Tuesday, 21 January 2014

It never gets easy

Since my last blog, I’ve managed two long runs, and with a 14-miler and 12-miler under my belt I’m feeling slightly more confident. Which is a good thing with just weeks to go until we’re all standing on the start line.
Fourteen miles was tough going. It was my first long run since before Christmas, and I must say I was scared. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I had it in me. But thanks to Marilyn O’Shea and Caroline McConnell - and of course the rest of the Born to Run crew - I got through it and I was actually pretty happy. 
It was my first time out on the course since the day I did the marathon on St Patrick’s weekend last year, and it brought back memories - not all of them good. 
I had forgotten just how tough the course is and I found it quite hard. Some of those hills were hell - but everyone kept pushing me on and even though I wanted to give up, I kept going and I finished the 14 miles. 
Thanks to my wonderful Garmin I can now compare last year’s runs with this year’s training - and it’s great to see. I’m somewhat faster than last year - but not that much. 
This is very disappointing, and I think it is kind of throwing my training. I want to do it faster this year - but what if I don’t? 
Running a marathon is all about being positive and when I see that I haven’t improved all that much it affects me, and is really not helping me get ready for this year’s event. 
I know it’s all about just doing the training and not putting myself under pressure - but that’s easier said than done.   
I have to say - categorically - it’s not easier the second time around. I know everyone thinks its great that I have one done, but it’s not great at all. 
To be honest, it’s way worse second time around - first of all because you don’t have the excitement of completing your first 14 miles, 15 miles and so on, but also because you have to do more than cross the line this time around. I want to go back to being a first-timer! I looked back at my blog for last year’s 14 miles and I was definitely more positive - so hopefully the positivity will return. 
The 12 mile run wasn’t too bad, but I did find the hills tough enough especially Barrow again. It just keeps on going up and up. I barely managed to make it. But of course once I did, I was delighted. 
I’m finding the hills tough this year. You’d think I’d be better at them by now, but then that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. If anything, they’re worse this year. 
I’m supposed to be very fit by now but I’m not seeing it - how unfair is that? 
Also, this fitness lark should surely at the very least help me lose a few pounds, shouldn’t it? 
Again - not the case, even though I’m really trying to be good. Of course I deserve chocolate after my long runs - we all do - but other than that, I’m on a health kick.
The scales are ignoring it, but I’m going with the premise that muscle is heavier than fat. If it’s not, I’m in trouble! 
I’ve also begun a strength and conditioning class with Tralee Triathlon Club. My plan is to do a triathlon this year. 
If anyone had told me last year I’d be considering a triathlon, I’d have said no way - but as I’ve said before, running does change your life. And for the better. 
I also swim with the club at 7.15am on Friday morning. Yes, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to get out of bed at 6.30am to train. God knows why. 
Apparently the strength class will help me with my running and make me faster. That’s what they said - so it’d better work! 
In the meantime, it’s all about the marathon and this Saturday is fifteen miles. Here’s hoping I conquer it! 

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