As I am now no longer focusing on distance but instead on getting faster, Adam helped me (i.e. he told me what to write) create a training plan for the hour weeks leading up to the first of my two half marathons.
Yes, two. In two weeks.
My friend Sarah, who is running the London Marathon for the first time, was running Brighton Half for the charity Scope, and then convince both Adam and I to sign up too. I have never run a competitive half distance, only in training for my marathon last year, so I thought this would be a good baseline prior to more speed work. It would also be a good excuse for a weekend in Brighton 🙂
But… I also had it half in mind to run the Dartford Half marathon as it is close to home and the medal looked pretty awesome. This was to be on 12th March with Brighton on 26th Feb. Oh well – let’s do both! More chances to get a good time I guess… Right?
So that is where we are at. I should be focusing on speed, and I will be, but in the meantime I will do what I can but also keeping the distance up for these two. So Adam came up with this:
I am a week and a half in and have stuck to it so far, though I am a day behind this week, which will get fixed tonight.
My first long run was 10 miles on Sunday. I wasn’t in the mood at all, and when I went out the door into the cold with a tight left calf, I had basically decided to push my way through a 5k, give up, go home and do some housework so at least I would be doing something constructive. But at some point my calf obviously relaxed, and my head worked out that I would just have to catch up on the distance anyway, so I may as well get it done.
An I really quite enjoyed it. I’d asked Adam what the distance was if I continued east along the Saxon Shore Way to somewhere called Motney Hill, and he talked me through the route – it isn’t obvious! So that is what I did.
It felt odd, going past the half way mark on a run and not facing towards home (I am an out and back, or big round loop girl, so never too far from home), and that was the case until 7 miles, but a long straight road got me home for the exact distance.
My legs freaked out a bit towards the end, having run off-road for most of the run, then doing 3 fast-ish miles on pavement, trying to get back in time to be able to have a long shower before visiting some family for lunch.
I had the usual post-long run headache, but other than that I felt pretty good about it. It was great to have been to some new places, and run through some new mud! I do tend to stick to routes I know (what can you do really when you only run a few miles at a time), but I really should try and explore more so I can see new places as well as distracting myself, which is the best way to run.
Music also helps. I left the house for a run one evening last week without music and it was pretty rubbish because of it. The music on this 10-miler probably got me through most of it, so will have to be a staple of all future runs.
Prior to that, we visited Malling parkrun on Saturday. We were due to do it as a group for previously mentioned-friend’s birthday and then on to brunch, but she could no longer make it. Adam and I decided to carry on though as we are trying to visit a new parkrun each month and this could be February’s.
It was cold, puddle-ridden and a bit rainy but it is a flat course and with only two laps to complete of a lovely, still lake it was to be a good run I thought! And it was!
I went out hard-ish, fresh off the successful completion of some cardio intervals during the week, but by the second lap I was trying to slow myself down and survive. But, I have an awesome data screen on my Garmin which tells you your estimated finish time for the distance you tell it, and as I was looking at maybe a sub-33 minute 5k, I kept up the pace, trying not to look at my watch too much.
I finished as fast as I could, nearly stealing a place from the woman in front but she got in the way of the finishing funnel, and got my highest finishing place of 85th (out of 125, so not amazing) and an official time of 32:37. Pretty happy with that. The course came up long though (odd for parkrun) so my watch recorded a 5k time of 31:49 – very happy with that! So there is much hope for the future for that time coming down with all these intervals that Adam is making me do.
Adam also did very well… he only went and won it! He came third in the Shorne Woods parkrun we ran for January, which was the first time he podium-ed, but he smashed it this time with a win and a PB! (He has written a great post about it here if you are interested.)
He also got quite muddy in the process: