Sunday, 24 March 2013

Mental Strength Counts for a Lot

This week's training: 25 miles, spin class, 2 x body pump

Not a bad week. Body Pump on Monday helped me to combat jet lag by tiring myself out enough to sleep that night. I've put quite a lot of energy into training and socialising this week to keep busy and distracted but not everything's gone to plan.

There seems to be a different instructor at every spin class at the moment. This Tuesday's class was taken but a young girl who I didn't really like. They all run them differently and I just didn't like her style. Felt like I had a decent work out though. Was hoping to get my bike on the road this week but it's been foul weather and cold to boot so I'm not too upset that it didn't come to pass.

I jiggled my runs around this week which didn't work out too well. I ran 6 on Thursday evening but had hoped to do my other 4.5 mile run during a lunch break. Work got in the way though and I had to do it after Friday's Body Pump class... well I'd intended to anyway but 3 minutes on the treadmill and I knew I wasn't going to manage it so I did the same work out duration (and pacing) on a bike with high resistance instead so I'm going to count the equivalent "on foot" miles towards my total. I'm seeing real improvements in my strength and tone from pump classes now, even though I'm not increasing my weights much. Wearing a vest top on Friday was a very uplifting experience!

Saturday was a rest day as today I ran the Cranleigh 15/21 miler. I got pretty worked up about this race as I knew I had to run 11 minute miles for the first 15 in order to reach the checkpoint and be allowed to continue to the full 21. It's a mental pressure I could have done without but I tried to approach it with the same strategy I ran my 16 miler in, same sound track, same nutrition, same outfit even. The event is a pretty cheap one and a good tester for marathon training but I found the poor organisation distracting and I certainly wouldn't do it again or recommend it. The course is on undulating roads through countryside. It was quite lovely really and despite the constant light snow I managed to run almost every incline/hill and reach the 15 mile checkpoint with 3 minutes to spare.

I chose to bow out at this point, even though I had earned the right to continue. I think I made the right decision, but there's always a part of me, after I've recovered, wondering if I should have. My ankle and hip had started to ache and the last mile was almost totally at walking pace so I thought for the greater good I should stop. I didn't feel able to do another 6 miles later and the final 6 of the race would almost certainly have been mostly at a walk. I dunno... there's always going to be that doubt. But I still got a medal and I will be doing 18 the next two weekends, on my own, in a much stronger mental place.

I'll do a full race review in another post.

So I'm entering this coming week with a clean slate, a fresh start and all good intentions. I'll stick to my plans more closely and think about how far I've come, how much I've achieved. What is, is, what will be, will be, and I'll get round that marathon if I have to walk it! No time limits there.

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