London Marathon – Week 8 of 10


This week I want to cram in as many miles as I can before the weekend. My parents will be looking after the kids for 2 days while Nina and I have a mini-break. We haven’t had the chance to do this since Jim was born, nearly 4 years ago, so we are really excited about it.

However everything is preventing me from banking miles this week. Working far from home, tight calves, traffic, and  public toilets being closed (funny story – the toilets doors are operated by 20p slot machine. I find 2 x 20p pieces jammed into the slot where coins are supposed go in, and another 2 x 20p pieces stuck in the slot where coins are supposed to come out. I imagine some poor guy standing there, jigging and wigging, so desperate for a wee he can’t think straight, just shoving 20p pieces everywhere he can, to no avail).

Anyway, come Saturday morning I still have 29 miles to run for the week. Nina suggests we go for a run together. Light Bulb. That is precisely what we used to do before we had kids. And we loved doing it. And this time we love it just as much. It is a beautiful morning and we are running up in the hills of Snowdonia, the reason we first came here and fell in love with the place.

russell woodsnina woods

Sunday morning, Nina is doing the running leg of a triathlon, which means we have to get up at 6am, which is really 5am (with clocks having just gone forward). I am not happy about it. I have 15 miles to do to finish the week, and decide I want to do 9 of them at 5.45min miling.

I set off pretty hard but probably abit complacent, and the first mile is 5.54 – Huh?! It felt a lot harder.

I try to push the pace and the next mile is 5.50 – bluhh, not going well!

I really force the issue, and mile 3 is 5.49 – I stop.

…Everything is going wrong. I need to have a word with myself for a few minutes. I rip my earphones out and tell myself to get my shit together. I am tensing up and panicking trying to hit the times. I was skipping around miles of the track in 4.56 a few days ago… I can do this easily. I need to focus on the process not the outcome. Relax, concentrate on your breathing, start again properly. Light and smooth. The next mile is 5.44, and they just get faster (and easier) from there, ending with a 5.22. My average pace for the 9 miles (excluding the 2 minute soliloquy) comes in as exactly 5.45

On the warm down, I feel like I am jogging, but still clocking 6.40 miles. Things are starting to click nicely with exactly 4 weeks till London Marathon.

Best non-running related highlight of the week

Easily the weekend with Nina. We had no idea how much we needed it. At one point we are sat in the car in Tesco carpark, about to buy food for lunch. Nina says, completely on autopilot, that she will stay in the car while I rush in and buy some stuff. Then she realises she can just leave the car and come with me. So she does, as simple as that.

We love love love our kids, but it does take a long time to go anywhere.

russell nina

Best thing on the internet this week:

Thing I’m digging this week:

Zero social media all weekend. It is really easy. And when I get back to it, I haven’t missed much, and certainly no one has missed me.

19/3/2018 AM PM
Monday REST 10tm
Tuesday 4tm 5xmile (3min rest) in 4.56. 11 miles total
beautiful evening on the track
Wednesday REST 10 @ 6min miling
rush to get home to see kids before bed, fail.
Thursday 4tm 10tm
Friday 6 16tm
Saturday 14 (9 on road + 5 on fells) REST
 5 in the woods of Moelwyn Bach with Nina
Sunday 9 miles @ 5.45min miling. 17 miles total
TOTAL: 102 miles  tm = treadmill

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