So here I am at the end of week 7 of my London Marathon training and for the first time in my training so far I haven't been able to stick to my plan. To be honest I'm really frustated about it as it's all thanks of to the great British weather!
My week started as usual with Glow Yoga on Monday and Tuesday mornings. I had a bit of a breakthrough this week with part of the class that I've always struggled with. As part of the flow we often have to move between downward dog or three legged dog as shown here
into a forward fold
and you do that by 'flicking' forward the raised leg so that the foot lands near to your head with the shin vertical and then bringing the other leg through to join it. My foot usually ends up somewhere under my tummy, if I'm lucky and I then have to help the leg forwards with my hands. This isn't unusual for beginners but I find it frustrating as it breaks up the movement and feels awkward. The teachers always point out that this movement has little to do with leg strength and a lot to do with core strength. So imagine my surprise when this week, I decided to really concentrate on moving from my core and managed to flick my right leg nearly to the place it needed to be. Just the once, but it felt like real progress for me!
My feelings of progress continued on Tuesday night when I joined the ladies from Boutique Sport for our regular run around Regent's Park. It was a very cold evening to start with but I soon warmed up as we got into our stride and made our way around the Outer Circle. I felt good and knew I was keeping a good pace and was delighted to get home and find that my 3 mile split time was a personal best and a whole minute and a half quicker than my previous fastest time.
I ran home from work on Thursday night, a 6 mile route this time. I managed to leave work in the light again. It was a bitterly cold evening but still sunny and London looked lovely in the setting sun
Despite the cold I enjoyed the run and was pleased with my time given the number of roads I had to cross. Not quite so many tourists to dodge this week - I'm sure the cold weather had something to do with that!
Friday morning was a short interval session, just under 2 miles running with the AudioFuel pyramid track. This felt tough and I was glad it was a short session, short but intense.
On Saturday I went to the London Marathon 'Meet the Experts' day with Darin. You can read all about the day here. It was a great day and I felt really fired up about the marathon on the way home. I had a 12 mile run planned for Sunday, I'd got my route mapped out and was looking forward to upping my mileage and breaking another distance barrier.
Snow was forecast for London from 3pm on Saturday so when it hadn't started by 5pm I started to think wishfully that it wouldn't arrive. But seeing updates on Facebook and Twitter from people living nearby I soon realised that we weren't going to escape. By the time we went to bed there was a good inch or so on the ground and this morning we woke up to this
I have never run in snow and I didn't think that trying it out 11 weeks before the marathon was a very good idea. The potential for injury seemed too great. I had bought some gym passes a few weeks ago in anticipation of bad weather and so decided that I would go and do some treadmill running. I am not a fan of the treadmill at all and the thought of trying to do 12 miles on one filled me with dread. I knew that I probably wouldn't make it through to the end of the session as I'd get bored and that that would dent my confidence if that happened. So I decided to skip the long run and choose to do something else useful in the gym.
So I decided that I'd do some hill work. It's not something I get to do as most of where I run regularly is pretty flat. It's supposed to be excellent for building strength and stamina. So I did 3 miles of varying gradients, power walking the most steep but running the rest and recovering in between. My quads and glutes were burning which must be a good sign. Having done 3 miles I knew that there was no way I would have made it to 12 on the treadmill. Doing the hill work provided a distraction but I would have found it very hard to keep running at the same pace for that long. One of the things I love about running is being outside and being aware of the distance that you're covering. You just don't get that on a treadmill.
So the week is over but there are missing miles so I don't really feel as if the week is complete. I will be sensible and not get out there until the snow has cleared. I'm going to try and fit in a longer run in the middle of the week - it won't be 12 miles as I need to be careful not to overtrain next week. But with only 2 weeks to go until the Brighton Half Marathon I know I'll feel better if I manage to get another decent distance in somewhere along the way.