The last few weeks have seen a progressive increase in the distance of my weekly long run. I’ve done most of the long runs alone but I did manage to fit Keswick half into my training quite nicely. There were several brutal hills on that route, as you can imagine. All good training, though, and I surprised myself with how I managed to tackle those climbs with confidence, silencing that nagging voice in my head that was telling me to quit!
So, while it wasn’t the quickest half, I finished feeling fairly strong and that was the main aim – to inspire me with the confidence that I will make the marathon distance in July. At the end, I was rewarded with an apple (there was the option of buying a slate memento, but I’m too tight for that!!). Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this event. The organisation was faultless and the marshalls were very encouraging.
A mid week club run proved revitalising. After a long day at work, where I felt lethargic most of the day, it took some convincing to drag my butt out the door. I’m so glad I did, though, as it proved to be one of my quickest 7 milers to date! It was warm but my legs felt strong and it certainly helped blow the cobwebs away!
Last weekend, I did 15.3 miles. I felt like I struggled quite a lot during the last 3 miles and I was grateful that Ali had met me in Oulton, just before mile 7, to accompany me the rest of the way. She kept me going, that’s for sure! The average pace was 9 min 50 per mile. I decided then to make a concerted effort to slow down the pace of my long runs to between 10min/mile to 10 min 30 per mile.
Following Saturday’s deluge of rain, I was fearful that the route I’d plotted for Sunday’s run would leave me with sodden feet. Luckily, I encountered no flooding on my 17 miler and it stayed dry! It was rather warm, though, and I do struggle once that thermometer begins to rise. The route I planned took me through areas that I hardly ever visit despite the proximity to were I live! I found this really helped me keep going as I was distracted by the new sights, and the blooming awful hills that I didn’t realise were there!!
I thoroughly enjoyed this run. It was one of those runs were everything feels good and you feel invincible! Not every run feels like this and so I know to make the most of the times were it all goes my way. It makes it easier to get over the bad runs then. I was really pleased with my pacing as well. Mile 15 was the slowest but there are two horrible hills contained in that mile; with 14 miles already in my legs, the climb was rather painful!
The training is going well so far and I’m really enjoying the long, slow runs at the weekend mixed up with the faster club sessions during the week. I can’t quite relax enough to really enjoy my achievements thus far because I feel like I’m almost waiting for the wheels to come off and for something to happen that will hinder my chances of completing the marathon. As my running partner, Ali, said, marathon training is all consuming, taking over your life. I just hope I can make it to the start line in one piece! Only 48 days to go!!!!