Thursday, 17 January 2013

The count-down has begun!

Nine weeks to go to. It’s scary to think that it’s so close. The next couple of weeks will see us increase our mileage significantly.  
Last week was a ‘rest’ week - apparently. We only did 12 miles - imagine saying only 12 miles! But yes, that is the case. 
I feel like I am kind of showing off when I say it but seriously, once upon time that was a long distance. Now it’s short. 
However, having said that, the twelve mile run definitely wasn’t a good one. By mile 10, I could barely lift my legs, and I was not very impressed at all with the marathon route - talk about hills! 
A warning for those who have not yet run the route - that stretch from Fenit towards the Oyster Tavern has more than its fair share of hills, and on the day that will be miles 16 - 20.
I’m really not looking forward to it. I remember when we started training, Barrow Hill was the big one, and of course it’s still there, but give me a short, high hill any day. And keep your long, unending inclines.
I think I kind of hit a wall in training on Saturday. Apparently this is common, but it’s still very off-putting. And by the time I finished, I didn’t want to run the marathon at all. 
In fact, I really felt like giving up. So thanks to Rosaleen for keeping my faith up and getting me past that point. 
I did manage to complete the 12 miles though - so I must look at the positive.
I’m hoping this little slump will pass, but either way, in nine weeks time, I’m going to cross that finish line. Although I do warn - it may be on my knees!
My social life has also seriously deteriorated and I think it’ll go way downhill from here on, as I’m up too early on Saturday to go out Friday nights and on Saturday night I’m too wrecked to move: I could easily be in bed at 10pm. 
In recent weeks, I have done a lot of my long runs at home in Kenmare, and not at 8am in the morning, but I know I have to train on the actual marathon route, so I’m back into the routine of the early Saturday morning run. 
It’s no wonder my friends are concerned about me. I used to be the one out all the time. I’ve even passed up a weekend in Galway because I couldn’t miss training. 
I will definitely be looking forward to a pint after I cross that finish line. Actually I probably won’t be able to drink, as I will be on my hands and knees crawling. 
I wonder will I even be able to celebrate St Patrick’s Day - that day after the marathon - or will I in bed recuperating?
However, there’s a bright side. I’ll be able to say I ran the first-ever Tralee International Marathon. Well here’s hoping I will anyway. 
Fourteen miles is my long run this week. After last week’s ‘wall’ I’m dreading it. But  I’m trying to keep reminding myself that every run is different, and that I will make it to 14 miles. 
By the way I hardly notice the short runs anymore. It’s just ‘get out and do them’. Between now and the big day, it’s all about the long ones.

Thursday, 3 January 2013

Half-way there

I'm officially half way there! It’s actually quite hard to believe, but I ran a half-marathon last Sunday, completing over thirteen miles - yes, thirteen miles!
When I started off training in October, thirteen miles seemed a long way. 
But to be honest, I still can’t imagine doubling it for the full marathon. Another thirteen miles seems a long, long distance but I have to keep reminding myself that ten weeks ago, I couldn’t run thirteen miles. Now that’s done. 
Everyone keeps asking if it was tough, and of course it was, but not as bad as you think. Once you starting running and get into it you just keep going. 
The worst thing is that it can get quite boring. I definitely need more songs on my iPod, as I listened it twice over on the thirteen miles.
And of course, there is a bit of pain involved. Every now and then your body says ‘I can’t do this’. And you have to tell yourself to keep going. 
I did my thirteen miles on my own, so I missed running with the group. But I did it, and that’s what important. And of course you do get a great buzz when you manage to complete it. Then, the pain is forgotten and you feel on top of the world. 
Although I have to admit I pretty much fell back into bed after doing it, and slept for a few hours. 
So I’m now back on track with training, and actually I did pretty well over Christmas. 
Despite all the festivities, I managed to keep to the training schedule and I even did a four-mile run on Christmas morning and again on St Stephen’s Day. 
I never thought when I started off that I would be so committed, but I missed training so much when I was injured that I didn’t want to fall behind anymore. 
I have to admit I missed my 12 mile run on Saturday before Christmas, as I went out the night before. 
But I rescheduled and went on Sunday instead - so that’s commitment for you. 
It’s weird, but I don’t honestly feel any fitter. But I suppose I must be. 
And any weight-loss has been wiped out by the Christmas festivities.  On the plus side, I pretty much ate everything I wanted over the holidays as I ran it off - that’s my defence anyway. 
I probably have toned up a bit since I started, and running is definitely part of my life now which was the aim of the programme. 
Now I just have to complete 26.2 miles. I get a lot of moments of panic when I say this, especially as the marathon is getting closer and closer. 
March 16th is not that far away. I’m very afraid of getting more injuries which would set me back again. I can’t afford to take any more time off from training so fingers crossed that all goes well from here on out. 
New Year’s Eve has upset my training this week, and my mother who is accompanying me on this marathon training, is celebrating her birthday this weekend too. It’ll will further put training in jeopardy, but from next week on, it’s head down and ten full weeks of training to get ready for D-Day. 
Well at least I have a New Year’s resolution to run a marathon.