It’s been a big couple of weeks in my training plan as I’ve now hit the big weekend runs that are further than I’ve ever run before. I’m always looking to push myself out of my comfort zone and I definitely did that!
I don’t think I was quite prepared for the jump to double digit mileage – it seemed like a gradual step up but it was certainly challenging. I’d run a 10.5 mile before but when I say run, it was with some of my fellow club ladies and the dogs and there was lots of chatter and a few stops along the way (I think we averaged about 15min miles) so didn’t really count that as a proper run. One of my running buddies, who is significantly more experienced than me and a regular half marathoner, volunteered to keep me company and we set off for a 10 mile out and back along the canal. We’d planned that route as it is pretty flat but one thing we couldn’t plan for was the weather. We battled gale force winds and rain and it made it a whole lot harder than it needed to be. Dan kept me going though despite my swearing (sorry mum) and complaining all the way round. It was all going as well as could be expected until about 8 miles in when my body just refused to run anymore – it was my first experience of hitting a wall. I think the extreme weather got the better of me and even though we’d only run 8 miles I think the effort against wind equated to running a lot more than that! After a little walk, I managed to carry on for the last two miles and finished the 10 in a reasonably respectable 1hr 49mins.
So this weekend, I was thinking, it couldn’t be any worse for my 12 mile run right? I’d arranged to meet a fellow club runner who was unfortunately unwell so I was actually really nervous about heading out for my longest ever run on my lonesome and to top it off, the sun decided to come out and make it the hottest day of the year so far. Last summer, I really struggled with the heat having just come back from injury and being very new to running so I was interested to see how I’d cope with the 20 degree heat. Instead of an out and back, I planned a loop around the town so I wasn’t too far from home just in case (!) and I also took along a gel that a fellow club member had very kindly given me to try.
The first 6 miles was great, I really enjoyed the run and the weather didn’t seem to be bothering me too much. I had broken the run down into four sections and at 6.5 I had completed the first two. I decided to try the gel at this point as I’d been running about an hour. The ones I used were the SiS GO Isotonic Gels – they are pretty thick and gloopy but being the first one I’d tried, I imagine they are probably all like that. I have heard that quite often, runners find that gels upset their stomach quite a lot so I was a bit hesitant but all was good. After completing section 3, I was left with the final 2 miles. Two miles – that’s easy, I could do that, couldn’t I?
They were a very hard two miles but I did it! I finished the 12 miles in 2hr 9mins, injury free and feeling pretty proud of myself! I was surprised by the time as I’d had a couple of little walks but averaged 10:48 pace and it’s left me feeling optimistic for the big day in just under 4 weeks time.
March has been a pretty great month training wise. I’m feeling really strong and love that each time I’m seeing little improvements. The big achievement in March was that I hit my first 100 mile month! Here’s how the rest of the stats stacked up:
Total distance: 100.38 miles
Number of runs: 19
Average distance: 5.3 miles
Furthest distance: 10 miles
Coming up this month, I’ll be running in the Chick’s Chase 10k this week and Flitwick 10k in a couple of weeks time. I’ve booked lots of races so am pretty sure I will easily smash my 12 race target for the year.
2015 mileage to date: 251.94
Miles to go to hit target: 448.06