Friday, 12 May 2017

Train like a Champion and a Marathon PB...

It's been a while since I have updated my blog (again!) so have a few things to write about.

Firstly I am still training predominantly using the Maffetone Method, still eating mostly low carb, high fat and my run streak has reached 132 days and I am still enjoying it.

Last Christmas (no I am not about to burst into song!) Andreea brought me a place on Ronnie Staton's Train like a Champion workshop so towards the end of April we headed off to Oxford for a day learnng how to injury proof and improve our running. It was a brilliant day and highly recommended if he is coming to a town near you.
We learnt drills to put into our training plans to improve flexibility, balance and engage those forgotten muscles, I am making them a part of my training as they fit in brilliantly with the whole holistic approach I am applying to my running this year.
We also learnt about good posture and a check list of cues to think about whilst running to improve form. Ronnie also spoke about mind set and what he said really struck a chord, the three Rs 'Real, Raw and Relentless' and perception, not attaching emotions to things such as the weather, it is what it is.
This Girl was Inspired!

So with all this in my head and feeling inspired I started to wonder if I could maybe go for a decent time at Halstead Marathon (and I do remember saying in an earlier blog I had lost interest in PBs etc!! But a girl can change her mind!) I decided I would 'go for it' at parkrun the next weekend and see what happnened, maybe I had left it a bit late in the day as I only had a couple of weeks to go. I surprised myself by running a 25:49 parkrun, my fastest in two years! Now the seed was firmly planted I was going to 'race' Halstead Marathon...

I kept my plan mainly to myself being a little vague as to was I was going for... My previous marathon PB was 4:22 set in 2014 at Halstead. I had no idea if I was in shape to get anywhere close to that so when a friend asked, I said I would be happy with sub 5! My gold time was sub 4:15 but I kept that completely to myself. On the morning of the race I was strangely calm and enjoyed the pre race atmosphere and catching up with friends I only seem to see at marathons.
I had written my pace on my and and some motivation up my arm
I started with Richard my usual partner in crime, the weather was perfect and I was excited to get going, Halstead Marathon is described as undulating (they lie it is hilly!) but I actually like the hills. I was wearing my heart rate monitor but not to keep to MAF pace just to see what it did over 26.2 miles. As for fuelling for the first time ever I didn't carry any water, Halstead has plenty of water stations so decided to rely on those. I consumed some jelly babies and a couple of gels on the way round but no where near the amount I would have done before LCHF!
As the miles ticked by I felt good, really good, I was focused and enjoying myself! Richard told me I was going too fast a few times but according to my watch I was bang on pace so ignored him! It was good to see some familiar faces around the route giving fantastic support. I did the first half in 2:03 and still felt good, the second half is all too often where it falls apart for me...

As I ran I went through Ronnie's running cues every so often 'long neck, tall spine, wrist to ribs, core engaged and midfootish!' It made me smile but also really helped me keep my form and I think lessened my usual hunching over I am guilty of when getting tired. There is a long hill at 14 miles and I shouted to Richard to talk to me, he was a bit rubbish and told me to talk to another lady who was running near us. So I did, I ran the whole of that hill for the very first time (this was my 7th Halstead Marathon) and realised Richard was no longer with me, so I pushed on alone (sorry Rich!) I did keep thinking he will catch up soon but he never did. So it was just me and my head for the last 12 miles. Ronnie's other advice was to just be in the 'now' and it really worked, I just kept telling myself for this bit I was on I was still running at my target pace and that was all I had to do. At 20 miles I began to realise I just had to keep pushing and I would get that sub 4:15 it would be close but I was on pace and still feeling strong. I knew Jane, Andreea and Michelle were marshalling at about 25 miles so I just kept going.
Excitement began to build I was going to do it. I crossed the finish line in 4:13 with the biggest smile, my mum was there and it was the best feeling. It was strange waiting at the finish for my friends to finish it's always the other way round! I am still smiling nearly a week later!

New PB!!
I am still surprised by how even my mile splits were and that without any long road runs, intervals etc I was able to run a marathon PB. Perception, seeing things as they are, if something began to ache I acknowledged it then moved on, and focusing on each mile at a time was such a big factor in my success. Asking myself why I wanted that PB, giving it value, it was important to me. I really believe that everything I have done over the last six months has helped, MAF, diet, run streaking and making my running my time for me. Life has been stressful over the past year so it is vitally important to me that my running is a source of enjoyment, time for me and not something else to add pressure or stress. Everything I have worked on, this whole holistic approach to training has got me to this point and long may it continue.

My seven Halstead Marathon medals!
Thank you to everyone who has helped me get to where I am today, I love you all xx

Happy Running xx

 P.S. I got a PB and beat Richard!!

1 comment:

  1. Love it. Great write up & massive congratulations xx