Monday, 16 September 2013

Marathon 34 & marshalling at SVP100

It’s been quite a while since my last blog post, but having been told by a new follower on twitter that they've been reading my blog (woohoo!) I felt I should post an update about what I've been up to, this last month.

On Friday 16th August, for no apparent reason, I decided that the next day would be a good day to run a marathon, and so managed to wheedle a place out of Foxy for the Enigma Gold marathon which was being run on Saturday 17th August. I knew I wasn’t prepared but wanted to give it a go, get a gauge of my fitness, and to see my Enigma friends J It’s no surprise that it wasn’t the most intelligent decision I've ever made and it didn't go too well.

The marathon was very, very hard work, and my dodgy ankle was troublesome towards the end of the race - I found myself walking much more than I ever usually would to try and minimise the damage I felt I was doing and realised that the longest run I should have attempted on it was probably about 20 miles. So, it wasn’t pretty, and I finished in 04:54, which it’s fair to say I was very disappointed with. I shouldn't have been surprised, given the lack of training I've done since the 10in10, and the ankle, but still, I didn't realise I’d got quite that unfit. I got an awesome medal though, and that went some way to cheering me up!!

A smile because I'm finishing!
Catching up

The following Thursday, I had another great session with Essex Bootcamp session, although, despite it being 5 days after the marathon, I was still totally unable to run as my ankle was still terribly painful L

Things started looking up though, as on Saturday 24th August, Francis and I jetted off on holiday for a 2.5 week roadtrip in the US. We flew into Las Vegas for a friend’s wedding, then drove Route 66, went to the Grand Canyon (where I ran - an experience which is going to have a blog post of it’s own), drove down to Palm Springs, and Los Angeles, and then drove up Highway 1 to San Francisco. It was an incredible holiday and we had a absolutely fantastic time.

We got back on Thursday morning, 12th September, and although the jet-lag has been crippling, on Saturday, I found myself crewing at the Stour Valley Path 100km inaugural race…an event I had been due to run but obviously had to pull out of due to my chronic lack of fitness and the infamous ankle. 

Food at our check point!
I was at check point 6, which was at 57 miles into the 62 mile race, the last check point before the finish, and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I arrived to find that there weren't any jaffa cakes, peanuts or flapjacks amongst the mountains of food, so went for a drive to find a shop to stock up on these essentials (well, they are in my mind anyway!) before heading back to wait for the first runners to come through. The race was tougher than I think anyone expected (not helped by the torrential rain the night before which turned the ploughed fields into muddy pits of hell) and the runners took much longer to arrive at the check point than we’d expected, but by the time they got there, I was very impressed at how strong they were all still looking and how cheerful most of them were. I really enjoyed the experience of marshalling a race – I've never done it before – but now have a new appreciation for the volunteers who make the races that I do possible, and would recommend it to other runners. It’s very rewarding, helping people achieve their goals and trying to make it just a little easier, and the general feedback for the event from the runners was very positive. As I volunteered for this year’s race, I get a place in the 2014 event – I can’t wait!! :D 

So…here we are, six weeks before my next scheduled race, the Stort 30…the race where I finished as 1st lady in 2012. I’m certainly not going to be anywhere near that end of the field this year, but I would really like to at least be able to take part! Now the jet-lag has pretty much gone, I am planning to try a run this evening, and then get back to normal and start following my training plan, as my fitness has definitely hit a real low and I really can't spend any more time not exercising. None of my clothes fit me anymore!! I’ll take it very slowly, will try and be sensible and hopefully my ankle has had enough rest to let me start upping my mileage – I’ll do it gradually, and just hope that I can get myself ready to run 30 miles on 27th October.

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