I hope that everyone had a great weekend. Mine was a little frantic at times. Thanks for all of your tips on dealing with life related stresses. When this post is published, I should be about an hour into my new job. I’ve decided to include some of my favourite photos of Four Oaks to remind me of home.Following a slightly stressful return trip to Wallingford on Monday, week five of my Cambridge Half training saw me complete an easy 40 minute run on Wednesday evening, a 30 minute tempo run late on Thursday and a 30 minute speed session on Saturday morning. For various reasons, I completely missed my longer 8 mile yesterday. Once again, I found myself walking up and down the stairs at home for 40 minutes on Friday.
So how did my dodgy calf muscles and niggly left foot cope during week five of my half marathon training?
Monday – Rest
Monday was restful but quite draining. My friend very kindly drove me down to Wallingford to check out the room I’ll be renting to start with. For some reason I felt shattered when I got back home. So back to the room. I don’t want to say too much, but although the house is in a great location, there is no shared living room and the room itself was a little disappointing. At least I’ll have more time for reading and blogging.
Tuesday – Rest
Like last Tuesday, I woke up really incredibly gloomy. I’ve said it numerous times but I spend far too much time comparing myself to others. I lay in bed thinking about how little I’ve achieved for someone who is rapidly approaching 40. Most of my contemporaries own their own house, are married with kids and have successful careers. I failed as an academic, and have a PhD not worth the paper it’s printed on. I spent most of the day looking back on all of my career and personal mistakes and worrying about my finances.Needless to say, what should have been a head clearing easy 40 minute run turned into another rest day. I know that I always feel better after a run but for some reason, couldn’t force myself out of the door. Sometimes I really don’t help myself.
Wednesday – 40 mins easy
Although I woke up incredibly sorry for myself, again – so much for my New Year’s resolution to be more positive – a text message from my mentor Geoff put everything into perspective. My life may be a filled with uncertainties at the moment, my left foot may be a bit niggly, but I’m reasonably fit and healthy. I spent most of the day writing list after list and wearing out the washing machine. I decided that while I’m not exactly looking forward to leaving Four Oaks, I can make sure that I remember to take everything I need with me to Wallingford.
After a reasonably productive day, I headed out on my 40 minute easy run just after 20:00. Once again, my calf muscles felt a little tight and niggly to start with, but felt okay when I’d been plodding along for a few minutes. I think I actually managed to run at an ‘easy’ pace for the first time in ages. I started off slowly and resisted the temptation to speed up. I felt great when I got home.
Thursday – 30 mins tempo
I had originally planned to get my 30 minute tempo run done and dusted before 08:00. However, limited sleep due to the combination of restless legs, an incredibly achy left foot and some epic over-thinking meant that I completely slept through my alarm clock. After spending most of the day trying and failing to finish my discharge-rich paper, I headed across Birmingham to collect a couple of papers from the university library.The train home was full of people returning from a concert. The slightly drunken singing was entertaining to start with, but got a little irritating after 30 minutes. I walked home, changed into some running gear and headed out the door. My 30 minute tempo run was completely pain-free and felt amazing. I sometimes wonder if running at an easy pace doesn’t suit my slightly lanky legs.
Friday – 40 mins cross training
Last week, I vowed to find a more enjoyable alternative to my usual 40 minute stair session. As I don’t think shopping counts as cross-training, I found myself plodding up and down the stairs at home for 40 minutes on Friday afternoon. I suspect that I’ll have to completely abandon my weekly cross-training session next week. At the moment I’m aiming to leave Wallingford early on Friday afternoon so that I can catch the 17:00ish train from Oxford.
Saturday – 30 mins speed work
Following the advice of my running coach, I decided to use my Garmin as a stopwatch rather than as a GPS for the third week in a row. As the top of my left foot wasn’t feeling great, I decided to jog for 10 minutes to get my injury-prone feet and legs warmed-up. The second I started jogging my left foot stopped hurting, I sometimes wonder if some of my niggles are all in my mind. Although my 30 minute Fartlek session felt like hard work, when I got home I quickly realised that I ran further during my 30 minute tempo session on Thursday night. Another speed work session fail.
I spent the rest of the day ironing, packing, buying some last minute bits and pieces, stressing, crying, researching train and bus times and generally getting myself completely worked up. Rather than making the most of my last full day in Four Oaks, I’m so pathetic I kept on thinking ‘this time tomorrow I’ll be on my way to Wallingford’ and ‘this time tomorrow I’ll be in Wallingford’. And I wonder why I started to go grey when I was 16! At least I remembered to map out a route for my 8 mile longer run.
Sunday – 8 miles long run
Predictably, I got zero sleep and lay awake all night stressing myself out about the new job. Most people would see starting a new job and getting their foot back on the career ladder as a major positive, I could only focus on the negatives. I’m all too aware that if I don’t at least start this job, I’ll be letting a lot of people down, especially my mentor Geoff. However, I’m also scared that I’ll fail, again.
So that’s week five of my half marathon training not completed. As I’ll be adapting to working 9-5 for the first time in years and living in a new town, I’m not sure how I’ll find the sixth week of training. I just hope that there are a few street lights in Wallingford!
Week six of my half marathon training plan starts with a rest day, this is probably a good thing as I have no doubt I’ll be feeling tired after starting my new job. I’ve then got to complete an easy 45 minute run around an area I’m completely unfamiliar with – at the moment I’m checking out roads with streetlights on Google maps, a 30 minute tempo run on Wednesday, a 40 minute speed work session on Saturday and a slightly longer 8 mile run on Sunday. It will be good to reach the half-way stage of my training.
At the moment I’m planning on returning home on Friday afternoon, so although I may have to forfeit the weekly cross-training session, weather permitting I’ll be able to do a couple of runs in Four Oaks.
- Runs: 14
- Time: 8 hours 24 mins
- Distance: 46.96 miles
- Right heel: 2/10
- Right knee: 3/10
- Left foot: 6/10
- Calf muscles: 3/10