I am writing this whilst looking at my training plan. It makes interesting reading, well, to me anyway!! It's pretty messy to look at as there are scribbles all over it where I have been forced to change my mileage because of injury or just simply when life gets in the way! When Rachel first gave me this plan I didn't think for one moment that I would manage it, and to be fair, for the first few weeks I didn't manage it. I was struggling with a niggling hip injury through January and for a few weeks I tried to run through it, which wasn't effective at all as a) I made it worse and b) I couldn't manage the long runs, in fact every run was a struggle. Being told by my physio Cathy I had to stop running was hard to hear and even harder to do but I really needed that rest! Slowly I have built the mileage back up and I am now on track again. Phew!
The last couple of weeks have been quite tough to be honest. Many of the runners from Regency Runners were training for Silverstone Half Marathon, and I have working my training around their runs, so when they hit taper week I was so jealous! I didn't have the option of cutting my training down, it just meant instead of running 35 odd miles this week I would be running 28 miles, rubbish! Then after Silverstone I didn't get the option of a rest, I was back out running Tuesday and covered just over 37 miles during the week. I have also realised this week that I am getting fed up with running. There is so much else that I want to do! I want to take swimming lessons so I can improve even more (and get out of the dry hair brigade once and for all!), learn to ride a bike properly, get back into the gym, spin class, weights, and training for a marathon wrecks all that and my social life!! So, I made a decision once this marathon is done I'm laying off the running for a couple of months. The plan is to go back to training at Peak Fitness after the marathon which is a personal training fitness studio in Warwick, the trainers are fantastic and really know their stuff, so I have arranged a consultation with Oli my old trainer and have given Oli the challenge of helping me get into shape once and for all! I have changed my diet over the last 6 weeks or so and have dropped 12lbs, but to be brutally honest, I still need to shift another 73lb. So you can understand now why I am so bloody slow!
So Silverstone came around and it turned out to be a hot one! The day was great, as it was like a day out for the Regency Runners with 11 of us running; it was brilliant to see all those t-shirts around the course!
My race didn't quite go according to plan, which was really disappointing as I had run well over the distance last week and was quite confident that I was going into the run a decent race, but I wasn't going to go crazy, as I didn't want to risk injury so close to the London Marathon.
I started the race with Jo, Sharon and Clair, through to mile 1 and looking at my watch, I was way over pacing this, according to my pace band but I felt great and was really enjoying myself. At this point, Sharon eased off and dropped back; Jo went to check that she was ok and reported back that she was fine, so we carried on. I should have known better and that this was a stupid idea as I know that Clair's pace is way faster than mine, but I was having so much fun! We came though 3 miles and looking at my watch I should have slowed down, at this rate I would be close my my 10k pb! But, I didn't slow down. At 4 miles Clair started to pull away from myself and Jo so we just carried on, chatting whilst trying to fight off the heat! Going through 6 miles and as I thought, only 1 minute out from my pb, but I still felt strong and I thought I was just banking minutes, oooops!
I got through to mile 8 and I started to find it difficult. I had kept well hydrated and had been taking glucose tablets so I imagine the only reason was that I had gone off far too quickly. I told Jo to run on and I eased off and slowed down to make sure I could finish the last 5 miles! Not long after, Sharon came past me, and then I saw her passing Jo, it seems she had the right race strategy and stuck to it, I could have kicked myself!!I found those last few miles really tough, I had back ache, my feet were so painful and my gluts ached and I was going so slowly I doubt you could really call it running, those banked minutes soon disappeared!!! When I hit 12 miles I decided I'd had enough and just ran, geez it was painful, that finish line couldn't have come soon enough!
So, as I said before following the Silverstone Half I was straight back into training, Tuesday I ran a nice 6 miles with Regency Runners, then some pump and boxercise on Wednesday (mainly as I couldn't get out and run as I was staying in for a delivery that didn't turn up, grrr) then a 7 mile on Thursday and a 5.5 mile on Saturday. Sunday was long run day and this week I needed 18 miles. I wasn't too confident going into the run as I had struggled so much with Silverstone but I did my usual preparation before I went out, and headed out at 8am. I decided to really keep an eye on my pace, remembering how hard last week was! I felt really good through the first 8 miles, even though I had left my iPod at home and I was running on my own, this was surprising as the route had quite a few hills to get my backside up! As I got to 13 miles I was really hurting, again, back and glut pain. It was really tempting at this point to just run through the park and go home but stubborn as I am I kept going up the hill and through Warwick town to repeat some of the loop that I had started off with. I hate running laps, so I found these last few miles bloody hard work! At about 14 miles I was close to tears, but, I just had to suck it up and get on with it, I just kept telling myself, less than 4 miles, less than 3, less than 2. As I got closer to home I realised that I was going to run out of road, so I had to run past my house for half a mile, then back. This was awful and running past my house was soul destroying, but if I wanted the miles I had to do it.
When I got home I stretched off, well, as much as I could and then had a protien shake. I didn't feel great I have to admit, my legs were throbbing and I didn't know what to do with myself! I had been toying with the idea of a cold bath for a few weeks, a few friends had recommended it but I was never brave enough! I had even tricked my friend Jo into having one so she could tell me if it really was THAT bad, apparently it was!! Anything would be better than this pain, even a cold bath, so I got in, and oh my god did I scream! It was hideous!! I managed to last about 5 minutes before I gave in and jumped out, close to tears, sod it, I then ran a very hot bath, thats more like it!! I think I lay in there for best part of an hour, and probably fell asleep, not the safest thing to do I have to say!!
I'm not quite sure how I would have managed training for this without the support network that I have. Running on your own for this distance it damn hard work so I'm not sure how people do it, I certainly have a new found respect for them!