John Muir Way Ultra Training Log Week 10

The last week of training before the race didn’t go quite to plan. I am not sure what it was, maybe a case of “taperitis” but I went to bed on the Monday night not feeling right and awoke on the Tuesday with a fuzzy head, sore throat and a touch of nausea. This put my training plan for the week on hold and I instead went to bed without any tea and slept.  I decided that trying to stick too rigidly to the plan was likely to do more harm than good. The next day I started to feel better and I chanced a last shake out run on Thursday.

Pre race anxieties and nerves were a constant all week and I was starting to get annoyed at myself for spoiling what should be a nice enjoyable build up to the Easter holidays.

Luke enjoyed taking his Marshall into nursery:29993893_10156363089996757_2097091424_o29942797_10156363088016757_1294353949_o

Scott went for a Harry Potter egg:29894150_10156363088891757_1926001021_o

We also managed to finally persuade Luke into a haircut before we set off for Dunbar on Friday:29995349_10156363090651757_155905498_o29995792_10156363091426757_1138139031_oHe didn’t get too much off, but hopefully he is now initiated!

We arrived at our accommodation for the weekend in Dunbar late on Friday afternoon.

It was a lovely wee house and I had a last supper of pizza, booked a taxi to take me to Foxlake for 7am race registration on Saturday morning and set out my kit for the next day.  I had to accept that the weather was not looking good and a final warning email from the organisers about being prepared for the conditions weighed heavily on my mind as I attempted to get a good night’s sleep…

Final week training log:

Monday – 1 hour 7 miles 8.28 ave pace

Tuesday – REST (Enforced – supposed to be 1 hour easy)

Wednesday – REST

Thursday – 42 minutes 5 miles 8.17 ave pace

Friday – REST

Saturday – RACE DAY


Race re-cap to follow!


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John Muir Way Ultra Training Log Week 9

This is the easiest week of training I have had for some time with only three runs to do and the long run was the shortest for a number of weeks. Should’ve been easy then? Not quite! My Tuesday and Thursday runs both went well, but the pressure of the main event fast approaching has been taking its toll on my nerves. The long run schedule is tough to fit in with Billy working on a Saturday so it was 2 o’clock before I set off.  This is not ideal having to hang around, trying not to do too much to save myself for the run, nerves jangling. The weather was perfect but my mental game was certainly not. I have the fear of pain and the fear of not completing. Heart and lungs wise I felt great throughout but my aching legs has me fearing my 31 mile jaunt next week. I am not sure if I am in most need of a sports psychologist or sports masseuse!

Last long run selfie 🙂

Fueling didn’t particularly feel necessary in this shorter of long runs but I took all my usual provisions and didn’t eat or drink much. It certainly wasn’t required for this distance, but I know what I have to do next week if I am going to make it through.

I have developed another big toe blister and this one is a painful wee blighter so I am hoping it clears up over the next few days. (Maybe it is a chiropodist I need?!)The weather is looking grim in Dunbar next Saturday and the race brief email has put the wind up me. The cut off points for the aid stations are tight and the fear of failure is at the front of my mind. For the thousandth time I wonder why the heck I signed up for this.

Training in the next week has two 1 hour slots and one 45 minute run. All will be done at an easy pace.

Everything is crossed that I can make it through.

This cheered me this week – Luke in the time machine they made at nursery. They went to the “pyramints”:

Scott off to no-uniform, odd sock day:

And a sunny Sunday in Troon after Scott’s football:sun hairstone seatslidepirate shipice creambeach drawbeach draw 2

This week’s log:

Monday – REST

Tuesday – 1 hour 7.3 miles 8.12 ave pace

Wednesday – REST

Thursday – 45 minutes 5.43 miles 8.17 ave pace

Friday – REST

Saturday – 2 hours 14.1 miles 8.21 ave pace

Sunday – REST

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John Muir Way Ultra Training Log Week 8

The “taper” has now officially started. This means that the past week has been one of the toughest training weeks before the training eases off for race day. I was quite concerned on Monday that my legs would not be able to take it, but I found I got into a nice rhythm after about 15 minutes and I started to remember what it is like to enjoy a run. The conditions were perfect and I was treated to a beautiful sunset over Arran.

My 1.5 hours on Thursday went reasonably well, but I am concerned about the imapct on my legs. I felt sore on Friday and even on Saturday morning I was still struggling a little on the stairs. The key ailment this week seems to be my IT band (The iliotibial band is a strong, thick band of fibrous tissue that runs along the outside of the leg. The IT band starts at the hip and runs along the outer thigh and attaches on the outside edge of the shin bone (tibia) just below the knee joint) Basically this pain manifests itself on the outside of my knee in particular, but also in my hip. My pelvic area is also painful so that when I move from a seated or lying position it causes a sharp unpleasant pain. Sadly, the cure for this is rest, which I cannot buy at the moment! The last hour today was really uncomfortable and makes me very concerned about the prospect of running 31 miles…

I reached just beyond the Waterside in 1.5 hours before I retraced my steps.halfway view

On the way back I had the interest of looking for my hat which I managed to drop on the way. I had taken it off and stuffed it into a side pocket on my bag, but obviously not very well as when I tried to retrieve it during a windy snow flurry I discovered it was gone.

Fortunately nobody was tempted to take it for their own and I saw it on my way back!

Mentally, I felt I was a little weak during this run and had a couple of stretches where I walked a bit to munch some of my supplies. I felt sort of on the edge of quitting most of the run and a bit like I could burst into tears at any stage. Again, by the time my run was up I was really hobbling along.

3 hour end

I am going to really need to work hard on some stretches over the week ahead and hope for the best that the IT band situation improves. Fingers crossed, my ankle seems to be a lot better than it was. My feet are still a disaster zone and I almost dread to check which bits I am going to need to plaster next.

I am trying to take it as an omen that as I entered the house after the long run of hurt, weary and considering quitting, Sia “The Greatest” came on –

Uh-oh, runnin’ out of breath, but I
Oh, I, I got stamina
Uh-oh, running now, I close my eyes
Well, oh, I got stamina
And uh-oh, I see another mountain to climb
But I, I, I got stamina

Don’t give up, I won’t give up
Don’t give up, no no no
Don’t give up, I won’t give up
Don’t give up, no no no

This week’s log:

Monday – 1 hour 7.2 miles 8.18 ave pace

Tuesday – 45 minutes 5.3 miles 8.15 ave pace

Wednesday – REST

Thursday –1.5 hours 10.8 miles 8.15 ave pace

Friday – REST

Saturday – 3 hours 20.2 miles 8.49 ave pace

Sunday – REST (Swimming with the boys – did the legs no harm!)

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John Muir Way Ultra Training Log Week 7

I have been brought back down to earth with a bump this week with a really tough long run. Despite being an hour less than last week’s effort, this one seems to have hurt a lot more. Mentally, I may have defeated myself early doors, telling myself it was going to be bad – and it was. The rain was constant throughout the run and at times I was running into strong winds. The hat that I have worn hundreds of times without incident was blown off my head twice! I coped fine in the first half of the run, but the way home was incredibly hard going. My ankle was hurting and I kept getting spasms/cramps in my other leg. I felt as if I was really hobbling by the time I reached Largs.

The face can’t lie. I was beaten…

Pace wise this was slow and a real uncomfortable effort. I hope that it was just a bad day at the office and next week is better. I have a tough week of runs ahead with a 3 hour long run, and midweek 1 hour and 1.5 hour efforts.

I am having a bit of a wobble. I am feeling tired and a bit bad about missing so much family time at the moment. I also feel as if my body is saying enough is enough! My feet are utterly disgusting (I can talk at length about toenails and blisters) and I spend a lot of time walking gingerly up and down stairs or wincing when I move to a standing position.

In other news, Scott had his last day at Kelburn this week and starts at the new school tomorrow:


Scott also had his 1st “proper” football matches this weekend:Scott 1st game pic

I remember clearly the first time I took the wee scamp to Mini Kickers:Scott 1st mini kickers

I didn’t see my wee team playing today as I had a final day of coach education. The running about there was another reminder from my body that my youthful days are well and truly over!

Sleep is going to be a priority in the next few days and I hope my body shows wonderful powers of repair and regrowth.

This week’s log:

Monday – 45 minutes 5.4 miles 8.18 ave pace

Tuesday – 45 minutes 5.4 miles 8.16 ave pace

Wednesday – REST

Thursday –1.5 hours 10.71 miles 8.24 ave pace

Friday – REST

Saturday – 2.5 hours 17 miles 8.45 ave pace

Sunday – REST

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John Muir Way Ultra Training Log Week 6

It has been a strange week with snow days and there has been some disruption to my training. I have been forced inside more than I would like and I had to switch around my days a little due to the weather.

The view from the treadmill:

I also had to drive out to West Kilbride to start my long run yesterday as pavements around Largs and Fairlie were too treacherous to run on. Some of my days that were technically rest days have had fairly significant amounts of energy being used out walking/ sledging in the snow. I also had to walk to the gym to get my run in on Thursday.

This snow was not for shifting for my long run, but the boys had a wonderful time for a couple of days out playing in it:sledge 1scott in snowLuke in snowdownhill snowburn walkbridge walk

My ankle was particularly sore on Thursday and I feared for the worst on my long run. It did start to hurt early on in my long run, but it was more of a mild nagging ache and then I eventually got to a point when everything hurt so it didn’t matter any more! 3 and a half hours is my longest ever training run and I was kind of dreading it. I parked out in West Kilbride and made it into Irvine in 1 hour 45 minutes, before retracing my steps back to West Kilbride.

The second half of the run was tough and there were several times when I almost gave myself permission to stop. I was accompanied by light snow showers and my hat and gloves were off and on a few times. The last half hour was particularly sore and I am trying to tell myself that I will somehow find something on the race day as despite completing 23.7 miles in this run I will still have another 7 to go on race day! Fuelling wise, I was disappointed by my low level water consumption. I did have quite a lot to drink leading up to my run, but I do need to do better. I had a few handfuls of Jelly Tots and a packet of Mini Cheddars to eat.

A toilet stop and fuelling in the second half meant I had a bit of a walk back to the car as I was slower in the second half of the run than I had been in the first. In toe, feet / blister news I can report that my infected toe is much better but I will not be surprised if a toenail is sacrificed in this quest!  When I got back to the car, I had a flask of hot tea in the car and a packet of crisps before driving back home. By the time I got back, the day was gone and it was time for bath, tea and bed. No time for an afternoon nap!

I have felt tired and hungry today and it hasn’t quite been a rest day. I was on another football coaching course which kept me on my feet a wee bit but may have done me the favour of flushing some of the lactic acid out of my legs. It was another enjoyable day in my coach education with lots of learning and indeed homework for next week!

This week’s log:

Monday – 1 hour 6.96 miles 8.36 ave pace

Tuesday – REST

Wednesday – REST

Thursday –50 minutes 5.8 miles 8.37 ave pace

Friday – REST

Saturday – 3.5 hours 23.7 miles 8.42 ave pace

Sunday – REST

Back to a 2.5 hour long run next week, but also a 1.5 hour on Thursday. 4 weeks to go…

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John Muir Way Ultra Training Log Week 5

Another week done! It was nice doing shorter runs on Monday and Tuesday and being able to remember what it is like to run with a little speed and not quite so much pain. My run on Thursday dragged and I was very tired on Friday. I was in bed early and felt a bit more rested ready to go for the long run on Saturday. Busy Sundays means that I have to run on Saturdays for the next few weeks. This is not ideal when Billy is working as he has to rush home to take over with the boys when he could be doing with a rest and it means I am not starting my run till after 12. This can be a bit more challenging in terms of timing fuelling, but I think the beans and toast I had an hour before I set off seemed to work well this week. My long run nutrition also felt better with a bit more water consumed than last time and some gentle nibbling of Mini Cheddars and Jelly Tots . The downside of this was two alfresco toilet trips during the long run.

My nagging concern for this run was a sore ankle. It has caused me some pain over the past few weeks, but today was the worst it has felt. It was hurting quite badly by the time I finished and sadly I don’t really have the flexibility to rest it. I will try to stretch it as much as possible and hope for the best. If it can’t hold out for 3 and a half hours next week I could be in trouble. I have also got a very painful big toe. I have an ingrown toenail which is probably going to require attention this week. Aside from all that I am just fine! No doubt if I manage to get rid of these ailments I will pick up something new to trouble me.


This week’s log:

Monday – 45 minutes 5.36 miles 8.24 ave pace

Tuesday – 30 minutes 3.72 miles 7.59 ave pace

Wednesday – REST

Thursday –1 hour 30 minutes 10.37 miles 8.40 ave pace (and played netball)

Friday – REST

Saturday – 2.5 hours 17.2 miles 8.35 ave pace

Sunday – REST

On Sunday afternoon we hit the shops and I got some much needed new trainers. Hopefully these will keep any further injuries at bay. No changes. I have stayed loyal to Brooks Adrenaline.

new brooks

I am a 2 pair trainer gal as I also got myself some trail shoes (Brooks Caldera) for the first time. These will probably be my race day shoes so I will be getting some miles in on these over the next few weeks.trail shoes

This week will be the biggest test so far with a 3 and a half hour run…

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John Muir Way Ultra Training Log Week 4

It has been another challenging week fitting in training around the every day things that go on. The anti blister socks seemed to do the trick and I haven’t been troubled by that this week. Thursday was a tough 90 minutes after work and then Saturday was long run day. 3 hours is the longest so far and Billy agreed to come and pick me up so that I didn’t need to do the big down hill. The first hour was fine and I mainly zoned out and got on with it. I felt hot at this stage and took off my jacket. 3hr up hill

The discomfort and wanting to stop set in at around 90 minutes and the weather turned a bit colder and darker. I turned back at 2 hours and was feeling sore all over. This is not a great feeling with an hour still to go. I walked a bit up the hill eating some crisps. My stomach cramps and general feeling of nasuea were a bit concerning and the last hour was a real battle of wills to keep going. I made my way through 3 Starbursts but overall the fuelling wasn’t great today. Aside from the sweets I manged a handful of crisps and not nearly enough fluids. I need to do better. 3 hours done nonetheless.

end selfie

The rest of Saturday was more or less a washout and I struggled to refuel, feeling nauseous the rest of the day. Again, a day makes a big difference and I feel a lot better today. I am hopefully ready for the challenges that lie ahead this week.

This week’s log:

Monday – REST

Tuesday – 45 minutes 5.2 miles 8.50 ave pace

Wednesday – REST

Thursday –1 hour 30 minutes 10.62 miles 8.28 ave pace

Friday – REST

Saturday – 3 hours 19.4 miles 9.04 ave pace

Sunday – REST

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