Sunday, 22 March 2009

After the Lord Mayor's show

Well the last post will never do ... it has been a bad day but I shouldn't just sulk and hide behind it. I know a few runners now who I have either met or talk to online, and on days they have like this, I would be the first to write it off as a bad day or a blip, and nothing to get too wound up about. It's so hard to follow your own advice though ...

I've entitled this "After the Lord Mayor's show" as I was always worried that in focusing so much of my efforts on Silverstone, this day, running further, with no marshals, no crowds, and no company, would be hard work and a possible anti-climax. And so it turned out.

So what happened? I had a route planned out for a little over 15 miles (my usual 14 mile route with an extra detour through Fringford and Hethe part way. But within minutes of starting this morning I didn't feel great. It was a gorgeous morning, and at 9:30am it was not too hot.

I felt it was getting difficult to breathe and also my legs felt very heavy. I am suffering a little bit at the moment, and I'm not sure whehter it's hay fever from the newly mown verges in the country, or just some mild sniffles, but was really being affected as I ran. Unfortunately as I approached about 3 miles I found to my annoyance that I'd slowed down and started to walk.

So much of this is mental - my brain was furious when it looked down and saw my feet walking so early. And then as soon as I had walked my mind was not in it, the run was officially a failure and there was nothing more for me to gain. At Stratton Audley I sat down outside a pub for 30 seconds or so where I decided what to do, blew my nose properly and swigged on my energy drink. My mind told me to take the Bicester shortcut back home, and having decided to do that I ran straight past the Bicester shortcut. The part of my brain that determines my running just wouldn't allow it, however it didn't last and the next opportunity I cut back towards Bicester.

By this point, I was walking a lot - though I could start running again I didn't see the point, having failed in my mission. I hated myself for thinking like that, but brain, legs and common sense were not working in perfect harmony.

In the end, by the time I got home I had covered just over 8 miles. It's possible I walked as much as half of it though, though I am not entirely sure.

An online personal trainer friend has offered to give me a little free advice. One of her questions was what did I eat this Friday and Saturday? Well, Saturday night I think I was quite good, and cooked and ate a lot of pasta. However ... earlier Saturday my lunch was KFC and Friday night my dinner was a huge Indian takeaway with a couple of glasses of wine. I haven't got my advice yet but I think I may have stumbled on my biggest problem this weekend - there is more to the preparation than just eating pasta the night before. Next week I am determined to hit 15 miles plus, and there will be no KFC or takeaway Indian next week for sure ...


ulen said...

Shame about today's run, but if you're not feeling well you have to listen to your body and not push yourself too far. If you overdo it now you'll undo all the good work you've already done. Some people only run a half marathon in preparation for the full one, so you know you've already got that far. And with five weeks still to go, you can bounce back and get some good runs in yet!

Phil said...

Put it down to experience and focus on the next one.

I tend to dwell, then get into a downward spiral.

Now I try to focus more on the next run, and only look back to see what went wrong and how to fix it.

I found food and drink was a bit factor in that so you'll be cool!

Neil said...

Thanks guys - desperately trying to avoid that downward spiral but the next run really will be crucial I think. The next long Sunday run at any rate. Really appreciate the comments, nice to know you're all running it with me, so to speak :o)