Over the past few weeks the mileage I'm doing has increased which in turn has made my training tougher both mentally and physically.
Completing two 20 mile runs alone with my iPod on a fairly flat course gave me the confidence to believe that I can complete the London Marathon. The fact that the weather was warm and the sun was shining, encouraged me and I ran the distance in good time - 3:18 minutes.
Then mid week I went into a low and convinced myself that I had failed. When I went to the gym and got on the treadmill I had a runner's worse nightmare... I couldn't run! My ankle just would not hold any weight. In the past I would have pushed myself and forced myself to run, which of course would have made it worse. Two friends next to me said "Lara", what are you doing? Stop, get off the treadmill, go home and rest!. For once I not only listened but also followed their advice. How glad I am that I did that, as the next run was mind blowing.
On Sunday I did the GVH20 mile training run in Hemel Hempstead with my friend Graham. This run actually scared me. Although I had run 20 miles twice over the past two weeks this wasn't just 20 miles. This was 20 miles of hills, and not just little hills, big nasty hills that go up as well as down. I actually find it harder to run downhill, probably due to my fear of falling. I was convinced in my spirit that my confidence would grow even more after completing this course.
It was a wonderful experience running with Graham, who runs slightly faster than me. This of course gave me the motivation to push that little bit harder. It took a few miles to get into a comfortable running pace but the moment I put my iPod on I was a changed women... a bullet as Graham described it! To me it really does make a difference to have a beat to run to. Up and down the hills, 4,5,6 miles, carb gels, water, 12,13 miles, the encouragement of marshals, 16,17 miles, more carbs gels, it kind of feels like you're eating your way round, 19, 20... and it actually measured 20.3miles. I had done it, 20.3 miles of hills, and I had done well. 3:15 minutes (less the loo stop)... 3:13 minutes!! I was expecting 3:20-3:30, and had surprised myself. I know that I wouldn't have been able to do this without Graham pushing me, and giving me the confidence that I could do this. Thank you Graham.
It seems that something happens out of the blue each week. This week I was interviewed by someone from the IEDC (International Eating Disorder Centre) which was the last treatment centre I attended in Aylesbury. While I was being interviewed concerning my journey, where I have come from, how I used to live, how scared of life I used to be, I suddenly realised just how far I had come. It was an awesome moment. I had not appreciated just how drastically I have turned my life around. I'm here, alive, living life and loving it. Wow!
Then the local paper, the Bucks Herald, wrote an article on my journey, entitled "Long road back to health leads to a marathon run". With all this happening it has been humbling and encouraging to have so many friends and strangers telling me how I have inspired them. Some have told me that I have encouraged them so much that they have started running and many have even signed up for races. This is awe inspiring. If I can inspire so many people imagine how many people they can inspire... it's a win win situation. I remember the quote... "When somebody shares, everybody wins". And it's so true.
Make it a great week, until next week...