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>4 weeks to go – not quite there yet

>It’s been a so-so running week. Stepback week which is always a bit of a relief but somehow is also a very slow week, running-wise. None of last week’s running speed I’m afraid. I only managed 10 out of the 12 I intended on Thursday, I made up the 2 I missed yesterday (nice and short run that was!). Plodded around to do 8 today. Next week is my last big week – I’m intending to my last 20 miler on Friday so we’ll see if the juice returns to the box before then.

I seem really low on energy at the moment and I think it’s due to the following:
– very very busy rest of life where I’m only hanging on by the skin of my teeth. Hard to keep that from encroaching on the running;
– not enough sleep – I’m going to bed too late;
– not enough focus on eating for running – again, I’m just eating here and there and I need to really fuel up.

The one thing about slow runs is that it gives you a chance to think (and then some) so I’ve figured the above out yesterday and today (all by myself, yes) and I’m doing something about it. Can’t do too much about busy-ness but can continue to ruthlessly prioritise running for the next 4 weeks (that sounds SO hardcore no?). I can go to bed earlier. And I can eat better. Which I have, in fact, been doing since I realised this might be a factor.

I’ve also purchased my racing treads – drumroll! – no no excitement at all – same old Saucony Hurricanes I had before. I love them, they work, I’m not injured – ’nuff said. They’re a bit cleaner than the old (new 4 months ago) pair and
there’s a bit more bounce there as well – I don’t suppose I really really needed new shoes yet but I’ve always had a new pair before the race (well worn-in but still new-ish) so I guess it’s all part of the race juju. The chocolate sports gels work well – they’re no more disgusting than regular chocolate which is great – I’m keeping them down and they help. So I’m almost there kit-wise.

Otherwise the weather is cooling down – after that horrendous early summer we’ve had an exceptionally dry September with an amazing Indian summer which has been good, if a bit warm, for running. However, nothing can change the fact the Northern hemisphere is tilting away from the sun so I thought I’d share with you what I look like on my 6am runs.. Now imagine being the only light in the darkness, running through the woods – yes I get completely freaked out! The light picks up the eyes of all sorts of little critters which then scuttle away – aaarggh. I yelp quite a lot when out running in the dark. Thank goodness my puppy comes out with me on my morning runs – he can protect me against all the woodland monsters..

So wish me luck and energy this week as I tackle my last big week’s training before the marathon. I’m feeling kind of funny about it – like I haven’t focused on it enough – but the last few weeks should deal with that. Keep running and keep letting me know how it’s going. Oh – and I’m still getting WHIPPED by Charles on my Nike+ challenge..

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11 thoughts on “>4 weeks to go – not quite there yet

  1. >Petra, be careful in the dark. I try to avoid it as much as I can because it also freaks me out. In regards the gels I’ve found the GU Expresso x2 caffeine delicious!!! I enjoy having them and I take them every 45′. I am not sure if they are the reason to keep me alive during the long runs, but I am not going to try to figure it out.I am 9 weeks away… I will follow closely your countdown of 4 weeks…Keep Running!!!

  2. >Time is counting down! Are you getting excited? Obviously!I think that we all begin to examine the race factors as we approach an event. I ran a long run yesterday and I kept thinking about whether my training is working. Especially since I went out Saturday evening and ate most of the wrong foods! I know better and it was reflected in my Sunday run.I still don’t run in the dark, but it seems as though you are prepared for any eventuality. Puppys, lights and noise do tend to drive the back woods fuzzies away from the source.Keep it up! You got the drive to get it done!

  3. >4 weeks! 4 weeks! I am so excited for you. With the time difference (I’ll be on the left coast – will it be 9 hours?) your day will be winding down when I start running. It sounds like you’re already ready!You rock!

  4. >I just tried my first chocolate energy gel while at swim camp and LOVED it! I’m usually a fruity flavor gel person and have given away chocolate gels if I got them at a race or something. No more!Running in dark woods sounds scary to me though, mostly because I have weak ankles and always need to see where I’m stepping. Please be careful and good luck with your week!

  5. >Petra I hear what you are saying and I agree. Sleep and diet seem to play a huge role for me in my running. I am one week behind you for my race – so I am also looking to what I can do to fine tune in the ending weeks. I am working some speed in my shorter runs and beginning this week (since I am returning from what I hope is my last trip before the race) I intend to work the diet and rest issues….we shall see.I use Chocolate Cliff and they work great for me! 🙂

  6. >Petra – been lurking for awhile. I enjoy your approach to your training and find it refreshing.I was interested to know what your next “ultra” race will be? This fall has some awesome upcoming trail ultras.Thanks.ChristianRun 50 Miles

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