- Two new pairs of SKINS calf compression sleeves – check
- New Nike expandable, adjustable slim belt which doesn’t bounce – check
- New Adidas & Nike headbands to wear in/try out – check
- Two new pairs of 1000 Mile trainer socks for training & for the actual event – check
- New pair of Brooks Ghost 10 trainers – check
- Endless packets of energy gels & energy blocks to test & see what works – check
- New technical Scimitar vest to wear for the marathon – check
- Bags & bags of Epsom muscle recovery bath salts – check
Whoever said running was an inexpensive / free hobby was clearly not a marathon runner!! J
So there are five days to go until the Brighton Marathon on Sunday 15 April and I’m actually quite excited!
I haven’t followed my training plan (at ALL) but I’ve been doing every Half Marathon I can get in to, have completed my 20 mile training run and felt OK afterwards, and have been going to Insanity classes and doing my stretches and foam-rolling a few times a week. I feel fit and healthy and I’m honestly not worried if it takes me ten hours to complete the marathon – I just want to finish it, and I know that I will.
I’ve done plenty of walking marathons and I know that they’re not the same thing, but if I can complete 26.2 miles in 8-9hours overnight without any sleep, on my own, then I know that I can complete the Brighton Marathon. That probably sounds really arrogant and naïve but I’d rather feel like this than be riddled with stress, anxiety and self-doubt!
And, I’ve already discovered things which will completely change the way I run from now on. For example, a few years ago I would have taken a whole bottle of Lucozade to a 5K and probably drank half of it on the way around. Now, I can run 13 miles around my hometown without any drink at all: I just ensure that I’m fully hydrated before the run, and then drink a lot afterwards. (I also leave a bottle of water on my doorstep so that I can just re-route back past my house if I’m feeling thirsty, but haven’t had to do that yet.) I’ve found that carrying a bottle weighs me down and changes the way I run ever so slightly. I’ve also found that I can go 9 miles without a gel, and that I hate the popular SIS gels which everyone else seems to love. I tried to like them, but can’t. I discovered Torq gels (after seeing them in someone’s Instagram Story) and they’re incredible! They come in flavours like Lemon Drizzle, Raspberry Ripple, Black Cherry; and I find myself looking forward to having them on a long run because they taste like a yummy, naughty treat rather than a tasteless must-have bland gel.
I discovered that I can’t chew while I run (mouth-breather syndrome!), so pause/walk when I get tired at mile 16 to eat an energy block and stretch, then I’m good to go again feeling refreshed.
I’ve learnt that running in the rain is actually quite refreshing, that peanut butter on toast is the best breakfast to have (rather than forcing myself to eat lumpy porridge); that sports bras which are only just a TINY bit tight will end up being incredibly uncomfortable during long runs; that long hot baths with Epsom salts after a run are like the Holy Grail; that socks are super important; and that psychology is everything. At the start of some runs I’ve thought: “This is going to be terrible – I can’t do this, I’m tired, I’m sure my calf is throbbing…” etc, but then I’ve given myself a shake and changed my thought process to: “Of course I can do this, I’ll wake up in a bit and this will clear my head”.
Marathon training has definitely improved my confidence as runner and I look forward to meeting lots of fellow runners on Sunday and joining the ‘Marathon Club’! 🙂