August proved to be a busy month for me, not just in marathon training terms but I also changed to a new role in my office job so a lot has been happening. hence the three week update! Hopefully September will be a bit more settled.
These past few weeks I have had some good runs and some really bad ones. I’ll start off with the good ones!
My Wednesday North Marston group has been going really well. We’ve had some awful weather with rain and wind but I’ve still had good attendance considering we in the middle of the summer holidays! The group has done extremely well over the last few months, I’ve seen such improvement from everyone and I’m going to miss the group once the course finishes in three weeks time.
I ran the beautiful Burnham Beeches half marathon with my mum which went really well. I will be writing a fully review but the short version is it was a two lap undulating loop where we stuck to our plan and were very happy with the result.
I had a great 4 mile out and back run in the rain where I concentrated on form throughout. This is a really great technique to use on a run. You can do it for the whole run or just part of it. All you have to do is pick on one aspect of technique that needs improving and concentrate on it for the run.
I also had a great 16 mile run where I surprised myself by running my second fastest mile for my final mile.
So that’s the good part, here’s the bad. And it’s all to do with stitches and my stomach!
My first bad run was in week 11, the Friday before my half. I was supposed to do 4-5 miles but before I had even ran a mile a really bad stitch struck me. I did all my usual tricks, walking, counting my breath, stretching, but nothing helped. I struggled on for 3.45 miles before giving it up as a bad run. I had been determined to get to 4 miles but I was walking much more than I was running and making me fed up. So I gave in.
My other bad run was a bit more disappointing. I arranged to run 20 miles, the longest run in the training plan so far, with my mum and had worked out a lovely route along the lakes and rivers in Milton Keynes. On the day we had a big bowl of porridge to keep us going and got to the lake just after 9am. It was a surprisingly hot day, hotter than the rest of the week, around 25 degrees with blue sky and sunshine. Not quite the weather we prefer but we could cope with it.
The run went well for the first few miles, although my mum was starting to think that porridge wasn’t a good idea pre-run as she could feel it sitting heavy on her stomach. She also told me how tired she had been feeling over the last fortnight and I reminded her that being tired was part of marathon training, especially during the peek weeks which we are now in. So it was going well, bar a few niggles, but around mile 8 I started to get a stitch. We walked for a bit whilst my mum took a gel but that didn’t shift it. It was getting worse but I thought maybe I just needed the toilet and knowing there was one at the next lake we were running too we carried on.
However, that wasn’t the case. After a toilet stop I was still feeling awful and around mile 11 my stomach was starting to cramp. My mum asked me if I wanted to walk so we did for a bit and then tried running again. No good, still cramping. At several points my mum kept asking me if I wanted to walk and eventually we did. I found out afterwards that at this point I had turned a horrible yellowish white and my mum was worried I was either going to be sick or to pass out! So we walked back and every now and then I’d try running but would have to walk again.
So instead of 20 miles we ran/walked 16.5. Quite disappointing.
I have a feeling that the cramping was due to dehydration as I hadn’t drunk an awful lot the day before and it was a hotter day than we were expecting. So lesson learned, I will be monitoring my water intake more closely over the next few weeks.
How do you cope with bad runs during training? What was your best run this week?