I’m aware that the start of my blogs are getting slightly predictable, but I hope that everyone had a great weekend. I suspect that when this post is published, I’ll be struggling to adapt to office life after spending two weeks in Four Oaks. Thanks to everyone who took the time to read and to comment on my review of the first week of my half marathon training. I’ve said it before, but I really do appreciate all your support.The second week of my half marathon training plan recommended that I completed an easy 30 minute run on Monday, a steady 50 minute run on Tuesday, a steady 45 minute run on Thursday and a steady hour long run on Sunday. After struggling to complete five training runs during week one, I appreciated the extra rest day.
So how did I cope during the second week of my half marathon training? Did I manage to fit my training runs in around a training course? Did I manage to avoid picking up an injury?
Monday – 30 mins easy
I woke up feeling incredibly gloomy when I realised that my week and a bit of annual leave had almost come to an end. In typical Emma style I’d hardly made any progress with my ‘things to do’ list. I sometimes wonder how on earth I managed to complete my PhD thesis. I gave myself yet another talking to, got dressed and ready to run. Unfortunately, my Garmin had died, so I had to wear my ‘normal’ watch. I found the run quite difficult. My legs felt tired, I had no choice but to run at an easy pace.I got home, did some stretches and then lay on my bed relaxing for a while. I’ve no idea why, but I felt exhausted. As I didn’t want to waste my last day, I asked my friend if he wanted to head into Sutton Coldfield for some lunch. He took a little bit of persuading, but I convinced him in the end. We left his car in Sutton Park, and walked the short distance into Sutton Coldfield. As neither of us wanted to eat loads, we headed to TGI Fridays where I picked a slightly random selection of appetizers. Unfortunately, we ended up having to rush our lunch a little; I think it’s safe to say the experience wasn’t very relaxing.
It was good to get week two of my half marathon training off to a somewhat calorific start!
Tuesday – Rest
I should have completed a 50 minute steady run on Tuesday but somehow managed to sleep through my 05:00 alarm. Although my running wasn’t up to scratch, I did manage to get myself back into hydrologist mode and had a reasonably productive day working from home. I did, however, find spending all day on my own quite mentally challenging. It reminded me just how isolated I felt throughout the final two years of my PhD.
Wednesday – 50 mins steady
I had to get up reasonably early as I had a two-day training course in Birmingham and hadn’t actually packed. A quick Google search informed me that I would have access to a gym – I love my priorities – so I packed my trainers and some running gear. For once the trains were running on time, and I did my usual trick of arriving at the location of the training course – Aston University – ridiculously early.
The first day of the course was quite informative – I won’t bore you all to tears with the details – the food was what I would call ‘interesting’. The conference centre provided a decent but not very filling lunch, and I may have overdosed on the snacks that were laid out during each coffee break.We finished at 17:00 and headed to reception to check-in. My room was on the fifth floor and came with a nice view of not a lot. I got changed into my running gear and tracked down the gym. I was pleased to discover that university gyms have improved since my undergrad days; the swimming pool looked quite tempting on a warm Wednesday evening.
I think it’s safe to say that the 50 minute treadmill run reminded me why I avoid treadmills. I was bored after five minutes, wanted to stop running after 10 minutes and nearly lost the will to live after 20 minutes. I reminded myself why I was running and made it to 50 minutes.
Thursday – Rest
After spending slightly longer in the bar networking than I should have done, I found the first session of the second morning of the course a little challenging. When we stopped for a midmorning coffee break, I was pleased to discover that the conference centre had provided some fresh tea and a huge jar of cola bottles.
The food options at lunch were slightly unusual. I’m not sure cod and spicy chickpeas worked well as a combination, but I was so hungry I cleared my plate, a decision I would later on regret. Following a slightly uncomfortable afternoon session – my stomach didn’t feel quite right – the training course came to an end, and we went our separate ways. As my line manager had very kindly allowed me to work from home on Friday, I only had a short journey and arrived back home in Four Oaks at 17:30.
I’d originally planned on completing my 45 minute steady run when I got back from the training course. Unfortunately, my stomach wasn’t feeling great so I decided to postpone my run. I’m not going to go into too much detail but I definitely made the right decision.
Friday – Rest
My rest day on Friday was so incredibly mundane; I won’t bore you all to death with the details.
Saturday – Rest
I headed to bed on Friday night with ambitions of heading to Walsall Arboretum parkrun the following morning. For some reason, I didn’t wake up until 09:30; the time I’d usually be finishing parkrun. I spent an enjoyable couple of hours watching England beat India in the cricket, and although I didn’t run, I’d like to think the two hours I spent cleaning the house counted as a form of cross training.
The rest of Saturday passed by far too quickly. I caught up on some blog related emails, tackled a huge pile of ironing and packed my bags for my reluctant return to Wallingford and work. In the evening, I had arranged to meet up with Anna for a couple of pints in our local pub. After remembering how peaky I felt on Thursday morning, I was sensible and only had a couple of pints. I reluctantly left the pub at 22:30, walked home, laid out my running kit and set my alarm for 05:00.
Sunday – 60 mins steady
I woke up well before my alarm – I was dreaming someone had hacked into my iphone and I could see what they were doing, is that even a thing? I almost went back to sleep, but then I reminded myself of the voicemail Geoff left on my phone yesterday.
Once I’d warmed (it was actually pretty chilly at 05:00) and woken up, I enjoyed my hour long steady run and loved watching the sun make a gradual appearance. I spotted another runner in the distance running along Lichfield Road; he was unfortunately far too speedy for me. Mr Speedy was the only person I saw during the run. I can only assume most people are far too sensible to be out and about before 06:00 on a Sunday.
I got home, drank a pint of water, made myself cuppa, chilled out in the garden for a few minutes, took some terrible photos, and then headed back to bed for a snooze. So that’s the second week of my Royal Parks Half Marathon training more or less completed. Three out of four runs or a 75 per cent success rate isn’t too bad for me…
The third week of my half marathon training plan contains four runs – I have a feeling I may run with a work colleague so may end up running five times. I’ve got to complete a 30 minute easy jog when I finish work today, a 50 minute steady run on Thursday, a 20/25 minute fast run on Friday and a longer 70-75 minute run at a comfortable pace on Sunday. Hopefully nothing will go wrong and I’ll remain injury free.
- Runs: 8
- Time: 5 hours 40 mins
- Distance: 33.42 miles
- £275 (no change from last week)
- Right knee: 2/10
- Left foot: 2/10
How do you motivate yourself to run? I’ve been struggling a little recently, I blame the heat.
Do you try to ‘race’ other runners? I’m not sure why I thought I’d be able to catch up with Mr Speedy but it was never going to happen.