Today was my last long run before my first half marathon next week. 12 miles along the magnificent Regent's Canal that runs the width of North London. Running East to West took me from Mile End to Marylebone via Hoxton, Islington, Camden and the zoo. It was one of my favourite runs yet, and an opportunity to reflect on how far I've come.
This run was sort of a dress rehearsal for next Sunday. It was the furthest I'd run and I ran it alone and without music or an audio book. Instead I focused on a mantra -
run for joy, enjoy the run
I really focused on enjoying myself, on feeling good and on the sense of achievement and fulfilment I get from running. When things felt hard I repeated my mantra and focused on the next step. Being in the moment of my run was amazing, I felt so strong and so confident. I could feel all of my training coming together.
Through the run I took advantage of all the training I had done. I ignored the first mile and reminded myself that I'd run 11 miles before and that was fine. Each mile I reminded myself of my past achievements - I had done these miles before. With five miles left I reminded myself that on Thursday I'd run those miles up crazy steep hills when I was knackered from work, if I could do that I could run the same miles on a peaceful Sunday! It was a method that really worked for me.
At the moment I feel positive about next Sunday. On the train home today my thoughts nagged me a little, questioning whether I had peaked too early after such a positive dress rehearsal. I've decided that it's important to knock those thoughts on the head and to spend this week focusing on my mantra and reminding myself that 13.1 is totally within my grasp.
I am really excited for next Sunday. I am looking forward butterflies at the start line, to waving at my Mum and my cousin as I pass them on the course. I am looking forward to the atmosphere and support and wearing my medal all day!
Coming to the end of half marathon training has started to focus my mind on my next challenge - Paris 2014. I am so excited about this challenge. Training for Birmingham has shown me that it is possible, and I feel like 26.2 is within my grasp if I work hard and focus. That's a pretty amazing feeling.
what I did this week -
13km on the bike
5 miles (up mega hills)
one week to go!