Royal Parks Half Marathon Training: Week 4 celebrating the girls successes

Well the end of week 4 has arrived and I have ended it with a sickness bug… which meant I wasn’t able to complete my long run and my weekly mileage has taken a knock.

But it has still remained a positive week as I have been able to shout out about the successes of my amazing girls. They both achieved PB’s in their runs this week. Ellie at the park run and Niamh at the junior park run.

Its left me mulling  a few ideas over about my future too.. I mean with 2 budding runners  on my hands how cool would it be to coach them.. if anyone out there knows how to become a “children’s” running coach please comment below… anyway thats enough of that day dreaming, lets get back to my own training. Or at least what I managed this week!

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Continue to inspire and be inspired by others!

On Wednesday I had a pretty rubbish run (I’ll get to that in a minute) and on my return I did what I always do and took to instagram whilst refuelling on some porridge. My instagram hero’s were posting about their own battles with Cancer and it really gave me the wake up call I needed!

I came across a post by one of them… Cheyann (@cheymarie_fit) who is 24yrs old and has been fighting ovarian cancer and sharing her story on youtube. I watched her latest video after my run and sobbed. For me it was such an eye opener and reminded me of the reason why I am doing this race and why I have chosen to blog and vlog about my training for it.

I want to raise awareness of this horrid disease but in particular ovarian cancer! We lost Margaret to this horrible disease in January and we will never get her back but I can honour her name by helping in the fight to save others.

Ovarian cancer is a bitch and its symptoms can be confused with other normal everyday problems us ladies have so you should all make yourselves aware of what they are and know when to get them checked out. Target ovarian cancer who I will be raising money for have an online symptom checker that we can all be using and sharing with our GP’s and loved ones.

The main symptoms of ovarian cancer are:

  • tummy pain
  • persistent bloating
  • feeling full
  • needing to wee more

There was an episode on This morning on a show in March where Sarah Greene and ambassador for Target ovarian cancer talks about losing her mum to the horrible disease and she sums it up far better than I can. Here is the link for the clip. I recommend you all give it a watch.

In my vlog there is a short clip at the end of me trying to put into words how much this means to me. If you can get past a grown women crying then maybe this vlog will let you see for yourselves exactly why I am doing this.

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I have had some lovely feedback from my last blog Selling yourself in life… and it has really spurred me on to continue writing more honest blogs like this as you never know your story could be resonating with someone else and like wise theirs with you. So for that reason 2 blogs I am recommending this week are:

Wiggle when you walk and Fitness and the Big C

So now onto a recap of this weeks runs in all their glory… or you can watch my Vlog here.

Tuesday 3.5 miles 36:40 minutes 10:20/mile

Hill sprints! Wow what a bitch they are. I am not convinced they did me much good and think I’d just be far better finding somewhere more hilly to run. I am hoping I can get a bit of practice in when we go to the lake district next week.

I made the mistake of going home after I dropped the kids off at school and really wasn’t doing the best at motivating myself to go. But I did…

I took Cookie along with me as I figured he would make me run a slow gentle jog there and then he could have a rest while I took to the hill sprints before heading home again.

He is no running dog. I had to keep running back for him to allow him time to catch up so by the time we reached the hill I had ran 1.5miles already. Slowly mind you so I had plenty in me for the sprints.

I had planned to tie Cookie up to the fence along the edge of the hill but as it is by a road I decided to pick a hill inside the park to avoid any awkward stares as cars drove by however the hill isn’t quite as steep but it was still a hill and practice all the same.

Cookie enjoyed the shade of a tree while I sprinted up and down the hill for a mile. It was tough but manageable and obviously I was making the most of the down hills to catch my breath. The bit I struggled with were the looks from passers by… not at me but at Cookie. I actually think they thought he had been left there alone even though I was in seeable distance I was always passing them in the opposite direction to where cookie was sat.

Once I had completed the sprints I had to face the real hill! But with Cookie with me it was a very gentle manageable jog… however we still both looked as though we may collapse. This really is a problem. It makes me feel so unfit!

We jogged back for another mile before I stopped my run short to walk the rest of the way in favour of Cookie making it home alive. He was really struggling to keep up.

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Wednesday 4.5 miles 48:31 minutes 10:42/mile

To sum it up a shitty run! I’m not sure if I should blame the hill sprints or maybe it was the bike ride followed by some trampoline run I’d had after my hill sprints on Tuesday but my legs were shot to bits. I was motivated but my legs were not. They felt like led weights.

I could not lift the dam things and nearly turned back after half a mile. I gave myself a thorough talking to and pushed on trying not to give in to walking. My legs usually feel heavy at the start of a run but today they were just not improving and they never did before the run was over. I was so desperate to get it over with.

I reached 2.5miles and decided to start heading back the way I had come. I didn’t want to risk running any further by trying to do my usual loop back. It was slightly easier on the way back but that was because mentally I knew with each step I took I was a little bit closer to home.

I ran up Priory hill my enemy but I did not stop and I kept on going. No walking. I made it home a sweaty mess!

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Saturday 3.1 miles 35:52 minutes 11:34/mile Park run

Wow honestly today was emotional. I mean how can anyone really get emotional over a Park run accept me. I think its been a bit of a week for self clarification and realising that actually even though I go through spells of hating running it really has mentally been my saviour this last month. Connecting with others and that self belief and confidence that I really can do this!

Anyway where was I! So we woke up Saturday morning and the girls did their usual of saying they didn’t want to do the park run today. I decided not to bother trying to persuade them and got up myself anyway. A few minutes later Ellie appears and wants to go (I think Chris may have had a sneaky word because he knows how much I enjoy them). Chris and Niamh decided to come along to watch. Ellie and I decided not to go for a PB we would just enjoy the run so we set off and settled in behind a group of ladies that were doing a pace Ellie felt comfortable with. We arrived at the first 1k marker and I had a watch check. We had done it in 7.5minutes. We both now know to achieve the ultimate goal of 35 minutes we need to get to each marker in 7 minutes (I’m sure you can all do the maths but Ellie can too now). We continued knowing if we stuck to this pace it would still be a good run but not a PB. On we went. Ellie looked very comfortable. We joked about not having any stones in shoes and hair adjustments to thank for reaching the next marker in 7 minutes meaning we had got a little quicker. As we were heading towards marker 3 I said to Ellie we could actually still get you a PB you know. It won’t be 35 minutes but we just need to get under 36.5 and we will have one.

We made the decision to keep going at the same pace until marker 4 and we would see how she felt. Marker 4 came and Ellie continued as she was running up the hill she would usually walk. We handed over our drinks to Niamh as they cheered us past. I took Ellie’s hand and put all of our last bit of energy into getting to the end.

As we ran up the field I said to Ellie how proud I was of her and how well she had ran this park run. She crossed that finish line with a PB shaving off nearly half a minute.

I am confident I will be chasing her tail soon enough. She has the fast runners in her sight.

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Sunday 1.1 miles 11:14 minutes 9:29/mile Junior Park run

After a horrid night of being sick I woke up and did what every mum does and dragged my butt out of bed to mother. I called down to see if Niamh wanted to do the park run as it was raining and to my horror she said yes mummy I’m already dressed. Say what!!! So up I got and did my motherly duties. Pulled on my joggers and slicked my hair back. Waved my lazy husband good bye as he stayed in bed and off we went… he didn’t even offer to go instead!

We arrived at the park run getting wet and Niamh asked if I would run with her. I warned her I may need to stop but off we went… really fast. At one point she was doing well under 10minute miles. We completed the first lap and the rain had stopped by this point. Took off our coats and carried on at top speed. We completed half of the second lap and Niamh said she needed to stop. We walked a few metres while she got her breath back and then we went again. I left her at the point us adults have to.. to allow her to do her sprint finish. Its a short run but she is a good sprinter. I think she also has a lot of potential. So thats my sprinter and Ellie will be my distance runner!

Where do I sign up for coaching?

After we had scanned her chip we proudly walked back to the car and realised I had no car key… seriously today of all days when I’m doing everything in my power to hold it together until we get home.

We did a lap of the field but no joy and then spoke to one of the marshals who called in to the others and thankfully there it was. Safe at the meeting point. Should have checked there first really.

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Total mileage

12.4 miles. Not brilliant but ok considering the circumstances. Next week will be another interesting week so I need to plan my runs carefully. I need to get a long run in!

Week 5 training schedule (kids in tow)

Monday: Aiming to try for 5-6 miles weather dependant

Tuesday: 3 miles slow (Ellie slow speed if she wants to run)

Wednesday: 5 miles

Thursday: Rest

Friday: 6-7 miles

Saturday: Park run

Sunday: Rest/traveling to Lake District

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Nutrition and conditioning

This week I decided to go along to circuits after my hideous run on Wednesday to try and salvage some of the feelings I had of failure. So pleased I did because amongst some of the weighty stuff was boxing! Reminded myself how much I love boxing as a stress reliever. I may try and find a class to go to or sign up my neighbour to be my boxing buddy in the garden. We had a good session!

On Friday after having a rest day on Thursday I did a strength session in my home gym. I dropped my usual weights down as I didn’t want to end up in pain I just wanted to strengthen the muscles to help my running!! Big mistake. It was clearly still too heavy as my glutes are still in pain now and its Sunday.

Nutrition has been pretty shocking too. I have managed to stick with my 3 healthy meals but the girls had a tea party on Thursday night and I proceeded to eat the left over cake for the next 2 days. Then we went along to a night food market in Cambridge for a bit of “research” and I could not resist the churros. Wow so good but so not good for you. I actually wonder if this over indulgences is what led to my sickness that night but as I am still feeling a bit iffy today (Sunday) I can only assume it is perhaps a bug.

Lessons learnt…

  • Do not lift heavy shit when training for a half marathon… it is not going to help you if you can not run a long run for your training!
  • Look for better strength conditioning or at least lower your weights to body weight only!
  • Look for a boxing class to join and take a leap…after the summer holidays!
  • Don’t throw a tea party for the kids when you have made a pact with yourself to eat well in the 2 weeks leading up to your holiday!
  • Try not to get a sickness bug, cold or any kind of illness during your training it leaves you feeling frustrated when you have to cancel your runs!

Focus for the week…

This next week really will be about making the best of my diet with very limited food!!! Its the lead up to our holiday and I like to use up the contents of the fridge by getting inventive. 

Training with the kids in tow… And maybe getting them to have a little run with me to the park.

Got to make the best of a inconvenienced situation and I am lucky that my girls will likely embrace the chance to get out on their bikes or to throw their trainers on.

Have a good week everyone. Lets see if we all can survive week 1 of the summer holidays!

Jaimee x

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