Ultra marathon training – running in the rain 

James left to go back to the US on Wednesday and so it was really a week of two halves – the first, leaving work as early as possible to spend my last few evenings with James eating great food and watching Harry Potter; the second, working. And then drinking too much on both Friday and Saturday night! 

Running: Run 1 – run into work. really struggled with this. First 3 miles tried to get to 9mm but it was not feeling “easy” or “steady” as suggested so I backed off a little. Run 2: 6 easy miles along the canal on a freezing cold lunch time. 

Run 3: two hours with a fast hour, aiming for 8.40min mile pace in the middle. This run ended up being completely au natural which felt a bit odd. My phone ran out of battery after 30 minutes so I ran most of it with no podcasts or music which is very unlike me! And when I started to put some effort in, I felt great. My pace felt very sustainable, but yet when I looked down at my watch, it was saying I was running really, really fast. Like faster than 8.20, the same pace as my 10km race the day before. It was a bit confusing! So I figured the GPS must be off, and decided to ignore the watch, running to time and feel. 

I felt fine at the end of my fast hour, and slowed down for a 30 min cool-down. This felt really tough especially the last 10 minutes where I felt I had absolutely no energy… I was feeling a bit sad about feeling so weak until my tummy rumbled and reminded me that not only had I been running over lunch time, but I had run a hard 2 hours and hadn’t taken in any calories – nothing except water. I had a 33 Shake chia gel in my pocket that I’d completely forgotten to take and it felt like a bit of a shame to have it with less than 5 minutes to go!

Once home I checked the distance I’d run; my Garmin was out ever-so-slightly but not by very much – I was just running quite hard!

Run 4: the tempo run. 20 mins fast in the middle of an hour long run. This was the workout I wouldn’t have done if I didn’t have a coach. If I wasn’t accountable to someone, there is no way I would have gone out on Sunday. I was very hungover when I woke up and then went out for lunch with my mum and aunt, eating a lot of food and having a glass of wine to keep my aunt company (it was her birthday treat!). On top of all that it was pouring down with rain all day. But you know, it’s not a great thing to say to your coach: oh yeah I’m a really dedicated wannabe ultra runner but I missed a run because I drank too much oops. So I finally dragged myself out to the park just before it got dark, pushing my way through the 20 minutes with one little stop half way up one hill. It was rubbish. But I have to say, even though I didn’t enjoy the run and felt so exhausted after it, I enjoyed that I felt pretty hardcore out in the cold and the pouring rain and the almost dark… I felt like a proper runner!

Cross-training: I can’t really call myself a triathlete anymore. Last week the only cross-training I did was two strength sessions. I am getting stronger but I miss doing the other things… Hopefully this week I’ll have slightly more time and will be able to do slightly more – but then again, I’m running to work so often that I won’t be cycling. I really need to finish work earlier so I can run home some days, then I can alternate cycling and running!

Something fun that was nothing to do with running: an evening watching Harry Potter snuggled on the sofa with James. Saturday eating Mexican food with my friends. Sunday lunch with my mum and aunt. Finishing a huge work project I’ve been working on for months after getting in to work at 7am and celebrating with champagne!!! 


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