Half marathon training is shit

So last night I went to “move up to half” to “help” !!

“Move up to half” is a ten week programme of sessions run by our club to help people build up from running 10k to running a half marathon.

I did the programme last year but due to illness never ran the half I had planned although I have run 2 half marathons previously (my times being 3:38 and 3:41). I wanted to help other not so speedy runners and also if I’m honest use the programme to get my training back on track a little.

I am running the Landmarks half with my friend Rachael, it’s her one and only half and due to illness it’s not working out well for her, stubborn bugger that she is, she will still turn up and give it her best but it’s not going to be the event she was hoping for and I suspect it’s going to be more of a challenge than she had planned. I need to consider this and the Great Manchester half that I have booked for May, so I need to keep my distance running going so that I can do a reasonable job at that run and cope with however Rachael is able to do the Landmarks. My plan was to ease back to about 8 miles after Landmarks and build back up from there for the Great Manchester so the “move up too” programme is well timed.

It all sounds pretty good and well considered, and I was pleased with my plan, that is… until I actually had to go out and run last night !!! Fuck me, I thought it was never going to end. How have I let my running slip so far, I can’t actually remember the last time I ran a non stop 5k and certainly nothing much at any speed.

My strava shows me woefully behind my ambitious goal of 750 miles this year and I felt it last night.

My longest non stop run of the year. I ran with another friend called Rachel who is slightly slower than me but is actually a really consistent runner, rather like a wind up toy you set her off and she just keeps going. The benefit of this was I was able to run beside her at a slower but more consistent pace too, I didn’t feel any pressure to keep up, no pressure of holding people back, no anxiety that I was causing extra loop backs, I was just there helping Rachel. I felt reasonably relaxed, slightly out of breath, but actually not to bad.

And then I looked at my watch …. how the fuck were we only at 50 minutes? I was devastated, I thought we had gone much longer than that. My legs were bored, they didn’t want to run any more, my arse cheeks ached, my nose was running despite the warm evening and there were 30 billion midges everywhere.

I wanted to cry, how is this run taking so long, why is 90 minutes such a long time, I hate running.

Rachel was trotting along happy as a pig in shit (I’m not at all jealous that something has clicked for her and she has found a joy in running) and I’m looking at the route thinking “I remember this, I know where it’s going, I can take a shortcut and meet them at x point”

On we went, one foot in front of another, and we turned towards the lake, great I thought, just up here, right turn and we are back where we started! No such luck, we turned immediate right and took in the 3 long sides of the lake instead of the 2 short ones

I’ve drawn a green arrow to show the way we could have gone, I’m sure you will agree it’s much much shorter, and going the other way was just unnecessary

I moaned the whole of the rest of the way from then on, I was zero support to Rachel, I just wanted it to be over. I can honestly say that my delight at being able to run consistently was no longer that fucking exciting and I was questioning my decision to run!

To add some icing to my “I hate running” cake, Rachel, who I ran side by side with the whole way, ran 5.02 miles… I ran 4.96 miles, how the fuck does that work?! Same watch, same start, same stop, same route.

And I have intervals tonight with “the bitch” and it’s her practice coaching session so it’s going to be hard, and “fast”

I’m actually going to die !

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