Running: the good, the bad, and the ugly

TOTAL MILAGE THIS WEEK: Swim 1.25 miles | Cycle: 61.2 miles | Run: 34.6 miles |
Comment: Not bad for a four day week.

This week has been a bit of a mixed bag for me. A bank holiday always scuppers my training plans as I don’t cycle to work and running club is cancelled, so my milage is generally reduced on these weeks. Despite the fact that there was no running club, I still managed to significantly increase my running miles to the furthest I have done since I finished marathon training. Also, since I had some really nice and dare I say enjoyable runs last week, I did something stupid and committed to Beachy Head marathon (even though a few weeks ago I said that people who did multiple marathons in one year are crazy). Now the thing about Beachy is that it is notoriously tough, and there is no point going for speed, so the important thing is getting in the miles and the hills so that your legs can cope however long runs all the time are super boring so I tried several things to mix it up a little with varying amounts of success.

  1. Run, swim, run (10.1 miles):  I had left my bike at work last week, so on Tuesday I decided I would run to the serpentine swim my first mile, and then run to work. This didn’t quite work out as I got too cold to reach a mile so had to get out after 3/4s, but the run was a success. After the swim I threw my shoes on, and set off running to work without even removing my swim cap, and actually I quite enjoyed it!
    Things that worked: Knowing that I was going for a swim (aka going to my happy place).
    Things that were difficult: Even though it was just two miles, its not easy running when your whole body is that cold.

  2. Running with friends (5.1 miles, WU, 6*800m with 200m recovery, CD): This week saw the introduction of our new weekly Wednesday lunch runs where me and some girls from work have committed to dragging each other out of the office and into the park for a run. We don’t necessarily need to run together, we just need someone to motivate us to run! This week I did run with one of the girls, but she is much fitter and faster than me so I definitely won’t be holding her up every week.
    Things that worked: Having someone to motivate me to get out in the rain and run, as well as planning my route and speed splits… If you read this then thanks a lot AO!
    Things that were difficult: I had trained legs 18hrs before the run. This definitely made the splits we were running much harder to achieve. Also I could have done with eating something before hand I think!

  3. PARKRUN (3miles): This week it was our run directors 250th park run (well done Tom!!!!), so he decided that for a special occasion he would send us on a magical mystery tour of the park and do a single lap park run. This was without a doubt the best park run I have ever done and I believe people are petitioning to keep this route permanently which 100% gets my vote. Also, just call me Melania Trump because I was FIRST LADY!!!! (only because our regular first lady is on holiday but I am not normally second either so its still a huge achievement and it got me a mention in this weeks run report. 
    Things that worked: They say a change is as good as a rest and that was definitely true for me this week. Also I had a good breakfast a few hours before setting off for the run so that definitely didn’t do any harm. Oh.. and I wore my lucky hat.
    Things that were difficult: To be honest this was pretty much an ideal run for me! I can’t really fault it. 

    21200840_1866453863371263_1793204309308523907_o
    Coming up the finishing straight in the sun
  4. LSR/3 Parkrun Challenge (16.2 miles): Now, as you can imagine by this point in the week I was feeling pretty confident in my running ability, and decided to design myself a 3 park run challenge for my LSR. Now let me tell you something very important… putting in 3 good runs of 3 different lengths literally does not help you at all in the mental game that is the LSR. The 3 park run challenge is a simple concept… you pick 3 park runs that are close enough to each other, and run between them. If you’re looking for a shorter distance you can choose to do a junior park run route, or just a single lap of a multiple lap course, but if you want more distance then you put in the full 5km at each location. I picked South Norwood County Parkrun, Dulwich Parkrun, and my new home run at Crystal Palace. I planned to do 18 miles but ran out of time before junior park run at Crystal Palace so came in just a little bit short. This run was the worst run I have done possibly ever… but please don’t let that put you off the idea!
    Things that went well: I saw a man doing something similar in one park, and we met up again in another. Having someone to chat to for a couple of minutes really made the run more bearable for that short amount of time. Eating fruit while running (which was surprisingly easy)
    Things were difficult: RUNNING IN GENERAL. Today I picked up a blood blister the size of a 20p coin, didn’t eat enough before hand so my stomach was actually rumbling the whole way through. I squashed my post run sandwich, and I picked up a horrendous marathon tattoo from my camelback.

So in conclusion, the main point of this post is that every run is going to be different. There are some things I learned that will help every run though I think. These are:

Get a lucky hat and wear it whenever you can
Running with friends where possible
Don’t wear a vest and backpack combo
Make sure you eat a good breakfast and have plenty of time to digest it before setting off
Wear proper running socks
Orange segments in a bag in your pocket make a pretty good pre-run snack

Hopefully reading about all of my different run experiences this week might help you with yours in the future!

 

 

 

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