Week 15: Energy boost and a mention on the London Marathon Facebook Q&A!

  • Hours on the run: 4:32
  • Kilometres: 49.75
  • Calories burned: 11 Lindt chocolate bunnies
  • Soundtrack: Masterpiece – Jessie J

I took quite a bit of time for reflection after last Sunday’s run. My initial reaction was disappointment and then frustration for my lack of discipline. That turned into worry – how long will this fatigue last? But was finally replaced with gratitude. I was thankful that all of my previous runs had gone well (in comparison), and I was thankful to experience this mental shutdown on a training run, giving me a bit of time to prepare for it ahead of the marathon.

It really showed me just how much your mental state can affect your performance. Physically, I should have managed the distance. But right from the very start, those doubts crept in, and I let myself get caught up in the discomfort of the smallest things. True, the heat did play a role, but that’s another lesson – I should have slowed down the pace right from the start and not been so fixated on achieving a certain time. I’m happy that I can learn from it, and now it’s all about working on some mental strategies to avoid getting into that same pit on race day.

By Thursday, I had my fighting spirit back and I was boosted by the fact that my speed runs during the week were still going strong, so I wasn’t completely burned out. And I marveled at another beautiful sunset scene this week:

Sunday’s schedule was a half marathon and I was really eager to see how my energy levels would hold up. Well, I spent most of the run trying to hold back my speed! Every time I checked my watch, I was doing more than 11 kmph, and my goal marathon pace is around 10.5. I kept trying to slow down, but it seemed my legs just found their own rhythm today. It was so reassuring (and enjoyable) to run at a good pace again and to feel it was manageable. I even didn’t care when I hit (yet another) bridge that no longer existed and had to loop back on myself. The run went so well, I chose a slightly longer route, and ended up doing just under 25 km, instead of the 21 km on the schedule. It just felt good to get that little bit of extra running in the bank.

I also ran past some of the fancier houses in Almere, each with their own docking (mooring?) station and boat!

The temperature was absolutely perfect today – around 10 degrees but with the windchill factor, it was more like 5. Definitely my kind of running temperature!

This evening I tuned into a Facebook live chat by the London Marathon. Martin Yelling, the charismatic guy who created the training plans was giving advice on the final weeks of training and the marathon, and answering viewers questions. I was quite chuffed that he answered mine (and said my name – swoon!). In hindsight, it actually sounds like quite an arrogant question (he laughed a little), but I didn’t mean it in that way! I was asking how busy the course is, and if it’s easy to overtake if you feel like you can speed up as the course progresses. What I really meant was, is it possible to run your own race, or are you really constrained to the pack of runners surrounding you. The answer, it seems, is that the course is very busy, especially at the start, so you are pretty much stuck at one pace for quite some time. Well, it’s good to know that! Let’s hope I can stick to the pace I specified on my entry form 6 months ago!

This afternoon, I decided to pull together some of the photos I’ve been capturing during the last 15 weeks of training to give myself a boost and to remind myself of just how much I’ve put into this. It felt like such a positive thing to do and made me realise how much of a journey this is – something I won’t ever forget.

Just two more weeks to go now!

The soundtrack to this week is Masterpiece by Jessie J.

Please consider sponsoring me for the London Marathon. I’m running for Chance for Childhood, a charity that protects children from the devastating consequences of extreme poverty, conflict and disability.

2 thoughts on “Week 15: Energy boost and a mention on the London Marathon Facebook Q&A!

  1. Awesome, Sarah! You are so gifted in so many ways, including creative writing, photography, determination, courage, compassion. You are amazing, an inspiration, although I know I can’t compare with you, but thank God you are doing this tough challenge for all of us. As you move out of winter into glorious spring and new life, may God continue to bless you and give you strength.

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