Week 5 – The Wheels Falling Off!

Week five was a busy week. I mean in the real world, not the world of running. And that had a bit of an impact on my plans.

Tuesday was fine, though – four miles at lunchtime round Linlithgow Loch. The weather is starting to get pretty warm, though – it was a pretty hot and sweaty four miles

Total distance: 6790 m
Max elevation: 82 m
Min elevation: 47 m

It was Wednesday when things started going less well. I had to go to Pittenweem for the day and just didn’t manage my run.

Thursday I also spent at Pittenweem, and didn’t make it back home until about 7pm. I couldn’t let two days slip, so after a day spent carting black bin bags into a van I eventually got out just before 8pm and did four miles.

Total distance: 6770 m
Max elevation: 149 m
Min elevation: 72 m

On Friday I decided to try to catch up on the missed miles, so after work I went out and did seven miles. This was two laps of the Loch plus a couple of extra bits to get the mileage up.

Love the flies on my face. Actually, I don’t
Total distance: 11900 m
Max elevation: 82 m
Min elevation: 46 m

That brought on the weekend, and on Saturday I had another seven miler. My car had to go in for some work, so I ended up running around Stirling. A nice change of scene, and the scenery around that area is always enough to take my mind off the pain. I was tempted to stop in at Corrieri’s for some food, but gamely kept running!

The Old Stirling Bridge. And a sweaty old bloke!
Total distance: 11842 m
Max elevation: 27 m
Min elevation: 2 m

And then it was Sunday. For the first time my training plan broke the thirteen mile marker. There’s a psychological breakpoint when you run beyond 13.1 miles.

I had planned to go earlier in the day, but after a bit of a long lie I realised it was much too warm to go running around lunchtime. So I waited until much later in the afternoon. It was still very warm – 18-20C throughout. Wallacestone Brae and Standrigg Road were brutal… but I got there!

I picked a bad day to try compression – too hot!
Total distance: 22061 m
Max elevation: 184 m
Min elevation: 61 m

But, the main thing is, training is still on track…

End of week five

Week Three and Four Of Training

Goodness me, it has been a very busy couple of weeks. So busy that I failed to post an update for week three of training – so this one is going to have to cover both week thres and week four.

Week Three – 17-23 Jun

The week started with a busy day – I had an appointment in St Andrews, some two hours distant, in the late morning, and I didn’t expect that I would get home before late evening. So I made the only choice I could – I got up ridiculously early and went for a run in the morning. Five miles, including the dreaded Wallacestone Brae

Total distance: 8370 m
Max elevation: 148 m
Min elevation: 71 m

Wednesday turned out to be no better. Again, awkwardly-timed appointments meant that I couldn’t run when I would normally have expected to, and so I had to go out in the late evening. By this time it was getting dark and I knew that the route would include a short stretch of unlit road with no pavements. So it was on with the illuminated running belt and the Craft Mind Reflective tights. I don’t know why they don’t sell these in the UK any more; they are great for running at night time – though I would love to see what they look like in car headlights!

Cradt Mind Reflective Tights – Brilliant!
Total distance: 6664 m
Max elevation: 148 m
Min elevation: 68 m

Now, Wednesday’s run should have been the long one of the week, but it was already late. So I only did four miles (but I did take in the Brae) and did the long run on Thursday instead. This was a six mile run, and I didn’t include the Brae – but I did still have a decent amount of hill work – I am going to be as prepared as I possibly can be for Dores!

Total distance: 9987 m
Max elevation: 147 m
Min elevation: 88 m

Friday was a rest day, much of which I spent driving to Nottingham to help my daughter come home from Uni. So on Saturday, I found myself in unfamiliar territory, and able to do a wee bit of Parkrun tourism. I ran from the hotel via a slightly roundabout route to the Nottingham Forest Rec Parkrun, where I ran the 5k in a respectable 22:55 before running back to the hotel. Now, we Scots might claim that England is flat as a pancake, but I can guarantee that there were hills in this parkrun! A climb of 100ft, performed twice within the 5k, made for a tough run – so thank you to the run director and all the volunteers at the event.

Me at the Forest Rec start
Total distance: 10306 m
Max elevation: 78 m
Min elevation: 41 m

Saturday we drove home, which let me do my LSR on home turf. The weather was glorious, conditions in which I am not used to running. So I summoned my courage and ran topless for part of the race. Then I chickened out whenever I saw people in the distance and put my t-shirt back on! But at least I did get through my seven miles without collapsing in the heat!

Hot day!
Total distance: 11733 m
Max elevation: 184 m
Min elevation: 71 m

Week Four – 24-30 Jun

After the usual rest day, Tuesday saw another evening run. At least it was fairly cool!

Total distance: 6791 m
Max elevation: 148 m
Min elevation: 68 m

Wednesday, I rather screwed up. I had planned a two-session day; a short lunchtime run with my regular training partner and then a short run in the evening to make up to seven miles. But once I was out I decided to do the whole even miles at lunchtime – it meant I was in the office until half past six but at least it was done! The run itself was in some lovely weather, around Linlithgow Loch.

Rural Idyll
Total distance: 11824 m
Max elevation: 82 m
Min elevation: 46 m

The weather continued to Thursday, when it was 23C as I went out for my run. This was a four miler, and I took the chance to enjoy my new BoaUSA Elite 1″ split shorts – perfect to enjoy a bit of sunshine on my skin. I tried to do this at marathon pace, but messed that up a bit and ended up doing the run at 8:37/mile – way faster than I could sustain over 26.2 miles.

Enjoying the sun
Total distance: 6896 m
Max elevation: 149 m
Min elevation: 71 m

On Saturday I parked at Tesco, ran three and a half miles along the canal and back to Tesco. This was supposed to be at marathon pace, but ended up being a bit faster. Am I the only one who runs faster when I need a pee?

By the time I finished I found that I had been texted a shopping list, so I wandered round the store, buying my messages and sweating all over the shop floor!

Total distance: 12040 m
Max elevation: 83 m
Min elevation: 71 m

The long run came the following day, this time twelve miles. I resolved to try to avoid thinking about pace but instead keep myself in Heart Rate Zone 2 as much as possible. This was really easy for the first few miles, until I reached the turning point and realised that the wind had been very kind to me. Now I was fighting my way into the wind, and the pace dropped dramatically

It was still warm, though – at least until the rain started. Suddenly I was completely soaked through, and I still had three miles to run. But it’s strange – I seem to think of the bottom of Wallacestone Brae as being “basically home” – all I need to do is climb just over a hundred metres in a mile or so, then run a further mile and a half, and I’m home!

On the Avon Aqueduct
Total distance: 20195 m
Max elevation: 184 m
Min elevation: 61 m

So, things so far are on track – let’s hope I can keep it up. Summer marathon training does seem to be rather more intrusive on one’s time than winter training!

Training plan after four weeks