Let me set the scene: I had a long week at work. I’d also done two tempo runs on weekdays, and was feeling victorious but a little sore. This weekend was my second 10-mile training run, and I was very nervous. For this one, I actually had to try and hit marathon pace (which isn’t that fast, but let’s face it, I’m not that fast) and I wasn’t looking forward to it.
I slept in for an hour or so, and then dragged my butt out of bed for a big breakfast and some very heavy procrastination. (Breakfast, in case anyone cares, was oatmeal, banana, raisins and peanut butter. Sweeeet peanut butter gods.) It was starting to spit with rain, and the wind was high, and I almost considered putting it off until the Sunday. But alas, I’d made plans for the Sunday, and it was now or never.
I’d actually procrastinated so hard that I was hungry again by the time I went out, so I grabbed a Peanut Butter Cliff Bar and began nibbling on it around Mile 3. I managed to hit my 9-minute mile pace, and even negotiated my way around The O2, which I’d failed to do the week before. At Mile 5, the supposed halfway point, I thought I’d tack a bit on, just in case I took a shorter route on the way back. That turned into 6 miles, and then I thought sod it, I’ll do a half marathon. I knew it would be a struggle, and that I’d have to abandon my pace, but I felt like I had it in me. Plus, I’d brought snacks.
I have to say, that end of London is pretty bleak, especially on a wet and windy day. But thankfully there were other runners out, all presumably training for the London Marathon, and so I had a sense of camaraderie.
Surprisingly, I managed to keep the pace around the 9-minute mile mark, but I took several short breaks to stretch out my aching calves. My hip flexors and ankles were also aching, but thankfully I managed to keep going. It was only when I got to Greenwich Park, at Mile 11, also known as The Big Hill Between Me and My Flat that I had a minor existential breakdown. My hip flexors were in a lot of pain by this point, and I was somehow (vainly) concerned about how shit my pace would look on Strava. (Not my finest moment, I know).
Once I got over that hill, I knew it was plain sailing (and mostly downhill) from then on. I even got a friendly, enthusiastic smile from a fellow runner I passed- I must have looked pretty miserable! As I neared my flat, I actually picked up the pace, just to get to my PB and toast more quickly- and it hurt. By the time I got home, I was a wreck. Compression socks on, minimal yoga done; I climbed into bed and watched crap TV until the hanger awoke me.
All in all I’d say it went very well- I had some issues with leg cramps, but this seems to be an electrolyte imbalance, so I’ve stocked up on Nuun- let’s hope for the best!
Any tips for coping with fatigue as my mileage increases?