Friday, September 13, 2013

Thirty Days! The Countdown's Started

I just received an email telling me that there's only a month till marathon day.

What?!! How did that sneak up so quickly? I'm not ready yet.

But luckily I don't have to be ready yet. I've got another 30 days before I really have to be ready. 30 more days to get those last two 37k runs ticked off. 30 days to practice my in-race nutrition. 30 days to finalise my wardrobe options. 30 days to work out the best way to chafe-proof myself. 30 days to get my head in the right space.

Getting my head in the right space is probably the hardest part of this exercise. There's just too many thoughts that are going on in there and not all of them are positive. The most insistent one is the one that keeps reminding me about how my body's let me down in the past when I've pushed too hard. And that's the one that freaks me out when I get a bit tired. But the rational voice in my head (the quieter one that can hardly be heard with all the shouting that the freaked-out voice does) keeps reminding me that you're actually supposed to be feeling tired towards the end of marathon training and if you're not then you're probably not putting in enough kilometres.

Thursday morning the freaked-out voice convinced me to turn my alarm off and miss the scheduled 16k run so I could be rested for the big run on Saturday. Then it made me feel guilty all day telling me that I'd really suffer on the marathon because I'd skipped the run. Man that voice is fickle!

The rational voice kept telling me that one missed run wouldn't matter in the scheme of things and if I wasn't too tired at the end of the day I could go for a shorter run then. And amazingly I listened to that rational voice and went for an 8k run which turned into an 11k.

And I'm really glad that I went because I learned some really interesting things on that run. Running in the late afternoon is way more dangerous than running first thing in the morning. I almost got wiped out three times on the run - by a bike that was coming around a blind corner on the wrong side of the footpath, by a dog-walking woman who wasn't looking where she was going and by a computer-wielding student who was checking his emails or updating his Facebook status while he was walking along.

The other thing I learnt was if you bake cookies before you run your hands may still smell of the cookie dough when you wipe the sweat from under your nose and that smell is as effective in improving performance as taking a gel. Or maybe the reminder that there were fresh cookies cooling on the bench in my kitchen was the real performance-enhancer.

Cookie dough with the lot - white chocolate, dark chocolate, peanut M&Ms, peanuts and raspberry lollies.

I've had some really nice distractions this week to help me from obsessing about Melbourne too much. The first was a surprise text from a friend who was going to be in Brisbane and would I like to catch up? Absolutely!

And the second was from a blogger that I know only virtually who also was going to be in Brisbane and would I like to meet for a coffee? Years ago I would have been too shy and uncomfortable and would have made some excuse as to why I couldn't. I'm not sure if it's because of running or blogging or just because I'm older and grown out of a lot of the shyness (finally) but I said yes.

It's funny how you can meet with someone for the first time and feel like they're an old friend. How you can know you're going to get along even before you've set eyes on them. And that's how it was with Deb. We had a great couple of hours chatting. And I'm really hoping that no one overheard some of the TMI stories - cause that's what we over-sharers like to talk most about.

I obviously need a little more practice in the art of taking selfies.

So really the best way that I'm going to get through the next thirty days is by taking it one run at a time, distracting myself by catching up with friends and by baking lots of cookies.


  1. I hear your freaked out voice...she's in my head too, that jerk! I'm ignoring her but training isnt stellar so she may have a point....

  2. Don't worry we all have that little voice: Yes I can run a marathon almost any weekend, but in November I will see if I can train hard and run fast (that scares me) and then I know I will be sleeping in as I feel a rest morning will be OK, but then as the day unfolds I will be thinking of ways to make up those missed KM...

    OH, and yes the smell of cookie dough would help as much as a gel, but that is a long scientific thing that I don't really understand...

  3. Hang in there!!! After the mental rigour of marathon training, an actual marathon is NOTHING.

    I wonder if one of your cookies (actual cookie, not just the fragrance) would be a good substitute for a gel... please sign me up for that experiment.

  4. Thirty Days ... you've enough time. You can choose the wardrobe, run the last two 37k runs and, first of all, get your head in the right direction.
    Have a beautiful weekend and Enjoy your cupcakes :)

    Post script: I don't understand the meaning of "chafe-proof": could you write a synonymous. Sorry for that. Thanks in advance.

    1. Chafe-proof means finding a way to stop chafing (usually happens between my legs and under my bra strap) from happening. I'm experimenting with two products at the moment.

  5. You are going to be ready - physically and mentally!!! 30 days is going to include a lot of baking!!! I wish I had some of that cookie dough that you pictured - no need to even bake it for me!!

  6. Marathons have a way of sneaking up, don't they? How fun you had a blogger meetup! Glad you weren't too shy. Good practice for when I ever get my carcass down there. Ha!

  7. How fun to meet up with Deb, and to have a friend stop by as well. I'd say those are perfect distractions. I would need them if I had that bowl of cookie dough looking at me!

  8. I have been so out of the loop! How exciting to come back and see you are training for a marathon! Woo hoo! I've missed your posts, so I'm glad to see you are doing well, Char :)

  9. How cool you and Deb got to meet up!'ve got this, Char, we all have faith in you. And cookie dough would be a great new flavor for sports gels, wouldn't it?

  10. You are so ready! You've trained hard. In 30 days you will conquer this marathon!!

  11. Running really is a mental exercise too! I can really relate to the difference voices in your head...

  12. I love reading your posts! I have such little time these days. You are so funny!Good luck on your training & up coming marathon! I love the expression that your biggest competitor is between your ears! Silence it with positive thoughts! You will be great!

  13. Oh boy,, the countdown begins 8)

    Well, you should be confident you've got a lot of 'hay-in-the-barn' already as they say. Another 30 days will seal the deal.

    BUT the big question:

    what's going to be your target pace and why?
    what splits?
    (assuming cool weather)

    You have a big gap between your recent HM (1:47) and your current marathon PR....Clearly assuming things go well re:stomach and from the neck up you have more potential.

    So any thoughts there?

  14. I have a hard time thinking of you as shy! And you will be so ready for that marathon!

  15. I have that freaked out voice too. Lately it's screaming to loud so I don't hear the rational voice in my head :)

    I think you are ready!

    How fun that you met a blogger friend! Great what the internet can do for new friendships.

  16. So glad you met your bloggie friend. And what is the recipe for that bowl food of goodness? It looks amazing!!

  17. Oh, it's me!!! (I'm only a week behind in my blog reading!!!).

    Thanks for the shout-out. It was lovely to meet and felt like I'd known you for ever!

    I will telling another marathoner I met last weekend about you and I'll share your blog details with her as I think she'd appreciate knowing about your training routine!



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