What shall I do about the Great Eastern Run?

So I have a conundrum now. Really enjoyed run club last night, first one for a month! Cold seems to have almost gone so I’m very motivated now to get back on coach Rory Coleman‘s training plan after 10 days lost from travelling back from Peru and being ill. During that time I also had the post-holiday blues and was feeling unmotivated to train (probs cos ill to be fair!) 😦 but now I’ve readjusted to the pace of life back in the Trail Running office and am raring to go, training for the Costa Rica Coastal Challenge this Feb. So that’s flippin’ amaze balls 🙂

However, all is not hunky dory. Last night in C group I ran an average 8 min miles for 7 miles, including our regular 4 re-grouping stops. This felt wonderfully easy for the first half hour, then some effort was required towards the end. Not flat out, but effort. I’d say 7 out of 10. So that leaves me wondering what I should attempt for the Great Eastern Run* (GER), our local half marathon not this weekend but next. On my Rory training plan I am supposed to aim for 1:40. However running 8 min miles you get just under 1:45. You have to bash out consecutive, lung-smashing 7.40 min miles to get 1:40:30.

Aw, look at Popple (Mark Popple) from our club Stamford Striders, now a lot leaner than this and cracking out regular 6 min miles! He will be one to watch flying round Sun 12 Oct!
Aw, look at Popple (Mark Popple) from our club in his blue and yellow Stamford Striders vest, now a lot leaner than this and cracking out regular 6 min miles! He will be one to watch flying round Sun 12 Oct! 56 of the club are running! And quite probably more will be celebrating with a drink afterwards! 🙂

Last night I was worried that I should not go for 7.40 min miles in case I conk out towards the end like I did last year where I ran 1:47 after cranking out 8 min miles all the way then majorly running out of steam for the last 2 miles. I was thinking of aiming for a more conservative 1:42 with 7.50 min miles. But now, in the cold light of day, and after a steady lunchtime run with work friend Clare, I’m thinking that I should just freakin’ go for it. If I conk out I will probably still beat my pb and I will have really tried hard.

I’m aching today from my circuits routine yesterday, especially my stomach, but I like that. I like the feeling of my body moving and working the way I want it to. I’m also trying to knock of 2.2lb (1kg) before GER as Trail Running nutritionist Alex Cook has just written us an article for next issue (on sale 6 Nov) which says for every 1lb you lose you knock 2 seconds off your mile time. So over a half marathon that adds up to a whole minute for me if I lose that. I need all the help I can get, so I am currently eating this for lunch.

My super healthy 1kg fat-losing lunch, my mum's home grown corgettes, tomatoes and beans taking the staring role.
My super healthy 1kg fat-losing lunch, my mum’s home grown corgettes, tomatoes and beans taking the staring role.

*Yes I know GER is a road race and it blimin’ kills my hip joints every year, but I think it’s important to note your speed progression so I do this tarmac half annually to chart my improvement. Please note that as the editor of Trail Running magazine I still prefer running on trails and most of my training is on them, I am living the dream, promise!

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