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Training for an ultra: Week 2

Written by Fiona

August 21 2018

The nausea of the 30k training run last week left me weak and despondent. Monday night’s circuits class lifted me a bit but I had stiff and sore muscles and I still felt under par.

Tuesday I went for a massage with Fiona Campbell and let myself have a day of rest. My head was sore and I felt tired and out of sorts. I blamed my hormones. I am not sure the HRT is doing what it did a year ago.

I continued to feel tired on Wednesday, too. My brain was also foggy and work had not gone well. I was feeling generally down and I looked at the training schedule and thought: “No way.”

Get out and run with other people.

Trying to refind my training mojo

Then I decided I needed to get myself back on track. I would find a group to run with. I would do something different.

I had long wanted to join a local hill running club, the Westies, for a training run. On a wet Wednesday they were planning a run of The Cobbler, a fantastic mountain in he Arrochar Alps. It was almost an hour’s drive each way for a 2.5 hour run but it was very much worth it.

I counted this mountain run as my week’s hill running session. Annoyingly, I forgot to start my watch to record the run but it was around eight miles and almost 950m of total ascent. See My first run with the Westies.

I rested on Thursday.

I still had a reps session to do

I knew I still had a speed reps session to do this week but I pushed it to the back of my mind. I’d agreed to take part in a half marathon run as part of a relay team for the Aberfeldy Middle Distance Triathlon on Sunday and I wondered if I could excuse myself from the speed reps.

But no! I hate to let myself down and I didn’t want JHC thinking I was missing session in just week 2 of the training.

At 7pm on Friday I still had not set out for the session. Then G called me to say he would be home by 8pm and we should go to the pub. I said I was still thinking, only thinking, about doing a speed session. I was whimpering about it. He told me to get the feck out the door and get on with it. That gave me the push I needed.

Although the reps session was still tough – it was the same reps as the week before – it felt a little easier. Maybe I ran a bit slower (I think I did!) but I paced it better and somehow it felt mentally more manageable.

But four min reps still go on for a very long time when you are working hard!

I completed them. Gave myself a pat on the back and returned home smiling.

Saturday was spent on house chores and travelling to Kenmore, near Aberfeldy, for a vannie overnight prior to the relay race.

Running 21km as part of a triathlon relay

You can find out how the race went. Briefly, I had a terrible night’s sleep due to menopausal hot sweats, restless legs and the constant feeling of needing to pee. I woke up feeling frustrated and exhausted.

I perked myself up with a gallon of coffee, ate a light breakfast of cornflakes, granola and banana and told myself to “woman up”. I was needed for the relay team and so I should do the best I could.

Instead of the programmed longer run, this half-marathon race was to be the weekend run and I could simply run in my comfort zone if I wanted.

Of course, I didn’t. I ran fairly hard and in the end I felt great (after the finish line!). I am suffering with tight calves just now and the mostly tarmac course didn’t help but I felt that 21kms was perfectly possible and I enjoyed being cheered on by the spectators.

I also liked being part of a team.

You can find out how I get on with week three of training for a 50k ultra next.

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