Royal Parks Half Marathon training week 10

Good morning. I can’t believe it’s October already. Anyway, as always I hope that you all had a great weekend. I think the highlights of my weekend were the fact I finally managed to complete a long run, and the awesome roast dinner mum cooked for me yesterday. In my opinion, nothing beats a home cooked roast dinner.Collage 31Week 10 of my half marathon training plan – the ‘peak week’ *panic* – recommended that I complete a 30 minute long easy run on Monday, an hour long easy run on Thursday, parkrun or a 5k run on Saturday, and a longer 120-130 minute run on Sunday. After the previous week was a bit of a disaster area, I was determined to complete every run.

So how did I get on during the tenth week of my half marathon training? Did my dodgy head stop me from running? Did I remain injury free? Did I manage to run at all?

Monday – 30 mins easy

Did everyone else have an unexpectedly chilly start to the week? I wasn’t expecting to see patches of frost. It was sunny but cold. The River Thames was quite literally steaming. As I’m a river geek, I stopped to take some photos. Work was a little difficult at times but I survived and managed to get quite a lot done. I left the office at 16:30, resisted the temptation to stop off for a pint, and headed back to my room for a quick nap.Collage 32I must have been tired because my so-called “quick nap” lasted almost three hours. Another epic Emma fail! I woke up feeling quite disorientated and not really in the mood for running. I reminded myself why I was running, got changed, did some stretches and then headed outside into the dark. I enjoyed every minute of the run. After spending the summer struggling to run in warm conditions, the cooler conditions made a refreshing change.

Tuesday – Rest

After a slightly tricky meeting at work, I think it’s safe to say the highlight of my day was a relaxing walk along a section of the River Thames. Sometimes it’s good just to get outside.

Wednesday – Rest

Another rest day! The office was so empty; I started to wonder if something had happened. My midyear review went really, really well. I’ve got to stop being so tough on myself and to focus more on my positives. My line manager actually asked me to list some of my positives. I struggled quite a lot! I left the office just before 17:00 and started the long journey back to Four Oaks. The journey between Oxford and Birmingham was a bit of a runner’s nightmare. I was sat next to a lady who spent the whole journey coughing and sniffing. I spent over an hour trying not to breathe. I was very happy when the train reached Birmingham, and I could escape the germs.

Thursday – 60 mins easy

As you can imagine, I was thrilled when I woke up at 05:00 feeling as normal as I ever do. I wasn’t so pleased when I discovered that my Garmin had gone flat. I had two options; to run ‘naked’ without my Garmin or to charge my Garmin and run later. Although, as a stats geek, I knew I’d find not having detailed running stats frustrating, I decided to run using my phone as a stopwatch.

For once, I think I managed to get my pacing spot on and the hour long run felt relatively easy. I got home, made sure that I had something to drink and then headed back to bed for a couple of hours. A little lazy but I wanted to grab some more sleep before my hospital appointment. I’m not going to go into too much detail in this blog, but spending just a short time in hospital gave me a tiny indication of what Geoff went through in the lead up to his cancer diagnosis.

Friday – Rest

I had an incredibly productive but not very blogworthy rest day. I popped into Lichfield to collect some clothes from Dorothy Perkins and to break the coin deposit machine. I spent a couple of hours listing some unwanted running gear on FleaBay, and got a couple of slightly overdue product review posts completed. I treated myself to a takeaway and as I had a long run to complete the following morning, laid out my running gear, and headed to bed at a sensible time.

Saturday – 120-130 mins easy

I’ve no idea why but I found it really hard to get to sleep. Perhaps it was pre-long run nerves. Perhaps it was paranoia about sleeping through my 05:00 alarm. I think I got the not so grand total of four hours sleep in the end. Not ideal.

Enough of my moaning and groaning. My long run was absolutely bloody amazing. Quite possibly my most enjoyable long run ever and a real confidence boost going into the Royal Parks Half. The weather was perfect, I got my pacing spot on, and everything felt easy. I reached 130 minutes feeling like I could have carried on running. Although my feet felt a little sore afterwards, with the exception of a couple of random right knee twinges, everything else felt niggle-free.Collage 33I felt so tired after my longish run; the rest of Saturday wasn’t quite as productive as I’d originally planned. Even walking the short distance to the local shops felt pretty challenging. I think I need to improve my pre- and post-run fuelling, at the moment I don’t think I’m eating enough.

Sunday – 30 mins easy

I should have completed a parkrun or equivalent but my calf muscles felt so tight when I got up, I decided to head out for a 30 minute recovery run. Although, it took a while for my legs to warm up, running was definitely the right decision as my legs felt much better afterwards.

The rest of Sunday felt a little rushed. I had to pack my bags to take back down to Wallingford. This is usually a relatively simple task, but I had to make sure I had something suitable to wear for the memorial service on Friday. Friday has the potential to go horribly wrong, hopefully the trains are behaving themselves. The Sunday roast dinner mum cooked for me tasted awesome and made me feel much better. I definitely didn’t want to travel back down to Wallingford.

So that’s the tenth week of my half marathon training more or less successfully completed. I can’t believe there are only a couple more weeks to go.

The penultimate week of my half marathon training plan is described as the ‘start of the taper’. Happy days, although I don’t feel like I’ve done enough training to justify a taper. I’ve got to complete a 20 minute jog later today, a steady 40 minute run on Wednesday, a steady 40-45 minute run on Friday and an hour long run at a comfortable pace on Sunday. Trains permitting, I’m attending the memorial service for Geoff in London on Friday, so suspect I’ll end up moving a couple of training runs. Please don’t let me pick up a random last minute injury.

Training totals

  • Runs: 32
  • Time: 24 hours 52 mins
  • Distance: 145.04 miles

Fundraising total

  • £532 (£30 Increase from last week)


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

A slightly random question, but how soon after a longish run do you eat? Also what do you eat? I have a feeling that not eating for a couple of hours after my longish run on Saturday was the cause of my tiredness.

Do you have any tips for getting rid of a cold? I have a horrible feeling that I’m going to end up with a cold between now and the Royal Parks Half.


11 thoughts on “Royal Parks Half Marathon training week 10

  1. Dorothea says:

    A good week! And don’t get a cold. The best thing to do to prevent it is take a little extra vitamin c. When the seasons change, the body is especially susceptible. If you do get a cold, get some extra sleep and drink a lot of fluids, preferably warm herb tea!
    As for eating after a long run- do it! You shouldn’t wait longer than 45 minutes to get at least 200 calories in, and then get a solid meal within two hours of that. Not eating during or after a long run will wipe you out.


    • Emma says:

      Thanks D. I’m going to do my best to avoid getting a cold. I’m a little concerned because I’ll be travelling on a bus, three trains and a couple of tubes on Friday. I’m eating a lot of oranges at the moment so am hopefully getting enough Vitamin C.
      Yes, next time I complete a long run I’ll make sure I have something to eat. I got back from my run at 07:45 on Saturday and didn’t eat anything until 11:00. Not very sensible!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. AnnaTheApple says:

    Ahh awesome work on the good long run! Love it when that happens 🙂
    TBH I can generally eat pretty much straight after a run. But usually I’ll give myself time by having a shower so my body kind of relaxes a bit and food probably sits better then. Sometimes though I can wait hours until I’m actually hungry!


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Anna. I needed a solid confidence boosting run. I actually felt quite unwell before I headed out on Saturday, so I’ve no idea where that run came from. I do think starting at a sensible almost too steady pace works well for me. I think I could have eaten something, I just didn’t have anything to eat in the house. Such poor planning! I won’t make the same mistake again…


  3. Derek Lee says:

    It sounds like you are doing really well with your training – you certainly “deserve” and need the taper. People differ with how they feel hunger-wise after a run – I’m often not hungry until the next day after a long run, but good practice is to eat at least something with good carbs and protein in the first 20 to 45 minutes after the run and the stretches!


    • Emma says:

      Hi Derek. Thanks for taking the time to read and to comment on my most recent half marathon update. I really appreciate your kind comment and helpful advice. An even bigger thanks for sponsoring me. Seeing the JustGiving email while I was out on a site visit earlier today made my day. Thanks!!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Maria @ Maria Runs says:

    That’s great that your long run went so well- runs like that are just brilliant 🙂
    I usually have a couple of dates when I get back, along with a drink, as I don’t think I could stomach normal food straight away, but the sugar boost from the dates seems to ward of headaches later on (sometimes with a little peanut butter). Then after a shower I would have breakfast.


    • Emma says:

      Thanks Maria, after a series of not so enjoyable long runs, I was thrilled to finally experience a positive longer run
      I hadn’t thought about eating dates or something similar. As I can’t spend the entire day after each longer run doing nothing, I do need to find something that works for me. Just drinking a strawberry/chocolate milkshake isn’t enough.


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