Marathon Training week 6 – running in Northumberland

Well this one didn’t go too well… And it was nothing to do with any Christmas excesses but just due to the pain in my hip and the darkness of the mornings. It was meant to be a cut-back week so I thought perhaps a good idea to make the most of it and stop my hip from getting worse.

Some mornings I don’t mind getting up in the pitch black, sneaking out of bed to the living room while James is still asleep, getting dressed and then immediately leaving the house. Cycling to work as the sun starts to rise, through the gradual progression of dawn. It feels secretive and exciting. Other times it’s the worst thing in the world, dragging myself out of a warm bed where James is sleeping and it really feels as if you should still be asleep……


It does mean you get to see some beautiful sunrises….

Run 1: the interval run

This was 3 x 1600m at interval pace. I made it out of bed, running gear on and slipped out into the pitch black street, everyone still fast asleep. There is a long straight road near me which is about 800m long so I thought it would be good for intervals. I’d decided not to use the treadmill as I worried that was what was exacerbating my hip pain. I did a ten minute warm-up, jogging, star jumps, high knees etc and then got ready for the intervals. Number 1! Off I went. I don’t know how people manage intervals to a specific pace when they’re not on a treadmill. Plus I had to keep checking for cars when I came to side streets, and avoid pedestrians…. It was still very quiet but Clapham North tube is quite near the 800m mark and so it was slightly busier around there. A dash back and I was slower than I’d planned – how do people do it?!!

I set off again after my rest interval but my hip was hurting and I was annoyed about the first interval being too slow. I stopped after about 100m and walked up to the end of the road before sprinting back – I managed 800m in exactly the right time by some fluke! And then I left it there to cycle to work – I’d managed half the run.

Run 2 – the tempo run

Again, this was the one that didn’t happen. two miles slow, three miles tempo, two miles slow. My cat woke me up ten minutes before my alarm was due to go off and I was so cold, it was so dark, and my hip hurt so much, that I just gave up.

Run 3 – the long run


This week’s long run was just ten miles and I was up in Northumberland visiting my boyfriend’s family. Various family things meant I set off slightly later than planned, knowing that I had to get it done before it got dark – which happens so early up there!


I was running an out & back along a road I’ve cycled on a few times before. It’s quite isolated and so I did feel slightly wary as it was definitely dusk by the time I was returning! But knowing the road made it better.


It was quite hilly and windy and I was very slow – I am slightly worried about having to run long distances faster. But I enjoyed it nonetheless and settled down for an evening of bananagrams, trivial pursuit (I won both) and wine with James’ mum and sister.



I went swimming!!! Well done me. Just a short swim it’s true, 35 minutes, but that’s better than nothing. I also managed two strength & conditioning sessions and two days of cycle commuting.

Something good that happened that’s nothing to do with running…..

This is a concept I picked up from the Twins in Trainers blog and I hope they don’t mind. They are training for the Paris marathon and blogging about it by interviewing each other every week. And this was one of their questions – “it’s always good to keep perspective” (their blog is great by the way).

So my best moment last week was my surprise birthday meal from James (my birthday is Christmas Eve). I knew we were going out for dinner but had no idea where. I met him at Warren Street tube and we started walking down the street, I still had absolutely no idea where we were going until he turned into a restaurant called Honey & Co. I was so happy! Honey & Co is a tiny Middle Eastern restaurant that I’d wanted to eat at for ages. James had always been so-so about it, he wouldn’t mind going but he wasn’t really bothered. He has organised it all as a surprise for me 🙂 and wow it was delicious. We had a ginormous mezze to share, with falafel, hummus, labneh, couscous, roast pumpkin, incredible carrots…. I could go on.


Then for mains James had a slow cooked lamb shoulder with almonds and I had the most incredible chicken dish which I can’t wait to recreate (James also bought me the cookbook) – baked chicken in flatbread with pomegranates. I was so happy. We drank a bottle of wine, stuffed our faces (the chocolate cream for pudding was incredible) and rolled home, smiling, to bed.



  1. Of course we don’t mind! It’s definitely important to keep perspective- it’s quite easy to turn into a crazy running lady if you don’t (saying that Bex may have called me that today). This marathon training malarky is just too addictive! I’m also seriously impressed you went for an evening long run- this is something I could absolutely never do…

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