Friday, 30 March 2012

Keep on Running. Week 6. The Final Countdown

What a week!  Where do I start?  I suppose the unseasonably good weather we have been having is an obvious one.  The weekend was fantastic!  I now have two, yes two circuits.  A short one and a long one.  The short one is for school days at lunch time and the long one is for leisure time.  My favourite one I have to admit.  Over the weekend I completed a 5.9k run in under 40 minutes on that glorious Saturday morning, bright and early, out and finished before 8am.   Definitely one of the better times to get out there and run plus a great way to start the weekend.  Sunday was great for another reason.  The sun was still as welcoming so I felt it was necessary to wear sun block.  How about that!  Sunblock in Ireland.  In March.  I left the long sleeves at home and just wore the vest.  It is definitely harder running in the heat but immensely satisfying to return home with lots of sweat patches.  I know, not very ladylike but I never claimed to be a lady.   The Screecher Creatures are even getting in on the act.  They line up and do warm ups with me before I leave the house.  But my muscles have practically cooled down again by the time I finish giving them all hugs and kisses goodbye.     I’m on the final leg now though.    One week left to 5k in The Phoenix Park and I have it on good authority that there is a hill on part of the route.  A hill!  A fekin hill!  My inner bitch and I don’t “do” hills or more to the point our legs refuse to do hills. It may only be 100 metres or so but a hill is a hill.  I will just have to focus that little bit harder, pretty much the same way I concentrate really, really hard when I see my house in the distance at the end of a training run.  I tell myself that I am 9cm dilated and to remember how that felt.  Transition is tough folks.  Tough but it also means the end is near.  I did a little tot up for myself; I will probably train twice over this weekend and on Tuesday so that makes three more runs until Good Friday.  All of this is, wait for it, wait for it…….on the advice of Ruth Field herself aka author of Run Fat B!tch Run.  Yes!!  She contacted me personally with some advice.  (Hah!  Davina.  You never did that!) Read on if you will.

 Q.  From Gwen Loughman: It is two weeks today to my first 5k race!! I am excited and nervous all at once. Can you offer me any advice on the 24 hours before the race – should I take the Thursday as a rest day and what should I eat? The race is at 1pm Good Friday. I am hoping it will be a very Good Friday indeed. Me and my inner bitch cannot wait!!!
Firstly, congratulations!  I can imagine the nerves and excitement.  You are going to be absolutely fine because I am assuming you are more than covering 5k three times a week if you have been following the programme in RFBR so this 5k race is going to be a pleasure from start to finish.  Don’t start too quickly and stick to your normal running style and speed, if you feel you have lots left in the tank towards the end, it always feels great to run the last 1 or 2ks a bit quicker, or even that last few hundred metres.  You probably don’t eat anything special before you go on your training runs and so there is no need to do so on race day, I would stick with your usual diet, although if you are feeling particularly nervous and are worried this may translate into a runny tummy then stick to very plain foods like toast. And make sure you are well hydrated from the previous day and during the morning as you don’t want to have to neck loads of water just before the race and be needing the loo during it!  I would have a huge bowl of pasta (any excuse) the night before, a relaxing bath and a really long good nights sleep.  Definitely rest on thursday and wednesday, make your last run the tuesday and push yourself to do it quicker than usual.  You are going to LOVE your first race.  Please do let me know how you get on.
The Grit Doctor says:
No need to do anything fancy for race day.  Stick to your routine and remember that nerves are good if you let the adrenalin propel you forwards.  Your inner bitch loves a hit of adrenalin.

I thought that was pretty cool!  And both Met Eireann and Ray D’Arcy claim the weather is to be overcast and cooler for next week which suits me just fine.  It ain’t easy running in the heat.  Heat coupled with unfamiliar terrain means I will need all the assistance I can get.  Let the countdown begin!

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