Today my schedule contained my last long run before London… 22 miles! I had been looking forward to putting in this run all week, and getting my number pick-up details through on Friday made me feel super motivated to go out and put the miles in so today should have been great… but instead it was AWFUL, and I only have myself to blame. I really messed up today for four main reasons, and all of them were entirely my fault.
- I had Ice-cream for dinner on Saturday. I have been on a really strict diet all week half trying to build up my carb sensitivity and half because I decided I had gained a bit of weight since I arrived in the US and I could do with losing a few pounds before I come back to London and see all my friends. Like they are going to see me and be like “Oh my gosh look what a heifer she is!”. NEWSFLASH STEPH: NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU LOOK LIKE!
So now I have told myself this important bit of information, I am going to go back to Saturday night. So my normally when I am craving carbs a quick check of my Fitbit or the MyFitnessPal app tells me I’m in a ridiculous calorie deficit and I make myself a couple of slices of toast or grab some fruit. This weekend I had lost my Fitbit charger and it was completely dead so I had to trust my instinct… and my instinct told me I must be pretty much starving to death and could eat what I wanted for tea which turned out to be a GIANT bowl of cereal topped with ice-cream and cookies, followed by a full packet of Mike and Ikes which are supposed to be 4 servings per packet. Now I know there can be some confusion about what to eat the night before a race but I am pretty sure this isn’t it, and as a result I woke up feeling awful this morning. Me and one of my best friends have done some runs severely hung over, and on very little sleep (Yes DJY I’m referring to you)… but this was way worse!
- I wore regular thin trainer socks. I run in a pair of battered up Sauconys and they are super comfortable, and genuinely not worn out despite looking like they are nearly at the end of their shelf life… but like all good running shoes they are slightly bigger than my regular shoe size (this was on the advice of Running experts in the shop), and the reason for that is so that you can wear a nice comfortable pair of thick running socks, of which I own several pairs, but for some reason decided not to wear today. This resulted in foot rolling about my normally cloud like footwear like a child wearing their parents shoes.. and 10 miles in my toes were blistered and sore and I genuinely wanted to stop. Why didn’t I wear proper socks? Because I wasn’t planning on doing a white wash this week. Seriously, I own about 10 pairs of running socks, I could have gone a week with them sitting in the wash basket.
- I didn’t have enough sleep. This one was only partly my fault as I had a Skype meeting at 9:30am but I am following an online program to improve my sleep quality and have read about keeping the same wake-up time every day so I set my alarm for 5am as I do every week day and figured 3hrs 20mins would be enough time to get back. Firstly, I should have just arranged my meeting for another day incase I felt like I wanted longer in bed.. but like I said earlier, I am an idiot. Secondly, this getting up at the same time thing is great IF you go to bed at the same time, which I generally don’t on a weekend… I’ll say it again I. am. an. idiot.
- I decided to skip the gels and fuel up with Peeps. What are peeps I hear you ask? They are the quintessential american easter treat, and they are basically marshmallows covered in that really gritty candy floss style sugar. Actual scientists get paid to develop gels to improve athletic performance and endurance but clearly since its easter marshmallows will be just as good ‘cos I said so right? WRONG. Why didn’t I just take a gel for back up incase my wonderful idea of marshmallows for my race fuel failed? You guessed it… IDIOT!
There were loads of other factors that ruined my run today like the cold/wind and my lack of a proper route due to it being dark when I set off but if I had properly taken control of all of the things I have listed I probably would have gotten through those 22 miles instead of coming up short at 17, two of which were 10:30+ minute miles.
I haven’t decided whether to just accept it as a bad run and start my taper based on last weeks 20 miler, or if to try again in the week and make sure I put in the full 22. On one hand I was definitely better trained at this point in my prep for Barcelona, but on the other hand I went into Barcelona having never completed a marathon so maybe the experience is worth more than the miles? One thing is for sure though I will be properly fuelled, wearing good socks and well rested on marathon day either way!