Great Birmingham Run training week 2

I hope that everyone had a great weekend. I’m quite nosey and can’t wait to read about what you all got up to, so please get blogging. After I successfully navigated my way through the first week of my beginners’ half marathon training plan, I was hoping for a niggle-free second week of training.Collage 4I’m so injury-prone, I’ve got quite obsessive over warming-up before and cooling-down after each training run. I’ve actually spent more time warming-up and attempting to cool-down – challenging in the warmer weather – than I have actually running.

The second week of my training plan is described as ‘getting started 2’and comprised of a 10 minute jog on Tuesday, a 15 minute jog on Thursday and a slightly longer 15-20 minute jog on Sunday. Here are my thoughts on the second week of half marathon training.

Monday – Rest

After spending over two hours searching for and failing to find any hydrologist jobs, I spent most of Monday feeling rather depressed. I’ll be totally honest with you all; the interview last week went so well I thought I’d be offered the job. The person interviewing me discussed my potential salary, holiday entitlement and other perks, so receiving another ‘thanks but no thanks’ phone call came as quite a shock and knocked my confidence.

Following a not very productive morning, I spent the afternoon packaging up my latest pile of FleaBay sales and setting myself a timetable and some targets for the week. I also made myself head out for a short walk around Four Oaks.

Tuesday – 10 mins jog

Although my daily job search was fruitless, Tuesday morning was reasonably productive. I caused a queue at the local Post Office and remembered to drop my pill prescription off at Boots. I was so busy replying to blog related emails, I completely lost track of the time and didn’t get ready for my run until 13:00. I worked my way through my PF exercises and stretches, knocked back some water and stepped outside.

When did it get so hot!?

I’m so unfit at the moment I found jogging for 10 minutes quite challenging. I managed to cover exactly a mile in 10 minutes, probably slightly too speedy for a ‘jog’ but a good start to the second week of training. I got home, worked my way through some more stretches, iced my foot and then proceeded to do a great impression of ‘Barry the Beetroot’ for well over an hour. Awesome!

Wednesday – Rest

With the exception of a short walk to my local Sainsbury’s, I actually followed the training plan and did no exercise. I spent the majority of the day watching England beat South Africa in the Women’s Cricket World Cup. In the evening, I found myself reading other blogs and feeling slightly jealous. I can’t wait to find a job, spending all day on my own definitely isn’t doing my mental health any favours.

Thursday – 15 mins jog

After nearly melting on Tuesday, I decided it would be sensible to run first thing in the morning before it got too hot. My alarm went off at 05:30, I reached out, switched it off and immediately went back to sleep. An early morning run fail! After spending most of the day struggling to concentrate due the heat – my office is tiny and felt like a sauna – I finally headed out for a 15 minute run in the evening. It took me approximately 30 seconds to realise that it was still boiling hot and humid, never a winning combination for an unfit runner. Looking back, I’ve no idea how I managed to run for 15 minutes without stopping but I did. I spent the rest of the evening trying to cool down.

Friday – Rest

When I got out of bed, I was over the moon to discover that my fragile right foot was pain-free less than 12 hours after I’d completed a 15 minute run. I wasn’t quite as thrilled when I discovered the Great Birmingham Run was only 100 days away. I found running for 20 minutes so challenging, I seriously questioned whether I’d be able to run a half marathon in 100 days time. The rest of Friday was uneventful but productive. While most people probably made the most of the sunshine and headed out for a few beers, I spent the evening watching Wimbledon.

Saturday – Rest

While most sensible runners were at parkrun, I was tackling my mountain of ironing. Fortunately, my Saturday did improve. As part of ‘operation move’ I spent the morning sorting through some more of the junk in the loft. I was quite shocked to discover two Garmin Forerunner GPS watches, three Nike running watches and a couple of iPods. I had no idea that I’d wasted so much money on running accessories in the past. Definitely a case of all the kit still shit!Collage 5In the afternoon, I headed across Birmingham to the University to collect a couple of books. While I was at the university I managed to track down my first three Big Sleuth bears, only another 97 bears to find. In the evening I met up with my friend Kate for a couple of beers. After last week’s drunken race entry shenanigans I made sure that stopped drinking after two pints.

Sunday – 15-20 mins jog

After struggling in the heat and humidity on Thursday, I set my alarm for 05:30 as I wanted to be warmed-up and ready to run by 06:00. For some reason I found the 20 minute run far more challenging this time, so much for progress and getting fitter. Rather worryingly, even after spending 30 minutes working through my PF stretches, my right heel felt quite niggly for the first five minutes of my run. Walking three miles in flat shoes the previous evening had clearly made my PF flare up a little.

I returned from my run, knocked back a pint of water and soaked my feet in a bowl of cold water. I had a shower and returned to bed for a couple of hours. I then spent the majority of the day watching England finally beat Australia in a Women’s Cricket World Cup match, and listing more bits and pieces on FleaBay.

So that’s the second week of half marathon training more or less successfully completed, only another 14 weeks to go. Apologies for the rather gloomy post, hopefully I’ll feel more positive next week. I’ve looked at the training schedule for next week – the start of the ‘building’ phase – and the training runs appear to be exactly the same. I’ve got everything crossed that the niggle in my left foot doesn’t turn out to be another stress fracture.

Training totals

  • Runs: 6
  • Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Distance: 8.13 miles


  • Right heel: 4/10
  • Right knee: 1/10
  • Left foot: 3/10

Do you think it’s more important to warm-up before or to cool-down after a run? I’ve heard so many conflicting opinions over the years, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Would you get involved in The Big Sleuth bear hunt if you lived in Birmingham? My friend Kate was horrified when I showed her my bear photos!


7 thoughts on “Great Birmingham Run training week 2

  1. swosei12blog says:

    Man what a tough blow with the job thing. Trust me, I know how it feels to be sooooo close to something and lost it at the last moment. Something will come up.

    This summer’s heat has been no joke but you will acclimate to it.

    For me, both warming up and cooling down are equally important just because I am no longer a spring chicken.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Emma says:

      Thanks, I’ve just about managed to move on from the disappointment of not getting the job. The fact that I know I performed really well in the interview made it feel much worse. My friend keeps reminding me that everything happens for a reason and that a great job opportunity will appear soon. Fortunately for me it looks like the weather has cooled down a little. When I was younger and less injury-prone, I never used to bother to warm up or cool down. Now that I’m 38 I make sure that I do both!


      • swosei12blog says:

        On Monday, I just got word that I would no longer be considered for a position. I was a little disappointed (mainly, because I may have screwed up a little). But, I know that I have to keep moving and I beat myself up . . . to much.


  2. Maria @ Maria Runs says:

    Those bears are great! I love hunting for things like that- I found a lot of them in Brighton when they had the snow dogs, and I am sure there were bears in Berlin when I was there.
    Well done on the runs- fingers crossed that your foot stays OK.
    I am not the best at warming up or cooling down, but I think it’s more important in the cold weather as I get very stiff. My first mile is usually a warm up for me, and I do stretch a bit when I get home.


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Maria, I found a six more bears in the centre of Sutton Coldfield yesterday. The Big Sleuth is already popular; I spotted loads of people taking photos of the bears in the centre of Sutton Coldfield yesterday. Some bears were so in demand there was a queue to get near them. I just hope that they don’t get vandalised. I also hope that my foot stays okay, unfortunately it seems to be a little bit niggly today after yesterday’s run. At the moment, most of my runs only last a mile, I’m looking forward to tackling some slightly longer distances. I never used to stretch after a run, now I’m scared I’ll pick up yet another niggle if I don’t.


  3. Alasdair McGill says:

    I always do a warm up & cool down for every run, even the short easy ones. And I stretch at least twice a day, always before bed. I find that doing this ensures a better quality of sleep


    • Emma says:

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I think I’m paying the price for being quite lazy with my warming up and cooling down. I used to stick my running gear on and head straight out the door, I never even attempted to warm up. My idea of a cool down was sitting on the sofa immediately after each run.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to Emma Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.