Soooo....it's been awhile since I posted an update on my training [post edit: so long that I've lost track of how long I've been training for, this is actually a post about weeks seven and eight. Goodness knows what happened in week six, I think I went to Sweatlife festival!] If I'm being honest it has taken a back seat. I was too busy sitting on beaches and pissing around at music festivals. I'm not sorry, but it does mean that run related activities over the last couple of weeks have been sporadic at best.
Week six started strong, I had an awesome session of Mountain Athletics with the guys at Never Stop London. I loved how functional the session was and felt a real sense of satisfaction when I was done, but I probably shouldn't have run 10 miles the next day because it was a killer. Each mile was painfully slow and I had to will myself through the final section, my legs crying out with fatigue. It was like the last six miles of Paris marathon, but I'd run under half the distance. Hoping that a day off would heal all, I optimistically laced up for the traditional run hosted by Wilderness Festival each year, a short 5k of pretty trails around the perimeter of the festival, nice and easy. Barely a mile in I was walking. My calves burned and I was getting deeply bitchy. It hurt. I felt like a failure. Mike directed me to the nearest massage yurt where 30 minutes of deep tissue massage (and compliments about my pain threshold) later I was a much happier bunny. I was even happier still when on Sunday evening, after three days of partying/hanging out at the spa, I had the great pleasure of joining Goldie for a yoga session. It was the best way to ease out after all that hard work, not to mention the three nights sleeping on an air mattress with a slow puncture.
Week seven saw me jet off to Menorca for a few days in the sun, a lot of gin and quiet a bit of food. I did manage to fit in a short trail run (throughout which my calves shouted mild profanities) and to my amazement I discovered I really quite like swimming in the sea. Proper swimming, where your feet can't touch the floor. For someone who isn't too keen on swimming pools this was a massive surprise, although no one should be getting any ideas about me doing triathlons any time soon.
Beyond those small bouts of activity however my workouts were pretty limited, which I'm pretty ok with because actually I was exhausted and massively needed a rest - i can feel it in my writing that I'm more myself than I have been for months. However, it's time to get moving again. My legs still hate me a bit, and generally my body feels quite heavy and lethargic, something that's been weighing on me for months. I suspect it could be because I'm finding running a bit of a challenge at the moment. Its a struggle to get out the door, to clock up the miles, to feel like I'm getting anywhere. Going for a run used to excite me and now it's all a bit meh. So I'm digging deep and sucking it up and getting on with the task in hand, while also hoping that the addition of quality cross training and a lot of yoga (like yoga every day) will help me get back in sync with my body and start enjoying what it can do again.
What's also helping is remembering that this race isn't just for me, it's for Unicef. Meditating on the work Unicef does and the value the organisation brings is proving to be great motivation. Although what would be even better motivation would be if you were to sponsor me...most unsubtle hit ever, but seriously, this is an organisation doing amazing work that we should all be supporting.