Archive | July, 2018

Boxed In

22 Jul

Monday was a tough start to the week, with an incredibly difficult and stressful day in court. I was rehearsing in London that night, which felt like a curse before I went, as I was so emotionally drained, but ended up a blessing: a fun distraction! I had no time to run, however.

I had time to squeeze 5 miles in ahead of a sports massage on Tuesday and then 8 miles very steady on Wednesday. It was then back to London for a very enjoyable concert!

On Thursday I was mostly sorting out what to keep and what to chuck at my flat, but I headed out for 12 miles in the evening to unwind.

I ran 5 miles on Friday and then on Saturday a rare excursion to parkrun (although I forgot my barcode!) to collect the camelbak I’d left in a friend’s car after the Cotswold Way Relay and to celebrate another friend’s 200th parkrun. I jogged round as my right calf is still slightly tight, but it was lovely to have a natter with two clubmates as I did so. Sadly I then had to work all afternoon…

Today I did 15 miles early doors and then started packing. I’m not quite as far along as I’d like, but it should be done in time, and the stress will all be worth it when T and I are living together.



The Closest Thing To Normal…

15 Jul

I began the week with 8 miles steady and then did a 10 mile run on Tuesday before going out for dinner with T to mark my target times for an 80% age grading becoming a little slower.

I’d planned to squeeze in 5 miles ahead of the England game but was feeling pretty rough and so we just watched the match on TV at home. I didn’t even feel up to eating and the result did little to lift my spirits!

I didn’t sleep brilliantly and was a bit wiped out on Thursday but managed 5 easy miles and the same on Friday. After a mega sleep on Saturday my 12 mile run felt much better than either of the shorter runs earlier in the week.

That just left 15 miles to do today. After a morning in chambers, a bit of violin practice and the last set of the men’s final at Wimbledon I set off. It was a bit warm but I hoped with a route that had some decent shaded chunks I’d be okay. The first 10 were but the next 5 not so much and the final 2 in particular were done out of a sense of obligation rather than anything else. I finished exhausted and with a raging thirst. Out of interest, I weighed myself after I’d showered and drunk 500ml of water and discovered I was still 1.5kg lighter than yesterday morning. Perilously close to race weight months in advance! But with some careful rehydration it’ll all be back for tomorrow, I hope.

Looking at the big positives from this week, for the first time in 8 months (!) I’ve run 6 times in 1 week and hit marathon training base mileage (55 miles). It’s early days, and my right calf is a bit grizzly (thankfully I’ve got sports massage on Tuesday) but maybe, just maybe, I’m a runner again!

There’s Never Enough Time For What We Want To Do…

9 Jul

I started last week with a 30 minute swim. As I’d predicted, the after effects of racing on Saturday and long run on Sunday were fairly pronounced! On Tuesday I had time for 7 miles before showering and heading to the pub with T for the second half of England v Colombia. I don’t think that gave my heart rate a chance to go back to resting level!

On Wednesday the busy part of the week began: the morning and early afternoon in Exeter, followed by a meeting and then a rehearsal. No exercise!

On Thursday I had plans: a hearing in Swindon in the morning, then heading over to London to catch up with a uni friend, squeeze in a short run and then another rehearsal. But life gets in the way of plans, and I left Swindon at 4.40 instead of the midday departure I’d expected/hoped for. I cancelled my catch up and just made my rehearsal. I also made the 9.45 train back and was at least in bed by midnight…

I was back up at 6am on Friday and was so exhausted – and the heat so bad – that all I could contemplate was a 5 mile recovery run. It was clear this was going to be a recovery week!

T and I then headed off to Okehampton for a family weekend away. We were all staying in a youth hostel which was rather charming. On Saturday I was up early for an 8 mile run along a disused railway, followed by a cycle ride with T before joining the rest of the group for a picnic. The afternoon was spent watching the football ahead of dinner, which ended with a beautiful sunset. Slightly groggy, I squeezed in a 5 mile plod on Sunday before a hike on Dartmoor with T.  A final guzzle of food with a barbecue for lunch before we headed off home. A wonderful weekend, with the only regret being my failure to entice Percy the station cat out of the signal box.

After a very light week (4 runs totalling 25 miles) I’m hoping that this coming week normal running service can resume ahead of full marathon training only a matter of weeks away!

I Once Was Lost, But Now Am Found…

1 Jul

I started this week the easy way: a rest day! On Tuesday I ran 11 miles after work. It was a bit of a grim plod, as I struggled with the heat and humidity. On Wednesday I ran 7 miles with 8 sets of strides thrown in, conscious I was notionally racing on Saturday but having done no fast running since my abysmal 3000m in early May. On Thursday I did 30 minutes on the bike in the gym, but with the resistance low for most of it so that it was little more than flushing my legs out. On Friday I ran another 7 miles with 6 sets of strides. I made myself do this in the middle of the day to force my body to accept that the heat could be managed.

And so to yesterday: my leg of the Cotswold Way Relay started at 4.20pm and it was very, very warm. Generally I’m a fan of a longish warm up but I restricted myself to 10 minutes and then some strides and very light drills (for the uninitiated drills are the funny skips and things you’ll sometimes see runners do. They make us look and feel a bit daft, but they do help). And then we were off! Pretty quickly my mouth felt dry and sticky given the heat. For the first mile I was 2nd or 3rd lady but gradually worked my way through to lead the ladies’ race. It didn’t help that there were a lot of stiles in the first few miles, which I am rubbish at. Nor that we had to cross the A46 3 times over the 9.2 miles, and that I lost a fair but of time waiting for the traffic to clear. I got a huge lift at the midway point, where my club were manning the water station. There was then quite a lot of fairly runnable trail/road until the last 1.5 miles, which contained the toughest climbing. I was quite surprised to be told I was 11th overall and pleased to catch one more runner to move into 10th. And I was delighted to win the ladies’ race on my stage, getting prosecco and a plaque for my troubles:


Today my legs felt surprisingly ok, and I ran 14.5 miles at just under 8m/m to bring up 50 for the week. It did probably help the heat had eased a bit by this afternoon!

As for the blog title, that works on two levels:

1. I did go off course, albeit my diversion only added about 75m, at a guess, and was easily corrected;

2. For the first time since October I was able to race: to gauge my effort, to work through the field, to push on when I needed to open up a gap on someone and to be part of a winning team with my lovely clubmates. Until I’d crossed the finish line and felt that exhilaration and delight, and until we were all sat at the prize giving, eating pizza and drinking beer, swapping race stories and then listening to the results with anticipation and then delight, I’d forgotten quite how much I’d missed that part of my life. Here’s hoping it’s back for good.