The Final Countdown… BERLIN HALF MARATHON!
Ah guys, I’m sorry, I’ve been AWOL. I haven’t been blogging because I’ve been working long hours, eating great food and not getting enough sleep. Living a kind of lavish lifestyle on my non-lavish budget. I’ve been scoffing even more burgers than usual, occasionally (quite often, in fact) tucking into some Japanese food with friends, eating my weight in steak and pulled pork sandwiches and I’ve even got back into the habit of dessert after every meal (I tried to stop this a few months ago). The food part sounds great (it was great, it IS great) but the worrying part is that I’ve been sleep-deprived for nearly 2 months now. I’m not the kind of girl who can usually function on 3-4 hours sleep per night, but since the beginning of February, that’s been my vibe. This is largely due to race but mostly non-race stress factors. It’s gotten to the point where I’m just used to looking and feeling like my eyes are glassy and my face is puffy and feeling like my body made of jelly and/or lead, depending on the time of day. This week has been the worst in terms of almost a complete lack of energy and therefore utter apathy towards everything ever in life. I promise I’m concentrating, I promise. I definitely heard what you said just now, uh huh…
That being said, I’ve still kept up the running. This is mainly due to Run Dem Crew (big up Charlie and Bangs keeping me in the game). If it wasn’t for those Tuesday runs, I would have lost my momentum a long time ago. 6 weeks of 4-6 miles every Tuesday night has shown me that this is the kind of thing I’m capable of. It has also shown me that I am most definitely a social runner because the support from that community has been phenomenal (for example, big up Orsi and her motivational text messages).
As a result, in my own time, although I sacked in the Bootcamp sessions over a month ago (probably to my detriment, but we’ll see), I’ve still kept up the running. The last two weeks have been crucial to my own development as a ‘runner’ (LOLZ! Sorry, I’ll never not find that funny) and I’ve had amazing cheerleaders. 2 Sundays ago I managed to run from East Ham to Hackney (6.5 miles - big up Ben). Then this Sunday I literally battled with myself, my brain and my legs to run-walk-run-walk-walk-walk from Bethnal Green to Woolwich, via Tower Bridge (10.6 miles - big up Ben again. Also big up Will and Mrs Will for the flapjacks and layers). Poor Ben, he really took some metaphorical, emotional and at least 2 physical blows from me as I whinged all the way from Whitechapel to Deptford and beyond. No sleep, stress and pure fear for this race have all made me one helluvabitch.
My brother has also been amazing throughout. He’s developed very painful shin splints and is deciding whether to take enough painkillers in order to still try for a new personal best or just to run slow enough to enjoy the experience. I’ve been trying to persuade him to just run with me (he would only have to walk). He’s annoyed, but making light of the situation by texting me worryingly gleeful messages that he has had to shave parts of his legs “for medical purposes”. Aside from that though, he has constantly checked up on my progress for which I have always been grateful. He knows I’m crap at this and the jokes have been as hilarious as the support has been unwavering. He even told me he would pick me up as soon as I hit my 10 mile target on Sunday night and offered advice in terms of direction and alternative routes through South East London to avoid the nasty hills.
At the end of the 10.63 miler on Sunday night, my brother met me on Shooters Hill and drove me the 2 miles to my parents’ house. My mum’s face, of absolute pride was almost overwhelming. I nearly cried while I (sweatily) hugged her and listened to her telling me (in 2 octaves above her normal voice) that she was so proud and happy for me. She already had the table laid out ready for me to sit and eat one wamp meal, full of chickeny goodness. Dude… so, so emotional.
Aside from the race, Berlin is going to be SO OSSUM. I’m looking forward to seeing my team! My #BangsontheRun3 girls! (Sarah, we’ll be thinking of you and Mia). I’ve already met John Law (YO, BIG UP!) from NY, member of the infamous NY Bridge Runners, and this weekend, the city is going to be full of Nike-affiliated run clubs ready to smash up the Berlin race course. The after-party is going to be WILD. I literally cannot WAIT!
This Berlin Half Marathon is going to be so worth it. I’m so glad I’m doing this.
I ran again this evening (sound the trumpets, YAY!). I was supposed to run last night and never got round to it (oh, anticlimax). Familiar story, huh?
I’ve had distraction after distraction this year so far. I need a holiday. In fact, I took a holiday from work this week to focus on house-hunting (I need to move in March), but I can’t find a house. I’m spending around 8 hours a day in front of a computer screen, which is melting my brain and by eye-cubes (see what I did there?!) and causing my knees to ache.
I’m only in my twenties. I don’t need my knees to be aching right now. ESPECIALLY when I’m training for a stupid half marathon. Tonight’s run hurt so much that this is the first time that I’m scared that I won’t be able to complete the race. I’m really angry with everything and myself. I can’t find anywhere to live, I’m crap at running and my knees hurt. Life friggin SUCKS. Ok, don’t worry about the house situation, I have one more solid day of searching, and I’ll find somewhere (CROSS YOUR FINGERS FOR ME PLEASE?!).
Earlier I ran a whoooooooole 1.02 miles (pah!) before I slowed to walk. Then I walked until I could be bothered to run again and managed about 100 metres before my right knee started to hurt. I walked-ran-walked-ran around a new route until I got home.
Today and yesterday, my left knee has been a bit weird, occasionally it will twinge and hurt, but mostly it’s just uncomfortable. Now, when I’m running, this continues to happen, but it also happens with my right knee, and to a much greater degree. I don’t get it. My right knee doesn’t really trouble me, except when I’m running.
Knee joints are like hinges and they should only really move in one way and only to a certain extent. (I have never notice how much I stand with my knees locked until recently. This habit needs to end). When I’m running, I’m doing the normal hingey movement (as one does), but it feels like someone’s pulling legs by my ankles out to the side which makes my knees ache. It’s SO ODD. I’m not even sure what to do to compensate. I feel the pain around and behind the knee cap in the squidgey bit of my knees and in parts of my lower legs. On my right leg, I can also feel something pulling from someway up the back of my thigh, round to the back of my knee on the inside. It’s a diagonal sort of pull. And I can feel another tugging sensation in my foot from somewhere under the arch, near the forefoot, to just below my achilles.
With a weird left knee and a wonky right knee, tonight’s run was a total of 4 miles, but probably only a total of 2.5 miles actual running. I saw 5 other people out running, including a woman, who looked like she was in her sixties, wearing a VEST. I know it was milder today than it has been for a while, but it is NOT vest weather.
Anyway, I included 2 sprints, including a really fast one right at the end though, so I kind of forgive myself. Nah, who am I kidding? I don’t think I’m doing very well at all. I struggled so much today. I have LESS THAN 6 WEEKS TO GO till race day.
I’m going to go away and panic now :(
Be Pretty on Rest Days
I so fully endorse this! Motivation at it’s finest…
It’s time for a fitness revolution. It’s time for women who train for the love of it. Time to get the focus off calorie counting and scales. Time to focus on how exercise makes us feel. Time to focus on being focused, determined, driven, goal oriented badasses who will race you to the bus stop and get in a lunch time press up competition with you. And we will win.
It’s time to not give a f**k who sees you in your lycra. It’s time to celebrate your sweat. It’s time to push yourself, to run so hard you leave your lungs on the track, throw your heels on after a session and walk home like a don.
Take the elevator if you want, we’ll be racing up the escalators, putting hand wraps on in the work bathrooms ready to go beat some pads come 5:30, clocking up miles between meetings, doing core exercises while we wait for the pasta to cook.
The time is now.
Be pretty on rest days.