From Meltdown to Marathon

Coniston Lake
Coniston Lake

I’ve been pretty rubbish about blogging recently, there’s been a lot going on at home and work and also it’s been hard to put into words some of the feelings I have been having whilst running.  I’ve had a bit of a black patch but I think things are looking up and so hopefully I will get back into the swing of posting more regularly in the next couple of weeks, but to tide you over until I have a chance to do some more lengthy posts, here’s a quick summary of what I have been up to.

 May 25th – BUPA 10k in London

An awesomely well organized race, not quite a PB but pretty darn fast for me (59:39).  It was a warm day but I coped well and we’ve signed up for next year’s race already

 May 31st – Lakeland Trails: Staveley 17km

A nightmare, I stupidly decided to run without music, it was hot, I struggled, I wanted to quit and almost had a complete mental meltdown.  I started too fast, had to stop at 5km to remove my ankle support because it had turned my foot numb.  At the just past halfway point I got 400m past the marshal, stopped and had a quick ponder about going back and getting them to call someone to collect me.  I was really conscious of the fact that I was the last person in the race, felt bad for the volunteers that I was keeping them standing around and pretty much hated the whole thing.  I wanted to cry a lot.

I did finish, it took me 2:36 and I was the very last person on the course. (Photos)

 June 22nd – Hitchin Hard Half Marathon

Definitely hot and definitely not easy, but I survived and wasn’t last.  I was ridiculously hot, I took walk breaks as necessary but pushed onwards even when I didn’t really feel it. No music again as headphones were on the banned list.  I hate long races where I can’t wear headphones, the evil quitty voices are much easier to hear! Official time 2:32:37

I learned that no matter how silly it looks wearing a soaked Buff on your head keeps you that little bit cooler when all around you are melting.

 July 6th – Lakeland Trails: Coniston Marathon

I loved it!  We swapped our entries from the “Race” with a 6 hour time allowance to the “Challenge” with an 8 hour time allowance and it made all the difference.  I started off with a plan to still try and hit my planned “race” splits to the aid stations and was ahead of schedule for the first 2, then the terrain got a bit harder and the weather a lot hotter and I eased off a bit.  This time I had music which really helped as for most of the course I was on my own.  I really felt pressure free knowing I had plenty of time to get round the course and there were no evil quitty voices to put me off.  I walked when I wanted to, took pictures when there was a good view (there were a lot, it was a gorgeous day and location) and I finished!  Final time 6:38:51, 50 minutes of which was me stopping at aid stations, taking photos or standing n the stream to briefly cool off. (Photos)

It was a relief to get round my first marathon with a positive outlook on running again and I hope that I can continue to put a little less pressure on myself and ensure I have fun whilst racing.

I have a half marathon this weekend, so fingers crossed I will have fun despite the predicted heat and will have a nice blog post for you next week.

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