Great Birmingham Run training week 13

I hope that everyone had an awesome weekend. I can’t wait to read everyone’s race recaps so please get writing. The highlight of my weekend was somehow managing to run for 100 minutes yesterday.Collage 32I should have completed four training runs during week 13 of my half marathon training. Unfortunately, a persistent migraine meant I only managed a 20 minute run on Monday and a longer run yesterday. I keep telling myself that the longer runs are the most important runs and that the extra rest has helped my knee. I’m still feeling a little stressed and completely undertrained.

So what went wrong last week?

Monday – 20 mins very easy

After a stressful morning spent packaging eBay sales, preparing and double-checking all the paperwork I needed for my interview, ironing, checking train times and generally getting myself completely worked up, I travelled down to London to meet up with my mentor Geoff. Collage 33After discussing my imminent interview, we had a couple of pints in his local pub and vowed to sample the Monday Madness menu next time I’m in London. Feeling suitably refreshed and also incredibly hungry, we then walked the short distance to a local family owned Italian restaurant, Casa Becci. As I’m not very adventurous, I opted for my usual prawn cocktail followed by steak with peppercorn sauce.

Tuesday – Rest

I’ve no idea why, but I found the majority of Tuesday incredibly stressful. I had an interview near Wallingford in the afternoon and discovered that I’d allocated myself far, far too much travel time. Getting to an interview 45 minutes early wasn’t ideal but I guess it’s better than being late. The interview itself went reasonably well, however, I don’t think I’ll get the job as there were a couple of slightly awkward silences and I went into what I call waffle mode. I have a feeling I completely messed up a couple of questions in the technical assessment which is slightly embarrassing. At least I managed to avoid the Aston Villa supporters on the train home.

Wednesday – Rest

I should have completed a ‘brisk’ 60 minute run but I didn’t. When my alarm woke me at 5:30am – I’d given myself an extra 30 minutes in bed – I had a bad headache. It took me five minutes to work out that I’d got a migraine and that running for an hour wouldn’t shift it. The rest of the day was a complete write-off. Each time I tried to sit up I felt dizzy and I couldn’t see properly. Although I felt a bit better by the afternoon, working on my computer was virtually impossible as I couldn’t focus on the screen. I gave up at 9pm and went to bed.

Thursday – Rest

Yet another rest day… My vision was still more than a little dodgy so I stayed away from my computer as much as I could. I also dug out my glasses and actually wore them. Following a reasonably productive morning of interview related admin, my friend picked me up and drove us the short distance to one of my favourite shops; Sutton Runner in Boldmere. Spending time inside a specialist running shop when you are on a buying ban is challenging but I managed. Just. Some of the new Nike running shorts were rather sexy looking and quite hard to resist. My friend tried on several styles and sizes of trainers and ordered a pair to be delivered to the store. It looks like I’ll be repeating the ‘ordeal’ next week.

Friday – Rest

Unfortunately, I still felt quite dizzy when I got up and my eyesight was far from perfect. As I live and run on my own, I was sensible and decided to skip my early morning 45 minute run. I promised myself that I’d run later in the day if I felt better. I didn’t feel better and ended up heading to bed at 9pm. At least my dodgy knee and feet felt completely niggle-free. Every cloud and all that…

Saturday – Rest

When I woke up I discovered that my headache had finally gone. A great start to the weekend. Quite frankly, my Saturday was so dull I don’t think it’s worth sharing the details here. At least I got a lot of sleep before my long run the following morning.

Sunday – Easy 100 min jog

Once again, I found myself debating the pros and cons of running first thing on a Sunday morning. I decided that after missing two training runs the pros definitely outweighed the cons. I’d also hate myself if I didn’t run. I got dressed, went to the loo, drank a couple of glasses of water, did some stretches, went to the loo again and headed outside into the dark. My Garmin took so long to decide to function as a GPS I thought it had finally broken.

As I had no idea if or how my head would react to me pounding the pavements of Four Oaks, I set out at a very steady pace. At times I felt I was power walking rather than running, however, when I tried to increase my pace, my legs said no. After thirty minutes I got what felt like mild pins and needles in my right foot, my new socks must have been slightly too tight or something. Although my attempt at running was pretty pathetic, I ran continuously for 100 minutes and didn’t let any of my nemesis hills beat me. The training sessions I’d missed earlier in the week hadn’t impacted my fitness levels too much, and I felt pretty good at the end of the run.Collage 34So that’s the thirteenth week of my Great Birmingham Run training not exactly completed. Although my dodgy head prevented me from heading out on two training runs, I managed to complete the most important longer run. There are now only three weeks to go so hopefully I’ll avoid migraines, knee niggles and Freshers’ Flu.

Next week’s schedule contains four training runs, is described as the ‘peak week’ and looks very challenging. I’ve got to run for 50 minutes on Tuesday and Thursday and for 10 minutes on Saturday. If I’m still in one piece and haven’t developed another migraine, I’m aiming to run for 120 minutes on Sunday. I managed to run for two hours last year, hopefully I can do it again this year.

Training totals

  • Runs: 40
  • Time 19 hours 0 mins
  • Distance: 104.64 miles

 Races/time trials

  • 5 km: 32:49
  • 10 km: 66:52


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

10 thoughts on “Great Birmingham Run training week 13

  1. AnnaTheApple says:

    I would say definitely the long run is the most important! Sorry about your migraine, that sucks.
    I feel like interviewers shouldn’t mark people down for nervous talking and filling in gaps. It’s only natural. Fingers crossed for you!


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Anna. After missing a load more shorter midweek runs and starting to feel quite unfit, I’m hoping that the longer runs really are the most important. I’ll find out next Sunday. I’ve got everything crossed that my latest cluster of migraines has come to an end. When I used to interview people I made allowances for nervous talking, luckily the people who interviewed me appear to have done the same.


  2. Em says:

    I would definitely say I a not the most healthiest of sort but your blog is really helping get me motivated to go back to the gym. I love how passionate you are and the progress you’ve made is truly amazing.
    Em xxx


    • Emma says:

      Thanks for the lovely comments Em. Although I haven’t exactly been that motivated these last few weeks and have definitely fallen out of love with early morning running. I’m blaming the dark mornings! I was making progress, but after not running a lot recently, feel like I’ve lost a lot of fitness. I’m still reasonably confident I’ll be able to complete the half marathon next Sunday.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. swosei12blog says:

    I know how those migraines go; every now and then, I get really debilitating ones and I an pretty much useless. Sorry about the interview.

    Hopefully, you did better than you thought. What’s “waffle mode”?


    • Emma says:

      They are a nightmare aren’t they? I’m sorry you also get migraines occasionally. I’m just pleased I don’t seem to get the sickness a lot of people get. I was pretty useless (well slightly more useless than normal) for almost a week, I still don’t feel 100 per cent now. The interview must have gone much better than I thought as I got offered a job for 12 months. Waffle mode is when I talk complete rubbish during an interview, usually in an attempt to fill an uncomfortable silence, or when I think the people interviewing me are waiting for me to say something else.


  4. Maria @ Maria Runs says:

    Well done on the 100 min run, that’s a great amount to do. The long runs are the most important I would think, and it is better to be under than overtrained too.
    The migraines sound awful- resting was certainly the right thing.


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Maria. I’m definitely undertrained at the moment, at least all my niggles have virtually disappeared. I’m just pleased I’m not the type of runner who feels she *has* to run x number of times a week. The migraines were awful, I just hope I’ve reached the end of the latest cluster. I only ever get migraines once every 2-3 years so I’m quite lucky.


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