Weeks five to seven

How have I fallen so behind on this marathon diary? My bad back now a distant memory, I’ve got a few long runs under my belt and a scary nine weeks till the big day!
The past few weeks have been tough, and full of ‘why the hell am I doing this to myself’ moments. A week away from my half way point, the marathon still feels like a monumental challenge, one that most days, I don’t feel ready for, but here are my lessons from the past couple of weeks:

Running by the sea is a new level of hard

I cried, shivered and shouted at a dog owner on my first ten miles along the coast. With the wind, rain and snow working against me, this was definitely my hardest run to date. Feeling defeated and exhausted, a few of you wonderful bloggers lifted my mood and reassured me that running by the sea is totally different to pounding the pavements in London. That said, it will be a while before I try it again.

Don’t be afraid to slow down

The more my body gets used to running, the more I find myself adding the additional pressure of going faster. Turns out when I slow down, my legs get to double figures without cramping.

Plan interesting runs 

This week I ran home from central London, along the mall, past Buckingham Palace and across Chelsea Bridge. For the first time in a few weeks, I found myself really enjoying soaking up the sights and clocking up the miles. There’s only so many times I can run round Clapham Common without getting bored, so finding new runs is a must.

Gels take some getting used to

I’m still experimenting with various forms of energy gels and jelly babies on my long runs. As much as I need the energy boost, my stomach definitely doesn’t seem to like them. If anyone has any tips, please shout!

Ice baths – the longest four minutes of my life 

Pretty self explanatory, but the best cure for aching muscles.
Next week I’m marking my half way point with my first proper half marathon. Wish me luck (and watch this space). If you feel like sponsoring me, or reading more about the amazing work Beat do to help those suffering with eating disorders, click here.

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