What a crazy few weeks! Since I last posted a lot has happened.
My new job has really taken it out of me. I'd forgotten how exhausting it is to start a new job where you're meeting lots of new people, trying to figure out how everything is organised and work at the same time. On my working days I come home, try to get some training in and then slump on the sofa for dinner before bed. My husband Tom has been a saint through this time. He retired from the GB Rowing Team earlier this year and is still trying to figure out the next step so in the meantime he's been making me lunch, dinner, walking the dog and generally being nice to me when I'm too tired to remember my name and address. I'm really lucky that I have the additional support at the minute.
Goose, our dog, has had a mass on his eyelid and another mass under the skin on his shoulder. He is nine in September so not getting any younger. This week he had surgery to remove both masses. Unfortunately Goose has dilated cardiomyopathy and hypothyroidism for which he receives daily medication. This meant the anaesthetic was likely to be carry a higher risk of complications e.g. low blood pressure. Two previous colleagues looked after him from an anaesthesia and surgery point of view and they did a sterling job. Goose has recovered well and we're waiting for the results. Needless to say, it's been a stressful week! I've had him since he was 8 weeks old and he's an incredible dog. There were some anxious tears the night before he went for surgery.
My 100km race for Northern Ireland (the Anglo Celtic Plate) got cancelled last week. It's hard to describe how gutted I am. Lots and lots of miles and time and sacrifices made to get in shape. Tom Craggs, my coach, has put in lots of time designing and adjusting my program. Perhaps what is most frustrating is that we found out 7 weeks away from the event. I was out for pizza when I heard so quickly ordered a beer and decided to deal with the news the next day by running 30+ miles with Minna over the Ridgeway! Plan B is Wrexham marathon. I'm right on the edge of being fast enough to run there (I'm hoping for a sub 3) but it seems like a huge shame to not use all my fitness. I'm really motivated by racing and have little interest in being fit as a butcher's dog for any other purpose!
Saturday 25th July
45 minute recovery run
Sunday 26th July
Long run starting easy and building to a steady pace. Last hour aiming for under 7.30/mile pace. Minna and I did this run in Windsor Great Park. It was really beautiful and although it was a bit hilly I managed to hit the paces fairly easily. A really good day of training for me. We set up some drinks on a bench every loop so we could hydrate. It was really hot.
Monday 27th July
Tuesday 28th July
AM 20/20/20 Progression Run. I did this before breakfast as I had to be out the door for work at 7.30am. Pleasantly surprised since I felt barely awake!
PM Recovery run for 45 minutes
Wednesday 29th July
AM 70 mins easy. Felt really good. Some days, sadly not often enough, it just flows and this was one of them.
Thursday 30th July
AM Recovery run 35 minutes
PM Team Vosser session on the grass at St. Swithuns. Great group to train with tonight. After a warm up and some drills we ran 8 x 3 mins in 2 sets with 90 seconds between reps and 3 minutes between sets.
Friday 31st July
AM 40 mins easy
PT with Tom Smith including some time in the gym (woohoo!) doing some weights.
PM 40 mins easy
Saturday 1st August
90 minutes easy. On call so just loops near my house.
Sunday 2nd August
Warm up, 10 x 1 min hills (1 min jog down), 3 mins jog recovery, 3 x 5 mins @ threshold (90 sec recovery jog), 32 mins Marathon Pace, Cool down. Really tough session but I was pleased with my times. I was on-call so did this run around Winchester.
Monday 3rd August
AM 60 mins easy
PM 40 mins easy
Tuesday 4th August
I really struggled with this session mentally before I even started. It was scheduled for the following day but that would have meant doing it in the morning before work on minimal breakfast. I mulled over it all day (a bad sign!). I got home, got my kit on and told my husband I didn't know what I would do but I'd warm up and start. He said he'd meet me on the bike.
Warm up, 20 minutes marathon pace, 4 x 6 mins continuous hills, 20 minutes marathon pace, Cool down.
I definitely needed the encouragement for the final 20 minutes. So pleased I got it done, just before nightfall.
Wednesday 5th August
60 mins easy + strides before work. Felt a bit creaky after last nights session!
Thursday 6th August
AM 90 minutes pre-breakfast aiming for sub 7.45 pace. Felt good and ran faster than I meant to. Sweated it out in the heat. I felt a bit wobbly by 10am at work (huge change in pressure as temperature rose from 22 to 34?!) despite porridge, a cereal bar, a latte and some shortbread.
PM 40 minutes recovery. I got home after this run to find my husband had made fish, vegetables and rice. I was starving so decided to order a burger and chips as rice and fish just wasn't cutting it! Sometime you just need the fat and carbs!
Friday 7th August
Rest day from running
Saw Tom Smith for a strength session.
Found out in the evening that my 100km race was cancelled.
Saturday 8th August
30 mile 'bimble'! Minna and I did this on the Ridgeway from Avebury to Isley in 30 plus degree heat. Really fun to do this together. I started my watch and didn't stop it throughout for toilet stops, water refills or marches to the top of hills. We ended up doing 34 miles in total. Managed my nutrition fairly well - gels, guava, jelly beans and lots of water and electrolyte drinks. We stopped at a garage for a Fanta lemon, Calypso and some chocolate milk on the way home! I felt ok afterwards, a bit of a niggle in my shin but other wise fine. Managed a long walk in the afternoon and some wine in the evening!
Sunday 9th August 35 minute shuffle with my friend Dani. Felt really hungry today and sleepy. Woke up at 6am and had to go downstairs for an early breakfast. In the afternoon passed out for 4 hours as an extended nap. Recovery!
Monday 10th August
Hungry all day. I love those peanut butter filled Clif bars. Someone in the lunchroom at work commented that my lunch looked like their entire day of food!
Caught up with Tom Craggs about Plan B. Managed to get a place for the Wrexham marathon so my training will now change to be a bit sharper.
Tuesday 11th August
So hot!!! Felt like I was melting!
AM 30 mins easy
PM 40 mins with 20 mins Fartlek (10 x 30 sec on, 90 sec steady)
75 minutes in the morning aiming for 7.45/mile pace. Did this early to avoid most of the heat and to be in time for work. Still soaked in sweat at the end.
Thursday 13th August
AM 30 mins easy
PM Team Vosser session. Another lovely group session tonight although I was absolutely on my knees by the end. 4 x 3 mins followed by 4 x 2 mins 30 sec with 90 seconds between reps and 3 minutes between sets. Felt really tired when I got home from work so a group session was perfect to make me forget about how I felt and concentrate on trying to stick with the person in front.
Friday 14th August
Recovery run on the schedule and my car had a flat tyre so ran to PT with Tom Smith and home again. Great session in the gym today. We did some weighted isometric holds which are really hard but satisfying.
Saturday 15th August
I did a 10/10/10 progression session with my friend Ellie. Legs feeling it a bit from the session on Thursday and PT yesterday but pleasantly surprised when I got moving.
Long walk in the afternoon with some friends and Goose.