On Sunday, I ran Day 2 of Race to the King Ultramarathon – 27 miles across the South Downs Way. It was my final long run as training for Race To The Stones non-stop, and a good way to see how Threshold Events worked ahead of the big day(s).
On Sunday, I ran my first Marathon. Alone.
It began Saturday night; while cleaning out my hydration
pack for a planned 13.1 miles, I had a mad idea. (As my ideas tend to be!)I was due to run ny 26.2 next weekend – take it slower this Sunday, build up to it. But I was feeling strong. Confident. Annoyed at washing out the hydration pack to *only* run 13.1.
So the next morning I got ready to run a Marathon. Fancy new visor, annoyingly odd socks. I tucked my grizzling boys back in bed, waited for my watch to find GPS, double checked my route, picked out my audiobook… and set off.
I recently started cross training more. I have always been a big fan of HIIT training, cardio, body weight and all that horrible sounding stuff. With my dodgy hip/knee, I need strengthening exercises so I can keep running without any more instances of Runners Knee (the dreaded words!) or hip pain. On my last Long Run of 13.1 miles a very kind cyclist veered into me, meaning I had a quick leap into a ditch – meaning I twisted my leg and my knee went. Luckily the pain hasn’t lasted – but it reminded me that I need strong muscles if I’m going to manage 100km of trail running.
I decided to give the Focus T25 workouts a go. Not cheap and not easy – but I’m 3 days in and I can honestly see why.
The workouts are intense 25 minute bursts that send your heart rate up and down; mixing cardio, body weight and ‘focus’ – intense movements that require muscle control and balance. It’s actually great fun, incredibly sweary (the sign of a good workout!) and the modifier is wonderful when it comes to push-ups!
Burpees squats and jumping do feature, but for the short amount of time you do expect to be leaping around like a madman or where are the results coming from?? You also get a calander to mark off exercises and how you think you did, and track your measurements (not your weight – finally a progress tracker that makes sense!).
My first workout was great, although I did step on my son’s toy dinosaur, which I’ve now taken as my mascot. A few days in and I’m still enjoying it, my glutes are definitely feeling it and I’m hoping for success.
Just realised that this time next week I will have started my 100k training plan! Eek! I’ve got it all planned out (I think) and I’m super excited. I’m also pretty nervous about my knee, as hip problems have caused me issues a few times in the past. Please keep fingers and toes crossed that it holds up (I’ve been very good and kept up my hip stretches, which seems to have really helped!). Here’s a blurry photograph of a training plan that I should have just screenshot, because why not!
I’ve allowed on my plan a few days off (Christmas for one!) and also given myself a little too much to do, probably. We will see! But I’m very excited to get started. The plan includes some 2k runs which will be very weird as they’re lots shorter than my normal easy runs, but overtraining is the enemy here. Will try and stick to it!
Also, I received my UKrunchat and RunningShoes4U prize today – some shiny new Asics! Definitely needed with the mileage I’ll be clocking up, can’t wait to give them a go. Plus they match my kit (always a bonus!)
A few people before now have asked me about my 0-13.1 ‘training plan’ – how I got started in reaching Half Marathon Pace. They usually follow by adding ‘..and are you sure you can do 100k?’
The only concern I had running 13.1 was that I would be too slow within the time allowed. Because of my funky lungs, it kind of hurts when I push too hard, so I’m not a quick runner. I am however a stubborn runner. So it wasn’t so much endurance, as hitting a 10-minute mile mark.
Elitist, I hear you cry, and scuttle away from your laptop or phone. Every runner is a runner! 10 minute miles aren’t for everyone! Well hang on – I didn’t disagree. Continue reading
So I’ve amped up my workout routine recently in preparation for the long run. I tend to mostly do workout videos, and some weight training – I prefer HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) to full on cardio.
Got a damn fine vest from a company called Pumping Iron Muscle Development (thanks guys!), and it really makes me feel like I should lift.
I do not lift. However they are one of the few companies I’ve found who sell workout vest for women that are not uncomfortable lycra monstrosities, and for that I thank them. Continue reading
I have always been stubborn. It’s kind of my thing. And now I’ve gotten myself into a mess.
My first post has been my fitness journey so far – and I hope you found it interesting. I’d love someone to find it inspiring, even. But what I really hope (what will make me send you a virtual high-five!) is that someone is asking ‘What now?’
I found myself asking that too! Having signed up for a couple of races this year, a 10k I loved and a 14k that didn’t come through, I was feeling a little underwhelmed. As proud as I am to still be running, I didn’t feel like I was challenging myself. I felt like I was still training for something, something not defined yet. I’m still working on my fitness (read: I’m still a little wobbly) so a bigger challenge was all I could think about.
Five years ago I set off to walk the Ridgeway walk, going from Wendover to Avebury. I failed. That sounds blunt – I got to Wallingford, I made it a fair way. But I failed because I didn’t reach my goal. My wallet was stolen at a youth hostel, my bag split, my tent was too heavy. I was unprepared, I was young, I was a little foolish.
Well now I’m still young and foolish, but I’m stubborn. I don’t like leaving things undone, even 5 years after the fact. So – I’m going to run it.