Tuesday, 4 March 2014

21 miles and counting!

It's tough - there’s no other way to describe a run of 21 miles. Nobody could call it easy - and if they do, they’re mad. I can’t believe that I managed to actually run 21 miles last Saturday morning but I did, and I am going to boast about it - because it is an achievement. 
This is the third time in my life that I have ever ran 21 miles - this time last year in my first round of training for the Kerry’s Eye Tralee International Marathon, and of course on the big day itself and again this year. 
Still, I found it very tough this year. I felt every mile. I was tired from mile three, not to mind miles 10, 15, or 20. 
In fact, mile 20 to 21 was the longest mile of my life. I thought it would never finish. 
I was so glad to see the Oyster Tavern and the end of 21miles, but it does go to show that no matter how much you feel like you can’t go on, you are stronger than you think and you can keep going. It’s really a matter of mind over matter. 
I was disappointed by my time a little but I’m not dwelling on it because the achievement is in doing 21 miles at all. 
I changed the route slightly so I did the first lap on our normal route and then continued into Tralee the same way as the marathon will, taking in The Kerries, into St Joseph’s Estate and up Caherslee. 
Last year The Kerries killed me psychologically, as I had never run past the Oyster and wasn’t familiar with it. This year I’ve bypassed that problem although either way by that stage I am going to be wrecked. 
Although I am not injured my glutes are a bit tight and worked against me on Saturday. I hope to get those sorted this week and hopefully this will help on March 16th.
However, if the big day goes similar to my training run I might just make it across the finish line in under the five hours, which is what I want.
But of course I want more than that too. I would love to knock 15 mins off but I’m not sure if I am able. Sill, I’m trying to stay positive. 
I was exhausted after the 21 miles but the support in the Oyster Tavern revived me no end. It was absolutely wonderful to see so many Born to Run members and supporters bring out supplies to the Oyster Tavern. 
We had absolutely everything from sausage rolls, chocolate biscuits, sandwiches, cakes and of course tea and coffee. 
Of course the Dashboard Diner by Catherine and Gretta has led the way here and everyone has come on board with them. 
It was nearly worth running 21 miles just for the treats - whoever makes the biscuit cake, I’m in love with it - can I have some on the finish line on the big day? Also sausage rolls are my new food. They tasted so good after 21 miles I actually had to get more in town later. They were the nicest thing I ever tasted after a run. The Jaffa cakes and water in Fenit were also well received. I’m telling you - Jaffa cakes are the secret weapon. 
Now the big day is drawing closer, I have already started to run in my dreams every night so at this rate of going I will be exhausted by the time March 16th arrives. 
I keep dreaming that I will get lost or that I will be really slow or that I won’t make it and I am running every mile over and over again in my head. Definitely obsessed. 
And despite doing it last year, I can’t believe how nervous I am about this year’s run. I think I’m definitely worse than last year - and I was bad then!
But all I had to do was cross the line last year; this year I have to improve - no pressure! 
I am now giving out to myself for not training more and pushing myself more. I think I did all that but it seems to have gone so fast this year I just can’t believe it’s only a matter of weeks away.