Hi guys! Thank you for all the kind words about my exciting news!
I've had a weekend filled with runs and getting fired up for the next twelve weeks....it feels wonderful to be this motivated again. And it's also amazing what a couple of runs will do to iron out the various rolls and folds on the physique, it's like magic ;) ha ha.
The honest truth is that, 72 hours ago, I had pretty much written off my chances of doing a marathon, both this year and possibly ever. I am well and truly in the zone with my book, and that has been my priority for the last few months. I've kept fit with walking everywhere, a yoga class once a week, and a run when I've been bothered....about once a week and it was usually my weak-as-piss option (home to Lambeth Bridge and back, about 4km if that!). Everything still fit, I didn't have too many chins in my Christmas photos, and even though I wasn't as toned as I was used to, things were ok and I was trying to get my head around the fact that my priorities are different now, blah blah blah. The problem is that when you have experienced life at your physical peak, it is very hard to accept anything less!! So there was bit of a mindf**k going on a bit there, and my poor patient husband had to put up with a few "Do I look fat in this? Do you think I've put on weight? Aargh!" moments.
Therefore, I had been making an effort to be more mindful over the last few weeks - getting herbal teas for my two hour writing sessions in Starbucks instead of syrup-laced chai lattes, making the evening meal less carb loaded (seeing I wasn't doing all that much to burn it off!), waking up early so I could walk to work instead of taking the tube, that kind of thing. I started doing my weak-as-piss run a few times a week, instead of once every ten days! I felt good and a bit more conscious, as opposed to just doing things on autopilot. Things were moving in the right direction again. All good.
Last weekend, Tom and I treated ourselves to an iPod Touch each - it's as though we've become the parents of twins, we give them round-the-clock care at the moment! ha ha - and one of the little add ons I got was the Nike Running kit, which included a sensor for my shoe. I thought that I might aim to do another 10k or a half marathon this year, having assumed that my fitness was down the toilet! I thought this might be a good motivator to help me achieve my rather modest fitness goals for the year.
And then, one innocent Thursday afternoon, I get an email from the lovely people at Lucozade. Do you remember when I got shortlisted for a place in the 2010 London marathon when Runner's World ran a competition? Well, basically, this was all off the back of that! It was totally unexpected!! I think I might have hesitated for about ten seconds, before thinking HELL YES!
I haven't got all the details yet, but basically Lucozade will be supporting me through the training and on the day - it's all very exciting!! I'm hoping I might get to raise some money for a cause close to my heart too. I'll keep you posted!
So yes, it's been a intense but very motivating couple of days. I can't believe that in 12 weeks time I'm going to be running a marathon!! This is really beyond all my wildest dreams. The 2005 me is well and truly spinning in her grave.
I've started training in earnest, and I must be honest and say when I looked up "12 week marathon training plan" I was very, very daunted and wondered what the hell I had let myself in for!! My wise and experienced friends have offered some great advice, and the overriding message seems to be very systematic about my training, and not to push myself too much because 12 weeks is a very tight schedule and I can't afford to get injured. So I've been trying to ease myself back in gently.
First official marathon training run on Friday evening was a bit of a disaster.
It was my first time running with my iPod touch and the Nike sensor workout thingy, and I put the sensor in a part of my shoe where I was confident it wouldn't dislodge - under the sole. Well, it was so safe and snug in there it didn't register my distance! I got to Battersea Park (2kms away) and found that it had only registered 0.15km! WTF?! I think I might have yelled at it ;)
Put the sensor in a different place, but it kept falling off. So spent the rest of the run looking at my shoes, making sure I didn't lose it in the dark, muddy depths of the park, nearly tripping over several times in the process, and obsessively checking the iPod every minute to make sure it was collecting the distance stats, which was also distracting. I was very grumpy. Grumpy Phil is not a good runner!
So when I eventually got home, stamped around a bit, and sat down to collate my stats I worked out that I'd run 6.98km in total, and the pace had been about 8 minutes per km. I was utterly spent and wondered what on earth I thought I was doing, entering a marathon, a race of 42km, when I'm exhausted after barely 7km! Showered, grumbled, but had a nice Friday night with hubby and felt a bit more positive when I went to bed. In fact, fell asleep easily for the first time in months. Plot lines for my novel keep me awake, but training for a marathon sends me straight to sleep :)
Saturday's run was fabulous! I got the iPod sensor thing working properly and took off with renewed confidence and enthusiasm. I got back to my gate and noticed that the sensor said "8.7km". I thought to myself, "ooh, I think you've got another 1.3km in you!". Then I noticed the time. It was something like 50 minutes. That's when I thought why don't I see if I can do 10km in under 60 minutes! That was one of my goals for the year! I of course assumed I'd achieve it around November ;) So I sprinted around my block, up to the market and back, and achieved 10.11km in 58 minutes 20 seconds!!! YEAH!!
I couldn't wipe the smile off my face last night!!
This morning I woke up early and made pancakes:
(I am obsessed with insta.gram by the way!)
I made a batter with plain wholemeal flour, flaxseed, oatbran, 1 egg, soy milk and a bit of salt - and then added sliced banana and blueberries to the individual dollops in the pan before flipping them over. I served mine with greek yoghurt and cherry jam. For such a healthy powerhouse breakfast it looks quite indulgent!
About an hour after breakfast, a friend of mine wanted to meet for coffee - a week ago I would have just taken the tube to meet her. Today I ran there!! The pancake breakfast was the perfect fuel. Here's today's stats:
Happy with that!! (I only worked out how to take a screen shot today!)
So yes, starting slow, and hopefully I can build on what I've done this weekend. I'm stunned by what a good memory my body has - my muscles are slowly remembering what it was like to run distances longer than 5km!
I have a half marathon in March, and then a 16 mile race the week after. Despite the occasional feelings of trepidation, I can't help myself.....I'm excited!!
Tom and I are (finally! Nearly five months later!) off on our honeymoon next weekend - we couldn't go away at the time because of Tom's work commitments, but I think it worked out well because this way we get some winter sun! So we've got a week away in sunny Portugal to look forward to for the first week of February, and while there will be sunbathing, reading by the pool, winery tours and quite a few pasteis de nata (Portuguese custard tarts!), this blogger will also be marathon training! No slacking off! I look forward to reporting to you live from the honeymoon villa ;)