Having struggled lately to follow my training plan and get out for any significant runs on my own, the Twilight Chase lapped race put on by We Run, They Run, I Run felt like quite a significant race in the final build up to the Marathon, a real chance to get some distance in my legs and build some confidence.
The race was a 6 hour lapped challenge event, finish one lap and you’re a finisher, do as many or as few as you like in the time limit. It was set at Rye Nature Reserve, where we have run lots of time before, and started at 4pm on a really windy Saturday. My plan was to run 4 laps, which would give me somewhere around 17 miles of total running.
We set off at 4pm and headed onto the reserve, a simple out and back lap of 4.4miles. The first outward leg was alright, I was actually running a bit quicker than I had intended so I slowed down, but was feeling OK up to the turn around cone, then wham! The wind! It smashed you in the face and drove you backwards. Suddenly running was infinitely harder, my pace dropped to a crawl, I just couldn’t handle it! I struggled back to the start to get my band marked and wondered how I was going to manage that another 3 times!
After some jelly babies I set back out, already feeling pretty demoralised, and my bad knee started to ache, along with my hip, I was going so slowly and dreading the point where I would have to turn around into the wind. I reached the cone and it had got no better. I started the slog back again. I felt ready to give up as I loaded up on more sugar to try and increase my energy levels, but decided I needed to get at least one more lap in, to give me a half marathon for my efforts. I set off on the last lap and just after I turned around again the rain started. It was bleak! There was some sun valiantly pushing through the clouds though so I turned around, and there was a full on rainbow behind me. I stopped running and pulled out my phone to grab a snap. It might have been bleak, but it was also beautiful!
When I got back for the third time it was clear I needed to call it a day. I’d run a half marathon but was short of the distance I had wanted to run. Far from building my confidence, it was severely dented, how will I ever managed to run a full Marathon?
In the end I wasn’t the only person to cut their run short, the conditions were taking their toll on everyone, it was the toughest time I have run at this location, including the time I actually did run a Marathon back in January, but that didn’t much help my state of mind. I was extremely disappointed in myself.
Week 19 running total: 33.5km
The day after this disappointing run I went for a few days break in the New Forest to recharge, during which we included a trip to Bournemouth to scope out a little of the Marathon route, then spent the latter part of the week celebrating my birthday with friends and family. I managed to get in a few runs, including a beautiful 12km bimble through the New Forest, but my running total for this week was another low one.
There are now 6 weeks to go before Bournemouth, and my plan is to get in one long run each week for the next three, then taper back down before the big day. This game plan includes sorting out the nutrition side a bit, and cutting out the drinking! (A friends hen-do and wedding not withstanding)
Week 20 running total: 17.5km
6 weeks to go…!