It is becoming a regular occurrence that I say another week is over, but again it is hard to believe, and if anything I feel like I am well and truly in the ‘hard work’ zone of the training plan as everything comes to a climax.  If I am honest, this week has gone fairly well, with the training going well and 48 miles completed.  A slight change to the plan of 49 however I will come to that, and I dont think the change will cause a detrimental effect on the training and running.

This week I changed my planned 12 mile run to a 10 mile run, to enable me to run with Ali, during her half marathon training and help her through her longest run yet.  To be honest this was great, as it enabled me to run a slower paced run, so probably still running the same amount of time it would have taken to run 12 miles.

I managed to keep my day off until Friday, the day before my long run of the week, 16 miles, and I must admit I felt this really paid off, with my 16 mile feeling good and the legs relatively fresh throughout.   It was a good 2 minutes quicker than the pervious week and I felt there was more in the legs if I needed to push myself.  This was highlighted by taking on a mile long extremely steep hill at 13 miles without an ill-effects.

At the start of the week, I decided to give the Laganside 10k a go on the Sunday, a slight increase on the miles I intended to do on Sunday, however I felt it was a perfect opportunity for some prolonged speed work and enable me to see was level my speed and fitness is at.  I had ran the Laganside  a number of times before, managing to break the 40 minute barrier two times before, but I knew I probably wasnt in a good a shape as previous years, combined with having run a 16 mile the day before.  I started with the intention of taking the firs three miles at a good pace, and then make a decision of whether to continue pushing or take the foot of the pedal.  At 4 miles, approximately 6k, I decided to keep the foot on the pedal, as I knew if I kept running at the same pace I had a chance of breaking the 40 minute mark, I mark runners hold as one of the milestones in 10k running.  I pushed on and managed to cross the line at 39 minutes and 54 seconds, my second best 10k time.  If I am honest I didnt expect it, however hopefully it is a positive reflection on the training thus far.

As well as Ali running her 10 mile run this week, she managed to completed Laganside in a time of 55 minutes, which is a fantastic achievement given Rosie is only 15 weeks.  Her hip is still giving her some problems, however with one week of half marathon training before tapering, hopefully Belfast Half Marathon in two weeks is still achievable, however she has done a fantastic job thus far and something to be very proud of.

As I mentioned below, everything is now starting to come to a climax.  We are now in week 9 with a slight variation of the training plan this week with the completion of the Half Marathon series next Sunday with the Waterside Half Marathon, the 10th in the series and the 11th half marathon I will have ran this year.  With the Belfast Half Marathon as well, I will have ran 12 half marathons this year.   I always knew I was going to have to ‘re-jig’ some weeks with the half marathon series, however that doesnt cause any concern of problem.

This weeks mileage will be 46 miles, with some changes, however hopefully another positive week.  I am determined to keep my day off for Saturday, to try and enable a good rest day before the Waterside Half Marathon.