As I mentioned in my last post, it was half-term last week, so my training has not been in its usual routine. Although having the kids at home meant I lost the time I would normally have to myself, the fact that Pete took 3 days off too gave me the chance to fit some running in.
On Monday morning I set off for a 5 mile run to start the week, but almost straight away I had to ammend my plans. I hadn't realised how much my body would still be aching from the previous Saturday's 11-miler. My legs felt very sore, and I only managed 3.1 miles at a 9.17 min/mile pace! I had forgotten how much these long runs can really take it out of you. In addition to this, I got a bad cough over the weekend, and I don't think that helped.
I next ran on Wednesday, when I did 4 miles at a 9.10 pace, so some improvement. However, after I got back, I felt quite wobbly and realised I had a little bug to fight off. Emma had had a bad cold over the weekend, and I think I'd caught something from her.
By Thursday evening I felt a bit better, and ran another 4 miles, at 9.01 pace, so I was gradually recovering my speed from the long run!
On Saturday it was time for my next long run, and at 2 weeks out from my half marathon race, it had to be 12 miles! I planned my route on Friday evening, so I knew exactly where to go, and I tried to get myself in the right mood. I put some podcasts on my ipod and made sure I had enough to last nearly 2 hours. It was so much warmer than last week, which made getting out a lot easier.
However, the run was anything but easy. My legs felt tired from the start, and by 4 or 5 miles I was seriously thinking of heading home. It was windy and blustery, and there were some stretches where I was running into the wind when I was really going at a walking pace. From mile 5 onwards it was incredibly hard work. I just told myself to keep going, and trudged through one mile at a time.
Eventually I made it. I was exhausted by the end, and my mile splits were horrendous. 4 of the 12 miles took 10 minutes or more, which is a time I never like to see. My overall pace was 9.48m/m. In a half marathon this would give me a finish time of 2h 08m, when I'm really aiming to go under 2h 05m.
So it was not a great boost to my half preparations. On the other hand, I always feel a certain pride in sticking out a really tough run, and I'm so glad I was able to get through it and complete the distance in spite of struggling. Taking into account the wind and the fact that I'd been a bit under the weather and had a nasty cough, I hope I can do better in a couple of weeks.
All that running came to 23.1 miles - still going up! I'll have a little taper next week though, so it won't be as high.
Apart from training, half term has been pretty good. We've managed a fair bit of relaxing, as well as the cinema, a castle, a bike ride, a school project, an art gallery, a walk on the beach, the library, some tree-climbing, and many, many cafes!