Monday 6 July 2009

The big day is looming

Just over a month until my big race. That means I've got less than two weeks before the tapering should officially begin. I know I haven't done anywhere near as much training as a should have, but considering the obstacles I'm feeling quite positive. And considering the distinct lack of training I did for this race first time around, I'm feeling quite confident too. Really I've only had three months of (totally unstructured) training, but I've trained more on the course. Last time I had a good endurance base, but the terrain knocked it out of me. So who knows?

When I signed up for the 43-miler my main aim was just to get back in shape and complete the race. Now I'm back to 8st2 (114lb), glad to welcome the return of my 25" waist and slip quite easily into my pre-pregnancy jeans, I'm happy to say it's been worth it. And now that I'm getting in some good long-runs at a fairly reasonable pace, I may have to raise the bar a little.

I did a 28-miler on the West Highland Way before I went to Rome. I survived. And I didn't have any aches or pains the day after. Double bonus.

I was full of good intentions (well, I packed my gear) of running in Rome, but I never quite got round to it. There was just to much to do and see in the limited time we had. Lots of sight-seeing (I've definitely had my quota of old bricks) and shopping (Sonic was over it by day two). Thankfully there was mutual admiration for eating.

I did a 20-miler the morning after we got home. I used the cycle route round Helensburgh and back via Dumbarton. The first seven or so miles of the circuit is a relentless incline - which completely kills my thighs. I was agony by mile 12. By 16 miles, my calves started to ache as my altered running style was having a knock-on effect. I have never been so glad to get home in my life. I collapsed a whimpering wreck on the living room floor. I vaguely remember Sonic standing over me asking if I "wanted a leg massage" and his kind jester being met with shrieks of "DON'T TOUCH ME! DON'T EVEN LOOK AT ME!". Thankfully the drama was over quite quickly.

Last week I did a good short rep session on Tuesday and went to club training on Thursday night. As I've been out of the whole club scene for the best part of a year, I'm not quite sure where I sit. The packs have changed and I don't know what other member's paces are like. Plus, I've got no idea how I run compared to other people these days. I tried to go out with the lower packs (or the "less able" as Jill calls them) but when I heard the Geordie shrieks of Coach Lesley "Debbie, get back here!", I had to do the walk of shame back. I was then teamed up with Emma, Anna, Neil and another chap, who's name escapes me. Considering how hot it was, I was a bit concerned about running out of my comfort zone. The route was a six-miler along the Kelvin Walkway and through the west end. I wasn't sure I would be able to keep up, but I managed it. I didn't have it in me for the final kick, so I was deserted in the last 100m. I'm not sure I enjoyed, but I definitely pushed myself more than I have done of late. I know I always moan when the temperature heats up a bit, but I honestly looked like my head was going to burst when we were finished. I swear you could have seen my big purple face from space.

Friday and Saturday I just did five and four miles (respectively) on the treadmill. I'm not sure treadmill running counts as proper training, but it was better than nothing. The treadmill was one of my random must-have purchases a few months ago. I get these things in my head and I've just GOT to have something. In reality could probably count on my fingers how many times I've used it. It has been a bit of a waste of money so far, so hopefully I'll get more use out of it at some point. On that note, the next must-have purchase will be a netbook. Sonic has told me I can't buy one just because "they're cute". Apparently. Anyway, I managed to knock over Cairn's swing and smash the keyboard on my laplap (which was carelessly placed on the floor), so a netbook is a definite must-have :-)

Yesterday, I was back on the West Highland Way. Tyndrum to Kingshouse. I had a pretty good run all in all. Bit hot for my liking, but not too draining. Got to Glencoe in 2:57, fairly comfortable. Well apart from tearing down the hill into Glencoe, as I was super-keen to get in under three hours. After a cool-down run down to Kingshouse, I cooled-off in the River next to the hotel. So there we were: Me fully-clothed sitting in the water, Sonic standing with his jeans rolled up...and Cairn in his pram pulling his sun-hat over his face. Poor kid - mortified by his parents again.


Steph said...

Good luck in your tussle with the De'il, don't worry about the lack of running in Rome, the time on your feet site seeing & shopping is smiles better.

Thomas said...

Fully-clothed sitting in the water? Crazy! Is there any photographic evidence of that?

Anyway, you will be in good shape for the Devil and produce a massive PB! And if you hurry maybe you can step on the podium?
No pressure!


Clare said...

i feel just like you did after that 20 miler! the difference? i only ran 7...

John Kynaston said...

Good to read you are running well. Looking forward to seeing you on the 25th and for the Devil's.


allybea said...

Well done on losing the pregnancy weight. I'm still carrying the extra 2 stone from my last baby and he's now 11!!!

The Runner and No3 son were at Tyndrum with Lucydog on Sunday morning after camping overnight at Auchtertyre. Shame they missed you.

I'm laughing at Cairn being embarassed by his parents. I keep telling my kids there are few perks to parenthood but that is definitely one of them!

Good luck for the Devil. Not sure if I'll be there yet. The Runner has made alternative arrangements so I'm chucked as back up.

Ali x

RunningMama said...

I can't even wrap my head around that distance. Yipes! I'll stick to the marathon, thank you!

N.D. said...

You're incredible!!! Will there be anyone else out there competing so shortly after giving birth?? It will be like 6-7 months (which I can't believe went so quickly!)

So, my clothes have fit me from the start, somehow, but my stomach feels/looks nasty and I'm a few pounds up from my preprego weight, but not focusing on the scale, I feel so gross! how did you get back down to where you started? Are you still nursing?