Well, after Bath Half Marathon I was keen to get going again. Here’s what I’ve been up to:
On March 16th I travelled two hours by train to do a 15 mile road race near Cranleigh. It was organised by Cranleigh Council, and was a fairly small, local event. I was really nervous because, with it being a small event, there’s more chance that I’ll be the last person to finish.
There was a 21 mile race, but it had a cut off where you had to reach mile 15 by a certain time in order to do it - and I knew I couldn't make the time needed, so I opted for the 15 miler instead. It was the first day we had warm spring weather. I’d been training in the rain, and was definitely not ready for 18 degrees and sunshine! I wasn't ready for the hills either!
At mile 10 it got really tough, and I knew I had to really dig in or I wouldn't make it. I put my music on, and told myself to just keep on plodding. There were a couple of points where I walked for two minutes at a time, but I kept moving! As I approached Mile 15 there was a sign: turn left to finish, or right to continue on for the 21 mile race. I really wished I could have gone right, but I knew there was a time limit for the longer race, and that I didn't stand a chance of completing it within that time. So I turned left, and finished. It wasn't until I had finished and collected my medal that I realised, while talking to my friend, that I was actually well within the cut-off time, and could have gone on to do the 21 miles!
This is a prime example of how I allow that negative voice in my head to get in my way. I just had the idea in my head that I couldn't run that far, that fast; that I was not good enough for it. The fact is that actually yes, I could have done it and should have given myself a good talking to! I really need to work on my negative thoughts and find a way to stop those thoughts from taking over!
I had some lunch: lots of carbs and protein to help me recover, and caught the train home for a few hours’ sleep before my night shift at work. Only a fortnight now until the Bournemouth half marathon, so I’d better get these negative thoughts under control…
I was supposed to be running in the Sport Relief 6 mile race, but had to cancel due to shin pain. After Craneligh I had some pain in my shins so I stopped running for a little while, rested, used ice and compression and kept my legs elevated as much as possible - this was all recommended by a more experienced running friend. I was really worried my shins would cause a problem for the Bournemouth Half at the end of the month. I really felt I needed to do the Sport Relief race to keep my miles up for the full marathon that’s coming soon.
March 30th: Bournemouth Half Marathon. I was really nervous of this one, but I’m not sure why. A friend ran with me, which I found really helped me mentally; we kept each other going! The race had the largest hill I’ve had to battle so far - and it was on the very first mile of the race! I’m actually starting to love running up hills now, but I worry about the run back down as I know that’s what’s been causing problems for my shin. The heat was also a problem, but the atmosphere was amazing. I wasn’t worried about being the last to finish because there were so many people there, and I managed to keep the negative thinking at bay! As I got to mile 12 I thought I still had another 3 miles to go; I got confused with my last race at Cranleigh!
I got a great medal to add to my collection, and feel pretty proud of my time. I had a coffee before heading home to eat far too much lunch. I think I must be the only runner who puts weight on! I’ve got myself a running coach now though; we’re starting properly after the Brighton Marathon.