The Road to Half–One Week to Go

Back in July I posted here in a post entitled The Road to Half discussing my progress towards the Run to the Beat Half Marathon. Well time has flown by and before I’ve known it, the race is next weekend.

Since July, my longest run is no longer 15.5km but just shy of 22km, where 21km is the distance for the half marathon, and I’ve run a total of 451km since getting my Nike+ Sportsband at Christmas and after Run to the Beat and a 10km or two, I will breach 500km which I think for someone who couldn’t run to the shops and back a year ago is a big achievement.

Covering the final part of the distance, 15km onwards was actually relatively harmless, except perhaps to my knees. Having finished the build of my mountain bike, lovingly named Mr Pink I’ve been getting some cross-training in which I think has helped my overall speed and stamina, however after a day at Whites Level in Afan Forest with a couple of friends, I was worried that I may have overdone the cycling leaving my muscles aching for days and days afterwards. Thankfully I went out earlier this week and managed to cover the distance one last time before calming things down ahead of next week.

I was reminded of the cause I’m running for this week when all of the information and kit for the race came in the post – I’ve got my race number and my pen details for the start, and I’m going to be meeting the NSPCC teamGO team before the race for a chat and a team photo, so I’m really looking forward to meeting the other people. It would be nice to meet some people there who have actually been helped by the NSPCC.

Over the course of the next week, I’m going to be sleeping and eating well and ensuring that I’m in prime condition for the race.

I today updated my Virgin Money Giving page at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/richardjgreen to include my offline donations which people have so kindly pledged. This brings my donation total up to £505 so far, which is £5 over my target donation, so a massive thank you to everyone who has donated to help NSPCC, but that doesn’t mean that the work it done. Just because my target was £500 doesn’t mean I can rest and stop trying.

With one week to go before Run to the Beat, and with my donation page open for a few weeks after the  event also there is still plenty of time to help support NSPCC and all the work they do to help children around the UK and protect them from cruelty, so if you haven’t already been able to sponsor me for them in person or via Virgin Money Giving then please do spare a few pounds for them as every penny helps a child somewhere so it’s a totally worthy cause.

The Road to Half

Checking the ticker on my Virgin Money Giving site today was a grim reminder that I’m not doing enough. As of today, there is only 83 days until the London Run to the Beat half marathon.

I went out and did Basingstoke Parkrun on Saturday morning setting a 5km PB of 28:33, besting my previous PB by 1:11 which was nice, but not the 27:00 dead I was hoping for, however there is next week for that (fingers crossed). Aquatots caused us a few problems with the summer term so we are skipping lessons for the summer and waiting until autumn term, which gives me some track time Saturday mornings. This is good for me as it helps me mix up the distance between 5km, 10km and the long 15-21km runs.

My longest run to date is 15.5km which means I need to pull another 6km from the bag to reach the 21km required for the half marathon distance, not to mention hill training as I’ve been told that the Greenwich route has a few little surprises along the way.

The 15.5km run hit me hard and the day after I felt like somebody had taken a wrecking ball to my knees and calf’s especially. Of late, I’ve been out cross-training on a bike in Basing Forest near our house to try and work the thighs some and it certainly seems to be working. I need to try and get my camera down to Basing Forest with me one day as some of the views are spectacular too! My weight is down to my record low (at least for the last two years) of 14st 4lb. Even so, I’m still not pushing the envelope. Breaking that last 6km is going to need more from me, and more from my will power.

I’ve decided today that I’m going celibate on luxury. Between now and the half marathon, I’m having no more chocolate, no more deserts or ice cream or nothing. No more Pizza Hut or Dominoes, or McDonalds or KFC either. Will it stick? It will certainly be hard, but I can try for sure. Tomorrow, I’m heading into work early for a long lunchtime run, and I’m hoping to be able to do 17km tomorrow to raise the distance bar. Trying to aim straight for 21km is not good motivationally for me.

Will that be hard? Hell yes, especially as my bio-mechanics still seem to be struggling to come to terms with my new support shoes to help correct my rolling gait, but I’m hoping that tomorrows trial with carbohydrate loaded Lucozade Jelly Beans and post-run protein recovery bars will help me power through. If not, then I will be a broken mess for a day or so afterwards.