Now with less than 100 days to go this is my second blog. Heidi Vickery has very kindly offered to coach me, but I’m not sure I’m the best trainee (coachee?), and I’d like to make it clear the following doesn’t quite follow her suggested training plan, and please don’t take it as. I did say, rather like Eric Morecombe, I intended to do all the training runs in the plan, just not necessarily in the right order, given my busy family life. In hindsight I’ve used this as an excuse to let myself be seduced by new running challenges, I’ve rather crashed headlong into the training, so please do not take this as good example.
I took the opportunity of being off work on the 2nd of Jan to go for a long daytime run stretching out the furthest I had ever run to 26k, partly due to getting a little disorientated in Chiswick as it got dark on the way back. The Wednesday club run and a set of 800m intervals at a very frosty Perivale track on Thursday night were to plan. James Linney had tempted me on the Saturday into a long run incorporating Richmond Parkrun. Somewhat predictably I got carried away and ended up going hard round the Parkrun, and paid for it on the way home. I should have taken it easy the next day, however I had agreed to taxi my daughter and her friend to and from netball training on the Sunday morning in Hillingdon, and with two hours to kill I decided to run up and down the canal in the Colne valley and top 100k in a week.
With sore legs and a ticking off I aimed to take it easier the following week starting with a dawn run into work along the canal to Paddington on Wednesday. On Friday I used to the opportunity of working from home to do some hill reps up West Walk in the daylight. All to plan so far, but Sunday was looking very wet for the long run and James Linney had scoped out a run this time incorporating Fulham Parkrun for the Saturday. It was a bit further than in the plan, but I could not resist exploring a new stretch of the river, bagging a new parkrun and most importantly the company on a long run. I took it a bit easier on the 3 lap parkrun - it’s a quick course, but look out for the chicane on the back straight - but I felt the hills again at Kew Bridge and once again I struggled up the hill to Ealing. With a couple of minor detours and the extra distance to my house, it was so close to 20 miles that I added that ‘Garmin extra’ 200m even though I was shattered.
I wasn’t worried about sore muscles, but in the afternoon the side of my right knee suddenly became painful. It subsided the next day, and was fine when I ran round Greenford on the Monday while my daughter was swimming at Gurnell, but it was a wakeup call. So this week I’m cutting back a bit and taking it a bit easier. Now that it is past the date the ballot place can be transferred due to injury, I’ve need to look after myself and listen to my coach. However the key for me is keeping the training varied by running new routes, running with others and taking on challenges along the way. I am aiming to enjoy the training as all part of the experience I’ve been so lucky to get.