Well it's been a while. I don't know if I've even blogged since starting my training for Snowdon.
Firstly - last weekend. Much has been said already of this wonderful day. Realbuzzers running in purple all over the country. The meet up in St Albans was wonderful for all the reasons already talked about.
The next meet up is of course Snowdon. This has become an annual Mecca for realbuzzers and the numbers running it seems to grow every year. Last year I was happy to be a spectator but before that had run it 2 and 1/2 times. (The last time I had to pull out half way as I was feeling awful).
Snowdon is a beautiful but brutal marathon. The whole weekend is one of the highlights of my year. It's not a marathon where anyone should be concerned about finish times; just finishing it at all should be celebrated.....BUT....my best time at Snowdon is 5.01 hours. I'm putting it out there now that if my finish time this year could start with a 4 that would be the icing on the cake!!
So how's my training going? Well I started training a little on the late side and, determined not to risk injury, I've been building up my long runs gradually. Some of them (especially the hilly ones) have been tougher than I'd have liked but they've been getting ticked off. I did a half marathon a few weeks ago which was a complete disaster. I'd had a tummy upset in the week leading up to it and ran out of energy completely at 6 miles. I ended up walking a lot of the second half and finishing it feeling rubbish.
With 5 weeks to go I've only got up to 18 miles so far in my run yesterday. I wanted an uncomplicated, flat confidence booster so I headed for the Middlewood Way in Cheshire. My plan was to park at one end, run for 9 miles, then turn back. This would involve absolutely no thinking on my part, no traffic to negotiate, and no opportunity to cut the run short. David and I hatched a plan that he would come along later on the bus with the dog and start walking towards me so that they could run my last 2-3 miles with me. My energy levels ebbed and flowed throughout the run and there were times that it felt very tough. But it never felt impossible which is good enough me. It was a real lift when I got David's text to say that he'd arrived and he was heading towards me. Then at last they appeared with 2 miles to go: David all smiles and our beautiful dog Bella bounding towards me! I was too tired to hold any kind of conversation with David but it made such a difference having them both with me for that last 2 miles.
As impatient as I am to increase the miles I think I'm going to cut back to 16 (hilly) miles next week. I'll do 20 the next week which means I'll only end up with one 20 miler three weeks before the big day. I know that's not ideal as I should be doing more 20+ milers but the beauty is that I'm not injured at all! After my last few marathon training bouts this is a minor miracle!! I'd rather be slightly under trained and injury free than cram in the long runs and get injured. Also, for some reason I've never done a structured training program for Snowdon so I don't think I've done any less training this year than usual!
I have another secret weapon this year that I'm hoping will help. I've discovered a running group that trains on a Tuesday evening which is taken by a running coach called Frank Rogers. He only charges us £1 each (despite being told by many people including me that he should charge us more!) and the session is based mainly around a nasty hill near where I live. He also advises on form and technique. (He's written a book called 'Coach in a Book' which I've bought. It's on Amazon and I'd recommend it.) I love the sessions and hope they'll help build up my stamina for hills!
I'm so looking forward to Snowdon and feel confident that I'll get round one way or another. At the moment I don't feel that I've got anywhere near enough fitness to do it in less than 5 hours but I guess the next few weeks will be telling on that.
I will now read through some other blogs! Happy running everyone!
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