Marathon training week 1

So the off-season is over and it’s back to 20 weeks of marathon training recaps. This week was a struggle despite not running very far – 12 hour days at work full of concentrating meant I was just exhausted several mornings! I just need to keep telling myself that I just have two full-on weeks left and then it’s Christmas….

  
Yup – I decorated this weekend ūüôā

 So, without further ado:

Run 1: the “long” run.

Long strictly in quotation marks as it was an 11.2km slow jog to work. I made good speed although it was tiring, and I had forgotten how it takes me a few kilometres to warm-up and really get going when I run first thing in the morning. I also made the mistake of having a cup of coffee before I left, and then not taking any water with me. I was SO thirsty and desperate for liquids by the time I arrived at work. On the other hand, no aches and pains, so I was happy.

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Run 2: the “interval” run.

This is also in quotation marks as regular intervals see you run very fast for the interval period. I am still working on my cadence and so am alternating between a comfortable run, using the metronome, and a very slow jog. I am back to see the physio again next week so may change this one up. 3.2km in the bag.

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(the picture is taken from my office window when I popped up to get my trainers pre-run … the rising sun from the east reflecting off the buildings to the west of my office!)

Run 3: the tempo run.

The plan for this one was to run to Park Run, run really fast for Park Run, and then run home again. But I was slightly later than planned home on Friday night (falling asleep in the taxi to arrive back around midnight) and so wanted to maximise time in bed before park run! Hence I just cycled down to arrive just in time. It was howling practically a gale and there’s one bit that’s a very steep hill, straight into the headwind, that was horrible. I thought about walking at least 4 times as I tried to push myself up the hill but had to remind myself that I was marathon training. I just kept repeating that it was all good mental training, despite the fact I was hungover and it was so windy, and how was I going to be able to run a marathon if I didn’t have the mental strength to run a 5k?! So I made it, and in 26min 20 no less – around 35 seconds from my PB.

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(that tree usually stands up straight without the wind!)

Cross-training:

Two yoga classes – and in one I managed a one-legged chataranga (spelling?!) which I have never been strong enough to do before. I did mean to go on Sunday but my yoga studio cancelled their Sunday class, grrrr. Some cycle commuting, one swim and some strength work. All in all I managed just over 6 hours of training.

Something fun that isn’t related to running

On Friday night I went out for dinner with James’ sister Katie (and James). We went to Pig & Butcher which is a pub near Angel where they butcher and smoke all of their meat on site. Obviously the meat is the big thing! They were fully booked when we tried to book, but as they keep half of their tables back for walk-ins we decided to turn up anyway. At 7.30 we were told the wait would be 45 mins to an hour, so took some drinks to sit outside under a heater. An hour later, still no sign of our table…. It was after 9pm by the time we were seated and then the starter took a really long time to come…. However, once the food arrived there were no complaints! The sourdough bread was incredible – really, really soft and served with beef dripping and delicious butter. Then we had a sharing plate which had a sausage roll, smoked salmon, slices of salami, radishes, more butter… and more. For the mains, I had venison with beetroot in a sticky, sweet, incredible sauce – it was basically my perfect dish. Katie had the steak which was pink inside, but chargrilled on the outside with a smoky flavour that she had never had before. And then we all shared the chocolate hot pot and clotted cream ice cream for pudding!!! Despite the delay, it was absolutely, definitely worth it – absolutely delicious food. For three mains, a sharing platter, one pudding, two bottles of wine and 5 pre-dinner drinks (and tip) we paid about ¬£55 each. I would definitely go again (no pictures sadly as my phone was out of battery!)

Marathon training inspiration

This week I was, as usual, listening to Marathon Talk, one of my favourite podcasts. The interview on the podcast this week was with Dennis and Eleanor Draper, aged 79 and 80, who have each run over 200 marathons and ultra-marathons, despite only starting running in their 50s. They have both run the South Downs 80 miles six times, together, and just love running. A few months after Eleanor had breast cancer, they cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats. And one year, in November, Dennis discovered he had prostrate cancer but “I already had a place for London the next year so I thought I better do it” They were just really, really inspiring and a testament to love – for each other and for running. And they are not slowing down now, when asked the question as to whether they had any plans for more marathons, Eleanor’s answer was immediate: “Ooo yes“!

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