THIS TIME NEXT WEEK I WILL (HOPEFULLY) BE A MARATHON RUNNER!

Post We Own The Night Endorphins

And this GIF above where our endorphins are running high after the We Own The Night race this past weekend is a very accurate example of how I feel about the fact of being done with marathon training AND my Masters Degree next Monday! (also, Peggy’s look at me & Cata is pretty damn priceless! HAHAHA!)

Training week 17 - 1

ANYWAY! Week 17 of training was not very exciting due to my Runner’s Knee injury plus being crazy busy with my MA project. The week slightly overlapped with the previous training week due to the bank holiday, so I did the 7 miles (instead of 12) on the Monday, then decided to run my 5 miler on Wednesday to give my knees some time to rest before the 10K race on Saturday night.

Training week 17 - 2

I hated every single step of those 5 miles on the treadmill and I didnt feel like it was helping my knees in any way whatsoever apart from forcing me to keep a steady pace. Felt pretty bummed out after the session and went home to RICE my knees, which made them look far worse than they felt I promise.

Training week 17 - pre race gift

I got a nice little pre-race treat from Vita Coco to help me keep hydrated for the We Own The Night race – THANK SO MUCH! Wasn’t a big fan of all of them, and I still need to try the coffee and mocha flavours, but I would definitely invest in getting the peach&mango one as a post-exercise drink if my little wallet could afford it.

Training week 17 - 3

Then Saturday came and we ventured out in the crazy weather to run We Own The Night in Victoria Park alongside 10’000 other women. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the race this year as last year it was a bit of a let down.

The events leading up to the race were promising and even though I wasn’t invited to all of them, they gave me a good feeling about the race overall.

Training week 17 - 4

And WOW! THEY DID OT DISAPPOINT THIS YEAR! I almost feel like I should dedicate a whole post to this race, mainly because I feel like it was such a phenomenal improvement on last year and I felt genuinely happy that they had taken so much feedback on board and really tried to make it better this year.

WELL DONE NIKE and the team who organised it this year. You really pulled it off!

Training week 17 - Peggy

I ran the race with my friend Peggy the whole way through and I loved every second of it.

The pre & post area of the race was great and felt like a mini festival, the race itself was dope and I loved how they played with lights and sounds, Cheer Dem Crew at the 4th & 8th KM was EPIC and made me so happy and overall I really feel like this ended up being one of my most enjoyable races of all time!

Plus Peggy got a PB and Cata got a PB and I think it just helped putting us on a positive note a week before our big day.

Training week 17 - 5

 

And if that wasn’t enough, the exact distance I ran the race in also helped me reach 1000 miles ON THE DOT 7 days before the marathon. What a milestone! (That is around 1610KM for those of you who don’t do miles…!!) Who would have thought I would achieve this in 2 years – Im still gob smacked about it!

So, with race day in T-6 days, this is what I am hoping my week will look like:

MARATHON TRAINING WEEK 18

MON: REST
TUE: 3 miles
WED: 4 miles
THU: 2 miles
FRI: REST
SAT: REST
SUN: MARATHON DAY – 26.2 MILES!!!

ninja turtle smoothie

Week 16 was a relatively quiet training week, mainly because Im still suffering from Runner’s Knee which means I can’t really follow my training plan. I’ve been trying to be as healthy as possible though as Im aware of the fact that Im not moving and running as much as I should be – and this have included drinking my green smoothies!

Mid week swimming

Keeping fit has meant swimming once a week and trying to get in as many runs possible without hurting myself. I have to say that I really liked the mid-week, early morning swim!

Training week 16 - 2

On Friday I attempted to run 5 miles, which went ok but I did it on a treadmill at the gym since its much softer to run on treadmills and I am trying to save my knees for the big day. No pain but I did run at a ridiculously slow pace – and the whole experience was mind-numbingly boring!

Training week 16 - 3

Went back three days later and attempted my 12 miler – but I couldn’t quite make it that far as I started feeling my knees close to 7 miles, so I decided to stop as I just don’t want to push it too much this close to the marathon. Was sweating buckets – I can’t get my head around why people choose to run in the gym instead of outside!

Overall though, if it wasn’t  for my bad knees I would be inclined to say that I feel like I’ve finally gained back the fitness I lost in the second half of 2013. Running 7 miles on a treadmill was incredibly boring, but I felt strong mentally and fitness wise – just need to try to keep my fitness level up now the last 12 days before the race!

The plan is to continue to swim and run on treadmills all the way up to the Friday before the race – however – with my BIG final deadline for my MA being the same day, I am slightly worried about how I will have time to run and finish my project…

Anyway! This weekend I have a race scheduled in, and the rest of my training week will be something like this:

MARATHON TRAINING WEEK 17

MON: 7 miles – Done
TUE: REST – Done
WED: 5 miles – Done
THU: REST – Done
FRI: REST – Done
SAT: We Own The Night – 10K Race – Done
SUN: Swim – NOT DONE

 

Smoothie ingredients

Week 15 went a bit better than expected and with only a few weeks left until the marathon, me and Cata made a concious decision to try to cut out the remaining crap foods and habits in our everyday life. For my sake, that meant getting into the habit of having something healthy and energetic for breakfast (I usually only have something protein based like boiled eggs).

Pond Smoothie

I did some research online to see what health stuff I could eat that Im not allergic to and it resulted in what I call the Pond Smoothie! This first one felt like I had blitzed up a toad in the blender, but over the course of the week, I managed to get the right consistency. We’ve also made a promise to stay away from alcohol until after the race, cut out some of the fats & oils that we were over consuming, and introducing a bit more complex carbs into our diets to speed up recovery.

Training week 15 - 1

Wednesday was the first time I was back running in 10 days and I was very nervous. Cata decided to pace me as I suck at keeping a consistent slow pace and we did 5 very slow miles. I could feel my knees after about 4 miles but no real pain like I had felt last time I attempted to run a longer distance. Very lucky to have such a great training partner like Cata, not sure what I would do without her!

Training week 15 - 2

It’s crazy how your perception of distances change when youre training for a full marathon! I used to consider 5 miles as half-decent distance but now thats like a short and easy run! We had to swap the days around and since the 20 miles ended up on the Saturday and not Sunday, I decided to skip the 10 miler on the Friday and just go for it Saturday morning.

Training week 15 - 4

We took it slower than usual throughout the entire run, making sure we stopped so I could stretch every 2 miles and refuel every 4 miles. I was determined to complete the 20 miles as it’s the furthest distance I’ve attempted to run, and I wanted to know what I would feel like so I wouldn’t get a shock on race day. I brought along some ibuprofen in both gel & tablet format, and I promised myself that if I made it to 13 miles without great pain, I would run the full distance no matter what.

Compared to how my knees reacted 2 weeks ago when I had to stop running after 8.5 miles, this run was much better. I could feel my knee but it wasn’t painful and I felt so happy when we passed 9 miles and I still felt strong. It started getting uncomfortable around 13-14 miles in, so I did as I planned and put on the gel, and then a few miles later, took some of the tablets.

It was a strange feeling as my knees went a bit numb but the muscles around it felt tired – I wouldn’t do this on a regular basis and I wouldn’t recommend people to do this if they were injured. However, since this was a one time thing, I made the choice of pushing myself to my limit and see what happened. AND WE MADE IT WITH A “SPRINT” FINISH!

Training week 15 - ice batch

Not going to lie, my legs ACHED after we finished that run and I had to wobble home where an ice cold bath was waiting for me. It took us 3:49 hours to do it, so slower than Cata’s goal time for us, but considering the circumstances I think we did great. I even thought about potentially doing an Ultra Marathon, so I can’t say that the 20 miles put me off ;)

Now it’s tapering time, and considering it has taken me 3 days to recover a little bit (I still walk a bit funny and my knees are still a bit sore), it’s safe to say that I wont be sticking to my original plan as my knees just can’t handle the pressure sadly.

So the aim from now on is to do 1-2 shorter runs and attempt to do 1 longer one – BUT – to stop no matter what if I start feeling pain in my knees.

MARATHON TRAINING WEEK 16

MON: REST – Done!
TUE: REST – Done!
WED: Swim – Done!
THU: REST – Done!
FRI: 5 miles – Done!
SAT: Swim – NOT DONE!
SUN: 12 miles max – Managed 7 miles