Marathon Training – Week 6 to Week 9. Reality is kicking in.

The past three weeks have been disappointing as far as running is concerned. I am not meeting my targets and have been experiencing problems. It is fair to say that I am not running as much or as good as I had hoped. This has also led to me making another big decision. I can no longer lead runs for the running club. I have resigned as a run lead. The following will explain but bottom line is it is not safe for me to lead runs anymore.

Monday 18th February – Rest Day = NO RUNNING. Tuesday 19th February – Easy run for 6 miles = NO RUNNING. Wednesday 20th February – Active Rest Day = Ran to Clean Coach Katie PT session. It felt good. Distance = 2.12 miles. Pace = 8:56min/mile. PT Session with CCK. A good session with some good therapy chat. Ran back home from PT. Up hill!! Distance = 2.11 miles. Pace = 10:04min/miles. Thursday 21st February – Steady Run for 5 Miles = NO RUNNING. I was tempted but spent time in the garden in the sunshine.

Saturday 23rd February – Run 5km (3.1 miles ) at easy pace + BEGINNERS GROUP. Running today. A short easy warm up run with Sue. No major problems and even Sue found it OK. Distance = 2.5 miles. Pace = 10:08mins/mile. This was followed by the Beginners Course. I am co-leading with Annette and todays target was the “timed 1 mile”. It was a great effort by everyone. Distance = 2.7 miles. Pace = 17:39mins/mile. Bear in mind there was a lot of stopping for briefings and loop backs.

Sunday 24th February – Run 25.8km (16 miles) at steady pace. EVENT: The Gade Valley 15 miles. My plan was to run the Gade Valley 15 but decided that I am not ready for this yet. MY FIRST “DNS”. So it was a case of going for the alternative plan – Lead the “Step Up” run. It was, however, a beautiful day. The sun was shining and a warm temp. Agreed to leading the Step Up run from Howe Park. I felt a little nervous and anxious at the start. Sue was with us and we had 75 runners turn up. 45 mins (ended up being 1 hour) followed by a further 30 mins (became 25 mins). A good run into Tattenhoe along Loughton Beck and into Emerson Valley. Felt very good and happy to be leading again. Great welcoming and feedback from the runners. Total distance = 5 miles. Pace = 15:45 mins/miles. This was due to a lot of stop/starting with numerous loop backs.

Monday 25th February – Rest Day = Rest Day but weather is still good. To good to miss. Went for an easy run into Tattenhoe Park by myself. Planned a 5 miles route and got lost. Ended up doing 6.6 miles. It felt a good run. No pressure for pace or distance – just run for fun. Distance = 6.6 miles. Pace = 9:32mins/mile. Tuesday 26th February – Easy Run – Run 8km (5 miles) = Rest Day to day. Need time to rest and recover. No running. Spent most of the day in the garden. Wednesday 27th February – Active Rest Day = Evening run with the Move on Up to Half Marathon course. A good turn out on a chilly evening. It was windy and cold and this created problems. I had great difficulty in hearing what people were saying. Distance = 6 miles. Pace = 14mins/mile. Again a lot of stop/starting checking on the runners in the group. Thursday 28th February – Run 10km (6 miles) at steady pace = NO RUNNING. Was going to do a short interval run with Sue but other things got in the way. Sue did a 5 km run in the evening. I will take this as an active rest day and did some work at home with weights. Friday 1st March – Rest Day = NO RUNNING.

Saturday 2nd March – Run 5km (3.1 miles ) at easy pace + BEGINNERS GROUP. A good turn out for the Beginners Run. A nice route into the Poplar Plantation. Weather OK (a little damp and cold with some wind). Distance = 2.62 miles. Pace = 11:034mins/mile.

Sunday 3rd March – Run 21km (13 miles) at steady pace = The plan was for a 13 miles run but I agreed to lead the “Step Up” run again. Leading the Step Up Run from Furzton Lake. I was feeling a little anxious and nervous. The weather was not good. Wet, cold, and windy however I had agreed to lead this run. I am concerned that the conditions will play with my head affecting my steadiness. 56 runners turned up. After initial briefing headed out to the Teardrop Lakes. Pretty much OK however hearing was a problem following an incident when a runner twisted his ankle. Went for an extra 3o mins around Furzton Lake. Felt a little wobbly in the wind but overall run went OK’ish. Distance = 4.54 miles. Pace = 13:58mins/mile.

And so it goes on for the following week with a couple of short runs but generally NO RUNNING due to the poor weather conditions. This is when, after much thought, I made a massive decision. It was a very sad day but the decision had to be made – I CANNOT LEAD RUNS FOR THE CLUB! It is not safe. I cannot hear, I become unsteady in poor conditions, I have to be mindful of the health and safety and wellbeing of the runners. I have informed the Club. It is upsetting as I love leading the runs and the Club has invested time and funds for me to have this great opportunity – but I have to be realistic and mindful of the risks this now has for me and the runners.

The week ended with another “DNS”. On Sunday it was the Harpenden Half Marathon and I had registered to run a long time ago when drawing up my training plan. This is my SECOND DID NOT START. My running is not going to plan and it is affecting me. I hope for decent weather and then I can be out again but in the meantime it is a struggle.

On the positive side – we have a holiday in Cyprus and I have a half marathon to run in the sunshine. Looking forward to this immensely.

Here’s hoping the next blog piece about my running will be up beat and cheerful.