Sunday 7th June 2015 was the start of something special for me. I have embarked on the Redway Runners “Zero to Hero” Marathon training programme with the end goal … you guessed it – a marathon! The Milton Keynes marathon in May 2016 to be precise.
Now, literary genius I am not! I reserve this title for my gorgeous blogger friend Ashleigh who is much more deserving, so anyone reading this should not expect any great amusement just an account of my training week by week.
So having applied to take part in what I think is going to be a fantastic opportunity I received an email from the programme organiser, Doug inviting me to attend one of two introduction sessions. Great I thought, really excited – then I read the instructions and location. I was expecting a chat / introduction and possibly a short run to determine ability when I immediately clock (and subsequently check out online) “Special Ops” as the venue. My heart starts pounding and I wonder what I am letting myself in for. Friends and family will know, the adventurous type I am not so immediately my mind is racing with thoughts of abseiling, high ropes and laser tag. Not wanting to fall at the first hurdle and knowing that there are occasions in life when you just have to get on and do something I arrived at Special Ops on Sunday (and what a glorious sunny Sunday it was) to be greeted by several Redway Runners and a lovely bunch of equally looking nervous candidates!
A great afternoon was had, some tyre hopping, wall scaling and brainstorming (I managed to survive) and the afternoon was finished off meeting my mentor – Tony. Tony had been introduced at the start of the afternoon as the man who knew everything about marathons. We haven’t had the chance to really get to know each other yet but already I know he is going to be my strongest asset and I am chuffed to have been paired up with him (Tony however may not be saying the same about me after a few weeks of listening to me huffing and puffing)!
So far I have survived the introductory session and Tony suggests we meet at the club run on Monday evening so he can see how I run. “Only 4 miles” he says ….. “easy pace so we can chat” he says …. Well, I got round, I don’t know whether you can call it a conversation. I managed mostly to squeeze out a yes, no or brief answer between trying not to die. However really glad to have made it along to my first run with the Redway Runners and I went home with a spring in my step (and my new GPS on my wrist which I didn’t manage to work out how to turn on). The phrase all the gear and no idea springs to mind!
In line with Tony’s training plan I set off for my next run two days later – Wednesday. This time on my own and with the GPS turned on. This was also the debut for my new set of trainers.
I did a four mile trip out to the lovely Stoke Bruerne along the Canal where I roped the other half in to come and collect me in the car (I’m nowhere near ready for an eight mile loop yet). Overall the run felt good and no blisters from the shoes.
I headed up to the David Lloyd on Thursday. Toby (my other half for those that don’t know) had been talking about a treadmill version of a bleep test so thought I would give it a go. Start at 8.5 kph and increase speed by 0.5k every minute. So in a nutshell once you get going there’s not much respite. I made it to 13.5kph before whacking the stop button and collapsing in a heap feeling very sorry for my surrounding gym goers who must have been listening to me wheeze and puff for the previous 10 minutes! A few squats and lunges later I head back into the café to meet Toby and my youngest Emily only to find they have been eating cake – I think I definitely got the worse end of the stick!
Friday, last run of the week was supposed to be another shot at the RR club run that I did with mentor Tony on Monday. It was hot, humid and as soon as I started running I felt exhausted. Then to top it all I went the wrong way and ended up back at the first lake – my sense of direction is awful! I then spent a few minutes aimlessly jogging around Willen trying to up the mileage a little bit before heading back to DL with a total 3.5 miles on the clock. Oh well you can’t win them all. I am having tomorrow off before joining the club for their Sunday run from Stony Stratford – wish me luck!