We made the decision in these last four weeks to cut our runs from four to three per week; after 10 weeks of 5am wake ups it was beginning to take its toll and we made the choice to cut out one morning a week. To be honest, the focus of these last three weeks has been the large runs on the Sundays: 2hrs 30, 2hrs 40 and 2hrs 50, and this weekend will be the longest at 3hr 25 mins.
The first one -2hrs 30 mins – went blindingly! I felt really strong, worked well with my gels and managed to run 14 miles. Admittedly I went over by two mins but there was no way I was going to stop at 13.97 miles! I had my first ever ice bath after this run as my legs were killing me and ice baths are supposedly good for recovery…as well as extremely cold!!!
So I thought to myself: with another 10 minutes I can do 15 miles next week! I headed out feeling confident – perhaps a little too confident! I was jogging along happily imagining what race day might be like, imagining perhaps seeing my family, the guide dog supporters and some April Lodge supporters (Is anyone coming to cheer me on? I need it!) and all of a sudden looked at my watch and realised I was doing 10min 30 sec miles, which is fast for me! I felt okay so I carried on as I was, then I hit mile 7 and everything started to hurt. I swear after that I no longer had legs but concrete bollards that I was dragging along! To make things even more awkward there had been an ‘incident’ in Southend and the police had closed the road so I had to change my route. I only managed 14.4 miles that day and I will admit I came home and had a good old crying tantrum about it, everything hurt and the thought of an ice bath had me sobbing too. Needless to say I spent the rest of the day curled up under a duvet feeling quite sorry for myself. Reflecting on things, I know what I did wrong: that first 7 miles was too fast and I used up all my energy reserves. I knew what I had to do the next week!
So, this Sunday I went out with steely determination that THIS would be a great run, despite it being windy and cold and raining. I set off at a much more relaxed pace of 11 mins 16 seconds per mile. My hubby and I didn’t want to go too far from home in case the weather took a horrific turn and we have a nice 5 mile loop that goes by our hometown so he went one way and I went the other! It meant we saw each other every loop and it was a nice little boost and extra support. I ran a very strong 10 miles keeping my pace level, and then I started to flag a little towards the end but that was okay; I am still new to these distances and I don’t expect to be able to keep up a pace all the way through. What was nice was that towards the last 15 mins of my run, hubby came the other way and he grabbed my hand and then ran with me until the end – that was the biggest boost! I managed to hit 15 miles at 2hrs 49mins and 25 secs and I may have done a little celebration! I did ask hubby if he can finish marathon day and then come back for me but I didn’t get a positive answer!
We are now officially in Marathon Month: 25 days to go! This Sunday is my longest run at 3hr 25 mins and I am hoping that I can keep my head and I will cover 18 miles at the very least. If I manage to do this, I might (depending how I feel) just push it a little further and try and cover 20 miles. I will see how it goes and then I am very much looking forward to tapering down, everything getting a bit easier and more relaxed before the big day.
I have now raised £662 (that’s £801.28 with Gift Aid), a brilliant total as both charities stand to receive £400 . I am still hoping to raise it a bit higher this month and do all that I can before April 26th.
Thanks everyone! Aimee x