Fitness · Running · Thoughts · Uncategorized

The Marathon is not on Race Day

The marathon is…

 300+ miles over 5 months of training runs, dedicating time 4-5 days a week to running, long runs that get longer every week, adjusting your diet, testing race nutrition, testing kit, hydrating, running hills, speed training, adjusting your pace, driving routes to make water drops the night before a long run, muscle cramps, tightness, niggles, injuries, foam rolling and sports massages.  

…race day is just the finish line

The marathon is the mental battle…

I can’t do this!  I can’t even run a 2 hour half marathon!  I’m too slow!  I’m not even a real runner!  I can’t do it! Why am I struggling on a 4 mile run when I managed 15 miles just 2 days ago? I’m at the back of the group again! I’m done in! The injured runners are passing me! I can’t do it! The older people are faster than me! I can’t do this! I can’t look at that 20 miles on my programme it scares me!  26.2 miles is a really long way! Why did I sign up for this! I’ve missed a training run I’m never going to do it! I’m too tired to run today!

…and overcoming it when you run 20 miles with energy left in you to continue and your head is finally screaming YES, YES, YES YOU CAN DO IT!

The marathon is watching your body change..

I have lost some upper body strength, the definition in my arms gone and my abs are hidden under a layer of fat, my tummy is more round thanks to ALL the carbs and from me being extremely nieve thinking I could eat everything in sight because I’d be running it off later.  My thighs are bigger, my legs are stronger.  I have ugly dead skin on my feet from blisters on blisters, all ten have survived but my toenails are cut to a millimetre of life, I have marks from chafing in VERY delicate areas,  there’s a white band on my wrist where my Garmin sits. My face has taken a beaten from the ever changing weather and I have aches and pains to rival my 90 year old neighbour.

…but loving it more than you ever have because you’ve watched it do amazing things week after week.

The marathon is running in Scottish weather…

It’s true in Scotland we see all four seasons in a day whatever the season but training from November to May means running in the dark, in snow, on ice, against head wind, tail wind and blow you of the kerb wind, rain in all directions and most recently the sunshine.  You’ll have suffered overdressing and stripping layers mid run or under dressing and coming home blue and shivering.

….I think our finishers T-shirts should read I TRAINED THROUGH STORM DORIS. 

The marathon is dealing with the pains and niggles..

I was no exception to this, I didn’t lose toenails, suffer shin splints or even migraines like some of my run buddies did but I had my fair share of pains.  There was an issue with my foot that I feared was a metatarsal stress fracture which randomly disappeared.  Followed by trouble with the IT band at my left knee, I’ve had it before but never as painful as I felt on the last mile of our 17 mile long run thanks to an almighty steep decline from the Ochil Hills.  I could barely walk that last mile and it threw me out for my 18 mile run.  I thought then it was game over for me.  I was already slow but to miss a week or so of training so near the end would definitely ruin my marathon. 

…and realising that you are pushing your body further than you ever have of course it’s going to complain.

The marathon is accepting what you can’t control…

The dodgy knee/IT band did not mean I was out but I do have to run slower than I would have liked this means any time goal I had was quite simply disregarded and my goal became crossing the finish line.  I found this hard to accept as my running group are still all aiming for the same time goal we set at the beginning of training.

The weather, well we can barely even predict the weather here and unfortunately it can have a huge impact on how your race goes.  I’ve had to abandon many a training run because I’m soaked to the skin or it wasn’t sunny when I left but now my shoulders are burning.  It’s a case of dealing with what elements are thrown at you on the day.

Some runs are good and some runs are bad, I myself am pretty inconsistent and can’t ever pinpoint what causes a bad run, unfortunately sometimes even race day just isn’t a good run day.

…you’ve just got to go with the flow.

The marathon is ignoring the doubters and not comparing…

I know a lot of good runners who are not running the marathon, some of whom are judging people that are running the marathon… For being bucket listers and not real runners, questioning why we would bother to do it if we know we won’t get a good time, not training sufficiently blah, blah, blah.  I’m a bucket lister because I’ve learned through training that this distance is probably not for me.  For this race I’m also a charity runner.  I won’t get what a runner considers a ‘good time’ and I’m ok with that.  I’m running in a race but I’m not racing there’s a difference.  I compete with myself and no-one else.  I run with a group of girls who can all run faster than I can and I wish them nothing but the best and can’t wait to see how well they do and I know they all wish the same for me.

…26.2 miles is an achievement regardless of how long it takes. 

Good Luck if you are running this weekend.  

I have scheduled this post to publish as I cross the start line (…except I actually forgot to publish it…) So you can read it while I’m pounding the tarmac around Stirlingshire with Liz McGolgan and Zola Budd…well they’ll be pretty far in front of me, ha! 

My goals for my first (and last) marathon…

A. Sub 4hrs 30 minutes 😂 the knee claimed that one.  A(2) Cross the finish line, hopefully sub 5hr but not putting pressure on myself.

B. Do not die, poo or pee myself.

C. Enjoy the atmosphere, maybe take a selfie or two.

D. Smile for race photos and not be ugly crying in my finishers photo.

Ahhhhhhhhh it’s RACE DAY! 

Thanks for reading 😊

Have a great day❤️

Angela xo


RUNNING out of time! Sunday Run Down #10 & #11

After week 9 of training and the 17 miles of hills that almost killed me left me with IT band pain at my knee, I decided NO running was the best option, so I rested ALL WEEK with the exception of 45 minutes boxing on Tuesday, then decided I’d go for the 18 miles long run on the Saturday with the run group. What? Why? Why would I think that’s a good idea?

Long story short :  I lasted only 4 miles before I gave in and walked back.  I wasn’t in a lot of pain just a dull ache, but I was really slow and two of the girls in the group kept waiting for me.  My retirement from the run was 50% because I felt bad that they kept having to wait for me and 50% because I was scared to push it with the knee.  I was gutted,  but the walk back after 4 short miles was quite painful, excruciating going downhill, so I’m sure if I’d kept going it would have been detrimental to my training.  I think I cried on that walk back!!!  I was SO proud when the group posted a photo on Facebook on completion of the 18 miler but I was devastated that I wasn’t in the photo.

The rest of my day involved ice, stretching and foam rolling.  UGH!

I could not face another week of rest and now have total paranoia about my glutes being inactive… When I had my sports massage, Caroline said my glute wasn’t firing when it should be.  I also read online that weak glutes can cause IT band issues…  I sit all day at work and have been working late a lot of nights recently, I know my flat butt is an issue.  FYI – Desk jobs kill you slowly.


My knee felt ok, uncomfortable on stairs but apart from that it was fine.  I headed to the gym with my sister and I decided to work mostly on my butt and a little upper body.  My knee felt great doing all the exercises, I was tempted to jump on the treadmill but I thought I better not push my luck.


I went to Fee’s bootcamp class with my work/gym buddy – she’s been slacking without me.  It was tough.  I have lost so much strength in my arms and core, my legs feel a lot stronger but everywhere else I felt weaker and I was still conscious of my dead butt and forcing deeper squats but I really enjoyed a tough workout, I’ve been missing them and my knee was great.


I was worried my knee would hurt after Tuesdays bootcamp but it was fine, even on stairs!  My butt hurt though, I guess that means it was actually firing!!  I went back to Fee’s bootcamp.  We did squats, skipping, box jumps, lunges, all sorts of leg work, my knee was great then I tried to do sprints, literally about 40m and I didn’t actually sprint it was more a jog…. Hello knee pain.  This is so frustrating!


My car broke so I had to walk to work from Kevin’s workshop, which is not even half a mile, my knee hurt the whole way. Argh! I’m not sure if the sprints in class aggravated it or if it was just the walking but I felt an ache all day!!  Also I sat all day at work then 2.5 hours at the hairdresser so my ass is dead again!  I don’t know whether to do bootcamp, rest or try a short run tomorrow and I don’t know whether to attempt the long run (12/13 miles) on Saturday again.  I don’t want to fall behind on my training with so little time left but I don’t want to completely screw it up either?! Maybe I should just take ibuprofen and push through it (I haven’t taken any because I wanted to see how it really felt!) Arrrgh I don’t know?!!!!


The knee was not as sore as Thursday just a dull ache (letting me know it was still there!!)w orse going downstairs.  I did Yoga with Adrienne at home then went back and forward in my head on whether to join the group on Saturday for 13 miles! Am I being crazy? No running all week again and expecting to do a long run?!? Finally I decided I could start off with them and see how it goes and turn back again if need be.

I was in bed watching The Accountant (if you haven’t seen it check it out!) when one of the girls from the group posted in the running group Facebook page, saying she and 2 of the other girls were doing a 13 miler without the group in the morning, slower and flatter due to injury/niggles… sounded perfect to me so I replied saying I’d join them.


I met with the girls at 9am.  We stood and had a chat whilst doing some warm up stretches, they all seemed to agree that the group had become too fast and Mandy who leads our group was concentrating more on the fast runners, who we think should be running with the faster group…our group is supposed to be for beginners!  Anyway without rambling too much the run was AMAZING, relaxed pace, no worries about time, no faster runners running away ahead, we ran together, chatting and the sun was shining! I felt a dull ache from about 4-5 miles but at 6.5 we stopped for to admire some new lambs (and take a photo) before heading back.  I felt a sharp pain a few times on the return run, mostly when stopping to cross roads, the ache got more intense towards the end of the run but we just slowed down the pace and it was all good.  13 miles DONE!

Can anyone give me tips on how to not look so much like a 12 year old boy when I’m running.. I’d be forever grateful!

I was SO happy to complete it and being such an enjoyable run it was such a confidence boost for me!  My knee hurt a little after but not like it had the last two weeks and by evening it was almost pain free (downstairs still hurt).


Rest. My knee feels the best it has in weeks today, still niggles going downstairs.  The IT band issue is still there but feels SO much better!! I am looking forward to this week training again 🙂  Week 12 should include my second sports massage and hopefully, fingers crossed, please, please, please… my first 20 miler!!!!!!


Total Miles week 10 : 4

Total miles week 11 : 13

Total hours spend crying that I can’t run: LOTS!



Thanks for reading☺️

Have a great day❤

Angela xo