Blue Runnings

Race Reviews, GPX files and more from North-East England

Marathon Training – Week 9

on 29 February 2016

I don’t really know what to write for this week to be honest, so I’m going to just ramble…may have my moaning minnie hat on a little bit!


I’ve had a bit of a mixed bag of runs this week; I went out with one of the work peoples who wanted to try running (something about getting a “beach bod” before he goes to the US) on Tuesday, turns out he’s a bit quicker than me so I’m booking him in as my speed trainer on Mondays once I get this monster run out the way! If my base-level fitness hadn’t improved so much lately I don’t think I’d have maintained the pace over the 2 miles (and 2 miles at that pace was more and faster than I was intending after Sunday’s 20! I just wanted a leg-loosener!). It’s actually within 5 seconds of my fastest pace, which I think was set on a 5k around the village so pretty happy with that.. I enjoyed it but I think I’ll leave the speed training for a few weeks! Then I shall learn how to become a speed ninja…


I’ve really missed just doing my ‘junk runs’ and just getting out when I feel like it to clear my head and pound the trails. I went out for one on Thursday on the hill route round Leadgate. I’ve only tried this twice before but it’s a nice little 4 mile loop local to me and I’ve enjoyed it before, so I was looking forward to heading out on this one. N came with me and we left at a pretty normal pace for me, but I wasn’t really feeling it – I actually felt slightly sick part-way round and had slowed riiiight down coming up the last hill (to be fair, it’s a pretty big hill). Being tired after four miles on anything but a cross-country course has been becoming pretty unusual for me as my fitness improves, and the warning alarms should really have been going off at this point. I took Friday off work with how long the week felt, and actually slept 3 hours Friday afternoon I was that tired.

For some reason I didn’t connect my need to sleep all hours and heavy legs while running with the fact I was doing a long run on Saturday, and just assumed I would pootle off as I normally do for the half marathon at Bamburgh Castle by Endurance Life. I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while, and was expecting to cope with it easily having run 4 runs longer than the half marathon distance (2 x 14M, 1 x 15.5M, 1 x 20M) and one only two miles short (11M) this year already. That’s in 9 weeks. I’ll just let that sink in a minute. For someone who hadn’t done much more than a 10k for 3 months before Christmas that’s huge, and for some reason I just decided I would be absolutely fine doing another one. Body says otherwise. This is the toughest race I’ve ever done – which considering it’s flattish and not an unfamiliar distance is not something I was expecting to say. Rather than repeat everything here, I’m going to direct you to my dedicated Bamburgh race report if you want to read all the minutiae. However long it took me to get there, and however hard I found it, I crossed that finish line and I’m taking that as a win.


I’m also taking it as a not very subtle hint that I need a rest. Last time I had a decent breather, it was because I was ill (not the most relaxing break), and apart from that I’ve been exercising several times a week since the New Year. In the interest of not completely running myself into the ground or causing myself an injury, I’m having a week off! No running at all until next Monday, when I’m already booked in with my speed trainer for a short loop around ‘The Chalkies’; I’ll drop behind if he’s too quick! N&J have threatened to steal all my trainers if I try to go out before then, and as my gym is currently in a mix of pieces and a pile on the spare bed I guess relaxing is the name of the game! Unless I sneak off to the swimming pool…

Did I mention? N and I are booked in for a teensy weensy newbies triathlon in April – what better excuse to go sports wear shopping?! I don’t have any reason at all to buy running gear ever again (not that that’s going to stop me mind), but I definitely “need” to buy a swimsuit to do a swimming competition right?! Never mind that I haven’t done more than dip my toe in a pool for years and last time I tried to do 10 lengths of breast-stroke in a hotel pool I felt really stiff-armed afterwards…we’re not thinking about that right now 😉 We’re buying new shiny things in the sale 🙂


In other ‘buying shiny things’ news; when I was going for my 100 miles in January, I was intending to get a commemorative charm from the challenge hosts with the miles and the month on it, but the international shipping for a tiny bead was, quite frankly, extortionate. So, I decided I would buy my own charm – and it didn’t actually need to have ‘100 miles’ on it anywhere or anything like that as it was just for me, and I’d know what it meant. I found this little cutie in sterling silver.


I didn’t actually, and still don’t, own a charm bracelet, and after mulling the idea over for a bit decided I didn’t really want one. I don’t wear a huge amount of jewellery – I can’t wear any at all with work so I sometimes forget I have any – and when you have something like that, especially when there’s very little on it, I was afraid of getting nothing but charm beads from people for birthdays and Christmas for the next three years. So, I decided to try something a bit different – a charms bottle. It’s just a regular bottle I wrote on with paint pens but I like it 🙂


At the moment my tiny bead sits all alone in the bottom, but it’s something I can build on over the years to chart my journey without filling my house with hum-drum too much. I might make it so every time I hit 100 miles in a month (it won’t be often!), I get another trainer. I may get a star or something for my marathon around Kielder – I want to finish it before I start looking for something. I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to keep it dedicated to running, or other memories I want to keep too like special holidays. We shall see 🙂 For now, it is my trainer bottle 🙂

For this week at least, we’re concentrating on recovery – lots of sleep, eating better, high iron foods, extra protein, more sleep, less stress at work as much as is in my control, maybe a gentle walk if I can get out while the sun’s still out, and more sleep. Rest. Rest. Rest. Then we can get back to enjoying running 🙂


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