Monday, 30 August 2010


The day after 3 long runs in a row is much better if you've run the long runs fairly slowly. Feel fine today, just a bit tired, no extra aches or pains.......... all good!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

45 miles in 3 days - done!

68 miles for the week, 45 of which were done in the last 3 days. I actually think I may be able to run 3 marathons in 3 days now!

Having spent a week in France running fairly easily, I had it all saved for my return. Mind you I shouldn't be let out alone. Yet again whilst on holiday I managed to fall over bashing the same knee as in Pembrokeshire, which this time bled profusely having not fully healed from the last fall, and ended up pretty bruised too. It was another early morning run, just 6 miles, I fell over a bump in the road. Had the usual horrible slow motion thing, fell heavily on both knees, and saved myself with the heels of my hands, both of which are still scarred! Whilst lying on the ground at the top of the Normandy hills above the sea, and wondering how badly I was hurt, I did wonder whether I should start wearing kneepads to run in (but later decided that might be tempting fate). I managed to finish the run, with lovely bloody tracks from both knees, the locals must have wondered if I'd escaped from somewhere. The knee was stiff the following day, but pretty much recovered in 2 days. It is stiff again now after 45 miles, but I guess that's not really surprising.

I did a little aquajogging in the sea whilst in France too to save my legs from the constant pounding. Although it was scenic and kinder to the legs, swirling around in the sea can get a bit dull after 30 minutes or so, so I was pretty pleased that I managed about 45 minutes. It also allowed me to go to the beach with the rest of the family rather than dashing off into the hills on my own. That is a real issue now I am doing more miles, the amount of time I spend away from the family. I hate to miss anything. My husband is very understanding, and I try to time my runs so that everyone is still in bed, or not doing anything too exciting, but it does mean I get less sleep, and housework has had to take a bit of a backseat lately!

Anyway getting back to my miles this weekend. I managed 10 miles on Friday afternoon having returned from France that lunchtime. I forgot to charge my Garmin in time, and so ran by time, so have no idea how fast I ran. I suspect it was a little on the fast side, closer to 10 min miling than 11. Mentally it was hard, particularly leaving the house. Once the decision was made, it was more manageable, but a constant effort to keep on putting one foot in front of the other. I then did 20 miles on my own over the Gower on Saturday morning. That was tough, I mean really tough. I threw in 30 second walk breaks every 2 miles from 6 miles in. Not that I think I really needed them physically, but they broke up a seemingly endless run, and gave me something to aim for. The pace was slow, 11.18mm overall, with hills and walk breaks, and moments of moaning. I survived, but the balls of my feet were tender in the afternoon, and playing on my mind was the 15 miles I had to do the following day.

Today I really acheived something. I managed to find a Women's Running Network long run group to join for 7.5 miles of my long run. I did 3.5 very slow very achy miles before I met them, then they dragged me along for an hour and a half. If I had been more organised I would have done all my extra miles before the group, but I couldn't face getting up at 6am. It was fantastic having such good company. The pace was slow 12mm+, but it was absolutely perfect for me today. I will definitely be joining the group again to help with the miles later in the year, I just wish there was a group both days of the weekend.

So a little easy running on holiday, and some big miles this weekend, and I am another step closer to my goal. I can't think about the whole run across Wales at the moment, the 3 marathons in 3 days is enough. But after a tough weekend I am still in one piece, if a little sore and tired, and I really believe I can do this running thing!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Another weekend, another long run (or two...)

Managed my 20 miler today, with some excellent company, thanks Mandy. That's after a 15 miler yesterday done over 5 hours with clubs, clients and a bit on my own. That's 65 miles in total for the week, and I feel much better! Confidence is now well on it's way to being fully restored.

I felt much more positive and less achy after my 15 miles yesterday. I am sure that was helped by my first sports massage in nearly a month, which turned out to be pretty painful. It was of course a good kind of pain, and sorted out all the niggles and issues I have had in the last few weeks. Running with someone else really does make the miles go faster. I took regular 30 second walk breaks from about 9 miles in, mainly to see how it worked with regards to my overall pace, and whether it helped. It did help mentally, having an easy bit to aim for. Mandy refused to let me take one at 19 miles, and it has to be said, I'm glad she wouldn't let me, I didn't need it. However, there was only a 20 second per mile difference between mine and Mandy's averages, as she ran when I walked. My aim is to finish in one piece, and if taking walk breaks makes that plan more doable, then I will be walking.

A week off hard training next week, and then the following week it's the first of the 3 hard days in a row. 10, 15 and 20, one week followed by 12, 20 and Bristol Half the next week. I now feel like I could actually do that and survive.

This time next month I will be running 74 miles a week, a first............ new territory all the way from here on in, yippee!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

Family camping and high mileage don't mix.

I have just returned from a fantastic camping holiday in Pembrokeshire. I now feel thoroughly relaxed, if a little tired, tanned and a bit grubby!

I had decided whilst on holiday to run a big week, 65 miles, rather than take it easy, mainly because I thought I would have more time. This was a mistake. However, I quickly realised my mistake and ran an easy 25 miles all week. We arrived on the Saturday, so I went out for a quick 6 miler. I then took Sunday off running (but managed a fairly arduous hilly 8 mile walk), and ran morning and evening on Monday, 6 miles both times. I was feeling super stiff and tired by this time, having not slept well. I had also forgotten that camping is very physical and sleeping outside makes you stiff. The 6 miles in the morning was done on just a banana at 7.30am on the coastal path. And I felt dreadful. The legs were tired, I just couldn't pick up my feet, and it took all my mental energy to stay upright. One minute I was checking my watch, the next I was flat on my face in the dirt. I had tripped over a stone and scraped my right knee and dented my confidence badly. But I dusted myself off and managed to finish the run ok.

The next few days consisted of easy short 4-6 mile road runs or days off.

Falling over on the coastal path was not good. Alot of the time I was on holiday I was thinking of the 3 marathons in 3 days I will be doing in November, along that very stretch of coastal path. The race HQ is in St Davids where we were camping, so I had constant reminders of what I have signed up for. Confidence for offroad coastal running is very low at the moment. My knee is actually still very sore to touch, albeit a surface wound only. I am hoping that it was a combination of camping tiredness and general exhasution that led to my fall, and not an innate inability to run Pembrokeshire Coastal path safely!! Before the holiday I was dog tired, but coping. The holiday was great to get away from work for a while, but sleeping in a tent and living outside for a week is never very restful. I am off again in a few days camping to France, so I am planning on adjusting my schedule to take that into account, having learnt from my experience in St Davids. Trying to run a 60+ mile week, in the gaps of a family camping holiday left me feeling extremely stiff, tired and a little tearful. Once I'd taken the pressure off myself and swapped my easy week planned for this week, and my 60+ mile week, which I will complete this week coming, I felt so much better.

One great thing about the holiday though, was bumping into an old friend in St Davids, and finding he and his sister and brother, spouses and parents plus children were all staying in the area for the week.Having known them for nearly 20 years, but due to geography only see them every few years it was a fantastic chance to spend the week catching up, and enjoying everyone's company. We now plan to do it again next year!