Fighting jet lag, the smell of sprouts but I’m a beast…

It’s been a week since we returned to the U.K. From our honeymoon in paradise in the Maldives and to say I was dreading this weeks running is an understatement. I’d spent 10 nights on holiday drinking much, much more than I usually do with the same applying to gorging on food. This, however offset with some running, I still left me feeling bloated and a few pounds heavier. Even with the few pounds added I hoped the running to keep me ticking over would stand me in good stead for week 8 of my training and the inevitable step up in miles that brings. 

The week didn’t start too well as we landed early Saturday morning after around 24 hours travelling, 3 flights and a car journey we were on our knees tired and there was no chance I was going out for my Saturday 50 minute long run!! I went out Saturday night and after a few beers I ended up staying on a friends couch, waking early on Sunday morning after 5 hours sleep and walking 7 miles back home. I told myself this would replace my run for the day…I was kidding myself and ultimately just delaying the inevitable. I was letting my mind cheat me and this needed to be nipped in the bud before it began to poison my routine. My first real test mentally of my training had arrived and it was going to be a tough one. I had to rid myself of the lay on a sunbed, drinking beer under a Maldivian sun attitude and focus on the here and now, I’m no longer on holiday and my first race is 4 weeks away, I must knuckle down. However it seems I found an ideal motivator in the form of this… 

I’ve now adopted this as my theme tune and my motivator. This song was to form the base of my marathon playlist. Tunnel vision and blinkers on I was ready for Tuesday’s run.

Tuesday 40 minutes easy. 

Although apprehensive I was glad the first run back in reality was an easy one. The weather on Tuesday wasn’t the best and a complete contrast to the previous weeks excursions however no excuses I was heading out back on to the streets of Bolton. Mentally I was in the right place for a run however this was tested within an hour of being back in work. Work can be a cause of frustration for me due to circumstances out of my control so running during my dinner hour helps me massively and today was going to be a massive help. For the days run I plotted a different route ive not done before but still incorporating a few parts of routes I’d ran previously. A steady climb for around 3 miles across town then down hill for 2 to finish giving me a 5 mile loop in 40 minutes. Through out the run I felt strong and again my apprehension began to fade, I should be more confident in myself at times but insecurities do creep in. My worries that I’d lost my strength and strong running whilst I’d been away were quashed can I carry this into my next runs that is the question.

40 minutes easy 
Thursday54 minutes threshold run 10 minutes easy (2 x 15 minutes threshold 2 minutes easy) 10 minutes easy. 

Bouyed by the success of the previous run I actually woke up looking forward to going out for Thursday’s run even if it involved threshold running!! This has been a more familiar feeling over the last few weeks and something I need to keep hold of without a doubt. To keep the confidence high I adapted my route from the previous run but extended it by 2 miles as I had an extra 14 minutes to run. This incorporated a slightly longer incline run of around 3.5 miles but then generally the rest was down hill, when running the hills I repeatedly remind myself of the fact what goes up must come down, it helps me battle the inevitable pain inclines bring. Again the weather was threatening and the first two miles of the run was through wind and rain however it suddenly broke and the blue sky’s appeared and I had to question if I was actually in Bolton or back in the Maldives!! As I completed the 54 minutes covering 7.2 miles with an average pace of 7:26 and a King of a segment on Strava, I was happy. The minutes per mile at the moment are consistent, when I finish I feel I can continue and most importantly I’m throughly enjoying myself! This however could all come crashing down on my 14 mile long run this Saturday, fingers crossed it doesn’t especially as I’m still suffering jet lag!!! 

54 minute threshold run
Saturday14 miles long run.

After waking at 6am there was a certain amount of apprehension due to the fact I was due to run the furthest I’ve ran so far in this current training programme. I am back round Merseyside, I’ve ran the planned route before and I’d also driven the route the previous night hiding small amounts of water to help with my hydration. I went through the breakfast routine, packed my jelly babies and extra gels and headed out into the cold Merseyside morning.

My route was to take me cross county out of Rainford on a steady climb towards Billinge. The beauty about running around where I live is the quietness of the country, you can be on your own, no distractions however you do get some strange smells!! Cabbages, slurry and today’s favourite sprouts-Thousands of them!! 

 
I don’t even like to eat them let alone smell them so it’s no surprise as I ran miles 4-5 today, past fields upon fields of sprout plants, I lost some time. This frustrated me as all my miles pacing, apart from mile five today, was below 8 minutes…bloody sprouts.
I was however enjoying this run, I was feeling strong and as the miles passed I decided record a usual idiotic video of myself and post it to Facebook  for my still sleeping friends. The only time I struggled today was on the long exposed run down the east Lancashire road towards Liverpool as I headed for the Rainford bypass. The wind was biting and I had no choice but to get my head down, eyeballs to the floor and push through till I turned the corner onto the long 5 mile hike back home however here in lies another problem! I don’t like running this road, it’s tedious and a climb, not a big climb but constant. As the miles fell I started to feel some doubt creeping in which I could do without however as I approached my final water drop my phone played a blinder and shuffled in one of my go to songs  

 
This song is usually my start song my intense, adrenalin pumping race song however when it came on at 12 miles it gave me the boost to begin to push thorough the final few miles. I was a re-energised and even more so when my current go to song shuffled in-beast! this caused me to hit repeat 1 and run the last mile and a half listening to just that one song. As I turned the corner of the final few hundred meters of my run I was still feeling strong and I won’t lie was feeling rather pleased with myself. I’d conquered today, I’d won the battle and earnt a rest however I will say part of my mind wandered to next weeks 16 miles outing. I’m currently running well, pleased with my output and riding the preverbial crest of a wave however I’m also aware that can change very very quickly, a Recovery run tomorrow so that’s my focus is no further. 

   
   


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