2017 goalpost(s)

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My goals are going to be attainable but flexible. I want to keep focus without pressurizing myself into the ground, and I want to build in lots of rest time too. The main thing I want from this year is to enjoy it.

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  1. 250 parkruns.

I’m currently on 242 so I reckon my 250th will be sometime in February. 250 runs and 1250km. That’s very nearly enough to run from John O’Groats to Land’s End. Phew. That doesn’t take into account the distance covered from and to parkrun either.

 

  1. Marathon PB.

My marathon PB is 4:12, set in Paris in 2013. I know I can do better than that. I will do better than that.

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Rotterdam’s marathon course. The A race next year

  1. 25 volunteer parkruns

I’m on 11 at the moment, so once I’ve done the 250 I will make sure I volunteer 14 more times at parkruns across the county/country.

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  1. 10k PB

I set my 50minute 10k PB at Adnams in 2013. I want that sub 50. I can run 5miles consistently at 39minutes, so I’m sure I can do one more mile at 10minutes to get it, right?

 

  1. Rest

I will take four weeks off after Luxembourg and enjoy not running. I will swim or walk or cycle if I want to. I will not worry about pace and I will avoid running for that four weeks.

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Me in June 2017 (actually it’s the cat, but you get the idea)

 

 

Race calendar so far for 2017

2nd January – Wymondham Not New Year’s Day 10k

12th March – Colchester half marathon

9th April – Rotterdam marathon

27th May – Luxembourg Night marathon

8th October – Chicago marathon

the 2016 round up

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For various reasons and to varying degrees, 2016 was a tough year. Adjustment to different working patterns and rhythms, trying to juggle family with friends and running as well as a four hour commute twice a week and learning two new jobs simultaneously is hard work.

 

Running just didn’t seem to be working for me either, especially in the last six months. Paris training with P&D (Advanced Marathoning) seemed to be working, and I managed a near PB in Cambridge without toooo much effort. I was basically hitting my paces in training and although I was pretty knackered from 50 mile weeks and 15 hour days, it was all worth it to get the sub 4. Except I didn’t. Didn’t even come close. The day of the race dawned bright and clear and, well, hot. I didn’t even write a race report as I was so heartsore about how it went. I stumbled through the first ten miles, worrying about the heat and not being on pace. My mind and soul were fighting the entire way and eventually I gave in about mile 16, and ran/walked the rest to come in about 4.30. I was angry and ashamed – I spent so long running and training and for what? To limp home in the slowest time I’ve had since my third marathon?

I had time to reflect and even had fun in Tromso, despite doing no long runs I actually had a great race and flew for the first ten miles.

After that, I had a couple of short races that should have been completely doable, but in fact I had a panic attack in and had to walk. I went to the GP to see about my asthma, as I couldn’t breathe for many of my runs in July and August. She told me that running was bad for my knees and then put me on symbicort – a heavy duty powder inhaler that seems to be doing the trick, although it’s not treating the cause.

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With the help of the wonderful Mr Charming and our brilliant friends, I’ve started to get my confidence back with running in the last couple of months. I took October off. No runs during the week, and parkrun at the weekend. I didn’t even take my kit to work with me during the week. It felt good. I was beginning to hate running, and I don’t hate running. Friends, I highly recommend a good chunk of time off after a  long training cycle. I haven’t done that since my first marathon, and I felt like each cycle was slower than the last.

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All time! 7773 miles!

Using smashrun, that actually turned out to be true. Smashrun, by the way, is a great site which brings together all of  your data from the disparate sources into one page. I started running with Nike+ and went to Garmin after my first marathon, and I was looking for a way to see it all on one page. Now my running record gores back to 2009.
Not only that, but it’s really easy to cut your data different ways. Average pace? Compare months year on year? Day by day? It’ll do PR/PB, races, run streaks etc. It’ll also tell you how many calories you’ve burned off in neat portions i.e. my run on the 28th December burned off  stick of butter (about half a pack in UK Terms). It’s definitely much more indepth than Strava or garmin  and a lot quicker.

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my first six months

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2013 – 1209 miles, nearly 4 times a week and 9.20min/mil average

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2016 – 1393 so more miles, but 24 seconds slower on average. 3.6 runs a week too so I go out less but run for longer.

I will do a separate post about my goals for 2017 – coming up in the New Year.

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Clockwise from the yellow and green people, links to 2017 race entry included where available:

My biggest lesson from 2016 is: listen to your body. Don’t blindly trust the training and don’t be afraid to re-assess if anything needs mixing up.

Summer marathon training

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laces!

So, following my sub four post, as of Monday June 9th, I am officially in Summer marathon training! Except I’m currently sitting on the couch trying to get rid of a viral respiratory thingy that’s been surreptitiously hanging around since Paris. Boo.

Don’t do as I do – I’ve done two half marathons, three 5 mile races and a 5k colour run (not to mention a 16mile where I though I was wading through literal treacle) in that time. I managed to get two 5mile PBs (including a sub 40, woop!) but every run has felt really hard. I have learned this lesson – next time I start feeling a bit lethargic I will rest. Definitely.

downhill profile, right?!

In this case, the heart is positively raring to get back on the sub 4 train, my body isn’t. But it’s okay, because this is Week ONE. I’d rather miss a whole week now than struggle on for another six, doing more damage to myself in the process.

Look at that elevation! Relatively downhill, although I’ve been told that there are some killer hills in there. Must do some proper hill training. There are some hills in Norwich. Somewhere…

Has anyone got any tips for summer training? I really don’t do well in the heat, as much as I love sunbathing. I’ve got a carrybag for water and plan to go out early or late – anything else I need to know?

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I’m raising money for Buddies, by the way – my little brother, Dad and stepmother have had so much amazing support from them over the last couple of years, and found a community who understands the limitations as well as recognising that people with special needs can lead a normal life. If you feel like donating, the link is here – I would be so grateful. If you want to find out more about buddies, check their website out.