Marathon training week 14 – a looooong week

Oh this week feels like it has been never-ending. A VERY busy Monday and Tuesday at work followed by an early start to get up to Scotland for Grandma’s funeral, followed by a quiet Friday at work and a weekend of entertaining my mum in London and finally trying to get some rest on Sunday… Last Monday feels a month ago rather than a week.

Run 1 – the interval run: due to having a busy working day (I billed almost ten hours of just doing ONE thing) I had to do my interval run in the morning before work. So far this training season, my short, fast runs have always been at lunch time but I’d like to start making them longer which means they’ll fit better in the morning.

Turns out, running fast is so much harder first thing! I found this workout hard – but in a good way. 4 x 4 minutes at 5km pace followed by 1 x 3min at 5km pace. It’ll be 5×4 minutes next week. I guess my body is just more warmed-up by lunch time!

Run 2 – the long run (13 miles): run 2 was meant to be the tempo run, on Thursday afternoon. I had the day off work as my Grandma’s funeral had been on Wednesday and I had to fly back down from Scotland. It just turned out that what with travel and the fact I got locked out of my house so had to go back into central London to pick up keys from James, I didn’t have time to get in the run. So my second week of the run was a long run at the weekend.

My mum came up to visit on Saturday as we had tickets to the track cycling world championships and the plan was that we would head out on our run together – s bit of difference in her marathon training and a chance for me to show her my running routes. However, she had done something to her calf muscle earlier in the week and we only got 4km before she was really feeling it and decided to stop. I kept going but it was a hard run – having prepared myself for running with mum it was hard psychologically to then do a 2 hour run by myself.

It was also just a horrible day, windy and raining, making everything really unpleasant. I picked the speed up a bit after mum left, probably too much, and ended up having to slow down at the end – I felt exhausted by the end of the run, much worse than I’d felt after my 16 miler the week before! But on the bright  side, my overall average speed was good at 6.03 min/km – just a few seconds faster than goal marathon pace.

Run 3 – the tempo run almost didn’t happen. Tiredness from my hectic week caught up with me on Sunday along with all the chores as we had been out of the house all day on Saturday. I finally left to head to the gym about 5.30 in the evening, knowing I wouldn’t be able to run for that long as I had to come home for dinner! I did an hour on the treadmill, using Lisa’s workout from her blog.


I found the 10km pace the hardest, and then adding 5km on top of that was very difficult! I cheated slightly and did 2 minutes at 10k pace and then 1 minute at 5k pace, times 3. It was a really good workout, difficult but sustainable, and I think I’m probably going to give it another go this week or next. I ran for an hour, 10km in total.

Cross-training: took a back seat really due to two days away which meant my focus was on fitting the runs in. 6hr 45 – one day of cycle commuting, one strength session, one yoga class and one swim.

Best marathon training eat: Mothers Day in the UK was on Sunday so I took mum out for a nice lunch on Saturday. We  went to Naughty Piglets, a lovely restaurant just south of London and had four different sharing plates followed by chocolate mousse for pudding. The picture is a red mullet served with courgette chips and huge dollops of alioli (I love alioli).

We also naughtily had 2 glasses of wine each as it was just so tasty! It was a brilliant meal and its always nice to be able to treat my mum.

Something fun that was nothing to do with running: after our meal, mum and I caught the tube into Oxford Circus and went to John Lewis and Selfridges before going over to the Olympic Park for the track cycling world championships.

We saw the sprint final, the women’s points race, the men’s Omnium points race, and the women’s Omnium elimination race. Although our seats were pretty high up, we were overlooking the finish line and the Great Britain pen in the middle so we could see the cyclists warming up (and vomiting post-race!).

The sprint was the most exciting, it is just such a great race to watch, especially as GB’s own Jason Kenny took the win.

And then Mark Cavendish in the points race was incredibly exciting as the points meant so much to the overall Omnium standings. If riders lap the bunch, they gain 20 points (by comparison, the winner of a sprint gets just 5) and so lapping can change the whole course of the race. We were absolutely on the edge of our seats watching small bunches pull away – would they make it round?  Cav ended up dropping down to finish 6th in the Omnium, but he pulled out all the stops to win the very last sprint, to huge roars from the packed stadium. It was just brilliant.

Marathon training inspiration: what with mothers day this weekend, I feel it’s important to say something about two wonderful mothers who have made such a difference in my life.

Firstly, my own mum, who brought my sister and I up pretty much by herself after my parents divorced, while running a really successful business and showing us we could do anything we wanted if we tried hard enough. Case-in-point – this exercise thing.

Last weekend Facebook kindly reminded me of this post from a few years ago:

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How much has now changed! Mum got into triathlon, I went along to watch, thought it looked fun, taught myself to swim, bought a bike, and ran my first 5km. I used to marvel that she ran 10km and cycled 40 miles every weekend, thinking those were crazy distances and never imagining that I would eventually be able to do that. Now of course, we’re both marathon training together and even completed our first half Ironman together last autumn. Really, mum getting into triathlon has completely changed my life.

And then there’s my wonderful grandma. My dad gave a beautiful speech at her funeral service which had us all in tears, in which he remembered my grandma as a woman who was never angry, who never raised her voice, who was kind and gentle and loving and who tended to get her way without ever even seeming to ask for it. She loved her career as a primary school teacher after her own kids were in school (with a first child before she was 21, there wasn’t much time for a pre-kids career!), and of course, she loved her family. It made me think about the things I would want someone to say in my euology – its far too late for me on the “she never raised her voice or got angry” front but I’d like to spend my life doing the things I’d like to be remembered for – loving my family, being kind and generous, being successful in my career, and always being interested and passionate in whatever I am doing.

So – bringing it all back to marathon training – there is no point in doing it, I don’t want to be doing it, if I am not interested in it and passionate about it. At the moment I 100% am, and that reminder is what will get me through the hard runs!



  1. I was at the track worlds the same night too it was amazing! the atmosphere for the sprint final was amazing. Even if a British rider came to the front of any of the races the crowd were screaming for them to have a go.

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