Week 4 – I do believe it’s working, good.

Ahh, Comfortably Numb. Classic.

Week 4 has been pretty good. Culminating in a really positive long run on Saturday, the training plan does appear to be working. It’s Christmas Eve Eve at time of writing and I’ve just a few things to wrap, an ambitious vegetarian-friendly pie to bake (my entire family are carnivores, looking forward to tucking into their steak pie on the big day while I promise ‘I’m not a militant veggie, dig in’) and a few last minute Christmas cards to scribble apologetically. Then. I’m. Done.

Training Schedule – Week 4

  • Mon – 3 miles easy
  • Tues – Rest
  • Wed – 6 miles at Marathon Pace
  • Thurs – 3 miles easy
  • Fri – Rest
  • Sat – 11 miles long
  • Sun – Rest/Cross Train

Monday was with the Flyers. Paired laps around Montrose’s Georgian masterpiece, The Mid-Links. Starting from MELVILLE Gardens (cheers Graeme T – none of us had a clue what it was called) we ran in teams of 2, in different directions, until we met our teammate somewhere in the middle, then turned back again. Matched for differing paces, I ran with Keith, who is on the speedy side of the bell curve (and was able to run for pretty much all of the Edinburgh 24 relay we ran in the summer – what a legend). The warm up was really good fun. Michael had us jog up and down touching our toes and throwing our arms up in the air sporadically. I’m guessing we looked a bit like lycra-clad, head betorched Village People, making a crap job of Y.M.C.A.

I went with a moderate pace – but not too fast. All in, including run to and from home ended up near enough 4.5 miles. Couldn’t exactly stop mid lap and say, ‘oh that’s me done my training miles, best stop’. I would make up for it during the week.

Wednesday was 6 miles at pace – a mile increase on previous mid-week runs, but I made it 5 after going over on Monday. Jake came along too, and I had a try with the GoPro in photo mode. When you spend your days looking in almost forensic detail at images from a pro level DSLR with top notch glass (that’s lenses to non-photographers), it’s going to be difficult for most cameras to impress. Putting the fact that my only other option for photos on the move is with my lacklustre iPhone 7, I was hopeful that the GoPro would give me better results. I’ll give it 7/10. Photo quality is ok, but the three widths of lenses and the fact I can chuck it in my pocket was worth a few extra marks. It was really icy, so I genuinely had to slow down a few times. Kenny later commented that it actually looks like the dog is trying to revive me in this photo. Pahaha.

Thursday was back with the Flyers, week two of the Lion Run series where you win a Lion Bar if you beat your 5K PB. I really went for it in the first week, got the Lion Bar and everything, but by a fair margin. Decided that with a long run looming in a couple of days, it probably wasn’t the best idea to go out all guns blazing. So I ran with Claire at an easy pace and fair enjoyed it. Graeme G had gifted some consolation sweeties, so I ended up with an Aero anyway.

I was really looking forward to a long run. It had been two weeks since my last one (trying not to sound like an AA member here), and I was raring to go. Saturday morning arrived with perfect running weather. Cool, no wind. Learning from my last experience of boredom during a long run, I went out with an audiobook this time. I also took a gel with me, just to try. Nothing fancy, one from home bargains with vague claims of ‘isotonic’ and ‘caffeine’. Almost everyone I’ve asked about gels have said they are bogging, so I had low expectations.

I managed a cup of coffee and a banana before setting off. I’m not really a breakfast person, I mostly run fasted in the morning. I had a fine route out to Scurdie Ness then back round town towards Hillside then home again. I’d like to say I meticulously planned it out myself, but I didn’t, I pinched it from fellow Flyer Ian.

Out and back to the lighthouse flew in, so engrossed was I in the audiobook. Just over 5 miles in, I decided to try the gel, with some water. Opening the damn thing was a struggle, but I got there and had a quick sook of the sweet, sticky, wallpaper paste contents….while standing, in the middle of the street, laughing my head off at the narrator describing her first race photo looking like ‘a white rhino being shot in the arse’. I dunno, I’ve tasted worse.

I had another bit of gel at mile 9 – now somewhere between Hillside and Dubton. I realised at that point that I had hardly noticed the distance. Only a couple more miles to go and I really didn’t feel all that tired. I used to breathe harder going for a walk. Hence the title, it’s definitely working, this training plan, or maybe it was the gel?

My Garmin most definitely is not. I’ve only had it less than a year, the backlight is goosed and the heart rate monitor is all over the place. Which is a shame, because I was genuinely interested in which HR zone this run was in.

Looks like I’ll be asking Santa for a new watch.

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a very merry Christmas!

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