Monday, 12 March 2012

What a difference in 5 weeks (A hare in tortoise shell clothing)

Partly changed my mind about this post as having written it I realised that with 11 weeks to go back at 6th Feb, I was still suffering after my laryngitis and cold, had no running in me since the beginning of January and was feeling a little unfit to say the least.

Fast forward to 5 weeks later, 11th March, and I have completed a 10k race in a reasonable time for me 2 weeks ago, a 10 mile race yesterday, in the same time (well one second quicker actually) that I did the Great South last October, and have really built my fitness levels back up to a good base point.

So while the blog postings may have been a bit slow, the exercise and fitness regime has certainly upped the pace.

I decided that once my throat started to feel a bit better I really needed to up the fitness levels, but with it still being cold outside I wondered at the wisdom of trying to get out in the cold night air to run with the club, so opted for some indoor cardio exercise AKA "Zumba" and "Bokwa" (Thanks to Anna for providing these super classes check out

Since the beginning of Feb I also decided that to get back to the running after starting on the cardio I needed to also get the legs back into the regime, so opted to take my own advice (wonders will never cease) and build up slowly. Well as slowly as would be possible with only 11 weeks before the marathon.

Starting with a few short walks of 3 miles or so (suddenly interrupted by an Ikea experience - oops) building up to the route for our Club race at 5 miles in the first week with 3 exercise class also completed.

Week 2 saw me back out to run/walk, agan starting with short 3 miles for 3 times that week along with another 2 classes.

Building the miles up again in week 3 I managed 2 five milers and a couple of classes before heading to a 10k race on the Sunday. A multi lap around Castle Combe race circuit, in glorious weather and with people continually passing me (something I know some people hate, but I love as it makes me feel I am actually in a race rather than just being at the back seeing no-one) Each lap getting progressively faster, I was happy with my time. the first marker but now 8 weeks to go and progress needed. predicted Marathon time at this point is now 6.21.23.

The next week saw 3 classes and a 7 mile run with the following week including 2 eight mile outings and a 3 mile soggy trot out midweek with 2 classes completed and a "have you lost weight" comment - yippee starting to tone up and feel much fitter. The week ended with a 10 mile race at Burton near Christchurch in glorious sunshine, again. And a few targets set to keep me motivated along the way. First decision was that I would run/walk so had to be strict with my walk breaks or at points I would have been carried away and overdone it. There was also a 20 mile race starting 15 mins after the ten. My first challenge to get to mile one before their race started - done tick, 2nd challenge to be past 2 miles when one of our fast club runners came past me (potentially for the first time) - done tick, next challenge to be past 3 miles before my friends I travelled there with came past me - done tick in fact 4 1/4 miles when they came past - I overestimated their pace (and underestimated mine). After 5 miles easier to settle into a pace, and was passed by a few people I knew who slowed for a chat and some encouraging words which kept me going nicely, then the final challenge to be at the finish before out fast runner finished his 2 laps (20 miles) - tick done. And the bonus - I was ONE SECOND quicker than when I ran the Great South last October. Not a great achievement when that was 6 months ago and I should have been so much further into my training, but definitely an achievement. Predicted marathon time now 6.21.08

Now with 6 weeks to go a half marathon to complete in 3 weeks and then get mentally prepared for the big one 3 weeks after that.

With the consistency in my race pace it looks like I am needing to add some speedwork into my programme, so will also give that a go and try to get that predicted pace a little lower by the half marathon.

Watch this space will blog again then.