There are just over 8 weeks until the Edinburgh half marathon and I am becoming increasingly aware of how far 13.1 miles are from the 7 I did in my last run. To calm my nerves I sought some guidance from a training plan provided to me by the charity I am running for, just to ensure I am not too far off track. To my relief, I seemed to have subconsciously followed the recommended mileage perfectly. I am beginning to up my mileage while finding the simple pleasures in shorter faster runs- especially in the sun that has made an appearance over the last few days.
Progress isn’t always linear, and I am still met with frustration when feeling great after a 7 mile run and a few days later struggling to get to 5. This, I’m sure is normal and will only improve over time, especially by mixing in different types of sessions throughout the week.
Most of my runs to date have been fairly steady in pace and stretch from 3 to 6 miles. The routes also seem to be rather repetitive, only really switching between the meadows, round Arthur’s Seat or the straight along the canal and back options. This is surely down to a certain level of complacency and convenience. So in the coming weeks I am going to make a conscious effort to mix up not only where, but how I am running with the introduction of more hill and interval sessions, which I will elaborate on in a future post!
What I wanted to touch on here is why I decide to take part in EMF in the first place. Running half and full marathons are common physical challenges people set themselves, and every runner’s reasons and motivations behind signing up are slightly different. Although my decision was not sparked by some profound experience or enlightenment, various reasons come to mind.
Perhaps the first, rather selfishly, was to feel physically strong, the way I remember feeling in my cross country days. I felt incapable of mustering up enough motivation to re-enter a semi-strict exercise regime without the pressure of a seemingly irrevocable commitment such as EMF. Humans are irrational beings after all, and so the obvious incentives of improved health and personal accomplishment were probably not going to be enough to sustain me through all the miles.
To increase the stakes I decided to enter, not by paying a fee but by raising money on behalf of a charity. Although there is nothing wrong with wanting to run for yourself, it became apparent that those personal accomplishments that initially sparked my interest in signing up would be achieved regardless. If I was going to run my longest distance, I might as well do it for a worthwhile cause and make this about something far greater than myself. This has not only aided my determination to complete the half marathon but also encouraged me to push myself that bit further. I am doing so to honour those who have already donated and given me words of encouragement, and more importantly, those who will benefit from the money raised. That kind of motivation is far more difficult to lose.
On that note, I best get out for my run!
Read the fourth chapter of Megan’s multi-blog series: Pre-Race Nerves