A long run of a Saturday

posted in: Running | 0

Good morning! Well, marathon day is upon us. Our friend is running so we’re heading up to support her. I hate crowds and standing and spaces without toilets, so this isn’t normally my kind of thing. Still, I’m keen to support our friend – and also I have a curiosity to see how fast the elite runners look to the naked eye. They run SO fast, I find it hard to image. I couldn’t do a single mile (half a mile? QUARTER OF A MILE?) at their marathon pace. Incredible.

I always get race envy when I’m a spectator. In fact, I get running sadness if I see people running and I’ve not been for a run that day. “That should be me” and “ugh, I should have been for a run today” are common eye-roll-inducing comments you might hear from me.

To try to avoid feeling like crap today, I went for a long run yesterday. I had toast for breakfast (we still had no milk!) and at first only found these two disappointing jars of jam…

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Then I hit the jackpot. This was unopened, and we must have bought it over six months ago. Does everyone have that shelf full of jars – from tahini to mustard – that you never properly go through?

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I wore my new running top that my sister got me for my birthday. It’s an Adidas Climachill top. It has silver dots across the top of the shoulders – almost like very soft studs – which help to conduct heat away to keep you cool. Well it works for me; I love the colour, and it’s incredibly comfortable to run in. I’m 5″10, and it’s plenty long enough,which was my main criteria. I feel bad enough running without my “midriff” (stomach) hanging out.

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I did the same route I did a few weeks ago, around Tooting, Clapham and Wandsworth commons. It was sunny and rainy, which was quite nice. Rain cools you down, and just as it starts to get a bit tedious, the sun comes out and warms you up again.

This is a photo of people playing cricket on Wandsworth Common – just in case you can’t tell and accidentally thought it was a photo of my big face.

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My mum sent us a photo of some bluebells in woodland near theirs. The best I could find is these bluebells in a primary school in Balham. They smelled AMAZING. One day I’ll be rich, and I’l spend tens of thousands of pounds on flowers, like Elton John.

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I felt like I was flagging a bit at mile 9. Having set off at 12.30pm (idiot) it was about five hours since I’d eaten. I took an energy gel and drank a little water, and I felt so much better, and decided to push on a little further.

12.3 miles @ 8:12 pace.

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I bought a bulk load of energy gels at Costco recently. I am always reluctant to actually use them when I am running, but it occurs to me that running is supposed to be enjoyable. So I could crawl through the final two miles, or I can take a gel and actually enjoy them – and in this case, actually add on an extra mile. I think this is where my marathon training really fell down before; poor fueling both in training, and in the race. I need to work on this, and embrace the gels when they help me. I think I worry that they’re somehow cheating, or I might become reliant on them. Do other people have this reluctance?

I was pleased that this didn’t feel too hard. It pushed me, but it didn’t kill me. It’s still a way off my half marathon PB pace (7.52), but it’s getting closer. Also, racing is always faster – when I look at my running at start of 2014 (when I ran my PB 1:42 half marathon twice in three months), my pace was slower than this in training.

My standard post-run beverage:

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Leftover pizza is a great post-run “lunch” (it’s 3pm by this point). Immediately ready and carby. Matthew was at jitsu, so I text him to manage his expectations “I’m eating all the pizza, FYI”. Such romance).

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After a quiet afternoon watching Pretty Little Liars whilst writing the mother of all shopping lists (eight thousand pints of milk!!!!) and catching up on various blogs, we headed out to see Bastille Day at the cinema (very good indeed!).

Now, to see how’s it’s really done at the London Marathon! 🙂

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