Monday, 20 February 2012

Last week's miles

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!


  1. Great week of running! You will be ready for the half for sure. Those tough runs make us strong mentally as well.

  2. I think you're in good position for a sub-2:05 with a 12-miler at that pace. :)

  3. Running with the wind and having a cough - of course you would have found it tough going. You just need to get your health right and run in better weather conditions and you'll get your goal.

  4. You will do much better in the actual half than on the training run. You'll be great!

  5. Bugs and coughs are no good for runners, but you coped very well under the circumstances. I think you'll manage a sub 2.05 in your ½ marathon. The crowds and the adrenalin will pull you through.

  6. I've seen ice in the sea a lot now and it is still strange!