1. My choice of route: I thought that I would be clever and run the Inverness HM route - so that I could suss it out and not be surprised by any hills on the day - and then run the 6 remaining miles along the canal path, giving my legs a break from road running. A good plan in theory, a disastrous plan in action. The HM will be on the road but my run had to be pretty much all on the pavements. Rutted, rough, sharply cambered pavements that played havoc with my ankles and my blisters. The first 5 miles are all uphill, mostly a gentle but wearing incline as well as a couple of steep bits that I've already decided I'm going to walk on the day. Nothing like giving up early. There are plenty of steepish sections during the next 5 miles as well. I am really miffed that there is no chance for me to beat my AHM time. There probably isn't even a chance that I will manage my marathon target pace. Major disgruntlement that stuck with me for the rest of the run.
2. Blisters: These deserve a category of their own. They started hurting by mile 6 but I managed to make it to mile 13 and my car, where I had some Compeed stashed. Why I didn't put the Compeed on BEFORE I started running is a mystery to me. I also changed shoes at my car, from the old Guide 4s to the Wasps. My blisters were marginally more happy with the wider toe box but, by that point, it all was a bit too late. I might have been able to carry on running even with my tired legs, but the blisters meant walking. And lots of it. Also lots of thoughts about how I can't do the marathon feeling like this.
3. Gear faffery: I have a new piece of kit - the Spibelt - that I've been testing. (My plan is to carry my gels etc in this for the marathon.) It's worked well so far but yesterday I had more in it than usual and couldn't get it to lie flat. It looked like I had a huge growth flapping around on my stomach and, with each flap of the pouch, the belt moved another inch up my body. If I had let it go on unchecked, it would have ended up either throttling me or breaking my nose. After numerous bouts of walking so that I could unpack and repack the bloody thing, I finally managed to sort it out and it became as comfortable as the reviews promise. Still, it really really really annoyed me.
|So yummy. Sigh.|
5. Other people: I run rurally. In all my years of running the back roads of the Black Isle, I have only ever seen two other runners. I see lots of cyclists on the weekends, but they are a friendly lot and we have no problem sharing the road with each other. However, running in a city, even a small one...I either was forced off the pavement or forced to stop by people on bikes, people pushing prams, children thrusting gardening implements at me, children lunging at my legs, dogs leaping at me, and runners running two and three abreast. NO ONE made eye contact, smiled, said hello, or said sorry. Not even the runners. I hated it.
What I learned (because there's no point in having a miserable run if you don't learn something from it):
- Training runs are meant in part to be about figuring things out; they aren't meant to be perfect. I'll pack the Spibelt more appropriately in London because of the difficulties that I had with it yesterday.
- I'm still not sure why I reacted to my usual fuel the way that I did - maybe because it was a different flavour to the other ones I've used? - but I'm not going to risk it for London. It's back to gels and jelly beans for me.
- Next run, I'll put on the Compeed before I start running.
- The Inverness HM is just going to be a normal training run, and that's fine.
- Even with all of the stopping and walking, I still finished in the time that I had planned. And, despite how sore my legs and blisters were yesterday, it all feels back to normal today. So maybe, just maybe, I can't always trust my perceptions.
- I might not be able to run the whole marathon, but I will be able to finish.
|No room for personal space issues|