Sunday, 4 September 2011

Change of plan

The Rowena Harding Half Marathon: 1 entrant, 1 DNF.

The other weekend I set out to run 20km. As anyone who has done a half knows, 20km isn’t a half marathon, it’s 21.0975km. But I figured if I got to 20km I could either be creative with the truth or go an extra 1.0975. As it was, I didn’t get that far. So no virtual medal, no virtual finish line just three painful letters for 'did not finish'.

I’m behind on my training runs for Istanbul as it is. But I thought if I could cover the long runs, some muscle memory would kick in and get me feeling good again. But as I started off from Limehouse for the second weekend, that lactic acid feeling started kicking in and I while I glared at the Ron’s Eel sign where I had my big cry the previous week, there just wasn’t enough Weetabix for a long run.

In my head, heart, lungs and legs, I knew that I was not going to be ready for Istanbul Marathon. While I might have been able to drag my arse around 42.195 kms by October that wasn’t really the goal. And I have done that so poorly before (bonking in Berlin) that there was really no reason to repeat such a performance. The goal for Istanbul was to finish and learn about recovery so I could put in solid 20 mile training runs ahead of the London Ultra. So from a goal-setting point of view, I knew I shouldn’t be doing the marathon. Istanbul also run a 15km race, and I could downgrade to that.

I sent out some messages, did a survey monkey and got assurance that no one would feel I was a quitter. I felt like a massive weight had lifted from my shoulders and ran on to Regents Park – finishing only 10km instead of 20. When I got home, Barry and The SRO were trying to talk me down from a very high building but it was ok – I actually felt good about the decision. There’s still a lot to aim for and I will still be running across the Bosphorous and across continents.

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