Among my Christmas presents this year was a t-shirt courtesy of my wife emblazoned with the slogan eat, sleep, run, repeat, which was basically a precursor for what was to come in winter training!
This week has been a strange one – definite highs and lows. The good news is the lows came first so I can write my blog update in a positive frame of mind.
They started during my Tuesday recovery run, which was a real slog. It came after a big week where I’d clocked up both my longest run to date and my furthest weekly mileage. Frankly I was shattered and it was starting to show in both my pace and my thoughts.
The doubts were creeping in – maybe this is too much, perhaps I’m not cut out for marathon distance. It’s the first time this has happened and was quite unnerving, but presumably it’s all part of the rollercoaster ride.
Thursday was a midweek 8-miler before work (I call this distance my Eminem run…boom!). It was cold, wet and windy – not the best if you’re in a negative mind-set. But I got through it at a tolerable pace and started to feel a little more confident. Tiredness was still an issue and I could genuinely have had a little snooze at my desk as the clock crawled towards 5pm..!
And then things just seemed to change. I was out during my lunch break on Friday and nailed a 5 mile run averaging 7:49 minute miles. It felt great and I was back in a happy place. I was excited for my weekend long run too and started planning a new route in order to avoid repetition and that annoying sense of runners’ deja-vu.
Sunday came and what a fab day it was. It had the potential to be a bit of a nightmare because I managed to get lost trying to pick up a canal tow path, ending up instead on an industrial estate next to a freight railway line! I did manage to get back to familiar roads and I found that elusive path eventually.
But the little detour added a good mile and a half to my route. I was scheduled to do 17 miles. In the end I did 19 – and I can honestly say my legs, tired as they were, did have more to give.
Clocked it at 2h45m, which is averaging 8:42 minute miles – same as last week’s 17 mile long run. Total mileage for the week, 37.5. This is totally new territory for me and it’s so exciting to know I’ve got it in me (well, my legs).
I’m running the Stafford 20 event in two weeks’ time, so will back off on the big mileage now until that is done. Then it’s back on the marathon plan building up to a 20+ mile run three weeks before London.
What an experience this is proving to be! And just in case there was a danger of me getting bored at the weekend, I teamed up with my four year old daughter to bake some yummy cakes for my colleagues at work which I’m selling in exchange for charity donations.
I’m now considerably closer to my target, which is one less thing to worry about and means I can properly focus on training. If ‘eat, sleep, run, repeat’ holds true then the second half of this week is one I’ll gladly repeat infinitum.
Tell us your story
Inspire and be inspired by sharing your health or fitness journey. Your blog will provide you with a permanent record of your progress, with the added bonus of motivation and encouragement from our members along the way.* Manage my blogs