Today’s blog post was supposed to be a review of my first half marathon, the Milton Keynes Winter Half. Unfortunately, the run was cancelled due to some pretty heavy snow, so instead I’m going to give a little update about where I’m at with my marathon training. (And by the way, I tried to run in the snow anyway but it was really bad so I only lasted ~100 metres!)
As the fact that I was about to run a half marathon would suggest, I’m pretty pleased with the state of things. I’ve been going to the gym really regularly (most days) and I’ve definitely noticed the effect that it’s had on my running. I recently ran a new 5km PB – something I wasn’t even aiming for.
The 16 week training programme for the marathon means that my first official “marathon training run” kicks off on none other than Christmas Day. A friend joked the other day that I’d probably go out for a run on Christmas Day and then said: “knowing you, you’d actually enjoy that”… well I may do just that!
I’m a bit nervous about the speed at which I’ve got to build distance, which was my reasoning for starting training early and building myself up to a decent distance. To date, the furthest I’ve run is 16km (10 miles), so I’m just under halfway there! Considering that most recommendations for beginners are to get yourself at the point of running a solid 10km before the training begins, I think I’m in a good place.
One thing I’ve had to come to terms with is that I am not a fast runner. I’m sure that over time, my speed will naturally improve, but right now I am not going to break any records other than my own. At first I was so desperate to change that but I’m slowly realising that running a marathon isn’t really about speed. Combatting the mental challenge, physically getting myself round 26.2 miles and proving that I am capable are way more important to me. And this is only my first marathon. I can break records in the next one 😉
It’s no surprise that setting myself goals and challenges such as races is my proven way to ensure that my motivation doesn’t lapse. For this reason, I signed up to “Run Up To Christmas”, a challenge to run as many kms between 1st and 25th December, with the initial target being 50km.
My colleague wanted to motivate me even further, so suggested that if I manage to hit 75km by Christmas, they would donate £75 to my Brighton Marathon fundraising. Well I love a challenge, especially when it’s raising money for a good cause (Guide Dogs), so I of course said I’d give it a good go.
So…75km. That’s essentially 25km per week, which seems like a pretty easy challenge (only 5 x 5km runs…), but with trips to Germany for work, Christmas parties in full swing and the weather really not being on my side, I think it’s going to be a little more difficult than I first anticipated. I’m keeping at it though, I’m determined not to give up if I can do anything about it!
In less than 5 months, I’ll be able to call myself a marathon runner. This year has been a real journey of self-discovery (and self-love), learning what I’m really capable of and constantly pushing those boundaries.
Let’s hope I’ll be able to review my first half marathon race soon!
If you’d like to donate to my fundraising page you can do so here.