Counting down … and back up again

FullSizeRender 38London Marathon Training
Week 10, Day 2

Next weekend I have two races inside three days, the Spar Craic 10k in Belfast on St. Patrick’s Day then it’s off to Hastings for the Half Marathon on Sunday 19th.

Therefore my immediate priority for the next seven days will be that double header. Obviously, with one eye still very much on London, I’ll still do my long run this weekend but my midweek runs will have either Belfast or Hastings in mind.

So that’s why I did 5k tonight with an emphasis on climbing. Hastings, as I’ve mentioned in other postings, is stupidly hilly for the first part so I focused on that.

There are two fairly steep climbs near me, and I made it my priority to get up them without stopping for a breather, or even a walk, regardless of how long it took me.

As usual I walked to the top of the Antrim Road for a little downhill start, just to get moving really and to regulate my breathing. Then, at the bottom, I turned onto the Toome Road – a steady climb that seems to go on much longer than it does, you can see it stretch out in front of you so it’s as much a mental battle as it is physical.

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That conquered I ran on down the other side, down through the tunnel and up as far as the Tullygarley Road roundabout.

The only problem with that was I had to turn and go back the same way, and that meant tackling the tunnel from the opposite end – and that *is* steep. Everytime I’ve tackled it before I’ve struggled to reach the dog poo bin halfway up but I was determined that wasn’t going to happen tonight.

And neither it did. The bin came and went, I dug deep (but not into the bin …. ewww) and ploughed on, right to the top but instead of resting on my laurels I kept plugging and hauled myself over the deceptive little kick that followed. On its own it’s not much of a rise, but after clambering up the hill beforehand it’s usually greeted with an array of expletives. Tonight I felt like laughing at it. Take that, hill, take that.

But I wasn’t finished there, I coasted back down the Toome Road – as I said speed wasn’t my concern tonight – preparing myself for the Antrim Road, or at least the bottom part of it, and another little climb.

As a standalone 5k I wouldn’t have been happy with my time, but as a 5k with some considerable hills I was delighted. It wasn’t pretty, and my running style no doubt left a lot to be desired, but it was a case of getting the head down and going for it.

If you’ve enjoyed following my progress so far could I be so bold as to ask you if you’d consider making a donation to my chosen London Marathon charity this year – Asthma UK? No amount is too small, and all donations are received with such heartfelt thanks. My fundraising page can be found here. Thank-you so much.

London Marathon Training (156.7 miles – 34 runs)
Week 1 – 12.2 miles (4 runs; average 3.05 miles per run)
Week 2 – 9.3 miles (2 runs; average 4.65 miles per run)
Week 3 – 17.7 miles (4 runs; average 4.4 miles per run)
Week 4 – 18.8 miles (4 runs; average 4.7 miles per run)
Week 5 – 14.9 miles (4 runs; average 3.7 miles per run)
Week 6 – 18.7 miles (4 runs; average 4.7 miles per run)
Week 7 – 20.3 miles (4 runs; average 5.1 miles per run)
Week 8 – 23.7 miles (4 runs; average 5.9 miles per run)
Week 9 – 18 miles (3 runs; average 6 miles per run)
Week 10 – 5.76 miles (2 runs; average 2.88 miles per run)

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