Hello there! After the phenomenal experience of my first Ultramarathon last month I have enjoyed three weeks of much needed rest and recuperation from training and blogging and am now itching to get back in to the swing of all things running. Much as I loved the incredible experience of training for the D33, I was wary of taking recovery seriously and not risking burnout. I had made a lot of sacrifices in the first three months of the year for my training and there were a lot of people to catch up with, family to see, jobs to do, babies to meet, and friendships to rekindle. As I work at a University, the Easter holidays were an ideal time to take off for a few days with some friends as well, and I enjoyed a well earned break from everything that’s been going on recently in London.

In terms of recovery from the Ultra, everything was very straight forward. I found it very hard to move the next day, but just due to muscle stiffness not any pain or injury. I had some fairly gnarly blisters and the ends of the second toes on each foot were in a terrible state (they are longer than my big toes). One of them has gone numb, which was quite alarming at first, but a similar thing happened after the marathon last year and the feeling eventually came back. I did a couple of yoga classes, but other than that my physical activity since the race has been slim to none – as I said above; complete rest and recuperation!

Last night was the night I finally got back in my trainers again and enjoyed a 10km run around Stonehaven with Kynon. The plan was to do a progressive run – 2x 10min miles, 2x 9 min miles and 2x 8min miles. This sort of happened, but not quite; our splits were:

9:33 / 9:43 – Too fast!
8:55 / 8:41 – Nearly right…still too fast.
8:14 / 8:32 – Too slow!
Total time for 6.21 miles – 55:16

If I’m honest, I started to flag a bit in the last mile and just couldn’t quite hold the pace. I could make excuses about being hungry (which I was) and dehydrated (Rhona in non-training mode drinks coffee all day at work instead of water) but really I’m just a bit out of shape. I probably could have done with one less week ‘off’ but that happened to be when I was away on holiday so it was rather too easy to extend my period of leisure.

Never mind! I’m actually quite excited about throwing myself into some intensive training over the next five weeks until the Baker Hughes 10k where I’ll be having a good crack at a sub-50 minute attempt. If I don’t get it then at least I’ll have a good idea why, but you never know…

Unfortunately I am insanely busy for the next month with a combination of work and social committments which is going to make training rather awkward. I expect to be fitting in early morning pre-work runs at least once a week but since it’s Spring time, the idea of jumping out of bed at 5am in the morning to run actually quite appeals since it will be light and the weather less temperamental. I haven’t written a training plan yet but I am mulling over several ideas and seeing how they fit around my calendar. I hope to publish that here early next week to co-incide with the start of my 5 weeks to sub-50 plan.

Before all that however, there is the small matter of the Rock n Roll Edinburgh Half Marathon on Sunday! I’d be lying if I said that this race, despite it’s obvious glamour and impressive image, has been at the front of my mind recently; but I’m really looking forward to it. After years of reading hundreds of American blogs and race reports about Rock n Roll races I’m keen to experience one for myself. This is the very first outing for the Competitor group outside of the United States so all eyes are on them to see how they cope with this new challenge. The race was formerly the ADT Edinburgh Half Marathon and they controversially took over the race management just one year after the ‘Gold Runner’ scheme was launched, where many runners invested £99 to receive entries and VIP treatment for the ADT Half for life. There are many varying opinions about the Rock n Roll race franchise knocking around on the internet, but I am waiting until I’ve crossed the finish line on Sunday before I fully form my own.

I will be running this race for fun – no pace plan, no music and no goals other than to just enjoy myself and soak up the promised fantastic atmosphere as we rock around the streets of Edinburgh.

So, let me leave you with some snaps of what I’ve been up to the last three weeks…

Instead of double digit runs after work – a lot of relaxing Brewdog in the evening sunshine on my back porch!

I got a somewhat drastic new hair cut. It’s very short at the back but I love it!

I drove from Aberdeen to London with two friends – a long trip but lots of fun.

We enjoyed a lot of breakfasts in the sunshine in this back garden. Thanks so much to Mark who hosted us for the week.

In a break from the norm, we visited another brewery – Meantime, in Greenwich.

I rode a Boris Bike twee-ly around London in a spotty dress in the sunshine.

I enjoyed cider and vegetarian food in Hammersmith.

I visited Brewdog Camden…

…and helped deliver a very important gift for the Camden Brewdog bar! Niall created “Bracken Stackin’ ” which you can read about on his new blog, Running With Power Tools.

 

Then after a lengthly drive home to Aberdeen in Bank Holiday traffic, I hopped on a plane to Manchester to attend the Resistanz Industrial Festival in Sheffield.

…and that has been the last three weeks.