So this weekend was going to be the last double figures distance before the MARATHON!!!
After my 20miler last week I was feeling pretty “Ok” about the 16 miles I had planned. I was supposed to only be running 12 miles but I had decided to take part in the 16 mile WholeFoods Breakfast Run (full race recap to follow) with Charlie as it would give us the perfect excuse to carbload at Outsider Tart & enjoy a lazy Saturday night in!
So .. one of the high points in the marathon training rollercoaster … experiencing Outsider Tart! The brownies were INCREDIBLE!! Charlie and I inhaled a smarties and granola brownie, a snickers brownie and a cherry cheesecake brownie, all in the name of marathon training. As it was an early start (6:30am to be exact!) we stuck on a film, enjoyed a good catch up and then headed to bed!
The next morning we both got stuck into our usual pre-run breakfast, got ready and jumped in a taxi and headed to the start line. Onto another point on the rollercoaster, the anticipation, that feeling when you start the first climb! Well this was me at the start, super scared and excited all at the same time! I haven’t actually managed to fit in many “official” races so forgot how badly pre-race nerves get to me! It was great to be wearing a race bib and be surrounded by so many runners (love seeing all the different types of kit!) however, I was also very nervous … would I finish? Would I make a good time? As this was a training run I had to make myself remember that it wasn’t about time… IT WAS NOT ABOUT TIME!
Off we go! The sun came out just as we set off and almost instantly my racing nerves went and I settled into a comfortable (and apparently fast) pace. Now I knew I would not (SHOULD NOT) keep up with Charlie as she was going for a faster pace however, I kept her conveniently bright purple top in my eye sight and just kept going. For the first 6 miles I was running under 9min miles and feeling great! The route wasn’t the most exciting but I was keeping serious pace and wasn’t feeling too bad at all – LOVING THE ROLLERCOASTER.
THEN THE DROP. This might just be my experience but when I got dragged on Oblivion at Alton Towers a few years ago I got told I would love it! With my friend’s encouragement I forced myself on but hated every single minute of that huge drop. That rollercoaster experience was awful! I felt sick, I wanted off and when it had finally finished I swore NEVER to go on it again! Well at 7 mile I had an Oblivion experience. My leg just said “NO”. Last year whilst in the last two weeks of training for a half my left leg just stopped behaving and when it came to race day I had to grit my teeth, bite my tongue & struggle through 13.1 miles of pain. Now, as I passed the 10 mile mark sadly all those feelings and emotions were back in full swing and a whole mother of emotion hit me.
I have loved (to an extent ;D) every minute of my training experience and as much as the thought of 26.2 miles scares me to death after the 20 miles I felt that I might actually be able to do it. At mile 12 of this run I finally broke, to the point that a WONDERFUL fellow runner felt the need to stop her race, ask if I was ok and offered a hug! GOT TO LOVE RUNNERS!
I battled through the final miles, it would have taken too long to walk the whole thing, but made sure I slowed right down and walked a little every mile so not to push it too much. And then … the excitement, the build up of the rollercoaster started all over again, with under a mile to go from no where I got excited I felt my pace quicken and I even managed a sprint finish crossing the line in under 2:30 (the time I had in mind for a good race!). Nothing beats a runners high, that amazing feeling you get on completing a run, regardless of what happened during the race, you finished, you achieved something, something that you should be proud of!
Since this race I am sadly now in the “filler” bit of the rollercoaster. I am trying not to allow any downs but can’t seem to hit the ups either. I know I am stubborn enough to get through those 26.2miles in Manchester on the 6th April and hopefully my leg will play ball, but I would be lying if I said that this last double figures run hasn’t knocked my confidence just ever so slightly!
Are you experiencing the training rollercoaster right now with all the ups and downs? Where are you on the ride?