Week 9 – PB Attempt

I know, I kept that quiet! I entered Surrey Half Marathon last Wednesday after my session went really well. I just didn’t want to make anything of it going into it as I wanted to avoid putting any kind of pressure on myself.

This training cycle threw everything at me, but between illness and the awful weather, I made it. For better or for worse, here’s my half marathon PB attempt week.

Monday – Rest Day

Serious reflection day on my previous half marathons. The only one that didn’t go well was the one I didn’t enjoy – and that was all my own doing. I was determined to stick to my goal pace no matter what (I hit 7:40 exactly for 4 miles in a row too) and didn’t listen to my body. As a result I conked out at mile 8 and had to haul myself through the next 5 miles at a very sluggish pace.

Sunday, I’m going to need to relax and take the first few miles to warm up at a pace that’s right for the day, even if it puts me off pace and on the back foot for the rest of the race. No point sabotaging things in the first 3 miles.

Tuesday – 4 Miles

Easy lunch run today. Nearly got away without getting rained on, but at least it’s warmer today. These low mileage weeks are getting to my sanity a bit now, I have all this excess mental energy that doesn’t have any focus. Normally it gets burnt off during longer runs, but I’ve been holding back for a few weeks now and it’s all building up. I know Sunday will go a long way to help getting rid of it, so for now I just need to sit tight and wait it out.

Wednesday – 6.56 Miles

You know all that extra mental energy I mentioned yesterday? I literally cannot switch my brain off, even when I’m asleep. I woke up so many times in the night, and when I was actually asleep I had the most vivid dreams. By the end of the day I was going a little bit nutty and definitely due a run.

So my session was 3 minutes/2 minutes/1 minutes x3 with 60s recovery and 1.5 miles of warm up and cool down.

Already I miss having a track easily accessible to me. Between crossing roads, looking out for other pavement users, and losing my footing on the uneven ground, it made me appreciate even more that I’ll be moving in a few months. I couldn’t recommend doing interval sessions on track more, it’s a game changer.

Anyway, I really pushed this session and used the motivation of Sunday’s race to push on. I have a tendency to run with my heart and get discouraged as soon as things get difficult, but I made sure to have my best head on and just focus on my legs and my arms to keep pace.

Thursday – 3 Miles

Some easy miles in beautiful North Dorset today. I was lucky enough to be working with 2 of the most amazing women today, and without their support I wouldn’t have been able to fit this run in. This sport really does work so much better if you have a good team of people around you who can support you in your goals. Normally a 13 hour day working away from home means I struggle to fit in training, so this run really only happened because of my lovely colleagues.

Friday – Rest Day

What a week. I am really glad it’s Friday even if I don’t get much chance to relax this weekend. Even though I’m shattered, I’m pleased I’ve had a busy week as it meant I didn’t have time to dwell on racing this weekend. Other than my blog updates, I really haven’t had a chance to think about it (definitely a good thing as I’d majorly freak out if I spent more than a minute thinking about racing).

Saturday – Rest Day

Managed to stay nice and calm today. I made sure I did both of the dog’s walks today to keep myself active and my mind happy. Just waiting to see how everything unfolds tomorrow.

Sunday – Surrey Half Marathon

I entered this on the last possible day I could. I went in with a really level head and a clear plan in place, but sadly underperformed on the day. I was aiming to come in under 1:42:50 to beat my PB, but I very slightly messed up miles 2 and 11 to lose 30 seconds and come in exactly dead on 1:42:50 (honestly you couldn’t write this stuff). In some ways I’m really pleased to have matched by PB, but I’m also a little disheartened that in a year I haven’t made much improvement. I enjoy running because of the improvements I make, and I don’t want to fall out of love with this sport because I’m pushing a distance that I’ve done all I can do in. So I’m going to enjoy the feeling of another completed half marathon for now, then have a reflect and speak to my coaches about how I get to where I want to be next.

My next goal race is Cardiff Half Marathon in October, so I’ll be working towards that for now. In October I’ll see where I go from there!

I’ll post here on Wednesday (race photos dependent) with a full race review and go into a bit more depth!

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Thanks so much for reading, it’s a real pity I didn’t get what I wanted from this training cycle, but at least I’m not going backwards. See you all back here on Wednesday (or Thursday at the latest!) x

5 thoughts on “Week 9 – PB Attempt

    1. thelongrunback_rachel says:

      I did try the marathon distance, first time round I loved it, but second time round the training I needed to do was just too much on top of everything that can go wrong on the day. I’m glad I tried it, but the middle distance stuff is definitely where its at for me right now!

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