Training. Everything revolves around training.
Can I get a training session in before work? Can I get enough sleep to go for an early swim? Am I coming down with a cold that will set my training back? Am I getting shin splints that will totally bugger my marathon training?
I’m very tired a lot of the time. Yesterday for instance. I missed the swim on Tuesday (it’s lane swim Tuesday and Thursday, 07.00- 09.00) due to a 13 hour shift, so yesterday I had to get up after 6½ hours kip, go for a swim (just 54 lengths. 64 lengths to a mile, so just keeping my hand in.) Then straight up to the gym, 30 minutes on the exercise bike (hilly setting) then 10K (6.2 mile) run on the tready. Then charge home, changed, shove some food down my neck and straight out to work for an 11½ hour shift.
I was feeling pretty miffed, to be honest. I was even thinking about quitting driving and going back to order picking, briefly. Driving is great if all you are thinking about is the money. The long hours mean shift premiums and overtime rates. Loadsa money. To do the job you gradually develop a laid back attitude. It takes as long as it takes and I’m paid by the hour. 14 hour shift? Ker-ching!
The second you introduce another priority it suddenly becomes a bind.
Instead of taking as it comes you get frustrated when the job takes so long.
That single 13 hour shift cost me two days training. I thought it was going to be a long run so I didn’t want to knacker myself before starting a long shift. Then, by the time I got to bed I didn’t have enough time to sleep and train before starting my next shift.
I was thinking of other jobs for which I’m qualified…
… and that’s it.
Even if I was to go order picking at our place I’d need to do an extra 10- 15 hours a week to get to my current hours. They do the overtime in 4 hour blocks, so I couldn’t do 5 x 10 hour shifts. So say 3 x12. That’s still 3 days a week I couldn’t train. And at least £100 a week pay cut. For a nice, short, 8 x5, 40 hour week, I’d probably be £250 a week worse off.
Not a viable option.
Last year in a quiet spell I was only getting 7 and 9 hour days so I asked in the office for long runs. My first course of action is to see if I can change back again. This start time tends towards the longer runs, meaning longer hours, so if that’s not possible my next course is to look into changing my start time. I’m fine with my usual run, which is just Didcot (just past Oxford) and back. That is about 10½ hours.
Ideally I’d like a days start, 10- 10½ hours maximum. That would be brilliant.
Anyway, that’s work interfering with training. The bright side is I now have a life with which work interferes. And the money to be able to pursue it. Accommodations.
So, on to the training.
I was worried I was getting shin splints. Runner’s World summed it up as a “catch-all phrase”, “invariably caused by 4 words: too much, too fast.” I lack the self discipline to not push on. So I was getting pains down the sides of my shins. Very worrying. That can set you back months. Then I noticed on the brick session above, no pains. I think the swim and the sweating my tits off on the bike loosened my legs up. Not a single twinge (on the sides of my shins, my muscles were hurting) after that 10K.
I didn’t do a long run last weekend for fear of exacerbating the shin splints. After the warm up revelation I did and extended warm up today (after resting yesterday) and went out for a run. I was ahead of schedule, I only need to be doing 8 miles this week. I did 11 miles two weeks ago.
As I’ve only been back running a month, I’ve been struggling. The first mile has been so tough I’ve been thinking “I can’t do this. I’m going to have to quit.” But you expect the first mile to be the worst while you get into a rhythm.
Today I set off and the first mile was a doddle, and quite nippy. The second and third were as easy and faster. I was aiming to modestly up the bar to 11½ miles. I felt so good I decided to do a half marathon, 13.1 miles. And I did. And my legs feel fine. Touch wood.
That is brilliant. I am well ahead of schedule for the Manchester marathon on the 8th of April.
My swim, after that accidental 100 lengths, is much better than I’d hoped.
Now I really need to build up my bike stamina.
Really though, seems I’m only a month into my training, I’m well chuffed with my progress. If I can work out the accommodation with work, I’m going to batter this.