I never ended up posting training recaps for weeks 15 and 16.  They both were fine, but I was so busy getting ready to move to Cardiff (that will be another post entirely) that it just had to be skipped.

In all honesty, I was really quite stressed about the half, as it meant I was losing a long weekend at home packing, sorting and cleaning.  I seriously considered not going, but I’d already made all the arrangements.  I flew down on Friday, so I had plenty of time to rest and get acclimated, if resting means getting 27k steps the day before a half.

I was up early on Sunday morning, and made my way as early as possible to Starbucks first thing.  I had a flat white and muffin (a pre-run meal I know is ok for my stomach) and headed to Hyde Park via the Tube. I’d been a bit worried about finding my way (I went to Hyde Park on Saturday to get an idea of where I needed to be) but there were plenty of runners to chat to and follow to the park.

I stood in the queues for the portaloos twice (why are these queues always so long?) and made my way to the maroon corral.  There was a lot of standing around, and we didn’t cross the start until 38 minutes after the first wave.  By then I really needed a wee, but it was too late, and I focused on trying to keep a steady pace.  I managed to do so for the first 8 miles or so.

The first half of the race you are treated to the lovely sights of London, including Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square, Big Ben in the distance.  This was great and I felt strong, although my quads were a bit achy.  I took some pictures (most of them are on Instagram).  It’s really hard to run and grab a photo!

When I finally hit the halfway point, I was thrilled and I took a picture!

🎉

A post shared by Cindy Corliss (@cindy_c75) on

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last half was a bit slower, and I definitely was feeling it in my legs, especially my knees.  If anything, this race has really made it very apparent I need to get the remainder of the weight off, do prehab work, and reincorporate strength training if I want to be a better and faster runner.

I also found the last half a bit boring.  You run through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, but that’s an awful lot of trees to look at (and not many of them in full autumn splendour yet!).  Somewhere, around mile 11 or so, something brushed past me (it was quite crowded on the course at that point, so I ignored it, but then realised I’d been passed by someone wearing a dinosaur costume.

I pushed on, and as soon as I saw that there was only 400 metres left, I gave it everything I had left.

I finished in 2:44:11, which is like an hour slower than every other race recap I’ve read.  While it’s a 21 minute PR over last year’s half, and a full half hour faster than my first, this time is pretty shit for someone who has been running for over 10 years.  I hadn’t yet shared my time with social media, because I feel a lot of shame over my time.  I know I could have done better if I hadn’t spent the past year spinning my wheels over losing the remainder of the weight I have to lose, so it’s no one’s fault but my own.  Hopefully, next year, I will have a better time to share.  I’d be happy with between 2:15 and 2:30, as age certainly is going to begin to be a factor.  😂

I forgot to have someone take a picture for me at the finish (I was alone for this trip) so this selfie will have to suffice.

I stood in the queue for the goodies, which, IMHO, sucked.  There was nothing I liked or wanted so, I made my way to the merchandise tent as I wanted a hoodie.  From there, I got the Tube back to the hotel (after a bit of stressing over the Tube being temporarily shut).

I would definitely run this race again (mostly flat, no hill to start like in Glasgow) and the weather was perfect, as you can see from my sunburnt and salty face! Hopefully, my next half will have another massive PR!

Please don’t forget that I’m still raising money for Switchboard!  You can donate here!

 

What a week!  So much has happened since I’ve last posted.  I had one terrible job interview, and one great one where I was offered the job almost immediately.  This means a lot of change here at Running for Clarity, but not until after the half, thank Rasillon.

So last week, some runs were cut short due to being exhausted/drained/travel.  I’m ok with it.  I’ve put the mileage in for 14 weeks and it’s slow taper time.  I feel good, strong and healthy.  I’m ready for 8 October.

Monday’s run: 4.5 miles done.  I felt good.

Wednesday’s run: 3 miles on the treadmill.  I was tired and stressed and needed to pack for Cardiff, so I ran 3 miles and called it a day.

Thursday’s run: 2 miles on the hotel treadmill.  At this point I’d been up since half 5, taken a train for 5+ hours, and walked around Cardiff for several hours.  I was lucky I got 2 miles done!  I had a nice long soak in the hotel hot tub after.

Saturday’s run: 8 miles.  I felt really good for most of this run, although it got really humid halfway in.


 

Most importantly, I’m raising money for Switchboard as part of fundraising for the Royal Parks Half.

Switchboard have been working to support and lend an ear to vulnerable LGBT+ young people since before I was born.  Young people that may not have anyone else to turn to in their lives due to homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, bullying and cyberbullying, and any other issues that occur in their lives.

For those of you that don’t know (and where have you been?) I recently completed my doctoral thesis on cyberbullying and the reasons why young people might engage in such behaviours and how educators in this age are NOT always able or willing to understand these behaviours and actions or have the desire to get involved.

This makes charities like Switchboard all the more important for young people who need someone in their corner, especially if they feel they are all alone.  I feel very strongly about this, and if I could volunteer with them, I would be doing so in an instant. This is why in the last fundraiser we had, I put my money where my mouth is, and matched the final donation total.

In the end, I’m trying to raise awareness and money to allow them to continue to do the important work they are engaged in.

For more information on the fundraiser: https://markgatissbirthdayproject.tumblr.com/

To donate: Visit the fundraising page.

It’s been pretty busy around here lately and I haven’t had time time (or energy tbh) to blog.  Last week was hectic as I had a job interview that prompted a schedule change and some other things going on as well, such as getting another job interview on the docket for later this week.

Needless to say, it’s been a bit stressful and running has helped deal with some of it, at the very least.

So week 13-

Run 1: 3 miles

Normally, I run 4.5 on Monday, but lack of sleep and anxiety from the job interview had me push out a quick 3 miles when I got home.

 

Run 2: 4 miles

Another night with poor sleep left me with low energy for this run.  That and my legs were aching from Pilates the evening before.

 

Run 3: 5 miles (making up the missing half from the day before)

Mostly, I was thinking about the massage I had booked for later that day!

 

Run 4: 10 miles (the long run of the week)- and the last double digit run until my birthday!

I could say a lot about this run.  How I didn’t feel awake enough for it or a variety of other excuses, but the issue is, for me, is that when things get tough, I stop.  I slow down to a slow walk and contemplate my existence.  It’s tough.  I get so worried about pushing myself that I end up doing the complete opposite.  Running is a very mental thing for me, and it gets frustrating to no end to see people who have run for a fraction of the time I have having amazing times and I’m lucky I can keep above a 13 minute mile on a long run.  It really gets me down.  It’s not a reflection on them, it’s on me.  I am just beyond irritated with myself at this point and I know I need to figure some things out, or accept I will never have the success I want.

And last but not least, my fundraiser is active!

The fundraiser benefits Switchboard, and last year we were able to raise over £3000 for them!  All the details can be found on the tumblr page.

Welcome to week 12!  I’m tired!  😂 After running 12 miles on Saturday, all I have done is eat and try to sleep. Ok, that’s not exactly true, but as a quick summary it works.  I’ve decided to try and blog about the first two runs while they are still fresh in my mind, as last week I really didn’t do them justice.

Run 1: 3 miles on the treadmill

Monday’s run is usually 4.5 miles, but as it was raining quite heavily out, I went to the gym.  They were still doing renovations and painting, and it smelled like paint, so I cut the run short at 3 miles.  It was also quite awkward to be the only one on the open treadmills and to have the gym people cleaning and moving things about and I really felt in the way.  The run was ok, but I know the pace suffered with the smell of paint and all.

Run 2: 4.5 miles

Wednesday runs are always tough.  I take 2 hours of Pilates on Tuesday evenings, so Wednesday morning I’m usually a bit sore based on what we did in class.  There was a lot of hip and glute work last night and I was definitely feeling it this afternoon.  I ran a bit later as I had an appointment earlier in the morning and it was ok.  Not stellar or impressive by any means.

Now that it’s cooler here in Scotland, I need to remember to use my inhaler before my runs which I did today.  I did feel like breathing was a bit better, but it was then sucked away as I ran back directly into a chilly headwind.  😬 I’m also definitely feeling every extra pound I meant to shed by now.  I’ve gotten really, really good at maintaining, but I still have a ways to go, and I know that my running will improve once I do so.  I will probably continue to maintain now that I’m getting close to the end of the training, and after the half, get a more balanced approach between running, lifting, and cutting weight (just in time for the holiday season!- oh wait, that never applies to me unless you count Gingerbread lattes.) 😂

 

Tomorrow I will be running Monday’s speed work session, most likely on the treadmill as it’s supposed to rain all day here.  Hopefully I will be less sore tomorrow!

This week was a quiet and uneventful week for me.  I got all my training runs in and spent a fair amount of time worrying about every niggle I felt throughout the week.  At this point in training I’m bound to have some, I know.  I have stepped up the Epsom salt baths, stretching and foam rolling.

Run 1: 4.5 miles tempo run on the treadmill.

I felt this run went well, and I was happy with it.

 

Run 2: 4.5 miles

Not much to say about this, other than I could have kept a more steady pace.

Run 3: 3 miles

Bleh, too slow.


 

Run 4: 12 miles

12 miles is long.  It’s long enough that I actually ended up in Rutherglen!  That was a bit of a surprise! I was still terribly slow and that is something I definitely need to work on the rest of this month, but I am hopeful that the adrenaline and excitement of the race will help me pick up the pace.  I’d like to have a significant PR this time around.

But 12 miles is long and I think I definitely need to work on pre-long run fuelling as I felt that I could have had more energy overall.