With 6 weeks to go until the Stirling marathon, training is continuing and the verdict is so far, mostly so good. But I am discovering that marathon training can be a bit relentless and turn running into a very serious business. Don’t get me wrong – I totally respect the distance, and know I need to put in the miles if I am to have a decent chance of getting round in one piece, but it is still hard some days to find my marathon training mojo.
So with all those miles ( 409 so far) and many weeks of training in wet, cold, windy winter weather behind me – it was nice* to see some sunshine forecast for last weekend when the plan included a 10k trail race.
*Or so I thought!
I was running in the Winton House 10k – a trail run, also previously known as the Pencaitland fun run and it is a while since I did a 10k race. From memory, the last 10k I entered was also a ‘fun run’ at Direlton – and it turned out to be a sunny, hot and hard 6 miles. Fun runs can be deceptive and sunshine on race day must be an East Lothian thing 🙂
As this 10k was part of my training, Sally had given me the race tactics to follow, which were the usual run fast, then run faster 😉 Timing was a 2 pm start – and with the sun shining it was lovely for spectators but maybe less so for runners.
I do know I go on about the weather – but this is mostly because – I am British and I am always out running in it!
When it comes to the weather I fear most when running – hot is probably top of the list. As a Scottish native, fair of skin and acclimatised to year-round cool temperatures – I am really not built to move quickly when the sun is splitting the sky and the thermometer reaches into double figures.
But 10k – is only 6+ miles, and a trail must mean we would run through woodland and woods mean shade – yes ?
Yes we did run through woods, but the leaves on the trees were sparse, the sun was high in the sky, and it felt pretty hot and uncomfortable for all 10 of the 10ks ( not to mention a sting in the tail hill finish).
I can’t remember what time I did on my last 10k race, but despite the heat and the trail route, I managed to finish this one in under 1 hour( 57 mins 53 secs ), even though it was not pretty and I did not manage to follow the recommended race tactics.
And now I have new nightmares to add to my marathon worries about how I might survive 26.2 miles if it is as hot as this come marathon day – but I will just have to keep doing a rain dance and if that does not work – deal with the weather closer to race day.
As to the Winton House trail race – as an event to go to and have fun as a family, it was spot on – very well organised with a friendly atmosphere and in beautiful surroundings – not to mention the most luxurious toilets I have ever encountered in a race!
My husband and daughter enjoyed soaking up the sunshine, eating ice cream, taking pictures and saying hello to the lambs, while I was racing.
I bumped into a few familiar faces and met ‘IRL’ for the first time – fellow blogger and Stirling marathoner Owain Williams (@Scottish Runner)and his wife Mandy. Check out their blog running beside.me
Taking part in this marathon is for me, mostly a personal challenge, but I do also hope to raise funds for two charities that support women and girls in different ways. One of these is Smalls for All – a Scottish based charity that collects and distributes underwear for women and children in Africa and is also hoping to fund an education programme to help girls.You can find out more about the charity’s work at their website Smalls for All
If you would like to make a donation to support this charity, you can do so via my page at MyDonate
I am also raising funds for Scottish Women’s aid – I had to set up two fundraising pages because of how the charities are set up differently to take donations so here is the link to the Justgiving page if you would prefer to make a donation to that charity.
Any donations will be very much appreciated and will definitely help put a spring in my step come May 21st .
How did I miss this post? Well Done Margaret, that time is great in the heat I can’t do that time in perfect conditions!! You are going to smash this marathon! I too am hoping there isn’t too much sunshine on the day, well until I finish running anyway! You’re going to do great!
Thank you ! Decided I can’t do anything about the weather – so am prepared for heat, rain or whatever and we will all be in the same boat anyhow 🙂
Knowing Scotland we’ll have all four seasons to endure anyway!! Yeah, you’ve done everything that you can, the rest is unfortunately out of our control!
It sounds like a lovely race, even if it was rather hot! I too share your fears about if it’s a hot race on a big day like a marathon, but a wise coach once told me to control the controllables. You can’t stop it being hot, but you can control how you handle it- being in the right kit, with enough sunscreen on, fuelling and hydrating yourself properly, and pacing it well. It being hot doesn’t have to mean it’s a write off- just that you need to be on it with your fuel and things. I sometimes write the times I need to take gels and things on the back of my hand so my tired racing brain doesn’t have to work it out on the fly!
I think I need to write down times to take gels as over the course of a race I seem to forget and miss a few & that’s not great on a long hot run.