Abort mission! Abort 20 miler!

I should have known my 20 mile planned run wasn’t going to happen today, but I tried, and made the right decision 20 odd minutes in, to cut it short.

It was quite a relief when I made the decision, and I was glad it was so early into the run.

I’d planned 20 miles as one if my long runs before the Belfast marathon on the 4th May, but today it just wasn’t to be. 🙂

TRAINING – TIRED LEGS
This week has been busy at work. But in training, so far this week I got a good 15 and a bit miles in comfortably on Monday, rested Tuesday (and early into work), then did strength yesterday. And yesterday was a bit of a mammoth day at work – 9am-8pm.

I’ve just started strength again and I really need to rethink when I do it in relation to my long run – my legs were ok, but they certainly weren’t well rested or helping me to run comfortably. I need to rethink my training plan I think – something like:

Mon: Strength / easy run
Tue: Run or rest
Wed: Swim
Thu: Med-long run
Fri: Rest
Sat: Easy or long run
Sun: Rest (or easy run)

WORK & LIFE PRESSURES
I’m off every Friday in March, which is great but it means catching up most of Monday, then doing the rest of the week in the remaining 3 days. Not ideal. Who’s idea was this? Lol

This undoubtedly impacts on my training as I know I have so much work to do, and have to prioritise which is more important. :-S

Not to mention the fact I’m trying to keep Fri, Sat, Sun mainly free so I can spend nice relaxing time with the other half. My idea was to do my long runs on Thursdays before work – which is fine for 2 hour runs, but once it gets beyond that, 3 hours etc, it just becomes undo able with work that day too.

We’re also planning going out for dinner tonight, and I figured if I did 20 hard miles, then worked all day, I’m sure I’d be asleep for dinner time and not much company!

Anyway, yesterday I had a few important tasks to do at work and it was busy all day, finishing at 8pm. I went home and had a tasty steak, then finished off some more work. In bed by just after 11pm (well past my 10pm ideal sleep time!)

As I left work last night, I was talking to my boss who mentioned I should be careful …

… ‘not to burn the candle at both ends’ …

… something I’m very conscious of.

I know how important rest is, and I know how important it is to get a balance in life between: work:life:training:social:relationships.

IN BED TOO LATE
By that time Fit Girl was in bed, so I couldn’t get my gear ready for getting up REALLY early (5:30) to go run. I realised then that it’d be closer to 6:30 by the time I’d be up and out for a run. :-/

I like to just get up, out of the bedroom and into my gear, and have my water pack ready too. But none of that happened as I’d left it too late to do.

IT SOUNDS HELLISH OUT THERE
I woke at 5:45am and thought I’d better not stir too much Incase I’d wake her up. But I did anyway.

‘It sounds hellish out there’ she said to me. I’d seen the weather forecast two nights ago and it did look hellish. But I looked out and it didn’t look all that bad.

Then at just after 6am we were both up, I got dressed, gadgets on (Garmin, HRM, Fuelband, iPod – which I’d forgot to charge by the way), gels and water with me. Cap on, gillet tied right up to my neck.

I stepped outside and a big drip of rain went down the back of my neck. Eeeeek. Then a gust of wind blew a rain shower into my way.

I hid around the corner to get ready to go: questioning if this was such a good idea? I put my music on, and went. I’d been out in worse.

SIGNS TO KEEP GOING OR ABORT
As I was running, I kept telling myself it’s be fine, I’d settle into it. It usually takes me about 4-5 miles to get into long runs. But the wind was really blowing a hoolie… I ran along past the Quay, and under the Kingston Bridge. The wind was against me and then behind me with in seconds. Rain not heavy but being blown about too.

I ran under the Kingston Bridge just as a car driving along it managed to go through a puddle. I ran along and cringed when the large puddle splashed down in front of me from the heights above. I narrowly missed a large cold shower – I thought it just as a positive sign to keep going. But I wasn’t convinced.

It was hard work all the way though. 1 mile, 2 miles, starting to go up hill. My HR was higher than normal and I was just thinking, am I really going to do this? 3 hours in this? Is this sensible?

I crossed a road and nearly got blown across it. Seeing a bus coming towards me, I could honestly imagine me getting blown into the path of it. Not good. :-/

The rain was pelting down – the sore way when it hits off your skin. My cap was good shelter, but not good enough. It and my clothes, shoes and gloves were starting to get very wet. Just 20 minutes in: this was hard, it wasn’t fun. Was it worth it?

I wanted to change my music, and took an opportunity to get out of the wind and rain to change my playlist.

My fingers were wet so that iPod wasn’t playing, then I realised the battery was nearly dead. (I hadn’t charged it – doh!). There was no way I was running in this for how many miles I might manage, for my music to run out part way through.

I thought of all the people I’d told that I was running 20 miles before work, and thought, I can’t then go back and not do it.

It nearly kept me going, but sense took over and there were too many reasons not to keep going. What’s important is not what others think, but that I make the right decision for me, and feel good about that decision.

I was running up towards Cathcart Road, and 2.5 miles in, I decided this most definitely wasn’t worth it. Abort mission, abort mission – and changed my route to get home as directly as I could. I ended up running 4 pretty nasty miles, but what a relief when I decided I’d only be running for 35 mins or so as opposed to for 3 hours.

IMPORTANT LONG RUNS
Running is important, and long runs in marathon training are very important, but not important enough to battle through 3 hours of hellish weather, to burn myself out. Especially when I have 4-5 weekends / weeks left where I can do my long runs.

Realistically, if the marathon was next week I know I’d be able to run it, so not doing a 20 miler here and there in my training isn’t going to impact on the day. I’ve already done 15 miles on Monday, and can reorganise my training on the run up to the event.

The will be no harm done in me not doing this run, in fact it will probably be good for me, to focus on relaxing, work and time with Fit a Girl instead.

I can run 20 miles any day I choose, and I’m sure the weather will be better then too. 🙂 For me it’s not soft of me, it’s common sense.

LEARNINGS
So that’s my abort mission for this week. I’ve learned / been reminded of a few things from it, including:

1. Prepare properly the night before a long run (clothes, water pack etc ready)

2. Check weather before it, postpone run if weather is going to be hellish.

3. Get to bed early and get a good sleep.

4. Change training do strength work is 3-4 days before long run and do swim day before long run.

5. Rest after long run (like I did on Tuesday).

6. If work is really busy, prioritise training and life based on relevant pressures. Be realistic.

7. Maybe organise to run with others in the remaining weekends, or on my own early mornings at the weekend.

I worked extra time at work recently and am taking it back this morning. Hence the post on here and a wee bit of rest, relaxation and regathering before another busy day at work.

20 miles turned into 4 miles in horrible weather where I got soaked to the skin and nearly got blown away.

I’m pleased with my decision and I’m looking forward to a busy shorter day at work followed by a nice dinner tonight, and a nice long weekend.

Now I’d better get ready for work.

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