After a touch of the gloomies this week, I have swept away all negativity with possibly one of my best runs ever. I had my usual moments of uncertainty and pessimism as I left the house, but I soon found my pace and didn’t look back once. I had been fretting all week about getting some energy gels for this run, but I settled for the bag of jelly babies Edward had picked up for me in M&S after being unable to find them in our local shop. These jelly babies played a big part in my initial mindset: ‘At three miles I will pause and have a slurp of Lucozade Sport, then at six miles I will chomp on some jelly babies, then at ten miles I can have another…’ that sort of thing. But when I reached my three miles canal cross-over point, there was man standing right in my spot…so I decided to let him have it and carried on running. I did take on my fuel throughout the run, but it was nowhere near an issue as I had anticipated, I just felt so damn good about everything that I simply refuelled as and when I felt the need. I must say, M&S jelly babies are now my fuel of choice, soft enough to suck and with a nice flavour; I will place another order with Edward for next Sunday.
I had left the boys to go swimming and had arranged to meet them at the Clissold Leisure Centre so Edward could have a proper swim while I played with Hector in the toddler pool, so I had this end point in the back of my mind as I ran. It was nice to think of a hot shower then a dip and some tasty food along Church Street. I’m not sure what it was about this run that made everything fall into place, but I do hope I feel like this on Marathon day because, when I reached the six mile point I didn’t think ‘Oh no, another ten miles to go!’ but ‘In a few weeks I will have another twenty miles to go. Can I do it? Yes!’ Saturday night’s dinner was a big pile of curry and rice with bits and bobs at Indian Veg on Chapel Market in Islington, to celebrate Ellie’s 30th birthday. Breakfast was my usual porridge with honey and a cup of tea, and two glasses of water between getting up and going out. I am perfectly happy to repeat the curry dinner each week if that’s what did it…
One thing that definitely lifted my spirits was the glorious sunshine. I know there are people who really do suffer with SAD at this time of year but I think we all do to an extent, and a bit of sunshine does wonders for your mood. The canal looked lovely, with the light sparkling on the surface and frisky geese flying overhead…and careless rowers crashing into each other. Oops! I felt a bit sorry for the lone young lad who crashed into the four ladies, he looked rather sheepish as they stared him out.
I ran as far as the Olympic Village again, but this time I turned left before hitting the duel carriageway, and found myself running through a nice wooded area with soft muddy paths. The miles ticked by and I passed the riding school, enjoying the view over the marshes and biting the heads off some more jelly babies. The latter part of my run was to get me to the leisure centre and I wasn’t entirely sure how far it was, so I did another loop along the canal and headed up into Springfield Park. Now, that’s a hill and a half! At twelve and a bit miles, it’s not what you need. I put my head down and gritted my teeth though and briefly turned round at the top to enjoy the amazing view and catch my breath. I sort of know my way around this bit of East London, but really needed my wits about me as I entered people-carrier/Volvo zone and didn’t know which way to look: cars were coming at me in all directions at one point, and no indicators were indicating where they were going. Eventually I found myself on Stamford Hill and headed happily down towards my destination. I had hoped to just roll up at the swimming pool as I hit the sixteen mile mark, but it wasn’t to be and I found myself plodding around Clissold Park with what seemed like hundreds of other runners, all of whom looked like they’d just stepped out of the house, all fresh and bouncy. I couldn’t take much of this, so decided to run down the leisure centre road and back up again to make my sixteen. Oh, what a big smile I had on face as I pressed the start/stop button and guzzled the last of my Lucozade.
Edward had very kindly lugged all of my clothes/coat/shoes etc along with all the swimming gear, so I had to locate him and get hold of my kit before I could go in, so checked out the cafe to see if they had any milkshake type drinks. Alas, all I could find was an Innocent Smoothie, so I made do with that and a flapjack. I really should think ahead next time because I was crouched in the toddler pool with cramp taking hold in all sorts of odd places! It was lovely to have a swim session with the boys and it just topped off what had been a fantastic morning: Hector was being ultra confident in the pool and just jumping in from standing on his own, fearless. So, now I am just weeks away from the London Marathon and I feel ready to give it my best. Bring it on!
Time: 2 hours 37 minutes 3 seconds
Distance: 16 miles
Average Pace: 9.49
Best Pace: 7.46
I also went for a family run on Saturday morning, just a quickie to pick up a parcel from the sorting office and a once round the Bruce Castle Park.
Time: 35 minutes 58 seconds
Distance: 3.67 miles
Average Pace: 9.48