On Sunday I ran 18 miles. 18 miles! In one go. In 2 hours 57 mins.
having my doubts
I also didn’t want to go out. If I’m at all honest, I picked a fight with my boyfriend 10 minutes before I had to leave, and had a little cry! Just shows the dread that sometimes surrounds the Sunday Long Run…
the run itself
I ran along the Regents Canal to Victoria Park (my usual destination on a Sunday run) and right up the top to find a route to Hackney Marshes. There were not that many runners there, but the routes were lovely. I usually run on roads so it was a relief to have some real ground beneath my feet. It was at this point that I took my first ever ‘gel’.
No one had told me that running gels were revolting!! I used up half of my water supply trying to wash it down! I also chewed on some blocs, which weren’t much better. Of course, now I have taken gel, blocs and sweets instead of split testing on different sessions, I now have to take all on the big day because one of them obviously worked!
I carried some haribo with me too, so chewed on them after mile 10. At this point I knew I’d do it. I wasn’t aching, I was running at under 10 mins a mile and feeling really positive about my new route.
This week I had help from runner @SponsorStephen on Twitter who said I should be doing some interval training. This really pushed me – as I said in my last post (Paris Marathon Training: phase two) I did promise that I would be incorporating this kind of training, though I hadn’t actually got round to it somehow… Anyway, on Wednesday I did interval training and surprised myself with how well it went! It meant that my Thursday session was faster than expected too. Thank you to Stephen for pushing me to do it! I think this training definitely improved my performance on Sunday.
The more I run the more I realise the power of my mind. Even as I’m doing something mundane like brushing my teeth, sometimes a voice will pop up in my head to say “you do realise it’s 26 miles?? You can’t even manage 15!”
I’m constantly battling with myself about it. Finishing that Sunday run at 18.25 miles had made me realise I really can do it. I had less than 8 miles to go before I reached a marathon distance, and I could have done it!
Bring it on.
In case you like running numbers, here you are: