36 weeks 6 days 19 hours and 40 minutes to go…

It’s been roasting most days this week, so I put on a tank top and capri yoga pants for my run this morning – a decision I instantly regretted when I stepped out into the arctic chill that comprises arbitrary mornings any time within the months of March and September in Britain.

Within yards of my flat, my water bottle turned upside down and opened inside my cloth backpack, soaking my back with cold water. I did a very funny archy-back-jumping-around-trying-to-separate-myself-from-something-attached-to-me move that must have been quite entertaining for early morning commuters on my road before I sensibly removed my backpack and righted the bottle. Off to a good start…

Once the water bottle drama had come to a close, my run went very smoothly. I was very conscious of my pace today, making sure to slow myself down when I felt myself speeding up to an unsustainable pace. Building on speed gradually is very important, but in the end it’s going to be patience, not speed that is going to get me over that finish line in January! I think for me, especially, a marathon will be a test of my mental stamina above all else!

Keeping my pace slow and steady reminded me of a singing lesson I had recently with my friend Scott. He told me to rate my effort level whilst singing somewhere between a 1 and a 10, 1 being as little effort as possible to make the sound, and 10 being giving it all you got. When he would tell me to sing at where I think is my 4 or 5, I would sing at what was more like an 8 or a 9. I put so much effort into giving with every thing I do. I’m always standing on the balls of my feet, sitting on the edge of my chair, ready to put everything into the beginning that sometimes I don’t have the stamina to reach the end. So, today’s run was very much dedicated to patience and working at level 5 and not level 10!

As a special challenge to myself, I jogged up a very steep hill I’ve never been able to sustain a run up before! A man about two and a half times my age overtook me because I was going so slowly and I had to pause near the top for a quick swig of water, but I did run the whole of it! Yay!

I had to stop a couple of times to faff around with my backpack, because it was bouncing around and pretty much rubbing my skin off. The stops took my split pace from 6mins/k to over 9mins/k (I track with MapMyRun, which uses a timer and GPS), I was able to bring it back up to about 7mins/k in the final stretch, by sprinting a bit downhill, but it was mega annoying! Runners: what do you store your keys, waterbottle, etc. in on a run? If anything? I might need to upgrade to something a little bit more high tech than tying backpack straps around my waist.

Finished up with some quick hamstring and yoga stretches, including some Downward Dog variations, really digging my heels into the ground to stretch out my calves. I already have calves that would make a rugby player weep, I really don’t want them getting any bigger.

The nutrition page on the Run Disney website suggested that it was pretty important to try to get some food down you within the first 30 minutes after finishing a run of >1hr, even if you’re not hungry. So I drank a bit of light soya milk. Not many calories, but at least there’s some protein in there!

I feel fantastic, energized, detoxed, and ready for the rest of my day!

Stats:

Distance: 10.91 km

Duration: 1:17:24

Split Pace: 7:05 min/k

Fuel: Total 0% Greek Yogurt with 1 1/2 TBL Nutella

Music: Disney’s The Little Mermaid: A Broadway Musical

Disney Quote of the Day: “I don’t know when, I don’t know how, but I feel something’s starting right now…” – Ariel, The Little Mermaid

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