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This is the marathon training and fundraising blog of Georgina Spenceley. Watch this space for news of my training, inevitable injuries, and my fundraising events and achievements.

Posts Tagged: snow

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I have had the craziest month! Moving house combined with coming down with a god-awful cold has massively impacted my training – missing between 2 and 3 weeks of running. Even if I’d had time to blog, I’ve had nothing to blog about! But I’m back now, and trying to get myself back into the level of training I was at just a few weeks ago.

But first, I’ll give you a quick run-down of the last few weeks…

Following my 17 miler solo in the snow I had a day of rest then hit the treadmill on the Tuesday for a recovery run. 10.5 min/mile at 1% incline for 20 mins, followed by 10mins on the e-spinner.

Wednesday was a track session. I’d called up the sports centre for the track I usually use in Harlow and they said the track was out of use because of the snow (hard to believe when I’m writing this after such a sunny day just a few weeks later!!) so I had a little google search and managed to find a track where they’d cleared a lane. I planned to meet a friend from the running club there to do our respective track sessions. By the time I got there Susan was already well into her session but she told me that the track was still very slippy. I opted for the indoor track instead. At 200m round I knew this was going to be a challenging run. My eight lap reps on a 400m track transpired into 16 lap reps on the shorter indoor track. I did six laps to warm up, then began my hard efforts. I had to count off the laps on my hands, using my right hand to count single laps and my left hand for every five – maybe an abacus might have come in handy! I think I kept each one at threshold pace, but being indoors my Garmin was rendered useless so I don’t know my overall split times for each and will have to go on faith that my heart and lungs were at a suitable level of misery!

Thursday called for an eight mile pace run, but after a very long day in London manning a stand at an exhibition for work my poor feet and legs needed the rest so I took a rest day before my big house move the next day.

The next three days were a bit of a whirlwind – my boyfriend and I picked up the keys to our new place on Friday. We spent the whole of that day, and the next two, cleaning, driving, lifting, shifting, shopping, unpacking, and all the other things involved in moving house! It was crazy and we were so busy.

Monday I managed to get myself out for the 75min pace session that I was supposed to do on Sunday but was too busy for. My legs were suffering from the hard work of the last few days, including some soreness in my metatarsals, and my Garmin was still somewhere in the midst of the boxes that surround us at our new home so I have no idea of my HR or definite pace for the run! I managed about 8.5-9 miles in the 75mins but my breathing was quite a bit heavier than I would have liked.

Wednesday was when it all went downhill. I’d started to feel the symptoms of a cold coming on over the last 24 hours or so but thought I’d try to get out and do my track session anyway. On the cards was 3 x 2400m. I did a mile to warm up and already I was starting to feel a bit worse for wear. My throat was really sore and I had a sinus headache. I carried on into my first rep and tried to pick up the pace a bit. I started to feel quite lightheaded over the last couple of laps and my chest was really tightening up making it a struggle to breathe properly so I was forced to call it a day. I was so frustrated.

And that was the start of my sick leave from running.

WEEK 1

Monday: REST

Tuesday: 20mins treadmill recovery run, 10mins e-spinner

Wednesday: 3 x 3200m (indoor track)

Thursday: REST

Friday: REST

Saturday: REST

Sunday: REST

WEEK 2

Monday: 75mins steady (no watch!)

Tuesday: REST

Wednesday: 3 x 2400m (had to cut short after 1 rep)

Thursday: SICK

Friday: SICK

Saturday: SICK

Sunday: SICK

WEEK 3

Monday: SICK

Tuesday: SICK

Wednesday: SICK

Thursday: SICK

Friday: SICK

Saturday: SICK

Sunday: SICK

Almost two weeks later and I was as close to being ready to return as I ever was going to be without having major panic attacks about being able to complete this challenge I’ve set myself! And that’s where the next post picks up.

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I have a lot of catching up to do with my blogging having been away from Tumblr (and running) for a while so please excuse the slap-dash nature of this recap… it’s mostly from my notes to Sally. In case you’re wondering why I’ve been away, don’t you worry – all will be explained in my next post!

Monday: 20min treadmill recovery run, 10mins e-spinner

Tuesday: REST

Wednesday: 6 x 2min hill reps http://connect.garmin.com/activity/146538612

Thursday: 6M steady http://connect.garmin.com/activity/146746769

Friday: REST

Saturday: REST

Sunday: 17M steady http://connect.garmin.com/activity/147588784

The week started with a recovery run on Monday. I did this at the gym as it was so cold out that I didn’t think 20mins would give me enough time to warm up. I did 3.5 km at 10.5 km/hr, 1% incline, followed by an easy 10 mins on the e-spinner.

After a rest day Tuesday I had a lovely hill session to tackle on Wednesday. It was soooo cold – my face was numb for about the first half an hour! I was struggling to think of a hill that would be long enough for the planned 2min climb – there were a couple I could have used but the one I chose was the most well lit and has cycle track so there was more space to run. It was a bit of a weird “hill”… only 2.5% grade and it kind of goes up for a bit then flattens and then goes up a bit more. Ironically it looks as though the part of the road I ran afterwards has more of an incline than the slope I selected! I found the reps really challenging, really breathing hard at the top, but still feeling fairly strong running up. My reps were quite even, roughly 7:30 min/mile each time.

Thursday’s session was a nice easy 60min steady run and I really enjoyed it. It was really cold again, but I warmed up fairly quickly and just…. ran. My legs felt a little tired up hill, but I’m guessing that’s because of Wednesday’s session. It was probably a bit quicker than it should have been (8:33 min/mile!) but it felt easy and my HR only really went up with the inclines. It felt really good just to get out and feel comfortable and I was so pleased to see my pace being nice and quick.

Friday and Saturday were rest days before my first of two half marathons I’d booked in to for the training period… or so I thought.

All day Saturday there was talk of the threat of snow in the area. I spent most of the day worrying and fretting over whether the race would be cancelled, or if it was on whether I’d be able to get there, and by the end of the day the snow had come and I’d come to the conclusion that if the race was cancelled I’d still try to get my butt out for a run.

Sunday morning came and the snow had come in thick and fast and there was a good five or six inches lining the pavements and roads. I checked the Great Bentley Half Marathon website and saw that, sure enough, the race had been postponed. My race plan had been to run the 13.1 miles of the race at pace, and to tag on four extra miles either as a two mile warm up and cool down, or four miles at the end so with no race to do I just had to get a steady 17 miles done. Hmm. I was so scared of slipping and getting injured. I put my XC shoes on just in case, and I did need them in places, but I was worried because they don’t have much cushioning. It was an eventful run to say the least: I was splashed with dirty, slushy snow several times, had to jump into the snow (guessing where the road ended and the pavement started) to avoid cars and lorries that didn’t want to move, I had wet feet and the start of a few blisters, and I even had to do a mile out-and-back when I realised my route wasn’t going to be long enough – doh! But… I eventually got back home having just completed my longest run yet. And I kept a good pace too, at roughly 9:30 min/mile! All’s well that ends well!