We all need it. That is why we sleep. But it can all be a bit boring.

For those who read the wonderful post yesterday from my legs then you may be able to guess what this short post is about. I need to rest before my race on Sunday. I somewhat over did the running and speed work this week after having a little unwelcome break from my running due to work commitments and the sudden lost in faith that led to me not being bothered and losing any kind of motivation to get out and run.

Like a novice I dived back in with both feet and ran up the miles. I ignored the screams and pleads from my legs to stop and carried on. While my legs do not feel heavy they have a touch of the DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness) So with this I said that Friday and Saturday will be rest. Plenty of carbs and protein and feet up. The truth of the matter is, I want to run.

This sitting about lark is a tad boring. I would like to go and walk or run even cycle but I fear any extra stress or pressure I put on the tired legs will result in failure on Sunday. Speaking of which I am still undecided if to run a PB or just run the course. I know deep down that my mind is attracted to a new PB as I am looking at the Pace I will need to obtain a Sub 1:35, and that is after all why I have legs up resting. If I was to just run and practice my marathon pace, taking on gels etc then I would not be to concerned with the state of my legs. If anything it would be good practice to see how I cope with tired legs. After all come Mile 20 that is how they will feel.

But resting is what I am doing. Gentle exercise on the foam rollers and the Stick to ease knots. Wearing my compression clothing to help freshen my legs. Eating the right food, and drink the right liquid all to ensure my legs are fresh and ready for Sunday.

Oh well. Off to eat some more seeds and nuts and rest up some more. I might just go for a gentle stroll round town to get the blood flowing to help the repair.

Getting Back into It!

So I did the Marathon, I rested for 13 days then ran a 10K rested and a week later did another 10K, then another then rested for a week and then ran another 1oK  and then a ten miler. Within all this I was seeing my physio to work on my biomechanics and core strength and stability (another blog) and my legs were so tired and tight after each race, partly because I was going for it like the clappers, were talking below 7 minute miles and for me that is quick. So it was after the Llandudno 10 mile that I decided that enough was enough and I would hang up my trainers.

This was a good idea for two reasons. The first my legs did not want to move and the second I was working in Birmingham and then in the Lakes so did not really have time to run. So I rested for two weeks, and they say that your fitness does not disappear that quickly but I would like to disagree.

Now maybe your fitness does not drop just after two weeks of no action, and maybe it doesn’t but it certainly does if you spend those two weeks putting on almost a stone through drink and eating crap which is what I did. So when I returned to running on Monday as lets face it I have another marathon to train for so really need to start. The short run of 5k was tough, very tough and it wasn’t even a fast run. The one tonight of 6 miles was a little easier once I got back into my stride, but it took the first 2 miles to run through the niggles and loosen up the legs.

So for the next couple of weeks before I start my training I need to get back into tho running lark, training myself to run and run through the pain (unless it’s an injury). The hardest part of both runs was to control my speed, as I could not run at marathon pace or even half marathon pace my body and legs are so use to running a fast 10K that is still what they want.

So here we go, two weeks of some practice runs to get back into it, and then some long hard training runs for the hardest marathon in the Britain. The Snowdonia Marathon.

Waking Up

The alarm buzzes at 5.30am and as roll over to hit the snooze button for yet another ten minutes of relaxation and sleep something triggers in my brain that I don’t have time and instead of reaching for the button to snooze I reach for the button that illuminates the room with the artificial light and reach for the laptop to check the weather reports. Highest temperatures on record the screen beams back to me. Great I think.

Now I don’t get up early unless I’m being paid very high, or it is something that I am looking forward to like a holiday or a trip to a theme park, or in this case a run. Not any run, but one that I’ve invested time, money, pain, and sacrificed work, money and friendships over and because of that I am not about to roll over to take another two minutes of Z’s

The reason for this post is that I will be running my first Marathon in April and while my first 10K made me nervous as did the first half I knew that I would cross the line. However with my marathon I have not really felt anything. I feel relaxed when I run and enjoy it why should I be scared. All I am concerned over is not finishing in my Sub 4. This was the case up to a couple of days ago until I spoke to a mate who is training for the Lake Windermere run and mentioned that he had a fear of getting to 13.1 miles and thinking ‘Jesus, I have to do another 13.1’ This was when it dawned on me how big a task I had taken on. What really scares me is getting to mile 20 and thinking ‘Yeah I’m in my home straight only another 10K to go’ But wait 10K. My 10K PB is 45 minutes and that’s at 10K pace, I’m running marathon pace here which means at miles 20 I have another 55 minutes of running. 55 minutes more? This put the shivers in me I can assure you and what completed the fear factor was when I went out for a run yesterday (16 miles – my longest run yet) and saw that at mile 14 I was wanting to chuck in the towel. I think this is due to a busy week at work and not enough energy gels but even with these excuses maybe I’m not actually cut out for a Marathon yet. After all I’ve been running for just over a year and only done 3 10K’s and 2 Halfs and am still carrying a spare tyre all be it a small one but that extra weight is not making me run like a Kenyan.

The trouble is I have a month left before I need to start to taper, and within the month I should be building my miles I am travelling up and down the UK with work, working 70 plus hours a week plus travel time, which leaves those hours left for sleep. Maybe instead of driving to Barrow and Newcastle I should run there and get my mileage in that way.

All of a sudden I think I have realised what is facing me, and while the temptation is strong to roll over and hit the snooze button to a 5K or 10K I know I will have to wake up and do it as a DNF (Did Not Finish) is not good enough let alone a Did Not Make the Start (DNMS)

Oh well back to training.

A Snow Pace

Well it is pretty simple what this post is about. Last night Manchester received a very small flutter of snow that coated the cars and the pavements and when I woke to see this my heart sank. Sundays have been put there so runners can go on a long run, and everything else about the day was perfect. The sun was out and the temperature was warm, well it is winter, but it wasn’t freezing cold.

I thought I’d wait till the afternoon, allow the winter sun to melt some of the snow and those  Christmas shoppers to mush it all up. By mid day the snow was still covering the ground like a blanket. I took a look outside my window and thought, it’s not that bad… It’s just a scattering and I’m on a minor pavement, the main pavements will be fine. So with this I slipped my trainers on and went out for a jog.

Now being that it was bad conditions that I wasn’t use to I thought I would just do a quick 5K. Well I say quick I mean I wasn’t going to go at it like the clappers but I wasn’t going to walk it neither. What I found was for the first time I had a slow pace and the secret was the snow. I was doing about 8.50/mile, that is even slower than my half marathon pace. However the 5k soon turned into a 7 mile run as I was feeling the urge to carry on. The conditions changed from normal pavement to Ice, to thick snow, to melting snow, to slush, sometimes in the matter of a couple of steps, other times entire streets would be different.

I really enjoyed the run and the pace, and while the pace may have only been 20 seconds slower than my normal long run or race pace, I felt good. My heart rate was at 156, and I felt like I could carry on for many more miles, and if I had packed my water bottle I would have ended up doing another lap.

Hopefully there will be more of these conditions so I can hone my marathon pace to perfection.