Monday, 16 November 2015

6 days to go!

Well I'm really in countdown mode now.  It's Monday and my first half marathon is this week - this Sunday!   Excited and terrified all at the same time.

This weekend Michelle and I had planned a 10km run on Sunday morning when disaster struck! Michelle has injured her back.  I'm so gutted for her, as she's so desperate to do this for me after training together all the way.  I don't want her to feel bad at all but I do feel so sorry for her.  She is under strict orders to rest.  There is a tiny chance she may feel better enough to run next Sunday, but I'm carrying on this week on the belief that I am going to have to do this alone. (Sob sob sob!)

Although that does make me panic slightly, I am not as panicked as I thought or might have been, because... I went out yesterday, on my own, without Michelle and ran that planned 10kms.... and I did it!  And I know I could have kept going.   I did it all alone. No music, no running buddy. I just ran!

That in itself is a massive massive achievement for me.  Some weeks I can't run a 5k on my own. Even a few months ago I couldn't finish a 10km run without some walking.  Seriously.  For me to get over all my mental demons and keep going was amazing.  I felt epic afterwards, even though i wasn't even very fast, my target was just to do it. Without walking. On my own. Result.

It was so windy, but a decent day - no rain, not too warm and not too cold.  I managed to find a good flat out and back route.  Since running these longer runs I've started to really enjoy out and back routes - i like the physical marker of turning around and running back towards home, knowing that the miles left to run are getting shorter with each step.

I ran from my house, up into town, through the parkrun park and was passing 5kms and ready to turn back before I realised it!  I won't lie, i did have my usual negative thoughts for quite a few stretches of that first 5kms but I just kept using all the mental tricks Michelle has taught me.  I would focus on being positive, slow right down when I started to get out of breath and panic, break down the route into chunks in my head.  Then play little games like, I won't look at my tracker on the phone until after that traffic light etc, to stop me getting down-heartened about my pace or miles to go every 5 minutes. I tried to focus on everything around me, and enjoy seeing the city, peering into windows, smiling at parents walking in the park, saying hello to other runners.

I actually ended up doing 10.5kms to get home.  It took me 1 hour 12 minutes.

And then I had a little epiphany.  I'd spoken to a few people about the half marathon and many of them were surprised I wasn't fundraising.  I had said I wouldn't, partly because I didn't want to tell lots of people I was doing this challenge, in the fear that once I started to tell people there was more pressure and more chance of things going wrong or me failing (oh the silly mind games we play!).  But I realised that there is a very very low chance that I will ever do this again, and a few of my friends, on being told I was doing this wanted to support me and asked if I could choose a charity to get sponsorship for.

So I've caved - I've set up a justgiving page for a small charity that works in South Africa that i have been closely linked to for 15 years.   Here is a link.
I don't want to set a target to raise lots of dosh, but any donations will help keep me mentally focused on the day.  (Especially if I do have to run without Michelle! Sob sob sob!)

So what for the week ahead?  Not a lot, as I know I need to rest to ensure my hip and bum muscles don't get too sore ahead of the long long run on Sunday!  I'll have a little 20 minute run tomorrow and the same again on Thursday, and I'm planning lots of lovely food for before and after.  He he he!

In 6 days time it will all be over!

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