2019 1,200 MILE CHALLENGE FOR CANCER RESEARCH UK
Wow, blink and you will miss it! First month down and 103 miles completed already. The weather has been favourable for most of the month with just the last week or so seeing temperatures tumble.
I feel I’m starting to get into a good pattern of running 3 times a week and re-establishing a good base fitness after a break in December as everyday life and events conspired to limit available time and slight overindulgence at Christmas.
The start of a new year seemed a good time to revisit the question of ‘why do I run?’ I think it’s important to ask yourself this every now and then and the reason probably changes. At the moment the charity fundraising side is a big motivator to not let myself or the people who have donated down. Along with how much I think my mind benefits from being outside running in the cold and the dark as opposed to sitting at home wishing it could be warmer and brighter.
Would be good to hear other’s people’s responses to ‘why do I run?’
So far we have reached the 11th and covered 43 miles so far this month and now 147 miles into year long challenge only just over 1,000 to go!!
February has started positively, have entered my first marathon Boston (UK) Marathon April 14th! Looking forward to it, but also dreading it in equal measure as seems such an increase compared to the 15 miles I have covered in one go so far and the thought of nearly double the length of time compared to what I have done so far.
The base mileage towards the marathon is progressing well with 3 long runs completed over the last three weekends ranging between 15.25 miles to 15.75 miles so will be looking to up this over the next couple of weeks. Latest run of 15.75 miles in just over 2 hours (7.58 min / mile pace) felt really positive as suffered from cramping/spasms in my lower legs on the previous runs but this time no such worries so hoping the legs are starting to adapt to the longer runs (or I got lucky this week and the cramping will come back with vengeance next long run!!).
I have started for the first time looking at how I am going to fuel my long runs, at the moment I am eating a regular breakfast of porridge about 3 hours before starting the long run and drinking about a pint of water in the hour before starting, then taking on about 500ml of water during the whole run are roughly 3 mile intervals and then using a SIS gel at around 7.5miles in, this seems to be working well, but can feel my energy levels dropping around mile 14. I am thinking I will need to start taking another gel around mile 13 once I increase towards the 18-20 mile long runs.
Well I made it to the end of Feb, 114 miles completed for the month so on target but it has not been all plain sailing. The other Friday I went for a long run looking to get a good 18 miles in, but by mile 10 I just felt ‘off’. I can’t really describe exactly what was wrong but my hips felt achy, my legs felt heavy and I just had no energy, I struggled on to complete 15 miles, then stopped and walked the rest of the way home. I felt so demoralised as everything had been going well up to that point and the week before had a really good long run. I started to question whether I had upped my weekly mileage too much or taken on too much of a challenge over the 12 months that my body would not be able to keep up with. Well, a week of shorter, slower miles and luckily all seems to be getting back on track. Maybe this is a lesson after 6 weeks of increasing mileage my body needed a little break to recoup before pushing on again. I have another 2/3 weeks of long runs before starting to reduce the mileage 3 weeks before my first marathon in Mid April.
Another month down and 121 miles completed in the month with a total of 339 miles year to date.
It’s nice to see the arrival of brighter evenings which makes running so much more enjoyable than headtorch illuminated paths and darkness all around, it also opens up so many different running routes impossible during the dark evenings. March has seen the arrival of storm after storm with some challenging winds, especially headwinds for around 5 miles on the two most recent long runs, looking back it will have helped build stamina but that definitely wasn’t what I was thinking at the time!
I’m now reducing my mileage ahead of my first two races of the year to try and be as fresh as possible for these, so will hopefully still be on course for the annual target by the time we reach the end of April.