Back into training and blogging

Back into training and blogging

NORMAL blogging service can now resume, because yesterday I handed in the final assignment for my English literature degree.

There was an awful moment late yesterday morning when I uploaded the essay, pressed send and then got a note to say it had been rejected.

‘Do NOT do this to me!’ I screamed at the computer. ‘Please.’

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In all my six years of studying for this degree, I have never had a problem uploading assignments. I needed to get the assignment in by midday and the clock was ticking. Frantically, I tried again.

When I got the same message, I almost broke down. I was going to fail my degree because of an IT disaster.

I had to stay calm. Continue reading

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Parkrun, planning and procrastination

Parkrun, planning and procrastination

MY plan at Parkrun yesterday was to break 21 minutes. It seemed realistic. A few weeks ago I ran 21.07, so I was convinced it might be possible to dip under 21. The only problem really was my lack of consistent training.

I’ve had a few university assignment deadlines which have played havoc with my training. I’ve missed a few days here and a few days there, and when you add them all together they add up to quite a lot of missed training.

At the moment I seem to be bombarded with deadlines and work, so that I’m constantly firefighting. I clear one thing and immediately have to start on the next. It’s become a bit stressful and hasn’t done my fitness much good at all.

So on my way to Pontefract Parkrun yesterday I decided that Continue reading

Hoping the plan comes together

IN all my years of running I’ve never had a training schedule. I’ve always made it up as I go: hills one night, speed the next, a bit of tempo here, a threshold there. I’ve tagged onto other people’s training, joined in with club runs, but never had a plan telling me what I should be doing and when.

For a long time, my slap dash approach has worked. This is mainly because my friend Fiona is an amazing runner, so I trained with her as often as I could. Whatever she did. I did. This was great. I improved so much I even started picking up a few prizes, something I never thought would be possible. When Fiona had a good run, so did I. When Fiona was ill or injured, my fitness suffered. This didn’t bother me too much. I just carried on enjoying it all, amazed to be dong so well. With Fiona’s help, I got my 10k PB down to 40 minutes and won all of this and more.

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I was even hopeful of breaking 40 minutes for 10k. I didn’t have a plan as to when and how this would happen. I just believed it would. I was really relaxed about it. I’d just continue training with my friend and it would come, no problem.

But it hasn’t come. I Continue reading

The Running Week (17-23 October)

THERE wasn’t much running at all last week. By Friday, I’d only done two and a half miles. I had, however, written an essay on Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard, completed a two-day coaching and mentoring course at work, and survived a very long day of team building.

I staggered home on Friday evening with only one thing on my mind. Not wine. Not chocolate. Running!

Here’s how the week looked.

Monday: I started writing Continue reading

Mistaken for a man and other things

ON a few occasions when I’ve been out running I’ve been mistaken for a man. The last time was back in February. As I passed an old chap on his mobility scooter, he shouted, ‘Go on, lad!’

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‘Thank you,’ I said  in the most unmanly voice I could manage.

The man jumped. ‘Sorry, love. I thought you were a man.’

‘It’s okay.’ I said. And I sincerely meant it. I mean, under the cover of darkness, when someone just short of six-foot approaches you from behind, well, it’s an easy mistake to make. Plus he was an oldish chap, so I felt a bit sorry for him.

But then, he turned to me. ‘It’s because you’re so BIG,’ he said and as he spoke, he moved his arms wide apart not vertically, but horizontally. I’d had enough. I sprinted on, chuntering that Continue reading

The running week 10th – 16th October

The running week 10th – 16th October

A WEEKEND away to Edinburgh played havoc with my training last week. My friends have had a baby boy, so we were heading north to see them. I knew there wouldn’t be much running, so I tried to squeeze my key training runs into the first part of the week.

Monday was a track session. I was on my own but really enjoyed it. I did a 400, 300, 200 combo. Chris was ill so didn’t venture out.

Tuesday night is my strength class. I did a quick run, then went to Continue reading

The running week (12-18th September)

Here’s my training for the week after the Great North Run, where poor nutrition set me back.

Sunday was race day. I ran a PB, but didn’t eat well for the rest of the day. After the race, I had two Mars Bars, a nutty protein type bar, a tiny bag of Haribo sweets, a shop-bought protein drink (not my usual recovery drink), and lots of water. It took us hours to get back to the hotel. I missed lunch, not eating until 7pm, by which time I was so hungry I stuffed my face with a giant burger and chips (with onion rings, cheese, mushroom, bacon). I was still hungry so ordered another portion of chips.

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Monday: I woke up absolutely starving, so rushed down to breakfast without showering or applying any makeup. I needed food. I tucked into fruit and yoghurt, toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, beans, sausages and I think I had a tomato too. We drove back from Newcastle, heading straight to the cake shop to collect Chris’ 40th birthday cake.

Continue reading