Diary of an aspiring half-marathoner! Training week 9

Training Goals
1. To run at least twice, covering 15 miles
2. Longer run = 10 miles

As you’ll remember, last week was a bit of a dip following the previous triumph on “Super Saturday”.  However, true to the promise I made myself I have not dwelled on things & have written it off as a bad week that we all have at times. 

The focus this week was to get training back on track & hit the all important 10 miles for the longer run.  At this point, the half-marathon is only 6 weeks away, and I’m on holiday for 10 days during that time which encompasses two full weekends so potentially I only have 4 weeks left of “proper” training. (late addition: OMG – I just wanted to share with you that as I was having my final read-through of the blog before whizzing it off to Sam, I actually did the double-dip fingers in the air job as I read “proper”!  my colleagues have just looked at me like I’m a complete loon as obviously they don’t actually know what I’m doing so it just looked like some spontaneous rabbit ears for no reason – lol!)

Wednesday was hot, hot, hot and we stuck with our earlier run time as we have done until now, starting at 6.30 so that we get home at a sensible time (especially as bake-off is starting tonight!).  This might not have been the best plan as the car was still registering a balmy 29 degrees as I parked at Hollybush, despite it being decidedly overcast & no real sign of the sun making an appearance.  Still, we headed off into Knole park anyway – but pretty soon our hope of getting 5 miles covered turned into desperate prayers that we’d at least manage 3 miles under the circumstances! 

There was just no air, no breeze – nothing.  With the sun being AWOL too there wasn’t even the pretence of shade when running under the trees & fooling yourself that it was a bit cooler, just the same constant muggy temperature with no respite.  We laboured on regardless, for once thanking our lucky stars for the undulations of Knole & using every hill & even the smallest of inclines as a valid excuse ahem, sorry “reason” (late addition – yes, I just did the ears again!) to walk for a while – but, we kept ourselves going by constantly congratulating ourselves for actually being out & doing something rather than sat at home on the sofa.

We had a bit of excitement (and the chance for a completely valid break) when we were stopped by the police who were looking for someone – as it turned out, I had spotted the person they described, but I couldn’t remember exactly where – and they looked most confused when I tried to explain that I thought it was somewhere between the tree triangle and chestnut, possibly around Christmas eve!  They probably thought we had a touch of heat-stroke or something as they hurried off in the direction we’d gestured to, no doubt hoping that they would bump into someone else who might make a bit more sense!

As it turned out we managed a respectable 4 miles – not the 5 we wanted, but a good effort all the same and by the time we got back, the temperature had dropped a bit too making us wish we hadn’t started earlier after all & had waited until a bit later as we’d probably have been able to do the 5miles we wanted to!

Saturday was still on the warm side, but the sun was out & the route was leafy & woody & therefore presenting lots of shady spots and the occasional breeze. The heat still took its toll though & I drank all three of my water bottles which is really unusual for me.  Finally the end was in sight but I was disappointed to find that I was half a mile short of the 10 miles, so refusing to be beaten I pushed on a bit further, then looped back – but still not enough! So a quick trot around the field… still not enough – the others were silently cursing me under their breath and I can’t tell you how pleased we all were when we heard the little sound from my garmin confirming we’d (finally!) achieved the 10 miles! 

Another new PB for me as far as distance goes, so another milestone ticked off the list!  Contrary to previous weeks I wasn’t feeling particularly energetic at the end, and I’m not convinced I’d have reacted well if you’d suggested we carry on for another 3 miles at that particular point in time (I think I’d have had some choice words to say about it that’s for sure!) but the important thing is that it isn’t worrying me.  There’s still more training to be done & time to do it in, and I’m still confident I have it in me to conquer the challenge ahead.