After the first half of my training for the Reading Half Marathon going very well, the last 4 weeks have been a bit meh.
The first run of week 6 was my Tuesday track night which was fun as usual. However, when I got home I started to feel a little lump in my throat and I went to bed hoping it was just due to the cold air. On waking up the next morning I was very disappointed: I had a sore throat.
The problem with training in the winter is the possibility of getting ill. No matter how well you look after yourself and keep away from anyone with a cold there is a chance you will get a bug (or two). And unfortunately I did. It wasn’t really bad, just bad enough to make me feel meh. I still lead my Thursday night Start to Run group (I couldn’t let them down!) but after umming and ahhing I skipped my long run that weekend.
No matter how well you have trained having to miss a long run does lead to those little voices of doubt. I had to keep telling myself one missed long run will not scupper the running I have already done!
And indeed I was back to running fully the next week, including my longest run of 11 miles which went surprisingly well.
However, week 8 saw “The Beast from the East” visit the UK. We had a week of minus degrees C, icy winds and snow! Both my Tuesday and Thursday runs were cancelled. I hardly ever cancel my running groups but I thought that my beginners might be put off for life if they ran in -2 (feels like -10) temperatures with a high chance of slipping in the snow. Which meant I missed another 2 runs from my training.
The snow had cleared by Sunday, which I was thankful for, but I had the worst run of my training. I had dressed for much colder temperatures which meant I overheated, I got a stitch and felt like I was running through treacle. It wasn’t a very pleasant 8 miles.
However, week 9 redeemed itself! Tuesday track was hard work (6 x 1200m repeats- I managed 5!) but I kept up a very good pace of 8-8.30 minute miles. Thursday was my final run for my Start to Run group – we ran 29.5 minutes non stop! Amazing! And my final long run on Sunday of 6 miles was so enjoyable. I had red kites flying above me, the sound of woodpeckers in the trees and so many friendly walkers saying good morning!
I’m so glad I had a better run as it means I start the final week before the half feeling confident. Now all that is left is two more runs before my attempt to run under 2:10 on Sunday! Wish me luck!
How do you cope with bad runs or illness? Let me know below.
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