Monday, 12 April 2010

Taking a gamble...

So, here you all were reading my preparations for the London Marathon and out of nowhere (and in secret) I travelled to Paris on my own on Friday and today I ran the Paris Marathon! That's me & Russ at the end.


Well, two weeks ago I tapered for and ran Wilmslow Half Marathon in preparation for London. I was expecting to run really well especially after my result in Silverstone at the end of a super hard week and no taper. Wilmslow didn't quite go to plan (easy mileage week and a taper) and yet I wasn't really sure why...

... until a day later and it all clicked into place. It was the 'wrong time of the month'. And then Tom reminded me London would fall exactly one month later.

So... I had two options... Take a chance and run London OR look for a marathon that fell two weeks earlier.

The thing is I'm unfortunate to have had many of my 'A' races ruined by the joys of my monthly cycle. Increased lethargy, really heavy legs and an inability to push myself have left me feeling disappointed at many of my races.

So knowing my performance at London was almost certainly going to be hampered it was time to look at my options. I could of course run London, feel crap, waste the endless hours and miles of effort for a result I could practically predict before I even start... OR take my chances.

I made a phone call to a very good friend with amazing connections in the business world of sport (8 days before Paris which was full & closed) and before I knew it he had me a place (thanks James) and I had eight days to taper for it (gamble number 2).

I finished my 70 mile week on Sunday, and then had Monday, Wednesday and Friday as rest days, ticking over on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday to keep my legs and mind at ease.

I went off at 3:20 pace feeling great (getting to half way on target). The bad man came at about mile 19, he stole my ability to run, and I was thankful to cross the line in 3:29.

I had to do it and it was a gamble, a gamble I'm really pleased I did. I took a chance, I didn't pb but I'm proud of myself for trying anyway.

My mate Russ who I've been long running with in Leeds (he always training for Paris, me always training for London!!) ran really well getting a huge pb and running 3:18, great work Russ :-) thanks for your company, hope your return journey wasn't a nightmare.

So that's why I ran Paris.

Unfortunately because it was so last minute and Tom was also racing, he couldn't come. One thing I do know is he's an amazing influence on me. Without him and his outlook on life I would never have had the confidence to travel to Paris on my own and run this marathon. So a million heartfelt thank you's go to my ever supportive amazing (and speedy - read his blog) husband xxx

And a huge thanks to Brian (Tom's pa) for sorting my accommodation out (I stayed with his good friends Mike & Robin) who were lovely.

My legs are marathon smashed and it's too soon to decide whether I'll run London (for pure fun, not for time) or not. I'm writing this on the flight on my way home and am more than ready for bed.

Hope you've all had an amazing weekend :)

H x


Anonymous said...

You sneaky secret marathon runner! Great stuff, love it!

Rob Bane

Anonymous said...

Good work on taking the gamble H. Sometimes it provides a PB, sometimes it doesn't. The important thing is to throw the book out of the window and have the guts to run the risk. That makes you stronger. A superb performance.

runwildrunfree said...

Good work Helen. Why didn't you let me know you sneak.... and you wishing me well too! I could have even sorted you out with a hotel etc as I hd clients coming over to race. Next year eh! Well done

Debra said...

Not the posting I was expecting to read, you little sneak, but very well done H on a superb performance :)

Anonymous said...

I was over the moon to have you there with me Hel's, thanks for the training and especially for the food. RustyRusk

H said...

Cheers guys, I'm not usually a sneak!