Well, all is not what it seems, you’ll probably have seen me post the PB’s, the new furthest distance non-stop runs (4.5miles #fistpump), half marathon here and there and that’s great, but everything this year is leading up to one thing – Berlin and that is what’s on my mind and that’s where the problems are right now.


I didn’t think i had an issue with motivation, I mean you look at my Strava and I run 3/4 times a week and certainly to anyone at work who think that running is all I do and all I can talk about. But look a little closer at Strava….

  • 13/5 – 3.1miles
  • 11/5 – 2.7 & 2.8miles
  • 09/05 – 5miles
  • 07/05 – 4.6miles
  • 05/05 – 5.3miles
  • 02/05 – 4.5miles
  • 30/04 – 13.1miles

And the half marathon is the furthest I’ve done – granted multiple times but this doesn’t look like someone who is less than 5months away from running a marathon.

The thing that is stopping me isn’t physical, it’s mental. I mean, I might get to 14mile and keel over but my head isn’t allowing me to get there. Seems like every time I plan a long run, even over 10miles my head puts a block in there and stops me. Hoping putting this down in words will realise how potentially silly that is and I’ll move my big bum.

So what plan am I following? 

Simple answer, I’m not, but I have tried a few but just haven’t found one that fits.

  • myAsics – starts at 3mile long run and only goes up to 18mile as longest run 4 weeks pre race. Predicted time 5hrs25min – yeah right!
  • mbition – seems good, includes strength training, but training in time and only on website (app would help) and doesn’t manually sync with Garmin. Predicted 6h25 – I’d be very happy with that.
  • PCUK (charity) – it’s based in time, longest run 180mins – I couldn’t even do Half Marathon in that time so seems a bit pointless
  • Hal Higdon – seems pretty good but it’s on paper and I really struggle without that nudge to get my arse out of the door, so it’s quite easy to ignore.

Not entirely where to go, it was quite simple a few months ago, start with base of 13mile, add a mile each month and I’d be up to 20/22 by the end of August, perfect. But sitting here now, knowing I can do 13mile but not wanted to risk injury by upping mileage too quick I don’t know how to go about it.

I’ve been thinking of finding a coach to put together a plan, but having a plan isn’t the problem, it’s actually going out and doing the long runs on the piece of paper that counts.

 

The (Planned) Long Run attempts.

This morning, I got my bag ready, Oofos, spare tee and jumper in for the train home, filled up two bottles of water, Clif bar and a couple of gels for good luck. The plan, Parkrun, slow and steady (approx. 45mins easy pace for me), then down to Putney and run the bridges to Waterloo.

Parkrun was go and I kept it slow and steady as planned, I was prepared to walk as I knew I wanted to carry on afterwards. Colin from the club was tail runner and we trotted and chatted together occasionally dropping off as I overtook people. My head was gone by the time I got to 1km, I felt dreadful, like I’d already done the 10mile and this was the last 3 and so decided to have a little walk. By the third turn the first few runners were coming through well before normal and I started to contemplate dropping out at, I was looking at my watch to see if I’d get to 30mins because then I’d get my Fitness Rewards points but I’d be just short at the tree (the tree is where we put our bags/clothes etc and where we finish Parkrun).


Praise the Lord that just at that time Tom came past me and gave me a little shout out while I was walking, this got me round the next corner and I decided to chase down the guy power walking in front of me. I got close by the end but just before the end he put a sprint finish on and I didn’t quite get him, i’ll leave that for another week. I felt dreadful, not physically, mentally, and I knew I wasn’t going to carry on afterwards.

Couple of weeks ago I did the same thing but this time I was heading to Bushy Parkrun (the original) with Nic. We’d run together and then do one more loop of Bushy before Nic went one way to head home and I’d carry on up the river – about 15mile in total. I don’t know whether Parkrun was too quick, it did go very quick but before I got back to Hampton Court Palace my legs were dead. Seeing as it was a nice day I did decide to walk to Kingston and it gave me about 9miles altogether but still not enough.
Interestingly when I think about it, when I did Hackney Half I probably did something around 16-17miles. Walked from Stratford to Hackney Marshes, Half Marathon and then back again after the race. Albeit on the way back I did wear my Oofos and had a good sit down and chill between – think it was the thought of the beer and (non-existent) burger that got me back to Westfield.

I’ve got a busy few weeks now, I should’ve been doing my first triathlon next week but I have decided to bail on that (no enough time on bike, hard to get to for 8am etc), so might do Wimbledon Half with Sally instead after bailing halfway on that last time. The week after my folks are coming down and Dad and I are doing the Westminster Mile and London 10,000 (let me know if you’re doing this we have a DM group going), then the week after London 10Mile which will be a tough one around Richmond Park. So I don’t really have opportunity to do a long run in the next 3/4 weeks.

I’m trying to get along to Cakeathon with Elle and Rob at the end of August and do my long run there. Figuring that if i can do 20-odd miles on a hilly trail route with Cake every 5k I can smash Berlin on perfectly flat tarmac a month later. Only issue is getting there for 8am on a Bank Holiday Monday – a night in Gravesend my be in order, Rock n Roll!


But where the rest of the long runs are going to come in, I have no idea. I’m starting my new job a week on Monday so I doubt I’ll be able to be as flexible as I’d like.

 

Thoughts

I’ll give it a bit more time, but if by the middle of June things haven’t improved I don’t really see how I can get there safely, injury free and with some confidence that I can actually do it.

Maybe it just isn’t the right time for me to be attempting this, it might be my body telling me that it isn’t good for me.

I’ve got a couple of friends who are running coaches, I’m hoping to catch up with them this week and see if we can work on a few things.

Kim has suggested that I might have a few too many races in the calendar and she’s probably got a good point. It does mean that I am restricted in my opportunities to put in my long runs if I’ve got a 10k or Half every week and I could be getting a bit tired too. Also suggested getting a running partner, which I know would be good, but when you’re at my pace it’s hard to get someone to come spend 3/4hrs of their day to plod along with you especially when most have their own races and challenges to plan for.


In the meantime I will be running with Chasing Light Collective & Backpackers Crew when I can over the next few weeks. I went to my first run with them Thursday and we had a blast. No pace issues, there are three groups: Jog/Walk, Joggy (13min/mile) and Joggier (no quicker than 10m/m), so perfect if you want to run with company and not worry about pace. They run Wednesday’s from Lululemon Spitalfields @ 6.30 and Thursdays Regent St Lululemon @ 6.30 too. Come join us it’ll be great fun!


 

Next Race: TBC…..