Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Training steps up

Took myself out for a training run today, bearing in mind it is less than 4 weeks to Southampton half marathon. Well, I say run, it was run/walk but it was more running than walking, although one hill had to be walked as it really is a hard hill.

I pushed myself out of my comfort zone today. Took myself on roads I had not run on before, and I used opportunities to extend my run. So instead of using paths that cut corners off, I took the longer route. Mentally it was tough to do as I just wanted to find the shortest route home, but physically I was actually doing okay, so I talked myself into doing it. So I ended up doing 5 miles by myself. Also, I have to push myself mentally and physically and I am very bad at taking myself out of my comfort zone when it comes to running.

I'm doing a longer run/walk on Sunday. This could be interesting.

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Event 14 of #fortyb4forty

It's the bank holiday Easter weekend - and it's raining and windy at the time of writing this. This morning however, the rain held off long enough for me to run a quarter marathon. Now a quarter marathon does sound quite grand to me, I mean a marathon is a challenge, something that is enduring and hard work. The reality is that a quarter marathon is 0.3 miles longer than a 10k distance - 6.55 miles. But I like quarter marathon - it's sounds much more grand.

However, whilst there was no rain in Boscombe this morning, there was certainly wind. And the rolling waves on the beach definitely indicated that it was no mild wind either. Predicted speed had been 40mph. No idea what the reality was.  So the run starts along the promenade - complete exposure to the sea, but not horrendous, but still hard work to keep going. However, once we went up to the road, the wind was a different matter. It felt like it was constantly changing direction- so it could blow me sideways (usually close to the road), or running straight into it, but made it impossible to find the energy to push forward. Sometimes the wind would push me along and I took full advantage of this to make up some time that I had spent walking as the wind literally took my breath away. I definitely walked more and I did wear my watch today. I was really pleased with my time. I practically matched my 10k time from last Sunday (1 second slower today), and came in with a really respectable time.

At times I had to really fight the demons in my head telling me that this was going to be hard, and what was the point. So I needed some distraction. I didn't wear any headphones and I was pretty much alone (as my running buddy I started with was doing a fabulous run and had run ahead). So I was counting each step in increments of 10. No idea why, but it certainly kept me moving and distracted me from the negative voices.

Despite walking so much more that I intended, I am really chuffed with today. I'm so glad it didn't rain as I think I would have been pretty miserable going around. It was a hard race. And it's given me some more confidence about the half marathon which is in 29 days- eeeek!!! I think if I can use a run/walk strategy around I could be okay, and just need to practice the distraction techniques I used today as they really seems to work. Also very thankful that my knee problems I was having last year do not seem to be repeating. Slight niggling, but nothing that is causing a problem. Thankfully I know a sports massage therapist.......

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Event 13 of #forty 4forty

Wow!!!! What a fantastic race I had this morning. It was the Eastleigh 10k. Last year I couldn't run this one due to injury, and this year I thought I was going to have to pull out having been hit by a viruses since the beginning of Febraury. Last week resulted in a case of antibiotics for an ear infection, and a poor run on Wednesday was making me doubt whether I would actually make it around today.

Well, I totally blew that out of the water. With a fabulous running buddy, I pretty much ran the entire course (except half the hill). I was so chuffed, I had to dig really deep during the last kilometre to find the umph to keep going, and then finish with a sprint. But I did it, and produced my best 10k time this year. Physically and mentally I felt amazing. I felt comfortable for most of the route. No breathing issues that I had previously struggled with and, once they had warmed up, my legs carried me around the course. We were, of course, supported by a great support team from the running club around the course.

5 weeks to Southampton half marathon....... Need to really knuckle down and get some decent training in.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Spring has arrived (unofficially).

What a beautiful morning today. It was still 5 Celsius when I got to parkrun this morning but it didn't take long to warm up once I got going.

Well, this morning's event has been interesting to review. First running with a snot-ridden head makes things a lot more difficult, however, thanks to a change in route for today, I was able to produce my fastest time for this year. My watch, however, isn't agreeing, and showed a much slower time (nearly 30 secs slower).  On analysing past results  for this year and comparing chip times and parkrun starting times, it seems that actually my watch could be at fault as it is consistently slower by 20+ seconds. That's a lot of seconds!!

So training has been rubbish. Viral tonsillitis, and then a cold more recently, has at times, left me feeling like I've been hit by a brick wall. So I struggled today. Next Sunday is Eastleigh 10k. I have severe doubts going through my head, because for the last month I have struggled to run even 3 miles.

So I've now completed 12 events of #fortyb4forty. Just 28 to go............