half marathon preparation

62 days

I felt like I was in a running slump for the past few weeks from a combination of being very busy and then even busier, however I think I can say that I am moving past that.  I am used to experiencing creative blocks where my brain simply won’t co-ordinate itself to find a direction and stick with it but this time I have been physically struggling to decide on routes and not being able to get out to run when the feeling strikes me.  Regardless though, I have persevered and avoided being too harsh on myself when I haven’t managed to reach my weekly mileage goal.

During this past week I ran a total of 15 miles which makes me think that I should have been writing down a weekly total so that I could see how far I could have traveled since I signed up for a half marathon in April.  The problem I experienced this week was the heat.  I haven’t tried to run in 20+C heat before and as I live in Scotland, it isn’t often as hot as that.  The first run I did was in full sun at 1pm on a day that was 25C at 5pm.  I don’t think it was any hotter after lunch but it certainly wasn’t cooler and the sun was causing me to become very tired.  It felt like it literally took me forever to get back home, I did actually consider stopping and getting a taxi as I was limited for time and needed to be home before my daughter was finished school.  I did keep going and avoided getting a taxi but if one had been passing me, I’m pretty sure I would have flagged it down.  My second run in 20C was not as bad.  There was only minimal direct sunshine so I didn’t feel like I was running through Death Valley.  I like being in warm places, I grew up in Canada and summer was lovely, lots of sun and very dry but I am rubbish at coping now.  I have a massive respect (I did previously too) for the people who have taken part in the ultramarathon in Death Valley!

Despite the warmer days here, I managed to get 10 minutes (completed in 1 hour and 10 mins) off my time for my 8.2 mile run that I do.  I am not very interested in increasing my pace but I am grateful that I was faster for the last half of my run than the first.  I found after I’d run about 6 miles that my muscles started to tingle and I was able to increase my speed and determination, although it did only last until the next time I had to stop at traffic lights and cross the road and then I lost momentum.

I am going to need to investigate alternative headphones and perhaps a top that hides the headphone cable.  The headphones I am using are good quality but they don’t fit my ear very well and I feel like the wire is getting caught everywhere despite tucking it away every few minutes.  I keep checking my reflection because I feel like a cat that chased a ball of wool before it all went wrong and it got tangled.

While I was running and getting tangled in my headphones it reminded me of why I am training for my half marathon and how my son had wires and tubes attached to him back when he had his operation.  It also reminded me to be grateful that he hasn’t needed another operation as yet and to think of others who are currently in hospital trying to get more comfortable.  As this article shows, The Archie Foundation is set to help support Tayside NHS also http://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/news/local/nhs-tayside-sets-out-spending-priorities-1.266935  which is great news for our local children’s hospital services.  Improving services and facilities for children can make the difference between a difficult experience and one that is still difficult but well supported, well communicated and in a less scary environment with high quality equipment.  This is why I am fundraising for The Archie Foundation and decided to sign up for The Fare Challenge half marathon and make myself run, preparing for what my dad reminds me “is quite some challenge (- did you think of doing the shorter race?!)”

My Justgiving page is  https://www.justgiving.com/emma-white25/  and I am at 61% of my target with 62 days left before the race.



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