Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Easy does it

Training miles completed this week: 10
Total training miles completed: 78.5
Training miles left: 167.5
Training runs left: 26 + taper off period

Hello - Happy Wednesday - thanks for dropping in.

Another 10 miles down this week and I've gone through the first psychological milestone on my plan.  I'm very much focussed on taking this one run at a time now and being able to tick the miles off every week is becoming very satisfying.

My weekend run was brought forward slightly to Friday night due to commitments I had at the weekend.  I managed the whole distance in 69 minutes and also managed the first 3.3 miles non-stop.  Whilst that felt like a good time (for me at least) and it felt really good to do a significant part of the distance in one burst, I realised that I'm starting to let my focus shift from my real goal - to do the marathon.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the importance of knowing how fast I can cover a set distance and knowing my mile split times etc but I feel like I'm starting to convince myself that every run must be better than the last but really that simply isn't true.  I do feel very satisfied when I post a good time, but I also know that pushing myself harder each time I step out of the door isn't really going to help in the long term.

My guide time (and I think it'll help if I refer to it as such) is a 12 minute mile average.  I've consistently run inside this for a few weeks now which is good over a relatively short distance, but in a month's time I'll be talking about a 14 mile run not 6 miles.  Pushing myself over a shorter distance is one thing, but my approach and mindset will need to be completely different for the proper distance runs and I need to concentrate on adjusting my attitude for what's coming up if I want to avoid another injury.

With that in mind my 3.5 mile run tonight was an easy one - I took it at a gentle place, stopped a couple of times (partially due to an annoying stitch - symptoms of wrong food at the wrong time and not enough water I think) and still managed the distance in a respectable 39 minutes.  What was most interesting was how the extra rest day affected me.  I thought I'd be a lot fresher and find it easy going. In fact this morning I was actively looking forward to getting out there.  The reality was slightly different.  My ankle started to feel a lot stiffer and harder to run on after a while which was unexpected.  I think regular exercise is benefiting it more than I thought and perhaps I need to focus on the steady pace and minimising the impact.  Hopefully Saturday morning will be easier going.

As an aside, to give you an idea of what's coming up, in the next 4 weeks, I'll run 61.5 miles with a maximum distance of 14 miles!

My diabetes has been slightly better behaved this week but I remain convinced that my immediate approach to my insulin has to change, as well as how I medicate myself in the run up to the marathon.  Yesterday was the first day in a few weeks where I made it from breakfast to lunch without the need for a snack or something to boost my blood sugar mid-morning.

As I think I mentioned last week, I've got a consultant appointment next Wednesday (Feb 1st) which will give me a good chance to sit and talk through all my concerns about training in detail.  Hopefully next week I'll be able to elaborate a bit more on what it's going to mean.

It's been a good week on the sponsorship front as well - I've raised another £100 since the last blog taking the current total to £257 - just over a quarter of the way there.  I'm very fortunate to have the support of so many generous people.  There's 13 more weeks until race day to raise the remaining £743 and I think the fundraising page stays open until the end of July so hopefully I can get close to the target by then.  All money raised will be split between Diabetes UK and Sheffield Children's Hospital so if you have £1 to spare, then please consider clicking on the fundraising page link above and donating it.

I talked last week about keeping a better eye on my weight and trying to lose 20lbs over the next few weeks in time for the marathon.  As well as feeling and looking fitter, it's a lot of weight I won't have to carry round the course with me so it can only be a good thing.  My starting weight a fortnight ago was 199.4lbs.  By last Wednesday I was down to 197lbs and tonight I'm at 192.2lbs which is surprising (I've had Chinese and cake this week) but pleasing.  It adds a bit of support to my theory of lagged weight loss - expect minimal change next week.  I'm doing this weight loss with a couple of friends and having their support has been really great and inspiring so long may this continue :-)

I think I'll come to a close there.  It feels like it's been a really good week which is nice to be able to say after so long.  I was thinking back to the posts in early September about how positive it felt to finally be able to go out and run a mile (with walk breaks) and now I'll be doing a minimum of 13 miles a week.  Progress indeed.

Take care and thanks again for your support


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