Back to Basics: Week 3 Recap

From the start I suspected that “real-life” would get in the way of the third week of my Back to Basics training plan. A combination of spending a few days in London, eating and drinking far too much meant that running was the last thing on my mind. My left foot has also been slightly niggly so I decided that a few days of rest and relaxation would be beneficial in the long run (apologies for the rubbish pun!).

From a running perspective, the highlight of my week was managing to watch Jo Pavey win 10,000m gold at the Euro Champs. While Jo was running, I was enjoying a few too many bottles of Crabbie’s in a random pub in Marylebone.pavey_3005322bFull marks to Jo Pavey and a huge thanks to the pub (I can’t remember which one!) for showing the athletics.

Monday: 35 minutes non stop run

I always suspected that the progression from walk-run-walk-run would be a challenge for me. I was correct. Due to getting engrossed in my PhD work, I didn’t head out for my run until almost 6pm. As I was getting slightly bored with pounding the same pavements, I decided to cross the road into Staffordshire. Error!! I had forgotten how hilly parts of Little Aston are. I guess the clue was in the fact that the road is called Rosemary Hill Road. I also discovered that in places there is no option but to run in the road. Not ideal in the evening traffic! I’ll stick to running in Four Oaks in future.

I think that I managed to run for 20 minutes before having to wait to cross one of the main roads. Once I’d stopped I found it hard to get going again. This was a really, really disappointing run. I felt like I should have been able to keep going for slightly longer.

Time 35 minutes: Distance 5.39km Pace 06:30/km

Tuesday: Cross Training

I’m not sure that I should really count lugging a heavy rucksack across Birmingham New Street station, navigating the Underground, walking between several pubs and lifting Crabbie’s bottles as cross training?

Wednesday: Complete a 5km run (timed)

On Wednesday I was meant to complete a 5km run (timed)…

In the end I walked approximately 6 miles between Regent’s Park and Blackfriars Bridge. Although I haven’t really referred to my PhD and background as a hydrologist in my blog, deep down I am a hydrology geek. Part of Wednesday was spent following the route of the River Fleet, one of London’s largest lost rivers. I had an amazing time and managed to forget about my PhD research for a couple of hours. I enjoyed an amazing lunch with far too much wine at the Bleeding Heart Tavern and an even more enjoyable evening meal at Casa Becci.

Thursday: Rest

To be frank I absolutely nailed this training session. I am the Queen of Resting!

Friday: 35 minutes non stop run

Friday was meant to be another 35 minute non stop run. However, on Friday morning my left foot felt what I term niggly. Although I wasn’t quite at the  injury stage, I didn’t want to risk the niggle becoming an injury. I suspect that walking across London on Wednesday wearing what I term ‘fashion trainers’ with very limited support wasn’t the most sensible option.

When I eventually got back home to Four Oaks I completed this mini circuit.minicircuit

I am really, really useless at leg raises!

Saturday: 40 minutes non stop jogging

After laying out my running gear ready for parkrun, I woke up early on Saturday morning feeling unwell. So much for the scheduled session of 40 minutes non stop jogging. I knew that the combination of eating rich foods and drinking far too much would catch up with me at some point. I decided to postpone the session until Sunday morning.

Sunday: Rest

I was intending to complete Saturday’s training session this morning. I ate *all* the pasta on Saturday evening and laid out my running gear ready for my run. Unfortunately, after feeling less than 100% throughout Saturday (walking the mile to the local shops left me feeling shattered) I felt unwell again when I woke up. I guess that in a way I should be pleased that I stuck to the rest day that was scheduled in my training plan. I’ve moved on from the days when I was that obsessed with (also addicted to) running I would train when I was ill.

I spent the afternoon analysing river flow data while watching numerous amazing performances by Team GB & NI in the European Championships. After reading some great blog entries this afternoon, I’ve decided that anyone completing the River Rat Race in London yesterday deserved an extra special medal. Please keep on drinking cans of full-fat Coke!

Highlights of Week 3:

  1. Not allowing my training plan to get in the way of having fun.
  2. The fact that having fun enabled me to rest my calf muscles. A win win situation!
  3. The fact that my right foot still hasn’t fallen apart (although my left foot is a little bit “suspect”).
  4. Testing out my CEP compression socks on Monday, they really made a difference.
  5. Improving my cross training skills.

Lessons Learned From Week 3:

  1. I am a lightweight. Rich foods in combination with alcohol resulted in several running related failures.
  2. I need to drink more after running.
  3. Drinking nuun the morning after too many bottles of Crabbie’s really helped to shift my fuzzy head.
  4. Don’t run during the evening rush hour as waiting to cross roads is frustrating.
  5. I really am as unfit as I suspected.

Week 4 looks pretty challenging, but now that my calf muscles are feeling happier I’m determined to nail all of my training sessions!

I’m also determined to track down a decent “yoga for runners” type class in Birmingham this week. There must be some somewhere in this tiny little city that does yoga for runners!


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