Archive | January, 2019

Seeing Double

20 Jan

Last week feels like a long time ago, but for what it is worth my training log tells me I ran 6 miles on the Monday, 6 miles on the Wednesday, 7 miles on the Thursday, 6 miles on the Friday, 6 miles on the Saturday and 8 miles on the Sunday.  That makes a total of 39 miles.  My highest for quite some time!

I suppose last week feels so distant because Monday of this week was really difficult.  I blogged about the death of a school friend, although I didn’t ‘share’ the blogpost on social media, because it wasn’t really that kind of blogpost.  Her funeral was on Monday, and a funeral for a 39 year old with a young child is never going to be an easy thing.  There were a lot of tears, but also smiles as we reminisced about happy childhood memories.  I was pretty emotionally exhausted by the time I got home, albeit glad I’d been able to go.

From a running perspective, I ran 7 miles on Tuesday morning, 6 miles on Wednesday morning, 9 miles on Thursday evening and 6 miles on Friday evening.  I also cycled to and from work every day.  I’m not sure if my quads have got used to the cycling again just yet: it probably doesn’t help that I live on top of a hill and the climb home is a bit of a beast which certainly gets the heartrate up and the quads burning (quite a lot of people in Bristol have this issue/problem/training benefit, depending on your perspective).

For some reason I felt really flat yesterday, and it took until just after normal lunchtime for me to get out of the door to run.  Once I got going, it went well: 10 miles @ 7.52m/m.  Yes, a double digit run for the first time since probably November.  Certainly my first completely pain free double digit run in over 10 weeks!  In the evening I had a lovely concert: playing in the Marriage of Figaro for a local small opera company.  It’s hard to get to the end of Figaro without smiling, and eventually my mood lifted.  It was a very good workout for the arms: for most of the 2.5 hours I was playing!

This morning I was up fairly early to squeeze in 8 miles ahead of a rehearsal and then an afternoon of working.  The 8 miles ended up at the same pace as yesterday, although I was consciously pushing the pace because I knew I was cutting it fine to get 8 miles in and still leave on time to cycle to my rehearsal!

That makes 46 miles for the week, which is within spitting distance of the 50+ mile weeks which form the basis of my marathon training.  It’s still too early to tell if I’m going to get enough fitness back to make starting the London marathon worthwhile.  I want to, because I’ve not raced a marathon in nearly 2 years (London 2017 was the last one) – in fact, I’ve not really raced much at all in nearly 2 years! – but I also don’t want to start unless I am fairly sure I can finish in a reasonable time.  It’s something I’ll have to keep under review for the next 6-8 weeks as I continue to try and rebuild the miles and my fitness without my body breaking down.


Every Step Of The Way…

7 Jan

So, I began last week with 6 miles of run/walking on Monday. On Tuesday I also did 6 miles of run/ walking: as I said in last week’s blog, that session (which kickstarted 2019) was 4 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking. On Wednesday I covered the 6 miles as 4 mintes of running and 45 seconds of walking. I rested on Thursday: partly overdue a rest day, but also because for some reason I was sick on Wednesday. Lovely. On Friday, I was up (or down?) to 4 minutes of running and 30 seconds of walking.

This meant that come the weekend I felt able to try a continuous 6 mile run. And it was fine. So fine I did it again on Sunday! I even cycled into chambers and back afterwards (it’s fair to say 2 months of practically no cycling showed on the hills…).

Normally 36 miles of plodding and 1 cycle commute would be not just nothing special, but frankly a bit of a worry. Right now it’s an amazing feeling.

That Was The Year That Was

1 Jan

Welcome, 2019.

As for 2018, in pure running terms, it was far from ideal.  There were too many months where I did little or no running (January, February, May, November and December spring to mind, as I covered fewer than 100 miles in each of them).  I raced only a handful of times.  I covered a total of 1,640 miles, which is very little for someone who would usually run at least 200 miles a month (in 2017 my Garmin reckons I ran 2,354 miles and in 2016 the figure was 2,775).  And yet, having – perhaps appropriately – read Richard Askwith’s thought-provoking Running Free over the Christmas/New Year break, fundamentally, it has been healthy to reappraise my relationship with running.  Yes, there was a brief time in September/October when, as I rediscovered my fitness and speed/speed endurance returned, I did feel like one part of me was back, but the part of me which I really missed this year was the me that could run at all.  Running fast or (by my standards) well, is the icing on the cake,.  Woman cannot live by icing alone: in fact, woman can live fairly well without icing, but gets miserable without cake (to stretch the metaphor a little further!).

I’ve ended this year by returning to training through run/walking (let’s face it, after a 6 week lay-off with only a few sessions of aqua-jogging, I’m pretty unconditioned for running just now). I’ve managed 7 sessions and have built up to covering 6 miles, running for 4 minutes and walking for 1 minute.  The most recent session (this morning) was actually a fairly reasonable pace (8.11m/m, including the walking bits, so the running must be well under 8m/m aka standard plod pace).  Yes, I can tell my fitness is almost non-existent compared to where I was even 2 months ago.  But I genuinely feel so blessed to have my health and happiness right now.

In life terms, this year there have been some tragic losses, and difficult news for several people close to me, but also some wonderful plusses: most notably moving in with T, and then – just in the last few weeks – getting our two lovely cats, Z and J.

And as for plans for this year?  Well, I have a place in the London marathon (although if I don’t break 90 for the half or 3.15 for the marathon this year, my eligibility for the national championship race expires: that’s sobering!), and for what it is worth I have a schedule pinned up on the wall to cover the period up to that race.  But it all depends on how the next 4 months go.  My main aim is simply to not have enormous gaps in my training this year.