Last run before the Run Hackney
In this post, I will recap my taper week and also share my pre-race thoughts, which I wrote down this morning on my way to the race.
Taper week (4-9/5)
Taper week was a bit less active than I originally intended to. I did a “taper tamer” yoga video on Tuesday and I ran 8.9K with my running group on Wednesday.
As mentioned to you in yesterday’s post, getting a PB at my latest Parkrun completely messed up with my cool. There I was, on a high, starting to calculate pace and plotting race strategies. Except that after the high came the low. It’s one thing to maintain that pace for 5K, it’s another to maintain it for 21K. And upon this realisation, I became disappointed about a race that I hadn’t even ran yet.
I feel the need to do better because why race otherwise? I am now comfortable with the half-marathon distance and can go run it on my own. So why subject myself to getting up at 6 am on a Sunday to go all the way across London, run in a massive crowd while by the time the race starts, I could have run this and be back in bed. Also why subject myself to the stress of going to a race. Just now, City mapper said that I could just go and take the jubilee line. Easy. I arrived there and the station was closed for another 15 min. Sure, I can wait and still be on time. But now the next train is not for another 20 min! Great. I will have to run to the race to drop my bag on time etc. Thank you City mapper. I am in such a grumpy mood. I already want to be done.
So really, why do this? Steph told me earlier this week that it was to be part of something bigger and to have a massive party with friends. It’s one way of seeing it. At this point, I am not sure I want to run with people I know. Not sure I want to see that I cannot keep up the pace or equally be held back.
I also feel like an ungrateful cow because I have received so much support for this race! My sister and Audrey are coming to cheer, my parents have been sending me messages this morning, my friends are telling me to have fun…and I don’t seem to appreciate it.
I think that part of it is because I am facing a wall. During our run last week, Olivia mentioned that I was treating my running like a scientific experiment, trying different training strategies and seeing what works. I never thought about it but she’s not wrong. Before going back to medical school, I worked as a researcher. It was my job to optimise experiments and modify one element at the time until you find the winning combination. Working as a researcher was incredibly hard. I’d get hundreds of negative results before a having a good one, but I never gave up because by researching and brainstorming with my peers, I always managed to have more ideas to keep optimising my work. The problem arises when you have no more ideas.
Right now, I feel stuck with my training. Whatever I was doing for a couple of years gave me the same results. I’ve been trying to integrate speed- and hill-training and then more running. Same results. Now I am trying to focus on doing more strength training. Well, if that doesn’t work either, I don’t know what to change. I don’t know how to optimise my running. It’s probably this that bugs me more. And scares me too.
To be fair, from the moment I started running, L. said that I should look at sprints because of my build. He’s not an expert but perhaps he is right? Perhaps I should drop the long distance and focus on shorter ones (says the girl about to start training for her next marathon).
Anyway, Charlie recently shared this story about how are lives can be perceive as ideal and happy on social media while the truth could be very different. In fact, the picture illustrating this post was taken pre-running. That run was not a good one. I struggled so much and I couldn’t keep up with my runners, it was not a confidence booster before the race. But you couldn’t have guessed that from just looking at it. I thought it was important to share my unfiltered pre-race thoughts because I suspect that I might have a good time, and it would be too easy to just say “it’s great I got a PB” or “I don’t care about time, I just love running so much”.
Do you also filter your life for social media?