Week seven begins

26th November 2019

Seven weeks! That’s gone in a blink of an eye. I’ve made good progress though and I think I’ll spend the next couple of weeks consolidating where I’ve got to and trying to get comfortable with the distances I have been reaching for. After hitting the half marathon mark last week I’m going roll that back to week 2/3 distances and then build back up over the month.

Sunday morning would normally be a tough spin class followed by a jog home. This week family travels made it more attractive to drop my son at his hockey club and from there go for a medium length run rather than try and head back to the gym. I know the area where he trains quite well but have never run there so it was a refreshing change and I only needed to confer with Google maps once or twice. It was relatively flat but my legs still felt tired from the parkrun efforts on Saturday so pace was a little off. Nice to cover the distance and I got to watch the last 30 minutes of his training session.

Distance covered 8km

That afternoon my son wanted to go to the park for some rugby/football kickabout fun so with boots on we headed out. For the rugby he mainly wanted to practice his catching under the high ball and his own kicking from hand while the football ended up with a crossbar challenge. The upshot was I spent most of the time booting the ball as far as I could with the result that on Monday my legs were very achy. Maybe it was the running, maybe it was the kicking but I really welcomed the rest from running that day.

Monday evening saw me at the gym for some recuperative swimming and yoga. I’m creeping back towards the 1k mark in the pool and this week worked through 32 lengths. My Garmin is supposed to be waterproof but I don’t want to risk it so I’m tracking these manually. The pool was quite busy this evening and several of us had to share each lane, including Aquaman and his tumble turns. We all muddled through though and more or less kept out of each other’s way but it wasn’t ideal. I’m stuck with this time slot so will just go with the flow each week and, to be fair, my tired legs felt significantly better for the effort.

Distance covered 800m

This was followed by my weekly yoga session, I really needed a good leg session this time but the instructor had other plans. For most of the evening we were in either dolphin or dolphin plank; awkward poses where you support yourself on your forearms and it turned into quite a workout. She also has a habit of leaving you in tough poses for extended periods while she works her way round the group correcting postures here and there before belatedly allowing you to collapse into a restful child pose. Good session though, if not the leg work I was hoping for.

Tuesday is club night and I had intended to return after a couple of weeks chasing longer distances however when my wife came home from work and asked to run with me I could hardly say no. Although she has rarely shown any affection for running in the past, since I started this training she has come out with me several times. Previously we had run in the morning so were able to go through local woodland but this time the darker evening meant staying on the roads. I’ve gently extended the distance we’ve run each time and this time I picked a route that covered around 6.5km, probably the furthest she has run. The conditions were challenging as we set off all buttoned up against some very heavy rain but within ten minutes it had dried up and become almost muggy and we began to feel too hot in our waterproofs. She took to the run well though and we managed a good pace over a fairly up and down course, something not far off my current long distance pace. I might even be able to persuade her to join my running club at this rate; with her gym fitness I think she’d be pretty good in no time at all. After dropping her back to our house I tacked on a local 5k loop and worked to speed up towards my 10k pace. All in all a satisfactory run and I was back in time to watch the unfolding soap opera that is Spurs under Jose Mourinho.

Distance covered 12km

Wednesday is nominally a rest day and this week it is also my daughter’s 16th birthday so there will be pizzas and presents and no exercise at all. Hopefully I will be back in the saddle on Thursday. After a month of GCSE mocks we will be returning to dance classes and I plan to fit in a short run while I wait. Not sure if time will allow but there is a particularly unpleasant hill nearby which I may well try and run up a couple of times. We’ll see.

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