I think what I needed was a break!
I was just worn out. I've had a couple of easier weeks - the Easter holidays have meant no college and no dancing, and have coincided with a 28 mile week and a 30 mile week (a bit of a drop down from the previous few weeks) and I feel a lot better than in my last post.
Kim responded to my last blog post by suggesting that I try running somewhere nice, just for enjoyment. She told me she sometimes goes out with her camera and has been known to stop mid-run to take pictures of flowers. I reflected on this the next time I was out, on a frosty morning round Arthur's Seat, and tried hard to notice the icing-sugar trees and grass, and how muted all the colours were in the pre-spring chill. It was pretty and I can still remember it when I close my eyes. I rarely appreciate the scenery - perhaps because it's only April and I've been so used to running before sunrise! - so it was good to do this. Thanks Kim.
Additionally - there's nothing like a race to focus my mind!
I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's Rock and Roll Half Marathon, having been lucky enough to win a free place. I didn't compete in the first Edinburgh Rock & Roll race, last year, because for me it was just too darned expensive (I think it was £45 when I tried to enter), and to be honest I don't really find the idea of local bands dotted around the course much of a motivator, since I'll have my iPod on anyway! But this afternoon I spotted one of the stages out on Leith Links, virtually at the bottom of the street where I live, and felt quite excited.
Last week I tried out the course of the race during my long run - having the race pass the bottom of my street makes it very easy to try it out! It has a couple of steep gradients, and I finished in 1 hour 52 minutes - a pretty much an average 13.1 time for me. Perhaps with a bit of race adrenelin and the knowledge of the course, I can shave a bit off that tomorrow - or on the other hand, perhaps the other 5,499 runners might slow me up a bit.
The race has pace groups. I've never run with a pace group before and I'm thinking of popping that cherry tomorrow. It would be 1 hour 45 minutes, so I'd really need to have a great day and a bit of Felix Felicis to complete with the pace group - but I can't think of a good reason not to try. My PB is 1 hour 45, in the Meadows (half) Marathon last year, which was flat, but I hadn't done any speedwork for that. I've done 10 weeks of speedwork now. Surely that'll improve my time?
I bought a new running vest this morning - I can't believe I bought something as skimpy as a vest, after all I do live in Scotland - but the shop must have been warm, and it's a lovely shade of blue. I've painted my nails to match, so I will wear it tomorrow regardless. Perhaps being cold will make me run faster?
I don't remember feeling this positive about a race before. The start line is a 20 minute walk from my house, with any luck my kids will cheer me on, I've got my kit ready, I won the place - and oooh I nearly forgot, I entered a Facebook competition this week and I won a pair of compression socks at the race Expo tomorrow! All good omens I think. I'm gonna go for it.
BTW I don't really have any Felix Felicis, and besides, it would be illegal. Just before you point it out.