Royal Parks Half Marathon Training: Week 12 Dealing with anxiety and focusing on the positives!

Week 12 marks the week I finally started to feel ready for race day and it has been a massive confidence boost. All the things I have been trying over the last few weeks to banish the leg pain seem to be coming together and so far so good it seems to be on the up.

I received my race number and t-shirt from the Royal Parks and was so excited but at the same time a complete nervous wreck. My whole body was shaking at the thought that in 3 weeks I would finally be running the half marathon I have been working hard for.

The excitement didn’t last for long as there was yet another terrible terrorist attack in London and the reminder of how vulnerable we all are. We wouldn’t be normal if we didn’t all have a little bit of fear about the very thought of traveling to London and being near some very iconic landmarks!!!!

We won’t let it spoil our weekend though. We have planned to make a lovely weekend of it showing the girls the sights and the spirit of London and all that live and visit there.

You can view my vlog here… 

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Monday 3.1 miles 31:22 minutes 10:02/mile

Last week after having some issues with my apple watch and strava I decided to see if I could upload a run from my very old garmin watch. It was a success but it doesn’t have bluetooth so I have to do it manually via my laptop.

Today was an extra run planned as I hadn’t been able to do my long run on last week. I wanted to test the waters with my troublesome leg. I wore tape on it which seemed to help a little.

It was the first run in a few weeks where I had run on my own and managed to not stop at any point. Mentally I felt better because physically I felt better than I had in weeks. By the end of the run my calves had started to hurt. I managed to keep motivated by focusing on landmarks and telling myself get to there then reassess. It got me home.

By the evening my leg had begun to hurt again. Like an elastic band about to snap. I applied an ice pack to it and did all my stretching and rolling.

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Tuesday 4 miles 42:28 minutes 10:31/mile

A run with the Loves Farm runners doing some fartlek training. Something I haven’t been able to do due to my legs and mental ability to even run a decent run.

We ran to a lamppost and then a recovery run to the next, then increased the next fast run to 2 lampposts and a recovery run to the next… then the same to 3 lampposts and back down to 1 to repeat the circuits.

I was amazed how comfortable I felt. It was hard obviously but it was supposed to be. After 3 miles we were all feeling the effort drop so we ran an easy 1 mile back to cool down.

I really enjoyed running with other people. Its so distracting from what you are doing and not only that the distraction of needing to focus on the next post all made for a run that mentally felt effortless.

I tried my calf sleeves out for the first time and kept them on until bedtime to see if it helped them recover.

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Wednesday 4 miles 39:28 minutes 9:51/mile

It was supposed to be a rest day but my friend asked if I wanted to go for a run together and she was unable to run on the Thursday.

I took her up on the offer as I knew it would be more fun and my legs were feeling fine.

The first mile was tough but round here it always is as I always need to start on a hill… although I am fully aware its not a hill like some places but for us its a hill!

Soon settled into the run and it was another pain free run wearing the compression sleeves.

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Saturday 3.1 miles 27:50 minutes 8:52/mile

Park run day! I went to bed on the Friday night full of worry and anxiety and Saturday morning was no better. I decided to do the Park run no matter what as I knew it would help being surrounded but lots of people and not out on my own.

A little sad that Ellie wouldn’t come with me but I went and got it done. Mouth really dry, nausea and racing heart taking control but I managed to pull it back and earphones in I just ran.

It wasn’t particularly fast but fast enough under the circumstances for me to feel happy I had just finished the run.

My garmin annoyingly did not reflect this as it decided to not track all of my run. I can only assume it was under the trees and had lost signal. I have since entered the run manually based on my park run results email and the actual distance.

I returned home had a really good cry… pulled myself together and moved on from how I had been feeling.

Anxiety is horrible and I haven’t felt like that for several months but my only blessing now is that I know how to pull myself out of it and focus on being positive and surrounding myself with positive things. Chris and the girls really help me with this and Chris is the most amazing hugger and listener a girl could wish for. He doesn’t judge me or make me feel as though I am being silly he just lets me get it all out in the open. Everyone needs that someone they feel comfortable to do that with. I feel lucky yo have him!

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Sunday 11 miles 1:50:29 10:02/mile

So today was supposed to be a 10 mile plan but I went with a friend and she was hoping to do 11 miles so we decided to run my route and see how we felt.

I was trying out some Tailwind for the first time and wanted to test out breakfast and timings ready for the race in 3 weeks.

I had half my usual portion of porridge with a banana and some peanut butter. I will be staying in a hotel the eve before so plan to take a porridge pot or find somewhere selling them and pip n nut do perfect portion sachets. I had it 2 hrs before the run. I then had half the sachet of tailwind with a pint of water over an hour and the rest in a water bottle that I took on the run and sipped as needed.

It worked so well. I didn’t feel like I was flaking or tired at any point. Obviously it was tough still but I felt better than I had when I didn’t use anything. Legs felt good. A little achy but nothing unexpected.

We didn’t overly push it and for the majority of the run we were under 10min/mile but the hills and a photoshoot on route made the run overall a little slower.

The perfect training run really as I finished feeling confident I was ready for race day. I really enjoy having company too as I find it mentally easier to keep on going.

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Total mileage

25.2 miles. A very near 24.9 miles thanks to my watch on saturday but I decided to delete the run that had uploaded and input it manually… there was no way I was going to finish the week on 24.9!!!!!

Week 13 Training

Tuesday: Loves farm runners

Wednesday: 4.5 miles (tempo)

Friday: Strength training. I think it has helped that I have restarted this as my legs do not seem to be feeling the ache during my runs.

Saturday: Park Run

Sunday: A 3k fun run with the girls followed by a 10k top up run

Focus for the Week ahead

Allowing my legs to start getting some rest. The miles will be decreased slightly and my focus will be on diet and general fitness.

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Here is to positive thinking, positive vibes and surrounding yourself with people that bring the best out of you.

Jaimee x

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