Once I completed the Folkesworth 15 race in January it spurred me on to get in the marathon mind set. Running long distance is very much a fuelled by being in the right mind set.
My speed started to increase and I started to increase my distance. I even go so far as to say, that whilst I initially found my programme from coach Andy’s of AM Activ to be rather daunting, by the end of January I was actually beginning to enjoy it! He was teaching me to run at different paces and experience feeling different levels of effort and of course the hated Hill reps… well hated by me!
However the feeling of being in control and ready to meet my next challenge was short lived... At the beginning of February to my surprise I was struck down with flu! Even after having a flu jab! God a week in bed! Not what I was expecting, however I had also forgotten quite how long it takes to recover from flu. Once initially out of bed I tried to continue to follow my programme, however a further week down the line and coughing my way round the short running routes, I had to admit defeat and with huge frustration I realised that I wasn’t well enough to run the Stamford 30K, another important race for marathon training and one that I’d enjoyed with lovely scenery when running it with my marathon buddy Lisa Sullivan in 2015.
This left me very under confident and undecided as to whether I would be able to complete my training. I lacked energy, breathing was difficult and hills… I would just grind to a halt.
It was only at the end of February after running 18 miles that I felt I stood a chance of completing the rest of the training. Suddenly I was back on track and of the right mind set again.
I’m now keeping my fingers crossed that I am not beset by anymore difficulties and that the rest of the plan goes smoothly. I’m also hoping we don’t have the high winds that we’ve been experiencing early in March, as I’ve been doing much muttering and even shouting at the wind when I’ve been trying to pick up the pace whilst running into a head on gale!
My final challenge is the Oakley 20 mile race at the end of March as a dry run for running the London Marathon. Shortly after this I can then start the taper down where my mileage reduces to give my legs and body a rest before the great day.
I can honestly say that back in 2015 the training seemed so much easier. The challenges I have had to face this time are not what I expected. I was hoping not to pick up and an injury….I was not expecting health issues and personal problems with Mum. This has certainly tested me mentally and emotionally this time! I feel sure that many people have all manner of problems that arise during the training period. All I can say is it will hopefully make us stronger.
Roll on 28th April…….!