I had a well-deserved rest day on Monday after that 14 miler Sunday morning. I have found that I am recovering faster, so my legs weren't too heavy and I feel I may have even managed a short run, but I keep being told that rest days are as important in training so that’s what I did, and geez I was bored!!
My weekday runs went well, I followed my training plan so completed a 5 mile run on Tuesday. I took the usual 2 mile run into Leamington to meet with the Regency Runners; the planned 5 mile group run went straight past my house at 3 mile point, so this would make up my 5 miles perfectly. I don't know if it is my confidence that is growing or that I am getting a better runner but I felt really strong on this run. As usual I left a few minutes earlier than the rest of the group so I didn't get cold after the run in, but after a mile or so the faster runners in the group whizzed past me, all giving me a shout of good luck which I think is really nice. I finished the run in good time, which I was so happy about as the week before London I have a 10k to compete in and I thought I had lost my pace completely, but it’s still there.....hooray!
Thursday was a 6.5 mile run, which I took at a slightly slower pace. It felt a bit of a chore to be honest as I had been stuck in training all day with work and knew I had to do the same all over again tomorrow, but I got the miles in, and that’s what counts. Friday was an 8 mile run with MY Jo and Sharon which I really enjoyed. Not one of us were up for a paced run so we had a really nice chatty run, which although it was 4 miles up hill, we had nice 4 miles of gentle downhill to look forward to on the way back. We also managed to pick up the pace for the last mile so were very smug when we got back, high fives all round!
My gym session happened on Wednesday this week and again I opted for the upper body circuits. I'm not getting the pain so much afterwards now so I think I'm getting used to it, so next time I'll be upping the weights. I have also been continuing with my core work as set to me by my physio Cathy, and I think that is having a good impact on my running form, so anyone who has weak core and gluts, get them sorted!
Sunday came and again, I had a long run, this week I was tackling 16 miles, I was so nervous. I had never run this far and I always get so apprehensive about these runs. I had a restless night, waking up many times, the last time being 5am, listening to the rain, great. I was up just after 6am and had some breakfast, just a couple of Weetabix and a protein shake. I got my bits and pieces ready, glucose tablets, iPod, gels and a drink, and wrapped my phone in cling film as it was still throwing it down outside! I used to enjoy running in the rain but it had been ages since I had, but at least it was quite warm. This morning’s plan was to run 5 miles, meet group at 8.30 for 8 miles and then run 3 miles home, easier said than done!!
As soon as I left I knew that I wasn't running very fast, but I felt comfortable and as I had a long way to go I enjoyed the slower pace, my iPod was also playing some great songs for running so I really enjoyed my first 5 miles. I met with the group in Leamington and had a few minutes to grab a drink and a quick chat and catch up before heading off for the next leg of the run in the rain! Only a mile in and I had some good luck, a bird pooed all down my arm, gross! After lots of laughing by MY Jo and Sharon I knew I couldn't do anything about it and just figured that since the rain was so heavy it would just wash it away! I thought it had better bring me some luck and get me round these 16 miles.
The run was a bit hilly but over all I enjoyed it. when I got to about 10 miles I started to slow a bit, I wasn't struggling so much I just knew that I needed to get round the whole route so I guess I was saving my legs a little as they were feeling heavy and my gluts were a little tight. The last mile was lovely as it was downhill, Jo had already gone ahead and Sharon had waited back for me so we enjoyed that last mile together. We got back to the pump rooms and I was at 13 miles, so I had a quick drink and stretch off before taking on the last 3 miles. I didn't feel too bad to be honest, however I was absolutely drenched!
Sharon jumped on her bike to ride alongside me home and Lina decided to run a mile or so with me too which I was so grateful for. I took those last few miles slowly but I felt comfortable and I kind of got into my stride a little bit, a far cry from the 12 miles a few weeks ago when I simply burst out crying when I finished! I was still able to smile and laugh with Sharon as I got closer to home and I think I may have been able to get a couple more miles out of my legs, hooray! I just need to mention that it was still chucking it down when I got home! I'm so grateful to Sharon for that last three miles, as I really don't think that I could have done it alone. I guess that bird poo did give me some luck after all!!
I have been so emotional today after that run, and very proud of myself. Like I said before, I now believe that I can run this marathon, I just wish it would hurry up so I can get a Sunday morning lie in again!