They say a change is as good as a rest, so I tried something different for this week’s long run. Instead of cramming in the miles early doors on a Sunday morning, I made arrangements to drop my daughter off with her granny on the Saturday instead and headed out for half marathon distance from her house before lunch.
It meant somewhere different to run, so I plotted a route that incorporated most of the 8.5 mile Great Midlands Run (which annoyingly I missed this year) and extended the start and finish to bump it up to the required 13.1.
The Great Mids takes place each June in Sutton Coldfield and crosses through Sutton Park, a large AOOB which is famous in running circles for ‘Cardiac Hill’, a punishing climb from Town Gate to Four Oaks. Perhaps not something to take on when you’re nursing a temperamental thigh and an ankle sprain, but I’m never one to shy away from a challenge!
Joking apart, the run was fine and mercifully drama-free. There were a couple of other testy hills on the route, so I was pretty exhausted by the end. But I came in with a 1hr 53 – a bit quicker than my planned marathon pace and perfectly respectable for a half, albeit a long way from my best.
All in all last week was a good one, running-wise. With my ankle feeling a lot better, I was comfortable pushing the pace a bit on two of my shorter runs (both 5ks, both 23mins). I really enjoyed them, having been forced to run so conservatively these past few training sessions for fear of worsening my injuries.
This week I have to knuckle down to some serious mileage. Eight miles tomorrow, then six, five and an 18 mile long run – the biggest weekly mileage of the programme so far. No fast runs this week, gentle and controlled all the way.
What I also need to do, with just eight weeks to go until Birmingham, is resume my core sessions at home. I’ve been slacking this time around and it’s starting to show. I need to watch my weight too because it’s creeping up and the last thing I need is to be carrying extra timber around 26.2 miles in October.
Eight weeks… it’s coming around awfully fast now.
Talking of changes of scene, next week sees a long-awaited short break. I’m off to Bala in Wales with my daughter for four nights. Unlikely there will be any running (can’t exactly leave a six year old to fend for herself while I head off to train!) but a bit of R&R certainly won’t do me any harm.
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