I made it through the first week of the new term! It was a little odd being back in the workday routine after being off ill then off for the school holidays, but it was remarkable how quickly I got back into the way of it. And with our senior pupils beginning study leave for their exams midweek, my days will feel a little different for the next month!
This was also a week of keeping things ticking over ahead of the marathon on Sunday. I had to make sure I kept up the consistency of my running, but also that I did my best to be as well rested as I could around all my work and other commitments. Here’s how it ended up:
Monday – Hatha yoga
Tuesday – 4 miles
Wednesday – rest
Thursday – 4 miles + Ashtanga yoga
Friday – rest
Sunday – race day!!
As you can see, it was pretty much short runs, yoga and some extra rest.
Monday’s Hatha class was a nice sequence of hip openers. Having run 17 miles in the heat the day before (and it was still reasonably warm that day too) it was a great way to make sure I didn’t tighten up. In actual fact, my legs felt ok. A little weary, but nothing felt tight or sore which is a good thing.
Setting the alarm early on Tuesday morning was a bit of a shock to say the least! I may have been doing early runs since October, but I didn’t run when I was unwell then could go out a bit later when I was on holiday, so this was the first early one for about a month. I ran my favourite 4 mile route and treated it as a recovery run. Like I said, my legs were a little weary but nothing untoward and much better than I expected to feel after 17 miles a couple of days earlier! It was also good to head straight out into a lighter morning – no need for the extra high viz any more!
When I got in that evening I did a little home yoga then rested for the remainder of the evening.
I took Wednesday as another rest day. I had some sweet treats to make for a staff event on Friday so queued up some YouTube videos and got on with it. I could probably have done some yoga afterwards, but opted to spend some time with my feet up instead – it wasn’t going to make any difference by this point!
I was up early again on Thursday morning. Previously I had been going for a slightly longer run, but with the race looming I decided to stick to 4 miles at a nice easy pace. I checked my ego at the door and got out there to enjoy the early morning air. It was actually quite a nice run and my legs were feeling pretty good.
I had my Ashtanga class that evening and it was another session where I was conscious of feeling pretty strong in moves like chaturanga where arm and core strength are key. My Wheel poses felt good and Headstand was decent too. I think these are my measures of how I’m feeling as being able to do these poses is a reasonably recent things for me compared to other postures where it’s more about progressing more deeply into them. I can’t imagine I’ll be feeling so strong in my next class 😂
Friday was another rest day. I had an appointment to get my nails done (they were due to be done when I was ill so I cancelled the appointment and was definitely conscious that they needed some attention!). Obviously I matched the colour to the top I planned to wear for the race – my less-than-ideal training may have left me feeling a little underprepared, but at least my nails are ready haha!
Afterwards, Steve and I headed out for our usual Friday night food and I opted for chicken curry with a beer. This is what I had on the Friday before the marathon last year so I thought I would repeat it. Maybe it will bring me luck!
Since we were both conserving our energy, it was “just” parkrun on Saturday without the run there or back. To be honest, I was quite pleased as the latest storm with a human name had brought a lot of rain and it wasn’t looking too great. Driving down was much more enjoyable than running! I had thought it was due to be dry during parkrun, but the drizzle at the start had turned into a downpour of biblical proportions by the time I was running the final mile, only to stop and be replaced by bright sunshine almost as soon as I stopped. I couldn’t believe how nice it looked as I stood there dripping! On the plus side, I had a nice new pair of leggings to wear – damn that Easter weekend discount!
This was a special parkrun as we had around 250 pupils and staff from one of the local secondary schools taking part to raise money for their chosen charity. Something fairly similar happened last year but on a much smaller scale. Despite the rain and the inevitable drop in numbers thanks to the London marathon and more local events such as the races in Stirling and a popular cycling event, our numbers were good and having set a new attendance record of 384 last week, we surpassed that to reach 446! It will be really interesting to see if any of the new parkrunners who joined us today will continue to come along. The extra numbers also meant a few minor changes such as using a different path to avoid fast runners meeting the back of the pack on their return, a slightly different funnel and a seeded start to make sure everyone was safe. It all worked really well as far as I could tell.
I took the run at a fairly steady pace. I had thought around 9 minute miles would be fine as that’s a pretty comfortable pace for me. I was a little faster, but that’s ok. It was even an unintentional Royal Flush Negative Split!
We headed home fairly quickly as we were wringing wet and needed to get showered and changed before we got too cold. I swear I was drier when I came out of the shower than before I went in ha! Then it was the usual breakfast with Steve’s brother and a quick food shop before a restful afternoon making sure we had our feet up and kept ourselves hydrated. Then it was time for the pre-marathon pizza.
And the traditional offering to the gods of racing!
Before heading to bed to get as much sleep as possible.
It was a fairly early alarm call for a Sunday morning, but we were keen to get to Stirling in time to snag a good (and free!) parking spot so it was worth the effort. A separate post on my race day experiences will follow, however the short version is that I performed much better than I had expected to given my recent illness and various disruptions to training over the winter. Marathon number 12 is DONE!
With the race only being about half an hour away, we had the rest of the day to rest and refuel. I had a recovery shake right after I finished and plenty of fluids, so by the time we got back to Perth I was ready for a nice, salty McDonald’s (post-marathon/half marathon is really the only time I would eat this!). I know it satisfied a craving but don’t really remember tasting it!
Then after getting showered, changed and catching up on social media for a bit, we headed out to pick up a Chinese takeaway. After a race like this I love to start with some salt and chilli ribs.
But I totally neglected to take a photo of my main course (a speciality noodle dish created by the owner of the takeaway we use) as I was so focused on shovelling the food in haha!
And then a short while later met up with a friend to enjoy a couple of “recovery beers” which just hit the spot, before heading home to try and get some sleep – it was a school night after all!
And I certainly had plenty of steps for the day 😂
Now it’s time to enjoy some time off to let my body recover. Perfect!
What are your favourite pre- and post-race meals?
What do you look forward to most after a goal event?
Congrats on doing better than you expected for your race! I also like how you spell Allison the right way LOL
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Ah thank you 😊
And that spelling is not very common here in the UK. I was so excited when I went to the USA and discovered I could actually buy stuff with my name on it!
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It’s not common here in Canada either. I’ll have to keep my eye open in the US
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It sounds like a great week leading up to your race- and that tiffin looks delicious!
After doing a half last year, we went out for brunch and I had pancakes, but Andy let me have some of his sweet potato fries (he had a normal lunch) and that combination was perfect- I think you do need something salty after running a long way.
Looking forward to reading your race recap 🙂
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I always want salt after a half or full marathon. I guess the body knows what it needs!
Well done!! Sounds like you had a great lead-up. But more importantly, you had a GREAT selection of recovery foods. I had KFC after Manchester and my God it was incredible. Carbs, fat, protein and salt. Everything I needed!
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Those post-race foods are key (and taste AMAZING!!!)