Marathon Training : Week 6 : The big 20 miler

Well week 6 has been eventful. Childcare has gone a bit up the spout with sons childminder having to make a last minute visit abroad to see her father which has meant I’ve lost two days running time a week. Thankfully we are now looking at taper time so its not quite so bad.

At the weekend I ran the big 20 miler. Last week I was torn over when I was going to do it. The option was Saturday after driving to and from a tutorial in the morning which really wasn’t appealing to me but it would mean my Dad would come cycle alongside me for some of it. Or to run it Monday and have my friend with me for 12 of the miles. I went with Monday as she understands me as a runner more than my Dad does and I knew she would keep me going better. Previously I’ve run to hers and picked her up en route but I wanted her to have a good run so we started from hers and then I found a 8 mile route home from hers. The first 12 with her were really good. She paces me wonderfully and knows what to say and what not to say to me! When we’d completed our 12 I popped into hers to top up my water and go for a wee and immediately got my light headedness I’ve struggled with alot. After a bit of a sit for a few minutes and downing some lucozade I was able to carry on so I set off alone with the Marathon Talk podcast playing in my ears as a way to try and distract me. In the end I decided I’m no longer going to listen to it as its all about fast runners, not determined plodders like me! The final 8 were HELL. It was a mental battle between my head and my heart. My head saying what the hell are you doing and my heart saying you can do this just keep going. Eventually I did and I’m glad I’ve reached that milestone. It feels quite a mental hurdle I’ve overcome. Another 6 on top of that doesnt seem quite so bad….. maybe …. ok maybe not.

Physically I felt horrendous the rest of Monday. I ached so bad. Everything hurt. I tried to have a nap but couldn’t. I had restless legs and everything hurt no matter what position I lay in. The same problem happened when it came to going to bed that night. However I did wake up feeling relatively ok if a little stiff and Tuesday I managed boxing (although made sure we didn’t do much leg work) and then 8 miles on the bike in the evening. I’m currently in a guilt battle of needing to study alot so Wednesday although I should have run I was in flow with revision and decided that needed to take priority thinking I would run today. However today childcare again fell through so I haven’t been able to run. Tomorrow I think we will have to go out with our running buggy again which I hate doing but I feel I need to get something short in. Saturday I’m doing a half marathon along the Thames with my local running group. And then hopefully next weeks runs will be a bit more successful!

I feel I learnt alot on my long run. I’ve made the decision I wont carry water. At the marathon water is available every 3 miles which I know will be enough for me. I feel its more important for me with the issues I’ve had with low blood pressure to carry lucozade instead as this keeps my sodium levels up and will hopefully avoid the lightheadedness. I think I will also not use my gel belt in edinburgh. I’ve had gels slip out a few times and I spend the time worrying I’m going to lose them! I also learnt double layers of shorts is not going to work. If I have to stop for the loo I need it to be as fast as possible. Two sweaty layers is not fast! So I will defo be running in capris! I’ll also be wearing my Lullaby Trust running vest obviously! And its just come back from being printed! I’m hoping having people shouting for me will spur me on when I’m struggling!

Check back next week when I’m sure to be in full blown taper madness! And dont forget to check out my Virtual 5k where you could win a pair of trainers!

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