17.5 miles in 3days…

Not a bad effort with just 3 weeks to go until the Gosport Half.

I’m the one insisting that doing another Half Marathon in 3 weeks time (gah!) is a good idea. Admittedly, our running coach wasn’t too keen but he knows my determination is slightly unrivalled so has stopped putting a can on my enthusiasm and has settled for gentle encouragement.

In 3 days, I’ve run a total of 17.5miles.

Thursday evening was a bit of a tricky run. It was quite hard work and I think that after nearly a week at work, I was struggling for energy. I was sure I drank lots of water, ate the right food and slept well the night before. I met the guys and we went out on a 6 miler around one of the nicer areas. Bearing in mind, it was dark so there was nothing scenic about it. I was finding it hard to muster the energy to keep up with the group, which is unusual for me. My shin was aching slightly and it was a lot warmer (in all of my layers) than I thought it would be. I don’t know about anyone else, but I find night running quite tricky in terms of being able to see where I’m going, where I’m putting my feet and where that curb is that might signal my demise. When we finally got back to the Centre, I was pretty worn out and ready for a sit down. The day-old pizza in my fridge never looked so tempting and the Epsom Salt bath complete with Peppermint cuppa was even better.

As the weekend approached, I was all ready to go out to meet friends and have catch up drinks. Apparently, all of my exercise didn’t let me and consequently, I fell asleep at 5.30pm (a quarter of the way through the Real Madrid V Barcelona football match which my other half was delighted about). My mega 10 hour sleep prepared me nicely (as well as my breakfast in bed, kindly made by my boy), for the epic run I was looking to embark on that Sunday morning. I decided in all my wisdom to run from my house to a meeting point, join the running club on the usual route and then run home again afterwards.

I ran 2.5miles from my house to the meeting point… Here’s me looking pretty fresh… (Love a good quarter of the way selfie!)

IMG_2954I used the time waiting for the guys to stretch and make sure my shin and hip were pretty mobile and in no pain. So far so good. the running guys were very confused at my meeting them en route. I ran with some of the quicker guys to see if I could increase the pace and keep up with them. I was having a chat and doing pretty well. I kept up and had a chat with one guy who ended up almost being a pacer. We had a catch up and managed to keep a 9.38 pace for the 6 miles we did. I was starting to feel a slight niggle in the hip so had another stretching 30 seconds when we’d done our circuit just to make sure all was ok for me carrying on home.

IMG_2955The running guys are a great bunch of people and I have such a brilliant time going out with them. I’m really pleased that I’m still a part of it and that I’m getting better. Although, you know how you work so hard for something and don’t actually feel any different? A wise buddy of mine said that when we were chatting at the beginning of the year, I was having a whinge about running 5k with the club because I was scared they’d be quicker and better than me. Meeting in September, he said ‘You’re now having a moan about running 13miles… Look how far you’ve come!’ … He has a point. But I thought I’d feel superhuman or something significant but I don’t really. I’m lucky that I can run these things!

So, with iPod in hand and after some encouragement from our running coach, I set off on the home straight. Admittedly, without the company of the guys it was pretty hard work. Although Linkin Park, In Flames and Meghan Traynor did keep me motivated and humming along, I was aware that I was getting tired. Rookie error and one that I should learn from… I need to take energy gels with me. I know this and yet forgot to take them with me. I don’t like using them too often because they don’t taste great but they probably would’ve given me the boost I needed. I will most definitely be stocking up for Gosport.

After many internal chats with myself along the way, I made it back to the Co-Op from which I’d started. This is a snippet of how Map My Run looked:

IMG_2963So, with £5 in my pocket, I popped into Co-Op and bought a bottle of much needed Lucozade, a litre bottle of water and 1KG bag of ice. And no, I wasn’t going to make a cocktail.

The ice was for a much needed ice bath. My muscles were achy in my legs and my hip was a bit sore… So, against my better judgement, I sat in a bathtub of cold water and ice until I couldn’t feel my feet. Brutal, but felt better for it.

IMG_2959

My shin stopped aching as much which was good and my hip wasn’t too bad after the warm shower that followed the ice. I’m on the hunt for an ace bandage or shin protectors for the Gosport Half. Want to make sure they’re all sturdy and not likely to hurt.

I was pretty pleased with my effort and think that I’ll be ready and raring to go for the Half in a few weeks. Really looking forward to running with my cousin, which hasn’t happened before (purely because I couldn’t run 13miles!) I’m hoping she goes a bit easy on me. This is my last Half of 2015 so I want it to be a good one. The competitive person in me wants to get better than 2hours 20mins… But the sensible person just wants to enjoy it.

 

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