About Me

28acaf1f-37e0-4246-baae-a0ceca425934I’m Jordan, a 27 year old runner from Cambridgeshire, who is just working hard everyday to achieve my goals.

I still find it weird to call myself a ‘marathon runner’, but hey – I run marathons so I guess that’s what I am now! And I am not ashamed to admit that running defines me, and makes me the person that I am.

For me, running is what motivates me every single day. It keeps me sane, it keeps me healthy & it has given me so much more than a few medals. I honestly could not imagine my life without it, and I hope I never have to experience a life without it.

the big halfI have always struggled with self confidence. I constantly compared myself to others, would never believe anyone when they said how well I was doing, and would try and shy away or belittle my achievements. But recently, something in me has changed, and with the support & encouragement from the fantastic running community, I have realised that I have got something to give to the world of running, and as well as now achieving goals I would have never even dreamed of before, I now want to share it all with you guys. The ups, the downs, the highs, the lows, and everything in between. If I can inspire just ONE person to get out and go for a run, then I will be happy.

I hope you all enjoy my ramblings, and I can’t wait to share my running journey with you all.

Jordan xx

Red Bull Quicksand 2019

‘How hard can 1 mile be?’

The answer…. VERY BLOODY HARD!

As you all know, road marathons are my thing. So a 1 mile race (on sand!) is approximately 25.2 miles outside of my comfort zone. But, I love a challenge and after the London Marathon my main priority was to just have some fun with running and events, so when Red Bull UK kindly invited me to the event, I had to say yes! (it also helped that my number 1 @whatcharlierannext lives about 1 mile so it was the perfect chance for a catch up & a sleep over!) 

Race weekend rolled around, and I travelled down to Margate on the Friday night to stay with Charlie. We decided to go for a little shake out run and used it as the perfect excuse to go and check out the course which was being set up on the beach. As we approached the site I think we both had the same thing going through our brain… ‘OH SH*T!’

The man-made sand dunes were absolutely massive, and there was a lot of them! We had a quick chat with the event team that were there setting up the event and they too confirmed that they stepped it up from the previous year and the obstacles were bigger and steeper. Faaaaaaaabulous!

quicksand-course-2019.jpg

The race format was simple. There were a number of different heats (both for men & women) during which you were required to complete 2 x laps of the course, and the Top 50% of finishers then progressed to the semi final, and then again to the final.

Soon enough it was the morning of the race, and fuelled by pasta, prosecco & doughnuts, Charlie and I made our way to the event village to get registered and ready for our heats. Once we arrived we found Helen (@framefitnesssouthhampton) & Helena (@marathon_runner92) and we all felt pretty similar… excited, but nervous for what was coming up!

 

 

It is safe to say, Red bull really know how to put on an event. It was really well organised & registration was a quick and seamless process. The atmosphere on the beach was great too, and I think this was definitely helped by having Run Dem Crew there leading the warm ups, MC’ing and generally just helping to create an epic atmosphere!

After watching the last of the mens heat, it was finally our time to go! Charlie & Helen were in the first women’s heat (to which Charlie managed to finish in the Top 50% and progress to the Semi Final, as much as she didn’t want to! hahaaaaaaaa) and then finally it was my turn!

I can honestly say, that first lap was the hardest mile I have ever ran. I *maaaaay* have got slightly over excited at the start and went out far too quickly for the first lap, but I was feeling good! And then it happened, it was almost as if someone flicked a switch in my legs and they went from feeling strong, to feeling like two blocks of wood! That final lap was a slog, and after taking the lead for the first lap, I slipped back into second place, and I just had nothing left in me to push on.

I was interviewed pretty much the second I crossed the line, I am surprised I even managed to talk as I honestly felt like I was going to throw up.

‘Speaking after the first heat, she said: “Right now, my legs are like jelly, I feel sick and my lungs are burning – and I just don’t feel like that at the end of a marathon. Because you’re working so hard for a short amount of time, it completely kills your body.”

It was a bittersweet moment, I was pleased I finished 2nd and progressed to the semi final, but now I knew what I had let myself in for, at that moment I wasn’t really sure I wanted to run it again!

Luckily, there was about a 2 hour break before the next stage, so I got myself something to eat and started to prepare myself to run it again. Now I knew what to expect I knew that I couldn’t race off like a mad woman on that first lap, I needed to run smart! I also decided to run the next lap barefoot, I had seen others do it throughout the day and as the sand was soft and loose I thought it would be worth a shot, plus anyone that has run on sand before will know how annoying it is when your shoes and socks are full of sand!

It was time for the semi-final, and this time it was different, as we all knew what to expect from the brutal course. I attempted to hold myself back for the first part of the course, and hung back in around 4th position, but my plan worked! I felt stronger as the lap went on and managed to push on for that second lap and once again finished in 2nd position! And I even managed to run it around 40 seconds quicker than the first heat.

So that was it, I was in the final! And this time, we didn’t get much of a chance to recover as the Final was only 30 minutes later. I grabbed a can of Red Bull as I needed that quick energy fix (and all the help I could get!) and got myself ready to go.

Although it was the final, I knew I still needed to be clever. My legs were cooked by this point and I knew if I went out too quickly I would suffer towards the end of the lap. Once we set off I purposely held myself back again, and although I was in the front pack, I hung back in around 4th for the first few climbs. Everyone was suffering by this point but my competitiveness was greater than the pain in my legs! I managed to get myself comfortably in 2nd position by the time we were on the final lap, and at one point I even caught up with the Andrea but she wasn’t giving up that easily and managed to push on once again.

By the time we reached the final climb, my legs were completely done. The final ‘sprint’ to the finish wasn’t pretty, I can’t really explain how tough it is to try and run quickly on ground that moves beneath you, but just believe me when I say.. it hurts! But I did it.. I grabbed my flag and crossed the line in 2nd place, and only 8 seconds away from 1st! Everything went a bit wobbly, from my legs to my head and I felt a bit out of it for a few seconds, but I was just so happy it was done… and that I didn’t have to do it again!!

To my surprise, my final lap was quicker yet again! I don’t really understand how my legs still worked, but it just showed how poorly I paced myself for that first lap!

Heat 1 – 10.34

Semi Final – 09.54

Final – 09.16

Shortly after we finished, there was the winning presentations for both the Men & Women. The trophy was absolutely epic (and weighed a tonne!) and then we also got given a bottle of champagne… which we had to open and spray all over each other (don’t worry, I made sure I saved some to drink after!) 

I mentioned it earlier, but Red Bull really do know how to put on an event! I will 100% be returning to the beaches of Margate next year, and its made me want to sign up to more of their events just because I know it will be an incredible experience (Redbull 400 anyone?!)

If you are looking for a new, fun, tough challenge for next year, I highly recommend this event! The 2020 event hasn’t been announced yet, but keep your eyes peeled on the website. You won’t regret it!

Jordan xxx

 

 

London Marathon 2019

Now that the dust has settled on the 2019 London Marathon, I thought I would finally get round to writing a blog post all about it. I will be honest, at first I just wanted to forget about it, I have made no secret that I was disappointed with how the race went, but I know that it is important to not only share the highs & the wins, but also the lows and those races that don’t always go to plan. So here we go…

The days leading up to the race were pretty fully on (perhaps one of my many mistakes?) I had committed to lots of events, which at the time I thought would just help to distract and relax me, but looking back now, perhaps being so busy on the days leading up to the marathon wasn’t such a good idea….

But, I can’t change that now, and I did have fun! The events included visiting the London Marathon Expo with the New Balance Team, a special Secret London Runs with Team Runderwear and attending the 2019 Running Awards! The best bit was getting to see & catch up with lots of friends, and meeting lots of great new people too.

Anyway, I digress! Saturday finally rolled around and it was time to relax. I was feeling oddly calm, and it honestly didn’t feel like the marathon was only one sleep away, it was definitely a world away from how I felt the year before! This actually made me feel quietly confident, I felt this was before Berlin & Switzerland marathon and they turned out pretty bloody well, so who knows… maybe London was going to go better than I thought?! I got an early night, and actually slept really well, and before I knew it I was up, stuffing myself with porridge & black coffee and making my way to the start line.

I met some friends at the tube station, and we travelled down together – and I don’t know if anyone else thought this but everywhere just seemed so much busier compared to previous years?! We arrived at Blackheath and started to make our way to the start zones, as standard I was suddenly absolutely desperate for the toilet so finding a portaloo was my number one priority! Luckily this year I was in the Championship Start, which thankfully meant shorter toilet queues! And I just want to say thank you to the two girls who let me cut in front of them as they could clearly see I was desperate – the heroes of the day! Another stark difference to last year was also how bloody cold it was!! Again, due to being in the Championship Start I was very grateful that I had a tent to hide in and get changed in.

A few days prior to the race, I received a message from Paul (who I knew from back home) offering to run with me for the first 20 miles of the race and to help pace me. I have never been paced during a marathon before, but due to how the last couple of months had felt, I jumped at the chance. It was one less thing to worry about, and I thought the distraction of running with someone might give me that slight edge.

I managed to find Paul in the start zone, and then it was time to go!We started the short walk to the start line, and rather than doing a warm up I decided to try and just hide in the middle of the crowds and steal everyone else’s body heat. Paul and I discussed our strategy and it was then I decided I was still going to try and attempt my 2.55 goal. I suddenly started to get very nervous, I honestly had no idea if I was going to be able to run that pace, it had felt like a lifetime since I had run that fast and I was feeling the pressure that if I couldn’t do it, I would be holding Paul back too.

We crossed the line after approx 20 seconds, and it was a lot busier than I expected! The problem with being a female in the Championship Start is that the mens qualifying standard is a lot quicker, as is Good For Age which started directly behind us, so for the first 1km or so of the race I had a lot of fast men flying past me wanting to get nearer the front, but I put my blinkers on and just concentrated on running next to Paul.

I actually couldn’t believe how good I felt running at 2.55 pace, the first 5km flew past and we were bang on target, I was trying not to get too carried away as I knew we still had a loooooong way to go, but it certainly gave me a boost! I took my gel on as planned at 5.5 miles and was still feeling strong as we were approaching the 10km mark. And once again, as we reached the timing mat, not only were we on target, we even had a few seconds in the bank (mainly thanks to the slightly downhill start)  I also saw my coach at this point who shouted out that I was ‘bang on’ which was a really good boost!

As we approached Cutty Sark, this is where the crowds really came into their own. It was SO busy and loud, it can almost be a little overwhelming. When I am running marathons I like to break the race down, and once we passed Cutty Sark I just focused on getting to the next big landmark, Tower Bridge, which is also the half way point and where I knew I would be seeing friends & familiar faces! This is my 4th London Marathon, and turning that corner onto the bridge still gives me goosebumps, it’s so hard not to get carried away when you have thousands of people cheering and shouting, but I tried to keep reminding myself that I still had a long way to go!

I was still feeling strong, I had taken another gel on at 11.5 miles and was taking small sips of water as and when I felt I needed it (although looking back now, I think maybe I could have taken on more) We crossed the bridge and reached the half way point, and again we were pretty much on target with a half marathon time of 1.27.37, which meant as long as we kept the same pace for the second half (with a cheeky sprint finish) I could still be in with a chance of getting my sub 2.55, or at least a PB!

The next couple of miles ticked by nicely, I took on another gel at around 15 miles, and then unfortunately everything started to go a bit Pete Tong. I all of a sudden got this shooting pain in the side of my stomach, it honestly felt like someone had stabbed me just underneath my ribs. My pace naturally slowed down, and I tried to control my breathing but nothing was working. Every time I tried to speed up, the pain got worse and I was struggling to catch my breath. Paul was checking in and asking if I was okay, but I think my face said it all. I had slowed right down, I was clutching my stomach and just trying to breathe normally.

I was hoping it would pass, but unfortunately the stitch lasted for around 3 miles. I desperately just wanted to stop and walk, but I knew that once I did that I would lose it mentally so I kept plodding on and trying to ignore everything else around me. I was heartbroken, and feeling pretty miserable. I even turned the pace off my watch as I couldn’t bare to see the miles getting slower, and my goals slipping away.

Friends started to pass me on the course, friends that technically I should have been ahead of, and then the 3 hour pacer glided past, which felt like another stab in the stomach. I will admit, for those few miles not only did I lose it physically, I also gave up mentally too. And when that happens in a marathon, its game over.

Thankfully as we passed the 20 mile mark, the stitch had disappeared, but now it was my legs that were giving up. Due to slowing down and changing my running style due to ‘stitch gate’ I lost all of the drive and power in my legs, and in fact – I slowed down even more! I am extremely grateful that Paul decided to stay with me until the end (think he must have felt sorry for me!) and helped to push me through the final few miles.

All time goals were gone. I was no longer chasing a PB, the only thing I wanted to do now was get to the finish line. I took on another gel at around the 21 mile mark, along with a Caffeine Bullet and just started focusing on getting to Mile 24 – where I knew Becca and her legendary cheer squad would be. Somehow, I actually managed to get a little bit of speed back for those final couple of miles, I mean it was still WAY off pace, but I felt a lot more comfortable and like I was actually running again!

Seeing the guys at Mile 24 gave me a massive boost and really gave me the motivation to dig in and get to the finish. The crowds in general down the Embankment were just incredible, so if you are reading this and you were there that day – THANK YOU!

Paul was trying his best to push me, we tried to target runners that were in front of us with the aim to catch them, but my little legs could only do so much! But finally, we turned the corner and were approaching Birdcage Walk. I knew that James was going to be there, and as soon as I saw his little face I was gone, I was trying not to cry but I was absolutely done! Although original time goals were now out of the window, our new aim was to push for the final KM and cross the line under 3.10. I knew I didn’t really have anything in the tank, so I waited until we got to the final corner before really giving it my all and attempting a sprint finish.

We crossed the line, and as standard I had my finish line wobble – in fact I think this was my best one yet (luckily Paul was there to catch me!) I stopped my watch and then burst into tears. I just felt empty & disappointed, I wasn’t even that bothered about getting my medal. I cried some more, I then looked up and saw a crew member filming me (and they then ended up using the clip in 3 different videos later that day, greaaaaaaaat!)

Luckily I then spotted Chris & Matt, who had finished a few minutes before me, they came and gave me a big cuddle, which resulted in more tears! I couldn’t even pretend I was happy, or proud of myself that I had just ran a marathon. All I wanted to do at that moment was get my bag, and go home.

I met up with some friends and my Dad at the finish – and although they all tried to say how well I did, I wasn’t having it. I was being a complete misery guts. I had been looking forward to this day for so long, and I was just so gutted it didn’t go to plan. I tried to pull myself together and made my way back to Birdcage Walk as I wanted to cheer – but with a combination of being emotional, the crowds, being cold and my legs hurting I decided to just get away from the madness and made my way home.

Once I got home, I just couldn’t believe it was all over – the day I had been counting down to for a whole year, working towards for months was done. And it went so so wrong. It was tough to process. But luckily – a long hot shower, a massage, pizza & lots of gin helped to ease the pain slightly!

It’s been 9 days since the marathon, and if I am honest I am not in the best place right now. A combination of disappointment, post marathon blues, lack of training & weight gain has left me feeling low. But I know that feeling sorry for myself isn’t going to make me feel any better! So instead I am now focusing on my next goal – the 2019 New York Marathon! I am going to be a lot more selective about what I share during this block, and I will be keeping goals close to my chest, but I look forward to sharing the journey with you all.

Jordan xxx

 

 

 

London Marathon Training Update

Okay, so I hold my hands up.. I have slacked majorly with my weekly training updates. I have no real excuse apart from the fact that life got in the way, work was busy, I have other stuff I have been trying to deal with and to be honest it has felt so up & down there have just been times I haven’t really wanted to write about it. BUT, I want this blog to be open and honest, I don’t just want to share the good stuff, so here goes.. a little over view of the last 5 weeks.

Looking back as a whole, you could say that the last 5 weeks has been a success. I raced the St Valentines 30k back in February, got a huge course PB and finished 1st Female. I raced well in two tough Cross Country races, and then last week I ran The Big Half and although I didn’t get my original goal, I did get a PB (81.31) in tough conditions and off the back of a tough week (more mentally, rather than physically) So I get it, what have I got to moan about? It’s hard to explain, and although I have raced well, everything in between has just felt a bit crap. I have struggled in multiple sessions, missed runs and then just this weekend came down with a cold, which is always a sign I have overdone it.

If I am being completely honest with myself, and with you guys. I think I need a break.

2018 was a HUGE year for me. I ran 3 marathons, and consecutively got a PB at each one. I also raced a lot in between, and didn’t really give myself any down time. And on top of that I set up my own business & moved to London. And I think its finally all catching up with me.

I have also recently shared my diagnosis and journey to getting my periods back and being told I have RED-S which I think has had a bigger effect on me that I first realised.

For the first time, in a very long time, running is feeling like an effort. And I am finding myself slipping back into old self destructing habits. Social media can be amazing at times, and I am forever grateful for the opportunities it has given me and the people it has bought into my life. But recently I have found myself almost actively looking for things that I know are going to make me feel bad (stupid right?!) Comparing myself to those that are faster than me, leaner than me, obsessing over what mileage other people are doing and then getting angry that I am unable to run as far or as quick without completely breaking myself. And then on top of that, I then feel guilty. As I know that people probably look at what I am doing and feel the same. And then it just becomes a vicious circle of anger, guilt and sadness.

Marathon training is hard work. And anyone that says any different is lying. Don’t get me wrong, I love having a plan and structure to my week, and I love the feeling of working hard to achieve my goals. But this is my 4th consecutive year of marathon training, and it has been by far the most emotionally and mentally draining. London Marathon is still my goal, and I have 6 weeks left to work hard and give it my all on race day. But after that… I have already decided I am giving myself some time off, and not just the first few days after the race. I need a proper break. Not working towards anything, not racing for PBs, just pressure free running before the training for New York Marathon begins later in the Summer.

Thankfully, this week I am getting a break away in the sun as I head out to Cyprus on Thursday to pace the Limassol Half Marathon – and I cannot bloody wait! I am going to use it as my reset – lots of beach runs, lots of relaxing & just getting some sunshine. And the cherry on the cake will be hopefully helping lots of people get their PBs on Sunday! I am hoping it will be just what I need, and I will come back refreshed and ready to tackle the last few weeks of marathon training.

If you are currently training for a marathon, and finding it tough, please remember that you are not alone! Running should be something we do because we enjoy it & love it, and it certainly shouldn’t be something that causes us to feel stressed & unhappy (which is something I am having to tell myself a lot at the moment!) And if you are feeling like this, it may be that you need a break too. Are you booking race after race? Constantly training with no down time in between? If so just remember that not only is this a massive physical strain on your body, but just as much mentally. You may not notice it straight away, but trust me.. it will catch up with you if you don’t look after yourself and give yourself a chance to recover.

There we have it – from the outside it may look like its all PBs and smiles, but remember you don’t always know the full story behind the little squares we see on Instagram.  So as always, be kind, and if you think someone is struggling, reach out, as they may just need someone to ask if they are okay.

Love,

Jordan xxx

 

RED-S: My Recovery Journey

‘You 100% have REDs’

Oh, shit.

This is what I was told when I visited a Sports Doctor recently and opened up about EVERYTHING. My training load, my diet, my mental health and my (lack of) menstrual cycle. Was it a shock? To be honest, no. But was it still scary? Absolutely.

I have known something wasn’t quite right for a while. Since May 2017 I have had a grand total of 3 natural period cycles. My periods returned for a short time last summer when I was injured but apart from one very light day in November, they have completely disappeared. Now don’t get me wrong, I totally get the idea of not having a period sounds great – no bloating, no pain, no feeling uncomfortable, but unfortunately for females, periods are so so so important, and without them you can really be putting your health at risk.

I am going to be sharing my recovery journey with you. As always I am going to be brutally honest. I have no doubt this is going to be tough, but I hope that in sharing my story it will not only raise awareness, but hopefully if any of you are going through this too, it will help you with your own recovery.

So, here’s to getting my periods back, to getting my body working normally again, to being happy & healthy, and to becoming the best athlete I can be.

In this post I am going to give an overview of what REDs is, my own experience & where you can seek help if you need it.

And just to confirm, I am not in any way qualified to diagnose or offer professional advice. If you are at all concerned about yourself, or a friend or family member please seek professional help by either making an appointment with your GP, a Sports Doctor or a dietician that specialises in working with Athletes.

For more information & resources you can also visit the fantastic Train Brave website by clicking here. 

What is RED-S?

RED-S stands for ‘Relative Energy Deficiency Syndrome’ – This was previously known as the ‘Female Athlete Triad’ 

In really simple terms, it basically means you are not giving your body the calories it needs to function properly. But this doesn’t always mean you are starving yourself. I eat a lot of food, but compared to the amount of exercise I do, it is obviously not enough for the rest of my body to keep working properly.

The diagram below shows the various risks that can be associated with RED-S. But please remember, even if you don’t have every single one on the list, it doesn’t mean you don’t have the condition.

It is also important to note here that RED-S can affect both female AND male athletes, but it is somewhat easier to first diagnose in females as one of the biggest warning signs is a lack of periods.

train brave red s

 

Warning Signs

I have taken these directly from the Train Brave website, again if you have any of these signs please do not ignore them & seek professional advice.

Physiological

  • Lack of three consecutive periods in females or a change to a previously regular menstrual cycle
  • Decline in morning erectile function in male athletes
  • Poor development of muscle mass
  • Difficulties staying warm in the winter and cool in the summer months
  • Downy growth of hair all over the body
  • Constipation or feeling bloated

Behavioural

  • Pre-occupation and constantly talking about food
  • Poor sleep patterns
  • Restricting or strict control of food intake
  • Overtraining or difficulties taking rest days

Psychological

  • Irrational behaviour
  • Fear of food and weight restoration
  • Severe anxiety
  • Becoming withdrawn and reclusive

Performance

  • Poor recovery between training sessions
  • Digestive issues –athletes often become constipated and bloated
  • Recurrent injuries, including stress fractures

 

My Experience

As I said, you do not need to have every single sign or symptom to be affected with this, I certainly don’t, but there are quite a few on the lists I can tick off, including;

  • Lack of periods
  • Difficulty in controlling body temperature
  • Constipation & Bloating
  • Poor Sleep patterns
  • Restricting & control over food intake
  • Fear of gaining weight

And here are some other fun ones that I can also add to the list which I am sure are down to hormonal imbalances (I’ll warn you, they aren’t pretty!) 

  • Irregular bowel movements (similar to IBS)
  • Night sweats
  • Binge Eating (due to restricting & guilt around food) 

I feel very fortunate that up until this point, I have not suffered any serious injuries, but I know this if I continue down this road, I wont always be this lucky. As a runner, one of my biggest fears is getting a stress fracture, and this is one of the biggest risks if your body is not producing the hormones needed to keep your bones strong & healthy (so if you hadn’t realised, periods are SO much more than just about having babies!) 

Next Steps

My diagnosis is technically unofficial, so the next steps for me is to get various blood & hormone tests to really get an understanding of what is going on inside my body.

We are very fortunate to have the NHS in the UK, and I have already got my follow up appointment booked to go through by blood results in two weeks time. And after that? I am not so sure. Depending on the results I may then be referred for a DEXA Scan (to check my bone health & density) which personally I am really going to try and push for.

In the mean time, I have been advised that I need to eat more. A lot more. Now I know this sounds like the dream, but it’s not as fun as it sounds. More food = more calories = gaining weight.

This is going to be a whole other step to my recovery, and something I am also going to be seeking professional help for. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with the actual eating side of things, I bloody love my food. But the guilt that comes after, and the idea of gaining weight and my body changing is something I don’t quite know how to accept yet. BUT I am determined that I am going to get better. I love running so much & I want it to be part of my life for as long as possible, and unless I start looking after myself properly, that is not going to happen.

So, there we go! I have no idea when my next update will be (or what it will be!) but heres hoping it will be a good one!

Jordan xxx

London Marathon Training – Week 5

This week was definitely a little more exciting than my average week, highlights include running with a GB Ultra Runner, my first XC race with Herne Hill Harriers & putting my pacing skills to the test at the first ever Olympic Park Half Marathon!

Week 5 – WC 4th February 2019

Monday

AM – Easy/Recovery 3 Miles

PM – Steady 7 Miles

Gym – Strength Training 

I always get asked a lot what is one of the most important things about marathon training. I think people often get surprised by my answer… Consistency. So yes, these sessions might not be the most exciting, but its working. It sets me up for the week, the easy run in the morning shakes out any hard weekend runs and I genuinely enjoy getting a good gym session in before I crack on with work and life admin!

So my best advice, find a routine that works for you and your life – and stick with it!

Tuesday

PM – Club Session

Urgh. I wish I could say this session went well, but it was horrible. Why? Because I was a greedy pig and decided to stuff my dinner down me BEFORE my evening session. During the warm up I realised this was a big mistake, I felt bloated, heavy and my stomach was churning like a washing machine. The most annoying thing though was that my legs actually felt great and if I hadn’t messed up my food I would have really enjoyed it! The session was 8 x 3 minute efforts with 60s recoveries. I basically wanted to quit after the 1st one and got progressively slower as I was trying not to be sick in between reps – just keeping it real 😉

I got really frustrated on the way home as this was the 2nd week in a row my club night went tits up. These sessions are really important to me, and when they go well it always gives me a massive confidence boost, so similarly when they don’t go well, it just makes me feel a bit pants! As always though I was probably just being way too hard on myself, as my friend pointed out I did get a 10k PB only two days before, but thats me – always quick to forget the good stuff and focus on the bad! This is definitely something I need to work

Wednesday 

AM – Easy 6 miles 

So I did something a little different today – no #doubledayz for me, but instead I hopped onto a train and ventured out of the city to the COUNTRY SIDE! I was really excited to be spending the day with Redbull UK, GB Ultra Runner Tom Evans and some other legends from the ‘gram!

We got the train down to Sussex and headed to Tom’s house to meet him and the rest of the team and we were greeted with tea, coffee & a breakfast buffet all put on by his lovely Mum (I almost felt guilty I had already eaten and couldn’t make the most of it!) Tom then gave us a quick presentation, which included talking about his epic CCC win, his average training week & also his plans for this year (which are pretty bloody exciting btw!). Then soon enough it was time for the fun part – running, and we didn’t have to travel far.. we literally ran around Toms back garden, which just happened to be miles of beautiful trails – Not. Jealous. At. All! It’s been a long time since I ran the trails and just really enjoyed running with no pressure on time, pace or distance, its definitely something I want to do more of in the summer!

After a nice muddy run, it was time to clean up and head for some food and then a quick gym session where we went through some basic strengthening & mobility exercises, and finished off with a nice stretch before jumping on the train back to the city.

Normally I completely freak out about missing a run on my plan, and usually on a Wednesday I run twice, but by the time I got home (after missing our original train!) I was knackered, so I made the decision not to head back out. Now I know I said earlier that consistency is key, but so is listening to your body and accepting that sometimes things don’t always go to plan!

Thursday 

PM – Club Session (Hills)

Gym – Strength Training 

I was determined that tonights session was going to go well, after messing up my last couple of club sessions I really wanted to have a good one as a confidence boost! I didn’t want to make the same mistake again with eating too much so I had my lunch as usual and then an hour or so before I had a banana with some peanut butter and a red bull, and it certainly seemed to do the trick!

The hill session was a tough one, it was short, but that isn’t always a good thing! In fact normally the shorter the reps & sessions… the harder it is! The session was 4 x Hill Reps, with the main difference being you had to run hard up AND down. Say Whaaaaaaaaaaat! No recovery what so ever, this was pure evil! The hill was around 300m and it was bloody horrible. but I felt strong and actually quite enjoyed running fast down hill…. and the good news is I have the perfect race to practice this on next week!

Friday  

REST DAY 

Repeat after me, rest day is the best daaaaaaaaaaay!

Saturday

Surrey League XC (5 miles)

Ahhhh… This was such a fun day! My first official race for my new club Herne Hill Harriers and it did not disappoint. It was great to have such a good turnout for our club, and as a team we did really well, with 5 of us finishing in the Top 16 (and I even managed to come 7th!)

If I am completely honest, I would choose a flat road race over XC any time, I always get a little nervous before, but always end up enjoying it. Unfortunately it is coming to the end of the XC season, but there are still a couple of races left, including a big team trip up to Leeds at the end of Feb, although I think everyone is more excited for the night out afterwards!

Sunday

Run Through Olympic Park Half Marathon

I had been looking forward to this race for a while, not because I was racing or going for a PB, but because I was having my first attempt at (unofficially) pacing a 1.30 half marathon in preparation for Limassol Half next month!

I headed to the Olympic Park a little earlier then I usually would as I wanted to get a few extra miles in (and also check out the course)  before the race. One thing I love about the RunThrough events is how well organised they are, and the races at the Olympic Park are no exception – it was well signposted, lots of marshalls & volunteers helping to direct, and also a nice big cafe to hide in and keep warm at the start! Another thing I love about these races is how many familiar, smiley faces you always see!

The course was, um, interesting! It certainly wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be when I first saw the course map, but there were a lot of twist and turns, and also who knew their were so many hills in East London!? If I was racing this or going for a PB, I probably wouldn’t have been a big fan, but it was definitely a good course to test yourself on, and I personally really liked that you could always see runners on the course, I saw loads of friendly faces whilst I was running around!

The miles ticked by nicely, which was helped by having the company of Alex (@quinnphysio) for the first half – before he then sped off and ran a quicker second half and left me! But I was feeling good, the pace felt comfortable and I was managing to keep it pretty consistent. My only little moan about today was that the mile markers between 10-11 were waaaaaay out, which can be a real pain when you are trying to pace. Luckily, I decided to just trust my watch and stick to the pace I knew I was doing and thankfully the course evened itself out as we approached the final mile.

As my watch buzzed 13 miles I realised I had achieved my goal of sneaking in just under the 1.30 mark, as I was on my own I couldn’t help but pick up the pace a little bit for a sprint finish (obvz) My final time according to Strava was 1.29.48, I’ll take that – also, guess which numpty forgot to take the timing chip out of the envelope, whoops! Good job it wasn’t a race I wanted to PB at!

So overall, it was a pretty good week! 57 miles in the bank with some quality sessions fitted in too. I definitely don’t feel as exhausted as I have over the last few weeks, my mileage has been slightly lower, but I am also hoping that it means my body is starting to adapt to all this training?! 5 weeks down already, 11 more to go!

Jordan xx

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Run 10k

Well this came around quickly, my first goal race of 2019! This was the first time I had taken part in the Winter Run 10k, and after getting serious FOMO in previous years I was so excited to be taking part in the event. For me personally, I always get extra excited (and nervous) about races in London – maybe its because they just always feel bigger, or the fact that the city almost goes into shutdown mode for a few hours and you get to run around the empty streets without the worry of getting hit by a bus!

I had made no secret that I wanted a PB at this event, and up until a few days before I was feeling really good about it. Last week was a bit of an up and down one for me, and on Saturday I had a big wobble, I emptied my thoughts into a blog post, which you can read by clicking here.  But anyway, back to the positives… soon enough it was race morning, and time to see if the last few weeks of hard training had paid off!

Charlie (@whatcharlierannext) arrived at my house the night before as we were heading to the race together. We woke up early and I made my standard pre race/run breakfast (Oats with peanut butter & blueberries with a large black coffee – works every time!) before we headed out in the FREEZING cold to get to the start line (and I am not even being dramatic, it was actually freezing!) 

We arrived at Trafalgar Square with plenty of time (I always like arriving early!) and headed straight to the toilets for what would be the first of many visits that morning (standard) Now I know this isn’t the most exciting subject, but its an important one.. I was super impressed with how many toilets their were, I was a bit worried that due to how large the event was I would have to queue loads but this wasn’t an issue at all! I think because of the staggered start times it just meant there was a nice steady flow of people throughout the morning rather than approx 20,000+ people all arriving at once. Anyway, enough toilet chat..

Soon enough it was time to strip off the layers and get ready to head to the start line. This is where I underestimated how busy the event was! Because it was so cold I probably left it a little too late to drop my bags off and head to the start zone, I naively thought it would be okay and I would be able to squeeze my way through to the front, but unfortunately this wasn’t the case. I darted my way through a few thousand people but still ended up being pretty far back. Now this isn’t a huge issue as its all done via chip time, but as I was going for a PB I didn’t want to have to worry about trying to navigate around people.  I crossed the line after around 2 minutes, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but it meant I already had a few thousand runners in front of me that I had to try and get past. This is perhaps my only slight negative of the race. When you sign up you get allocated a start zone based on your predicted time, but this isn’t something that is enforced on the day, so effectively you could start wherever you want. Now without trying to sound like a bit of a dick, it can be really frustrating when you are trying to run for a time and getting caught up behind slower runners, and not even that, it can actually be quite dangerous if you are not running around a similar pace to other runners around you. I spent the first mile trying to dodge in between people, running up on the pavements – it was exhausting! And it also effected my pace massively. My watch buzzed after the first mile, I looked down and realised I was about 25 seconds behind the pace I needed to be to get my goal time! CRAP! For a few seconds I threw a bit of a strop as I thought it would be impossible to make up that time, but luckily the crowds had thinned out a bit so I was able to pick up the pace.

Once I settled into my pace I was feeling good, I had still given up on the idea of getting my goal time, but I thought as long as I kept the pace I was doing I might just be able to scrape a PB.

It was such a beautiful day in London, it was definitely on the chilly side, but the sky was clear and the sun was shining – it actually ended up being pretty perfect race conditions (for me anyway!)  I was trying not to look at my watch too much, from experience I know that GPS can be a bit all over the place when running through London, so I just tried to focus on running hard, chasing people that were in front of me, and not letting anyone over take me… and it seemed to be working!

A phrase I use a lot to explain how hard runs should feel is that you should feel ‘comfortably uncomfortable’ and that would pretty much sum how how I felt for the majority of the race on Sunday. I was pushing hard, there was no doubt about it, but I felt in control, which is so so important in any race or longer distance event.

During those middle few miles, the course was a lot quieter in terms of support, but once we were heading back to Trafalgar Square and the finish line the crowds certainly got larger, and a lot louder! And on this note, I just want to say THANK YOU to everyone who comes out to support these events – whether its because you have friends or family running, or maybe you just fancied doing something a bit different on your Sunday morning, I can’t explain how much it helps and motivates you during a race!

As I was approaching the last 1/2 a mile, I clocked my watch… after some quick mental maths I was in shock, I was still within reach of my sub 37 goal! After my dodgy start I had given up all hope of this, but now I could see the seconds ticking away on my watch it gave me that extra push I needed – it was time to dig deep!

As I turned the corner onto the finish, my watch buzzed for the 6th mile, and that was it, I had 0.2 miles to do and just over 1 minute to do it. I honestly don’t think I have ever ran so hard in my life. I just couldn’t let myself be so close and not do it – I literally felt like I was flying down the finish straight! The crowds at this point were incredible, and their cheers literally gave me goosebumps as I approached the finish. I crossed the line, stopped my watch and looked down to see the screen  – I had done it!!

My official time was 36.51 – a 40 second PB! My watch also recorded that I got my official fastest 5km PB of 17.54 during the run as well (my watch didn’t class my official PB of 17.47 as 5km)  I couldn’t believe it – how had I managed to get that close to my PB in a 10km race?!

I collected my medal & other finish goodies and started the looooooong walk back to bag drop! I was buzzing, and considering how cold it was, that wasn’t even bothering me!

A lot of members from PMGCoaching were also taking part in the run, and I was so excited to catch up with them all and find out how they got on. Once I headed back to the start zone it didn’t take me long to bump into some familiar faces, and the best bit… EVERYONE WAS GETTING PBs! I was so happy, proud and excited for everyone, it was such an amazing feeling knowing that I had helped people to achieve their goals, I was literally feeling on top of the world!

The official results were up on the website really quickly, and we were all frantically checking to find out what our official times were, and that is when I found out I had finished 2nd female overall!!  (Once everyone had finished the race I ended up finishing in 3rd position, but still, I’ll take that!) 

One of my favourite stats of the event though was the number of finishers. There were 18,516 people that crossed the line, and almost 11,000 were women!!!! This NEVER happens. Now I do get that it is probably because primarily it is a fundraising event for Cancer Research, but I think its incredible that an event to that scale in London had more female runners, and I just hope it continues to grow and women start doing more and more events!

So overall, I really enjoyed the whole event. As I said at the beginning I always think there is something special about races that take place in Central London, so if you are looking for a fast, fun, well organised 10k next year. I definitely recommend signing up!

Here is a quick summary of my Pros & Cons for the event as a whole.

Pros 

  • You get to run around Central London
  • Lots of toilets (very important!)
  • It’s for a great cause!
  • They have giant polar bears & penguins around the course!
  • The bling (obvs) 
  • A fast course (if that’s your thing!)
  • Well organised bag drop (at the start) 
  • Fairly priced photos – either £20 or £10 if you pre ordered before the race

Cons

  • Unless you are able to get to the front, the start can be a bit of a nightmare, and very busy!
  • Bag drop – at the end it was a bit more difficult to get your bags as there was only one entrance to the bag drop, so you did have to wait around for a little bit. Luckily one of the amazing volunteers went and got mine for me!

Entries are now available for the 2020 Winter Run for just £32! To sign up just click here. 

Thank you to Winter Run for gifting me entry for the 2019 event. 

 

 

 

 

London Marathon Training – Week 4

I know I might be alone in this, but I personally felt like January FLEW by! It ended with being my highest ever mileage month, new PBs and lots of running adventures along the way! Once again, this week was a bit of a mixed bag… but marathon training isn’t easy (and if anyone ever says it is, they are lying FYI) so I am learning from the hard days and hoping that in the long run it will make me a stronger athlete. Anyway, here’s this week round up!

Week 4 – WC 28th January 2019 

Monday

AM – Easy/Recovery 4 Miles

PM – Steady 7 Miles

Gym – Strength Training 

I will be honest, its week 4 and I am struggling to think of ways to make these sessions sound interesting! I run the same route every week (creature of habit) and follow the same process. Nice easy leg loosener in the morning, steady quicker miles in the evening. I know it isn’t the most exciting, but thats the reality of marathon training sometimes! Doing the same thing week in, week out! Because as I always say… consistency is key!

Tuesday

Track 

I was really looking forward to this session, we were due to this last week but due to the weather we were banned from using the track.. although this week it wasn’t much better! It was FREEZING and shortly after we got started it started to rain and snow (a great combination!) I would like to say this was the reason the session didn’t go to plan, but once again I think I just tried to push a little bit too hard too soon which resulted in me cutting my session short.

We were due to do 3 x 1km reps, 5 x 200m, 3 x 1km – a killer session, and one of those that if you aren’t fully committed to it, it was never going to go well. And unfortunately that is what happened to me! I think my mind gave up before my body, the 1k reps were TOUGH and I was struggling to even run my 5k PB pace, I was feeling more and more deflated after each rep. I somehow managed to pull it back for the 5 x 200m (I do enjoy the speedy stuff!) but by the time the second lot of 3 x 1k came around, I was done. I started the first rep, but I was way off pace and felt like I had nothing. So I stopped. I stood in the rain and sulked for a few minutes. I attempted to rejoin the group but I was done.

I jogged home with a friend, and basically moaned the whole way. Why is it we are so hard on ourselves? He quite rightly reminded me that we had a really tough run on Sunday, and I had a big week, and deep down I knew he was right, but I still couldn’t help but feel disappointed

Wednesday

AM – Easy/Recovery 4 

PM – Steady 7

Gym – Strength Training 

I woke up on Wednesday and made the decision to skip my early morning run, for a couple of reasons. I had LOADS of work to do but also I was trying to listen to my body and respect that I was clearly tired the day before, so why push myself to go out for two runs?!

I spent most of the day sat in front of a laptop screen, but headed out early afternoon for my run. I decided to just take the pressure off completely. No set mileage, no set pace, and just do what the legs wanted to do. And guess what, it felt great! I did my usual route (I could probably run to Clapham with my eyes closed now!) made a new running playlist and just let the miles tick by!

I don’t usually go to the gym on a Wednesday, but a friend messaged and asked if I wanted to go. I was in the mood to just do what I wanted to just did a bit of everything, and felt loads better for it!

Thursday

Steady – 10 Miles

Gym – Strength Training 

I was feeling loads better today, but due to the Winter Run 10k on Sunday I had already made the decision to miss the club hill session, so once again I just set out me, myself and I and just ran what I wanted to run. I will hold my hands up and say there was one reason and one reason only I ran 10 miles… It was the 31st Jan. I was currently on 240 miles for the month. I will let you work it out. #stravawanker

Friday

REST DAY

One day I never skip, rest day!

Saturday 

Parkrun – Herne Hill Harriers Takeover 

To avoid any temptation of going for it at parkrun this weekend, I volunteered to be one of the pacers at Tooting parkrun for our clubs take over! I originally put my name down to pace sub 20 but after a bit of a mixed week I luckily managed to swap to pace a slower time.

I will be honest, the course was in an absolute state! A whole section of path was flooded, and you were left with two choices – 1) really wet feet or 2) getting absolutely caked in mud. And somehow, I managed both! It was freezing and after the first lap my feet were like blocks of ice, I was quite relieved I wasn’t racing today!

I won’t go over it again, but yesterday wasn’t a great mental health day. I emptied my thoughts into a blog post yesterday to try and sum up how I was feeling. Click here if you want to give it a read.

Sunday 

AM – Winter Run 10k

One word – PB!!!!

I am going to do a full race review ASAP (basically once the official photos are out) but to sum up, I couldn’t be happier with how today went, and not just for me, but for lots of my incredible PMGCoaching team! Every single one of them got exactly what they wanted out of the run – whether it was a PB, a post injury comeback or helping a friend achieve their goals! I couldn’t be prouder of them all!!

So once again, it was a bit of a mixed week! But again, it ended better than I imagined! My mileage was slightly lower this week (48 miles) but I think it was what I needed and I hoping this means I will go into next week feeling fresh and ready to go!

Week 4, done! 12 weeks to go!

Jordan xxx

 

One of ‘those days’…

We all have them right? Those days where something just doesn’t feel quite right but you can’t put your finger on it? Nothing bad has happened but for some reason you just don’t feel yourself and want to hide yourself away from everything. I am sure that most of you that read this will agree, and if you don’t, then I envy you. Today, for some reason was one of those days. Like I said, I don’t know exactly why, but I knew it was coming, but did I do anything about it to try and stop it happening? Of course I didn’t (this is called being your own worst enemy!).

Now I say I don’t know exactly why, but I have some ideas. I have spoken before about how hard I can be on myself (this has been a horrible trait since I was a child) and when things don’t go 100% right or to plan. I seem to go on a self destruct mission. So what went wrong this week? In the grand scheme of things, nothing. But in my perfectionist brain, a lot;

Training. My training hasn’t gone 100% to plan. I had to cut my session short on Tuesday & I missed one of my runs on Wednesday. I know that deep down its because I had a hard week the week before, and didn’t give myself enough time to recover, and that missing one session isn’t the end of the world. I try to be positive and tell myself I am doing the right things and listening to my body, but then the other voice in my head just tells me that I am failure.

Relationships. Now, I do like to keep some areas of my life private, so I am not going into details about this. But to sum it up, a line has been drawn under a difficult few months, and it hurts. Men, you suck (sorry, not sorry).

Work. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my job and I am so glad I took the plunge to go self employed & set up my coaching business. But, being self employed is hard, and it can also be quite lonely. This week was super busy, which meant that unless I was running, I didn’t really leave the house. Spending day in, day out by yourself can get tough and some days I do miss just the basic social interaction of going into work just to talk to people. I am still so new to this, so I am hoping that I will find the balance to it all soon, because what I have realised is that when I do feel like this, spending a lot of time on your own can make everything feel that little bit worse.

Food. My diet has felt like its been all over the place. I have been very open about this in the past and admitted that last year I became a little too obsessive about the numbers on the scale. Whether it was how much I weighed or how much my food weighed. 99% of the time I am in a much better place with this. I do still weigh out my food, but only to ensure that I am eating enough, rather than restricting myself. But this week, I seem to have lost my way a little bit. And that, on top of my training not going well just builds up the problems in my head.

Then something happened today that hasn’t happened for a long time. I binged. I didn’t go as crazy as I have before, and again I knew it was coming but I couldn’t stop myself going to the cupboard, even thought I knew it would make me feel worse. Bingeing comes in all shapes and sizes. It doesn’t always mean you eat a family size chocolate bar or a share bag of crisps. You just grab what you can and eat it. I don’t keep things like that in my house, because the temptation is too much, but trust me, I will find things to binge on – massive bowls of cereal, spoonfuls of peanut butter, loads of cheese….  so yeah, that happened. BUT I did manage to stop myself before I went too far, and I then took myself out of the situation. I went for a walk into the town centre and distracted myself by walking round Primark for an hour, which obviously meant I spent money too.. whoops.

Racing. Tomorrow is the Winter Run 10k, an event I have been looking forward to for a while, and one which I put out there as one of my goal races for the beginning of the year. I have made no secret about the fact I want to PB, and up until a few days ago, I felt really good about it. Now? Not so much. The missed training sessions, the food, the bingeing, it all adds up and in my head it equals game over. Like I have undone everything over the last year in the last few days. I know it sounds dramatic and even as I am typing this out, I know how ridiculous it sounds. Also, I am not expecting this to really make any sense to anyone, because it doesn’t even really make much sense to me. But perhaps if this is how you feel sometimes, it will make you realise you are not alone.

So yeah, thats pretty much what has been going on in my brain/life the last few days. The weird thing is, overall I am probably the most settled & happy I have been in a long time. But here comes that vicious cycle again, as then it makes me feel guilty that I am feeling like this because of all the other good things in my life… honestly, if I could just turn my brain off sometimes, I would!

I can’t lie, I am nervous about tomorrow, and if the race doesn’t go well, I am worried what affect that will have on my headspace. But, I will just have to cross that bridge & deal with it as best I can if it happens.

But anyway, enough negativity for one evening. Time to eat some pasta, have an early night & hopefully wake up feeling a bit more like my normal self in the morning.

Jordan xxx

 

 

 

London Marathon Training – Week 3

Well it only took me until week 3 to get behind with the blog update, whoops! A couple of days late but here is a little round up of Week 3 – I will warn you, it wasn’t particularly eventful, but not every week can be filled with races and PBs! Anyway, now that I have really enticed you into reading this… Enjoy!

Week 3 – WC 21st January 2019 

Monday

AM – Easy/Recovery 3 Miles

PM – Steady 7 Miles

You know the drill by now, its time for another double day! The previous week was a big one for me, and my legs were certainly feeling it on Monday morning. The 3 miles really dragged and I’ll be honest I really wasn’t looking forward to running again in the evening. But whadda you know, by the time the evening rolled around it felt like I had a new pair of legs! I did my usual route (I am very boring!) and the miles ticked by nice and quickly – the complete opposite to how the morning felt!

I do usually go to the gym on Monday and was due to go to with a friend in the evening (I usually go first thing!) But after walking in and seeing how busy it was, I sat on a mat for approximately 5 minutes, moaned, and quickly left. Note to self – don’t attempt the gym on a Monday evening in January! 

 

Tuesday

AM – Strength Training

PM – Club Night – Track 

After an early start coaching down at the track with mycrew I then headed to the gym to do my strength session I missed on Monday. I have started including Squats & Deadlifts into my sessions, and although its only been a few weeks, I am definitely noticing the difference & feeling stronger already!

Earlier in the week the weather really started to turn, which unfortunately meant the track turned into an ice rink, meaning we had to abandon our evening session and head over to the muddy, wet common instead (not impressed!) I was actually a little gutted as was really looking forward to heading back to the track, and I think it affected me a bit mentally – I really couldn’t be bothered! But, I was there, so I got it done! We ended up doing 8 x 2.30 minute efforts, with 60 second recovery.

This was also when I realised how much my legs were aching from the weekends efforts, so rather than being hard on myself for not giving 100%, I just ticked it off as another session down.

 

Wednesday

AM – Easy/Recovery 3 Miles

PM – Steady 6 Miles 

I’ll be honest, I am really not a fan of these easy morning runs. I’m tired, and they are always the day after a hard run so the last thing my legs want to do is run, but I am really starting to notice the benefit when I head out again in the evening… so they are worth it (or at least thats what I keep telling myself!) 

Same old same old again, another lonely 6 miles out and back to Clapham Common. It was dark, cold but I got the miles done and managed to keep a pretty good pace too, well once my legs had warmed up!

N.B If you have made it this far, well done! I really do feel like I need to apologise about how boring this week has been – but sometimes thats the reality of marathon training! 

 

Thursday

AM – Gym – Strength Training 

PM – Club Interval Session

Our Thursday club session was a little different this week, due to the National Cross Country Champs taking place on Saturday (SO GUTTED I MISSED IT) we skipped the usual hill session and once again headed over to the common (oh joy) for some speedy intervals.

I am still getting used to training with larger groups of people, it definitely has its benefits but can also mess with your head a little bit too! A lot of the men I train with are really really quick (a lot faster than me!) so a lot of the time I find myself at the back of the training group, which mentally can be hard. I automatically feel like I am running slower than I am, but 9/10 I am actually running the pace I should be, sometimes even quicker! Training with people that are quicker than you certainly can have its advantages & disadvantages but right now I find that it pushes me to work that little bit harder

 

Friday

REST DAY

The best day. Enough said!

 

Saturday

AM – Clapham Common Parkrun

One of my favourite days of the week, parkrun! This week I headed over to Clapham Common for the first time, and the best bit was meeting up with some of my PMGCoaching crew! During my time as a runner, I have learnt that you physically cannot go out every single week and run a PB and that some weeks you’ve just got to do your best and not get caught up on time. This was certainly one of those weeks. I didn’t have a bad run as such, but I was over a minute slower than the week before – just shows what a heavy week of training can do to your legs! A couple of years ago this would have REALLY bothered me and probably put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day (not even kidding) but again, I just ticked it off as another session done, and more miles in the bank!

 

Sunday

AM – Long Run (19 miles) 

We all have them, those sessions that you dread or at least look at and think ‘oh shiiiiiiiit’ – this was one of those! The plan was 5k @ Easy pace, 10k @ Marathon Pace, 5k @ Easy pace, 10k @ Marathon Pace, Cool Down.  Easy right?

It’s funny, although I have ran quicker than my marathon pace in recent races and for longer distances, when they are built into a long run like this they always seem so much more daunting (anyone else agree with this?) but, it was on the plan, so it had to be done!

Luckily I didn’t have to attempt this on my own! A friend from my new club is also training for London and has similar goals to me, which is great as it means we can train together and can help push each other when it gets tough!

I can honestly say that was the hardest long run I had ever done in marathon training. The first 10 miles flew by and I felt really comfortable during the first block of marathon pace miles, but by the time the second block came around I was really having to dig deep to stay on pace. We decided to head to Battersea Park so we could run laps without having to worry about stopping for traffic etc. Surprisingly I didn’t actually mind this, although there is a serious GPS issue around that area so it was really hard to gauge how accurate our splits were (first world problems, I know!) and it was also really really windy… but as they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!

By the time we had reached our final cool down mile, I was well and truly done. I felt exhausted! But overall I was really pleased with how the run went, and off the back of a hard week, and my highest mileage week it was a big confidence boost!

65 miles for the week. 3 weeks down, 13 weeks to go!

Jordan xx

 

 

 

 

 

 

London Marathon Training – Week 2

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 

Monday

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!

Tuesday

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!

 

Wednesday

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!

 

Thursday

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!).

Friday

REST DAY

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!

Saturday 

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!

SUNDAY

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.

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So, that’s week 2 done and dusted! 45 miles in the bag. Lessons learnt & 2 new PBs. 14 weeks to go…. !

Jordan xxx