5

New York Marathon Training – Week 5

I know that marathon training is difficult, but this cycle seems to be challenging me no end. So, I finally got antibiotics and my sinusitis is clearing up, but training still hasn’t been easy or too enjoyable this week. I have really struggled to recover from my long run last week. My quads are really sore and calves tight, so Monday I had a sports massage and changed my 400’s on the plan to a recovery run. It was really, really slow and so hard!!

Wednesday is my tempo run day, I am always apprehensive about this run! I found it tough from the off. My legs were heavy and every step was hard. After my mile warm up, I tried to pick up the pace, as I am supposed to run these at 9:15 min/mile. I struggled to get to that pace and felt like I was at full sprint! I felt SO disappointed, I had to give myself a talking too, as I just wanted to abandon the whole run. I managed to convince myself to clock the miles, although I did cut it a mile short!

Thursday I managed to go to run club, and oh how I love those people! I was feeling pretty rubbish about my tempo run and generally how I was finding running so hard. They were all so supportive and gave me great advice. We did 200’s, 400’s and 600’s, all with a massive hill in them, and I ran steady. After all the advice, I didn’t even really look at my watch during the run, and when I checked after, my pace wasn’t too bad. A few people suggested I cut back my long run at the weekend, or even take a week off training and recover fully. My body is trying to fight an infection so is struggling to help me recover too! Even though I knew this, when others were telling me, I felt like a huge pressure was lifted. Only pressure I was putting on myself, but this weeks 16 miler was probably not going to happen and that had to be ok!

With the pressure off, I optimistically prepared myself for my long run on Saturday morning, just incase by miracle, once I started running, I felt amazing, then I would run the whole 16 miles. So my hydration pack and gels were loaded, I avoided the alcohol and Indian takeaway the family had Friday night, and set off early Saturday morning. I knew pretty quickly 16 miles wasn’t going to miraculous happen, so decided to enjoy the sights, the lovely weather and complete a 5 mile loop. I walked when I needed and ran when I wanted. I was disappointed not to complete my long run, but at the same time, I really needed to enjoy the run.

So, that’s my week. Again, not my best, but some miles are banked, I’ve now finished my antibiotics and I hoping for a return to form. Training plans are good, but they have to be flexible to suit you.

I think I would benefit from having a better recovery strategy after runs.

If anyone has any tips, please leave me a comment below.

New York Marathon Training – Week 4

I am STILL struggling with illness, my ‘cold’ has turned into sinusitis, so training this week was again tougher than it should have been. I moved my sessions around, to try to give myself an extra rest day, on the day I was fully congested, but the reshuffle didn’t work quite how I had hoped, so I still missed one of my scheduled runs. On a positive note, I managed one more session than last week!

So, the sessions completed were:

Monday: Mile Repeats

Thursday: Tempo Run. I was away so I managed to get to run in Bushy Park. I went early morning, the sun was shining and I just enjoyed the moment. Tempo’s are tough, and I did have a few stops to clear congestion, but I was happy to get it done.

Sunday – Long run day. I really struggled for motivation for this run. I was running solo as my run buddies are away on holiday. So, I got my music sorted and headed out at 7:30am. I spent the first 3 miles wondering why I was doing this, it was such a long way. I know that marathons are tough and you have to train for them, but my head would not accept this and it was a real battle to not head home. I then had a period of just putting one foot in front of the other, but as I approached 10 miles, I battled with myself as the route I had planned meant I had a mile ish uphill to get home, and this kept playing on my mind. Worrying about the hill took the enjoyment out of the preceding miles, silly really. Truth is the uphill wasn’t so bad, but i had psyched myself out of it, and I did walk a little of it! If I had managed approach it with a more positive mindset, I would have run it, no problem! Frustrating. Your mind is such a powerful tool, and can really influence your runs.

 

So, what do you do when you feel like your motivation isn’t what it should be? Me, I head to YouTube and find this:

I got so emotional watching this, it will be epic!

On to Week 5, and let’s hope this week is the week my health returns to 100% and all sessions are completed!

New York Marathon Week 1

New York Marathon Training – week 1

I’ve been pretty useless on my blog lately, and I’m still questioning do I want to keep one? But as my NY Marathon journey has started, I have decided to document it, so that I have it all in one place, and can look back when I need too!!

Sorry if you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, as you would have already seen these pictures! I will try to be more inventive in future posts!

Recap of training

Pro

  • I completed all my runs.
  • I enjoyed my long run, even though I had really worried about the pace I had to hit!
  • I did some strength work to compliment my running.

Areas for improvement

  • Stretching
  • My foot is sore and I’m really hoping it’s not anything bad! So if it could improve quickly, that would be helpful.
  • As always keeping my water intake up!

One week down, 15 more to go. Is anyone else training for New York Marathon?

Race Recap – Kingston Breakfast Run

So my final 20-miler of this London Marathon training cycle, coincided nicely with the Kingston Breakfast Run 20 mile event, and as I was staying in the London area the same weekend, it seemed rude not to enter! The event is organised Human Race, and as with all of their events, this one did not disappoint!

Human Race Events

Date: Sunday 3rd April 2016

Time: 8am start. Yes it is an early start, ย and forcing porridge down you at 6am isn’t pleasant, but it is nice that the run doesn’t take up your whole day!

Weather: Warm, sunny, with a slight breeze. After the wind and rain of last week, this was lovely.

Course: This course is a fast flat, looped course. One loop is from Kingston Bridge to Hampton Court Bridge and in total is around 8 miles. The event hosts and 8 mile (1 lap) 16 mile (2 laps) and 20 miles (2 and a bit laps) You run along the River Thames and it really is pretty, especially when the sun is shining. There are some supporters around the start/finish, but very few on the actual course. There are plenty of marshals and they are very supportive and encouraging. There were frequent water stations, 2 which had SIS gels available (shown below). I didn’t use the baggage area, but have done in the past and was easy and efficient. There are toilets near the toilets, but with 15 minutes to go before the start of the race, the queue was huge. The 8 and 16 mile races started 30 minutes later, and I’m sure it was a lot of these runners in the queue. They really could have waited or let us 20 milers sneak in ahead. There is a toilet on the route, but once I have started I am very reluctant to stop!

The website says that they have pacers from 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, & 12 min/miles, but they were very hard to spot, as they had red t-shirts on, but nothing written on the back and no flag. I just stumbled upon the 11min/mile pace around mile 2, but I was running 10:30 pace. I went past him, but he caught me up around mile 20, and again I averaged 10:32 pace, so if you had planned to stick at 11 min/mile pace and kept with him, you would have worked a little bit harder than you wanted too.

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 16.07.42

My race: I felt quite nervous about this race. I’m not totally sure why, as I ran 20 miles only 2 weeks ago, but I was worried as this was my last attempt and what if it all went wrong! London is only 3 weeks away and I really wanted this to be a confidence builder. Even though I was running this race on my own, I met up with some of the lovely RMR and UK Run Chat communities before the start. I also met one of my fellow RunMND runners, which was such a great surprise; she even stayed around at the end to see me ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks Maxine

I spent most of the early miles making myself slow down. I really didn’t want to start too fast, as I knew that it would hurt at the end of the run, AND more importantly it would make me worry about my ability to pace myself sensibly at London. I was pleased when the mile pace clocked 10:18 and 10:47 for mile 1 & 2. Around 2 miles, I ย linked with a group of people and we chatted away about marathons and training. I ended up staying with one man from this group for the entire race. It so good when you run with new people, and you know that you both helped each other going!

I practiced my nutrition strategy, changing it slightly from my last 20 miler. I still had ย a torq gel at 3 miles, but then extended it to every 4 miles. I missed my mile 19 gel as it didn’t seem worth it, but will take one at 19, and 23 miles too on marathon day. Around mile 19, I started to feel a little tired and was ready for it to be over, but really pleasing was that my final 3 miles got progressively quicker, and my final mile was 10:19 pace ๐Ÿ™‚

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Lesson learned: I need to get to races earlier, this was a little too close for comfort, and did mean that I started the race needing a wee! Good pacing makes running a lot nicer. I need to stop making stupid faces when I see a photographer, otherwise I get silly pictures like this!

Silly faces for races

Pros:

  • Running 20 miles as part of an event is much better than on your own.IMG_9188
  • Great awareness for MNDA, as the official photography took a picture of me and a team-mate, fully MNDA kitted out.
  • The marshals were brilliant, and very supportive.
  • The photographers got lots of picture due to the smaller field, and they did not cost too much!

Cons

  • Toilets – there can never be too many toilets
  • Pacers – they were not easy to spot, and I’m not totally sure they stuck to their prescribed pace.

All in all, it was a confidence booster, and now it’s taper time!!

Beware Taper time

If you would like to donate funds to support MNDA you can do here: www.virginmoneygiving.com/ruthwebb10

 

#VMLM2016 training – Week 13

No club sessions at all this week, which I didn’t like ๐Ÿ™ School holidays are amazing, obviously, I would say that being a teacher, but being out of routine is not so nice.

Monday – Most of my team mates ran the local 10K today, but after my weekends half marathonย  I decided to opt for a nice easy 5 miles. I also looked at the weather forecast, and made my run later on in the day, when the sun was out. After Cardiff Half, I couldn’t face another wet and windy run!

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – 6 miles easy. The weather was gorgeous today, and I really enjoyed my run. As it is school holidays, I could run in the morning, which I really like.

Thursday – Rest – although I did walk around London, so my legs did feel like they had a workout!

Friday – I felt really guilty for not running yesterday (a family day out was just more important) so I went out for a little 2 mile run. We are staying away from home, so I got to explore a little section of South Croydon!

Saturday – Rest

Sunday – Kingston Breakfast Run 20 miles. My last long run, before the big one ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a gorgeous day, I paced it well and I’m really glad it’s over!! I will put together a write-up very soon.

AT LAST it’s taper time, and I am so ready for it! There were so many races this weekend, I love this time of year! So well done if you ran. Let me know which races you did, just comment below!ย