Wednesday, 6 January 2016

TRAINING UPDATE: Week 5 of half marathon training

The Christmas break is over and we are all back into our everyday routines. Mine hit me like a ton of bricks! After two full weeks off work, I am on struggle street this week trying to get my body back into life mode. Over the holidays though, I did have a strict workout plan in place to ensure I stay on track for my half marathon training.

It all kicked off with a parkrun on my first day of the Christmas break. The previous fortnight had been, to be quite frank, boozy and the night before this particular workout, I did opt for a few too many gins. I did feel quite rough come morning but I dragged my ass out of bed and trotted down to my local parkrun. I felt really queasy jogging there and did wonder whether I would be able to do it! Despite how I felt, it was punishment for all the endless G&Ts I had recently and whilst every step of the way hurt, I was impressed to finish in 23.41. No where near a PB but definitely faster than I expected! I also got to see my tri buddy for a catch up which was nice.
In the first week of the holidays, I was visiting my in-laws and I had three runs to squeeze in. I decided to do two before Christmas and one after. They live in the hilly countryside so these runs are tough. Everytime I run there my calves are in agony! I managed to bosh out successful paced and tempo runs pre Christmas Day but by the time it came for my weekly long run (this one in particular was seven miles), I was so full of mince pies and food, I was dreading it.

I had every right to dread it. I felt like a slug crawling through treacle on this run. Combine this with the hills and I was in agony! It felt like it went on forever and when I reached the last mile, I was so relieved for it to all be over. I managed a pace of 8.24. Not great but not too shabby either.

I feel like after this long run, everything went downhill in the second week of my break. By this point I had travelled over to my parents in Wiltshire (again countryside setting) but the weather was absolutely awful all week that I dreaded going outside.

Luckily Monday was spent doing a swim session so I was indoors in the luxury of a heated pool. My first run however was my weekly paced run. On this day, we were experiencing the gales from Storm Frank and I don't think I have ever ran in winds so strong. At one point, running up a hill, I had to stop for a moment as it took my breath away! On a positive note, I decided to run through the local park which does have some wonderful places to run...
The next day I was back out, this time doing a speed session of 8x 400ms. My legs ached from the pace run but I trooped on (again in gale force winds) and managed a pace of 6.42. This was a lot quicker than needed as 5K pace was required (which for me is 7.20s). Come the weekend though and it was a different story. As I woke up, I could hear the wind and rain whilst I was snuggled in bed. It was so bad I thought the window pane was going to smash!
Did I want to go out for a run? No fricking way! I had to do eight miles and judging by the weather conditions outside, I did not pack the right clothing for it. I knew I couldn't miss this run though - the distance sessions for me are super important. So I forced myself to get dressed and luckily my sister let me borrow a thin windproof jacket (every little helps!). Setting off, the rain was so bad I felt utterly miserable. Weaving around the country lanes, I felt so isolated and had no enthusiasm what so ever. Two miles in I had to stop to check GoogleMaps as I got a bit lost. Getting my phone out from my bumbag, it was damp from the rain. In fact, I was soaked through to my pants and I could feel the shivers coming on. By this point, I thought 'sod it!' and turned around to head home. I didn't care about the eight miles, all I cared about was getting home. I did however take a slightly different route home, extending it slightly to finish at five miles. Appalling I know but I have never felt so happy to be back home and in my dressing down.
Coming back to London, I felt mixed about my training over the holidays. I hadn't had a great success in the sessions and I know this was down to my body being out of sync and drugged on endless mince pies. However, I had stuck (almost) to my plan. That surely is better than nothing right?

I am now back in the working routine and already feel good getting back into my daily schedules. I am back on the cycling commute and already completed two training sessions. Now I just need to stay focussed and avoid any minor slip ups before the big race on the 21st Feb.

Lipstick Runner.

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