Posts Tagged ‘Preparation’

In the weeks since London to Brighton I’ve only managed a handful of easy 5km runs and one 12km run. In fact I’ve drank more bottles of tequila than I’ve run long runs and I’ve eaten more pizzas than I’ve done any sort of run. That means in the last seven weeks the only real run of note I’ve done is London to Brighton. And Dublin Marathon is tomorrow.

Last weekend was a prime example of my appalling preparation for Dublin. We had some friends over on Friday night, I was making dinner and we were to watch a film, with the dinner and the film to be from the same country. My first mistake was probably choosing Mexico as the country for our themed night. I’d never drank tequila before but decided that now would be a good time to start. With shots before dinner. We were then joined by other friends just after dinner, with more booze, and the night ended many, many hours later with many, many empty bottles. A similar situation arose this Friday night  which meant that the few days before Dublin Marathon, when I should have been preparing my body for the rigours of running 26.2 miles, were spent sitting on my hole, on the couch, stuffing my face with hangover comfort food.

Friday was the first day actually that I’d felt like my old self (not my old old self, which would be bad, but my new old self, which was good). For weeks now, since London to Brighton, I’ve felt sluggish and tired, I’ve struggled to get up in the morning and I’ve had absolutely no desire to get out and train. On Friday however I woke up early, despite having a relatively late night, and all day in work I was full of beans, just feeling brimful of energy and enthusiasm for the first time in weeks. I think I may have been feeling a little too enthusiastic however and channelled all that energy in an entirely inappropriate manner. At least my pre-marathon meal was just what the doctor/nutritionist/experienced marathon runner ordered – bucket after bucket of fried chicken. Anyway, there’s very little I can do about it at this stage now other than just get out there and run tomorrow.

 

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One of the things thats really changed in me over the last year is my sleeping habbits. I’d always been much more of a night person, someone who considered 5am late night rather than early morning. During the week I’d rarely, if ever, go to bed before midnight, oftentimes I’d be just sticking on a film then and only hitting the hay around 2am, before getting up as late as was feasibly possible. At the weekends bedtime would generally come even later, usually between 3am and 5am, though that would be extended until around 6am or so if there was a UFC on. Naturally that meant the next day, and in essence the entire weekend, was a write off, but that’s how things have been for at least the last ten or so years.

Now however I’m rarely up beyond midnight, even at the weekends. Saturday and Sunday are days for longer sessions, or races,which generally means getting up early. Our soccer season runs from September to April or May and means I’m busy every Saturday from roughly 10am to 2pm so if I want to get in a good session on a Saturday I need to do it before then. I’ve really grown to love getting up early though, having the house to myself, mooching round, making a nice pot of coffee and just relaxing before everyone else gets up. This morning, even with the clocks going forward, I was up at 7:14, even before my alarms went off. I must have been looking forward to the race more than I thought.

I had a bit of a faff around trying to locate my tyre irons but they had disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle of my boys room so I decided to just stop on the way to the race to buy some. I could have done the race without them, and the spare tubes and multi-tool I always carry. In fact I’m sure most people do. But the first races I ever did were adventure races, and in those you generally have mandatory kit to carry which often includes tubes and tools. For that kind of race it makes sense anyway, as punctures and mechanical failures are a lot more common, and you often find yourself slap bang in the middle of nowhere. Anyway, it can’t do any harm to carry just the essentials. I’m fairly certain the couple of hundred grams of extra weight isn’t going to be the reason I don’t finish in the top ten today.

I got all my gear together, double and triple checking that I had everything I could possibly need, and then went out to practice my transitions. It’s so easy to lose time in transitions with any sort of dithering or indecision, and I’m going to be slow enough as it is, so the more practice I got in the better. I used the same mock transition point out the back of my house and just practiced running in, getting everything on in the right order, cycling out before turning round, coming back in, getting changed again and running back out. After a couple of run throughs it was time to load up the car and hit the old dusty trail.