This October, Phil and I will head down to London to run (/walk/crawl) the famous Royal Parks Half Marathon. Phil has run a couple before, and even ran the London Marathon in 2014, but this is my first.
In 2015, just before my second pregnancy, I ran a 10km race to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society. It was the farthest I’d ever ran and still is to date. A rough pregnancy, breastfeeding, PND, life generally being hectic – my health and fitness has slipped a lot since then (as has Phil’s) – so this is a huge challenge for us. We are running to raise money for MAMA Academy, which is an amazing charity aiming to reduce the UK’s stillbirth rate through education for both parents-to-be, and healthcare professionals. 10% of the profits I make from my online shop are donated to them each year, and this is another way for me to raise money to help them continue their amazing work. My target is £300, so I need to start spreading the word and sharing my fundraising page a lot more.
I’ve found it really tough to fit training in, amongst 2 small kids, a full time job, 2 blogs, a shop, chores, heaven forbid the occasional hint of a social life. I’m absolutely determined to do this though, so Phil and I are stepping up our efforts. I can do 5km with relative ease, pacing myself at around 7 minutes per kilometre. To be honest, the time is far less important than the distance and with a half marathon working out at just over 4 times what I’m currently doing, there’s a lot of work required over the next couple of months!
One of my first changes is actually to do with my eating habits, which have become absolutely horrendous of late. No more skipping meals, no more additive-laden convenience rubbish, I need to eat decent, wholesome food. It’s hard when I’m out of the house for 60 hours a week because of work alone, but it’s necessary. My mum is helping me out by doing a bit of batch cooking for me, and I’ll be trying to do a couple of decent meals a week too that I can reheat for my lunch at work. I won’t keep skipping breakfast only to fill up on coffee, and late night cheese on toast followed by Haagen Dazs will be a rare treat as opposed to a poor excuse for supper.
Thanks to the light mornings and evenings, Phil and I can take turns getting the kids ready for nursery/bed while the other of us goes for a run. We’ve also now got bikes, a trailer and a bike seat for the kids, and importantly helmets for everyone, so we can get out to places like nearby Rutland Water as well as enjoying the villages on our doorstep. We could do with a trailer for the car though. I’d like to add around a kilometre a week to my running distance over the next 10 weeks, bringing me to 15km. I feel like if I can do this, there’ll be a week until the race during which I’ll take it fairly easy, and then I should be able to stagger the remaining 6km with the boost from the crowd and atmosphere on the day. She says, with a lot of hope and some trepadition!
I’d love to hear any of your tips if you’ve trained for a half marathon in a very short space of time; I’m aware of not wanting to risk injury by trying to do too much too soon, but I do need to up my game pretty sharpish! If you’ve got any words of wisdom or support then please do pop them in the comments below, or come and say hello on Facebook and Instagram.