Follow by Email

Saturday, April 2, 2016

9 Towards Nice

I am behind on my blogging for a variety of reasons so I'm going to try to do some retro posting! March 17 and 24 were BIG training runs for the half marathon which is now at the end of THIS month! Both days clocked 9 mile runs and were challenging and beautiful. Fortunately the weather cooperated for both and we had sunny skies and moderate temperatures. I have come to fully embrace the beginning runner's mantra: Start slow, finish strong! Pace is everything and it really is.
The first of the 9 mile runs was a gorgeous run that took us through Hyde Park, across the beautiful Chelsea bridge that spans the Thames, through Battersea Park, back across the Thames via the Albert Bridge, along the river, up to Parliament and Big Ben, Westminster Abbey,finishing up in Green Park. What a thrill to come up that last bit in Green Park to be met by the faster group who were there waiting for us, cheering us on. While it looks like I'm doing jazz hands in this photo, I'm really holding up 9 fingers! This group of women has inspired me so much. I am so thankful.
The next week was the much talked about run to Canary Wharf. Canary Wharf is a large banking district that is a relatively new development in London. The day before the big run there, Doug and I took the tube to meet someone for lunch down there. When we got off the tube ride, which took about 40 minutes, I looked at Doug and said, "I am running here tomorrow." He replied, "You are insane." I kind of felt the same way!
But I knew I could do it given the success of the previous week so I settled into my pace group and chugged along. We ran along the canal for most of the run, which is OK but crowded with other runners and cyclists. We had an incident with one cyclist who felt she owned the route and instead of slowing down when the path narrowed she kept up her speed, clipped one of the runners and almost ran straight into me. Fortunately I was able to get my hands out in front of me and give her a good push and some stern words before carrying on. The pathway clearly states that pedestrians have the right of way. You do not want to mess with the women's running crowd!
Again, it was the most incredible feeling when the large high rise banking buildings came into sight. We're going to make it! And on the last leg, the faster runners were there, cheering us on, giving us the last boost of energy we needed to complete the run.
One of the women had a birthday that day so we celebrated. There's a good place to get breakfast burritos at the end point, so we ate those! All in all, it was a good celebratory run. Everyone says that once you've completed 9, 13.1 is not much harder. We'll see. I have two more long training runs before the half. The last one is in two weeks. 11 miles to Kew Gardens.
In the mean time, I finally saw a physio-therapist who confirmed what I suspected. I do have an issue with my sciatic nerve which is causing the numbness/burning sensation in my right foot. He worked me over pretty good and I was sore but I can also see that ultimately his torture techniques will help to loosen me up so that I will run with greater ease. I did fall into bed at 8.45 that night.
Still smiling after the 9 mile run.
I really can't believe that 3 weeks from today I will be running a half marathon! I'm actually pretty excited about it now even though every run is still hard and makes me wonder if I can really do it. The encouragement from my peeps however is really what keeps me going. There's joy in the pack for sure.