Monday 26 August 2013

When life (and knees) get in the way

Half marathon in t minus 13 days. 

It was all looking good: training was going so well, was feeling strong. Then... a new job! 

This week I took the first step on my new career path, which is great, exciting and interesting. But boy has my training for the half marathon suffered! There is nothing - nothing - that kills your energy and drive to run like 6 hours a day of online policy learning. I barely managed a 2 mile run round the common during the week! Eugh. 

On top of that I knew my Saturday was going to be a write off as it was the touch rugby end of season party on Friday. On a boat. If anyone knows my team, Magic, then they know that our nights out are carnage. And it was supreme carnage, but great fun! (Yes, we were the only people wearing stupid hats on the boat... it's not a Magic night of there isn't fancy dress!)

That's me, front right, with my umpteenth G&T. Saturday morning: definitely not a run day for me :( 

Fortunately it was the bank holiday weekend - hurrah! - so I had earmarked Sunday morning for the biggie (I need a day of recovery before going back to work!). The longest run to date, and probably my longest run before the half marathon. Dun, dun, duuuuuuuun! Saturday's weather was a washout (as anyone who was at whatever rave party was going on at Clapham Common will testify to - welly sales in SW London must've been through the roof!), but Sunday morning brought the sunshine - it was a sign: this was going to be a good run.

I had mapped out a 10.5 mile route which would take me from home to meet the boy at his tennis club. Shoes laced up, tunes on: off I went. As usual, the first mile felt like hell - does anyone else have the same problem that in the first 10 minutes of a run you feel like your legs are filled with lead? Anyway, by mile 2 the legs started to lighten up, and with the sun on my back I was feeling good. 

I hit Battersea Park and crossed the river at the 5 mile point, heading along the embankment towards Chelsea and Putney. Running through an area I'd never really seen before definitely distracted me, and a few more miles passed without me even noticing. Then, the 8 mile stage: the point where my knees say "hey, it's been fun while it lasted, but we've had enough, thanks!" Ouch, step, ouch, step, ouch, step. And still 2.5 miles to go (so I thought!). No, knees, I will not give in!!  

Then came what could perhaps be described as a saving grace - I realised I was lost. Nothing distracts you more from the fact that your knees are killing you than realising that you are going the wrong way. Hmm. I fought on, aimed for the river, and managed to find my way back on track - just a 1 mile detour then! Blocking out the knee pain, I surged on, and even managed to lift my pace for the last mile. I pulled up at the tennis club and saw the distance on my Nike app - Distance: 11.4 miles. Time: 1h40min. Happy days!

On the whole I'm feeling confident that I can hit the 2 hour mark on race day, and anything under that time would be a bonus. It's my first half though, so my main goal is to enjoy myself - it might be the first, but I'm pretty sure it wont be that last, and I'll have time to improve on my pace in the future.

Nothing left to do after that run than to rest the knees - thanks for keeping going knees! - and chill out by the outdoor pool at the club. Bliss!

Hope your bank holiday runs/swims/spins were successful too!

Lesson learned this week: even if you get lost - be it with your training plan or while on a run! - keep going. Never give up. 

Katy | City Girl Fit

1 comment:

  1. THe first couple of miles are ALWAYS the worst! Well done on your long run (even if it was longer than anticipated!. Looking forward to following your progress - keep up the great work :-)