THREE months ago I decided to stop training as much, and instead focus on my writing projects. I set myself the challenge of completing the first draft of my book. I knew my fitness would suffer, but in order to achieve my writing ambitions it had to be done.
That was back in December. Since then, I’ve cobbled together 80,000 words of my book, completed a short story course, and had two pieces of writing accepted for publication in magazines and anthologies.
I have written during my lunch hour at work, in the evenings after work, at weekends, and even used my daily commute to think about scenes. It has been a slow and frustrating process where I regularly doubted myself. But I have done it, and I can’t help but feel a little bit proud. The book is a long way from being published, but I have material that can be re-written, edited, and whipped into shape.
WITH the arrival of the new year I was excited and looking forward to getting stuck into some serious training so that I could achieve all my running ambitions. Everything was going well, until I fell over, injured my foot, and then developed a severe case of man flu.
I’M very excited because last week I managed to complete a full week of training! This is very exciting stuff indeed because for a while I’ve not been doing much in the way of consistent training. Last week I got my act together, which means I now have something to write about. So without further ado, here is my training week.
I was late home from work so it was 8pm before I headed out into the cold and dark night for a run. I did three miles, which were more to clear my head after a hectic day than for any training benefit. It would have been too easy to stay in the warm with a hot chocolate so I was proud of myself for getting out. I had the hot chocolate when I returned from the run.
I’d arranged to meet a friend so finding the motivation to actually get out of the door wasn’t a problem. The plan was Continue reading →
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!’
‘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 →
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.