This week I actually did some running. I know, right? SHUT THE FRONT DOOR! Like six times. Isn't this exciting news?
The hours spent slaving away on that bloody exercise bike in the gym have paid off and I feel really strong and sharp. I managed a 12 miler on Thursday followed by a 16 miler on Friday - both with some faster miles thrown in. My dodgy right groin & quad responded well to the workouts and the more I have run, the better I have felt.
In total I racked up 60 miles and 48 since Thursday which for me is actually ridiculous considering I am still yet to reach the 200 mile mark for 2016. It bodes well for the near future, with five marathons in the next eight weeks culminating with the big one in London on Sunday 24th April where I am definitely PB hunting.
However, as with most things in my chaotic, comedy filled life of late, it has not been all smooth sailing. Having put on some upper body bulk over December & January, I have discovered now that none of my running tops actually fit me any more.. Don't laugh! Race t-shirts, jackets, long-sleeve tops, the lot - literally all of them are too small..
Now that would be fine if I had money to burn, but as a final-year student I have to be more careful (Wiggle are sending out a search party for me). This has meant I've been donning some hideous outfits whilst pounding the pavements this week. If anyone in the Woodbridge area of Suffolk caught a glimpse of a leggy gazelle bounding around in the early hours wearing a knitted bobble hat and various 1980s Fruit of the Loom sweatshirts - that was definitely me.
This week was Eating Disorder Awareness Week which is hugely important in bringing EDs into the wider public domain. There were a number of interesting blogs circulating, as well as radio pieces and TV interviews. Runner's World interviewed me along with several other athletes for an article discussing eating disorders and energy deficiency, and how it effects performance - you can read it here.
Then there was another RW article later in the week regarding how best to talk about eating disorders. It was a powerful read featuring some inspirational (and way too modest) women. I am sure it will prove invaluable to those people who are concerned about a friend or loved one, but are unsure how to approach the subject. I would highly recommend you read it here.
On Wednesday I had to have gum surgery at Guy's Hospital in London as part of ongoing dental work to repair damage caused by my bulimia. The operation lasted FOUR HOURS and I was awake the whole time. It was a horrific watching as pieces of my gum and bone were cut out with a scalpel and placed onto a little tray, whilst all the blood was mopped up! Let's just say it's a good thing I have seen every episode of Dexter..
I was not allowed to eat any solid food, hot food or hot drinks for 24 hours. This was lucky because I looked and felt like I had swallowed a chainsaw. Seriously I have the ugliest big black stitches in my gob until Wednesday. My mouth is a train wreck. Then on Thursday I had to present my Research Project (fancy word for dissertation) - my topic is based around hypertension in sedentary individuals, for which I used a 10-week swimming intervention to compare a group of 14-25 year olds to a group aged over 50.
I woke up to find both my pillows and duvet covered in blood (not a good look) so kindly my lecturers allowed me to present at 5pm instead of 11am. There were a number of distractions, such as our dog, the sun, running and the fact I was unable to drink tea (although I did drink a cold one through a straw - things got desperate) but I got everything handed in before the deadlines and I think the presentation went okay.
This weekend I have been working with British Athletics again - this time working at the British Indoor Championships at EIS in Sheffield. I drove up after work on Friday and they kindly put us all up in a Holiday Inn in Rotherham, which happened to be next to "Europe's biggest sexy superstore" - now I'm not sure how many sexy superstores there are in Europe, but it was pretty big so it is quite a coup for the town. Don't worry though, I am a gentleman and a country boy, so I didn't buy anything (over the value of £70...).
The group run that I planned with some of the guys actually happened on Saturday morning. Nico had been giving it all the chat last weekend in Glasgow but after less than a mile he was doubled over and left me and Sophie to it - shameful effort. Then on Sunday it was just me and Sophie because Nico had retired to the jacuzzi. I was working with the High Jumpers this weekend and it was another great opportunity for me to get some more applied sports science experience supporting world class athletes.
Next Sunday is marathon number four - SO EXCITING! It will also be my tenth marathon in total so I am looking forward to getting into double figures. I am running the Cambridge Boundary Run which according to the website is "30% off-road, and there are several reasonably sized hills" which sounds ominous. I am aiming to take this marathon more easily and hope to run a time between 2:55-2:59*. Now I know I say that EVERY TIME! You love it really. However this time I have another marathon only six days later, so I really cannot afford to lose 2-3 days to horrific DOMS.
*Note - If I have a chance of winning the race I cannot be held accountable for my actions*
It is also Mother's Day next Sunday, so be sure to be nice to your old dear. Mine gets the pleasure of watching me run around a cold field in Cambridgeshire for nearly 3 hours, so you also need to be sure to treat yours right - we would (literally) not be here without them. See you on the other side!
I am running ten marathons to raise money for Beat, the UK's leading eating disorder charity. You can follow me on Twitter here, on Instagram here, or on Facebook here. You can also sponsor me via my Justgiving page here. Thank you!