Felicity’s Kielder Marathon training continued this week, the week has been particularly gruelling for her and now that she has had a chance to catch her breath after taking part in a track half marathon, she has provided the following update on her training journey.
Kielder Marathon Training – Week 3
Week three of marathon training has certainly had it’s ups and downs. In some ways, the expose on my emotional state following the first two weeks was hammed up as I thought ‘no one wants to read about a marathon runner, training well, with no problems’, even though this was generally the case for the majority. The flip side of crying wolf is that when the wolf actually does come, no one wants to listen. This week, the wolf came.
I signed up to the Hexham Track Half Marathon, organised by North East Marathon club. There was the option of signing up for the full (105 times around the track) or the half (52.5 times around the track). Thankfully my previous self decided to sign up to the half. My running partner, Adam, and I decided to aim for a 1hr 44minutes pace which would have me well within my personal best for a half marathon. This meant steady 8 minute mile-ing for the whole way round and if we had some juice left we would aim for a sprint finish. 10 laps into the 52 and we were joined by Stuart Gordon of Blackhill Bounders who asked us if we had settled on a pace yet. Confused, we stated that we had been running at 8 minute miles.
Except we hadn’t. It turns out that Adam’s Garmin was out by about 45 seconds and we were at this point going 7.15 minute mile pace. This doesn’t seem like much, but it would mean that we were suddenly on track for a 1hour 35minute finish. Rather than slow down we decided to push on. And on. And on. Until my mum arrived and I had a full on melt down. I would like to make a disclaimer that I have never even contemplated crying out of a race prior to this. But 46 laps in at this pace and my body completely gave up. I ran, shaking to the side of the track and sat whilst my mum and several other women crowded around offering me sugar and energy drinks. I couldn’t even say thank you.
15 minutes later and the race winner, Lorna Macdonald of Morpeth Harriers, came up to me and with great kindness encouraged me to keep on going to the end. By this point I had rallied myself with jelly tots and set off for the last six laps.
On completing the race I was welcomed to the finish line by all the wonderful women (and Adam) who had been there at my time of need. I was really proud that, in my slowest ever time of 2 hours 7 minutes, I had actually completed what was a mentally and physically exhausting race. Except I hadn’t.
On checking with the race official half an hour or so later, I was down as running 51.5 laps. ONE LAP SHORT! By this point, my trainers were off, I had dressed in tracksuit bottoms and was cheering on the marathon runners and nothing could persuade me to get back on the track.
This may sound like the worst end to a race possible, however I was surprised to find that I wasn’t disappointed or angry at myself, like I had been when I crashed out, I was pleased that despite all the obstacles I had still managed to keep on going (even if it wasn’t quite over the finish line).
The training runs following the half marathon were pretty straight forward: usual sights of Town Moor and Jesmond Dene in the dark and the rain standard issue by this point. But what had changed was my attitude towards the marathon. Previously, I had harboured a secret desire to really go for it time wise; however, on Sunday I paid the price for being cocky. And even if I don’t complete the race in sub 3 hours 30minutes, my ambitions aren’t exactly small: getting round the Kielder course is going to be a huge achievement for me no matter how fast I do it in.
The up at the end of this down, that I referred to in the beginning of the blog, was the moment I found out that 2 lovely ladies, Alex Battersby and Aimee Cooke, and myself had won the Ladies’ Prize for Tyne Bridge Harriers in a race around Nunnykirk we completed about 5 weeks ago. I only became aware of this on the evening of the Hexham Track Half Marathon, putting into perspective, that whilst the track is flat, running is full of hills.
Felicity will be back next week with a round up of week 4 of her training.
Felicity – Podiatrist at Newcastle Sports Injury Clinic