A kind of standard week with not much of interest to report. Oh, except I signed up for Race to the Stones (2nd day only, NO  CAMPING). I’ve bought a book (of course I’ve bought a book) which suggests developing a 25-mile-a-week running habit before starting the 24-week training plan, so I’m quite reassured that I only need to ramp it up a few miles a week till the end of the year. All ultra tips gladly received!

Tuesday – Our other four-mile club run, which takes an alternative route but still has an impressive hill, this time in the last mile. It’s properly dark from half way through now, so I got out the head torch and went dressed inadvertently as a character from a well loved film series. No one actually mentioned I looked like a Minion, thank goodness.

Accidental minion outfit!

I ran with Ruth, my lovely friend who’s doing a half every month in memory of her dad, and Ursula, who is a seasoned marathon and ultrarunner and gave me some good tips along the way. This route goes through a slightly sketchy junction and there were some kids around hurling insults and some throwing eggs from a car. I’m not entirely sure I’m happy doing this route again but I trust our club leadership to work out what should be done.

I’d had what I thought was a terrible dash up to club, after getting caught up talking to a neighbour, but actually dashed home more quickly, these giving me a higher pace per mile on average.

5.5 miles, 12:12 mins per mile

Wednesday – circuits. The only way I was going to get these done today was starting when we get up, before breakfast. Here I am demonstrating how dark it was, although of course I did it perfectly normally with the lights on in the sitting room!

Early circuits!

I’d had a chat with Paul the coach about my progress and what to do to change things up, so I took out the step-ups, which are just fiddly and are replicated by my warm-up up and down the stairs, and moved the one-legged-bridges to 45s each side (aiming for a minute). I should see it in my running soon, but I don’t do much that I measure. We’re going to have a running form session soon, too, to check I’m not wasting too much energy. We’re so lucky the chaps got trained up as coaches for the club; it’s such a good resource even if you only dip in and out, like I do.

I meant to do yoga mid-morning but I was wobbly of limb so didn’t! Oops! One day …

Thursday – I had a pre-breakfast solo run around the usual morning route and added a run down a side road to bring my mileage up. I slightly pushed it on this one as I wanted to keep under 12 minute miles, so I was pleased to see the GAP, which is your pace adjusted for the elevation change, went upwards through my miles even though my actual pace didn’t, once it was loaded into Strava:

I’d gone out a little later than usual so was feeling quite hungry by the time I got home – I can’t do a very long run before breakfast but it’s nice to sit down to your Shreddies having had a good push round. Oh, and here’s Highbury Hall, Joseph Chamberlain’s residence. You’ve seen Highbury Park, which is a public park made of the grounds of the house, in last week’s report.

Highbury Hall

4.7 miles, 11:40 mins per mile

Sunday – A lovely solo 10-miler today. It’s not often that I run that far on my own, but I had varied surfaces and a good number of dog walkers to keep my interest. For some reason I can’t get my photos up on here so I’ll add them to next week’s round-up.

10.1 miles, 12:11 mins per mile

Miles this week: 20.3

Progress towards 1,000 miles in the year:  811 miles (ahead of target. In fact, I’ve now run further than I’ve ever run in a year before! I’ve also apparently spent a full week of 24-hour days running this year!!)

The big question

Thank you for helping me decide to sign up for my first ultramarathon last week (eee! Yes, I’ve bought a book already, but tell me other ones – I’ve already read Jurek and Karnazes). It’s the 31-mile Race to the Stones Day 2, on chalky, stoney but not apparently horribly technical surfaces. So …

If you’ve run an ultra (or more than one!), what’s the one thing you wish someone had told you beforehand? What did you wish you’d done differently?

Thank you!

Weekly wrapI take part in the Weekly Wrap run by two wonderful running women and joined by lots of other inspirational women. Wendy’s weekly wrap is here and Holly’s is here.