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

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