Month: August 2017

Autumn marathon – week 10

I’m a little bit late writing this week’s update because I’ve been a little bit busy travelling around. I went to see a friend who moved down to Cornwall last year with his family. He is a big cycling fan so took my bike down with me and I knew in advance that he would take me on quite a challenging ride. With this in mind I had to once again change my schedule. 

I drove down on Wednesday which meant an early drive, leaving at 7am. When I got down there, it was straight onto the bikes for a cycle over to Lands End from Penzance. A lovely ride but there are some proper hills down that way. They were tough but I did alright and my friend only had a short wait at the top of each hill. 

This meant I didn’t run on Wednesday but got up early for a sunny run along the sea in Penzance. The nice scenery was a good distraction from the pain of my intervals and it is a really cool thing to be able to go and run in different locations. 

On the Saturday I drove back from Cornwall but it was not as enjoyable as it could have been because of the roads and traffic. By the time I got home I was shattered and we ended up getting dinner from the chip shop. Lining up my long run on Sunday, this was not the best option for fuelling and in hindsight I should really have predicted it. Being sat in the car for so long probably did not do my legs any favours either. 

The long run on Sunday was a 16 mile speed play session which meant for every mile I ran a quarter hard and recovered for three quarters. It started off well and my pace for both parts was good and comfortable enough but it soon became tough.

This was also the first time I encouraged Dani to come out and cycle alongside me because it was a sunny day. In my head this would have been a really enjoyable experience with smiles, laughter and chat. However, it soon turned out that because I was struggling, I did not enjoy her being there for parts of it. When I needed to walk, her encouragement was not welcomed by me and this happened a couple of times. I think I was really struggling because of my dehydration. It was so hot out there. We managed to make it back okay and we were still on quite good terms as we walked back up the hill. 

I think next time I will only invite her along on more steady runs!

These sessions and long runs are really tough and I know I am not where I want to be but in my head I keep telling myself that these sessions are what will make me stronger. 

Things I will take away from this week are:

Cross training can have good benefits and I should do it more

Driving seems to make my legs tired

Chips for dinner the night before a long run is not really sensible

Running with a non running partner has the potential to be enjoyable but it is important to choose a good run

Finding new places to run keeps training fresh and interesting

Sessions are hard but they are what will make me stronger

My arms got tired in the long run so I need to build up a bit more strength

Autumn marathon – week 9

This week was meant to be a dip in session as the third week in the mini cycles, allowing me to have a slight break before the subsequent two weeks step up. However, I feel that I need to get more mileage under my belt so that I can stay strong in the second half of the marathon. With this in mind, I ended up doing more mileage than perhaps I should have but I still focused on the intensity of these runs. 

Due to my flexibility with the plan in week 8, my long run was going to kick off my week. I got 16.5 miles under the belt at a steady tempo. I tried to explore a little bit more on this run and entered a few footpath trails and even had to turn back on some due to how overgrown they were. I miss running on trails every now and then because it always distracts the mind allowing me to enjoy my running. After this marathon I am really going to focus on finding some trails to explore for my training runs. 

I decided to get myself a massage this week too as I haven’t been for quite a while. I decided at the start of this sequence to try and get myself regular massages just to help the body recover. This week was the first time I went with no real problems to target. My knee has had a slight niggle which links to my hips but I had a general leg massage which always feels good after. 

I ended the week with another long run today and although my plan said 11, I wanted a little more so pushed to just past 13. I also wanted to check my marathon pace so put that into action for the last 3 miles and I have mixed feelings about how it went. I managed to keep it fairly consistent but the pace was still a little tough so more to do in the coming weeks. 

Things I will take away from this week:

Massages are helpful at being proactive with regards to injuries. 

I really enjoy exploring trails and finding new routes but I’m not quite ready to invest in trail shoes. 

I need to keep working on my hips flexibility and strength and avoid putting it off. 

My upper body strength is still not good enough so I think I might start a press up challenge. 

I can finish at a pace after a long run. 

My feet are wide and it makes it tricky to get new shoes. 

Autumn marathon – week 8

First week of the school holidays and my plan to really step up my training didn’t really happen. There is always tomorrow. That’s what I found myself thinking. Even though I know how stupid that is and sounds. I had to rearrange some runs so my long run was on the Monday and I just found it impacted on the rest of the week as a consequence. 

Being the holidays, I like to make a visit home to Kent and the beaches of the Romney Marsh to visit my family. I planned a first week visit to help my dad with his bungalow. Before I could go on my travels I had to squeeze in 13 miles. It was a tough slog and didn’t go as well as hoped. I only managed 12.5! I don’t think I need to say much more about it. It was one of those but I got the miles done. 

Then began a couple of days of driving and a lot of time sat behind the wheel in my car. I don’t mind the idea of driving, but I really do begin to feel discomfort when driving too much. It has been a niggle in my back and legs for quite a few years now which I can cope with when driving but can ache subsequently. I got to my dad’s house later than planned and after and extra hours driving thanks to motorway works. This meant I was tired when I woke up the next day and this continued. It led me to not feel like doing all my runs. 
I did manage to sneak in a 6 miler at decent pace which became a royal flush in the most part. But I skipped My run the next day as I felt fatigue and tiredness catching up. 

I spent the rest of the week out of sync and didn’t do my long run on Sunday either because of a social event on the Saturday. Just got in feeling exhausted so decided to push the 16 miler to Monday. I did want to run and wanted to do more than just a plod but didn’t fancy going too long. In my head I had 8 miles (4 out, 4 back) as a nice challenge but knowing I could stop for 6. I soon got a nice rhythm and began noticing I was comfortable picking up the tempo each mile and I soon had a royal flush in my sight. I got 6 miles in before having to back out of the flush and accept the last two miles would not be counted for it. Still pleased to know I could pick the pace up like that and finish on a good pace. 

As I got to 1.5 miles from home the skies opened and I got drenched. I see that as karma for not doing the long run. A nice change from the sunny runs though. 

Things I will take away from this week are:

Listen to your body and rest if you need to

Being flexible is okay but I feel much happier with a routine 

A Royal flush is a great way to make a run more exciting – make each consecutive mile faster than the previous

My control and consistency of pace is still not quite where I want it

My pace is not quite at my target marathon time and I really need to keep my training focused and commit more