Eight weeks until the much anticipated half-marathon, and it feels a bit like my body is telling me off for how I’ve been training so far.
My shoulders are sore, my back is aching, my blisters have blisters and I can’t remember the last time my legs didn’t feel constantly clenched. To top it all off, my skin has got way worse thanks to the lovely sweat I shower my face with three times a week 😉 (nothing to do with summer bbqs/ice cream/ Pimms….promise!)
This all came to a head recently, when I realised 20 minutes into a run that I was limping on my left leg. What I’d disregarded as general stiffness actually turned out to be a twisted knee that I’d had for several days and conveniently ignored.
The hobbling has lessened gradually this week so by the time you read this I’ll have hopefully gone back to training and managed my next target (15km if you’re interested). The past couple of weeks of aches and pains have taught me how important it is to STRETCH and do a proper warm up & warm down. It’s not rocket science, but when I’m trying to fit running in with work, social life etc. it’s very tempting to skip these important few minutes if I’m in a rush or want to grab an extra 40 winks! I’ve resolved to improve this, and my Yoga Studio iPad app has 10-minute Yoga for Runners classes so I have no excuse not to practice what I preach!
I said last time that I was planning to buy more activewear to make the idea of training more appealing. Needless to say, it worked! I used to feel so awkward if I rocked up to the gym or yoga class in an old uni t shirt (that sometimes doubled up as pyjamas) because it felt so obvious to me that I didn’t belong there! A small investment in some proper exercise gear lifts your confidence and encourages you to get your wear out of it by training more. Next on my ‘to buy’ list is new running shoes… my feet/legs are crying out for more support!
Due to the unprecedented British heatwave I’ve been naturally rising earlier and trying to run first thing in the morning to avoid baking in the heat (read above statement re: sweaty face). While this takes more discipline, I would definitely recommend trying – it’s cooler, quieter, and doesn’t interfere with the rest of your day!
I did start off feeling half-asleep on some of these 7am jogs, but it’s funny how running can also help you zone out and give you space to think. I usually find after the first 15 minutes, once my breathing settles and my pace steadies, I get totally wrapped up in my thoughts and come up with my best creative ideas – for recipes, activities, dates and blog posts! Then it’s like you forget you’re even running and before you know it, you’ve just beaten your personal record.