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  • Writer's pictureKarla

Training Blog

Updated: Jul 29, 2021

A bit overwhelmed. That's how I've been feeling recently. How am I supposed to fit everything in?! Sleep seems to be the thing that's frequently sacrificed despite my best attempts to get to bed at a decent hour. And my nutrition seems to have gone back to -> unprepared with snacks -> starving -> eat biscuits!

The other 'big' news is that I made the hard decision to pull out of the Dragon's Back race off the back of my MRI results (see below) and the vertigo I suffered doing the recce. Those weren't the only factors - my work seems to get busier and busier and the weekend's recce completely floored me. We have minimal staff until September so I'm going into an incredibly busy period. I had a realisation that if I did the race I could easily put myself out for months trying to recover.

Instead, after a long chat with Tom Craggs, I'm going to target a 100km on the road in August. The race is on August 21st.

Week starting 7th June - 51.41 miles

Struggled with fatigue this week - perhaps off the back of sunstroke after the Wales recce or my vaccine. Or just general life!

Monday - Early run with my lovely club mates, Sam and Charlie (7.04 miles). The miles fly by as usual. Monday is my day off so I could have a lie in but I never miss the chance for run-company!

PT mid-morning with Tom Smith.

Have a chat with the sports doctor I saw about my MRI results - they aren't good. The MRI shows that I have significant tibial bone bruising and a small fracture of my subchondral bone on my femoral condyle. I feel equally relieved (it might sound crazy but I was questioning whether I was just a bit 'soft' after I stopped in the Thames Path) and anxious. I'm also now conflicted about what training I should be doing - I have been running pain free but the fracture diagnosis is pretty scary.

Tuesday - Easy run in the morning - 4.25 miles.

I get news that I didn't make the Anglo-Celtic Plate team for Northern Ireland. The news hits me pretty hard and there are lots of reasons to be upset about the decision but it is what it is.

In the evening I do a session on the track with Team Vosser - 2 x 600, 2 x 500, 2 x 400, 2 x 300. I work really hard and run some decent times - pleasantly surprised after quite a lot of time off.

Wednesday - Run before on-call - 9.00 miles. Very late finish.

Thursday - Don't manage to run - so tired I consider having a nap on the way home from work.

Friday - Too tired to run again today. Fly home to Northern Ireland after work. It's so good to see my parents and be back on the beautiful Emerald Isle.

Saturday - After a good sleep I set out to do 75ish minutes with 2 x 25 minutes at marathon pace or thereabouts with a 5 minute float between. The coastal route isn't flat but the surface is great for the most part. Don't manage to hit marathon pace for the second of the 25 minutes and work way too hard trying to hit the paces. Overall a really pleasing session though and not a million miles off. 10.76 miles. The rest of the day involves walking and eating!

Sunday - The aim was a progression run but my legs are too wrecked from yesterday for it to be anything other than a decent long run for 2 hours 14.85 miles. More lovely walks and lots more delicious food.

Week starting 14th June - 76.68 miles

Monday - Still in Northern Ireland today. Lovely easy run in the morning (6.18 miles) and a cycle with my parents in the afternoon for coffee. 18.10 miles of cycling. Sad to fly home to Winchester again - lovely to have been looked after by mum and dad for the weekend.

Tuesday - I took the excellent decision to take a half day today before being back at work. It meant not-too-early a start. And I managed to get a session in before work - 1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2,1 off 90 seconds (9.19 miles). Hot weather in the morning so a total sweat fest. Did the session on track - lovely although I think the man mowing the grass in the middle thought I was mad! Evening run after work with my friend Ed for 40ish minutes (4.67 miles).

Wednesday - Early run with my lovely friend Sam (8.73 miles) followed by PT. All very early morning before I start work and on-call.

Thursday - A session with my Winchester training group tonight - 12 x 2 minutes in 3 sets. I always feel like the pace is impossible after the first rep and then I talk myself into finishing the first set. Then I promise myself I only need to do the first rep of the second set....and so on.

Friday - On call over the weekend - I think the thought of being called and the stress of not knowing when I'm going to be able to train is harder than going in. Steady run in the morning - 4.12 miles - probably pushed it a bit hard. Out of all my training, I find running steady the hardest. Not easy and not tempo but somehow it feels like tempo pace. By some miracle I managed to get out in time to run with my friend Ellie. Ellie is 7 months pregnant and I struggle to keep up! At least I get a breather while she stops to pee multiple times. 5.29 miles.

Saturday - S&C with Tom Smith. Feeling absolutely knackered so risk starting PT at 9.30am and doing my run afterwards (90 mins). The later start means I can convince my friend Ben to come with me. Hilly loop round Sparsholt - one of my favourites. 11.53 miles. Manage to finish both before getting called by work - bonus!

Sunday - In work in the morning so run moved to the afternoon. The aim was 2 hours 30 at 7-15-7.30/mile pace. To be honest it seems like an impossibility - I'm feeling totally wiped out. After a slow start I eventually manage to pick it up a bit. Average ends at 7.31/mile so ALMOST.....19.95 miles. The fact I stopped my watch at 19.95 miles says it all about how tired I was.

Week starting 21st June - 83.4 miles

Monday - Rest day today and I really needed it. S&C session mid morning and the rest of the day bumbling around. Bliss.

Tuesday - Easy 50 minutes in the morning - 5.77 miles and an easy 40 minutes in the evening (5.02 miles).

Wednesday - 90 minutes with 60 minutes of 5-5 alternating slightly faster and slightly slower than marathon pace. Didn't look at my watch, just went on feel, as Tom Craggs said to focus on effort. Really pleasantly surprised that the paces matched the aims as it definitely wasn't a given. Absolutely over the moon. 12.60 miles.

Thursday - 40 minutes morning and evening. 4.82 and 4.96 miles.

Friday - Easy run with strides and straight home to bed. 5.77 miles

Saturday - A busy day for me and one where I feel I don't have enough minutes in the day. Start with 2 hours with 3 x 20 minutes at marathon pace with my lovely friend Claire. Mega session and it was a tough one. We manage it together - 16.28 miles. Straight to a S&C session and then home for a quick lunch before going to the hairdresser. I have another run on the schedule but my hairdresser offered me some Prosecco which I obviously couldn't refuse. Due to covid regulations they ended up giving me a small bottle so by the time I have to stand up to get my hair washed I'm a bit wobbly. Get home and my husband informs me I have 35 minutes exactly to run before we have to leave for a family dinner. Do a hideous 35 minutes feeling like I might be slightly drunk/hungover already (4.32 miles).

Sunday - My husband's family have booked an amazing cabin at Blackwood forest so after a lovely dinner last night and a great night's sleep I creep out in the early morning to do my long run with lovely Susan McCartney from the NI ultra team. 3 hours steady and unbelievably given the Prosecco and session yesterday my legs feel great. We have a great time chatting and running round Virginia Water and Windsor Great Park. Home for second breakfast and some chill time in the hot tub outside the cabin. The hot tub overlooks the forest so it's post-run heaven.

Week starting 28th June - 77.3 miles

Monday - Easy run 6.34 miles and S&C with Tom Smith. Feeling really tired today after a great weekend.

Tuesday - Morning shakeout run - 4.03 miles and then a Team Vosser session in the evening ( 10 x 300m in 2 sets). Unfortunately lots of people were watching the football so the group that turned up were fast. I spent a lot of time desperately hanging on! Great session but tough with my Tuesday legs. 4.51 miles total including a short warm up and a plod home.

Wednesday - Morning run (10.94) - tired legs! On call tonight and absolutely flagging. Feel tired to my bones and my eyelash won't stop twitching.

Thursday - Rest day (woohoo) and dinner with friends. Lovely to see everyone but feeing exhausted. Tom, my husbands, did all the cooking and also ended up doing all the clear up as I was so tired.

Friday - AM 5.12 miles easy and 4.99 miles PM. Early to bed.

Saturday - Another mad weekend for me. Early start with the aim to run for 4 hours, bringing the pace down for the last 2 hours. Started running at 6am and my wingwoman, Claire, met me at 7am for the final 3 hours. She was an absolute legend and chatted to me to keep my going. The final hour was a struggle. As usual, I never give myself enough time, so had a quick shower and then had to shuffle to the station to get a train to London. My luck was in - the train was delayed - so managed to buy an emergency cheese toast from the platform as the train was approaching. Winning! Lovely brunch with friends and then a long journey home (long delay) before another early night. 30.83 miles.

Sunday - Birthday today so celebrated by running for 10.56 miles (joking!). I actually celebrated by booking a night away for me and Tom at the Royal Crescent hotel in Bath. It was absolutely incredible - not just because we got an upgrade! Tom booked a table for my birthday meal at The Elder which was also fantastic. A much needed restful couple of days away.

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