I’m half way through my marathon training and looking over the blog in the last couple of months recently made me realise that the content I’ve been posting has been mainly race reports. During the training for my first marathon and ultra, I posted weekly updates and musings on my experiences which kept the blog posts much more varied and I don’t know whether to return to that format or not. I get bored by reading others’ weekly training reports so I certainly wouldn’t to inflict the same on my own readers, but then if the blog is just a stream of races with no training to reference from then what is there to tie it all together?
I feel like my training is going well, but lately I’m constantly having to make changes and adaptations to fit it around the rest of my life. How annoying when you can’t make running your number 1 priority?! Thankfully this hasn’t affected my weekend long runs, but my running during the week has been a bit jumbled with lunch-time runs being deferred to evenings and some evenings being skipped. I feel like I lack consistency but I think that speaks more for the rest of my life than my commitment to my training.
Last week I had a great morning out with Vicki and Kate. We all wanted to take part in the Laurencekirk Hill Race, but also had long runs to complete. Since the Hill race is only 3.7 miles long we decided to run to the start instead of drive, and left at 7am to cover the 18 miles on the back roads. It was a glorious morning but very warm, and I drank 1.5 litres of water along the way. Like the rest of the country we’ve been “enjoying” an actual summer which has made for interesting training for a cold-weather runner like me.
The race itself was a bit horrific, but it was always going to hurt trying to run straight up a hill and then fly down again, so I don’t think it made much difference whether I’d ran 18 miles before or not. Physically I was a bit pooped but my legs were fine. I would never normally elect to do a hill race but it was part of the Club Championships and I needed the points for taking part. Luckily not that many Stonehaven ladies showed up as I was third last in the race but still was able to get 15 Championship points for coming 6th out of 7 ladies who ran. I finished the 3.7 mile course in 36.40, and then didn’t move for the rest of the day.
picture by Iain Shanks
My weekly sessions are currently based around Yoga and a gentle shake-out run on a Monday, either a lunch-run or a Club run on Tuesday, mid-week middle distance on Wednesday (8 – 10 miles), lunch run on Thursday, rest Friday and Long Run on Saturday. There should be another 10 miles at the weekend to finish off the week with a back-to-back, but the last time I managed to make that work was about a month ago. I’ve been running between 40 and 50 miles a week which feels right for me at the moment – I’m not tired and I’m not sore, but I still feel like I’m working hard.
I am hopeful for a successful execution of training in the next fortnight, as the last week of my plan before taper is when I’m in Hungary for work. This is likely to severely disrupt my runs, but hopefully I’ll get out for a few short trots. It will be extremely hot but my hotel has a gym, so if it is un-runable outside then I can resort to the dreadmill.
I had a good run at the Dundee Half Marathon yesterday, which although was tough going at times I managed to come home with another new PB after a near-perfectly executed marathon race-pace run. I aimed for 13.1 miles at 8:50min/mi and finished up with an average of 8:47; even though my training might be a bit haphazard, I’m clearly doing something right as that’s spot on for sneaking under 4 hours in 6 weeks time.
I can’t believe I’m half way through this marathon training already, but life is really sneaking past at a rate of knots. Before this weekend, hitting my sub-4 goal seemed like a bit of a pipe-dream, but after the Dundee Half it feels far more within my grasp. Race report on that will be swiftly forthcoming…