Hard Times ... A Week In The Life

Posted on: 26 Jan 2015

Long Hours – Hard Miles

April 12th 2015 and, God willing, the weight loss project that got seriously out of control will lead me to complete my second ever marathon. Not this time London, the City where I grew up. This time a trip to foreign fields (Elysian ones?) and the Paris marathon. But this will be no less of a challenge and no less deserving of the utmost respect. So January 1st, man-flu just about kicked into touch, and my new year's resolution. "Back in the saddle". This time no shilly shallying or wingeing on about the state of the weather. Get a plan and set to work. And my other  new year's resolution? Get blogging again!

My (naive) view when setting off on the road to the Mall last year was that anything starting with a three (or less) is a marathon to be respected. Clearly clap-trap. There are so many factors and considerations (not least of them the inevitable creeping of time). But I managed to get around in 4:17, so surely there must be scope to knock something off that, so a Runners World 4 hours plan it will be.

But I was already a couple of weeks late starting. But I reckon to be (apart from when not running much around Christmas) at a level where I felt I could jump in around week 3. And then I knew there was to be the trip up to London for the CLIC Sargent training day on January 10th to disrupt matters a bit. But that was such an inspirational event for me last year and such an important step in ultimately turning things around and ensuring the success in London, and there was no way I was going to miss it.

So now I am pretty well at the end of Week 6 of the plan.The hours and the miles are steadily building up. And of course the first few weeks has much emphasis on hitting the hills to build up strength. I was so late starting last year that I was largely denied that particular pleasure ;-)

But what to do about running club on Tuesday? Last year I kicked that into touch. A year on I don't really want to do that again. But it is, on the plan, an easy day, and experience has told me that I can feel pretty k£$%^#@(d for the rest of the week after a club night. So the solution to date (which I really like) is to return to Les' "slow" group where this serious(ish) running lark started in earnest in April 2013.

And then there's another thing that has so much enriched life this last year, meeting up with my new "family" on a Saturday morning for the Weymouth park run. I guess lots of people do this for lots of different reasons. And it is often an end in itself, where we constantly measure ourselves against ourselves, pushing our own limits, and striving to knock a few seconds off that PB. But for me that's not what's needed at the moment. So a decision. For the next few weeks, just as it was last year, Saturday should be sacrosanct. Saturday is a no run day.

Parkrun can only carry on because good folks give of their time freely. For the next few weeks I shall be one of those good folks. And this is an easy thing to do because, as I keep telling people (and they never seem to believe it) VOLUNTEERING IS FUN (and, assuming you are pushing yourself, a lot less painful than running!). So this last weekend a new skill for my CV as I learn how to process the results. And this next week, when I'm due to do it again, they're aiming for a record turnout for Weymouth parkrun #75. Thanks a lot guys ;-)

A Week In The Life

So in a nutshell how is it going? Well, as far as last week is concerned:

Monday - REST DAY :-) (and pub quiz)

Tuesday - Club night. No Les this week, so club president Richard lead the "slow" group. Mortified to see he had hills planned. So just took it REALLY easy and completed 5.69 miles.

Wednesday - HILLS. The plan called for 6 miles this week. Bit the bullet and headed off to the same little circuit from Tuesday night. Then headed for the dreaded Lanehouse hill (broadly the Weymouth runners' Mont Ventoux). Twice! (but then one of my friends completed the Mont Ventoux challenge – three ascents on a bicycle in one day – and that was part of his honeymoon!). Ultimately completed 6.37 miles, with (according to Garmin) 193 metres of ascent (and descent).

Thursday – Four miles with two miles at four hour marathon pace in the middle. Headed for the causeway across to Portland. Happily, unlike last week, it was not blowing a hoolie, and hence a straightforward challenge. Ultimately 4.79 miles completed.

Friday – Just an easy six miler (easy six miler! - when this started running a 10k race was a breakthrough achievment). Garmin logged it at 6.25 miles.

Saturday - REST DAY :-) - Park run finish token giver outer of, followed by trainee results processor, and cappuccino drinker.

Sunday – Long run Sunday. Friend Hayley from Egdon Heath Harriers has a club place for her first marathon in London and wanted to run eight miles. My plan called for fifteen. So we met up and ran Hayley's eight miler. At the end I shoulder charged one of those big green electricity boxes, but the only thing wounded was pride (as my ol' mum says – "where there's no sense ... "), And then on to my seven miles. I speeded up imperceptibly, and by the end of 24km was very happy to stop and have a rest.

Week 6 Total - 38.06 miles. Pretty happy that the body is standing up to it so far, but these are still early days. Good to know that I'm going beyond half-marathon distance, but don't think I'm yet anywhere near where I want to be. But many hours and many miles still to run. Don't forget to remember the advice from training day. "Listen to your body".

"En route pour Paris" (so sayeth Google Translate).


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