Sunday, April 16, 2017

Ultra Training: Week 3

Total Miles this Week: 25.85 miles

Still VERY cold
It's always a bit disconcerting when you see less runs the week after in a training schedule. And its not a taper week. No, I checked.

However, I feel that I am doing something right as I was able to do a 10k with a sub 9 minute pace with little to no issues with Mr. Moose. 30 minutes later, I did another 10k (well slightly longer at 6.5 miles) with a sub 8 and mostly into the wind. Not going to lie though, I was well pleased the last 800m was downhill. I also got to put my feet in the icy cold Channel and then walk along the beach. All while munching a chocolate egg. Brill.

I was pretty happy with this week exercise wise. It was a good mix of running and strength:

  • Monday: Run commute from Canary Wharf
  • Tuesday: Spinning
  • Wednesday: 30 minute hill session + Bodycombat 
  • Thursday: Beigel Run
  • Friday: Walkies
  • Saturday: 10k + 10k-ish 
  • Sunday: Easter walkies 
The double session was a bit tricky to fit it, but I felt amazing afterwards, so if I want to continue spin I may need to do that more often. I think I would swap Bodycombat for BodyPump though... such choices. 

Looking out with IOW in the distance...
I was also very lucky that I did some run tourism this weekend in the Bournemouth area. I am a huge believer in going out somewhere new to run (or somewhere you at least don't go to normally to go running). It really revitalises you and also just gives you something different to look at. Sometimes you do not even need to go very far: simply changing the direction of a normal loop or heading some different side streets is enough to add inject some excitement into your 'normal' route. 

Also very excited as the Chase the Sun series has started up again so that will help me inject some faster runs (or maybe just fartleks) into my running during the week. I can do either 5k or 10k, and either way guaranteed chip timing and a delicious flap jack at the end. 

I know my 50k is nothing compared to the AT-- but wow I was definitely motivated after watching this documentary on Karl Meltzer beating the course record. So inspiring! So much calories!

I hope everyone had an amazing Easter weekend. I think we need more four day weekends don't you?

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Ultra Training: Week 2

Total Miles this Week: 27.75 miles

Hello Bridge! 
So it turned out the week of the hendo I went to was actually week one... oops! Let's just crack on with week two.

I am determined to incorporate more cross training into my workout, so I did a Bodypump class this week as well as a Core beatdown/workout put on by the nice people over at Tribe in Shoreditch. Of course we did have to run to Haggerston Park and did sprints in between the core sets. Never mind! I also did a beigel run on Thursday morning with the love AR collective. Been a while and was so great to hear stories from Manchester. Tell you what-- the earlier sunrises really makes those 6am starts a lot easier.

And... this is where is started to go a bit wrong. I read that a bagel shop up in Angel was doing a promotion for £1 salt beef bagels for lunch. I checked mapmyRun. Definitely doable for a lunch time run there and back as long as the queue wouldn't be too long. I dutifully packed my bag the night before and was looking forward to a nice sunny lunch run.

Friday at work I am getting ready to run. Sports bra? Check. Socks? Check. Running shorts? Check. Shoes? ....... No shoes! I was almost giving up when I realised I was sporting a pair of Converse AllStars (yay casual Friday). Should I run in them? I decided yes, how bad could it be? Its about a 5k round trip!

Classic gin wench attire :D
Well, since that nice run (and nice bagel I should add) my feet/ankles have not been the same. I ran a total 15.5 miles this weekend and my ankle still feels funny :( However I was NOT going to miss my SecretLondon Gin run and wow the weather this weekend was pretty brilliant wasn't it?

So niggles aside, I am trying to get back into the swing of running and its going OK so far! I really need to allocate some time on the weekends for longer runs though. I am not running 50k over two days, just one. SO next week I hope to do my LSR in one day (14 miles). Also if I am lucky get on some trails soon.

I hope everyone else had a brilliant weekend running, be it for a race, for fun, or for training. Remember you got out there and did it and that is the hardest thing!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Escape to Trail: Run Review

Some Sights from the Trail
I signed up for this run (Escape to Trail Series) I believe last year when I was training for Honolulu and was putting more mileage in. It sounded ideal though, a low cost (£12.50) race close to London on a trail, accessible by trains (even Oyster Card!), and a good distance between a half and a full. The organizer (Dean) was very quick to answer all of my questions. Are there water stations? No. Is there a bag drop? No. It was a charity run -- so not only does it feed my running soul, it feeds my feel-good karma soul.
I arrived at Enfield Chase with about 20 minutes to spare, and although there was some initial confusion, all the runners basically grouped together and located the greasy spoon where we were setting off from. One loo, much queue. Good thing I didn't need to go too badly.

Race Itself: This was epic. I am so glad I know about this route now. It will make some awesome training runs later. We ran 17 miles of the New River Path (28 miles total). Think Regents canal but not nearly as crowded and more animals.  With start/finish points in Islington and Hertford, it has awesome transport links. Although the sign posting at times was a bit off (I was glad I was close to other runners) and some fallen trees blocking paths, the route was generally easy to follow. Did I stop to check my route at times? Once right near the end.  Again for the entry cost I am not going to fault the organizers for it. They did provide a Strava Route for us to follow if need be. The end was clearly posted and thats what matters. There was even a goody bag (Bounce energy ball, Coconut Water, and an Up & Go breakfast drink), which I was happy with given the cost of entry. I have paid more and received worse goody bags.

Everyone was friendly. Course was brilliant. Finish line was obvious which is really what you need.

Finish: The pub where we finished had awesome staff and delicious food. A friend who lives nearby met me there and we had a delicious chicken burger and chips. THEY DO A DUCK RACE ON THE EASTER WEEKEND. How adorable is that? Very.  Close to Hertford East train station which has trains into Liverpool Street and accepts Oyster. Hertford North is a bit farther and does not take Oyster, but drop you off at Moorgate. So again, many options.

When In Doubt... Slow Down... 
Personal: I knew physically I was not ready for this run. When talking to my friend who was trying to gauge when to meet me at the pub, I gave her an estimate which equated to a 10-11 minute mile pacing. I had not done anything longer than 10 miles this year, so I figured I should be on the more cautious side. I finished just outside my range with an average pace of 11:01 min/miles. It was very tough mentally and with about a 10k left I just switched off my pacing alerts on my Garmin. I was finding them annoying and de-motivating. I figured it is best to let me body get into whatever pace it felt would be good given the situation.

I think the aspect which disappointed the most was just how drained and sore I felt after. I am trying to chalk it up to lack of time on my feet lately in terms of long runs, but its it hard when thinking back to last year when doing back to back 16 mile days was not an issue. It's learning to tune out those niggles of doubt and remind yourself that with training those days will come back.