Road to London

Week 6

The road to London Marathon...

Week 6

Miles ran - 40
Toblerone's eaten - 0
Red wine drunk - 1 bottle
Weight - Monday 169lbs - Sunday 169lbs

Monday 6th Feb

Rest day which means gym day.

Trying to have a relatively normal week with training this week.  So back to the gym with Graham on Monday for an hour of kettlebells, core work and music.  Good fun as always and lots of chatting and planning for the ever expanding group we have.

Also an in depth discussion of my strategy for tomorrow night's Grand Prix which for the first time in 15 years of doing GP's I have a chance of winning.  

That is if I don't balls it up by doing something stupid and I often do.

Home, shower, coffee and Stevie Wonder.  I'm in a Stevie Wonder phase. It may last a day, a week or months, you never can tell with these things

Tuesday 7th Feb

Tuesday is Grand Prix, now if you go back a few weeks on the blog you'll remember I did a Grand Prix run that I utterly messed up.  Was supposed to do a marathon run and couldn't decide what to do and ended up doing a pointless long'ish run with GP tagged on.

Well that terrible run gave me something of a superb handicap to take into tonight's GP and a race victory was on my mind.  Arrived early to be given some aggro from Ron and John for my handicap, Ron asking me who I've been giving backhanders to and John just shaking his head at me in disbelief.  I say blame the handicapper not me.

Well obviously blame me for running a GP way slower than I should but I believe in sticking by the rules and if this was my handicap then so be it.

Stand on the startline….

Ron tells everyone in the group I bribed the starters to let me go in this group….

John stands at the side shaking his head at me….

3 miles of overtaking people and pushing harder than I have in a long time, apologies now for the weird breathing noises I was making when I ran, I don't usually push it that hard and my body and lungs had no idea what was going on. Ran past Stu who told me there were about 7 people ahead of me, down the ramp and onto the prom for for the final push. Got to the far end of the prom and Matt caught me and pushed me on for final surge and crossed the line on 3rd place, I'll take that.

First 5km in 20:03 which is fastest in about 5 years, maybe my days of a sub 20 min 5km aren't all behind me.

Now usually on the GP I'm in a big group on the dark bit of the prom and I use the light from head torches to see, not my head torch as I don't use one.  So pushing on by yourself when there's nobody about means running in the pitch black and when you have my eyes that makes for an interesting run.  So I had two choices, back off and take it easy and make sure I don't run into something or stare at the floor and run as hard as I can and hope I don't go arse over tit or run straight into those massive pebbles.

I chose option 2, couldn't see a thing and just ran staring at the floor in total darkness.

It was terrifying.

Oh I should also add I ate 6 massive flapjacks on Tuesday that Charlotte P baked for me, they were superb and I still feel full from them as I'm writing this on Wednesday afternoon.

Wednesday 8th Feb

Wednesday easy miles, 5 miles at a steady pace to loosen off the legs.  Out in the morning to a soundtrack of The Housemartins and Billy Bragg along the coast and ticked off some easy miles and then a short walk home to finish off the run.

Back home, shower and back to work.

My Stevie Wonder phase has finished.

Thursday 9th Feb

Woke up Thursday put Stevie Wonder on the record player.  I'm back in my Stevie Wonder Phase.  Still full from Tuesdays flapjacks, would probably eat some more anyway but I ate them all in 2 days.

Thursday was a busy day, was supposed to get out early for 2 X 3 miles at threshold but didn't have time so club session it is.  It's Fartleks and I love this one.

Different leader on each rep, each leader can do between 30 secs and 6 minutes and they set the pace and everyone follows, then 1 min jog and go again.  I decided I'm doing a 6 min rep tomorrow and aiming for sub 6:30 mile pace for it when it's my turn, for no other reason than it makes me laugh when I think about it and I know it'll annoy Ben.

Damn it, I mentioned Ben again.

Now tonight's session was without doubt the most insane and brutal run I have ever done with B team, it was absolute carnage from the first rep.

I lead the first rep, maybe it was my fault?

Doubt it, I'm blaming Ben.

My 6 min plan went out the window when after 2 mins the group were all complaining about the pace and as much as I wanted to I just felt that even I'm not that nasty and I did 4 mins and 5 seconds and stopped, pace was faster than I had planned and there was a lot of weird noises coming from the group.  Anyway, did my rep and it got worse from there.

Rep 2 started and Steve went to the front and he kept the same pace I had done and my god it was already hurting.

There is something brutal in this session as you have no idea what's coming.  So 14 mins out and nobody is slowing down, we loose 2 of the group on the way out and leave them in Tynemouth, we turn to head back and on the 2nd rep we lose another 2 and leave them in Cullercoats, we lose another soon after and then the final one as we head round Marconi point.  Cries of 'this is bloody ridiculous' and 'I can't do this anymore I think I'm dying' were heard as runners fell by the kerbside.

In the end it's Ben (damn I mentioned him again), me and Max in her first session with the club.  I go to the front and there's nearly 1km left to go and Ben says "you can run it back to the end Simon".  Now I had no intention of running that pace again for that long, I was thinking maybe I'd do 1 min and then we'd have a minute break and then jog it back in.

But I can't let Ben down can I, can't cope with a look of sadness on his little face when he wanted one last effort so off we went.  I did one final kick from Turknaz and pulled away a bit from Max and me and Ben came in together.

9 of us started together - 2 of us finished together.

I was destroyed, B team were destroyed.

People came back crying.

Shocked expressions of what had gone on.

Mutterings of "what the f*** was that!"

It's definitely going on the next plan again.

Next time I'm doing a 6 minute effort.

Friday 10th Feb

Friday is easy miles, 5 miles at a steady pace.

Had a coaching session with Nicola booked today so thought that would be a nice workout, we did threshold intervals and she nailed them all perfectly, about 6 miles in total with warm up and cool down

Home, shower, walk into Whitley for a coffee and cake and then home to work.

Oh and listen to Stevie Wonder.

I'm still in my Stevie Wonder phase.

Then I listened to Kate Bush.

I'm now in a Kate Bush phase.

Parkrun tomorrow at threshold pace.

Saturday 11th Feb

Threshold pace of 7:20 miles, hit start on the watch and off I went, quick glance at my watch and the screen was frozen, momentary panic because runners can't run without having a Garmin to tell us we're running.

Run along pressing buttons, think about stopping as no point doing it if it's not on Strava.  Then halfway along the prom it switches back on, quickly start it and I'm on 7:20 pace, I'm a pacing genius.

Pick it up a bit for mile 2 which was actually about 2.5 miles in as I missed the first bit.  Decided when it beeps for 2 miles I'll pick pace up for final mile, half a mile, two thirds of a mile, no idea how much of a mile, just pick pace up and run faster.

Last half a mile at about 6 min mile pace which felt good and Stevie Wonder was playing on my headphones.

Stevie Wonder phase is back on.

Tomorrow is 14 miles at 8 min miles with a bit of a warm up and cool down.

No booze tonight.

Breakfast in the morning.

Taking a gel with me.

Get it right

Sunday 12th Feb

Long run day, last week was supposed to be 16 miles at 8:10-8:30 pace and I cut it short at 14'ish miles.  Today was 14 miles at 8 min miles, which is what I did last week. So in a last minute change of plan I decided to redo last week's 16 miles.  When I say last minute I mean I was already running when I decided this.

Little loop up towards Cullercoats and then back past home and the usual'ish route.

When I go for a long run as I've said before I don't reply plan a route so have no exact idea how long it will be, I also don't have the distance showing on my Garmin, just current pace, last mile pace and overall average pace.  I don't like seeing the distance as it just makes me think how long I have left to run, I'd rather run blind and be surprised later on.  So my usual routine is a big loop, add in any extra bits I fancy at the time and then finish by coming into Tynemouth as it's 3.5 miles from the Priory to my house.  As soon as I pass the priory I wait for my watch to beep for the next mile, this could be anytime and then and only then I check what the distance is on and add a bit or stop early for a coffee.

It works for me.

Anyway, today I had breakfast and a cup of coffee and I took a gel out with me.  I felt good and kept slowing the pace as I naturally drift back towards 8 min miles all the time.  Took my gel at what I now know was approx 11 miles and it didn't make me gag which is always good.  Got to Tynemouth and felt really good, watch beeped, checked the distance and I was on 13 miles.  Thought I'd do the 16 and finish at co-op for a coffee and a pastry.

Watch beeped at 16 miles, felt very good and thought I'd just skip the coffee and run home and hit 17 miles.

Final 3 miles were all around 7:30 mile pace, longest run I have ever done and it felt good all the way.  Bloody brilliant.

I listened to a lot of Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds.

I'm now in a Nick Cave phase.

2 more weeks of this block before I go into the big mileage block and some 20 milers, kind of looking forward to them.

I need to buy some more gels.

I need to work out how to carry all my gels.

A full weeks running, 40 miles competed and not once this week have I run into a fence, wall, signpost or lamppost.

But I did stand on top of an old bin in the garden that's full of some nasty stuff to reach something and fell straight through it.

It hurt.

My foot went in the nasty stuff.

I don't want to know what it was.

It was nasty.

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