OK, so it’s been a little while since I posted – mainly because I haven’t been running very much. We’re going to be moving house, and so I’ve been spending my free time clearing out and turning one big loft room into two separate rooms. Nearly there, and hoping this weekend will see an end to it.
Only a couple of weeks to go until the Kielder Marathon, and my longest run to date still stands at 13 miles. Need to get something longer in, perhaps next week or weekend.
I made it out on Wednesday night, a five miler. It was possibly my slowest 5 miles for a long time, but I was deliberately aiming to run slow. I managed around 11 minute miles, pretty much from the start – my usuall approach is to go out quick and slow down a lot later. Hopefully, if i can keep an 11-12 minute pace for the first half of the race, then I can stumble the second half.
I’ve been looking at cut-off times – it’s around 16 minute miles for the first half, then up to 19 minute miles thereafter (by my slightly half-arsed calculations). I could almost walk that, I think, so I’m feeling pretty hoopy about the thing – I won’t be fast, but I should make it.
In better news, the marvellous Fundraising Team at Medecins Sans Frontiere sent me a water bottle and a big sticker that arrived today. As I’ll be running in my Vegetarian Cyclcing & Athletic Club vest, I wanted a sticker to pin to the back so people will know who I’m running for. The water bottle was an added extra – I’ll be carrying on the course, and the bottle they’ve sent is quite spiffing, it’s got a moulded handle and everything. That means I can hand hold, or if I need I can tread it through the belt of my bum bag. As that’ll be full of gels, a waterproof, bits of tape and wipes and some emergency tabs, I suspect the ability to stick the bottle on the belt will be useful. I might attach my Think Tank water bottle pouch if I feel posh on the day.
Anyway, Wednesday’s run, after a few hard weeks of work and not much time for fun was the perfect antidote – as I plodded down the hill from Seaton Sluice back into Whitley Bay, the moon was just rising through the wisps of cloud in the sky. It was a fabulous rose colour, and it made me think that, despite being a life-long fan of computer games and films, real life has the capacity to wow you much more than any virtual view. Beautiful doesn’t even get close to it, and it was one of those special moments that will stick in my soapy brain for a while.
I finished the five miles feeling not-at-all-knackered and pretty chipper about my chances of running the majority of the marathon. I’ve got five gels, a couple of protein bars and a streak of stubborness a mile wide – what could go wrong?
As an additional backup plan, though, I’ve got a little bit of sponsorship going – I may not want to disappoint myself, but I’d feel a lot worse letting down people who have a few quid resting on my exploits, and I so wouldn’t want to leave the MSF wanting. If they can do fantastic things in difficult places then I can plod on for 26 miles to raise a few quid for them. If you want to help motivate my calf-busting charity-a-thon of daftness, then you can click on the ‘Sponsor Me’ link above.