Second time marathoner Charlotte realises that blue knickers, solo magpies and evil shoes are the cause of her bad week of training
Marathon history: Brighton Marathon 2012, 3.46
Goal: sub 3:45
What I learnt this week: Don’t wear blue knickers.
If you were to ask me if I was superstitious, I’d say no.
I’d be lying though. When it comes to running I am horrendously superstitious. Horrendously.
This week I have had a thoroughly shit week of training, including a 2.5 mile run that felt like wading through sand with Jedward hanging off my ankles. You may think this is because instead of taking a couple of days off to rest my chest infection and hacking cough, I decided to run through it. You’d be wrong though.
While yeah, this may have played a part, there were definitely a few other factors:
- I walked the wrong way to running club. While a short cut through the estate is OK on the way home, you must ALWAYS, ALWAYS walk the long way on the way there. Failure to do so results in a terrible run. Schoolboy.
- I wore blue knickers. I know, I know. I never, ever run in anything blue. If I can only find a blue hair bobble or accidentally wear blue knickers, well I may as well stay at home. It seems I am one of the very few aware of the evils of running in this colour, see above image. (Some shades of turquoise are acceptable.)
- Failure to salute a magpie. Obvious this one. Saw a single magpie on a run, didn’t salute him as I was chatting. Run deteriorated rapidly. Sorry Mr Magpie, how are your wife and children by the way?
A few weeks ago we were chatting to Olympic open-water swimmer Keri-Anne Payne, you know, as you do. We asked her if she had any lucky charms or race day rituals. Her answer? ‘No. The danger there is that if I lost the charm or my superstition appeared to be coming real that would throw me far more than not having such ‘props’.’
Now Keri, I see where you’re coming from but if you don’t believe in rituals, symbols and lucky charms, who are you supposed to blame for your inability to run faster, stronger or longer? Yourself?!? Give it a break love.
If you don’t believe in rituals, symbols and lucky charms, who are you supposed to blame for your inability to run faster, stronger or longer? Yourself?!?
The week culminated in a particularly horrible, wet, cold and muddy 16- miler (it was meant to be 14 but I mapped it running though walls so it turned out a bit longer). I ran this at midday, fuelled by two ginger biscuits. Not ideal, I know, but the main reason it was so bad wasn’t crap nutrition, general unpreparedness or life-sapping tiredness, nope it was my evil trainers. All runs in them are bad and no PBs will ever be set. They proper have it in for me, run-sabotaging bastards! My old shoes however, I put them on and my heart fills with love, wings grow from my feet and I run on clouds.
Like finally finding the light switch in an unfamiliar bathroom, I realised the way to improve my training was pretty simple really, get some new runners. So I went to see magic Sam, purveyor of mystical running products and sorcerous shoes (sometimes called manager of Runners Need, Camden). The new shoes are on order and, in another training bonus, I finally managed to find the exact type of notepad I need to log my runs in (thank you Rymans!). I need to write things down to keep my head in check but if it’s not a lined school exercise book it would do more harm than good. It’s taken all year to find one.
So, next week, with new shoes on feet and notebook safely in bedside drawer it will be like a weighted vest lifted from my back. I will prance through training light as a running fairy, arrive at the start line fresh and rested and breeze through the VLM to cheering crowds and an easy PB. All provided I rub my lucky silver bracelet every 30 seconds before I hit the start line and kiss it just before it goes into the baggage truck, obviously.
Weekly training stats: 31.5 miles/50.69km
Nights out drinking: ONE!!!!!! (even if it started at 2pm)
8 miles very slow
5 miles at SRC – steady and painful. Coughed oesophagus inside out.
2.5 miles run – slow, painful, hell
16 miles slow – hip very painful
Running track of the week: A bit of nineties nostalgia on the long run with Killing in the Name, Rage against the Machine, Sabotage, Beastie Boys, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana. Yep, I was in a bad mood