It is now less than a week until my second half marathon. Swansea.
I have mixed emotions right now, I’m excited but also very nervous and scared. I’m hoping that I can turn these nerves into a positive.
I did my last long run pre-swansea yesterday in the rain. You know that saying, there’s only so wet you can get… Well that was definitely true yesterday. I had put off going for a run most of the day. I was too tired, I had just eaten were just a couple of the excuses I was using. I decided to get myself ready in my running kit and head out. There was no real plan of where I was going to run. Just that I wanted to do at least 8 miles if possible.
I hadn’t even left the house and the rain had started. It was as if it knew I was just about to run. I put on my “waterproof” running jacket, filled my pocket with shot blocks, filled my water bottle up and headed out. My watch took so long to find a gps signal I started running before it found the signal. It was as if my watch wasn’t really feeling the run either.
The first mile felt ok, but I felt like I was fighting with my legs to try to go slower and keep to the pace I had set myself. That’s one of my problems in races, I set off too quickly and then find it hard to keep it up. By the end of 2 miles my body was pretty much saying let’s go home now. But something in my mind said let’s just do one more mile. So I carried on for another mile and found that I had gotten over the initial feelings of not wanting to be out there and my legs felt really good. I was running a route I hadn’t run before and just followed where my legs were going.
I had a shot block and some water every mile after I reached 5km and this seemed to help me keep up my energy and I even found some speed at one point (ok, speed for me!).
I was only 4 miles in and I was totally drenched, but I was roughly 2 miles from home,so carrying on running was my best option. A little (ok a lot of) rain doesn’t kill you, but soggy trainers and socks aren’t very comfortable!
I got back to where I had started my run and my watch said 5.5 miles. I was determined I wasn’t going to not reach 8 miles – I was already wet, I had already run 5.5 miles, another 2.5 miles would be fine. It was at this point that I started to feel tired and my legs started to ache. I would usually focus on my music and try to push through it or give in and start walking. But on this run I didn’t have my music, but I did have a determination to just keep running. I was also singing songs to myself (in my head) – Jess Glynne and Justin Timberlake featured heavily during my run.
By the time I got home from my 8 miles my running clothes were stuck to me! But I was so happy and proud. I had run the whole 8 miles (apart from crossing the roads – because I’m a total clutz and didn’t want to risk tripping on a busy road!)
My final long run before Swansea was a good one. Fingers crossed I can carry this with me on Sunday.
My plans for this week are slightly different to my “normal” week. I made the decision on Friday night that I wasn’t going to go to Step Aerobics on Saturday morning or tonight. Step makes my legs really achey and they are achey enough after my 8 miles! I am still going to go to Kettlebells on Tuesday and Pilates on Wednesday. I’m also going to try a couple of short runs too.
I am heading to Swansea on Saturday morning and stopping over on Saturday and Sunday night. This means that I will have chance to meet up with some really lovely people from the running community who I am lucky enough to call my friends. The plan is to get food on Saturday night and then go for food and a drink or two on Sunday too.Let’s just hope my legs still work on Sunday night! Hopefully I will remember to take some photos of us – no incriminating ones though!!
As I write this blog post I have DOMS in my legs – they were becoming increasingly achey and stiff all day at work. I shall be wearing my recovery skins all night, eating lots of pasta, drinking lots of water, foam rolling and rubbing my legs with magnesium oil. I may also do a few stretches as well.
Maybe this incline may explain my doms…
How do you prepare for a race? Do you have any rituals? Do you have a set plan you follow?