Updated: Nov 8, 2020
I'm packing so much in every week that often it seems like I've been sucked into a time vortex where every week passes in a flash and it also feels like 3 days ago could be 6 months ago when I look back. I'm on call this weekend and I spent most of yesterday at work with two emergencies. This morning after a lie in until 9am I took Goose our dog out and he was on a go-slow. He wanted to smell all the leaves and grass, bask in the sunshine and generally doddle on a beautiful morning. I listened to The Cycling Podcast Féminin while walking along and it was just what I needed - to slow down and chill out. It's no wonder dog owners report better mental and physical health.
For easy solo runs and dog walks I generally listen to podcasts. I'd always prefer someone to run with but that's not always possible. The Cycling Podcast is great for all things bike-racing related as is Watts Occurring. The Cycling Podcast do a daily Tour de France update which is well worth a listen. I love the Women's Hour weekend edition, the High-Low and Desert Island Discs (the perfect running podcast really!) for non-sporting listening. I've dabbled in quite a few running podcasts but tend to stick with MarathonTalk, Let's Get Running, the KoopCast (excellent for ultra-running) and The Morning Shakeout. Honourable mentions to Bad Boy Running (terrible name but usually funny and great guests), Stephen Scullion's podcast and The Way of the Runner.
Training since my last post....
Sunday 16th August - 100 mins easy running. Felt hard for the first hour (I had a stitch, felt clumsy) and then gradually settled into it. The 'medium' length runs are often when I feel worst. Perhaps because I'm not in the right mindset for a longish run they often feel harder and longer than I'm expecting!
Monday 17th August -
AM 50 minutes recovery pace
PM 40 minutes with strides
Tuesday 18th August -
60 minutes build to a steady pace
Wednesday 19th August -
Warm up, 15 x 1 km with a 60 second jog recover between, Cool down. The aim was to run the odd numbers at marathon pace and the even numbers at a threshold effort.
I struggled with the thought of this session all day. I had a really busy day at work and didn't feel in a good headspace. Had a coffee and some chocolate to try and perk me up before leaving work and promised myself a McDonald's chocolate milkshake at the end. I decided to drive to Basingstoke track, warm up and if I felt off I'd abandon and try to get up early the next morning to do it. In the end I completed the session but finished in the dark, feeling slightly threatened by some congregating young people drinking at the edge of the track. The saddest thing was the McDonald's milkshake machine had broken! Got home at 9.30pm, too tired for proper food so had some Alpen in bed! I try hard not to do this - I spoke to Alex Cook about my nutrition early this year and have made a big effort to eat enough and also eat to recover.
Thursday 20th August
Rest day. My husband was at his parent's house and took Goose with him so I had no dog to walk in the morning. Stayed in bed reading Girl, Woman, Other by Bernadine Evaristo until the last possible minute before work. Such a magnificent book.
Friday 21st August
AM - Recovery run to and from PT.
Mid morning - PT with Tom Smith - Another fun session of drills and weights. Feeling stronger!
We flew home to Northern Ireland in the afternoon. My parents live in the very beautiful Portstewart, on the north coast of Ireland. Really sad and strange to see how different the airport was.
PM - Run to the beach and back in Portstewart. Absolutely bloody gorgeous.
Home for homemade stew with waffle-berry pudding afterwards and an early night on the most comfortable bed in the world. My mum's food is 100% the best in the world.
Saturday 22nd August
A big session and one I wasn't sure I'd manage. The aim was 5k warm up, 8km marathon pace (MP), 2km easy, 5km MP, 2km easy, 5km faster than MP, 2km easy and 1km hard to finish.
Firstly I realised when I got home that I hadn't brought any gels and my mum's house doesn't normally have jelly babies etc! Then I remembered how undulating the North Coast is!
I went off too hard and ran faster than MP on the first two efforts. I couldn't bring it down any further on the third effort and was struggling with some nausea (no food or water - I should know better!!). I stopped in at a garage for some emergency orange juice before the last km which was just about MP, definitely not faster and by then my legs had totally and utterly blown! I was still 3 miles from home and didn't fancy walking back so phoned mum to rescue me. Session completed and legs gone! A really big block of work and even though it didn't go completely to plan the paces were generally good.
Back for second breakfast followed by a long walk on the beach, lots of cups of tea and a lot more food.
Sunday 23d August
Recovery run on the beach with Tom (husband) and mum - 60 mins
Mum out-sprinted me at the end. Legs felt better at the end than at the start.
Monday 24th August
Easy run with my friend Dani. Felt really tired today. Still recovering from Saturday's session.
Tuesday 25th August
AM - 50 mins in horizontal rain and gale force winds. I saw George King out too - another of Tom Cragg's athletes - and it made me laugh that we were both crazy enough to be out at 5.50am in a storm.
PM - 45 minutes steady - ran a bit too hard but great to get my legs moving. Felt really good. Strides at the end. I think my strides are improving from the work I've been doing with Tom Smith.
Wednesday 26th August - Warm up, 10 mins threshold, 10 x 1 min on, 1 min off, 30 minutes MP, Cool down.
I did this session with Minna. So grateful for the company and for her driving to Winchester to train before work! We're so evenly matched pace wise meaning training together is pretty joyful. A great session for both of us (Minna ran 50 miles the weekend before so was pleased to re-discover her speedy legs).
Thursday 27th August
60 minutes easy. I had hoped to do this with Dani but he got stuck at work. Felt hard!
Friday 28th August
AM - Easy run over 45 minutes
Mid-morning - PT with Tom Smith - some drills and gym work. A tough workout today!
Afternoon - 80 minutes of incredible massage at Vita Skin Spa. Felt so relaxed afterwards!
PM - Steady run for 40 minutes
Saturday 29th August
Aim - 2 hours 30 with 3 x 20 mins at MP (5 mins jog recovery between) in last 75 minutes.
On call this weekend (until Tuesday) and I had the heads up about some emergencies coming so got my session done early doors. Ellie joined me for the first half, making me laugh with golfing stories and the time fly by. I had a bit of a dodgy tummy that came and went (very spicy Thai curry the night before). I had to dig-in for the 3 x 20 minutes but hit my desired paces in the end. Managed to wolf down second breakfast before heading to work for the day.
My right quad has serious delayed muscle soreness - I expect from the split squats on Friday at PT and the session yesterday. Is it possible that the massage on Friday made the soreness worse?! After a very slow dog walk I did a very-slow jog with Tom around some grass and trail paths in Winchester as a recovery run and to try to ease off the muscle. For the rest of the day the aim is to chill and recover!
5 weeks until the Wrexham marathon!