Is that a word? My brain is tired!

Anyway, I am having it as my title today!

My teapot was calling to me today! “Maria, why have I been stuck in the cupboard for the last few days? Maria, you have used me every day for the last 2 weeks. Are you mad at me Maria? What happened? Is it me?”

Work was super busy (blah blah I won’t bore you all!) and I had originally planned a 6 mile run after work, which for me is about an hour. But I had totally forgotten how dark it gets, and also what time I actually get home. Plus I was actually still very tired after aerobics last night. It was one of those times when I could not decided if I was too tired and really needed some tea and a sit down, or just a bit lethargic and going out would do me good. So in the end I braved the rain (it was only drizzle by the time I got out there) and decided to do a shorter run with some intervals instead of the longer steady run. I warmed up for a mile, but during the first interval my shins started hurting, so in the end I decided to slow it down to normal pace and make it a bit shorter. I want to do 3 runs a week and so if I runΒ this saturday (no reason why I won’t) then I will have done my 3. So in the end I got back after 38 mins, 3.8 miles, just as the rain got really heavy- perfect timing! My poor teapot had to stay in the cupboard though- maybe tomorrow!

I have been thinking about being flexible recently, especially with regards to goals. When I first signed up to the marathon I used a few different calculators to estimate my finish time, and they all come up at around 5 hours. But then I was listening to an old marathon talk podcast, I think it was the Edinburgh marathon, and they had people which they interviewed before they ran, and then after, to see their goal times and then how the race actually went. Quite a few people had finished slower than they would have liked- it was very hot that day. I was glad that most people were able to see the achievement of finishing, even if they did not get a PB. It is something I want to keep to the forefront of my mind, because if I finish then I want to be really proud of myself. Does that make sense? I suppose with a marathon being that much longer, there is more time to go wrong, and also if you slow down by a few seconds, over 26 miles they add up more than they would over a 10k. But I don’t want that to take over from the overall experience. I do want to challenge myself (and I have no chance of walking as I think the course has a 6 hour time limit which makes me nervous every now and then!), but I also want to enjoy the experience and not get hung up on finishing times so much. One person I heard was gutted as they wanted to get in under 4 hours and managed 4.01 or something like that- you know it is still an amazing time. Anyway, my point to this is that I am going to be flexible in my training- I don’t mean I am going to cancel half my training sessions, but I want to be sensible and listen to myself and if I am having a very busy week or are really tired then I will cut back. And I want to be flexible, even during the race- so if I am aiming for a particular time and I slow down then I am not going to get upset. Although I can actually picture myself crying as I run it- I find running really emotional- I cried as I crossed the finish line to my first half marathon, and got teary during my first 10k (it was my first “real” race, not a race for life, so I was doing it for me and only me, not to raise money or anything like that). I might need to write that on a post it note and stick it on my water bottle!

On a different note, I was given yet another box of chocolates today at work, and I popped them in my cupboard. At lunch I was rushing about, had not had lunch and was so hungry, and I was so close to opening the box (and probably eating far too many while I did my marking)- it was actually the thought of writing it on here this evening that put me off them! The box is still closed phew!

Post run was some freezer chilli and a sweet jacket potato- yum. My freezer is stocked at the mo- I did a lot of batch cooking (as much as the little freezer can take) and so in there I have some squash soup, veggie chilli, pumpkin tofu pasta and chickpea stew. I love easy meals πŸ™‚

Off for some more star gazing now- night πŸ™‚

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18 thoughts on “Flexibility”

  1. You and the chocolates, me and the biscuits calling me from the kitchen, it is taking me ALL my will power NOT to go stuff my face with them … I’m not even hungry!!! Good on you xx I like your training head you have on … go-do-conquor-be proud πŸ™‚

  2. I definitely think flexible goals can be a good thing, and it’s important to remember that sometimes! πŸ™‚
    I’m impressed that you braved 3.8 miles after all that! I think I would have succumed to the couch and the chocolates! πŸ˜›

  3. I know I need to be more flexible and overcome my all or nothing mentality. I’d be that 4:01 runner for sure in attitude, and that’s wrong. You’re definitely taking the right approach and given the stinking weather today I think you did very well with your mileage. Plus, if your body’s tired then injuries are more likely, so it’s good to compromise. I am *slowly* learning that too!

    Your teapot is gorgeous, incidentally…and don’t worry about the marathon! Running is 50% pyschology ~ maintain your positive attitude and you’ll do well in your race. I believe in you πŸ˜€

  4. Good idea to have some flexibility. You definitely dont want to end up like that one person who was crushed just because they missed their goal by a minute. By proud of whatever you do because you know you worked hard to get there!

  5. I think its different depending on the marathon, with the first one really being about completing it and any subsequent ones being about breaking time barriers – especially ‘whole hour’ ones.

    I’ve done two so far. The first took 5:31 but I was poorly prepared and it was 32c in April. I was proud of finishing but felt embarassed by my time as it was a good hour slower than first anticipated.

    The second was done off 12 weeks low key training and was ran quite cautiously but I finished in 4:26 which I felt far more comfortable with but its still far slower than race time predictors say I could do. This time I’m gunning for 3:30 though predictors say I could do 3:20 so hoping that gives me some ‘insurance’.

    I think you need some flexibility in goals and in training approach (as I’m about to blog about) but don’t let flexibility become an excuse as you could blow up during the race or be disatisfied with performance. In other words if you really shouldn’t run because of injury or illness and have missed few sessions previously then don’t feel guilty but if you could run but if you can run then make sure you do – your body will thank you for the preparation later on.

  6. Lara- that is the trouble with this time of year- too many nice treats around!
    Stylish Laura- I love getting into the fresh air- it is always much better than you think!
    Boxing Laura- I cant touch my toes either (not with straight legs haha!)- I used to do gymnastics when I was much younger, but now my legs have stiffened up!
    Emma- I think you would have gone for a run too you know!
    Jessica- I am going to make myself be positive about it- I know what you mean about it being mental as well as physical.
    Rob – wow your second marathon was so much faster! I know what you mean about it becoming an excuse, and I hope that doesnt happen to me! I want to be prepared physically as that will help me mentally in that I will know that I have done as much as I can and so therefore should be able to finish.
    Mary- thanks- that is my aim!

  7. Laura – I think that you and I are having the same worries now that it is **THIS** year…

    I gave myself a good talking to along the very same lines as yours and decided that the only reason I entered the marathon was that I enjoyed running and if my training takes the enjoyment away then there is no point doing any of it!

    On the subject of finish time goals…. we were discussing this on our LSR on Sunday and 1 chap was explaining to me about how there are lots of theories about how (if you are a slow runner like us) you can actually get better times but doing a run walk strategy and giving yourself time to recover regularly. He said he’d tried lots of different computations of this and they all still came out at around the 5 hr mark (a time that I would LOVE to get!) Apparently the average person walks at around 4mph so 1 min of fast walking every 10 mins or so wouldn’t make an awful lot of difference to overall time if it enables you to sustain your planned marathon pace for longer…. all that is very garbled but I hope you know what I mean! More investigation necessary I think!!!


    1. Yeah I have read about the run walk theory- Jeff Galloway’s website has a lot of info. It is something I will consider in my longer runs, although I think I would average 3mph when walking after running for a while! It is something I will try anyway as my main aim is to get around, I am not worried if I have to walk part of it. πŸ™‚

  8. I’m such an idiot – I was wondering why people would want peanut butter in a marathon, then realised it meant personal best…!
    Hee hee and I’ve only just realised but WordPress had marked your comments as spam on my blog – I wasn’t ignoring you πŸ™‚

    1. Aw thanks wonder why that was!
      Ah PB in a marathon sounds good- well, right after you finish it would be anyway! Running lingo is the only one I can do- I never used text speak or all the internet abbreviations! πŸ™‚

  9. Lol at your first para! πŸ˜€

    This is a thorny issue for me.. I can speak to it with personal experience though! In some ways I was disappointed with myself coming in slower than I’d planned. I paced myself way too fast for the first half (~4:25, when I was going for 4:45), and I suffered for that in the second half. However, I was also in a LOT of pain from mile 18 onwards. And at that point my goal drastically revised itself from 4:45 to simply getting across the finish line. At the time, I was honestly SO proud of myself for that. I’d never come up against my physical limitations that hard before, and to have kept going through that gave me a lot of confidence in myself. So I guess I did have some flexibility. But in the longer term, I’m still annoyed with myself that I didn’t pace better, and meet my original goal.

    I don’t know what the moral of that story is. Training for a particular time is kind of necessary, so you know how to pace your runs. But then you get fixated on that time.. Remember though that even if this one doesn’t go to plan, you can do another πŸ™‚

    1. (Glad you see the funny side too!)
      Exactly- it is hard to get across and clearly I need to aim for a realistic time, like you say so I can pace myself and also do as well as possible. But at the same time if something happens during the race, if there are loads of hills or it is really hot then I want to be in the frame of mind to be able to change my goals and still be happy- you did that with finishing even though you were in a lot of pain. πŸ™‚

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