I ran five miles to work yesterday morning and it was HARD.
This definitely doesn’t fill me with hope for the Summer Breeze Wimbledon Half Marathon this weekend.
Am I worrying too much, or am I just hopelessly under-trained?
Worry, worry, worry….
Yesterday morning, I woke up, got ready super quickly and hit the road at 7.10am. I didn’t allow any time for breakfast, as sleep is more important to me. Whilst I am fine to run before I eat, it never results in a stellar performance. Normally I just accept this, but yesterday I was looking for a demonstration of how amazingly fit I was, so was left tired and disappointed.
Of course the day before race day, I will eat a hearty carb-filled dinner, and on race day itself I will have cereal and toast for breakfast. Since this race is in the afternoon (random huh?), I will also fit in a substantial lunch. This will make a huge difference to my performance, and my perceived effort.
On top of this, I was running into a headwind most of the way which never helps. I also knew I had a train to catch, and was worrying that I was running late. I was constantly trying to run faster, with the wind slowing me down, then feelings of doom settling in. “If I can’t do this, how will I run a half marathon?”. I ended up feeling a bit panicky and breathless.
Finally, I really wanted to do an 11 mile run this week, but my run in the French forest simultaneously discovered, and massively pissed off, some little-used muscles or tendons along the front of my shin/foot (where the two meet). It hurt to rotate my foot, or point my toes up. As both sides hurt equally, I was hopeful this was just a little over-exertion, running on an unstable surface and leaping over obstacles rather than a real injury. I decided to forfeit the longer run on Tuesday though, to ensure I recovered ahead of this weekend’s half marathon. On the plus side, my feet now feel absolutely fine which is a relief! The lack of a long run this week has left me feeling nervous though, as I would have liked to reassure myself that I do this distance easily.
….with some foundation.
All this said, I have under-trained. I started to increase my mileage at the end of April, and got up to 11 miles no problems. My efforts were then thwarted as I developed shin splints from using the wrong shoes and upping my distance too quickly. I took a couple of weeks out, then started from a very short distance and worked my way up to about 8 miles. Suddenly BAM – the half marathon is a week away, and I have yet to do a double-figures run in May. AAAARRRRGH.
My half marathon PB is 1:42 which I have done twice, but my most recent attempt last October was 1:50. I would really like to improve on my PB and I am frustrated this won’t happen this time (short of some sort of miracle).
I need to remember that I have a base level of fitness developed over several years. Prior to the shin splints, I was routinely running double figures at least once a week – and that was only six weeks ago. I may not be on top form, but I can make it round this course and it will be good race training. Also, running in races is always significantly easier than running alone. I have friends running with me and coming to support me, and this is meant to be a fun day out.
Wish me luck!