Sunday, August 12, 2018

The Gromithon!

Chester Marathon Training 9 weeks to go!

Cotswold 100 Training 8 weeks to go!

Both of us - Blue 
Kelly - Purple 
John - Dark orange!

Monday 6th August 2018 

A rest day for me today so I went to pure yoga at Wapping Wharf at lunchtime. A nice, gentle class which was great for stretching out my legs after a solid week of running. 

Tuesday 7th August 2018 

I went to yoga again today. A slightly more challenging class where I did my first attempt at a headstand! Amelia (the teacher) helped me to get into position 1 - where my knees were hugged into my chest. I think I will need a LOT more work on this posture but I am determined to improve. 

In the afternoon, I had my second speed work session of this training block. After last week's session of 2 x 3 mile efforts, this week Coach Cox had set me the challenge of 2 x 4 mile efforts at sub marathon pace. I was feeling more confident this week after the success of last week.

I did a mile warm up to run to the Portway. To avoid the steepest hills, I decided to turn at 2 miles rather than 4 miles and repeat the same section twice. The first few miles felt ok. I was working pretty hard and struggled to get into a rhythm (this is something I'm really going to focus on next week). As is typical for the Portway, the wind was CONSTANTLY in my face. Every time I was running into the wind I thought 'it's ok because, when I turn, it will be behind me'. Nope. Every time I turned, the wind was, once again, in my face! I was aiming for 6:30mm pace. 

Mile 1 - 6:29
Mile 2 - 6:32
Mile 3- 6:34
Mile 4 - 6:27 

Miles 3 and 4 were super hard. I was struggling mentally and contemplating not starting my second block. My legs felt tired and achy and I was working really hard to keep the pace. I finish mile 4 and was exhausted. I collapsed on a bench and lay there for a while. I then realised that I was really hot. I didn't want to carry on. I could just walk home...

I walked to the pump house (local pub nearby) and had a glass of water and went to the toilet. I started to feel a bit better. I really didn't want to do another 4 mile effort but I kept telling myself 'This is how you improve. This is how the PBs come' Eventually, I convinced my brain to start the next set. I walked to the start and took a few deep breaths. 

As soon as I started set 2, I knew it was going to be really hard. My legs felt like jelly - almost disconnected to my body. I was putting in the same amount of effort as in the first set but the pace was way off. A few times I considered stopping and calling it a day. Miles 5 and 6 hurt. But then in mile 7 and 8 I found my mojo again. My legs felt better and I was able to pick up the pace a bit. 

Mile 5 - 6:48
Mile 6-7:00 (oh dear!)
Mile 7- 6:45
Mile 8 -6:36

I was overjoyed to have finished but completely shattered. I walked slowly home - desperate for some water! 

8 miles in total in an average pace of 6:39mm. Not bad but not as good as I'd hoped. I'll have another go at this session again next week and see if I can improve on set 2. 

Wednesday 8th August 2018

Ultra training! A few weeks back, the Maestro and myself recced Leg 1 of the Cotswold Way - Chipping Campden to Stanway House - a stunningly beautiful and relatively straight forward 12 miles. This time round was Leg 2 - Stanway House to Cleeve Common - we had friends: KD and fellow Ring of Fire and Cotswold Way 100 entrant Gary. This leg was (is) tough! Lots more elevation and less rewarding views than on the previous leg. This was some more realisation of how hard and different each mile of the Cotswold 100 is going to be, both technically and mentally. 12 miles, 1500+ feet of elevation and a justified reward in the pub after. A great way to spend an evening and great training for the upcoming events.

Despite loving the roads, I did really enjoy tagging along with the boys and doing some trail running. It helped that the hayfever wasn't too bad (as that's a major reason why I don't like off road running) and the ground was dry. A fun run and nice to do something different. 

More yoga again today - Dynamic Yoga for the first time. Really enjoyed it. Hard work in a similar way to power yoga but it's great for a rest day as I still feel like I've done a workout. 

Thursday 9th August 2018

Another rest day for me today. No running but I did have a PT session with Jules at Oakfield personal training. A super hard session: 

10 exercises
10 reps
10 times

Mountain climbers
Squat jumps
Clean and press 12:5 kg bar
Press ups
Bench straddle sit jumps
Squats plus 15kg dbs
Split lunge jumps while holding a weight overhead.  4kg ball
Crunch n throw 4kg ball...feet under bar
Down n ups.

1000 reps in total! 

I went to yoga again today. Power yoga was super hard after PT. I really hard to focus on my breathing to hold the positions for the required amount of time. 

Friday 10th August 2018

The alarm went off today at 5am in the hope that we would be able to see the mass balloon lift as part of the Bristol Balloon Fiesta. We ran up to the observatory but no balloons :( it was nice, however, to run with John. 

Yoga again today but, after struggling a little with power yoga yesterday, I was delighted that today's class focused on yin yoga - really slow postures with lots of stretching - just what I needed after PT; I was feeling pretty achy. 

Saturday 11th August 2018 - The Gromithon! 

Today was a really exciting day. Our friend Leo has organsied a Gromithon (running a marathon while seeing gromits!) For those of you not from Bristol, every few years, Bristol and Aardman organise a tour of giant figures around the city. The aim of the day is to visit as many Gromits, Wallaces and Feathers as possible. 

Marcus, John and I started in Thornbury by running Thornbury parkrun for the first time. I had a sneaky look at the results table and noticed that the first lady often comes in with a time of around 21 mins. My plan - to finish as first lady without taking too much out of my legs so I could continue to run for the rest of the day! 

The course was 3 laps of a park. Mostly on grass with a few little hills. I actually quite enjoyed the route and found myself in first position without too much effort. I finished in a time of 20:51 still feeling fresh and ready for the rest of the day. 

I then left John and Marcus to run to Bristol (I'd chosen to drive back to Bristol as I didn't want/ need to do as many miles as them). My Gromithon properly started in Bradley Stoke. From there, we ran to Cribbs, Blaise and into Bristol where we were joined with Nat and Kat as well.

The figures are all decorated in different ways and some are really imaginative. The people from Rolls Royce at the concord  museum made a Gromit fly! Others light up and move in different ways. The ones in the M-shed were especially good. 

I managed 28.7 miles for the Gromithon plus 3.1 for parkrun so a total of 31.8 miles for the day - the furthest I've ever ran! 

An awesome day and great training! 40 miles of start-stop, up-down, different paces and terrains etc A truly fantastic day of fun summarised by KD above. With the Maestro and I doing parkrun and then running to the start of the Gromithon in Bradly Stoke, we ended up doing 40 miles and 2000+ feet of elevation. A tough day of miles but there was never a point when I thought I wouldn't make it to the finish. Great progress and training. More week on week improvement: miles and elevation gained and more to come next week!

Sunday 12th August 2018

The day after running 40 miles, who'd consider running again? I did... I've ran every day this year (a minimum of 5K) and hope my body sees me through to the end of the year so I might complete 365 days of 5K+! A steady plod round the block ending up at ASDA ot pipck up ingredients to make some fudge and re-coup some calories!

A great week for both of us: 50+ and 70+ miles for KD and myself respectively. Speedwork sessions and elevation gained targets hit. So far so good!

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