I’ve reached that stage in my training plan where most of my runs are further than I’ve ever run before. Or faster. Or in some way unknown. Two weeks ago, I did my first ten-miler, and then this weekend I ran a very slow half marathon along the Thames.
It’s been lovely so far, although I have to admit it’s been kicking my butt in a big way. I’ve had a few existential moments, for instance during the very hilly last two miles of my long run route, when my breath is heaving and my hip flexors feel like they’re about to give out. And then of course, the day after, when I called my mother to tell her about my aches, and she reminded me I was doing this voluntarily. #thanksmum.
Whilst I’ve had my bad, tired, grumpy and grouchy moments, I’m really enjoying this training season so far. I’m learning so much about myself, my body and my mind- plus I have a great sense of achievement at the end of each session.
So, the 10-miler:
Let me set the scene: it two weekends ago; I’d been at a rather wild dinner party at my boss’s house the night before (tequila shots were served) and woke up not feeling so fresh. Having run some errands, I felt a little shakey, probably from not having eaten too much the night before. But this whole 10 miler, further than I’ve ever run before, was really starting to mess with my head. Although I’d planned it for a non-hungover Sunday, I thought fuck it. Let’s just get this over and done with. And so I headed off.
I pootled along for around 5 miles, listening to Season 2 of Serial- very addictive stuff. I was slow, hitting 10 minute miles, and I got a bit lost around The O2 at Greenwich. I had to trot around North Greenwich till I found a way home, and eventually found my way back to my original route. My hip flexors hurt and my calves were tight, but I ended the run feeling triumphant. On getting home, I had peanut butter on toast, a whole carton of blueberries, and fell asleep for at least an hour.
This was the first run that really took it out of me for the weekend. Getting it over with on a Saturday definitely helps from a time perspective, but it still took me all weekend to recover! I’ve been doing plenty of yoga, both strengthening and stretching, as well as core work and some glute-specific exercises (I have a wonky bum, for anyone that cares). Nonetheless I learned some lessons both about general recovery and specifically what my body needs, and that definitely helped on my Second Milestone Run, this past weekend.
So, for anyone who cares, that’s how my training is going. I’m gaining confidence, both through increased distance on the long run, and increased speed on the tempo runs- I’m starting to realise how much of a mental game this is!
If you have any recommendations for the mental side of training, please let me know!
Also, I’m looking for podcasts- tell me your favourite!
Lots of love,