After a fantastic first week, it is safe to say that week 2 was a mixed bag… it started off well, dipped in the middle and then thankfully picked back up again by the end of the week. I make no secret of the fact that running & the London Marathon means a hell of a lot to me, so when even the slightest thing goes slightly wrong, I go into a panic! For me this week it was down to some silly training mistakes… which thankfully, I have now learnt from and will not be doing again! Spoiler Alert: Doing two back to back F45 classes after a 60 mile week is NOT a good idea.
Week 2 – WC 14th January 2019
AM – Easy/Recovery 4 Miles
PM – Steady 7 Miles
PM – F45 Athletica Class
Monday again? Oh go on then! My legs were feeling good after my biggest ever week I was looking forward to building up my mileage and getting some more big sessions in. I started the day with an Easy 4 miles, and I wont lie, as soon as I started running I suddenly felt the previous weeks efforts! One thing I have been guilty of in the past is running my ‘easy runs’ too quickly, so recently I have been trying to make a conscious effort to slowwwwwwwww down, and I am definitely seeing the benefits when I head out for my second run of the day. So 11 miles done, job done! Although I wasn’t quite finished and in my ‘say yes and do everything’ attitude I had purchased a week class pass for the local F45 studio (absolute bargain btw – £20!!) and enthusiastically signed up for a class every day of the week (I told you I was being an idiot!) but anyway, I headed to the class which was a mixture of strength & cardio all done at max intensity, for 45 minutes. I do love this type of training! It was hard work, sweaty and my whole body was aching by the end of it but I was feeling good!
AM – F45 MKATZ Class
PM – Track Session
One word – OUCH!!! Although I train a lot and regularly strength train, my body clearly wasn’t used to the high intensity format of the class. I was aching all over. So obviously the sensible thing to do would be to skip the class to ensure I felt good for track in the evening right? Well yes, but unfortunately I decided to do the complete opposite and headed to my second class in 24 hours! GOOD ONE! After the class I was well and truly finished. My whole body had DOMS and I just felt wiped!
It also didn’t help that work was absolutely mental, I had a million and one things to do, so by the time it got to mid afternoon I was not only physically, but mentally exhausted too. I had a nap in the hopes it would give me some energy, I woke up in time for the session but just felt drained, achey and hungry. So rather than keep making the same mistake, I put away my trainers, had some dinner and got an early night.
I didn’t feel guilty about missing my session, I was just annoyed with myself that I had overdone it which resulted in me missing key training, but luckily… this is only week 2!
AM – Easy 6 Miles
PM – Steady 6 Miles
Two words – DOUBLE OUCH! So the DOMS had well and truly hit, I honestly couldn’t remember the last time I ached this much. Even walking hurt! I had arranged to meet up with my friend Sally for some chatty miles in the morning, and for the first time in a long time, I actually felt anxious about going for a run. I was seriously worried that my legs weren’t going to work and I wouldn’t be able to run (did I mention I can *sometimes* get a little overdramatic?!) and I came very close to cancelling my run date. But, after some very pathetic messages to Sally basically begging her to go easy on me, I headed to Putney for our run! Thankfully she was up for some chatty easy miles, and what do you know.. as soon as we started running my legs felt loads better! Surprise surprise, I got worked up for nothing! Sometimes some easy chatty miles is all you need!
AM – Progressive 7 Miles
My legs were FINALLY starting to feel back to normal, and although they were still a bit sore I was determined not to miss another run. I headed out with no expectations, and just let me legs do all the work. I started off at a comfortable place, and then luckily as I warmed up, I fond my natural pace and got progressively faster as the miles ticked by. Phew! Panic over. My legs still worked and I hadn’t completely broken my body (again, not being dramatic AT ALL!)
I had booked a sports massage with the highly recommended Function360 Physiotherapy for the afternoon – I couldn’t wait! It had been far too long since my last sports massage, and now that my mileage & training is increasing I need to make sure I am giving my body the TLC it deserves. As much as I love a good massage, if you haven’t had one in a while, they are not what I would describe as an enjoyable experience! Every single muscle in my legs felt sore, and I spent most of the session clenching my fists and screwing my face as I winced in pain (if you have never had a sports massage before I know I am probably not selling it, but TRUST ME it’s so worth it!) but it did the trick! My legs felt SO much better after the session, and it just reminded me how important they are when you are training for a marathon… this will be the first of many visits during this training block, and I am already looking forward to my next one (well, sort of!).
HELL TO THE YEAH! Even though I had missed sessions this week, I was respecting how knackered my body had felt and didn’t try to play catch up. It was far from a relaxing day though, it was an early start (and my first real experience of the tube at rush hour, not fun!) as I headed back to Peterborough ready for a super busy weekend!
AM – Parkrun & The National Running Show
I had been looking forward to this weekend for ages! It was the first time I was meeting lots of PMGCoaching members and also lots of other amazing people from Instagram, and it’s safe to say the day didn’t disappoint!
Before the show myself and a few others decided to meet up at Kingsbury Water Parkrun (any excuse for Parkrun tourism!) I really wasn’t sure how it was going to go, my up and down week was playing in the back of mind, but as soon as we lined up ready to go, I couldn’t help myself and just went for it! And the result.. a brand new PB! I finally dipped back under 18 minutes and clocked 17.47!! I couldn’t believe it! The icing on the cake was then later in the day when I found out I had got the 4th fastest female time in the UK that weekend!! It made me realise that although I had been stupid earlier in the week, taking it easier for a few days and looking after myself was 100% the right thing to do – running well is a lot more than just getting the miles in!
After Parkrun I then headed to the NEC for the show and ready to meet even more members of PMGCoaching. It was such an amazing day! I got to meet and chat to so many people and caught up with some of my faves! I can’t wait for next year already!
Race – Folksworth 15
Ahhhh! My first key marathon training race… that came around quickly! I have done this race twice before, with last year being the toughest race I have EVER done (running in a blizzard is NOT fun) so I was really looking forward to getting out there and seeing what I could do. I did have a goal time in mind.. I wanted sub 1.40 and my other (secret) goal was that I wanted to win (I’ve got a competitive nature, I can’t help it)
The weather conditions were PERFECT! It was pretty cold but the sun was shining, it wasn’t windy and there was absolutely no chance of a blizzard so it was automatically a million times better than the year before. I was feeling confident but I also knew that I couldn’t get too carried away at the start, there are some monster hills on the course and I wanted to make sure I felt strong for all of them.
I set off a little quicker than I planned (whoops) but I wasn’t being a complete idiot and soon settled into a comfortably hard pace. Just after the first mile we were welcomed with the first challenging hill of the course, my pace naturally dropped a little but I didn’t push it and just concentrated on getting to the top, which was then followed by a really steep downhill slope, again I ran within myself and kept it steady, I always have visions that if I go too crazy I’ll end up flat on my face, which I definitely didn’t want to happen! Just as I settled back into my pace, it was then time for another beast of a hill! Personally this is my least favourite one, it’s not as steep but one of those horrible, long, gradual, energy sucking climbs.. but trying to be as positive as ever, I was just mentally ticking them off. 2 down, 4 to go!
The remainder of the 1st lap flew by, lots of long flat sections before reaching the 3rd and final big hill climb. Phew! One lap down.. now just to do it all again and try and keep a consistent pace. Easy right?
I was feeling good but definitely felt my legs getting tired, so at mile 8 I took a Caffeine Bullet and waited patiently for its to work it’s magic. I personally have never had any adverse side effects (💩) and have used them in my last few long distance races as they really work for me. My legs were still feeling tired but my pace wasn’t dropping, result!
The 2nd lap seemed to go by in a flash! I knew what to expect from the hills this time, and I’m really pleased I managed to keep my splits pretty consistent with the first lap. Before I knew it I was approaching the last couple of miles, and I realised then that as long as I kept a similar sort of pace I would be well under my sub 1.40 goal!
The final mile started at the bottom of the last hill (thanks for that) and that was probably when I ran my slowest in the whole race. I can really tell when I’m tired on hills as my stride seems to be half of what it usually is, but once we got that out of the way it was the home straight!
I crossed the line in 1.35.44 – over a 14 minute PB from the year before, and I felt great! I didn’t feel completely broken and thought that just maybe with another 14 weeks of training my goal marathon pace isn’t as out of reach or as scary as I thought… bring it on!
This race, and the whole weekend, has been a huge confidence boost for me. And I hope it just proves that with hard work, motivation and consistency you can, and WILL improve. Here are my splits from 2018 v 2019.
So, that’s week 2 done and dusted! 45 miles in the bag. Lessons learnt & 2 new PBs. 14 weeks to go…. !