After a few months of ‘ad hoc’ running, I’m now back on a training plan, this time for the Royal Parks Half early in October. This is a race I first ran a couple of years ago; with a flat fast and scenic course, I’m aiming for a PB this time round. After having success with my Dopey Challenge training, I’ve once again turned to the Hal Higdon plans. This time picking the advanced half marathon, which includes some more speed work and hill training. With this in mind I’ve cut back on the high intensity interval training, to get more out of the running workouts, but am trying to still include a couple of strength sessions.
I got off to the worst possible start to training, managing a brief recovery run, before falling ill with suspected kidney stones, which wiped me out for the week, and meant no running. The second week of the plan we headed off for a week in Provence in the south of France. A relaxing week with family, gave me a chance to recover fully and by the middle of the week I felt up to an easy 5k jog. Our own version of a Junior Parkrun the next day, and I was starting to feeling much better.
We’ve been going to the same area now for the past 4 years. It’s a lovely villa in a beautiful area of France, in the shadow of the Mont Ventoux. I’ve a regular 7 mile hilly route which takes me through the local villages, which I ran on the Thursday. Hard work on the legs to start with, being the first faster run I’d done for nearly 2 weeks; I was pleased however to finish and Strava flag up it was the fastest I’d run the route in the 4 years.
Upon our return I’m back full in to training, this week culminating in my 50th Parkrun. It’s taken me a while to reach it, with the regular Saturday 5k not always fitting with weekend plans or scheduled long runs, but I try to get down as often as possible. Managed to clock up my fastest 5k of the year as well – perhaps showing some signs of progress.
Another full week of training looms, then we’re off to Florida for two weeks. My second visit of the year, this time taking the whole family along. Full on days in the theme parks and high temperatures and humidity will mean running opportunities will be limited, but I’ll pack the running shoes and hope to sneak in a few early morning 5ks. Hopefully I won’t lose too much fitness, although the all you can eat buffets may be damaging!
Sandwiched between our holiday and the Royal Parks, we’re off to Disneyland Paris for their inaugural half marathon weekend. The first RunDisney event outside the US was too tempting not to take up. A much smaller scale, a family 5k run on the Saturday, giving me a chance to run with both kids through the park; is followed up by the half marathon on the Sunday. A decent time here would give me confidence for the Royal Parks and a test of my fitness levels. It was also nice to see the medals revealed the other week.