Great Birmingham Run training week 3

I hope that everyone had a really good weekend. Thanks for all of the comments on last week’s training update. Hopefully this week’s update will be slightly more positive.Collage 6Week 3 saw me progress from the ‘getting started’ to the first week of the ‘building’ phase of my half marathon training plan. To be honest, I feel so unfit at the moment, I was concerned that moving onto the next phase of training was a little ambitious. Fortunately, I remembered that the training sessions in week 3 were identical to those I’d successfully completed the previous week. Panic over!

Monday – Rest

Nothing beats starting the week with a rest day. My right heel was quite sore in the morning, so I worked my way through the plantar fasciitis rehab exercises I downloaded from Kinetic Revolution and the calf stretches recommended on the Rehab4Runners site. Fortunately, my heel felt much better afterwards.

Following a rather unproductive morning, I spent the remainder of the day writing cover letters and CVs for a couple of jobs. Fingers crossed my applications get me at least one interview invite.

Tuesday – 15 mins jog

As I didn’t feel 100 per cent when I woke up at 05:30, I decided to delay my run until later in the day. I spent most of the morning reviewing a couple of not very interesting unpublished manuscripts. By midday I was more than ready for a break from reading about environmental flows. I got changed into some running gear, worked my way through my PF stretches and headed out on what I hoped would be a 15 minute jog.

I had originally planned to run for approximately eight minutes, turn around, and run back home. My plan failed, and I found myself running along a main road. What was an enjoyable run, could have been ruined by a man in a van calling me a “fat c**t”. Luckily for me, the man was driving a fully branded company van; this enabled me to report the driver when I got home. My email might not make any difference, but I felt better after hitting send!

Wednesday – Rest

Another rest day and another dull but productive day of job hunting, manuscript reviewing, blog admin, emails, decluttering, foam rolling and household chores.

Thursday – 10 mins jog

I dragged myself out of bed, got changed into some running gear and spent 30 minutes working through a random selection of PF exercises and stretches. For once I set out at a sensible pace and found the mile I covered in 10 minutes quite enjoyable. As an added bonus the hecklers stayed away. After spending the rest of the morning drafting out some ideas for an academic paper, I boarded the train to London Euston. The second I sat down, I discovered that the line into London was closed due to yet another signalling failure. Awesome! After power walking the short distance to Birmingham Moor Street, I reached London an hour later than originally planned.Collage 7For some reason, I thought that drinking two bottles of Crabbie’s and a pint of beer after I’d missed lunch was a good idea. It wasn’t and it didn’t take long for me to feel slightly – a massive understatement – tipsy, so we headed straight to Hardy’s. I decided to play it safe and opted for fish and chips followed by Gooseberry Fool. Quite appropriate for this fool!

Friday – Rest

It’s a good job Friday was a rest day as I woke up feeling dehydrated with a fuzzy head. The emergency post-booze McDonald’s breakfast I consumed didn’t help and the train journey home was challenging. Once I’d recovered from my hangover, I spent thirty minutes working through some of the slightly less challenging Jasyoga reset videos. After a much needed powernap, I spent the evening watching the European U23 athletics. Definitely a restful rest day!

Saturday – Rest

According to Great Run, Saturday marked three months until the Great Birmingham Run! My heel celebrated the milestone by feeling really niggly. Every time I stood up after sitting down for any period of time, my heel reminded me that it wasn’t 100 per cent fixed. Not ideal, but the niggle meant that I rested as much as I could and had a boring but productive day. I tackled the pile of washing that had built up during the week, ordered a couple of birthday presents for my soon to be seven year old niece and watched England beat the West Indies in the Women’s Cricket World Cup. Fortunately, my heel started to feel a lot better towards the end of the day, and I felt confident I’ll be able to run the following morning.

Sunday – 20 mins jog

Once again, I set my alarm for 05:30 and found myself dressed – obviously! – and out the door before 06:15. Unfortunately, my right heel felt quite sore for the first five minutes or so, and I was aware that I was running like a wonky donkey. Although my dodgy heel did eventually warm up, my legs felt like lead and the 20 minute run was not much fun. I got home, made myself drink a pint of water and orange nuun and then treated my feet to a 30 minute ice bath. Not the most positive end to the third week of half marathon training.

So that’s the third week of my half marathon training plan more or less successfully completed, only another 13 weeks and training updates to go. I was reminded that unfortunately, not everyone is supportive of runners and that I’m still useless at running in humid conditions. I’ve had a peek at next week’s training schedule; I’ll be completing my first back-to-back session tomorrow morning. The duration of my midweek run increases from 15 to 20 minutes and my longer run on Sunday from 20 to 30 minutes. After struggling to run for 20 minutes on Sunday because of my heel, I genuinely have no idea if I’ll be able to run continuously for 30 minutes next week.

Training totals

  • Runs: 9
  • Time: 2 hours 10 mins
  • Distance: 12.49 miles


  • Right heel: 5/10
  • Right knee: 2/10
  • Left foot: 3/10

When do you prefer to run? I think I’m starting to rediscover my love of running first thing in the morning. It’s cooler, there’s very little traffic and I have the pavements to myself.

A rather random question, but what is your favourite nuun flavour? Much as I like orange nuun, I’d quite like to try a few more flavours.


8 thoughts on “Great Birmingham Run training week 3

  1. cat h bradley says:

    Definitely early morning runner here! I haven’t run in the evening in years–there are just too many good excuses that accumulate throughout the day to not do it. Love starting my day with exercise and then feeling it in my body the rest of the day, if that makes any sense!


    • Emma says:

      As a convert to early morning running I know exactly what you mean. I’ve only talked myself out of running in the evening a couple of times, but the temptation is always there. I sometimes get quite hungry late in the afternoon and then find running in the evening quite difficult.


  2. swosei12blog says:

    Man, that plate of fish and chips looks so delicious.

    Random question about your job hunting: Is searching for a job more network-based in your neck of the woods? I have been finding (at least here in NYC) that is more about who you know, rather than what you know. Not to be a hater, I have know plenty of people who have jobs that I want who are waaaay less qualified than I am. C’mon, I have a freaking Ph.D.!!!!

    To answer one of your questions. I am more of an early morning runner, because one never knows when a fun happy hour will creep up on you, as I described in my training update today.

    Happy training and job hunting.


    • Emma says:

      From what I can remember (which isn’t that much because I was a little tipsy), the fish and chips did taste delicious. I just wish London restaurants were slightly more generous with their chips. Searching for a job is very much network-based here. From personal experience, it’s definitely a case of who you know rather than what you know. It also seems to be far easier to get a job when you already have a job. Being unemployed is seen as a huge negative here. Having a PhD is also seen by some as negative as managers don’t want to employ people with academic rather than practical experience. I reckon that most runners prefer early morning running. I’ve just been reading your blog. Both the drinking and running scenes look pretty amazing in NYC!


  3. Maria @ Maria Runs says:

    Good luck with the job hunting.
    And well done for emailing the company, I would be furious and they should speak to the driver because that is not acceptable at all.
    I like first thing at the weekends or in the holidays, but before work I find it very stressful as I worry about getting back too late and getting stuck in traffic,so in the week it’s after work for me.
    Tropical nuun is my fave. I quite like the pink lemonade, and the tri berry too.


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Maria. I’ve realised that job hunting during the summer holidays is going to be a slow and frustrating process.
      I thought that emailing the company and giving them the chance to identify the driver was the best approach. Hopefully I’ll receive some sort of response soon. When I was marathon training when I worked at the Environment Agency, thanks to flexitime I was able to take an hour off for lunch. I don’t think I would have coped with running first thing and then doing a full day at work.
      I don’t think I’ve tried pink lemonade nuun. I’ll see if I can track some down.


  4. AnnaTheApple says:

    That’s disgusting about that van driver. Glad you emailed them. If you don’t get a reply, I’d name and shame the company personally. I’d be all over Twitter with that.
    Glad the running is going OK, but sorry to hear about your heel being a bit sore.


    • Emma says:

      Tell me about it. The van driver demonstrated the complete lack of intelligence of most male hecklers when he shouted at me through the window of a company van. If I don’t get a response to my email by Friday it will be twitter time. The heel is getting irritating!


Leave a 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.