I’m curious about what other runners training for marathons (or long races, ultras etc) do regarding alcohol and training. I’ve heard some people say they don’t drink any alcohol at all while training, others say they do. I don’t drink very much myself, a bottle of wine over a weekend once, maybe twice a month. Or I might skip the wine and have a bottle of my favourite ginger beer or pale ale instead. So I don’t think I’ll give it up yet, although I do think that closer to the marathon I’ll set alcohol aside until after the race. So what are your thoughts and habits? Take the poll and please do leave a comment to explain below!
“So why do you want to run a marathon?”
Someone asked me that recently, when I first told them I was going to run the Dublin Marathon.
My first response was: “To prove to myself I can.”
But, after the conversation was over and when I was on my own again, I began to think it over. I realised I had to change my answer.
The real answer is: “Because I can.”
Yes, it’s true! I’m running the Dublin Marathon this October 2015. EEEEK!
Big thanks to ASD & Si from @100kmtoBrighton for helping me with my reveal! They were the first of my twitter friends I told (when I met up with them in London) because they have played a big part in inspiring me to run a marathon!
So this is why I haven’t been running this month! It’s going to be a long, tough, crazy year of running ahead and I decided on this impromptu break so that I’d be fresh for training to start in April. I didn’t want to burn out before I even began!
You see, I’ve known I was going to run a marathon for a long time now, well over a year in fact. Everything I’ve been doing the last year has been to prepare me to start training for a marathon. I started going to a personal trainer, Michael from @myptdotie to help me get in shape so I could tackle the training. I also hired mentor/coach @Shona_D_Thomson to help with putting together a training plan and to support me during the lead up to the marathon. I know that with these two on my side I cannot go wrong with my training! So long as I follow all their advice, which I will!
Why keep it a secret for so long? Mostly because I wanted to be in the right head space and be absolutely 100% certain that I was prepared to take on the training! I needed this ‘dressing room’ time before ‘running onto the pitch’ with it!
In the coming weeks I’ll be writing more about my decision to run a marathon and the lead up to my registering for it but right now, I just want to say how excited and nervous and terrified I am but how confident I feel that I’ve made the right choice. In my head, I’ve already crossed that finish line!
I could use all the good luck and positivity I can get so please leave some in the comments below!
That was one of my last tweets from London, where I just spent two days having the time of my life.
You probably (if you follow me on twitter) know that Tuesday was devoted to seeing my favourite band, Placebo, play at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith. I had an amazing time, both in the queue before the gig and at the gig itself. It was unforgettable and epic and awesome! Of the few photos I took of the gig, this one is my favourite:
But, as this is a running blog, I’m not going to go on and on about Placebo and the gig (even though I could, just ask my friends!). It’s the second day I spent in London that’s relevant here; on Wednesday I became a running tourist for a day.
On Sunday, 15th March I ran the St. Patrick’s Festival 5k. I didn’t get a PB like I hoped but I did learn a lot of good things that will help my future running/racing plans. I can’t say this was my favourite race of all time, but I think it was the most beneficial one!
Before the race I took my usual photo of the start line, which was also the finish line!
So what did I learn from running this race?
I have been really lax about posting my training logs, but I haven’t been feeling guilty or anything. I suppose I just needed a little break from the blog/log/posting. Anyway, I had a really good week this week so now is as good as time as any to get back to it, right?!
Monday 9th February
No running today but I had a one hour workout with my trainer. I did a circuit of weights and cardio. It was good, really kept the heart rate up and I managed more weights than usual.
Wednesday 11th February
I’ve been running my shorter distances faster than ever and really feeling confident about my abilities lately. I’ve also had to switch back to evening running for a bit and I’m still not sure how I feel about that!
Thursday 12th February
Keeping up with the shorter, faster runs but pushed it a little further tonight.
Saturday 14th February
Planned a long run in the morning, was going to go 5 miles but I felt so great I ended up running further! I kept to a slower pace deliberately; I wasn’t trying to beat any records. Perfect weather for running too, cool but not cold, breezy but not windy, bright but not sunny. I also had my usual one hour workout with my trainer, concentrating on arms and core with weights and pilates.
All in all I count this as a very successful week! I accomplished what I wanted to do, pushed myself to do more and ended each day smiling for it.
Next week will be somewhat different. I am going to the Netherlands for the weekend to visit a friend. I will try to get a run in but won’t feel guilty if I don’t!
Yesterday I ran my 10th ever race, the AXA Raheny 5 mile road race. It has been one of my more enjoyable races to date and was both challenging and fun.
Going into the race I wasn’t feeling too confident, having been sick again over the Christmas holiday and having run far less than I planned in the first couple of weeks of January, I was questioning my level of fitness and whether or not I could run the whole thing. I never once thought of not running this race though, just wasn’t sure what my race strategy would be.
Crazy week for me so ended up running only twice instead of three times like I wanted. Still, I felt great for it particularly because I went for a run the morning after my work Christmas party. I think that counts for a few bonus points, right?
Monday 15th December
One hour workout with my personal trainer. Lots of weights and some tough pilates moves!
Wednesday 17th December
Short run this morning, felt great for having had the rest of a few days.
Saturday 20th December
My plan was to go for 8k but to also take it easy. I’d been out the night before and while I didn’t drink loads (and interspersed my drinks with plenty of water), I still got home quite late so didn’t get a lot of sleep. At around 6k I knew I was fading, so I ran a little bit further before turning around to run back home. I’m quite happy with it though, all things considered! Today was also my last workout of the year with my trainer (back in January!), he did a pre-Christmas assessment and some intense stretches for my legs.
I’m not sure what this next week is going to look like in terms of running. I have plans to run, but it all depends on certain things, especially Christmas Day itself. I hope to run home from volunteering on the day but that will only happen if I have enough energy left! Still, I plan on bringing my gear and hoping I can get that run in.
I’ve been debating with myself whether I should keep trying to run 4 days a week or stick to 3 days a week. I have to be honest with myself and remind myself I’m not a lithe, fast, fit runner like most people. As healthy as I am, I’m still carrying all this weight around, and maybe I should run within my current limitations, while always focusing on making sure those limitations change (for the better!). It bears thinking about. I’m happy with my week though, I got some good distances in and two really good workouts with my trainer.
Monday 8th December
Managed my usual short run this morning but was still feeling tired, I was surprised I ran slightly faster than usual. Maybe I just wanted to get it over with?! Also had a one hour workout with my trainer, with some fast 2 minute jogs on the treadmill in between weight circuits.
Wednesday 10th December
My tracker app didn’t register this run, but I know my route and so it was well over 5k, I just don’t have the exact distance or time so this is approximate.
Saturday 8th December
Went for a long run this morning, although it was a very slow and careful run due to frosty footpaths. I thought at 9.30am I would be safe but no such luck! I ran into a local park and then it was easier because I could run on the grass. (Thanks to some advice from twitter runners!) Still, it was a lot slower than my usual time but better safe than sorry! Also had a one hour workout with my trainer, doing a lot of weight lifting with the arms.
For the coming week I’m going to take each day as it comes and see how I feel. The last thing I want to do is overdo it, and I have to remember that I am not in the same league as most of the runners I know here and on twitter. There are runners I know who think a 26 minute 5k is a terrible time and there I am celebrating a sub-40 5k. Which of course is a great achievement for someone like me, and of course I am not comparing myself to others. Which is why, I shouldn’t try to train like them too, right? But while I’m not in the same league as these runners, of course, I have high hopes that one day, I WILL be!
The Donore Harriers Jingle Bells 5k was my last race of the year so I decided to forget about trying for a PB and not worry about my time; I just wanted to relax and enjoy the race. It worked! I really enjoyed this race with its festive atmosphere, beautiful scenery and easy route.
I had a few experiences along the way that reminded me how much I love running and how much fun it truly is. Not just for me apparently, but for others too.