Too big too soon?

Looking at the tags on this post you will be able to sum up my 15 mile run on Sunday. Remember Sunday? That really warm day we had? Especially during 12-3, which exactly coincided with my run…

It was my fault really, I guess, but I have excuses!

Issue 1: I was standing up for all of the day before my long run
Excuse: I was prepping for, then hosting our (very delayed as been in house well over  a year) house-warming party

Issue 2: It was warmer than I have been used to
Excuse: I was tidying up from said house-warming party in the morning (after a little lie-in) and trying to find a reason not to run due to the temperature, so ended up leaving at midday, making it the hottest part of the day on the hottest day we have had this year

Issue 3: I was very ill post-run
Excuse: I went our at the hottest part of the day, BUT wearing the right clothes, taking enough water and nutrition… BUT having your head in the sun for 3 hours and doing strenuous, prolonged exercise means not keeping food or water down afterwards. Apparently.

But, I did it. I covered 15 miles.

On previous long runs I had been freaked out by the distance I had to cover: 9 miles, 10 miles, a half etc. But this time it wasn’t the 15 miles, it was that it was going to be around 3 hours of running. 3 hours! That’s the length of the film Titanic. That is ridiculous.

I know it would be much quicker for most other people (who run – hopefully I can still beat walkers!), but I am slow. I have been happy with that for a long time, but when you work out the times for these long runs coming up, they seem like impossible durations.

Adam recently downloaded a Kindle book for me: No Run Intended by Hannah Phillips,  which I read in a day on the commute in and out of work yesterday. Hannah was ‘chubby and cute’ and decided to start running after accidentally slagging off the fat girl in the pub that ended up being her own reflection. It is a funny account of her mile coverage up to half marathons and is worth a read if you like to read individual tails of running.

I am a heavier girl and have a strop when my favourite suck-me-in running capris aren’t washed and ready for my LSD (long, slow distance – I learnt a new running abbreviation this week!). My partner will disagree with what I just said (he had better!) but I am larger than I should be due to a love of pastries and pasta.

When I started this marathon training I was looking forward to the new, slimmer body that it would bring me. But that hasn’t happened. I am 10 weeks in and I have actually put on weight (and before you say the muscle is heavier than fat thing, my body fat has not gone down but up a bit). I think it is plateauing now, but it hasn’t gone down.

I can feel the muscle in there – I can feel it just pop up in my upper arm, and when I tense my thighs, but I can feel the thick layer on top too.

But back to the point – I thought I would find a match with this girl in this book: larger, slower but covering the distances like me. She was. But her weight dropped off and she got faster. Not massively faster, but able to do some 9-min miles during a half. I haven’t even had one 9 minute mile ever (PB is currently 9:10).

I know I shouldn’t worry about the speed when marathon training – distance is the goal, but the time limit for this marathon is 6 hours. All of the calculators based on my recent times have said I’ll be fine, but it is a niggle in my head that I will fail at my first attempt.

Most running books/stories make you want to get out there and achieve those goals (after making them and making them big) but this book made me question whether I have gone too big.

Should I have targeted half-marathons? Have got one booked: train for it over a reasonable time, to get a good time and while enjoying the process (even the intervals – meh).

But I went for a marathon. The ultimate of goals (for the novice runner). This means longer runs each weekend and some smaller (but getting longer mid-week runs (which I have had issues with). There can be no let up. Is this too much too soon? Adam thinks not – thinks I can do it. And maybe I can. But can I do it well, or just about?

I could transfer my entry to the Kent Roadrunner Marathon to someone on the waiting list and then just sign up again for next year… Or I can plough on. Running for hours and hours; long and slow…

Oh, I don’t know. Any advice anyone?


4 thoughts on “Too big too soon?

  1. If you are just looking to finish, then go for it! You will feel great afterwards (well maybe at first and then it will suck for a week or two. Sorry but that’s being honest for anyone, of any age, size, ability and so on. Recovering from a marathon is rough). Then you will have a baseline and if you want to do it again you can shoot for a PR! Your 15 miles in already, I say go for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Go for it. If you can finish in the allotted time who cares how slow you go! I am a slow 13 min mile person and I am thinking fall marathon. There is one near me that has an hour early start for velocity challenged runners so I have hope!

    Liked by 2 people

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