Week 3 marathon blog: Lorna

Lorna’s taken on her first race of the year and she’s fighting a battle between mind and muscle.

Name: Lorna
Age: 30
Goal: To finish better than last year!
Marathon history: One marathon under belt – London 2013. Finished in 4hrs 54 mins
What training has taught me this week: It’s not always a case of mind over miles. Sometimes the mind hinders the miles. But only sometimes, if you let it (I let it).

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I ran my first race of the year this week – a 10km in Hyde Park as part of my lighter mileage week. I have such fond memories of running in Hyde Park – the Royal Parks Half Marathon was one of the best races I’ve finished  where I scored a half marathon, 10k, 1k and best mile pb all in one race!

I will open by being honest – this is neither a good or bad blog post this week, but one I will learn from. I put a fair amount of pressure on myself for this race. Firstly I wanted to get back to the pace I considered to be decent. I’d suffered from a chest infection over Christmas, which seriously affected how I ran. Three weeks later I was ready to get back in the game. Secondly I wanted to run a personal best – start the year as I meant to go on. Thirdly I wanted to enjoy it. I achieved two of the three aims.

I would have been set for a personal best – right up until the 8km mark I was running 30seconds per km faster than my previous record. Whether it was over confidence or incapacitating self doubt I failed to nail it – something just went blank and I felt like I was suddenly running with my eyes shut. This wasn’t a ‘hitting the wall’ moment – believe me, I’ve been there – but something was eating away at my mind… and in the battle of mind over muscles, sadly my self-doubt won this time.

While it would have been nice to have beaten my best time I don’t regret anything – my pace was spot on and I finished with a smile on my face. I walked away not really understanding two things though – why had I put that much pressure on my times pre race, and why did it get the better of me when I was doing so well? These thoughts are sticking with me almost a week after the event and I guess I’ll never know the answer, I just have to learn from the experience.


Weekly training stats: 21km covered

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Friday 17 Jan
60 min strength session with a personal trainer. This session focused on just upper body to make sure my legs were rested for race day on Sunday. First half was weights based  – tricep dips, bicep curls, upright rows to name but a few – my chest was shredded. After some high intensity style lifts the second half of the session was too much fun – I got to play with ropes. Never before have whips and lashes been a part of my gym routine. Now they’ll be a permanent fixture.

Saturday 18 Jan
I wanted to take it easy today, but I fidgeted my way to the swimming pool – convinced a dip in the pool would help the dreaded DOMS. I managed 1000m in the pool and then a little 3k (downhill) run home.

Sunday 19 Jan
RACE DAY. I completed the Hyde Park 10km race. Perfect race to kickstart training again after Christmas and got my pace back on track.

Monday 20 Jan
Lunchtime yoga at Goodvibes with Choi. The amazing Choi blew my mind, and my hamstrings today. She focused the practise on mentally challenging you into positions rather than pushing your body to get there. It sounds odd, but honestly was so enlightening.

Tuesday 21 Jan
Evening yoga at Good Vibes with Emily Hill. This Dynamic Open class focused on the hamstrings again (natch) and an overall lengthening of the muscles.

Wednesday 22 Jan
5km run with Nike+ Run Club Holborn. Third week in and still smiling – these guys are just awesome to run with.

2km interval session on a treadmill immediately after 5km run with Run Group. Followed by 10min core work out in gym.

Thursday 16 Jan
45 min weights session focusing on core, back and shoulders followed by a stretch using the Nike Training Club app – “Gabby Douglas’s Perfect Alignment Workout”

Lycra of the week: It’s all about reflective wear this week. I love my Ice Cold New York socks.

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