Diary of an aspiring half -marathon runner - week two

OK – so although my first blog was only published last week, in real time I’ve had a while to get used to the idea and it’s really starting to sink in now that in October I’ll be running a half marathon! 

It still sounds ages away, but once you add in the fact that I’m away quite a bit between now & then, plus I’ve got to somehow fit training in around busy full-time employment and other commitments - it’s really not that long at all! 

But, according to my trusty advisor(s) on such matters, apparently based on the fact that I could probably run 10K without too much of a struggle, I could be ready to run a half-marathon in as little as 6 weeks (yeah right, dream-on!). Thankfully we have more than 6 weeks, so allowing for holidays etc… I should be able to get a solid 11-12 weeks of training in, so in theory double the time needed!    

This week I started my “proper” training schedule and the plan for session one – complete 5 miles.  What was that? “Piece of cake” did I hear you say?  I agree that normally this wouldn’t give me too much cause for concern as the usual steady SLJ run is 4 – 4.5 miles most weeks, but I’ve been away or busy on Saturdays for over a month so I’ve missed all but one of the usual SLJ Saturday sessions (where I opted for the “gentle joggers” on account of feeling a little (ahem) “delicate”) and I’ve not managed to fit in any mid-week sessions either.

That said I did run just the once while on holiday where I learned a valuable lesson about not always putting your faith in technology, but I’ll leave that tale for another time!  I know I could have made time to run more whilst away and in between if I really wanted to, but the truth is I just don’t enjoy running on my own – I need the support & camaraderie that comes from being part of a group like SLJ.

Therefore I woke this Saturday morning, excited but also more than a tad nervous to embark upon my training.  Normally after a several weeks off running I’d ease myself in gently with 3-4 miles with Sue & the gentle joggers, a nice gentle pace with stops & walking breaks – but that wasn’t an option today. Not only would I have to jump straight in at the deep end and run with Siân & the main group – but I’d also have to do the extra loops to make sure I hit the 5 mile target! I feel the need to point out here that I’ve NEVER run the extra loops before – I’ve always avoided them like the plague, after all they’re for fast runners aren’t they…?  Well, I can now categorically say the answer is no, they’re not!  That’s not to say that there weren’t some fast runners up the front, but there were another four of us bringing up the rear, taking a steadier pace but still covering the extra distance.  We still caught up with the main group at the previously agreed check points and in true SLJ spirit, nobody was left behind.  

I’m pleased to report that thanks to the extra loops I did indeed achieve the 5 mile target, and it didn’t kill me! Hooray! 

All in all a good start to the “proper” training, and much better than I feared which hopefully bodes well for the weeks to come. Watch this space!