A couple of months ago I decided I needed a training challenge.
My first love will always be Martial Arts, but I am unable to fight for health reasons so I was in need of a goal… and for some reason I chose one that I don’t particularly enjoy – running! I am not a natural runner, which may sound like an odd thing to say but I feel quite clunky when I hit the streets. I am certainly no gazelle, more like a pygmy hippo (with some really great leggings). And so here I am, currently training for my first half marathon.
My boyfriend is also running the half marathon with me and he is acting as my pacemaker because I have a tendency to start off too fast and then I start gassing out and wanting to stop for ice cream. However he has competed in loads of running races (including marathons – bleurgh!) and runs like a gazelle. Infact, when we go running together we probably look like Timon (he’s obviously a much taller and less hairy version of him) and Pumbaa (me of course) from ‘The Lion King’. Sometimes I feel like singing ‘Hakuna Matata’ when we’re running around East London. Except I don’t have ‘no worries’. I have lots of worries like trying not to step in dog poo, hoping my ankles don’t roll over, or my rock tape comes loose and starts flapping around and annoying me which means I have to pull it off giving myself an impromptu leg wax along the way.
I have been using the Nike+ running app on and off for a number of years, and looking back at my running history I have never really been that consistent or run that far. This time, I needed to follow an actual running plan so I am using one of the Nike+ running coach plans and when I hear his smug voice telling me how much I have run and how far I have got to go it makes me want to rip off my headphones and throw them into a bush. I also got myself a new pair of running trainers and inserts (which cost nearly as much as the trainers) and as I usually start falling apart when I run I have stocked up on lots of rock tape (in funky patterns of course). The first week I started coincided with my holiday to Ibiza and so it was great to be able to run by the beach. It was especially amusing running at 7.30am in the morning and seeing the ravers staggering along the beach coming back from some club night. My first week of training consisted of:
Monday – 3 miles
Tuesday – 4 miles
Wednesday – Cross Train
Thursday – Rest
Friday – 3 miles
Saturday – 4 miles
Sunday – Rest
As the weeks have progressed the number of miles I run has steadily increased. I was quite proud of myself for being able to stick to the plans for weeks 1-3 and then weeks 4-6 fell horribly short and so I am now on week 8 and that’s when the distance is really starting to creep up and I am dreading it.
Last Saturday I ran 10 miles which is the furthest I have run in one session (not counting Tough Mudder which was broken up by lots of obstacles). My breaking point was 8 miles and I hated every single step of the last two. My ankles were sore, my knees were sore and I could not stop bitching. But, the most important thing is that I managed to complete it… and promptly had to take the next three days off because it mashed me up so much.
Week 8 of training is supposed to be:
Monday – 5 miles (haven’t done it)
Tuesday – 8 miles (haven’t done it)
Wednesday – 4 miles (should do it)
Thursday – Cross Train
Friday – 4 miles (should do it)
Saturday – 11 miles (FAAAARRRRRRKK NOOOOOOO!)
My half marathon is on the 25th September. I might write about that experience if I actually get to week 12 of the Nike+ running coach and haven’t decided to pull out or broken myself. Wish me luck!