Tuesday, 7 February 2012

A change in plans (or, reality bites)

My runs in Shetland are always a bit challenging and generally are fairly slow, due to the ever-present wind and the way that all directions seem to lead uphill.  I usually consider the runs here to be either resistance training or hill work and don't worry too much about how long they take me.  However, after experiencing majorly slow, physically and mentally painful runs yesterday (sore achilles - 3 mile run) and today (sore achilles, tight calves and 30mph wind - 6 mile run), I have finally made the decision that I've been avoiding for weeks. 

I am now going to approach the marathon - and my training - with a 'just get around it' mindset.

I have to be realistic.  Unless Claudio proves to be a miracle worker pretty sharpish (and, I confess, part of me still is hoping that he will be), there is no way that I'm going to be able to finish the marathon anywhere close to the sub-4:00 time that I KNOW that I could do if I were injury-free.  Either I keep trying to increase my speed and risk doing myself a marathon-ending injury, or I listen to my body and work within its limits so that I can make it to the finish line in April. 

The way it's going at the moment, I'm looking at a 5-hour marathon.  Writing that makes me want to cry, because I know that this is not the best that I am capable of.  Although I suppose that it is actually the best that I am capable of with the injuries that I have - I'll need to keep reminding myself of that.  And it's psychologically better to expect 5 hours and be pleasantly surprised if I come in under that than it is to expect 4 hours and be devastated if I'm significantly slower.

The London Marathon is meant to be an amazing experience.  This is my first marathon, and I want to enjoy it.  If reining in my competitive nature is what it takes, then so be it.  Anyway, I'm already thinking ahead to how I'm going approach training for the next one...


  1. I still think the Olympic selectors will have their eye on you. xx

  2. Normally I would make some flippant comment to the effect of, 'I'll be the one being overtaken by the guy in the deep sea diver's suit,' but instead I will just graciously say thank you for your optimism and faith in me! xx

  3. Sustaining a pace of over 5 miles an hour for 5 hours is very good going for a first marathon! No way I could ever have done it. Don't do yourself down. Are you running for a charity?

  4. Thanks for your encouraging words, Cathy. I'll work on reframing my speed (or lack thereof) as 'good for a first marathon', just like all of the running books suggest - which I, of course, have ignored because I know better...I have a ballot place but I'd still like to raise money for a charity. I'll need to choose one soon, otherwise the race will be over and I'll still be dithering.