Posts Tagged With: Oakley

Some good, some bad…

The good news this week was the physio has effectively signed me off. I can go forth and run lots more miles (within reason) as long as I stick to the extra stretching and no long runs on consecutive days.

The bad news is I felt rough on Sunday and gradually felt worse as the week progressed and now have a chest infection, so as quickly as I was given the green light to start training properly again, I’ve had the rug pulled from under my feet. I’m now dosed up on antibiotics and have no desire to get out of bed let alone go out for a run.

This whole marathon training season is getting an increasing feeling of deja vu about it – remember the plantar fasciitis and constant cold? Well we’re here again at about the same time as last year but with the slightly more serious achilles tendonitis.

I had worked out a plan to get me up to 20 miles by the time of the Oakley 20 at the end of March but will now need to rejig that as am running out of weekends! Anyone up for a few mid week 16 milers?

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Review of Week 14

The first week of tapering and it was a bit of a damp squib really. After the high of Oakley last week I’ve felt a bit flat – that could well be the sugar comedown – do you think you can get addicted to High5 gels?

Anyway, the rest on Monday went as planned. I didn’t feel too bad. Legs ached a bit but no worse than expected. Tuesday’s run had to happen early morning which was an effort in itself, especially as it was still dark as I left the house. I was supposed to do 6 miles with 6×800 fast in there, but within half a mile of setting off it was obvious that the fast stuff wasn’t going to happen – one calf felt like I’d strained it and the rest of my body was just in general pain. I opted for a slow 6 miles and ice on the calf for the rest of the day.

After some rest on Wednesday, I thought a brisk 6 mile would get the blood flowing again and for 2 miles it was fine but after a lengthy hill both calves felt like they were going to pop. After a good stretch and slowing down to a jog I managed to get 6.5 miles done, but again, as with last week finished in the dark – I’m not to good with the sunrise/sunset thing!

To try to sort my calves out I rested Friday with plenty of stretching. On Saturday tried a 3 mile jog instead of the ParkRun in but still a bit sore. Then spent Saturday afternoon trying to buy a foam roller – bit of a rush on them in MK at the moment with London around the corner, closely followed by the MK Marathon a week later so after a bit of searching on the web for suitable alternative stop gaps – found a rolling pin can be just as effective. So I gave it a go and well, the long run on Sunday – no tightness…!

The long run this week felt a bit weird. After 20 miles the previous week and 17 and 18 the two weeks before that, a 12 miler seemed a bit tame. But it was quite hard work to be honest and I was quite relieved when we’d finished. I was glad I had run it with DLRR otherwise I don’t think I’d have completed it on my own. With loops backs it actually came in at 13 miles and although I don’t feel I’ve gained much from it, I know it’s all part of the taper. It’s just a bit difficult to adjust to after so many weeks of pushing so many miles.

Anyway, mustn’t grumble, this time next week it will be less than seven days to go…gulp!

Miles for the week – 27.5, quite scary to think that in two weeks time I need to run just under that in one go…

 

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Review of Week 13

This week was probably the best full week of training I’ve done – in fact I think it was the only week I’ve actually completed everything I had planned – better late than never eh!

The Tuesday hill session was great, although I left it a bit late to go out, even though the clocks went forward, it was a bit dark as I was finishing but as it was going well seemed a shame to stop. On Wednesday I raced, but before I ran a couple of miles just to make sure my legs were warm as I’m paranoid about pulling anything now, plus I don’t seem to get going until a few miles into a 5km so thought it would be a good start. I enjoyed the race. It was nice to run in daylight and ran my fastest 5km since last June so the legs are getting quicker. Sub-23 is so close…

As I’d done a tough hill session on Tuesday and then raced on Wednesday I decided to just run a gentle 6-7 miles on Thursday. But again left it a bit late to go out and it was dark for the last few miles, not necessarily a problem if you live in a town, but as I was out in the lanes it was a bit of a dodgy last few miles avoiding the odd car and trying to ensure I didn’t fall down unseen pot holes! I had my red flashing arm band to warn others I was there but wasn’t much cop for showing me the way. Anyway, it was an experience!

Sunday was the Oakley 20 race which went pretty much according to plan – perhaps a bit quicker than I planned, but I wasn’t shattered at the finish, even had a bit of a spurt at the end as the clock ticked towards 3 hours, so the end result was the same (but sub 3 hours! ;-)) – there’s more about this here.

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Training for Week 14

So the taper begins. The next three weeks will be all about reducing mileage but maintaining frequency and intensity. So similar pattern as previous weeks but with fewer miles. Might swap the days around a bit dependent upon how I’m feeling. The midweek runs are still similar to before but the long run on Sunday will be much less than usual. I might have a go at the MK parkrun on Saturday to keep some speed in the legs.

Monday – rest – the legs need it!

Tuesday  – 6m (with 6x800m)

Wednesday – 6m slow

Thursday  – 7 mile steady

Friday – stretching

Saturday – parkrun

parkrun logo

Sunday – 12-15 miles

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Oakley 20 – Get in there!

Today was the Oakley 20 mile race and my longest ever race to date.  I was quite well prepared for a change, bag was packed the night before, number already on my shirt and gels in my waist belt ready to go.

For me, and many others this is a bit of a dress rehearsal for London. It’s the last long run before the taper starts and the last chance to try things out. In my case, I knew my kit was OK as I’d worn the same for the MK Half but I wanted to test out my fuelling strategy (i.e. when to take gels/jelly beans). Also, I thought I’d try a different gel today – I normally use High5 gels but I haven’t used the caffeine ones before, and thought they might give me the boost I needed. I did have some at home but only the orange ones (came free with a Wiggle order) but I can’t stand any orange form of the sticky stuff, so luckily a mate had a box of raspberry flavour High5 plus gels and very kindly let me have a few for today.

The day started in a bit of a rush. Mr Chips decided he wanted to come and watch along with little Chips which was lovely but trying to get a two year old up, dressed, fed and in the car in order to leave on time is no mean feat! Anyway we got on the road eventually and got to Oakley to find we needed to go to the overflow car park some distance away. As time was ticking I was dropped off to go and pick up my chip and hoodie.

I was eventually was reunited with the family and got myself ready, then joined the main assembly of runners before we were escorted to the start.

The race started well – I decided that I was going to run the first 15 miles between 9-9:30 and then foot down for the last 5 miles to check I could still run marathon pace. The first mile or so were a bit quicker than intended, but that was just getting carried along with the 1,000 other runners. A couple of miles in settled down and I was joined by a fellow DLRR who was also running a similar pace. This made the next 12 miles fly by. We had a good chat and kept each other going. At the end of the first lap it was lovely to see the other half and little Chips although little Chips was a bit confused by mummy waving and running past and not stopping for a cuddle, but to be honest if I’d have stopped, I probably wouldn’t have restarted!

The second lap was harder than the first although it still felt quite quite easy, like a normal Sunday training run. With five miles to go, I felt I needed to stretch my legs and see what was in the tank so I bade my running buddy farewell and got my head down. To my surprise I was flying past people almost straight away and kept it up the whole way home. The final mile was a bit of a grueller, through a housing estate, and finish in the school field. With400 metres to go a quick glance at my watch I realised I might just make a sub three hours,  so foot down and just sneaked in – with 30 seconds in hand.

I am really pleased with how it went – I honestly felt I could definitely get another 6 out of that and ran it well within myself. The legs ache a bit tonight, I had a very tight calf after 12 miles and one of my shins feels like someone’s clouted it with a mallet, but other than that none the worse. The gels were great – I got through four and a pack of jelly beans so I think five will be plenty for London.

I’m now really looking forward to London and feel that sub-4 is a definite possibility…to do 20 miles is a great confidence boost and am now ready for it.

This was my first official DLRR race, although I wasn’t in club colours as I needed to test my charity vest out, but we were there in force and the support given by the runners to each other during and after was brilliant. There were some really good times posted by the club and I was proud to be part of that.

So, a good day had by all, I’m now sat here typing, icing my heel with a pint of beer in hand, feeling a bit sun burnt with my new hoodie on!

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Training for Week 13

This is the last full week of training before the taper starts so going to get some miles in. I’m due to race twice over the next week, but the Run for Nothing 5km will probably be the only one I actually race. The Oakley 20 will be more of a training run with a much bigger group than normal. Can’t risk getting too worn out at this stage. I might try to put 4-5 miles at race pace in to the last quarter just to stretch the legs out.

Monday – rest

Tuesday – 1m jog, 10 x 2 min uphill, jog back recovery, 1 m jog

Wednesday – Run for Nothing 5km

Thursday  – 6 mile (1m jog, 4m brisk, 1m jog)

Friday – stretching

Saturday – rest

Sunday –  Oakley 20

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