running past McDonalds in Farnborough so stopped off & they kindly filled up my bottles, no questions asked. 😀

I carried on my way up towards the sixth form college. I was struggling at this point, although my times would not agree with this! My hamstring that had been aching for ages was now hurting! At this point a friend drove past, if he had offered me a lift I would have taken it, maybe it was good he didn’t spot me!! I was also getting closer to  my friend Donna’s house & it did cross my mind whether to pop in & just rest for a bit!! I didn’t!

I carried on & coming into Fleet, despite it being the other end & still miles from home, made me think I could do it! And I actually began to enjoy it again.

I ran out of water yet again! But thankfully McDonald’s Fleet were just as lovely as Farnborough!!

I finished at 18 miles & walked the half mile home. No longer power walking as my minute intervals had been, but dragging myself along!! I also began to realise that my bra had rubbed lots….it’s now incredibly painful! It’s never happened before, but am not sure what to do now….try a new one, smother myself in Vaseline, or put up with the pain! It’s also reminded me I need to try out the vest before the big day, to avoid similar issues.

Next week is Fleet half marathon, so my plan is to run 13.1 in the morning & then top it up in the afternoon. Apparently splitting the run will make no difference to the training, but I have a feeling it’ll make 20 miles seem psychologically easier.


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