It's been over a week since I last posted which is kind of unusual - I really seem to be catching the blogging bug at the moment. Truth is I'm psyched by the responses - hearing from Marathon Chris and Maddy and Kevin - it's great to feel part of a larger community and it makes it so much more relevant to post regularly.
As you know I went to Berlin with my husband this week - of which a bit more later - but first - the Lincoln 10K. 4 years ago this was the first race I ever ran. Running it this year I marvelled at the changes that I made to get to that first race and was proud of myself for keeping them up. At that time I had a 1 year old and a 4 year old and had just managed to drag myself out of the lowest state I'd ever been in. I'd gone from being a sedentary, negative, heavy (85 kilos - 187 lbs) woman who had very little faith in herself to someone who ran every day, had lost 25 kilos and was getting stronger and more self-confident every day. That race was the beginning of a lot of great races to follow (to date various short races, 5 half marathons and 2 full marathons) and also the beginning of me beginning to find myself again, to love myself again (even in a binbag). We all know how easy it is, particularly as women, to feel you don't match up to a certain standard - beauty-wise, professionally or otherwise. Running has given me so much - physical strength, physical fitness, pride in my body however unlike a model's it might be, confidence and, finally, friends. I have made a lot of great friends through running - some who I've never met but feel I know through their blogs, others who I've met through running with them at my running club (like Sally and Rachel) and another who was virtual (through podcasting) and is now a real friend, Adam Tinkoff. All these people have become part of my life through running and that's a pretty amazing thing.
So - forgive the diversion - but all these things ran through my head as I ran last week's sunny 10K with Sally and Rachel. My mother-in-law was stationed along the route with my camera, ready to capture some action shots for the blog but when I ran past her I noticed the shutter was closed - and this was all I got.. I'm not even sure that is my shoe there but I'm kind of assuming ..
The race itself is a good one - flat and well marshaled - and getting bigger every year. And - who can bear the tension any longer? - I set a PB despite hacking up my lungs with a terrible chest cough all along the route. At about 8km I broke away from Sally and Rachel and went for it and managed to finish in 51:39 - about 15 seconds faster than I ran it in 2005.. One lesson to be learned though - Sally, who makes every run look like a walk in the past - was about a minute behind me. Like the half marathon a few weeks ago. I don't know why I bother to break away from her and I'm going to try to learn my lesson. If I stick with her I'll still be fine and fast..
OK then Berlin. Well what can I say? After months of all sorts of action, tension and excitement my husband and I were together, alone, for the first time and what did we do? We got sick. By the second day we got there I had to leave the Jewish museum I was so shivery and achey and sick and I went back to the hotel and slept all afternoon. The next day I popped ibuprofen and paracetamol and we had a lovely day in this beautiful and interesting city but I still did not feel great and Thursday (our travelling home day) and Friday (first day back home) I just felt awful. When I still felt terrible yesterday, and Adam had been coughing like a tubercular Victorian orphan all night we both went to the doctor and hey - we both have chest infections and so now we have his 'n hers antibiotics and steroids. What fun! I feel a lot better this morning (probably due to the antibiotics and king-size paracetamols I'm now taking) but I have now not run for a week... Which is a bit scary.
What should I do? Blog readers - this is a shout-out to you. What should I do? I'm beginning to perk up but I don't imagine I'll be able to run until about Wednesday or Thursday - I'm just too weak at the moment. Looking back, I was probably harbouring this infection when I ran that terrible 17 miler a few weeks ago. I have now missed one week of hard training (including an 18 miler) and am probably going to miss most of my step-back week's training as well. Should I just carry on or abandon my marathon? At this point in time what I think I will do - but I welcome your feedback - is get back into this easier week when I feel ready for it and then see how I do and feel. This weekend should be a relatively easy long run (13M) and I'll see how I get on with that. I would like to do this race now - I'm at week 12 of training - and perhaps, if I can push aside my natural competitiveness - I could just see if I can complete the training and do the race at an easy-ish pace and complete comfortably - aiming perhaps at 4:30 - 4:45? Anyway - as I say - feedback welcome.
Finally, thanks for all the comments. I love it!