Recommended mileage: 20 miles
Actual mileage: 43.1 miles
Well, the first week of training didn't necessarily go to plan so not the best start !?! In exceeding my recommended mileage and not doing any strength work (which I've no doubt will be the hardest regime to stick to) is not the way forward and something I need to focus on to ensure I don't overdo it and get myself injured as the mileage increases!
I'd also come off the back of a 50 mile bike sportive in Milton Keynes and a 20 mile walk for the Hathersage Hurtle race a week before so I was suffering from heavy legs and went into the week a little too determined and stubborn to get some miles in.
|Crossing the finish line at the Hathersage Hurtle 20 mile walk with Ruth, my wife and Naomi, my sister-in-law|
Monday saw me do a short, sharp hills session, just over 5k 'around the block'. I'm lucky that I live on a hill and there are a couple of hilly side roads which makes three laps of hilly 5k right on the doorstep - beneficial for those evenings when free time is of an issue. Plus with 13,400ft of elevation to overcome, hills need to be my new best friend!
Tuesday and Wednesday were steady solo runs, 5 miles for each and are so called 'boring miles' which I've no doubt help long term but aren't at all exciting!
Thursday was club run with Kings Heath Running Club - a social, chatty run of 10k along the canals in Birmingham. I used to live in Birmingham and although it's a good 25/30 minute drive away now, I have met some great like-minded people at club and I always think the commute there and back on a Thursday evening is worth it and it's great to run in a group.
I hadn't planned to run on Friday evening (it's good to be home occasionally!) but another running group I run with; Wild Stiles Trail Running had organised a 6 mile trail run in Dodford, which is less than a mile away from my house so it was rude not too! Anyway, that was an enjoyable trail run through woods, fields and stables - until I electrocuted myself on a fence. Twice. But we won't talk about that!
By far the toughest run of the week was on Saturday. I'd agreed to meet a couple of friends and run 18 miles / 4500 ft up the Malvern Hills - which made my decision to run the night before even more stupid! It was a struggle. A real struggle which led to me writing the following post on the club website:
Not a race report as such but more a reflection on today's Malvern Hills run with Matt MacKenzie and Katie Mac. The first 9 miles, from North Quarry to Hollybush went really well, the sun was shining and the company was great! Matt had joined me before and it was Katie's first run up the Malverns and I hope they both really enjoyed it. The issues for me started at mile 10 on the return leg. Running solo on tired legs, the hills were now a real struggle and by mile 12 I had pretty much resigned to walking, not only the hills but also the flats and downhills! By mile 12 I found myself in the Malvern Hills Hotel bar with a pint of coke, a pint of water and a packet of Nobby's nuts feeling sorry for myself (dry roasted for anyone who's interested!). I even phoned the wife, I was in a pretty bad place and although she was adamant that she would come and pick me up, I persuaded her to let me carry on. It was 6 miles back to the car, albeit the long trek back up and over the Worcestershire Beacon which was the highest elevation on the run but I figured it would take me less time than her getting the kids ready and driving down from Bromsgrove. The last 6 miles took an age, my calves were screaming, my head was banging and all I wanted to do was to get to the car and rest up! Which I did, eventually! 17.5 miles and 4,500ft of elevation.
I appreciate we all have bad runs and next time I've no doubt it will be easier. Now I'm home, showered and relaxing (well I've been summoned for a game of football with the boys so as relaxed as one can be I suppose) in reflection I'm glad I carried on. Today was tough, both mentally and physically, but it's over now, tomorrow is a new day and no doubt I'll get a short recovery in and today will soon be forgotten about...
|The after effects of the Malvern Hills!|
|Tough run but amazing views|
|9 miles out, 9 miles back. Up and over every hill|
I never ran on Sunday, surprise surprise.