Obviously my failure to post ANYTHING of interest, or even anything full stop, for the last few months has been down to me spending every waking hour pounding the tarmac in preparation for next weekend. Not.
In reality it’s been down to a mixture of work, family, work, more family, and quite a lot of just general fatigue and grab-an-early-night when you can. Nevertheless I have doggedly maintained my half-marathon training, according to The Plan, with a blind faith that if I do what The Plan says then somehow I’ll get round the course without collapsing/major disaster. My previous post on this topic sounded quite optimistic, but with one week to go, I feel less so…
- The statement that I was regularly running 4.5 miles was proved wrong once I finally got going with my Endomondo iPhone app and discovered that my estimates via Google Maps were about half a mile or so out (the wrong way).
- A bout of tonsillitis and then a heavy cold knocked me out for about 3 weeks in July, just when The Plan was getting going (notably a week after the previous post). In retrospect, I think that is the time I should really have been making some strides (ha ha) towards improving my endurance and speed. As a consequence there hasn’t really been much of a step-change (dear god) in my performance. I’ve improved incrementally, I think, but no where near enough to manage 13 miles running.
- Training a couple of weeks ago with my sister-in-law, also doing the run, was good in the sense that it helped having someone to run with (and somewhere nice – Jersey’s Corbiere to St Aubins railway walk – sans dogs and cars), but highlighted how much fitter she is. On the other hand she does have Pilates classes, a personal trainer at the gym, and no kiddiwinks.
- On the topic of kiddiwinks, the pelvic floor is not holding up terribly well, at least not for runs longer than about an hour. I shall have to see someone about this after the event; needless to say I thank technology for inventing moisture-wicking fabrics and various absorbent devices. All totally embarrassing, and even worse when combined with IBS-style cramps, which reduce me to a speed of about 15mins/mile.
- I still hate dogs, I’m afraid. The river path at one point is covered with dog walkers, all of whom stand directly on the path I’m running on gassing to their mates, and whose dogs run straight at my legs, causing me to swerve at the last minute and risk knee injuries. I want to shout at them, ‘Do you not appreciate how amazing it is that I’m doing this? Could you please be a bit more helpful? It’s taken all my efforts just to get off my arse and get out of here, don’t make it any harder’. Only I haven’t got the breath.
So that’s about it. The furthest … sorry, the longest (The Plan is based on time, rather than distances), I’ve run so far is two hours, and I must say that the second hour of that I was dead on my feet. I remember at one point staggering down a path, and some walkers ahead hearing my fairy footsteps behind them and very NICELY (note this, dog walkers) moving to the side for me to go by. By the time I actually went past them, however, they’d had time to sit down and read half a novel. I had to apologise for being so slow.
Two hours may be OK, but I’ll prob need to do another hour on top of that to get over the finish line. I’ve already briefed my sister in law that I don’t want to run with her for the second half, as I know she’ll be secretly planning a sprint finish, and that’ll just make me want to lie down and weep.
The only benefit of the whole thing at the moment, as far as I can see, is that I now have an excuse to stuff my face with carbs for the rest of this week. Chocolate muffins, here I come.
PS Performance from today’s 1 hour run posted above, for reference. I have NO IDEA if this is good enough for a run (bearing in mind I slow down dramatically after an hour). But there we go. I like the running image at the top, makes me feel v athletic.