Sunday, 16 October 2011

Double Figures

Distance: 10.04mi
Time: 01:50:50
Surface: Road & Trail
Conditions: Cloudy, sunny, cool

This has been a week of leaps forward but unfortunately, also steps back.

I've run the most I have in 5 months this week, and today hit double figures, hurray! I had a bad couple of short runs at the beginning of the week, having to stop and walk due to stitch after only 2 miles (I blame the huge sandwich I had for lunch at work).

I did bite the bullet and book in for my first Power Plate session since July, which was quite a hurdle. I've certainly noticed the change for the worse in my running, power and post-run agony since I started my sabbatical and, as I've written in previous posts, Power Plate has been an integral part of my running training certainly in the last year.

So on deciding to take on a mammoth hill climb today and a 10 mile run, I was a little anxious at how painful my glutes were and whether I'd in fact make it even half a mile let alone the full stretch. I decided to leave the run until mid afternoon instead of my usual morning rush before my husband plays golf. It gets harder and harder to get up early enough as my runs get longer on Sunday, before he has to leave at 10am and as I'm so bad at getting up (even earlier) to eat I thought I'd give myself a break. The weather was cloudy and on the cool side so it's been a perfect day for running and I felt good as I tackled my first hill.

I'd decided on a completely different route today, a road I drive up everyday to take my son to nursery which I've occasionally seen the odd 'nutter' run up. Today I thought I'd join the ranks of nutter and see how far I got. I surprised myself at the first section of the 2 mile ascent as I kept at a steady running pace of 10:30 min/mi. I thought I'd slow down a lot but actually the hill seemed more level when I was running it than it does when I'm driving. I managed to keep a steady pace until the steepest section of the road, which felt like looking up at an incredibly tall building from bottom, but I kept going albeit at a much slower pace until I ran out of pavement (I'd not seen that one coming) so had to detour through the adjacent village. This made the steep climb agonisingly longer but actually less steep, which I could live with and I kept with it. After about 25 minutes I managed to make it to the brow of the hill and the road thankfully started descending but the sun had come out and yet again I felt over dressed for the occasion. Thankfully the road on my route is quite exposed to the elements (as well as having beautiful views over the hills) so it was relatively windy which I welcomed, and feeling totally fantastic at having made it up the hill, managed to pick up the pace u again, collect myself and enjoy the gentle descent to my normal route through the woods.

I even surprised myself; there's a junction at the end of the wooded section which offers me the short road route home or the longer trail route (with added hill finish for good measure) and on most occasions I would usually cop out and take the short route home but today found myself drawn down the trail where I passed a woman on a bike whom I run past at the beginning of my session an hour and a half earlier. I like it when that happens, it makes me feel like I'm part of Tom's Midnight Garden or something, but instead of maids and gardeners you get to see other people in shorts and dry fit t-shirts (sorry if you're too young for the reference to the cracking BBC children's drama of the 80's - go look it up, it's a corker).

And so, I made it home in reasonable time having hit the double figure mileage mark for the first time in a long while, and feeling great! So what of the steps back this week?

I was gutted to find out my friend's Power Plate studio will be closing in November. I had always considered Power Plate as a core (excuse the pun) part of my running training plan and never considered it wouldn't be there throughout my marathon training. I'm so disappointed for both the hard work my friend has put into building such a fantastic fitness resource and for those people of Barnsley who will never know the benefits of the exercise.

I also find myself in a fit of panic, wondering what will ever replace the Power Plate classes that built up my core strength so well for the half marathon, and for which I need to get back (and some) to get me round twice the distance in now, under 6 months. Oh crap.


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