I began this week by finding out that I had a place in the Brighton Half! At first I was a but dubious about doing it, but I am so glad I did – you’ll see why further down…
Monday – Today was a super easy recovery run along the seafront, and it had stopped raining-always a massive bonus!
Tuesday – I was back in the gym today, and back lifting ‘heavy’, which actually felt really great. So heavy isn’t really that heavy, but it felt great to be pushing myself again. At lunchtime I went out with our work running group for a very muddy 5 miles: my trainers were pretty unrecognisable by the end.
Wednesday – Today was intervals in the treadmill: 3 x 10 mins at 10 km pace. Now, I have never raced a 10 km, and so have taken the speed from what I should be running 10 km at, if I am realistically to get in under 3 hours 30 in April. I was pretty nervous, just because 7:18 minute miles are fast, and I’ve never comfortably run this fast. The session was tough, but I did it and it actually felt alright, tough but very much doable. I think I’ll be taking it up a tiny bit next time I do a 10 km interval session.
Thursday – Today was awesome training-wise. I benchpressed over half my bodyweight (32 kgs) and split squatted the most I’ve ever done. I was so chuffed! The afternoon was the absolute best session ever though – I ran the route I have been doing with Kev (@52marathonman on Twitter) on my own, and was pretty worried I was going to struggle alone. However, I managed to storm it: I did a 7:05 mile! My fastest ever! I love seeing so my progress in my running – it makes it even more addictive than ever.
Friday – I went to Bikram at lunchtime, and it was sooooo much better than last week: sweaty, sweaty, sweaty. Brilliant.
Saturday – A very much welcome day of not getting hot and sweaty. Apart from a cycle up to work. That was a bit sweaty. Eurgh.
Sunday – I was so nervous about today. In order to keep the ‘operationsub330’ dream alive, I should be able to run a 1:40 half marathon – which is 6 minutes fastest than my current PB. If I couldn’t hit this time target, a 3:30 marathon was starting to look pretty unlikely. Also, I hadn’t tapered this week at all: I actually really hit the speedwork hard, and the weights. I knew not to beat myself up too much if I couldn’t do it, but it would’ve been a real blow. Anyway… Sunday morning came around and it was the most beautiful day you could wish for for a race. I headed down with my beautiful housemate, Martina, who was running her first half. I headed for the 1:30 – 1:44 pen nice and early on, as I didn’t want to get caught behind slower runners (no excuses!) and wanted to get carried along in the sub 8 minute milers. We headed off, and I managed to do a 7:31 for my first mile, and it felt really easy! I saw Mark at mile 2, having done a 7:29, and knew from then on that I was very much on track to hit the time I so desperately wanted! It was a great race, and a great route, all along the seafront I love so much. The only bad thing was the wind that hit you just when you didn’t want it: 5 km from the finish. By then though, I knew I was going to come in under 1:40, so it was kind of OK. I ended up finishing in 1:38:36, and I’m absolutely thrilled. It means not only am I very much on target for the marathon proper, but that my speed and fitness has improved MILLIONS in just a year.