Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Redemption and Faith


Definitely the wettest run EVER last night, 10 miles in a flood! So why did I find it so completely exhilarating???? 

Definitely a Shawshank moment

...and Faith

Welcome to an extract from a Facebook conversation I had with a friend the other day. Hope it does you good as it did me. 

A. Can I ask you a question? How did you manage to get to 9 miles? Did you believe you could do it?

Jacky. Well basically you just increase your run by 5 minutes each week and then as if my magic, you find you're running 9 miles.

A. As if by magic? Did you believe you could do it?

Jacky. Honestly, it's as simple as that. Tiny increases. It's the same as marathon training - you start wherever you start, increase by 5 or 10 minutes per week, and you get to 26 miles.

A. So, did you ever believe you could run a marathon?

Jacky. Did I believe I could do it? Well I think confidence grows over the years and with experience. I remember the first time I ran 3 miles and telling EVERYONE! I remember running 6 and that being such a milestone. I remember the first time I ran 12 miles and I told random people in the street. And I remember hearing about someone running 18 miles and thinking that was utterly out of my league…….

A. Thank you.

Jacky. …….. BUT - I know now that you just do a little bit more each time and before you know it you're running further than you could ever imagine.

A. You've just increased my faith...

Jacky. Exactly. I really honestly believe the impossible now. I seriously believe I’m going to run 40 miles a day for 10 days.

The lesson from this innocent conversation? Faith, in whatever area it’s in, doesn’t start with believing the impossible. It starts where you are, it increases as you take a few more steps at a time, until all at once, you’re walking in and believing in The Impossible.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

First to 70!!

Smashed it!

This week I ran 70 miles. 70 miles, AAAHHHH!, SEVEN ZERO, 70 miles!!!
Not in one go, but broken down to 5 days of 9 miles, then 2 x 13 milers back to back. 

Previous record was 32 miles in 7 days. I can't help but want to write about it!

First question, why??????
Well on Sunday, I was planning to run an 18 mile long run, but on the day realised I hadn't mapped the route, hadn't organised nutrition, didn't really have time, and in short, I bailed and just ran 9. 
On Monday I was due to train with a friend in Hastings, 3 miles away. Conventional wisdom says don't follow a long run with another intense session, but I figured, 3 miles there, 3 miles training Nat, 3 miles back? Yeah, give it a go. 
Turned out fine. Then I started to hatch the plan. If I can manage 2 long runs in succession without getting injured, I wonder what would happen if I kept doing it? I'd watched Eddie Izzard churn out Marathons day after day and wondered how he'd done it. Maybe conventional wisdom, or at least what I'd learned so far, could be challenged. 
So I aimed for 63 miles, 1 week at 9 miles a day.
By mid week I began to search online to see what was possible to achieve, and stumbled across Rory Coleman. Before I read up on him, I'd facebooked him just to chat. He replied with "I remember doing 70". Well what choice did I have, the guy threw down the gauntlet - 70 it is then!

Tell us about the good bits
I've learned lots, and am amazed by some of the outcomes. 

  • No injury - whenever I felt a niggle, I slowed down a little, and incredibly my body seemed to adapt rather than crumble
  • No blisters - thank you Adidas Adistar Boost and Feetures socks
  • No tiredness - this is a biggy. In a usual day, I need to nap. But from Tuesday, not at all! You would think that I'd need hours more sleep, but in fact, my energy levels have increased
  • No alcohol - last week I drank (to my shame) 4 bottles of wine. This week, not a drop, with no effort or even thought 
  • No medication - Have completely stopped anti-depressants and yet my motivation for life is high, instead of wanting to lay down and shut my eyes
  • Good and healthy appetite - yum, lots of red meat (aka steak)
  • I ran faster towards the end of the week than I did at the beginning, and my 70th mile was a 7.45. Surprised! I thought I'd be crawling!
And the downsides?
  • Having to wash kit more often than usual
  • A little chaffing under the bra line, solved by an anti-antiperspirant stick

What's next then?
Honestly, I'm not sure where to go from here. The benefits of daily running seem immense. I'm wondering if I should carry on with the 9 miles daily mileage, and increase the Sunday long run? Then try some speed in the fullness of time. 
But any suggestions? would be brilliant and much appreciated!