A cheeky request

If you’ve been enjoying my blog then you’ll know I’m training for the London Marathon both as a personal challenge and to raise funds for Asthma UK.

It would be fantastic if you could support me in this. If you would like to donate you can do so via my Virgin Money page.

Remember that I am paying for my flights, hotel, entry fee and other expenses myself – 100% of your donation will go towards helping raise funds for and awareness of the work Asthma UK is doing.

Some facts to consider:-

  • In Northern Ireland 182,000 people (1 in 10) are currently receiving treatment for asthma. This includes 36,000 children and 146,000 adults.
  • In Scotland, 368,000 people (1 in 14) are currently receiving treatment for asthma. This includes 72,000 children and 296,000 adults.
  • In Wales 314,000 people (1 in 10) are currently receiving treatment for asthma. This consists of 59,000 children and 256,000 adults.
  • In England, 4,500,000 people (1 in 11) are currently receiving treatment for asthma. This consists of 932,000 children and 3,600,000 adults.
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The Perfect Ten

fullsizerender-12London Marathon Training
Week 6, Day 4

I didn’t go on my ten mile run yesterday. Work and life got in the way.

However, dear reader, I had a cunning plan- and that was to incorporate the distance into tonight’s club run. In other words, go out with the club first and then continue on my own to make up the distance.

But, this being me, I didn’t think I would do it. I toyed with the idea of breaking it up. Do 2-3 miles on my own before the club, do 3-4 with them and 2-3 on my own back home again. I decided against that in order to save face. I mean, I’m slow enough at the best of times without turning up to tonight’s club session already knackered!

So the plan was, do the 45-minute club run (I had toyed with going with the 60-minute group, maybe next week), tell enough people what I was intending to do (accountability and all that) and then set off on my merry lonesome afterwards.

And that’s exactly what happened … and it was bloody fantastic!

The club session was thoroughly enjoyable. I tried to keep it nice and steady but did allow myself moments to loosen my legs with a wee bit of speed work.

I still hadn’t convinced myself that I’d head off on my own afterwards so I decided to see how I felt after the stretching exercises at the end – and I felt good so I thought I might as well go for it.

We had done 3.75 miles so I had basically another 10k to make up. I surprised myself that I was able to keep to the same pace and tempo, I honestly didn’t think I could manage it without the group around me.

I followed part of the same route I had already done, before turning down Parkway, along the Cullybackey Road, up Princes Street the wrong way, Galgorm Road, Dans Road ….. basically running away from home (!) before turning onto the Tullygarley Road and back home via the Toome Road etc.

When I got to the bottom of the Toome Road I still had a mile to do so I turned left away from home – which was tough – but I knew if I’d turned right and gone up the Antrim Road the temptation to end the run then would have been too much.

I kept a good, steady and consistent pace throughout which pleased me. Tonight was also an experiment in fuelling etc., and it was only at around the nine mile mark that I started to get hungry, so that’s something to bear in mind for next time. My salt intake also seemed spot on so I’ll try to adopt the same method as my distances get longer (ie: three capsules every 3-4 miles).

Time wise I smashed it. My last ten-miler was the Great South Run in October and tonight I was 13 minutes faster. I’ll take that!

But, more important than anything, I proved to myself that if I miss a run, particularly a long run, for whatever reason I have the capacity within me to pick it up the next day and not let it ruin my schedule or my motivation. That wasn’t always the case.

London Marathon Training (91.6 miles – 22 runs)
Week 1 – 12.2 miles (4 runs; average 3.05 miles per run)
Week 2 – 9.3 miles (2 runs; average 4.65 miles per run)
Week 3 – 17.7 miles (4 runs; average 4.4 miles per run)
Week 4 – 18.8 miles (4 runs; average 4.7 miles per run)
Week 5 – 14.9 miles (4 runs; average 3.7 miles per run)
Week 6 – 18.7 miles (4 runs; average 4.7 miles per run)

Punch!

fullsizerender-10
Ok, I know I need to lose weight. I can take the hint!

London Marathon Training
Week 6, Day 3

That’s the way to do it! Geddit? No? Ok, I’ll shoosh then.

I will admit here and now I had lost all confidence in myself after Thursday’s botched attempt at a run. In my head it didn’t matter how much progress I’d made over the past few months. That all counted for nothing after one bad two-mile run on tired legs, from a tired body and with a tired head.

fullsizerender-11But I knew I simply had to get out today. I’ve got a schedule of four runs per week. I’ve only done two so far and with ten miles planned for Sunday I had no option but to go for it today.

I decided just to do 5k, I didn’t have a lot of time to squeeze a run in plus I had one eye on tomorrow’s effort, so I didn’t want to overdo it, just to loosen up really.

Not expecting an awful lot from it I somehow recorded a decent time for the first kilometre, and then the second. I went even faster for the third kilometre, usually the point when I start to struggle, regardless of the length of the run until I find my legs. But, no, here I was plugging away and at a fair old lick too.

Indeed, I kept this pace for the entire run, slowing ever so slightly during km4 before setting my fastest split during the final push. I knew I was on course to set a new 5k best for my Garmin but, unfortunately, I was ever so slightly outside it.

However, it was a great return to form. I knew deep down that I’d bounce back from a bad run, I always do, I just didn’t believe I had it in me.

As I said, I’m scheduled to do ten miles tomorrow. I was advised during the week to run my long runs slower than marathon pace because it’ll help me on the day itself so it’ll be interesting to see if I can follow that advice. It’s all about time on feet apparently. Don’t be surprised if you see me berating myself tomorrow morning, feel free to give me a good kick up the backside if you do!

London Marathon Training (81.6 miles – 21 runs)
Week 1 – 12.2 miles (4 runs; average 3.05 miles per run)
Week 2 – 9.3 miles (2 runs; average 4.65 miles per run)
Week 3 – 17.7 miles (4 runs; average 4.4 miles per run)
Week 4 – 18.8 miles (4 runs; average 4.7 miles per run)
Week 5 – 14.9 miles (4 runs; average 3.7 miles per run)
Week 6 – 8.7 miles (3 runs; average 2.9 miles per run)