Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Training Log | Cracking through the miles: Week 5 Ultra-Training

20th November – 26th November

Monday 20th November
Bit of cycling and a really deep sports massage. Rest day.
Cycle commuting: 13.5km | Time: 47:37

Tuesday 21st November
Meeting Libby at the top of Primrose Hill again to run her in to work. Gosh she's speedy! Post-Beigels ran half way back home before stretching on the bus the remaining section of the journey home.
Running: 15.6km | Time: 1:33:13 | Av Pace: 5:57/km | Elev Gain: 148m | Beigel bagels eaten: 1
Cycle commuting: 6.8km | Time: 23:23

Wednesday 22nd November
Double Day! Early morning hills before bills with the Speedster. Easy commute to work. Nice way to get in the mileage. Finished work at 9:15pm and ran commuted home so that the evening wasn't only about work. 
Running: 7.4km | Time: 41:10 | Av Pace: 5:33/km | Elev Gain: 76m
Running: 7.2km | Time: 40:02 | Av Pace: 5:31/km | Elev Gain: 73m

Thursday 23rd November
Beigel beigel beigel. Rain. And wind. And bagels. 
Running: 10.2km | Time: 59:33 | Av Pace: 5:50/km | Elev Gain: 175m
Cycle commuting: 6.9km | Time: 23:42

Friday 24th November
The advantage of Adidas Runners having moved to Old Street is I basically have to cycle to get there. Alarm clock was not so successful so mad dash across town to get there in time for intervals. Hill felt AMAZING. Pushed really hard and thrilled to see the hard work paying off. Zoom zoom zoom.
Running (Hills): 8.9km | Time: 46:42 | Av Pace: 5:12/km | Elev Gain: 139m
Cycle commuting: 28.3km | Time: 1:39:19

Saturday 25th November
LONG RUN DAY! Ran to parkrun, parkrunned, little pause while I helped fix some messy results and then ran off to Waterbeach and back. 33km nailed. Tea cakes and coffee to recover. Really pleased with the mileage which was tough but felt gritty and determined. Long run banked. 
Running: 33km | Time: 3:09:40| Av Pace: 5:44/km | Elev Gain: 80m

Sunday 26th November
Tired leg and a really cold day made it hard to get out. Eventually persuaded myself out the door just before 8pm. Legs were too tight to make it past the 6km point to the 8km the training plan said but happy with the mileage I managed. 
Running: 6km | Time: 35:13 | Av Pace: 5:48/km | Elev Gain: 20m

Week Five Totals
Running: 93.9km | 9:11:00 | 771m
Cycling: 56km | 3:14:00 | 465
Swimming: 0m

Thoughts: Longest mileage ever! So proud of myself especially given my busy week. Pleased with some elevation too although could do with a bit more focus. Great to see how commuting by foot can help increase the mileage.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Training Log | Life gets in the way: Week 4 Ultra-Training

13th November – 19th November

Monday 13th November
Proper rest day. After yesterday’s mileage took it easy and walked to work (30 minutes) but then spent the rest of the day on the tube.

Tuesday 14th November
Never before in my life have I been invited to meet someone at 7am on the top of Primrose Hill. But there Libby was waiting when I dragged myself to the summit ‘I’ve only had to do one hill rep waiting for you’ she said. Joined her on her run commute in town finishing at the Thursday morning classic of Beigel bake on Brick Lane – cue huge confusion from the staff.
Running: 12.7km | Time: 1:15:47| Av Pace: 5:55/km | Elev Gain: 79m | Beigel bagels eaten: 1

Wednesday 15th November
Write off of a day thanks to work and an evening at the Opera House. Saw an amazing opera. It’s all about balance.

Thursday 16th November
Despite of the midnight arrival home post-Opera, I still scraped myself out of bed for Beigel run. As I’d had my Beigel fix on Tuesday I carried on post-10k up to the gym to shower before a 9am meeting. Pretty chilled pace this morning.
Running: 11.6km | Time: 1:14:22 | Av Pace: 6:24/km | Elev Gain: 166m

Friday 17th November
A WHOLE WEEK WITHOUT CYCLING. Whoops. Adidas Runners has moved to a new base in Old Street and Madia Vale – Old St is one of those journeys in London that’s pretty impossible without a bike. So hauled out the racer and pegged it through the city in freezing weather. Good interval session this morning of 6 out of 10 efforts then 8 out of 10 efforts. Really pleased with the pace.
Running (Intervals plus 2km WU): 6.8km | Time: 35:27 | Av Pace: 5:10/km | Elev Gain: 16m
Cycle commuting: 16.3km | Time: 53:44

Saturday 11th November
Refused to get out of bed so ended up sprinting on the racer bike up to Cambridge parkrun making parkrun an almost run off the bike. Pleased with the pace all things considered.
Running (parkrun): 5km | Time: 23:54| Av Pace: 4:56/km | Elev Gain: 12m
Cycle commuting:  11.7km | Time 34:15

Sunday 12th November
Long run day. Church at 9:30am today and got in from a birthday party at 1:30am but had told a friend I’d meet them on the busway which meant, even though it was 1°C outside I made it out before sunrise. 21.1 crisp kilometres later with my friend Thom for company from 14km onwards felt joyous. Beautiful morning running. Great pace too – really pleased with the progress I’ve made.
Running (long run): 21.1km | Time: 1:54:32 | Av Pace: 5:24/km | Elev Gain: 48m

Week Four Totals
Running: 60.5km | 5:42:00 | 339m
Cycling: 28.3km | 1:27:00 | 204
Swimming: 0m

Thoughts: Well the swimming and cycling never happened. Sometimes work and life just get in the way. Missed a 10km run so bit low on the total mileage but ready to pick up the mileage next week. Someone tell me off if I haven’t done any S&C next week!

Friday, 17 November 2017


Just over a week a go my friend Elaine stood up at the front of church and challenged me: What distractions are getting in your way?

For a while now I've not been quite my usual self. Slightly overwhelmed about everything and underwhelmed by everything. I think this endemic is pretty normal in our current fast paced, ever demanding society where more is more and less is radical.

About a week a go it all got to a head and it felt like something snapped. In the last week I've had a choice: do I allow things to stay like this or do I pause, recalibrate, refocus and balance my life once more.

It's not easy finding the 'norm' tough. But I have a feeling it is normal. When did it become cool to be normal? So I'm putting my hand up and confessing: I'm in a bit deep and I'm donning the uncool lifejacket.

How am I going to do that?

Well for starters I am coming off Facebook and Twitter for a while. I don't find them helpful and as much as I'm sure I'll miss out on a few things they actually aren't my whole existence. Remember when 'brb' on Messenger used to be a thing? I want some more brb in my life.

I'm also rebalancing my diet. I so easily self medicate with caffeine and sugar and junk. I'm reminding myself that treats aren't an hourly thing and challenging myself to live without the drugs of diet coke and haribo.

Finally I'm going to find that head space again. Space to run. Space to be peaceful. For me personally: space to pray. I need those things in my life to feel like I'm operating normally.

So if you need me I'm still around: I'll be on my blog still, at the end of an email, a text message or even, shockingly, a letter. It just might take us all a minute longer to know about each others lives: we might, for instance, have to actually have a real conversation, not just be a fly on the wall of our perfected versions of ourselves.


Monday, 13 November 2017

Training Log | Upping the mileage: Week 3 Ultra-Training

6th November – 12th November

Monday 6th November
Proper rest day. Could definitely feel the long run from Saturday creaking in my legs. Planned on getting to the pool post-work but disorganisation led to that not happening.

Tuesday 7th November
Training plan said 16km legs (and mind) did not agree. Managed to get out before work with the Speedster and get in 11km with some pace variance including Regent’s Park track (bumped in to the lovely Celia) and Primrose Hill. Also managed to lose and then find my keys.
Back on the racing bike with my cleats because a Press Night in the evening helped me gain some mileage easily. Still quicker than taking the tube!
Running: 11.3km | Time: 1:06:40 | Av Pace: 5:53/km | Elev Gain: 93m
Cycle Commuting: 18.5km (60 minutes)

Wednesday 8th November
Quick bike to work with a plan of running back tonight, running tomorrow and then cycling back tomorrow evening. Run Like Hells in the evening with AR Collective feels hard but racks up the distance. Manage to get left behind on Primrose Hill though which feels a bit bleak but never mind! More elevation than hills last week which I’m pleased with.
Running (inc Hill Repeats): 13.9km | Time: 1:20:42 | Av Pace: 5:48/km | Elev Gain: 210m
Cycle Commuting: 6.8km (21 minutes)

Thursday 9th November
Legs once again tired when I wake up so, as per last week, turn my long run plan in to a 1.2km run to catch the tube. Beigel family gets me round but it really feels like I’m dragging myself round this morning.
Biking around in the evening and have a rare non-lycra night with the running gang watching the Breaking 2 documentary at the Tribe Shake Shack. Kipchoge is beyond inspiring.
Running: 10.9km | Time: 1:08:59 | Av Pace: 6:21/km | Elev Gain: 48m
Cycle Commuting: 12km (48 minutes)

Friday 10th November
Adidas Runners sees us doing laps of the English gardens. Don’t feel I have much pace but make it round. Today my mind is definitely winning over my willpower and not in a good way. Commit to re-grounding myself and finding some balance again.
Running (Intervals): 8.3km | Time: 50:45 | Av Pace: 6:07/km | Elev Gain: 26m

Saturday 11th November
Double run day with Nonsuch parkrun (gentle) followed by my first ever cross country match. Turns out cross country is really fun! Legs are pretty stiff afterwards but some encouragement gets me to do a cool down 1.2km then a whole afternoon of wandering about and cheering on the boys match loosens them up.
Running (parkrun): 5km | Time: 29:15| Av Pace: 5:58/km | Elev Gain: 21m
Running (cross country race): 6km | Time: 29:12 | Av Pace: 4:55/km | Elev Gain: 34m | Placement: 79/269

Sunday 12th November
Long run day. Church in the evening today so time to get in the mileage in the morning. Need a journey so run to St Ives from Cambridge up the guided busway. Headwind most of the way which makes it tough and my mind keeps up the battle of ‘Oh you should stop now’. Confessed to Twitter & Instagram yesterday my planned distance so feel I can’t cop out. 25km in I find my old steely determination. 32km done. Hard but really pleased. Get pretty cold waiting for the bus back to Cambridge so don’t stretch (stupid) but in the evening instead spend some time foam roller-ing.
Running (long run): 32km | Time: 3:15:01| Av Pace: 6:08/km | Elev Gain: 61m

Week Two Totals
Running: 88.6km | 8:48:00 | 495m
Cycling: 37.4km | 2:10:00 | 173m
Swimming: 0m

Thoughts: Groan. The classic runner of all the running but none of the cross training. Next week must find time for at least one swim, one longer ride and some strength work in the gym. Pleased to remember that I can encourage my mind to think more positively.