Just over a month ago I decided I was going to run the Copenhagen Marathon in May. With six and a half months of training, it seemed totally doable to learn how to run more than four hours at once. So how am I doing with now only (gulp) five and a half months to go?
So far, so good. I’ve only had minor setbacks – I, erm, fell down the stairs at the beginning of November and bruised my entire left side, and my run a couple of days later was rather unbalanced. Mostly I’ve had to fight against the weather as it rained a lot, but the last two weeks or so have been quite clear. It’s been windy, but considering the outrageous wind that awaits me in Copenhagen I was actually grateful to be able to train in those conditions.
A month ago I was getting back into the rhythm of running and increased my time by five minutes every second run. Since passing the one-hour mark, I’ve been adding ten minutes to every second run. On Wednesday morning I ran a comfortable 70 minutes for the second time, which means this weekend I’ll be going for 80 minutes, just shy of my current record of 83.
I learned fairly quickly that my eating habits greatly influence stamina. After a sluggish run in the afternoon where I had a heavy lunch two hours before, I aimed to time my runs for the mornings after my usual breakfast smoothie. They’re usually light enough but nutritious enough to keep me going without any cramps.
My biggest fight has been against the exhaustion afterwards. I’ve managed to resist taking naps, but I do feel some extreme physical tiredness after a long run. As my distances get longer I think I’m going to have to resort to some post-run smoothies as well.
Although, that brings me to my next hurdle: today I move back to Copenhagen to work. I’ve already got a room sorted out which means I won’t be taking too long a break from my training, but moving to a new place comes with some sacrifices. For one, I’m not in my own house – I’m only renting a room in someone else’s home, and that means I won’t be using my trusty
Magic Bullet Mr. Magic lest I wake someone up. I’m also working full-time, the days are getting ever shorter, my runs are getting longer, and baby it’s cold outside. Hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze in one run during the week, but I may only be able to focus on training on the weekends. Instead of doing a nice little trek between neighbouring towns, I’ll probably be doing laps in the park – or maybe even on a track, since I’ll have even less flexibility to work around the weather.
That said, I’m not too worried. I won’t put too much pressure on myself during the Christmas season, when I want to dedicate time to visiting markets and allow myself a little more leeway when it comes to food-related treats. When January comes along I’ll be itching for a reason to go outside so I don’t go stir-crazy. The days will get longer and I’ll get a little more antsy once I see the marathon date looming on the calendar.
In the meantime, I should probably actually register myself for the marathon. If I’m going to run more than four hours, I at least want a participation medal.