Tuesday, 25 February 2014

The countdown is on...

The countdown is on…

So, with the London marathon just under 7 weeks away the excitement is starting to build. And to be honest it’s all I can talk about. Training is continuing to go extremely well and the plan over the past few weeks has been to get the balance right between rest days, speed sessions and long runs. Speed sessions are becoming more and more addictive. The thought of running quick really does excite me.

Running has defiantly made me a better person and has defiantly lit a spark that encourages me to push myself to my limits and accomplish the impossible. I have been pushing myself and my body more and more each week and I am really starting to see progress in my times. I truly believe with determination, self belief, patience, persistence, hard work and smart training you can achieve your goals.

Training for a race builds character. Those early morning runs in the cold, wind and rain. The weekends you skip having a lie in so you can go training. The aches and pains you put your body through. But in the end you are stronger for it and it all seems worth while.

Race day/Gosford 10k trail race.

On Saturday 18th January I ran the Born 2 run Gosford Forest Park 10k trail race. Prior to the race I had set myself three goals. To set a new 10k distance pb, run a sub 40 minute race time and finish in the top 30 runners. At the start we where greeted with a typical winters day, lashing rain and close to zero temperatures. Having trained at Gosford a few weeks prior to the race I knew the trails where going to be muddy. The race got underway and I knew after the first mile I was slightly behind my race pace and I was trying to fight my way through the eager runners as best as possible. When I got to mile 3 I had started to get some space to run in and was starting to pull back some of the time I had lost and the start. There was a group of 6 runners ahead of me and I knew if I could get onto someone’s shoulder in that group then this would help me along. The pace was starting to quicken and I had managed to get myself into the group that was ahead of me. Between mile 5 and 6 I must have looked at my Garmin at least 20 times and I knew a sub 40 minute finish wasn’t going to happen. I was running hard in the hope I could take as much time off my current pb as possible. I crossed the finish line and looked at my Garmin. I stopped my watch at 41:39. My initial reaction was one of disappointment. I was gutted I didn’t run a sub 40 minute time. I had taking a few moments to gather my thoughts. I try to take the positives from every training session/training run I do and I was going to take the positives from this race. I had smashed a new pb by nearly 5 minutes. And I found out later that morning that I had finished 28th out of 471 runners. Two out of three goals isn’t bad.

Gosford !0k trail race

Clocking up the miles.

With both marathons fast approaching I have been increasing my distances in my long runs. I had a long run (15 mile) scheduled for Sunday 2nd February. I had no real desire to run it in a good time. My goal was to get some miles on my legs. I was plodding along in my own wee world and I remember looking at my Garmin just before mile 6 and thinking to myself ‘If I can keep running at this pace then there is a chance of running a half marathon distance pb today’, So I decided to push on a bit. As each mile passed I kept checking my pace and was trying to work out in my head if I was on for a pb or not. Just before mile 13 I glanced at my Garmin and it was at that point I realised I was going to smash it. And for a runner there is no better feeling than running a pb, no matter what the distance. I completed the 15 mile run in 1:49:06. Average pace for the run was 7:16 min/mile and a new 13.1 mile (half marathon) pb of 1:35:40. The hard work was now really starting to pay off.

Since then I have increased my long runs by another few miles. Completing 17.15 miles in 2:10:13. Average pace for the run was 7:36 min/mile. I am hoping to run two/three more long distance runs over the coming 5/6 weeks with the aim to take my distance up to around the 20 mile marker. That will take me nicely up to the end of March. On Saturday 29th March I am running the Omagh half marathon, then it’s time to taper.

Having ran a pb for 10k (41:39) and half marathon (1:35:40) distances already this year I am really in the mood to run a fast time at the London marathon. I might never get the chance to run the London marathon again so I want to smash a new pb for this distance as well.

My goal for London is firstly to raise money and awareness for Diabetes UK and secondly, finish in a FAST time. I can feel myself getting faster and quicker in both my short and long distance training runs and I have got my average down to just over 7 min/mile for my long runs I have a race plan/marathon pace set for London and I am running well with in that at the moment. I am hoping to wear a ‘GoPro’ head camera whilst running the London marathon to capture some of the highs and lows of running a marathon. This should be fun as I tend to talk to myself during my long runs, mainly shouting the words ‘relax’, ‘pace’ and ‘discipline’. So yea, it should be fun.

Until next time, keep running.