Well, it’s been a while. It’s now 6 weeks to go until race day and training has been the usual yo-yo that marathon training can be! Training throughout March went really well. I ran 120 miles in total, including a 19 miler. However, I was a bit cocky with the 19 miler and ran it at too fast a pace really (I always do this marathon training…when will I ever learn?) and then felt wiped out and exhausted for the following week, so took a full week of rest. To be honest, the rest did me good. I think I was on the brink of over-training so I had to listen to my body and rest.
The following weekend, we went away with some friends to Belgium to watch the cycling. This was lots of fun and we did lots of walking and waffle eating. We did manage to get out for a run and ran through a foot tunnel in Antwerp with wooden escalators which was very fun.
The break had done me good and after that I returned to club on Thursday evening, eager to start putting the miles in. 2 and a half miles into the run however, I fell over! In the last 5 years of running, I have never ever fallen over so it was bound to happen sooner or later. My arm was badly grazed but other than that I felt fine, just a bit shaken up. I started jogging slowly again but then my chest went really tight and I felt like I couldn’t get my words out or breathe. I’d obviously winded myself as I went over on my side, so I decided to be sensible and cut my run short and return home. Luckily a few team mates stayed with me and walked me home. The next day I felt very sore and bruised, so my plan for a 20 mile run at the weekend was shelved and I just went out for an 8 mile social run on the Happy Bus and really enjoyed it.
This week, I’ve been back on it though. I went to club both Tuesday and Thursday so got in an interval session and tempo 7 miles. Then I decided to venture to parkrun on Saturday after not going since January. All the news about Little Stoke parkrun made me feel obliged to turn up and show my support. I went to Croxteth parkrun as I hadn’t returned since I paced Claire in the summer and I wanted to see what I could do if I went all out.
I only went and got a new PB by 30 seconds! My previous 5k PB was 23.53, but my result yesterday was 23.21. I was ecstatic! It was tough but I enjoyed it as it’s just one continuous lap unlike most other parkruns which are usually 2 or 3 laps.
Today, I ran my first 20 miler of this marathon training cycle. I plotted out a new route which was an out and back, towards Hale village and Pickering’s Pasture. I really enjoyed the first half – the village was so peaceful on a Sunday morning and the country roads were a nice change to run on. However, it was very sunny and I’d made the mistake of not bringing a drink or any money with me. All the way back, all I could think about was getting a drink. My lips were so dry and I was struggling. I decided to call Scott who drove out to drop off a drink for me (luckily at this point I was only 5 miles away, but I think it would have been dangerous to carry on feeling as dehydrated as I did). It was so tempting to just down the whole bottle but I knew I’d then feel all jiggly and horrible for the final 5 miles so I carried the drink with me the rest of the way to sip on as I went along.
Despite the poor planning on the hydration front (luckily in the race there will be water stations!), I felt quite good on this run. I didn’t listen to any music and tried to focus on slowing down my pace to avoid burn out.
I’m really looking forward to race day now and I feel ready. It’s a bit weird seeing so many people running their Spring marathons already – Paris, Manchester, Brighton and Hamburg have all been making appearances in my social media feeds. I am a bit envious of all the PBs being smashed but it’s equally making me a bit nervous as I remember how badly Manchester went last year for me. I am hoping to put those demons to bed this year, but marathons are difficult. Who knows what will happen on the day!