There are less than 2 weeks to go until the MTG Cord Marathon. In my last blog I mentioned how we were up to 6.2 miles. Looking back that doesn’t seem much but at the time it was literally couch to 10k in 4 weeks and I could hardly believe I was able to run 10k. It is just under a month ago I wrote my last blog and again, since this time we have achieved so much. We are pretty much set to go with just one training run left this weekend and then it will be carbs all the way next week in the build up.
Thank you to Cord for being so supportive every step of the way, to Creative Touch Design for printing our running vests, to Neil Costello from Cambridge and Coleridge running club for your guidance, to Kate, Crawford and Ben and to everyone that has donated to this cause.
In training, we jumped from 6.2 miles to 10 miles and that is where I found my limit. Up to 9 miles it was manageable but I hit 9 miles and I came up against a hill (relatively minor but it seemed like a mountain at the time). I stopped and walked a bit and then carried on and past the 10 mile marker to accomplish the next hill to prove hills couldn’t beat me.
The following week we did 2 x 4 mile runs followed by 3 x 4 mile runs the next week and this weekend just gone we managed a 4, 5 and 6 mile run on Saturday. This is a different way of training. Unlike the usual marathon where you have to keep going for 26.2 miles this is different because it’s very ‘stop-starty’. So, when you finish your first run, your body thinks that’s it and starts to tighten up which then makes the subsequent runs a little more tricky.
My husband says there are 3 elements to a run which people may struggle with:
I find that my first run is a nightmare. My muscles struggle, my lungs feel like that may just make it to a mile and my mind is unable to focus on anything but the difficulty I am having. I often think I am never going to make a mile let alone 26.2 of them. However, the second run gets a little easier and the third run is bizarrely the most comfortable for me as far as my mind and lungs are concerned. My ankle injury starts to play up in the third run and I get this pain in the top of my right leg but you forget it’s there after a while because you’re so focused on the goal.
I also think about certain people when running. First, the amazing Davina McCall. I think about all that she has achieved in her crazy challenges and that spurs me on. Then there’s Jillian Michaels who has been shouting at me through the TV for the last 3 years and encouraging me to not give up. When I come to a hill, I always have her voice in my head. Then there is my inspiring cousin, Stephen Ward. When I have a tough moment I think if everything he has achieved and that make each step a little lighter. Finally, there is my husband, Ben, who is a much better runner than me and always runs behind (put your slowest member at the front!) and constantly gives me encouragement.
I have found hills difficult the last few weeks. There is a set route for our 4 mile run and I have stopped at one point a couple of times but now it is becoming a habit and conveniently, it’s at the bottom of the hill and I simply walk to the top which means no hill for me to run on that section of the route. I had a hill on my 6 mile run on Saturday and I couldn’t stop thinking about it on the way round and when it came to it, I kept telling myself to face my limitations because if you don’t fight these you get to keep them and I didn’t want hills to be my nemesis (thank you Jillian Michaels).
I know that my lungs can get me to the 26.2 mile mark and on the day we will be visiting some very lovely places and have team support and so I am positive that my mind will get me to the end. The only worry I have is my muscles but I will get to the end even if that means staggering the last few miles.