It isn't easy to find a good domestic half marathon early in the year, so when I noticed the Barcelona Half Marathon on February 17th, it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. Not only was it an escape from the lovely Scottish winter weather, but an opportunity to see how training had been going, and a chance to see some of the Barcelona marathon course.
Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Don't get me wrong, I am completely against the use of performance enhancing drugs - I'd like to think that we all compete on a level playing field and success is a reward for hard work, dedication and sacrifice - and so am very much in favour of drug tests, but being part of a national registered testing pool can seriously impact on your life.
After winning a silver medal at the 2011 World 100k championships, I had my first experience of in-competition drugs tests. After running for so many hours, peeing into a cup in front of a witness is not the easiest thing to do (especially as every muscle protests at the thought of you getting up again once you've sat down). There were no prizes for the event, and the medals didn't even have proper ribbons, but it was a world championship event run by the IAAF (the International Amateur Athletics Federation) and so was subject to agreed rules and regulations. It was actually several months after the race that I received notification that I was now to be included on the national anti-doping register.
Monday, 4 February 2013
......if we're talking about running that is.......if we're talking about cakes and chocolate, I can never get enough!!!
This year has seen me make some changes, which I hope will be of benefit in racing, although that is really a secondary goal, as they have certainly made me feel much happier about my running....and actually enjoy training a lot more!
I am doing a lower mileage, and all my runs have a purpose. That may sound odd, but it means that I don't go for a run without knowing why I'm going...and don't change the reason halfway through. If it's a gentle recovery run, then it will stay as a gentle recovery run whether I feel like I could fly or not; if it's an endurance session, I'll break the session up in my head as I need to so that I can focus all the way through and get on with it without moaning (much); if it's purely for the fun of going out and enjoying the trails, I won't look at a watch and will change the route so that I cannot compare times. I have also realised the necessity of recovery.....be that my favourite past-time of trying and testing the cakes in all the local cafes, or just sitting on the sofa and watching TV.