Friday, 22 February 2013

The Long Run

I don't suppose I'm the only one but I'm finding myself looking for ways to keep me inspired on my marathon training journey.
I've been subscribed to the 'Realbuzz' site since my first attempt at the Great North Run in 2006.  It's an excellent site which promotes 'Healthy Active Living'. The resources available on the site are endless.  Today though I read an article by running expert and blogger Tom Bedford titled 'The Long Run'.  The blog reinforced just what I tried to tell myself during my long run last Sunday. Whilst I set off with my son Marc, he's much faster and it wasn't long before he disappeared into the distance leaving me to run alone.  It's well documented that I don't like running alone but I obviously realise that it is necessary sometimes for one reason or another. So my thoughts were allowed to linger on each little niggle as first one knee hurt, then the other, my back began to ache, then my hips, by the time I reached my finish point I felt (a) shattered but (b) elated that I had finally got my training on track.  In the meantime I cast my mind back to marathon training in 2010 and remembered the exact same feeling - just how can I do any higher mileage when I feel like this at 15/16 miles? Tom Bedford says exactly that in the blog - each time you go higher it's taxing because you are still pushing your body to be where you want to be and it won't feel easier anytime soon, however if you were to take a step back and repeat a run you did a few weeks ago at the same pace it would most certainly feel amazing. So it looks like I'm in it for the 'long run'!
8 weeks to London.....

The club runs have been a boost this week as always.  I'm happy that the content is sufficient to keep me on track and get me to my goal - I've known members who have been marathon training to drop club altogether, preferring to train on their own, which is all well and good if that's what suits you but this method doesn't appeal to me at all, but once again I consider myself lucky to be part of such a supportive club who's members are happy to give up their time to help others and get the necessary training done.

Thankfully this weekend I have a 'long run' training buddy, after doing a couple of miles on my own, Claire is going to run to Huddersfield with me as we run to the start of the Huddersfield 10k where some club members are running the race. A lift back to our start point will no doubt be most welcome!

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Behind the times!

I can't really say I've lost my running mojo, a term I've heard from a few club members of late but I have to say that although my body has been willing my mind really hasn't been in the zone running or writing wise so apologies that it's been a few weeks since my last update meaning I'm a little behind the times.  Still struggling to get into marathon training mode the impending 26.2 miles seem a far reaching goal.  The weather hasn't helped and neither have the weekend races.  I had planned to reduce midweek mileage, club long runs not being long enough, and increase Sunday run mileage.  It hasn't quite gone to plan as the YVAA Grand Prix series race one popped up unexpectedly!  Clashing with the Dewsbury 10k which was a club championship race - I didn't hesitate in making my mind up that I would go and run it since numbers would be low, and low they were as just four of us braved the wet, muddy and very hilly conditions of the race at Horsforth.  My mood was already low as I turned up to run and just got lower as the race progressed. I haven't considered dropping out of a race on many occasions but this was one such time.  As I emerged from an off road section out onto a pavement leading to a narrow but steep path for the second time I hit rock bottom and very nearly burst into tears! Somehow I managed to compose myself and carry on.  Some time later as I waded down hill through mud to the finish I felt a huge sense of relief and vowed that this was one for the 'not to do again list'!

I have now made a decision that I am going to try and abstain from weekend races until after the London Marathon, come what may I am going to stick to my plan of long runs on Sunday, progressing as far as I can before it's time to taper. I figure it's the only way to get every thing to fall into place.

Beginning with the Liversedge Half marathon last Sunday I now feel it's onwards and upwards. Dawn suggested I run round the course with her as a training run.  Apprehensive as to whether I may be asked to leave the course since I didn't have a number, I reluctantly agreed.  I needn't have worried, the weather was so atrocious that lots of runners donned outer jackets which covered their number so I didn't stick out like a sore thumb! I got round without incident and was pleased that I had been able to cover the mileage with relative ease and am now looking forward to completing higher mileage this coming Sunday. Liversedge though is a must for next year, such a varied if a little challenging course may well be my replacement half for the unappealing Brass Monkey.

Snowflakes at the start.........
(Dawn at the Liversedge Half, my pink jacket and shoes just visible to the far left)

Turning to icy rain.........
Photos courtesy of David Owen