Sunday, August 25, 2019

Racing the Severn Bridge Half with 8 Weeks To Go

Racing the Severn Bridge Half
 8 Weeks To Go

Both of us - Blue
John - Orange
Kelly - Purple 

Monday 19th August 2019

Absolutely knackered from yesterdays 24 miles - legs are shot! Did a very steady run to and from work to try and loosen the legs. 5K @ 9MM Pace

I took a rest day today. I've really been feeling the benefits of having more rest days and giving my legs more time to recover. I did however spend the day with a friend and her boys visiting Wookey Hole - checking it out ready for a school trip in a couple of week's time. It's always surprising how much you walk during these day trips - should have worn my Garmin to step count! - the walking did seem to stretch my legs out a bit. 

Tuesday 20th August 2019

Legs STILL destroyed! DOMs... I did 2 miles running into work and 5 miles running home - 
7 Miles @ 9:30MM Pace

When to the dentist today to for a wisdom teeth check up - all good! Hooray! 

My legs were feeling a lot better today so I ran to meet John at work at the end of the day. 6.6 miles and really nice to still be able to run together even when John isn't on holiday. 

Wednesday 21st August 2019

Legs finally starting to feel normal! Feeling a bit guilty having not done any speedwork yesterday but not going to try to catch-up in anyway, want the legs as fresh as possible for racing on the weekend!

To and form work = 4 miles @ 9MM Pace and then running through the woods at club 
= 8 Miles @ 8:32MM Pace. 12 Miles for the day.

I had a really busy day today with lots of summer tutoring and then I went into school to finish off tidying and sorting my new classroom. It's almost ready! 

In the evening we went to running club and I really enjoyed a steady summer 8 miles at 8:05 minute mile pace. 

Thursday 22nd August 2019

Similar to Tuesday - 2 Miles into work - 6 Miles on the way home via Woody's - lending him my watch so he had the map for the Green Man Ultra he's taking part in on the weekend. Steady pace throughout - 8 Miles @ 9MM Pace

5 mile recovery run today at 8am before going into school for the last time this holiday. Nice and steady pace - 8:31mm average pace. Felt really easy; I was having to work hard to slow myself down. Hopefully that means I'm ready for the Severn Bridge Half on Sunday!

In the afternoon, I visited Jenny for a sports massage. She focused on my hamstrings, glutes and calves and also checked that my Plantar Fasciitis hasn't returned - which it hasn't, hooray! I have had a slight pain in the top of my hamstring since the Chester Marathon in November last year. It doesn't really cause me any problems but it doesn't seem to be going away. I've had to stop doing yoga because stretching it seems to make it worse. Jenny suggested that I try having some acupuncture on the area. I have to say, I'm pretty nervous about doing it. I'm not scared of needles but the idea of having lots of them in my leg is pretty worrying...I'm searching for advice so do comment if you've had acupuncture and it's worked ...or if you've had it and it hasn't...from what I've learnt so far, it seems that it can't do any harm so I'm quite tempted to try it...

Friday 23rd August 2019

Up early before working - 9 Miles @ 7:39MM Pace - DOMs gone and feeling fresh and raring to go. No need to feel guilty come lunch time - chips! I cycled to and from work today so as not to over-do it running wise. Last day of work as we are on holiday next week :-)

I was planning to run today but time just ran away from me. I finished off some planning, had a hair cut, visited my Aunty and Uncle and then had to go shopping to pick up some more shorts for our holiday to the Isle of Wight (forecast is 24 degrees every day!). I also needed to get some animal print fabric for my Stone Age role play area at school! By the time I'd finished all of that and got home it was pretty much time to go out to see Moby Dick performed on board the SS Great Britain. It was an amazing show and great to explore the ship while watching the action! 

Saturday 24th August 2019

Rest day - ish - After running 365 days in a row last year I find it hard to resist any kinda streak if it's on... I did a very slow and steady 1 Mile to and from the shop just so my legs (brain) were (was) happy - 12 days in a row :-) We spend the morning chilling out and the rest of the day, basking in the sun with the Maestro whilst following Woody, Cat and many others taking on the Green Man Ultra! Tough conditions... not a cloud in the sky and the temp was at least 20Degrees+ throughout the day... I'll let KD talk you through it all with a bit more detail.

A fun day around Bristol cheering on our friends. We tried to sit down as much as we could but we did end up standing for a bit longer than I'd like the day before a race but it was great to support our friends Cat, Woody and Tom. We saw them in a field in Keynsham, at the top of Dundry Hill - where we found the perfect spot to support from...

Yes, John did have a beer the day before a race...Kelly's was lemonade! 

And finally we went to the finish line to cheer them in. They were all fab but Cat did especially well finishing as 2nd Lady. 

Sunday 25th August 2019

The Severn Bridge Half Marathon - 6th year in a row :-) Similar to yesterday - temperature was souring, not a cloud in the sky - not John-conducive-conditions. The weather and 9 weeks of OK marathon training - mainly focusing on endurance over speed - I didn't set myself too much of a target. I really wanted to bank 13 Miles at just under marathon pace. 
Targeting 2:55-2:59 at Abingdon = 6:40-6:50MM Pace - I wanted to race averaging <6:30MM  throughout and finish feeling strong and as if I could keep going. The course is undulating but still quite fast - it's not a PB course but is very fun and scenic throughout. The first few miles were spent warming up, chatting and finding a good rhythm. The middle section was spent focusing on sticking to pace (and getting up and over the main major climb) and the final section I had to switch on and find some grit as I was starting to feel the heat and the fatigue of having run fast for the first time in a while. I crossed the line in 13th in 1:24:01 - 6:22MM Pace Mission accomplished! My second fastest time on the main course and I finished the race feeling strong and as though - if I'd wanted to - I could have kept on going. The rest of the day was spent re hydrating and over eating!

A hot race and John survived!...not even just survived, had a really strong race with a great time. Hooray!

Similarly to John, I've not really ran fast for a while so wasn't sure how the legs would cope with 13 miles of speed! I was hoping to run an average pace of around 6:40. As I mentioned last week, for the last two years I have finished in 3rd and 2nd place so I was desperate to complete my trophy collection and finish as first lady! 

It was a beautiful day and was so nice to be sat on the grass with our crew before the race. We got there nice and early so I had plenty of time to go to the loo a few times and relax...and eye up the competition! 

I did a mile warm up on the bridge and then waited at the start with all the other speedy ladies. It's nice to chat to girls from other clubs and hear about their training. I know them all quite well so I realised that my 1st place goal wouldn't be easy. There was about 5 or 6 of us all capable of running similar times. 

The gun went and we were off. Having done the race 5 times before and having spent quite a while analysing the course last night, I had a race plan. Susan from Weston AC to the lead pretty quickly. She was running at a really fast pace so I had a decision to I try to stick with her and potentially burn out or stick with my plan. I felt pretty confident that she'd gone off too fast so I stuck to my plan and hoped I would catch her later. I was running with Tim from our club and Francesca from Clevedon for the first half of the race. I was feeling really comfortable - taking the uphills steady and picking it up on the downhills. After a few miles, the Maestro caught up with us and we ran together for a bit. 

The main hill is at 7 miles and Francesca ran quicker than me up it and pushed on into 2nd place. My plan was  to take it steady on the uphill and to really pick up the pace after that. I was still feeling pretty good at mile 8 and enjoyed the downhill. I thought I might catch up with 2nd place but she was really motoring now and quickly disappeared into the distance. 

I knew that the two Westbury girls wouldn't be too far behind me and I know the Robyn has an especially quick finish so I was keen to keep working hard. By this point, it was really very hot and I was starting to struggle. I was desperate to hold on to 3rd place so I risked a cheeky glance behind me at mile 11 and saw a Sophie only a few hundred meters behind me! My legs were really hurting now but I wanted that trophy...I hate coming 4th! I dug deep and tried to inject a bit more pace. I knew I wasn't as quick as last year when I was able to do a 6:11 mm down the bridge but I thought I might be able to sneak a sub 90. 

With 1 mile to go I saw that the Maestro had slowed down. I wanted to catch him but my legs we pretty much empty. I was zig zagging across the bridge following the shade and couldn't quite catch him. The final few meters are up a really steep hill which, at that point in the race, feels like a mountain. A really kind guy running beside me could see that I was pretty much done and gave me loads of support for that final push. 

I finished in 3rd place with a time of 1:31:12. Quite a bit slower than last year but, considering the heat, I'm happy with the run. I certainly couldn't have put in any more effort. My average pace was 6:56 so not too far off marathon pace. 

John = 51 Miles for the week

Kelly = 33.8 miles for the week 

Tomorrow we are off on holiday to the Isle of Wight! Look forward to relaxing, exploring and perhaps a little bit of running! We have another race next weekend - the Oldbury 10. Hopefully it will be a bit cooler.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Woooaahh we're half way there...

Abingdon Marathon Training 

9 weeks to go! 

Both of us - Blue 
John - Orange
Kelly -Purple 

We're halfway through our 18 weeks of training and both feeling pretty positive. We've done more 20+ mile runs than at this point in previous plans so we're confident that the distance won't be a problem. The next few weeks are going to see more of a focus on speed. We've got 3 half marathons coming up which will be good opportunities to see if we can run at marathon pace or sub-marathon pace for 13 miles. 

Monday 12th August 2019 

After 22 miles yesterday, I definitely needed a rest day today. My legs felt shattered. I went into school today to do some more sorting and tidying of my classroom. 

Monday was a rest day for me to - didn't even risk the legs cycling so my exercise for the day was a nice walk to and from work whilst listening to Marathon Talk's 500th episode - it was a good one!

Tuesday 13th August 2019 

I was tempted to run today but my legs were still really tight so I decided to take another rest day. I've learnt that it's more beneficial for me to take another day off and run stronger for the rest of the week. I used to be worried about not getting the miles in but I think that less miles but higher quality of miles is the way forward...John has been telling me this for years...I finally agree...I think it's because I'm over 30 takes me longer to recover now! 

Two runs for me today: I ran to work - 2Mi @ 9MM pace and ran home from work with a detour - 5Mi @ 9:25MM pace - the weather was glorious and after the rest day yesterday my legs were feeling awesome so it was nice to bank 7miles so early in the week.

Wednesday 14th August 2019 

We've missed the last few Wednesday night club runs with me having wisdom tooth problems but all is feeling better now so we went to club this evening. We did the alternative summer 10 mile route and a relaxed pace. Was really nice to run and chat and just enjoy being outside with friends. 

Ditto. Was nice to catch up with people and do a few miles around Leigh Woods and Ashton Court. 
10Miles @ 9MM Pace

Thursday 15th August 2019 

Just a recovery run needed today so I decided to run to meet John at work. Was really nice to meet him and run home together. 

In the evening, we played squash with our friends Luke and Chloe. Really close and exciting matches and great fun. 

An easy day of running with squash in mind - To and from work: 2Mi @ 9MM Pace & 3Mi @ 9MM Pace - feeling fresher than usual at this point in the week considering last nights 10-bumpy miles :-)

Friday 16th August 2019 

Ooooh my bum! Playing squash has crippled me! Was going to run today but probably needed to rest and let my backside it rained all day which didn't really inspire me to get out...

I'd normally run 7 - 10 miles - or have done the last few Fridays - but - I was already at 30 miles for the week and I'd planned 10 for Saturday and 24 for Sunday - making sure not to over-do it, I just did a steady plod to and from work: 2 X 2Mi @ 9MM Pace :-)

Saturday 17th August 2019 

We were up early(ish) today to run to Eastville parkrun to celebrate our friend Ian's 250 parkrun! During the week, we had some panicked messages from the parkrun organisers saying that they might have to cancel as they were short of marshals so I signed me and John up to help out...with a role that meant we could run as well as help! 

I was initially planning on taking it easy today as we had a mega long run planned for tomorrow. But, after the 4 mile run there, I was feeling pretty warmed up plus, as I was now helping with the barcode scanning, I needed to be finished pretty quickly so that I could actually be useful. 

The route is very up and down. I took the first lap fairly steady and then tried to pick up the pace on the downhills and in the last mile. I finished in a time of 20:52. John had already finished and was in place handing out the finishing tokens. I quickly grabbed my hi-vis and started scanning. I actually really enjoyed helping out; it was really nice chatting to everyone as they finished and finding out about people's run. Parkrun has such a great community vibe. It was fab being able to run and help out - will definitely do this again. 

What with the run there and back, we did 10 miles today. 

Thanks Maciej for the pics. 

A steady 4 miles warm up en route to parkrun - 9 weeks of training and very little speedwork - I was keen to have a decent go at parkrun and check I still had some speed hiding away somewhere. Eastville is quite a challenging course - quite up & down! Starting downhill meant for a quick start - I settled in to the top-10 and took it steady throughout the first half. I had no idea what pace I was running as my watch was set to tell me the time but I felt as though I was running at a good effort and thought I'd push on for as good a position and time as possible. The second half was a lot more positive than the first - I manged to over take five-or-so people and got myself into 4th place on the finishing straight - a tough sprint finish with 100mtrs to go, I'd earned my: 4th Place - 18:31!
Overall for the day: 10 Miles @ 8MM Pace

Sunday 18th August 2019 

Long run day! Given that my legs have only just recovered from last week's long run and squash and we also have the Severn Bridge half next weekend, today's run was focusing purely on distance with no worries at all about the speed. 

We did 24 miles out and back along the Bristol to Bath cycle path. I love this route because it's pretty flat and finishes with a nice downhill section. Everyone seemed to be out running today and we bumped into loads of people we know out doing their Sunday long runs. Always great to see a friendly face. 

The first 12 miles seemed to take quite a while so I occupied myself by singing songs by 'Scouting for Girls' don't know how they ended up in my head but their songs have a great beat to run too! As soon as we turned around and were on our way back, the miles just flew past. 

I felt strong and comfortable throughout and like I could have ran further and faster if I needed to. Next week will be lots of recovery ready for the Severn Bridge half. I love this race. We've actually ran every single one of these since the race began. This year will be race number 6. In 2017, I finished as 3rd lady, in 2018, I was 2nd I definitely have a target for this year! 

Similar mentality to KD - with 9 weeks still to go and with the blitz at parkrun just 24 hours before - today was just about banking the long run! The last few weekend long runs have progressively gone: 
16, 18, 20, 22 - all around 8MM pace, steady throughout with no marathon pace at all. HR has come down nicely over the weeks, on the 16 miles it was around 145, today's run was 135 - the engine is slowly becoming more efficient! We left a bit later than usual today which did mean it was a bit hotter - a boring but safe and measured out and back on the Bristol to Bath cycle path passing and saying hello to lots of running & cycling friends. 't Was a nice run throughout but come 20 miles I was very much counting down the strides and much appreciative of the down hill finish!
24 Miles @ 8:15MM pace - good work! As KD suggests - some speed work to follow.. a half marathon race next week followed by less longer run but with blocks of marathon pace... I hope!

Totals for the week: 

Kelly - 49.1 miles (really tempted to go out and do 0.9...)

John - 64 Miles

Interestingly - as we're half way through the plan, I compared some stats side by sides with my two of my previous best marathons; Berlin 2015 and Abingdon 2017. (I haven't compared against my PB in 2016 as I was doing some SILLY miles then and although I PB-ed I really do think towards the end of the campaign I was burned out and probably could have done a lot better had I trained more sensibly) Anyway - reassuringly - miles wise and speed wise - things are much the same... I'm hoping with some new found (2018-throughout) grit and determination this could be the year I renew my membership to the Sub3 marathon club... we shall see!

SPEED (MMs)08:0608:1408:17

Sunday, August 11, 2019

You don't know the power of the Dark Side (long run)!

Abingdon Marathon Training 

10 weeks to go!

Both of us - Blue 
John - Orange
Kelly - Purple 

Monday 5th August 2019 

I really wanted to run today...but I could hardly walk! Saturday's 20 miler with 4 at Marathon Pace has seriously left some DOMs. Instead, I did some planning ready for next academic year. 

Equally as tired - maybe less dramatic ;-P I also had a day off.

Tuesday 6th August 2019 

Today was round 2 of the wisdom teeth saga. To be honest, I was feeling pretty nervous about it...mainly because I really needed it to heal quickly so I can get back on with marathon training. Knowing that I'd have to take a few days off running, I wanted to get a longish run done. I left the house with enough time to do 15 miles...I ran 100 meters and realised that that wasn't happening! I settled for a very gently 5 miles. My calves were wrecked! Well at least I'd have some enforced rest! 

The Dentist could see that I was nervous and because I'd had some issues last time around, he decided to try a different method. He cut the tooth into sections and then removed piece by piece. He then sewed up the hole so I wouldn't have the same problems with food getting stuck in there like last time. I had a local so couldn't feel any pain but it wasn't exactly comfortable. 

My goal this time was to rest more over the next 3 or 4 days in the hope that it would heal quicker than last time and I could still run at the weekend. 

A steady run for me - 10 Miles @ 8MM Pace - STILL feeling the previous weekend long run, I decided on not doing any speed work and just running steady throughout and keeping HR around 130BPM - job done!

Wednesday 7th August 2019 

So I wake up in a bit of pain...not too bad. Then I look in the mirror! My face is HUGE! This didn't happen last time...a day of rest today and eating nothing but soup and yogurt. 

Two runs for me - to and from work - 5 Miles@ 9MM Pace.

Thursday 8th August 2019 

More soup today and no running. I really miss chewing...

Up early before work for a medium long run - 12 Miles @ 7:30MM Pace W/HR @ 135! - A really strong run for the time of day and rewarded on my way back home with a great view in the skies with the only balloon lift of the fiesta (due to the weather over the next few days) I even got to see Darth Vader!

For the last 3 years, John and I have woken up early and ran together to see the balloon mass ascent. I was pretty gutted that I didn't get to run and see them today. But, when John got home, he opened the curtains and they were flying past my window! And...right at that moment, Darth came past!  

Friday 9th August 2019 

My face is smaller today! I'm quite keen to run the last race of the Towpath series tonight...I'm in with a chance of 2nd place if I race...if I don't I get 3rd...

John makes me see sense. I really shouldn't be racing after eating nothing but soup for 3 days and with quite a large face...I settle for 3rd place and a lovely shiny trophy to add to the collection. It was fun helping out with the race and having a few cheeky drinks afterwards at the Cottage. 

More recovery for me - Running to and from work - 4MILES @ 9MM - Evening spent organising the last Towpath Race - 5K this time round. KD had a great series and a very deserved 3rd place. We also got a bottle of wine each for our help in organising all the events :-)

Saturday 10th August 2019 

Time to try running. 3 miles around Victoria Park. Mouth feels a little strange and uncomfortable but no pain. Hooray! Legs have finally recovered from last weekend's long run. Looking forward to another long run tomorrow. 

Nice to be back running with KD again after her having a few days off - 3Miles Steady @ 9MM pace - holding back as much as possible with the long run planned for tomorrow :-)
A lush day spent chilling, watching the footy and Stranger Things (AWESOME!).

Sunday 11th August 2019 

22 miles was the aim. I wanted to get most of those miles sub 8 minute miles and ideally as close to 7:40 mm average pace as possible. We set off at 8am and it was warm with the sun trying to peek through. We decided to do an out and back route (my favourite type) along the Portway, over the Avonmouth Bridge, towards Portishead and back. 11 miles out and 11 miles back. 

I started off feeling really strong. Usually, uphill I slow down considerably -and that's where I loose my average pace -so today I wanted to really push on the uphill sections. The uphills are also where I get left behind by John as I can't keep up with my mountain goat! Not today! I worked really hard at sticking with him (and often slightly in-front of him!) and was feeling really strong...

Until about mile 16 when my legs started getting really heavy and jelly like. My head was telling me to stop but I politely asked it to be quiet while I pushed on. I desperately wanted to finish the run and finish it strong. I kept telling myself that this is what my legs will feel like in the last few miles of the marathon. This is great training - running while in pain! 

All I had was 1 mile of uphill left and then 5 miles of downhill back down the Portway. I powered up the uphill and then lent forwards and left gravity do the work! Once the road flattened out a bit, I was expecting to have to work really hard to keep the 7:40 pace. Surprisingly, although I couldn't really feel my legs at this point, they seemed to just know what to do and kept the pace themselves! I felt like I was slowing and then looked at my watch and saw that actually I was holding the pace. I was in a rhythm and knew that all I had to do was not stop! I knew that if I stopped, I wouldn't be able to start again. 

I finished the 22 miles with an average pace of 7:46 mm feeling exhausted but delighted! Really pleased to have done 3, 20+ mile runs already with 10 weeks still to go! 

Tough! We went out really early to avoid the rain and so we had the coolest part of the day. The first half was very straight forward and felt strong throughout - the second half not so much... The sun came out... (most of you know how much I hate the sun...) The run became tough. I'd normally run as quickly as possible/comfortable to try and just get it done.. but decided to focus on HR and effort instead of pace - making sure to keep around the 140BPM - this translated to mile splits between 7:40-8:15, depending on the undulation - with 10 weeks still to go, it seems sensible/more important right now to bank the miles instead of worrying about the pace... will try to implement some quicker runs and marathon pace blocks over the next few weeks... 

Total miles for the week:
Kelly - 30 John - 56

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Teething problems...

Abingdon Marathon Training

Double blog - 12 weeks and 11 weeks to go! 
Key Both of us - blue Kelly - PurpleJohn - Orange 

No blogging from us last week so we have a double blog in store for you this week! 

Monday 22nd July 2019 

Last two days of school before the summer hols begin - boy I was tired. Still managed to get up at 6:15 for an early 5 mile run (8:57 mm average pace) as I had the leavers' service after school. 

Got an email this morning with details in for our track 5k race this Saturday. I'd entered the 18:30 race (yes a little ambitious but my PB is 18:50). Due to the number of entrants, they've changed the target time so the race I've been entered for is now the 8:15pm race...that's really quite scary. I look at the list of people who I'll be up against...everyone in the race is loads quicker than me. In fact, it looks like I am literally the slowest runner in the race...I'll come last! I showed this to John and told him that I was thinking about emailing the organisers and asking to drop down to a slower race...would I rather win a slower race than come last in a faster race?! John built me back up and suggested that I would be more likely to get a PB in a faster race as I'd have more competition...good point...maybe I'll think on it. 

I went out with KD and did 5 Miles @ 9MM pace. Nice and steady, a good start to the day. 

Tuesday 23rd July 2019 

Another early run 5 miles again at 9mm average pace. Today's early run was so that I could go out for celebratory drinks afterwork - last day of term! Hoooraaaay! 

When I get home, John has gone through the list of the track 5k entrants and found out their 5k PBs for me. OK so I'm not the slowest...there are about 4 people with PBs slower than mine...maybe I'll give it a shot...

Some speedwork for me! Not done much (any) of late and I was wanting to get a feel for how my legs were feeling at top speed ready for Saturday's upcoming 5K race. Also good for the marathon training. 
8 Miles @ 8MM Pace - 8 X 400M @ 5K Effort with 1Min walking recovery in between efforts
This was tough - efforts were coming out at 75-78 seconds - If I was to sustain this pace for a 5K I'd run 16minutes - which would be a massive PB - which was promising.

Wednesday 24th July 2019 

What's the best way to celebrate the start of 6 weeks off? Get your wisdom teeth removed of course! I've been having problems with my wisdom teeth pushing into my other teeth at a strange angle so I thought, before anything worse happens, better to get them out. How bad can it be? My main worry was that I might not be able to run so I needed to get a longish run in in the morning before the teeth came out. I managed 15.2 miles before I ran out of time and had to go home or I'd be late! I averaged the run at 7:59 average pace and felt pretty comfortable throughout. 

After a quick shower (otherwise I think the dentist might have complained!) I was in the chair and ready. 2 hours later it was all done. 1 very easy tooth (20 mins) and one pesky one (1 1/2 hours!) but I'd had a local anesthetic so didn't feel a thing. The dentist said I could probably run the next day to so I left with a spring in my step and my HUGE teeth in my hand (yes I wanted to keep them...mainly to show the kids at school - I think they'll be impressed!) 

Long run scheduled for me - but - I was keen to spend the evening with the post-operation KD and my legs were still feeling the aches of yesterdays speedwork.
Recovery run instead - 5 Miles @ 9:21MM Pace

Thursday 25th July 2019 

Started feeling a bit of pain in my mouth today so decided not to run. Rest and recover time for the race on Sat. 

Up early to get the long run done - 11Miles @ 8:23MM pace - Being up and out the door before 6 meant that I'd got it done without having a day to make up excuses and it was probably the coolest part of the day.

Friday 26th July 2019 

In a pretty serious amount of pain today - got some rice stuck in the hole where my tooth was. It feels like my jaw is pulsing and I woke up a lot in the night. John went to the chemist and got me some stronger painkillers which have helped a lot. Also, my sister is visiting! Hooray! We had decided to treat ourselves to a spa day! We went to the Bristol Harbour Hotel and Spa. We had a treatment (back, shoulder and head massage with a mini facial) and then spent the morning relaxing in the pool, steam room, sauna and Jacuzzi. I did also pop into the gym for a cheeky 5k run on the treadmill...It did help me feel more relaxed because I wanted to test if running made my mouth hurt didn't - phew! I will be find to race tomorrow. 

Day off of running / rest day - Trying my best to make sure I'm as fresh as possible and give my legs the best possible chance for tomorrows 5K race.

Saturday 27th July 2019 

Today was the Bristol and West track 5k race. I've been looking forward to this for ages; I never race on the track normally so I was hoping for a really good time despite my teething problems. It's a great set up as you can sit on the track to cheer and there's a bar for after the race (a bit of extra encouragement!). It's like a mini version of Night of the 10,000s. 

The first thing that I noticed was that I wasn't the only person panicking about being in a race that was too fast. Loads of people were asking to be moved down a race...the result...even more faster people now in my race! Oh dear. I did manage to find a group of girls who are about my ability; we agreed to ignore the pacer and stick together and aim for around 18:50 - 19:00 pace. John offered to shout out the lap times for me - I had to aim for 90 second laps. After taking a hefty amount of painkillers (and hoping that that doesn't count as doping!) I do a mile warm up and then go to the start. I recognise the starter as a guy who starts all of the kids athletics races that I go to with school - I say hi but I don't think he knows who I am! The starter calls out our numbers one at a time and gives us a position on the track. I'm the 3rd person called out and am given a place right at the front. The Maestro (who is loads quicker than me) is in my race and positioned at the back...I quickly catch his eye and we swap places! Phew! I was now at the back ready to ignore the pacer and try not to get swept up in the 8:15 pace. 
The gun sounds and I quickly find my little group with 2 other girls who I know well from racing and one considerably older man (I should be able to beat him right!). I've watched a lot of races where athletes like Mo Farah, Laura Muir and Sifan Hassan start at the back, bide their time and then make a killer charge towards the end of the race - that was my plan! I get comfortable in my spot (at the very back), channel my inner Muir and listen out for John's call - 90! Oh wow! Spot on. Go me! Feeling pretty pleased with myself I just try to focus on keeping the rhythm. The rest of the field are miles ahead already - Oh no I might get lapped...trying to put this rather depressing thought out of my mind I focus instead on overtaking the older man. Our little pack of 3 manage to overtake him successfully. Great! I'm not last! Phew! A few laps later and I feel the girls speed up a little...or maybe I slow down...I don't know...GPS doesn't work effectively on the track. I was running at my limit and really wanted to finish strong so I had no choice but to let a little gap open up between us. Then the older guy overtook me! Great. Now I am last. Each time I passed the finishing straight, I had loads of great cheers from all the spectators (especially the GWR crew) which was fab. 

A couple of laps later and one of the women was starting to slow, I took my chance and managed to pass her. Phew! Feeling a bit better, I focused on trying to pick up the pace as John had just called out a 95...ooops. Unfortunately, I was wasn't able to. I guess I was also feeling a bit de-motivated by being so close to the back of the field and got into a bit of a negative mind set. The power of the mind is very strong. I finished feeling pretty cross with myself - partly because I possibly could have put more in and partly because I wish I had dropped down a race. I finished with a time of 19:26 which is actually the slowest I've ran out of all of the 3 times I've ran this race. 

On reflection, I think I was probably a bit hard on myself. I'm sure having my teeth removed would have had an impact. I've also not done any specific short distance training. My marathon training is going really well and that's what I should be focusing on. The 5K track race was only a bit of fun and a great night out. After my race, I enjoyed my cider and watched the other races. John was in the C race and it was great cheering him and the other GWR runners on during the evening. 


I was similarly out of my depth being put in a race being paced at 16minutes - 45 seconds faster than my personal best. Not phased - I was looking forward to the challenge and if anything the experience of racing with guys who I aspire to be a little bit closer to on the results page. There was the added challenge/excitement of racing against club rival Sam (2:36 marathoner!) - I (stupidly) thought I might give him a bit of a challenge but it wasn't to be... My experience was pretty straightforward, I was close to my rivals on the start line and in the bar... the race inbetween was very much a solo affair! The group of 10+ runners-or-so went zooming off, at the aforementioned 16minute 5K pace and I was very much left behind. I spent the first half of the race running within my self and not too far off of PB pace and then spent the second half of the race very much hanging on for dear life! There's nothing like a track 5K race for a bit of a character building, lung busting session! 17:07 was my official time - technically my slowest time of the 3 times I've ran at this event: 18' = 17:04, 17' = 16:46 - Pretty pleased though. A nice day spent with friends and a great experience running with and watching some pretty rapid athletes with a beer in hand. From a training perspective - I've done nothing speedy of late and if nothing else today was a good speed session towards the main goal of a marathon PB this coming October :-)

Sunday 28th July 2019 

Despite racing yesterday, we still needed to get a long run in. Having done 15 on Wednesday, I decided to see how I felt during the run but aim for something between 10 and 16 miles. 

John chose the route - along the Towpath and a loop around Leigh Woods; it was pretty hilly and quite challenging - especially after the race yesterday. At the end of the loop, John suggested we do another lap. Mentally I'm thinking 'oh man! No way!' but he doesn't often get to run the routes that he likes and I was enjoying the run so I went along for another lap. Unfortunately, my brain hadn't communicated this well to my legs! I really struggled and this second lap ended up being a lot slower. When after this very difficult lap, John explained that he was doing another, it was definitely time for me to call it a day. 14 miles done at an average pace of 9 minute miles. 

When I got home and uploaded to strava, I noticed that I'd earned a crown (for being the fastest women to run a segment)! A nice un-expected surprise! 

18 Miles @ 9MM pace. Legs were smashed so took it very steady throughout. Kept to the trails through the woods which meant that it was relatively cool throughout. Longest run of the year so far!

                                          11 weeks to go! 

Monday 29th July 2019 

5 days after having my teeth removed, I was still in pain. Quite a lot of pain. This isn't good. No running today and back to eating soup. We did go for a 13 mile bike ride though - nice to get out an do some exercise. 

Tuesday 30th July 2019 

Still in pain. I actually didn't feel like running today which wasn't a good sign. We did however go and see the new Lion King at the cinema which cheered me up - it was great! Just like the original but with a few new jokes from Timone and Pumba! 

A speedwork session - two Tuesdays in a row - this almost sounds like training?!?
8 Miles @ 7MM Pace - 5K @ Half Marathon Pace/Effort (6:15MM)
The effort was tough and on the brink of being uncomfortable throughout. For me though - this is the most beneficial training for a marathon... training the legs to (eventually) become comfortable and a pace quicker than your target marathon pace - so that when it comes to race day - your pace should feel comfortable and controlled throughout (or enviably up until 22 miles...)

Wednesday 31st July 2019 

John convinced me to go back to the dentist today as I was still in pain. Dr Google says that most wisdom teeth extractions take 3-5 days to heal...7 days later and I'm still in pain. The dentist was very helpful and put some more local anesthetic in. He thinks it might be a bit infected from some food that's got in the hole. He removed the food and gave me more painkillers and some very strong antibiotics. My first question...can I still run? Yes! Came the replay...phew! My second question...can I drink alcohol? (we had a wedding coming up that weekend!) Yes again! Double phew! 

I decided that it would be best if I didn't run again today to give my mouth more time to heal. I did 8 miles on the bike instead. 

A day off of running for me.

Thursday 1st August 2019 

Today, I felt better! I managed a 5 mile run at 8:57 mm average pace and all felt good. Still in some pain but the painkillers pretty much sort that out. 

As John has been off this week, we had a little boat trip around the Harbour. Despite living here for nearly 3 years, we've only just got around to making the most of this lovely form of transport! 

A long run for me - 13.1Miles @ 8MM pace  - Steady trail running through the woods. Legs feeling strong throughout and braining enjoying having the trails to myself and thinking about nothing!

Friday 2nd August 2019 

Another 5 miles today. Felt really strong. John was clearly tired after his run yesterday so I found myself slowing down for him...quite a nice feeling after usually having to work hard to keep up with him! 9:28mm I finished feeling ready to give tomorrow's long run a good go. 

As I was now able to eat solid food again, we tried out a new burger place on North Street called 'Owee'. It's a burger bar that has had great reviews - they also do gluten free burgers! The burgers were HUGE! I couldn't actually manage to eat all of it...luckily, John was there to help! 
In the evening we tried out the Left Handed Giant pub for the Maestro's birthday. A great venue but very un-gluten friendly. Luckily, our friend had made a gluten free birthday cake so I didn't go hungry! 

Same as KD - Recovery run - 5Miles @ 9:34MM Pace - Legs are feeling rubbish today! Food relief all day with fun times celebrating with Maestro and the gang in the evening. 


Saturday 3rd August 2019 

As we had a wedding today, we were up early and out of the door at 6:50 ready for our long run. 20 miles the aim. A couple of miles in and I was feeling really strong so I decided I wanted to give marathon pace a go. I've been feeling a bit nervous about doing marathon pace up until now so I've focused on just getting the miles up but, having done one 20 miler already, I couldn't really put it off much longer. My target marathon time is (hopefully) somewhere between 3 hours and 2:55 so my target minute mile pace is between 6:40 and 6:45. My worries were around trying and failing...finding it just too hard - that would be a really clear sign that I'm not up to running at my target pace. I made a deal with myself; I would try out just 1 mile at Marathon Pace (MP) and see how it goes. I'd even use the mile with the biggest downhill to really give myself a shot! 

My watched beeped for 5 miles, I was at the highest point on the Portway so I turned around and picked up the pace. After a few seconds, I looked at my watch ...was I close? I wasn't sure if I could remember how MP feels having not ran it for a long time! Annoyingly, my watch was giving me some strange readings - 7:30mm pace, 8mm pace...I knew I was running faster than that so I realised there must be GPS issues. OK. 'Just try to 'feel' the pace and see how you do,' I tell myself. My watch beeped for the end of the mile, 6:44! Boom! I could hardly contain my excitement. Not only had I managed it, but I'd done it without accurate use of GPS so my legs can remember what sub 3 hour marathon pace feels like after all!

After the joy of 1 mile at MP, I decided that I should probably try to do a couple more. I gave myself a couple of miles to recover and then tried again. I managed 6:48 this time. Not too bad. After getting to the start of the Portway, we then ran to the Bristol to Bath cycle path. The last 3 miles of which are downhill so I decided to aim to do 2 more miles at MP there. I also wanted to try and do 2 miles consecutively. 

The few miles between the first and second sets of MP felt pretty hard. They were also slightly uphill which didn't help. I was definitely working hard but there was no way I was going to give up. I also really wanted this 20 miler to be quicker than my last one a couple of weeks ago where I ran an average pace of 7:50. I always find it hard to keep the pace up between the MP sets; my legs just want to rest. I did slow a bit but not as much as in previous campaigns.  Before I knew it, we'd turned at the tunnel and it was almost time for my final 2 miles at MP. I was ready to give it everything. It was hard. I hurt. But I gritted my teeth (ouch...note to self - don't grit sensitive teeth!) and pushed on. 6:42 and 6:39. Brilliant! I'd done it! 20 miles with 4 miles at MP. I'm really pleased to already be at this stage with 11 weeks still left to train. It's good to have got something positive out of this very poor week (running wise) and very low mileage week. 

I finished the run exhausted having given it everything. My legs were really painful - clearly they'd worked hard! We got changed and headed to the wedding! 

Long run - 20Miles @ 8MM Pace. No marathon pace for me - legs just weren't feeling it and after yesterdays 3000+ calories and beers aplenty it didn't seem sensible to put myself in a world of pain, especially so early in the day and with lots on in the afternoon. Run felt controlled throughout and my heart rate was very reassuring, averaging 135BPM for the run and never getting above 140. My longest run of the year. We spent the rest of the day having a fantastic time celebrating my friends Phil and Nicky's wedding - a great occasion and plenty of celebration!

We own normal clothes too!

Sunday 4th August 2019 

The beautiful graph of spoiled by this week!
I'd hoped to run today to build up my low weekly mileage (and not spoil my - up until now- beautiful strava graph!) but I can hardly walk! The combination of the run followed by lots of dancing in heels has left its mark and going down stairs is very painful! No running for me today. I'll aim to do a few miles tomorrow and Tuesday before I have my remaining two wisdom teeth out...oh dear...not looking forward to that...

Total weekly mileage:

Kelly - 30.5 miles 

John - 52.1 miles