Training resumes – Great Eastern Half Marathon, week one

GETTING back into training after a wonderful honeymoon and weeks of wedding planning has been very difficult. I started with a few easy runs, which didn’t feel easy at all, then it was time to step things up.

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Training for the Great Eastern half marathon began last Monday. It was awful, utterly dreadful in fact. I did seven miles with Chris on the trans pennine trail. The 8.50 minute mile pace was hard work, and I huffed and puffed, but felt great afterwards.

On Tuesday the plan was a four mile tempo with friends, followed by a one mile faster. I set off gently up the hill on our usual route, but despite going much slower than I usually do, my body felt heavy. Half way up the hill, I wanted to stop and go home.

Thankfully, I pushed on. I got a bit further, but all the time I was having a mental battle. I wanted to stop. On the downhill section, I felt better, but my body still wouldn’t move very quickly. It felt like every muscle was resisting, particularly my right hamstring which didn’t feel happy at all.

I made it to the bottom of the loop, three miles completed. ‘You could stop here and you’ll still have done a good workout,’ I told myself. Behind me, I could hear footsteps. The others were catching me up (they’d given me a head start). I didn’t want to be overtaken, so I carried on and was overtaken anyway.

Wednesday was my former club’s annual charity relay race. It involves running a mile around Dearne Valley Park carrying a teddy bear as the relay baton. Chris and I joined forces with a lovely lady from the walk to run group, and came fourth. In total, I ran three miles and enjoyed a good night with friends.

By Thursday I was shattered, but some friends were doing a hill session so I thought I’d join in. I wasn’t fast. I was too tired from Tuesday but I went through the motions of running up and down a hill. I was about 30 seconds slower than I usually am, but I was too tired to care.

Friday was a rest day, and on Saturday I attended a writing day in Sheffield, so took another day off. I was working on my running book, after a break from that too.

By Sunday I was well rested so set off early for a long run. I did ten miles, but the last two were hard work. I’ve not run this distance for months. In the lead up to the wedding I just didn’t have time. I only managed a few miles here and there. Completing ten miles was a real shock to the system and afterwards I had to have a cup of tea and slice of cake to get over it! I had a choice of cakes from my birthday last week.

So, for a first week of training, it wasn’t bad. I’ve eased back into it, choosing to train with friends rather than on my own. I also avoided speed work, as my hamstring and muscles made it quite clear they weren’t up to it yet.

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