Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Running is my life

If you’re a runner, Christmas is cancelled - there’ll be no rest for us during the holidays. Instead, the season of goodwill is the season of more miles. 
And really, we can’t afford to put the feet up. The time is going by so fast and it won’t be long before the big day on March 17th. 
I’m trying very hard not to panic here, but someone put up on Facebook last week that it’s only 100-and-something days to the marathon. I nearly had a nervous breakdown. 
It feels like we only started training recently but we’re in week nine already, and at eleven miles. And it’s fantastic to be nearly halfway there. I did this week’s run alone and only did ten miles, after somehow picking the highest route I could find, at home in Kilgarvan. 
For those who know it, I ran to Morleys Bridge up to my house, which is seriously high. It’s towards the highest pub in Ireland, which says it all really.
I missed the company of my fellow runners when times got tough, but it’s a long one done and dusted - although I’m feeling a bit stiff two days later. Not sure if that’s a good sign or a bad one. 
My pelvic and hip injury is still flaring up, which is really not helpful to my training and although it eases out when I run, I know its probably not going to get better if I don’t rest.
But I can’t rest - because I’d miss running too much, and it’s too close to the big day. 
However, I’ve become very good at doing my stretches and strengthening exercises, which is one good thing I’ve learned this time around. So hopefully I won’t have to take time out. 
I am really enjoying the shorter runs and I’m definitely improving my speed a bit - not much now, but I can see an improvement, which really pushes you on. 
I love the routine of running and meeting at the Aquadome every evening after work for a chat and a run. It doesn’t even feel like you’re going training, just going to meet friends after work. 
Many of my friends who don’t run just don’t understand why I hate missing a run, but it’s seriously addictive once you start. 
It’s not only about the running but about meeting people and reaching your goal. Like maybe doing the three miles faster or running up Ballyard without feeling like dying. 
I wasn’t even sure after last year’s marathon that I would ever want to do one again, but I actually can’t wait to increase the mileage after Christmas to the really long ones - 16, 18, 20 miles. Madness I know, but there’s a great sense of achievement on the long runs. 
It’s hard to get all the training done and the run up to Christmas is the hardest. This weekend I have two Christmas parties which is going to really affect my long run - sorry Marcus, I know I shouldn’t miss one, but this might be a slight exception. God, I feel guilty and I haven’t even missed it yet! 
But then, running becomes such a part of your routine that if I you don’t do it you just feel bad, so it’s nearly easier to do it than to live with the guilt. 
It’s a bit like having that extra chocolate when you know you shouldn’t, but you do anyway and feel bad afterwards. I can’t miss a long run without feeling like that. 
I suppose that’s a good thing. Maybe it means I really am a runner.  

It's tough going

Marathon training is tough, there is no doubt about that, I was completely wrecked after running 10 miles last Sunday. In fact you would think I had done the marathon itself I was so tired. So after completing the double digit number it was off to bed for a few hours to rest. At least I have an excuse for going to bed in the middle of a Sunday afternoon! Time seems to be going to fast this year I can’t believe we are at double digits already. Only a few weeks go we were only working our way up to long mileage and this weekend we did 10 miles. Its sounds fantastic to say I ran 10 miles on a Sunday morning before most people were even up. Yep, it is boasting but all of us training should be -after all we are getting out of bed at 7am on our weekend to run. The nine mile run was tough I felt every mile and couldn’t get into the run. They say you have days like that and definitely the nine miles was one of those days when running was not my thing. Such runs actually help get ready for the marathon though as you have to learn how to keep going when you don’t really want to and this is how you are going to finish on the big day by pushing yourself forward when you don’t want to and you can’t. So, a bad run is actually a good thing the trick is not to give up and keep going no matter what you just have to finish the long run. And again this is where Born to Run comes in all of us have had bad runs and good runs and the group are there to support you and help you finish, so Gretta thanks for coming out to meet me on the last of that nine mile run. I am glad when it was over but overjoyed that I finished. The nine mile route took us around the new bye-pass and although there is some sneaky hills they were worth it for the run down Oakpark. It’s actually a nice running route around Tralee for anyone looking for somewhere different to run. 
I don’t care what anyone says it is an achievement to finish nine miles and the buns and jaffa cakes served at the ‘Dashboard Diner’ is an incentive to keep all of us running again Gretta and Catherine thanks for the mobile 
cafe that is there to meet us every Saturday morning! 
Thankfully, the 10 mile run was not as bad as the nine mile run and I enjoyed most of it although I still can’t find some-one who runs at my pace and I end up behind or ahead of most of the group. 
Hopefully my next run will out on the marathon route. I missed the first excursion out there this week. 
I am both dreading and looking forward to doing that route again. I haven’t been out in that direction since completing the marathon last year but at least this year I already know every bump and lump in that road and I will know them even better by the time March comes again this year. Sometimes I think I am mad to be doing any marathon training - it takes up so much time, its all I think and talk about and its tough and then I remember that it is all worth it when you cross that line. I am feeling the pressure this year to do the marathon faster, I am after all supposed to be fitter this year, but 26 miles is still 26 miles, so I can’t see how I am going to do it that much faster but we will have to wait and see. In the meantime, its onwards and upwards in training although I have to admit I’m going to be bold this week and miss training all weekend as I am away for a few days. And already I feel guilty that I am going to miss it not sure if that is good or bad but I will make up for it I promise!