Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Sunday 23/5 - My Edinburgh Marathon story

Ok, so this story goes as follows.

Thursday 20/5, I had a rubbish day at work whereby I rushed to get my work done and left very annoyed about something...rushing to a fairly important interview then home to sleep. I began to feel pretty bad, like I was coming down with something.

Friday 21/5, I knew I was getting ill. I could feel it in my throat and my joints. I woke up early and couldn't get back to sleep, so just lay there feeling sorry for myself. Took a lemsip and felt slightly better, slept for a little while then had to go into the west end. Boy, was it a scorcher! I felt slightly better now so did a really gentle 20min cross train on the elliptical cross trainer then had a long shower and met friends for a coffee. When I got home that night I relaxed and had an early one.

Saturday 22/5, was still not feeling so hot. I went through to Edinburgh in the afternoon and did some work. Stayed at a lovely b&b called "Cloughley"...stayed in the same place last year and the woman and man are so friendly, I'd thoroughly recommend it. Derek and I walked about a bit and tried to relax after I'd worked. Got a fairly early night and a nice meal.

Sunday 23/5, marathon day! I still wasn't feeling 100%, I must say. I felt a bit achey and my throat was sore. I had porridge but felt sick after eating it. It was meant to rain but the rain was no where in sight...

As usual there was a tremendous atmosphere at the start line. Everyone of all shapes and sizes, that's what I like about Edinburgh - you feel like part of something, and everyone is on a par. They start the elite runners way in front so really nobody in the first few pens is "better" than anyone else. I like that - there's no pressure. Plus the amount of people running for charity is fantastic, I feel glad to be part of it.

Started off really quite fast for me, just as the sun came out. And it stayed out all day! Was so hot all day long; I was glad I lathered in suncream! I did the first 12 miles in about 1hr45 which I was quite chuffed about...however after that things really took a turn for the worst. My nose kept running and I really felt quite sluggish, depsite drinking lots of water and little amounts of lucozade. I eventually had to stop at about 15miles, which is REALLY early for me if I ever stop in a marathon (not that I do much anyway...I can count them on one hand!) I walked for a bit then kept running but after that I lost my mojo. My hip started hurting quite badly and I just generally felt rubbish. I did run for most of the way after that, but there were people passed out all over the place and it was really quite scary. It was so hot...there was one man lying convulsing almost which wasn't nice to watch.

At about 21miles a guy in front of me looked as though he was crying. I stopped and asked if he was ok when he told me he'd just rubbed suncream into his eyes! We chatted a little bit and walked together for a few mins (hence my time was building up). He was running for McMillan cancer after having lost his mum and wife last year to the disease. Terrible shame. He had managed to raise £2600 though which is tremendous - he deserves a medal! We chatted a bit longer and filled our head with thoughts of an ice cold Drambuie after the race was done...then I encouraged him to run with me. He did for a while, and then he stopped so I went on. A little while later I felt terrible again so stopped to walk a bit, just as I saw a young guy lying limp at the side of the road surrounded by paramedics. It terrified me so I stopped and decided not to push it. Plus my nose was streaming. A min or so later the McMillan guy ran past me and pulled me into a run again, claiming that I'd made him run last time! What a pleasant chap (: He stopped after a short while however and I kept going.

Needless to say I'm ashamed I had to stop between 24 and 25 miles again. Hence my time mounted up and up (you can see where this is going). My parents were at the finish line, however, which was great! Derek was there too, but somebody collapsed right next to him about 400m from the finish and he must've missed me when he bent down to help him. The poor guy had cramp and his leg had just seized. So close to the end as well! I finished in 4hrs 18. My worst time for a marathon but you know, I managed to raise £230 for SVR (which, to be honest, is good considering I've continuously raised over £300 for them for each marathon so far) and I felt like crap...plus the heat. That's what people keep saying anyway, that I'm a braver person etc etc. I appreciate the words but can't help feel my training went to waste in the end. I should at least have been able to run without stopping, but maybe the cold played a part. At least I hope so.

My plans now though are to rest for the next week, as my throat is still sore and I have a cough. My muscles hurt too, which may be a combo of the marathon and the cold. I will then enter a half marathon - Glasgow or Bristol. Then Loch Ness in October, which I will alter my training strategy for. I think I peaked too soon last time. I just don't know how to get a good time with minimal amount of training - I'm too busy in my daily life to run more than 3/4 days a week. If anyone has any insight, please do share!

Derek and I are going to Bridge of Orchy next Thursday, where he will cycle and I will run, so I am looking forward to that.

Here are some photos from Sunday.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Friday 21/5 - An update

Long time no post, I know. I have been exceptionally busy with studying, work and training. I have also come down with a bit of a cold which is annoying considering I have 2 days to recover before Sunday. Add to that, my heel has been hurting quite persistantly so I have really cut back on the runs until Sunday.

On the plus side, I have managed to raise a good amount for SVR this year...though my sponsorship form is in work somewhere so I don't really know exactly how much I've raised. I have today off to try and recover, though woke up this morning worrying about work which saw me awake at 7.10am being unable to get back to sleep despite my best efforts. At the end of the day though, whatever is happening at work really shouldn't have me waking up early worried on a day off, it's not that big a part of my life.

Ok, self healing...this is good.

Today I plan to relax and try to recover. If I feel up to it I may try for a gentle cross train at the gym later, just to ensure I keep up to speed with my fitness.

Here's the last few week's runs.

Tuesday 18/5

Time: 40mins
Distance: ~4.5miles

Heel was sore so went a gentle run around mugdock off road after work. Lovely and sunny!

Saturday 15/5 - Run to Beech Tree

Time: 1hr25mins
Distance: 9.35miles
Pace: 9.05min/mile

My traditional "penultimate long run before marathon" route...I ran round the estate here and then headed out along the WHW to the Beech Tree. Was a good day and the route wasn't too busy which was nice, though it was a bit overcast.

Friday 14/5

Type: Staircase (a new term!)
Time: 35mins
Distance: 3.85miles

I rejoined the gym as I was off today, so took the chance of being on the treadmill to do some speed sessions.

I jogged for 1k, 1k @ 5.30min/km, 1k@5.05min/km, 1k@4.35min/km + 1min @ 4min/km, all with quick jog recoveries then 1k cool down.

Was a really good session.

Tuesday 11/5

Time: 43mins
Distance: 5.4miles

Not sure what pace I ran this at, as it was a negative split. I did finish really strongly...I think it was the rice I had for lunch!!

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Saturday 8/5 - Conic Hill-Beech Tree

Time: ~2hrs 30mins
Distance: 15.65miles
Pace: 9.35min/mile

I do realise that this run should have been a bit longer, but my heel has been giving me bother and to be honest I was knackered so was glad to finish when I did!!

Parents were doing another walk on WHW from Balmaha to Rowardennan and back so I hitched a ride with them to Balmaha and I headed the other way. Was really tired walking up Conic Hill but I did manage to keep a good solid walking pace and only stopped to blow my nose at the top before running onwards.

I met a boy pushing his bike up Conic hill and asked him how he was doing. He was doing the whole WHW (over several days I presume, this was 1pm after all!!) and had never done it before...I felt like giving him a tip for cycling it - don't cycle up or down Conic Hill!!! I don;t think it's even possible to cycle down the other side on a Saturday afternoon what with the steepness and all the walkers, but hey. I told him I'd cycled it before and good luck. He was dripping with sweat but still smiling!

A few mins later I saw the rest of his friends standing further down the hill debating continuing to push their bikes up!! I asked which way one was going so I could move to let him past and he replied, refreshingly honestly "either, they're both as hard as each other". Crazy.

I wonder how we'll feel at the end of our 1 day WHW cycle in July... !!

Felt good and stopped just before Drymen to chat to Derek on the phone and assess what exactly we were doing later. He has a chest infection and was going to cycle out to meet me but I advised him against it and he decided to just come and meet me at the Beech Tree.

The rest of the run was uneventful, despite the WHW being jam packed! So busy between Gartness and the Beech Tree, I was moving out the way so often for people I forgot to go into my usual "worst part of WHW" low as I normally do. I ran past the Beech Tree towards the cool part, and then turned left onto the main road and ran back towards the Beech Tree.

Derek drove along the main road and we had a coke/beer in the Inn. Sat outside which was lovely and chatted before driving home.

So, next week's run will be an 11-12miler and then it's the marathon. All in all I'm feeling good. Excited about the marathon but I'm REALLY going to start tapering now as my heel is sore and I want it ok for the 23rd. I am looking forward to lessening the long runs for a wee while too, as I can focus on my exams.

After 2nd June the exams will be done though, and what will I do then?!?! No exams, no Uni, no marathons...only work. It'll be the first time that's happened in AAaaaages!!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

5/5 - Midweek steady

Time: ~1hr
Distance: 6.9miles
Pace: ~8.40min/mile

A good after-work run through the woods and onto the path at the back of the training ground. I really like that path, it's fun to run along and really peaceful, despite being in the middle of 2 main roads. I really like the cows too! The reason I don't know my timing is that I stopped at one point to try and feed some cows which did take quite a while, though I don't really know how long.

Eating pasta or rice at lunch makes a big difference to how well I run after work, I'm sure of it. Don't get me wrong, getting up at 6.30am and sitting at a desk all day then running at 6pm is tiring, and I do sometimes worry how tired I'll be on the run. However, I notice that I have lots more energy if I eat well at lunch, especially towards the end of the run. Interesting...

Found some photos online of my dad and I from the half a few weeks ago:

I personally really like the one I have included in my layout (:

Monday, 3 May 2010

Monday 3/5

Type: Hill sprints
Time: ~55mins
Distance: ~5.5miles

1.4mile jog, 12x(20-30sec) hillsprints with jog recovery then 2.4mile jog.

Had a really relaxing day yesterday spending time with my mum and sister. Had a friend over last night and ended up staying up really late speaking to our other friends on the net, was great fun but I was tired today!

Got up late and did the work I needed to do before heading out this run. I ran towards the high school close by my house, hoping to get onto the track to do some sprints. It's being refurbished, however, and fencing meant I couldn't actually get onto the pitch or anything. So I ran to the field across the road and did some hill sprints on the grass.

It was quite good, really sunny which was lovely and far softer on the legs than hill sprints on pavement. Only problem, however, is that I really don't push myself on these hill sprints! I just kinda run until I'm tired and then jog back down! And by tired I mean REALLY tired though, so guess that's something!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Saturday 1/5 - An update

Well, got over my earlier negative thoughts and ended up running this afternoon. Got all my work done this morning and meandered around the village for a wee while. Then headed out early in the afternoon.

Time: 3hrs 05mins
Distance: 19.25miles
Pace: 9.35min/mile

Ran around the estate a bit and then headed out to Drymen. My parents had parked at Balmaha and walked to Drymen over Conic Hill. By the time I got to Drymen they were still on their way, so I ran to Balmaha and got the car and drove back.

All in all I had a good run, and finished really strong. Also felt good when I finished and was glad I went.

Saturday 1/5 - Some thoughts

Well, it's 9.30am and I'm sitting on my sofa after having purposely dragged myself out of bed to go a long run. The weather looks grim. It's not raining yet but it looks as though there's a 99% chance it will soon. Weather news says it will dry up this afternoon but remain cool.

Now, I'm sitting here debating whether to go or not. Point is, I am SO tired. I'm positively knackered even though i've had about 10 hours sleep. This past week has been such a blur. Been in work every day for the back of 7 and leaving at half four trying to build up some flexi. Had a dispute at work one day too, which took a lot out of me. Then an interview on Thursday which, between the interview itself and the drive to Edinburgh and back at rush hour, completely exhausted me. Then up again early yesterday to try and keep that flexi up so I could take yesterday afternoon off. Handed in a hard copy of my dissertation finally yesterday afternoon and managed to chat to some staff and friends at Strathclyde who I hadn't seen for ages. That was lovely. I then met another person at Strathclyde about a course I'm interested in studying...then literally bolted for the subway to the Doctors where I missed my appointment and had to wait until the end of the appointments to get one.

All in all it's been a fairly stressful week. In fact probably the most stressful in a while. Certainly a busy week. Last night I tried to relax but I have some write ups to do for my other job (they're staring at me menacingly as I sit here typing). I didn't get round to doing it and instead watched tv and had dinner with my dad. I ended up not going to sleep until about 11.30ish.

Now my previous post had said I was looking forward to being stress-free this weekend to do my final 20+ miler of the season. However, even just typing that is making me want to go back to bed. I still have 2 exams next month I'm sitting for my night classes. Eeek - scratch that, one is THIS month on the 27th. With the marathon on 23rd and the other exam on 2nd June, I feel like I should be focusing on the exams rather than the marathon right now. It's weird though, because throughout Uni I managed to strike an OK balance between training for the marathon and doing my exams. Now I am so tired I just don't want to run and would rather study. Plus I'm still getting pain in my Achilles tendon so this would be a good excuse to let it rest.

So I'm kinda stuck. I have only run once this week, a good 7.8 miler at a steady pace. But that's it. And this is supposed to be one of the "peak" training weeks. I fear if I don't run this weekend I will feel so guilty come Monday that I'll go out and do it anyway, but will feel guilty all weekend up to that point. So I won't sleep as well, and will just be tired. Plus I'd rather get the run done this morning so I can focus on study and play tomorrow and Monday.

Argh. If anyone else has ever felt this way please tell me. I feel I'm the only one. The few other people (ok, one other person) I know who run seem to want to do it all the time. He's joined a running club, Kilbarchan AAC and now he is really pushing himself to run well. I feel as though I'm stuck in a bit of a rut here. I am really looking forward to doing the marathon but have sort of lost enthusiasm for 20+ mile training runs, espeically in this weather. Perhaps it was "the fall" which uncovered that feeling in me, I don't know.

My running options really are to run out somewhere (which I like doing better than out and back) or to run out and back. My parents are walking Conic Hill today and Derek is away up to Ness for the weekend so I could work in my parent's plan to my own. Problem is they'd want me to pick them up from Balmaha, so I could only really run to Drymen to pick up the car. That means I'd need to do 8 miles min around about here first, and have that blo*dy the-most-boring-part-of-the-WHW between Beech tree and Gartness at about 16 miles. I'd be feeling a bit rubbish then anyway and that could be the end of the run if it's raining too.

Oh well, I feel better for having ranted about it. Guess I should get on with whatever I'm going to do so that I don't just sit here and waste time. Sigh.