Friday, 1 August 2008

Final push

It's been a good week and a half. Training has gone very well. Jo's still got pain in her calf but sometimes it's not so bad...and even when it is bad Jo manages to carry on running (I think it helps knowing what's behind the cause of the pain).

Last week I did about 65 miles (105 km) which is the most running I've done in a week. I even managed to squeeze a half-marathon in before work on the Thursday...which was mentally tough as the route I chose took me away from home and then back past home (1 hour later); when passing home there was the option to cut the run short and/or pop home for breakfast - but I passed the test, I carried on and did the distance. The Friday's run was the first time that my legs felt as if they didn't have the energy for the distance while I was running. I had run just 4km to meet up with work mates, shared two pints of orange juice and lemonade and then run the remaining 10km home (again passing the test of ignoring a shortcut that would have halved the distance). I now realise that orange juice and lemonade isn't a good energy drink - the run was also didn't help that I was getting hungry and all I could smell while running along the canal was food. Food glorious food...that was got worse when I got to Limehouse and I could smell Scampi...yum yum...I'd be lousy under interrogation, just wave a plate of Scampi in front of my nose and I'd let you know all my secrets (and probably some stuff I didn't know I knew)!!

Then at the weekend Jo and I got back to running together - which is great. We make great training partners; when we run together our pace is slower...much more likely to get us over long distances and we ensure we spur each other on. Last weekend Jo was a hard task master. I woke up on Saturday and Jo was already awake and raring to go - damn, was it already time to get up....Jo forced me our of bed and I started getting kitted up. Then I looked at the clock....6:45am...on a Saturday...hell no, this can't be happening....that wife of mine is evil. Jo was adamant that I didn't need any more sleep...sick, evil, demented woman. We ran 15km on Saturday morning and then squeezed in another 6km later in the evening - to take our daily total up to half-marathon. On the Sunday we did a half-marathon in one go....not quite as early as Saturday...otherwise there would have been trouble.

Sunday evening was so hot that I got my hair clippers out and gave myself a radical hair cut!! Now I'm ready to join the French Foreign Legion!

This week, on Wednesday, we've managed to do a half-marathon before work and then on Thursday we managed a total distance of half-marathon, but broken into two runs. We find doing 2 runs in one day is good training - it teaches the body to run again without being rested from the previous run. The 2nd run (after work) was hard for Jo - her leg was really hurting (9 out of 10 in terms of pain - which is pretty much as bad as it gets before you have to stop), but she did well...she kept running. And she didn't complain at all when she asked me if we could walk...and I said "no"...I knew she could keep going. It was my turn to be a hard task master, and it had nothing to do with getting revenge for Saturday morning. ;)

This weekend we're aiming to start our 6 half-marathons in a row challenge...we figure it would be good training to get six long runs in, one day after the other, before we begin our taper. The aim is actually to do a very long run on Sunday - but we'll see, it depends on how much pain Jo gets from her leg. So next week is going to be hard - doing a marathon in the morning before work for four days in a row.

It's not the running I find hard - sure it's a challenge but when we run together we run slow and on flat terrain so there's no real physical stress. What I do find hard, extremely hard, is the sleep deprivation - having to get up at 5am to do a run, especially when your body wants extra sleep because of all the training. The lack of sleep affects me mentally - I'm grumpy and my will power suffers...Jo doesn't get much conversation out of me until I've woken up (about an hour into the run). On Thursday Jo wanted to get up even earlier, at around 4:45am (because she needed to get into work early)...I refused...I draw the line at 5am. It was because I was unwilling to get up so early that we ended up breaking the run into two runs - I guess next week I will have to accept whatever needs to be done in order for us to run complete half-marathons before work :(

At least all this effort is having a positive affect on my body...after a plateau (made worse by the Swiss holiday diet) I'm losing plenty of weight again. I'm down to about 86kg (13.5 stones). I'm not sure I'll hit my 80kg (12.5 stones) target before the race but I reckon I'll be sub 13 stone - for the first time in well over 10 years. Most of my clothes are now too big for me and I'm having to add extra holes to the belts that I own...but I'm more than happy to have to put up with these inconveniences. Running has given me back my life - even after the TransRockies Run I have no intention of stopping.


Blogger dave boy said...

Good morning from sunny Wigan.see i remembered just hope the damm thing goes through first time. Not long now before you are on your way and all the hard training is put to the test.We will all be thinking about you both and just glad it isn't one of us doing it.Good to talk to Jo last night Bye for now Love Maz & Dave XX

4 August 2008 at 09:33  

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