This weekend the only date in my diary was with a 15-mile run. After just about completeing a too-fast 14 miler last week, I knew I needed to keep the pace slow, and thought that would help me finish comfortably.
I set off in the sun with just my ipod to accompany me for the first 6 miles. I headed for the Forth Road Bridge, which I usually love running over because of the beautiful views and the open space. However, today it was extremely windy, and I found the 3 miles across and back really tough. When I got off the bridge, I had to stop for a slurp of lucozade sport, and to re-do my ponytail which was clinging onto my head for dear life in the howling wind.
After almost 6 miles, I met my running partner (and now cheerleader and marathon coach) Ianthe, to join me for the rest of the run. We headed towards the nearby country estate for some off-road running. I was already struggling to get up the steepest hills. Well I just felt knackered, and if it hadn't been for Ianthe, I would probably have started walking at around 11 miles. She kept up the encouragement though, and that, along with some vague feeling of pride, forced me to keep going. By this point, our pace was very...very......sloooww.......indeeeeed.
When I was ready to lay down and die at 12 miles (which I had reached 10 mins slower than last week), Ianthe reminded me that only 3 miles to go was nothing. Good point. So I dug in, and tottered up yet another hill. Luckily there were lots of traffic lights on this bit, and how I prayed each time for a little red man so I could stop for a few seconds!
On the last stretch I was sooo tired, but again Ianthe helped me keep plodding on. Finally my Garmin ticked over to 15.00 miles, so I immediately stopped to walk the 100 metres or so home. What a relief!
When I got in, I felt quite queasy. I'd only drunk lucozade on the run, and I was desperate for some water. After a while, I felt well enough to attempt a couple of jaffa cakes.
So it was a bit disheartening really, and left me questioning whether I'll ever be able to run 26 miles, let alone in 8 weeks! The only excuse I can come up with is a couple of bad nights' sleep (see previous post).
Still, onwards and upwards - next weekend is scheduled for 16-17 miles. Help!!!!