Training weeks 8 and 9

Week 8

I vowed to get my training back on track, and I did do a better job. Having not done my long run in week 7, I managed to squeeze a 12 mile run into a spare 2 hours slot I had on a back to back Monday. This is a distance I know I am more than capable of and having pushed too hard in the first 6 miles, uphill, I suffered towards the end. Lesson learned, endurance pace is that for a reason!

My first run of week 8 was scheduled to be a 20 minute speed session, so I went out and did some sprint intervals. Stupidly chose the sprint section to be heading into the wind, so had added resistance. I enjoyed the session though and managed a cool down run afterwards.

My CrossFit session included rowing this week, along with cleans at 70% of my 1 rep max and so once again I decided my recovery run wasn’t really needed this week.

Run three of this week was a 50 minute tempo run, which I rounded down to 5 miles (odd numbers in my mileage messes with my head haha). The run was towards the slower end of my tempo range, but I was pleased to keep within the range, as I was really feeling sore from CrossFit the day before.

I kept to my promise of getting back to going to Parkrun on Saturday mornings and forced myself out of bed to get to Andover Parkrun. Ran faster than I should have, but enjoyed it!

After that the weekend took a bit of an unplanned turn. I’d promised to help my sister with catering for a competition at the gliding club she and her husband are members of. After spending the afternoon and some of the evening in the kitchen and running food back and forth, we both were talked into camping over so we could enjoy a drink. The following morning I agreed to help out with the competition, so needless to say my run didn’t happen.

Week 9 – My birthday and a family holiday

Being away from my usual training buddy for a week meant I needed to keep my head in the right space to get out and run. Having a week with no early morning alarm did me the world of good, and my body naturally woke me reasonably early (and feeling ready to wake up), so actually going out for a run felt easy enough to do.

Run one of the week was due to be a 50 minute hill session. We stayed in a village called East Wittering, which is on the coast. There are no hills! I just went out and ran until I ran out of road. So what I actually did was a 4 mile tempo run. It was lovely to run somewhere different and explore as I went.

Easy run day was scheduled to be 6 miles, and that’s exactly what I did. The previous day my sister, my niece and I had gone for a walk, but didn’t know how far we’d gone. We’d found a lovely sandy beach and I knew it was near to a National Trust site I wanted to check out. So for my run, I ran where we’d walked and carried it on to find East Head. Considering it wasn’t a brilliant day (I got drenched on my way back) there was a gorgeous view from East Head across towards Hayling Island.

Run three was due to be a 70 minute tempo run. We’d done a lot of walking during the week, I’d started to come down with a cold and couldn’t figure out a route without having to go onto main roads. So took the decision to miss my run. We spent the day at East Head as a family, enjoying the sun and sea. In the evening I went for a walk to watch the sunset with my sister and dog, which was just stunning.

Saturday I got up early again and went to Havant Parkrun. It was a lovely course, with a cheeky slow climb up one side. Small numbers, in comparison to places I normally run, meant I placed higher than normal too, which is always nice!

Long run day; I was booked to take part in an RSPCA event called Last One Running, with my niece. This is an endurance event with a difference. The course is a 2 mile loop and you have 25 minutes to complete your first lap. With each lap, a minute is taken off the time allowed to complete it and so runners who don’t complete the lap within the time are knocked out, until there is a ‘last one running’. I completed 7 laps before being knocked out. While I can run a long way, I don’t necessarily do it particularly quickly, so the demand to essentially get faster the longer you keep running, makes this event quite challenging. I was pretty pleased to have managed 2 or 3 laps at tempo pace after having already completed 4 laps at my endurance pace. I followed this up with a 3 mile walk with a friend (part of which I ran, to catch him up!), so actually all together I covered over 16 miles, which was my run target for the day.

Now over half way through my marathon training I need to keep knuckling down but also avoid injury, with only 7 weeks to go!

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