Cambridge Half Marathon training week 7

I hope that everyone had a great weekend. I think the highlight of my weekend was managing to convince my friend to drive me to Walsall Arboretum parkrun. After struggling to find suitable places to run in the evening in Wallingford, it felt great to be running in the daylight again.Collage 17Following an incredibly tiring Monday – I’m not convinced I’ve adapted to working in a office yet, I completed my first solo run in Wallingford on Tuesday evening, a 30 minute tempo run on Thursday evening, Walsall Arboretum parkrun and a slightly longer 6 mile run yesterday morning.

Once again, a lack of organisational skills and time on Friday morning meant that I found myself walking up and down the stairs for 50 minutes in the evening. Not ideal after I’d treated myself to a Chinese takeaway.

So how did my fragile feet and knees cope with the demands of the seventh week of my half marathon training?

Monday – Rest

Fortunately, Monday was an incredibly restful rest day. After a rather eventful bus journey between Oxford and Wallingford, I didn’t arrive back in my room until almost 22:00 on Sunday. I then found it virtually impossible to get to sleep. I can’t remember exactly when one of my housemates decided to make loads of noise in the kitchen by turning on the extractor fan, but I think it was around 05:00. Marvellous! Work was rather challenging mentally as I was tired and thoughts such as “This time yesterday I was running in a snowy Sutton Park” and “This time yesterday I was in Four Oaks” kept going through my mind.

Tuesday – 45 mins easy

Following a busy and rather tiring day in the office, I found myself getting changed into my ‘lucky’ running outfit just before 19:00. Call me superstitious, but I wanted to do as much as I could to make my first solo run in Wallingford a success! Once I’d warmed-up – I suspect my housemates now think I’m slightly strange – I headed out on what should have been an ‘easy’ 45 minute run. Unfortunately, the run itself felt anything but ‘easy’ as I felt both tired and hungry. After less than 10 minutes I realised my legs were not completely recovered from my snowy Sunday morning run. Looking back, I’ve genuinely got no idea how I managed to run for 45 minutes.

Wednesday – Rest

My original plan was to join up with the Run Wallingford group again. I really enjoyed running with a group last week and was looking forward to running in new places and meeting some more people. However, a sneaky peak on Facebook during my lunch break informed me that the group would be completing a circuits session rather than running. As my rather fragile feet and knees didn’t appear to appreciate last week’s burpees and squats, I decided to be brave and to run on my own again. Collage 18After spending most of the afternoon researching potential running routes in the centre of Wallingford, I ended up postponing my run by 24 hours. Without going into too much detail, I discovered something else my temperamental stomach can’t tolerate. Next time I see anything containing chickpeas I’ll stay well away, it took my stomach ages to return to normal.

Thursday – 30 mins tempo

When I got back from the office at 18:30, I felt so hungry I knew that I would struggle to make myself run. I was about to abandon my 30 minute run for a second time, when I received a text message from my mentor. I can’t share the exact contents of the text message, but I was reminded that I’m healthy and I’m lucky I can run. I got changed into my running gear.

My tempo run was challenging because I was feeling angry and made the mistake of setting out at a far too ambitious pace. I was struggling to breathe after 5 minutes, nearly tripped over after 10 minutes and wanted to walk after 15 minutes. Looking back, I’ve got no idea how I managed to complete my training run. If I feel as unfit as I did during Thursdays 30 minute tempo run, I’m going to struggle to complete the half marathon in March.

Friday – 50 mins cross training

Like last week, thanks to the flexi-time system, I left the office at 15:00 and arrived back in Four Oaks three hours later. Unlike last week, I felt shattered and seriously considered not attempting my weekly cross training session. Once I’d had a quick shower and a power nap I felt ready to spend almost an hour walking up and down the stairs at home. I’m not sure why, but I found this particular cross training session more challenging than my 8 mile run on Sunday.

Saturday – Walsall Arboretum parkrun

I should have completed a 40 minute speed work session but decided to head to Walsall Arboretum parkrun for the first time since August. Although it was cold, wet and windy and the start of the course was very crowded, I decided to see if I could run a sub 30 minute 5k. I felt amazing during the first lap, not so great during the second lap and wanted to walk a million times during the third and final lap. As you can imagine, I was over the moon when my text arrived and I discovered that I’d finished in 29:15.Collage 19I’m not sure that spending several hours on a train surrounded by people coughing and spluttering did me any favours, as I started to feel quite peaky on Saturday afternoon. I decided that I probably just needed to sleep for a couple of hours so headed to bed for a power nap. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel much better when I woke up, and the rest of my Saturday was rather unproductive. Such a waste of a day.

Sunday – rest

When my alarm woke me at 07:00, I felt so unwell I knew that even attempting to run would be stupid. Much as I hate missing longer training runs, I didn’t want to extend my cold and cough by running. I turned off my alarm and went back to sleep for a couple of hours. The rest of my Sunday was a little disappointing as I spend most of the afternoon in bed. Perhaps I should have stayed in Wallingford!

So that’s week 7 of my training for the Cambridge Half Marathon not exactly completed. I’m starting to get a little concerned about my missed training runs. Although I missed my longer run yesterday, I’m really pleased that I finally found the confidence to run in Wallingford alone.

As always, week eight of my half marathon training plan starts with a rest day. I have a feeling that unless I shift this cough/cold Tuesday will also be a rest day. I’ve then got to complete an easy 50 minute run on Tuesday, a 30 minute tempo run on Wednesday – if Run Wallingford are running rather than circuit training on Wednesday I will probably join them, 40 minutes of speed work on Saturday and a longer 10 mile run on Sunday.

At some stage on Friday, I’ve got to squeeze in an hour’s worth of cross-training. As I don’t think I’ll be returning to Four Oaks, I may well check out one of the gyms in Wallingford after work.

Training totals

  • Runs: 20
  • Time: 13 hours 10 mins
  • Distance: 73.62 miles


  • Right heel: 2/10
  • Right knee: 1/10
  • Left foot: 3/10
  • Left calf: 4/10

13 thoughts on “Cambridge Half Marathon training week 7

    • Emma says:

      Thanks Jancanrun. I’m definitely very good at taking extra rest days when I feel tired and know my body needs rest. Last week, I was over the moon with my parkrun time, now I just want to beat my time next Saturday.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Emma says:

      I hope the new job is going really well. I think the biggest challenge is not being allowed to head off for sneaky afternoon naps. I’m also missing the freedom I had and the fact I managed myself during my PhD research.


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Maria. I got really excited earlier when I thought I’d found a new route in Wallingford. As you can imagine, I was quite frustrated when I looked on google maps and realised a huge section of the so-called main road had no streetlights.


    • Emma says:

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my latest training update. I’ve followed you on wordpress and look forward to reading your blog posts. After spending quite a lot of time not working, I’m finding adjusting to working 40+ hours a week quite difficult. At the moment, my running is definitely helping me run away from reality. I suspect that I’d be a lot more stressed without running after work.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. AnnaTheApple says:

    Can I just say you are INCREDIBLE. Walking up and down your stairs for FIFTY MINUTES. That’s insane dedication – mentally and physically.
    Well done on your new running routes and hope the move has gone well!


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Anna. Well done on your marathon run, I can’t access any blogs at work so I’ve got loads to read this weekend. I can’t wait for payday when I can treat myself to some sort of gym membership. I’m about to start a 30 minute stair session. It should have been another 50 minute session, but I’m just too tired and have a slightly niggly right knee. Walking up and down stairs is so monotonous it definitely feels far, far harder than running!


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