The last long one!

Today was the last long run before tapering starts! Karen & Laura are off to Dorney Lake for a 20 mile race tomorrow & I did consider it, thinking it would be easier with others there & water stations provided etc. However I have hideous memories of the chocolate run at Dorney, despite it being over a year ago now….the weather was awful & as it’s laps I knew that when I hit the straight the wind & rain would whip my face again. I was also suffering with my knees then, so had them strapped. I remember being in pain at the end & Karen & Viya moving further & further ahead of me & I just couldn’t keep up …. Lucy & Ellie were long gone!! It felt like I was crawling!! Karen did point out that I’m in a different position now, the weather shouldn’t be that bad etc but I still wasn’t keen & I wanted to go to Freddie’s football in the afternoon. So 20 miles on my own it was to be!

I was out last night, not a late one & I wasn’t drinking, but I was aware the yummy buffet I had eaten probably wasn’t appropriate fuel for 20 miles. As a result Tim had me eating carbs when I got home, despite being full & not wanting it at all! It meant that I had doubts in my mind before I’d even set off! Great start!

I was my usual apprehensive self this morning! Silly really but going out on my own is so much more nerve racking! After a few good luck messages from Laura, Karen & Tim I was on my way.

If you remember I’ve recently tried walking for 1 minute in every mile & it’s been fairly successful, however in my last long run I still slowed down so I decided I’d try 1 minute walking & 5 minutes running. It’s closer to what Jeff Galloway, the man behind the run walk strategy, would suggest but still more running than he would say!! It did mean that I felt I could change the timings if needed! 😜

The run itself was hard work!! I was carrying my usual bottle of lucozade, but also a bottle of water, as my belt isn’t enough. Carrying all of that was a hassle & I’m sure that didn’t help with my achy back later in the run! It certainly annoyed me & hurt my hands! Thankfully I won’t have that on the big day.

I did the route I’ve done the last couple of times, but added a bit more on at the end. It was a real mental battle to keep going the whole time! Every bench I saw in Aldershot, which would probably have been roughly half way, I was tempted to sit on, but I plodded on! I spent most of the run telling myself ‘your legs are fine, you’ve done this before, the only reason you want to stop is in your head!’

As I got to about the 18 mile point (I didn’t have her telling me my miles so I’m not quite sure) I decided to change to 3 or 4 minutes running to 1 minute of walking. This seemed to work, as I didn’t slow dramatically!

I stopped running as soon as I got to the 20 mile point! I’d like to say it was because I’d thought through that the 0.5 mile walk home would be a good cool down, but in reality I just wanted to stop as my upper body was hurting & I was tired!!

I finished in 3 hours 46 minutes, which means I should achieve my sub 5 hour target on the big day. 😀

I walked up my road & it suddenly hit me that I’d just run 20 miles & my last long training run, after months of training, was done. I got somewhat emotional thinking about it, so who knows what I’ll be like on the big day!!

Tim had popped out to run the kids around when I got back, but he knew I didn’t have a key, so he’d left one out for me. The noises I made bending down to pick it up & then getting back up again were just ridiculous!! But I did it, as I did think he might find me sitting by the front door in the rain just waiting for him!!!

So now that’s done, tapering begins & then the big event! I have to say I’m excited about that….I’m hoping 26 miles with thousands of other runners & hundreds of people cheering my name will actually be easier than 20 miles on my own!



2 thoughts on “The last long one!

  1. Well done Charlotte. I hate running 4 miles on my own it’s mentally so tough. I’m sure you’ll find it easier on the day surrounded by other runners.
    You’ve done so well and you’re a true inspiration xx

    Liked by 1 person

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