London Marathon Medal 2016

What to expect when you sign up for your first marathon

I remember saying that I would NEVER run a marathon. I ran my first half marathon and as I approached the finish line I thought I would never be able to walk again, so how people ran that distance again straight away felt crazy to me!

Well 5 marathons later, and another already booked for next year, let’s have a little look at what happens when you book a marathon.

London Marathon Medal 2016
  1. You feel all brave and hit the button to sign up for your first marathon. The excitement is great and you are raring to go.
  2. You share your news on social media and everyone is happy for you. This is going to be SO exciting.
  3. A couple of days later, when the adrenalin has worn off, you think F*#k! What the hell was I thinking of?
  4. With the fear and negativity truly ingrained, you start to google training plans. Wow, training seems to go on forever and how can you possibly run for (insert longest training run on the plan).
  5. After choosing your training plan, you actually can’t wait to get started. The anticipation of the start date of your training cycle is immense.
  6. Prior to the start date, you think about all the things that you are going to do alongside your running; eating sensibly (possibly lose some weight), stretch daily, strength train, get lots of sleep, foam roll… the list is endless.
  7. Your start date comes and you are loving life. The first run was a dream, you got back and had a protein shake, you stretched, foam rolled, you are going to enjoy this journey.
  8. Your first long run comes and goes and although you struggled to slow down enough for a Long Run you are very pleased to get that ticked off the plan. How is week 1 completed already?
  9. 6 weeks into the plan, you are glad to have gotten over your cold. You are starting to feel tired. Stretching, what’s that? How have you not lost weight? You have only missed a few sessions off the plan!
  10. Week 11; when is this going to end. It is relentless. You are tired, your runs are getting longer. You are hungry ALL the time. You are doubting that you will ever be able to complete a marathon. You also have your longest run EVER looming and that scares you.
  11. Once your longest run is completed, you are so happy to start the taper time. Although taper isn’t all you thought it would be, as you still have to get out and run x number of days a week. Even though the mileage is coming down, some of the runs are still LONG!
  12. The final weeks before the marathon, you start to feel sluggish. How can you have just completed all of those weeks of training, yet you feel the most unfit you have in a while. Why did you sign up for this? What were you thinking?
  13. You attend the expo/your bib arrives, the excitement builds.
  14. You stand on the start line of the race, all the nerves, excitement, and anticipation. Then just as you are about the start, again, it hits you. You NOW have to run 26.2 miles!
  15. You complete the marathon. It was like a rollercoaster. You loved some bits, you were scared at some parts, you wondered if you would stay alive, you constantly wonder if it is EVER going to finish.
  16. You finish. NEVER again.
  17. You can’t quite believe what has just happened. You want to eat all the food and drink all the alcohol. You take one bite and one sip and actually you don’t want anything at all. You are walking like you have had an accident. You just want to sleep. 
  18. Well, you do want to sleep, but your mind won’t let you. Also, who knew sleeping hurt! Every movement hurts!
  19. A week later you are feeling a little lost. What do you do with all this free time that you now have?
  20. You are not quite sure how this just happened, but somehow you have just signed up for your next marathon. And so it begins again!!
Chicago Marathon Medal 2019

I have written about my training cycles here. reading back over them allows me to see the progress, or to compare cycles. I think my training cycle for Manchester Marathon should have started really, but this one will be slightly different as I think a 12-week programme is going to have to suffice.

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Do you agree? What other thoughts cross your mind? Are you running a marathon in 2020? Comment below and let me know.

New York Marathon Training – Week 9 & Week 10

Life has been hectic, but training must go on. I have missed sessions, but I’ve done as much as I can, and that’s all I can do!

Week 9

Monday

3.1 miles at run club consisting of hills, 400m, 800m and steps! Can you believe no picture as I left my phone at work!

Wednesday

Thursday

Sunday

Week 10

Wednesday

Thursday

Sunday

You can tell that my runs are now getting to the business end of training, as my photographs are pretty poor. No action shots as I can’t stop to take them, and during the run i’m concentrating too much to remember – this must be a good sign right?

Only 6 weeks to go, and it’s about this time that I wish I had completed every session, stretched more, completed more strength work…. The usual. Ballot results from London will be happening in a week or so; maybe if I get a place, I’ll actually do all of the above! Or maybe I’ll blog about wishing I had done it AGAIN!

Anyone else repeat the same mistakes over and over?

 

New York Marathon Training – Week 7 & Week 8

Marathon training is hard! If it wasn’t, everyone would be doing it. To make things tougher for me, I have been ill, I have started a new job, I am in the process of moving house, and this week my mother-in-law passed away. I can handle all of this, and training, but I am writing it down here, to remind myself to stop beating myself when life gets in the way of training.

I have missed a few sessions, and I missed last weeks training post, so here goes:

Week 7

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[TEMPO] I am not a fan of the tempo run!! Is anyone?? I dread Wednesday's as I know my plan says Tempo run at 9:15 pace 😱 . I'm sure if I ran with a friend, running this pace, I would be able to keep up with them and squeeze out the odd response in a conversation (mainly lead by them! 😃) . But put me on my own, with 5 miles of tempo running, and I constantly tell myself I can't do it, and have to stop to give myself a talking too! . But, it's done, its more miles banked and tomorrow I will be stronger! #loverunning 🗽🇺🇸. . . . . . . . . . #tcsnycmarathon #NewYorkMarathon #nycmarathon #marathontraining #run #runner #running #runnerslife #runslikeagirl #runningcommunity #womensrunning #runmummyrun #ukrunchat #runnersofinstagram #instarunners #igrunners #runnersofig #RunnersRepost #runhappy #runstagram #runspiration #worlderunners

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Another weekend, another long run, preparing for @nycmarathon With only 9 weeks to go, this is getting real! . Decided to run @northamptonhalf with additional miles to clock this weeks miles. So much more enjoyable running with people and especially running with @kteeea – she is truly awesome company! . Felt quite strong in parts of this run, but now getting to the tough end of marathon training, so time to dig deep #loverunning . . . . . . . #northamptonhalfmarathon #tcsnycmarathon #marathontraining #run #runner #running #thisgirlcan #thisgirlruns #instarunners #runnersofinstagram #runnerslife #runnersofig #runnerscommunity #RunnersRepost #nycmarathon #NewYorkMarathon #LongTrainingRun #longrun #igrunners #runnersofig #runningcommunity #runmummyrun #ukrunchat #runhappy #halfmarathon #teammnd #runmnd #getouttorun #movedme

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Week 8

I really enjoyed my long run this week, I felt strong for the first time this marathon cycle. Getting back in to a routine with work will help with training, and I am trying to make sure that I eat and drink when working. Sounds silly, but school are so hectic, it is easy to miss lunch time and then not be fuelled for club sessions.

So, half way point, NYC Marathon is in 8 weeks, the runs get long and this is the tough end of the training, but it’s fine, I’ve got this! (I hope :-))

My concerns now are turning to my marathon outfit! (Yes, I know SO girly!) I will be wearing my Team MND vest, but I fancy some running capris that either have some link to England/Great Britain or blue and orange. I’ve searched and searched but haven’t found anything, so if anyone has any suggestions/links, please leave a comment below.

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 Training – Week 3

After my solid training last week and pretty high mileage for me, this week has been a disaster!!
My daughter had a cold, so it was inevitable that she would pass it on to me, but I didn't think it would wipe me out quite as much! I think picking it up, just as my immune system was low due to marathon training starting and the end of a busy school term, means I still have it now, and it hit me hard. I missed Monday and Wednesday sessions, Thursdays session was hard – who would think you need to breathe when completing 400's!!! Luckily my long run at the weekend was only 8 miles, so I could just about manage that.

So, pretty disappointing really! I suppose missing training this early on in the cycle is not so bad. Let's hope week 4 is better.