it's been a while...

Posted on: 16 Jul 2014

Wow, I cannot believe I haven't posted anything for so long!

5 weeks on Sunday my sister and I will be running the Guernsey Marathon. We have come along way since my last post where we started our journey with '3 minutes on, 3 minutes off'.

Our original plan was to run Edinburgh in May, however due to Mich twisting her arch on rocky ground we decided to postpone until August and do the local marathon. This was also easier in terms of getting the family to the finish line etc.

The training has gone very well. We ran the Guernsey Father's Day Half Marathon last month (Mich's first ever running event) and we held hands as we crossed the finish line in a time of 2.27. Despite long exhalations from Mich at the start of the race, and her feeling overwhelmed by all the people / nervous that she couldn't do the distance, she now has a lovely chunky medal hanging in her kitchen and her husband and two young children proudly saw her finish:)

One regret of mine was pushing her too hard at the start of the race. This was a valuable lesson for marathon day, I will make sure we stick to her pace and the pace we have trained at! Poor Mich, she hammered along at a sub-10 minute mile pace for the first hour despite us training at her favoured pace of 11.5/12 minute miles. Totally my fault! I was buzzing and also thought it would be good for her psychologically if we stayed with a chunk of the pack rather than lagging behind and starting on the back foot, so to speak.

Anyway, fast forward an hour and we had slowed down a bit and relaxed into a good pace. All was going well until the last 3 miles when the wheels totally came off and Mich was really digging deep. Hats off to her though, she chipped away at the mileage and did not stop once (despite numerous people starting to walk after 10 miles). The funny thing is we finished in the same time that we would have done had we stuck to our training pace. We had run this distance three times before the day and always felt comfortable come the end. Lesson well and truly learnt.

Another downside was the recovery time she needed. This was supposed to be just another training run, with the chance of her getting a medal / experiencing race atmosphere, but instead I had made it a race. Buggar.

She also hurt her IT band and her foot so we only managed one run of 14 miles and a weekday run of 7 miles in this last month after the half. Turns out she needed trainers half a size larger and she now also has a foam roller for her IT band. We are now back on it and are looking to squeeze in 14 miles this sunday, 16 next week, 18 the week after and 20 the week after that. Then a rest weekend / smaller run before the big day the week after!

I'm a little worried as when I trained for my marathon 3 years ago I was doing runs over 13 miles from 1st January until mid-March before the April race. Due to injuries, we have only managed one 13+ run and only have 4 sundays left! Had a bit of a meltdown last night and said to Mich that I wanted to make sure she was adequately trained / prepared for the mileage on the day and was worried that in her mind she only envisaged it as a bit longer than the half when in fact it was another 3 hours potentially on the half she struggled with. Said maybe we should run the Jersey together (5th Oct), which would mean we were properly prepared (I'm a buggar for over-preparation!) and that now she had comfortable footwear / IT roller etc we could ensure she ran as best she could and had a good marathon experience. Worried I will have let her down etc etc. 

Bless Mich though. No, she wanted to stick with next month. Fed up of the training now and wants it done with so she can have her three days a week back :) Said not to worry, she will have a great time, will do her best and does not mind if she has to walk a little. She has enjoyed our runs / nattering sessions and knows that we are winging it a bit with the lack of training of late. We have 7 milers on Tuesdays and Thursdays and four long Sunday runs to do, so it is still do-able. Taught me not to take it so seriously.

I cast my mind back and remembered that no training plan ever goes to 'plan'. I remembered my IT injury a few weeks before the race (see my other blog) and the tears I shed and the nerves that I had not trained enough / would not do it. The mind, though, is a wonderful thing. Both myself and Mich are stubborn old mules and we will push and push and get the job done. We will not break any land speed records but we WILL finish.


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