Whiteley parkrun and a big breakfast

So this weekend was quite the busy one! Lots of running, eating and sleeping. Though I could have done with a lot more sleep it must be said.

Saturday started off with a 6am alarm and me getting out for a solo three miles. I was meeting my friend Mike to run to Whiteley parkrun at 7.15am but I wanted to get a few more miles because my next few weeks are a bit all over the place and I’m not sure when I’ll get a decent long run in. I did 15 miles last weekend so the plan was to get 16 miles in total.My three miles went by without a hitch and probably a bit faster than I was planning. I never give myself enough time for anything (incidentally, I’m writing this on the train up to London today and I had to run the last bit to catch it on time, case and point). I basically leave no wiggle room for if things go wrong. So the last mile I started panicking I’d be late and sped up a bit.Happily I got to Mike just on time and we started our run. Mike had thankfully provided the route (another thing I’m not great at…navigation). We aimed to go a bit faster than his planned marathon pace and the miles flew by as we put the world to right talking about dating, work and life in general. I enjoy running with Mike as he’s such a good friend and he’s always willing to listen to my randomness. These runs are like therapy sometimes!The last mile or so of the run was uphill and I was feeling fairly tired by this point. It was a struggle. However the final stretch was a lovely downhill. We arrived at Whiteley though with enough time for a quick loo visit and a chat with our friend, Geoff, who’s recently moved from Netley to Whiteley as his regular parkrun. I don’t get to see him as much as I used to so it was nice to catch up with him again.The first two miles of the parkrun were tough. Though Whiteley isn’t hilly there is a sneaky incline at the beginning that just sucks your soul. And then as you get more into the wooded parts it becomes quite twisty turny. You do three laps so it’s not a fast course but there is potential if you’re in good shape. I was in no shape really to do anything other than count down the 0.1 miles.By mile three I got a second wind and decided to push on a bit faster – mainly just to finish quicker really! I finished with a time of 23:39 which I’m very pleased with. And 16.5 miles in the bag. We helped Geoff pack away parkrun after he guilt-tripped us into it saying he had a low number of marshals 😉At this point I was desperate for a drink, specifically an ice cold Diet Coke. Mike and I were going to celebrate the long run by having breakfast at Coast to Coast which was in the Whiteley shopping area just a short walk away. But we helped him pack away and it was nice to carry on chatting with him.

Mike, Billy (another running friend) and I

We finally go to Coast to Coast and I had to stop myself downing my Diet Coke within 10 seconds.I ordered a fry-up, though I swapped the breakfast potatoes that would normally come with it for black pudding (I love black pudding) and ordered sourdough toast to go with it. I was quite surprised the fry-up didn’t come with toast to be honest.It was a good fry-up but not up there with the best (the fry-up connoisseur that I’ve now become…). I appreciated them segregating my beans from my meal as I hate a big puddle of beans contaminating everything and the black pudding was delicious. It came with a sweet potato fritter which was OK but a bit soggy and not that crispy (also quite random). But the meal was tasty and did the job. I actually didn’t need to eat again until 6.30pm!

Mike had pancakes, bacon and maple syrup which he enjoyed. I’m personally not a big pancake fan (or a sweet breakfast fan in general) so this didn’t appeal to me. But it was a lovely breakfast and a great way to celebrate some solid mileage. It was also fairly cheap as they had a “two breakfast for £10” offer going on.

My dad picked us up, which was really nice of him. Originally he was going to come and do parkrun but we had a busy day planned for Sunday with lots of walking round London so he decided to save himself – but still offered to bring us home as we were a bit stranded otherwise!

The rest of the day I was very tired. The run had really drained me. I met my mum for coffee and we did a bit of shopping and then I had a cheeky afternoon nap. I needed my energy as I was heading out that evening for drinks with my friends to celebrate a number of our recent birthdays.The evening was great. It was so nice to see my friends and de-stress. This past week has been horrendously stressful and I haven’t felt quite my happy normal self. I definitely needed to see my friends to help me relax and feel better.

Unfortunately I had another 6am alarm the next morning to catch a 7am train to London with my dad so I didn’t get quite as much sleep as I would have liked. But we had a fun day planned of the Great Newham 10k (my dad really enjoys spectating and supporting my races) and then some tasty food afterwards as a delayed Father’s Day and birthday celebration. But more on that in another post!

How was your weekend?

Do you like to run to parkrun?

What’s your ideal post run breakfast at a restaurant?

Happy birthday Netley and weekend recap

The start of the week is always sweeter when you know you have a chunky four day weekend on the horizon, am I right? Knowing I only have four days at work just puts me in a happy mood. I like my job, don’t get me wrong, but I like not being at my job more Winking smile

Saturday started as most of my normal Saturdays do, at Netley Abbey parkrun. I walked Alfie before leaving and the weather was dry but chilly. I didn’t think it was that cold so went with my running skirt and long sleeved top. When I got to parkrun to help set up however it seemed far colder. Obviously I had a coat but I was suddenly really quite cold.

IMG_9262Setting up parkrun (Photo credit: Max Andrews)

As I had the Weymouth Half Marathon the next day I didn’t want to go too fast at parkrun. It’s always nice to turn up to a parkrun knowing you’re just going to ‘plod’ round. The pressure is off! Lots of people were volunteering and not running as there was the very popular Eastleigh 10k the next day too which is a local race for us that lots in our club and nearby clubs take part in. I’ve actually never done it despite it being so close by. It just didn’t fit in with marathon training and I hate 10ks…

It was Netley’s four year anniversary of setting up so there were a collection of awards given out during the race brief. I thought I was going to be third on the female points table but surprisingly I turned out to be second.

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Apparently the maths had gone wrong somewhere and so it was wrong on the website. I was over the moon. What was nice was that the first place female and third place female were all lovely ladies from my running club so we were quite chuffed to all be on the podium.

IMG_9263Receiving my certificate (Photo credit: Max Andrews)

Anyway parkrun was good fun. I ran with my friends Mike and Matt. Mike was also doing the half the next day and Matt is just getting back into running after an extended time off. It’s always nice to see people back at it after a break – and enjoying it again Smile

IMG_9264Matt (in green), Mike (in purple) and me (in black) (Photo credit: Max Andrews)

We went round at a nice conservative pace though I felt fairly pants running initially. But after two laps I perked up and decided to push the pace with Mike to the end. He went with me and we went back and forth overtaking each other before finishing – both knackered from the random bursts of speed.

IMG_9260Final stretch (Photo credit: Max Andrews)

I finished in 24:08 so not too shabby!

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I enjoyed a nice hot drink in the cafe after helping clear down everything. I’d been looking forward to it the entire run – a lovely hot peppermint tea! Then I headed home to quickly freshen up, have breakfast then head to the gym. I’d skipped my usual gym visit on Friday morning as I’d felt tired after my evening seven miler on Thursday and for once I had nothing really planned for the afternoon apart from chores so thought I’d have a quick visit.

I quite enjoy going to the gym at the weekend (despite it being a bit more busy) as I’m less rushed and more awake. I did some assisted pull-ups (still working hard at them!), chest presses, single-arm rows, press-ups, lateral pull-downs, narrow cable rows and some kettle bell swings. A nice hour of upper body work (apart from the swings). I didn’t go too hard as I was conscious about the next day.

In the evening I met up with a fairly dedicated triathlete I’d chatted a lot with on Twitter. His family lives in Portsmouth and he was down from the Cotswolds for the weekend and apparently I go on a lot about ribs and Coast to Coast (do I…? Winking smile) and he wanted to see how good it was.

It’s funny because he’s read my blog (careful what I say here I guess…ha) so I felt a little at a disadvantage of him knowing more about me than me about him. Though it was also nice because he didn’t think I was a loon (or so he says) for photographing my dinner despite initially me saying I wouldn’t as I’d been there so often. But Coast to Coast had changed their menu! My favourite St. Louis ribs were gone and they just had regular baby back ones and the dishes were slightly different, which therefore justified more photos Winking smile

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I had my regular chicken wings to start (still good and fairly similar to before), baby back ribs for main with sweet potato fries (which, though smaller than the jumbo ones, were still pretty damn tasty), followed by millionaire’s waffle (a waffle with honeycomb ice cream, honeycomb chocolate balls and chocolate syrup).

When I ordered the pudding the waitress informed me that there were no honeycomb balls left. I jokingly said (well, I was sort of joking) what else could she put on top then and she said how about Oreo crumbles? Sounds good. Then five minutes later she came back to the table with a little bowl of honeycomb chocolate bowls and whispered they were from the bar and used in the milkshakes but I could have them. Amazing! Great service!

And happily I wasn’t the only one eating everything on my plate for the three courses (and he even had a thick shake!) Major kudos there Winking smile All in all I lovely evening. Though I was stuffed.

I knew I wasn’t in a chance to get a PB for the half the next day so I wasn’t too worried about feeling so full of non-race ideal food. Though I did want a hard effort – ideally I was aiming for sub 1:40. I know I’m not in PB shape and that seemed like a realistic target, maintaining around 7.30min/miles. I’ve also done a lot of long runs having had a big meal (ribs included) the night before so I wasn’t stressed about it.

I’ll recap the race in another post, but all in all it was a great weekend.

How was your weekend?

Has a favourite restaurant of yours ever changed it’s menu for the better or worse?

How old is your local parkrun?

Long run company and an epic refuel

Living on the South coast of England at the moment is quite interesting with storm Imogen howling about the place. Last night it was crazy; ridiculously strong winds, lashings of rain, thunder and lightning. All very exciting, but not much fun for Alfie, my dog, who freaked out. Then he decided (by the way this was 1am) that the safest place for him to sleep would be on my chest. This slightly restricted my breathing I must say…

Luckily the weather seemed only to be terrible in the evenings over the weekend. Saturday morning was actually OK at parkrun, albeit very windy. Our new signs had arrived! So much lighter than the previous ones. IMG_8174This was great in theory (less effort carrying them along the course to the right spots) but it meant in the wind they were in danger of blowing away. They had to be stuck very firmly into the ground.IMG_8176

The ‘Keep Right’ signs are huge! And we have so many now. Because our course is three laps there are quite a few spots where people are overtaking or coming back in a different direction and some of the course is fairly narrow so it really requires people to be sensible and, well, keep right. We don’t have a huge number of people at our parkrun (150-250) but if it’s busy then it will become quite dangerous and collisions could happen. Happily though the signs seemed to work (previously we had two very small ‘Keep Right’s).

It was clear fast times weren’t going to be easy due to the wind. Part of the course runs alongside the seafront and the wind just blows straight across you making it very tough running in a straight line. Though it did push us up one of the hills which is always much appreciated! I took it steady (I think that’s always what I do now, I want it to be a good effort but not full-blown sprint). On the third lap I caught up with the usually very speedy Chris, who I used to be faster than but since my injury and him getting better and better he’s probably a 30-50 seconds faster than me overall, and Mark (very speedy). They’d decided to take it easy, rather than me suddenly become super speedy Winking smile Mark helped pace me to a fast finish which was tough but helpful.

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My time was 23:04 which I’m pleased with considering the wind and the effort I put in.IMG_8213

After clearing down I had to dash off to get ready for a lunch out with my mum and Di (Ben’s mum who I still keep in touch with).

We headed to Hayling Island where we had a nice walk along a coastal path (incidentally along part of the Portsmouth Coastal marathon route) and then headed inside, out of the wind, to have some lunch at The Ship Inn.IMG_8218

Between the three of us we shared a mezze board, which had a lovely selection of dips (hummus, tzatziki, taramasalata and an olive dip), feta, roasted tomatoes and pita bread. Very tasty. For mains we all had the fish stew, which was lovely big chunks of salmon, haddock and prawns in a tomato broth with sourdough bread on the side. We were all rather saintly and forwent pudding. It was a nice light lunch I must say, which is a change from my usual as of late!

During the week I’d received a message from a woman I used to know a few years ago, Shantha. She’s an awesome runner and had been chosen for the 26.2 Project for Women’s Running magazine in 2014. Through their very cool sounding scheme she trained and ran the London marathon in an incredible time of 3:19:20 (though her PB is around 3:14!). Anyway, she messaged me and asked if I fancied doing a long run with her as our paces seemed to be similar (she reads my blog: hi Shantha!). Normally I do most of my long runs on my own unless I’m combining it with a race so I was a bit nervous at first. What if I’m really slow? What if we have nothing to talk about?

I really needn’t have worried though. We met at Royal Victoria Country Park Sunday morning and straight away were nonstop talking. She’s training for the Race to the King ultra marathon in June (52 miles!!) and had previously run a longish run the day before and needed to run about 14 miles. I needed to run 17 miles so we agreed I’d add on the miles at the end. She’d planned a lovely route around Netley, Hamble and Burseldon. We were off-road at times in the mud and splashing through puddles and there was a tough stretch at the beginning on shingle and some testing hills throughout but otherwise it was a lovely relaxed run. The pace felt good though I did worry I was going too slow for her. I wasn’t sure I could have gone faster – not when the terrain was more varied than I’m used to on a long run. We even caught a little chugboat ferry to cross a small stretch of water (£1.50 and took less than 5 minutes – brilliant!).IMG_8219

Ferry boat selfie

It was such a nice change to chat away on a run instead of just zoning out. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a solo long run – mentally it’s just so refreshing. But it was nice to chat to someone so likeminded and at a nice pace. It was also really interesting hearing about her training for the ultra. The miles ticked by and soon we were back at RVCP and saying goodbye. Thank you Shantha for such an enjoyable run! Hopefully we’ll do it again soon.

In the end I had about 4.5 miles to find to get to 17 and I popped on my podcast to get me through. My legs were feeling fatigued and now I was on my own it felt quite tough mentally. I decided to just run a loop and do some of the Netley parkrun but it did feel like treading water in terms of not being very mentally satisfying. Running loops to get miles in never is. But I got it done and felt fantastic at the end. 17 miles done!

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Average pace overall of 8.30min/miles which I’m really chuffed with considering the terrain. Some good miles in the bag!

I got back in my car afterwards and felt on top of the world. Honestly if I could bottle that post-long run feeling it would sell for millions. I got home, ate my breakfast (I didn’t eat before I ran – though I had made sure I had a big meal the night before. I think this was pushing my capabilities of running fasted though. I’ll talk more about this on another post), showered, walked Alfie and then treated myself to a Starbucks. Starbucks is dangerously close: five minutes by car. I took it home, sat on my sofa, got Runner’s World out and fully relaxed.

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I was so chilled it was lovely. I did some odd jobs and just kind of floated around in a post-long run fatigue and satisfaction.

I met up with my parents for an early dinner at….Coast to Coast (I know, we’re obsessed). We were celebrating my dad’s birthday early (which is Valentine’s Day) and we all love that restaurant so it made sense! I was absolutely famished. I’d had breakfast (well, porridge for lunch considering the timing) and though I’d had some good snacks during the day I was FULLY ready for a big meal.IMG_8250

I went for chicken wings to start (delicious), then the St Louis ribs for main (with the BBQ sauce this time – which made them far more tender) and chocolate brownie for pudding. I felt quite stuffed but absolutely satisfied. Yum.

Then I headed home and had an early night. I was pooped!

Have you been affected by any of the storms recently?

 Do you workout or run fasted?

Do you prefer to run long runs alone or with others?

No parkrun and no race

Although I was looking forward to the weekend gone, I was a bit down that I wouldn’t really get a good lie-inI normally get up four times in the week at 5am to go to the gym and around 6am on the other day so I like to sleep a bit later at the weekend to ‘catch up’ (although I know there’s to much science to catching up on sleep but it feels good!).

My university friends were popping down on Saturday and as always I’d planned to do parkrun. But as I was meant to meet one of my friends at the station at 10.30am it was going to be a bit of a push, what with showering and getting myself sorted. It would also mean, to save time, I’d have breakfast before parkrun and this would mean a 6.30am wake-up. On Sunday I was doing the Stubbington 10k and wanted to run 6 miles beforehand, so again another early morning.

Luckily though I’d got Monday off so I knew I could at least sleep later then. But as I thought more about Saturday I realised it was causing me a lot of stress to make parkrun and meet my friend on time (and being on time is my New Year’s Resolution…). So to make life easier on me I decided to forgo parkrun. Sad times indeed. To be honest though, I probably did need a week off to reignite the parkrun love again.

So Saturday morning I slept in until 8am which was just glorious. Then I got my running kit on, walked Alfie and then got on with my lonely 5k round my block.IMG_7541

It was VERY cold. I’d decided straight off the bat to attempt to be speedy, which was ideal considering how cold it was. I put some music on and just focused on finishing. My hands, despite wearing my Nike gloves, were freezing. My face was numb. I know we’re very lucky to not have any snow but it was very cold!

I’m really pleased with my splits. It was a pretty flat 5k with a few turns and a couple of sharp (but short) inclines at the end) so the fact that I was able to do a negative split is really encouraging. My time was 22:41 and I came FIRST overall (in the race in my head… haha).5k

I was able to then sort myself out and get ready and be on time to pick my friend up without having to stress or rush. Obviously I missed parkrun and everyone there (especially as it was a couple of friend’s 200th parkrun!) but it had to be done.

 

It was lovely to see my uni friends, as always, and they got to see my new flat. Then it was time to head off for some lunch. So, er, this is embarrassing. We went to Coast to Coast… this was my fourth time in pretty much as many weeks. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you probably notice that when I like something food-related I’ll just keep eating it or keep going there again and again until I’m sick of it. Jamie’s Italian for example… Porridge for breakfast (this has been happening now for over 10 years – no toppings, just plain; yes, I am that boring)… Apples… Cake.

So apparently because I raved a lot about it they wanted to go. What can I say, it was their choice! 😉 And they all loved it and said they wanted to go again. Success! (Also, I’m not the only re-offender, I know several people who have gone back a few times… *cough* Mark).Coast to Coast

This time I went for chicken wings with a BBQ rub for starters, which was simply divine. Then I decided to try the baby back ribs for main with sweet potato fries (last time I had the St Louis’ ribs which were huge) and then finally the carrot cake. The baby back ribs were far more tender than the St Louis ones but smaller (I’m the greediest person alive so for a normal person they’d be just fine). The carrot cake was delicious and on par with the brownie I had last time.

After my friends left I headed to my parents’ house which is just five minutes from the start of the Stubbington 10k, the race I thought I was signed up to. I realised from other people’s posts in my running club’s Facebook group that I was missing a confirmation email and my bib number. After scouring the entry list I realised I had in fact not signed up at all. What an idiot. I’m not quite sure how I had assumed I had!

So my plans of running 6 miles, then running Stubbington 10k were scuppered and I planned a long run instead on my own. I wasn’t too sad as I wasn’t planning on racing anyway and it saved a lot of faff in the morning of getting my bib and getting to the start in the morning. My parents didn’t have to come and support me so they could have a chilled morning – though my mum, bless her, did ask if I wanted them to come and support me somewhere on my long run! Haha, could you imagine?12.6 miles

I did run about 4 miles of the Stubbington 10k route anyway, just about an hour before everyone else did. I saw the 1km markers and the drinks station with the bottles all stacked up neatly and a few marshals. A friend from the club also ran with me a little way as she was warming up before the race which was nice. Then I veered off the route and carried on with my run. I felt really good running. I rarely look at my watch on long runs and just run at a speed I’m comfortable at. This will slow down when the long long runs happen though I’m sure.

Better than last week was how I felt post long run and for the rest of the day. I had no headache and didn’t feel drained. I ate well through the day and actually felt pretty normal.

Though I did have a nice relaxing evening of watching one of my favourite films, You’ve Got Mail. I literally smiled the whole way through it. It’s such a classic and I just love Tom Hanks.

IMG_7582Post run

As I said, I also had Monday off and had another lie-in. It’s quite amusing that on Friday I thought I’d be struggling with no lie-ins and I actually got three solid night sleeps and lie-ins! I went to the gym in the morning and then had a reflexology appointment at midday (more on that in another post – but, spoiler alert, it was amazing). And I got my hair cut, which happens pretty much once a year. My hair was so long it was driving me up the wall with washing it and blow drying it. Now it’s a lot more manageable and a lot neater, but pretty much exactly the same. I’m not one for huge changes to my appearance 😉 So a standard good weekend for me: friends, running, good food and cake!

Do you have restaurants and food you always go back to?

How has the weather been round you? I much prefer it being cold and dry than wet and mild.

Have you ever thought you’d signed up to something to find out you hadn’t?

Those ribs though…

Marathon training has truly begun! I’m shattered. I did my first ‘proper’ long run yesterday and honestly I can’t imagine how I was able to run 16+ miles last year regularly!! But rolling back to Saturday…

I was really not feeling the parkrun love. This is really unusual for me as I’m a self-confessed parkrun addict. I sing its praises high and low, to runners and non-runners alike. I love it. But recently I’ve just felt a bit ‘meh’ about it. It’s likely that it’s a combination of some really rubbish weather, the winter course and the fact that I just don’t seem to be improving at all.

Saturday morning I was woken up by the bin men at 6.30am and my alarm was set for 7am and I just laid there thinking how much I didn’t want to go. Because I’d already said I’d help set-up and clear down I couldn’t just bail though, especially as sometimes they’re really stretched for people to help. I decided to put on some proper layers to stop myself being cold and miserable at least. I decided I’d much rather be overly hot for 25 minutes running but warm before and after. I could bring extra clothes to wear before we start (remember I’m there an hour before we run setting everything up) and then afterwards but it’s so much faff and I never have that much time from setting up and the run actually starting.

Anyway, basically I wore leggings and a long-sleeved top. Annoyingly it was actually quite a mild morning so I knew I was going to be very hot running but hey ho. Despite not really wanting to go, when I got there and saw my parkrun buddies (parkrun fwends! ;)) I cheered right up and, as always, enjoyed myself. I had to laugh as well as Geoff, one of the main Netley parkrun guys, had spent three hours cleaning the cones in the week.

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They looked so shiny and clean… this did not last long!!

The run itself went OK. I still find the first lap really hard and the second one is more of a mental battle. I’m definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, a long distance runner. By mile three I was feeling more warmed up and I just want to finish and, similar to last week, put the pedal down and sped up. I’m getting good at these fast finishes!
Netley parkrun pace

My time was 23:40. Annoyingly still not getting quicker but quicker than previous recent weeks (not sure how I managed to get 22:59 in December!! Seems ridiculously hard at the moment).

I cannot wait for warmer and drier running as well. I get so muddy it’s ridiculous (and so does the inside of my car *sighs*). I also have to strip off in the shower otherwise I cover my floor with mud and dirt.IMG_7354The rest of the day was standard housework stuff and then I headed to my parent’s house. I had somehow managed to persuade them to go to Coast to Coast again (we went there last week). I know, I know, I’m a little obsessed. When I like a restaurant I tend to do it to death. I really fancied the ribs my granddad had last weekend and I literally could not stop dreaming about them. As my granddad was going home the next day it did seem a good way to say goodbye as he thoroughly enjoyed himself last week as well.

I went for the BBQ platter to share with my dad to start (same as I had here) and then I ordered the ribs for main. The funny thing is when I ordered them the waiter said to me, “I have to warn you, they’re a huge portion and it could be too much for you.” Erm, excuse me? I’m a whole-chicken-at-Nandos kinda girl, I think I’ll be fine thank you very much.IMG_7358I went for a dry rub rather than the BBQ sauce only because I really enjoyed it on the chicken wings I had and there was BBQ sauce on the table anyway. Out of all the ribs I’ve had (and I’ve had a lot) they were pretty damn good, but next time (which I’m sure there will be at some point…) I’ll go for the sauce as they weren’t as juicy as I like. Don’t get me wrong though, they were amazing. I was in meat heaven. By the time I got down to the last couple of ribs though I was really struggling. The meat sweats were starting 😉 But I finished them, much to the amusement of the waiter. Ha!IMG_7363We had a bit of a break and then decided on pudding. As I was ridiculously full I decided the carrot cake and ice cream that I was initially tempted by might push me over the edge and went for the brownie. The brownie was good but it wasn’t as dense as brownies normally are so it reminded me more of a fudge cake – which isn’t a bad thing! It came with chocolate honeycomb pieces on top and honeycomb ice cream, divine.

Then sleep needed to happen. Eating so much food is exhausting! I was slightly worried about my long run planned for the next day but the food was too good not to enjoy.

When I got up Sunday I actually felt fine, though I didn’t feel hungry (obviously) which I normally do in the morning when I wake up. I took Alfie for a walk and was pleased that the weather actually looked OK. Yes it was cold but there was barely any wind and no rain. Until 10 minutes into the walk and the heavens opened up. I decided it was time to get back home before both Alfie and I got soaked so I ran with him the last bit (I was wearing my running gear). I’ve never really run with Alfie before and he loved it! He was pulling me alone and really going for it. When I stopped, as I was worried I’d puff him out, he just kept trying to go on. And he’s speedy! I’m thinking he’s a 7min/mile dog (for at least a short distance anyway). He’s definitely more of a sprinter than me.

The rain didn’t seem like it was stopping any time soon and I wanted to get going so I popped my podcast on and headed out. It was tipping it down with cold rain and as I ran up the lane I seriously considered just giving up and stopping. I was soaked and cold. But I thought how much I’d regret not going and just sped up and got going. I was going too fast for my first mile but the incentive was to just get warm. Then the hail started and it seemed laughable. By the time I’d gotten a quarter of the mile up the road I was warm, into the flow and enjoying it. I saw other runners and cyclists and we all just smiled or laughed at each other at how ridiculous it was to be outside in such crappy weather – a king of “aren’t we mad??” sort of exchange.

11 miles

I had a different route from normal which actually took me along the Stubbington 10k route, which I’m doing next Sunday. It was quite nice to see what it would be like on my own.

Stubbington 10k is a local race I’ve wanted to do for the past two years but haven’t been able to because of injury. The start is five minutes from my parent’s house walking so it’s perfect. I won’t be racing though as I plan to run some miles beforehand and make it into a nice social long run.

Anyway, my long run was a dream. I felt smooth running and in the zone. I’m going too fast again I know but it felt natural. I also think that this is just how I do my long runs (at least these middle distance long runs anyway). I did most of my long runs for Liverpool at a similar pace and it worked well. I find it doesn’t become such a shock on marathon day when the pace is just a little bit faster or similar. I could be dancing with injury risks I know but the whole run felt fine and I felt fine afterwards, albeit tired and, well, like I’d run 11 miles. It’s ridiculous to me how I can get into the groove and run these paces so easily in a long run but when it comes to parkrun it just doesn’t happen. I ran a 7.30min/mile for mile 11 and I can’t seem to do that easily in parkrun!!IMG_7365

I felt fantastic after finishing. Really chuffed with myself and strong. Fingers crossed this continues! I have to say though it was a good while until I was hungry. Those ribs certainly did a good job!

What was clear though was how unused to long runs I am. I was shattered for the rest of the day and once I was finally hungry and had breakfast I was like a bottomless pit. But it’s all part of the process, my body will adjust and the miles will increase. I do love marathon training when it goes well!

What did you do this weekend?

What’s the furthest you’ve ran recently?

Do you ever get really strong cravings for certain foods or meals that you just have to satisfy?