I had originally written a different opening but after the events of this week I wanted to say how sad I was to hear about Tash Lewis' untimely passing this week. I interviewed her a few months ago and we messaged back and forth on Instagram since then - mostly little encouraging messages after good sessions. When she sent her answers for the blog I remember being so in awe of her confidence and sheer lust for life. I didn't know Tash personally but she inspired me through our emails and her incredible focus on getting the most out of her life. Our mutual coach, Tom Craggs, reminded me yesterday of the amazing quote by Mary Oliver - 'Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?'.
I've included a link below to a donation page - there's an explanation there of what the money will be used for.
Week starting 8th March - 72.72 miles
My personal focus was on building a decent block of training and making sleep a priority.
Monday - Easy recovery miles with my teammate Sam. I love these runs - they're in the light and the miles fly by and we're up and out before anyone else. Followed by a great PT session with Tom Smith - the drills are really starting to get better (I was so uncoordinated at the start, a pogo felt like a complicated dance routine). 7.10 miles
Tuesday - Hideous day at work and a very late finish. Sent Tom Craggs a text explaining and we both agreed a large glass of wine was probably more important that the run. Shifted training forward a day.
Wednesday - Perhaps because of the stress of work I managed to completely smash the session. I sometimes feel like I run really well when I'm under the cosh at work. A way of relieving stress that doesn't involve wine or having a meltdown.
Session = warm up, 8 x 1 min hard, 1 min jog, 2 mins recovery, 3 x 5 mins @ threshold off 90 seconds, 2 mins recovery, 30 mins @ marathon pace, cool down. Total 13.98 miles.
Thursday - Morning recovery for 50ish minutes and evening steady for 45ish minutes. 5.86 and 6.39 miles respectively. Steady was too fast but I still had a bit of angst to get out!
Friday - Progression run for 50ish minutes. I find these runs really hard - my legs seem to take ages to catch up with my brain. 6.83 miles. Good decision to run super early before work as I finished late.
Saturday - 2ish hours, joined by my friend Ellie in the second half. Quite a hilly route so I was really pleased with the pace. PT with Tom Smith on Zoom afterwards focusing on mobility and isometric holds. Felt really tired afterwards - afternoon nap necessary! 16.36 miles
Sunday - Minna joined me for a tough session - 2 hours with 2 x 25 minutes at marathon pace with 5 minutes jog between. 16.22 miles and we hit the pace for both. Super pleased and it didn't feel too out of control.
Week starting 15th March - 73.90 miles
The aim this week was to survive work and get the training done.
Monday - Triple session day. Easy early miles with Sam, PT with Tom Smith in the park and another easy run with my friend Ben. 5.34 miles and 4.94 miles. Fitted in a mini nap too!
Tuesday - Recovery run with my husband. He hates running, hates me talking to him while running (apparently I'm showing off *eyeroll*) but I love having run company so I was very grateful for him coming with me tonight. Bad abdominal cramps throughout. 5.29.
Wednesday - Big session this morning and one I wasn't sure I'd be able to do.
Warm up, 5km @ MP (marathon pace), 2 mins jog, 4 x 5 mins threshold off 90 seconds, 1 min jog, 5km @MP, Cool down. Just so happy after this. Times were great and consistent. 14.18 miles
Thursday - Early run as suspected I wouldn't fit it in after work. Sadly I was right. 9.27 miles pre-breakfast and a 5.15 am start. Yawn.
Friday - Steady run in the morning before work- another tough week meant that this was too fast! Strides afterwards. Recovery run with Ben in the evening - I kept pushing it back as I couldn't get out of work but he was happy to wait and I massively appreciated the company. 5.70 miles, 0.56 miles (strides), 4.81 miles.
Saturday - No PT session as normal as I ran with Minna for a time-on-feet long run as part of the longer goal of ultra-marathons this year. We did the first 24ish miles of the Cotswold Way at bimble pace. We ate plenty along the way (I love the peanut butter filled Clif bars) but we were both still starving at the finish. Half a mozzarella and pesto panini, a latte, a chocolate milk, a hot cross bun and a slice of apple cake later we felt a lot better. 23.82 miles.
Sunday - Optional run today but I just slept, ate and put my feet up. Managed a couple of dog walks but the second one really hit me for six. Early night and a nap. Rock n Roll.
Week starting 22nd March - 59.47 miles
Last week of training before a short taper and a marathon at Dorney Lake.
Triple session day. Was a bit worried about how my legs might feel but the rest day yesterday really helped. Early run with Sam - 7.40 miles - I struggled with abdominal cramps this morning. PT session in the park with Tom Smith afterwards. In the afternoon a steady 40ish minutes with some strides thrown in at the end. Great day of training. 7.40, 5.51 and 0.73 miles respectively.
Tough day at work and legs feeling fatigued. Session on the schedule but my plan was to switch it with tomorrow's run (90 minutes easy). In the end, my friend Ben offered to run with me and I decided to just get the session done. Ben was keen to do the first half of the reps which made a huge difference mentally to me, knowing that it would split the run up. Total 10.34 miles. Warm up, 12 x 400m off 60 seconds followed by a 2 min jog and then 20 minutes@MP. I would have loved to do the 400m reps on the track - dodging cars and running around the streets isn't quite the same as a lovely pink surface.
Felt pretty rubbish this morning. 90ish minutes and 11.33 miles. Short stop in the middle to chat to the painter who is coming to our house.
Rest day. On the plan I had 70 minutes with 40 at marathon pace and a 30 minute recovery run in the evening. Really tired to moved my rest day forward.
Binned the 70 with 40 @MP in favour of 40 minutes and 30 minutes, both easy pace runs, in the morning and evening. The 100 mile race I've entered is approximately 6 weeks away and so after the marathon next weekend I have another block of training to get in. Good recovery now hopefully means a better marathon and, more importantly, a faster recovery. I mentally struggle with not completing all the set sessions but it's the reality of working full-time and trying to juggle quite a lot. Managed to get out on time which was a small miracle as I was on call.
On call this weekend so managed 70ish minutes (9.24 miles) before being called in. Long day at work.
Much as I love the extra light the time change makes me feel jet lagged for a while. I was super proud that I managed to sleep in until 8am until I realised I had actually effectively managed to sleep in until 7am instead. Super easy, recovery run today and a very slow day of dog walking and hoping my phone wouldn't ring. 6.25 miles
Week starting 29th March - 62.77 miles
A shortish taper followed by a marathon. I generally feel pretty awful during my rest weeks which I always assume is just my body taking time to recover.
What a beautiful day. Lovely, easy miles with Sam in the morning (4.66) with a couple of strides after. Later in the morning I was back with my PT for a fairly easy session - drills, isometric holds and some core. Trying to wind down before racing on Saturday. Already feeling nervous! Off work today so enjoyed a couple of relaxed dog walks in the sunshine.
My only double day of the week. The painters have come to paint our house and we've been living out of one room and gradually rotating our stuff. All in all, this has meant a fair bit of hassle and not enough sleep. They have done a great job though, the house looks brand new! 30 mins easy in the morning (3.76 miles) and a Team Vosser session in the evening. It felt so good to be back on track and to be back with my training group. The session was 8 x 500m with a walk back recovery but I did 6 instead. Really pleased with my pace. Total distance 6.09 miles.
Just an easy run before work. 4.42 miles.
Rest day. Chat with Tom Craggs on the way home about the marathon plan - clear goal of running to feel and treating it as a hard training session. Also not worrying about rusty legs.
Shake out run - 3.46 miles and some chill time for the rest of the day (if chill time involves moving lots and lots of boxes of books!). Standard pre-race meal of pizza and a beer.
Race day! Really nervous this morning. 1.98 mile warm up. Final time 2.57.11 and 26.37 miles- I'm gobsmacked to have run a PB but I think the lack of pressure really helped. The wheels came off in the last mile or so but I managed to maintain the pace. The organisation was amazing - thanks Active Training World - although I was a bit dehydrated as you had to go and pick up drinks from the table rather than be handed them. I struggled with nausea for the rest of the day but tried to force feed myself as I knew I had some running to do in the morning. Cool down shuffle of 1.09 miles.
Minna also had an amazing race and also ran a PB. I think ultra training suits both of us! Great to have a friend to share the pre-race nerves with and smile at on the course.
Legs = TOAST. I thought Tom Craggs might have made a mistake when he scheduled a 90 minute run for today but sadly all part of practicing running tired for the 100 mile race. Felt pretty rough - some horrible cold sweats - but got round and listened to some great podcasts. A mega week and I finished it with a HUGE smile on my face.