I’m a little preoccupied, dear readers. Something is on my mind even more than Iceland these days – RUNNING. Those of you who have been reading for a while will remember I trained for and did my first marathon last year.
Although it was hard work, I recovered from the race really quickly and was inspired to sign up to do the same again this year, and even throw in a second marathon a few weeks later to make the most of my training. (why?? why??)
Second time around the training is not really any easier, but at least I know what to expect now and that I can do both the hideous amount of training and the actual race. I’m under more pressure this year as now I have a previous time to beat! I’m now in the dreaded weeks where my weekends are taken up by doing long runs and then recovering from them. I’m not sure how much faster I am this year – annoyingly I don’t seem to be most of the time, but then I just had a really good long run – so who knows!
What is handy about doing it the second time around is that I can put into practice earlier the things I learned quite late on last time around:
1. I know what I can eat and drink, and that a recovery drink afterwards is bliss. Still it’s easy for me to over or under-hydrate, it seems to be a fine line.
2. Compression socks after a long run help – I’m not sure if it’s just psychological but who cares.
3. A foam roller is also really good and you don’t really have to spend much time using it. It just relaxes your pains somehow.
4. I should have more sports massages as they find little niggles you didn’t know you had and correct them.
5. I’ve realised I don’t actually like “racing” – I’m much better at endurance than speed. I should just accept this and enjoy what I’m doing rather. I like the majority of my runs because they’re done at my own pace and at the times I like to go out. Racing contradicts both of those things! Maybe I just need to do some shorter distance racing for a time but keep up the longer training mileage. (yes, I’ve had a couple of bad races lately too)
6. Eating better helps, but is still a struggle sometimes. It’s amazing how when you are trying to watch what you eat, you really notice what lengths people will go to get you to eat the bad stuff they have brought in to the office, or a bad lunch. I keep having to tell myself that they aren’t doing all the running, and I do have to eat differently to them. Anyway, it would be nice if it wasn’t a daily battle of ignoring the array of junk food that is brought in to my office every day…
7. This will sound dreadful if you don’t run – I never understood why people were always going on about chafing, but once you start going further than half marathon distance you find the edges of all your clothing sear a really painful mark into you – so my final top discovery was Bodyglide, which looks like deodorant but coats your skin as a preventive measure. I’ll spare you a picture of what chafing looks like.
If you know someone who is training for a spring marathon, spare a thought for them, as they are probably thinking about running much more than you realise. Sometimes everything is going great and you really love your training, and sometimes you’re in pain a lot of the time, but either way, running has to take over your world for a little while. It’s really nice when people genuinely take an interest in what you’re doing, and equally it can come across as rude when someone close to you forgets for the hundredth time that you’ve told them about a certain race you’re doing. (see ranty post from last year on tactlessness here.)
Hopefully when it’s all over I’ll be writing a post to tell you I broke my own record! Until then I’ll be counting down the weeks…