It feels like I’ve been playing around with some 10 and 12 miles runs recently so this weekend felt like marathon training has officially started with a 15 and 13 under our belts.
We headed out bright and breezy on Saturday morning albeit with a few pre-run nerves. I haven’t run this distance for months and it’s the longest Faye’s ever run so we were both a bit apprehensive. Luckily I what’s apped her on Friday night and asked her to come armed with some good conversation topics (she’s in charge of sponsorship and talking, I’m in charge of training and nutrition) and she didn’t disappoint, so the first few miles went well. We’ve decided to not speak to each other for 2 weeks pre-marathon so we have conversation topics stored up plus it’ll be entertaining for our colleagues to think we’ve fallen out when we start passing each other in the corridor without so much of a glance (we’re going to take it very seriously). Although anyone who knows us well can testify that our fall outs only happen when one of us has had a few too many blue WKDs (I’ll let you decide which one).
The plan was to run 8 miles down the canal then turn back but our only stumbling block came as we reached Burnley and had to come off the canal and get back on. You’d think after having been confused at this point on numerous occasions (having to ring Jak at work during a 20 mile run once after realising we were well and truly lost) I would have known what I was doing here, but, as Ric tells me all the time I don’t pay attention to anything (I think that’s what he said, I wasn’t really listening). After asking a local, pretending we knew what he said while smiling and saying thanks, and being none the wiser we headed back the way we came knowing we’d have to make the extra miles up at the end. Once heading home, we decided that 15 miles would be enough as Sunday’s half marathon was taking the place of the planned 12.
The conversation topics provided by Faye did us well, and managed to (kind of) take our minds off how thirsty we were. As we came to mile 13 we ran past the hairdresser’s where Faye’s mum goes and the lovely ladies in there got us a glass of water each. A quick pop into the butty shop next door to say hi to Faye’s mum, a wave to her dad in the car across the road (it felt like an episode of Coronation Street at this point) and we were on our merry way home. I thought I was going to have to offer to host Faye’s nephew’s birthday party in my living room as it looked like she wasn’t moving from my settee at one point, but she managed to get up eventually. Saturday afternoon saw a blister popping session, muscle soak bath and carb (cake) load and we were geared up for Sunday’s half marathon.
Sunday saw us complete the small but perfectly organised Valiant’s Half Marathon in Preston. Apparently there were only 90 odd runners on the day, which made us panic slightly that there wasn’t much safety in numbers. That being said, it was much nicer having a small walk to the start line (resting our legs and staying warm for as long as possible) and there was a great atmosphere between runners. We seemed like real amateurs however when we had to ask why people seemed to be setting off before the official start time when we were informed they were just warming up. Oops.
The route was really nice and being a sunny day it was a really pleasant course. We passed some amazing houses and the scenery was a welcome change from the urban jungle of Burnley Road. All the stewards were really friendly and lots of locals came out to wish us well (one told us to stop arguing at one point as I got quite animated regaling an argument Ric and I had to pass the time).
The miles ticked along nicely and the conversation continued to flow well, until we were scraping the barrel towards mile 11 with how we wash up (Faye leaves her breakfast things to soak while getting ready for work, then it’s quicker to wash before leaving the house FYI). As always the final miles seemed to take forever to come, but we managed to keep the pace up and finish in 2 hours 1 minute, which we were both really pleased with considering the heavy legs and blistered feet we were nursing from Saturday’s 15.
It was great to see our cheerleaders Ric, Ali and Quincy at the finish line as well as Faye’s friends Louise and Martyn (who had competed too). We got some interesting treats in our goody bags (hence the beanie pics) and there was a free coffee and bacon butty to all runners. I’d definitely recommend it for anyone who prefers quiet country lane running to city centre races or if you just fancy a bit of a change and it’s a nice flat route if you’re after a PB.
We’ve started giving our runs 3 word summaries so here’s the weekend:
Faye: Thirsty, ploddy and daunting.
Chaz: Monotonous, heavy and blistery.
Faye: Friendly, weird and green.
Chaz: Scenic, intimate and steady (words I like to use to describe myself coincidentally)
If the matching vests didn’t give the game away, we’re running the marathon for Meningitis, which our cheerleader Quincy had when she was born. Here’s the link to our just giving page if you fancy sponsoring us.