Wednesday, 23 February 2011

If Sunday was the Ying, then Tuesday was the Yang

OK, I wasn't as recovered as I'd thought.

Yesterday my legs seemed OK. A little bit of doms and stiffness in the calves but nothing major so I wasn't concerned at doing the planned 9 miles.

When I set off it was still light so I opted to do a route with the first 4 miles off road. That was probably a mistake. After the snow and rain it was incredibly muddy - huge puddles well above ankle depth, constant wet mud that even the fell shoes couldn't cope with. Running downhill was precarious, uphill draining and even on the flat I must have resembled a speed skater (minus the speed) as my foot slipped to the side with every step. Mind you, the plus side of that was that I got no groin pain from the slipping whereas a year ago each slip would have been accompanied by a very sharp tearing sensation.

Anyway, the first half mile felt fine, a little sluggish perhaps, but nothing major; it was at the first uphill I suddenly felt drained. It was steep, it was off road and it was slippy but it felt far worse than that. My calves felt only slightly more sore but they also felt dead and unresponsive, and overall I felt drained. I tried to lift the pace but just couldn't get going. In fact I think I stopped 6 times each for about 30 seconds. Even on the on road downhills I didn't seem to be able to do more than jog and in only one mile could I get the pace below 9 minute miles - I just didn't have it in me.

At 6.5 miles I decided to bail out. It was the first opportunity I'd had to cut the run short and it meant I did 8.2 rather than the prescribed 9.0.

When I got in my legs felt OK. There was no stiffening up, in fact they felt looser, and that's continued into today when they feel almost back to normal, so maybe the run did me some good after all.

I did also decide to switch the dieting off for yesterday evening. On Sunday I did a tough run and had a deficit of just over 1000kcals from maintenance. On Monday I was 900 under maintenance. That's fine as a rule but I did wonder if the overall feeling of fatigue while running was because I needed to restock the glycogen levels a little more after Sunday's run so last night featured pineapple upside down cake, 2 helpings of ice cream (big helpings), a few biscuits and 3 extra slices of bread.

Naturally, that is temporarily reflected on the scales today but I do think it was probably the right thing to do.

14/02 171.8 lb 18.5% BF

21/02 170.0 lb 18.2% BF
22/02 167.6 lb 17.4% BF
23/02 168.8 lb 17.6% BF

I think today will be a rest day, just to make sure.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Active recovery

Buoyed by my legs not feeling as bad as I'd feared but retaining some fear that the stiffness could get worse for Tuesday (when 9 miles was on the plan) I decided to modify the plan for Monday.

Monday is normally rest day, with nothing more strenuous than a 10 minute stroll, but yesterday I decided a good stretch would be beneficial. Trouble is we have no heating on at home so its very cold and neither appealing nor conducive to stretching sessions (to give an idea of how cold last night I slept with trolleys, jogging pants, t-shirt, jumper, socks and hoody on). So, I decided to head to the gym early evening, do 20 minutes very easy on the cross trainer just to get a bit of blood flowing, stretch, swim and sit in the jacuzzi.

Managed all that, though the swim was limited to only 4 lengths, and legs felt looser though marginally more sore afterwards.

Today my calves still feel slightly sore/fatigued but nothing major so will complete the planned 9 miles later, albeit possibly at a slow pace. I'll play that by ear.

Diet also went well yesterday, helped by the couple of hundred extra kcals from the exercise. I did go over by around 100 but not concerned by that at all.

14/02 171.8 lbs 18.5% BF

21/02 170.0 lbs 18.2% BF
22/02 167.6 lbs 17.4% BF

Starting to head back to last week but may take another day or so. All good though.

Monday, 21 February 2011

The morning after

Doesn't seem too bad so far.

A bit of clicking on the point of the left hip, calves fairly sore, slight soreness in adductors and quads but none of it debilitating.

OK, I know that the worst of the DOMS could yet be 24 hours away but so far so good and I'm quite relieved. When I finished yesterday's run I had a half mile walk back to the car and felt pretty done in. When I had to cross a road I didn't feel like I could trot across and felt like everything was stiffening up. This made me fear that my body would react to the run like a full marathon leaving me struggling for a number of days.

Seemingly not. Either that means that I'm in better nick than I realised or the recovery 'regime' I followed yesterday was a winner:
  • Cool down walk for 10 minutes (unplanned)
  • Brief stretch
  • Cold bath for 13 minutes
  • Protein shake, milky coffee, packet of crisps all consumed in bath
  • Hot shower with a blast of cold on the legs to finish
  • On with calf guards
  • 5 minute 'leg drain' against wall
  • Ibuprofen, vitamin C, multivitamin and minerals
  • General rest with the odd bit of movement to keep loose -ish
  • Regular top ups of fluid, carbs, protein and ibuprofen (though I didn't really feel I needed it)

I'll try to replicate that after the remaining runs. Doing it after the race itself might be more difficult just because of practicalities - no bath, difficult to immediately keep moving afterwards, unpredictable weather, horrendous queues for the Metro. Should manage the rest though.

Yesterday's guilt free eat-fest was good, and still left me on target. Not much more to say than that, but back on the diet today.

14/02 171.8 lbs 18.5% BF

21/02 170.0 lbs 18.2% BF

That doesn't look too good on the face of it, 4lbs and 1.2% up on Saturday, but I have no real concerns.

Body will react strangely to yesterday's run. Sore muscles may be retaining water, certainly will have a good deal of food in transit, so I'd expect to see a big fall in the next few days getting me back to last week's levels and beyond.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Who's the daddy?

OK, I've used that title before but it became an occasional mantra for me during today's long run.

More on that later, first I'll recount yesterday's day of cooking.

Yesterday morning Charlotte declared that she didn't want to go to gymnastics or swimming, and, as there was 4-5" of snow on the ground I didn't try to hard to dissuade her from that position. That meant no trip to the gym and no core work but it did leave the day free to cook.

First on my list was to mince some beef and make a quick Bolognese sauce to have for tea; second was to chop up some shin and veg for the pie filling and get that simmering. Savouries done, I moved on to the baking and the ANZAC biscuits.

They proved only a partial success. Despite checking and double checking weights and measures the mixture turned out slightly runnier than expected meaning the biscuits spread far more thinly than I wanted, throwing the cooking time as well as making them run into one another when in the oven. I got the three trays out a few minutes early but found only one lot usable. The ones on the older trays, despite a liberal greasing, were stuck firm; but the ones on the new tray came away easily and created some very pleasant thin biscuits (once cooled and broken).

Slightly frustrated at that I did an impromptu batch of mini chocolate chip buns. They were rather good. The others must have agreed as they were all gone in 24hrs.

Spent the rest of the day deliberately grazing on buns, biscuits, bread and spaghetti Bolognese as an ad hoc attempt at carb loading ahead of today's run.

The plan called for 18 miles but as I'd done 18.27 a couple of weeks ago I decided to go for 20, but then part way through decided to round that up to 21 as I felt pretty good.

Mile splits were:

  1. 8.48
  2. 8.51
  3. 8.21
  4. 8.31
  5. 8.32
  6. 8.23
  7. 8.31
  8. 8.27
  9. 8.11
  10. 8.28
  11. 8.15
  12. 8.17
  13. 8.13
  14. 7.57
  15. 7.59
  16. 8.05
  17. 8.01
  18. 8.00
  19. 8.01
  20. 8.20
  21. 7.23

I felt good at half way and opted to speed up a little as I normally do but miles 14 and 15, helped by a short descent at locks in each mile, came in more or less spot on marathon pace so I decided to try and run the remainder at that 8.00 mile pace as a test. Managed it OK, albeit with a faster last mile to make up for the penultimate mile being slowed by a couple of longish steep climbs.

Very pleased with that. Significantly negative splits; 8.16 overall and last 8 miles at 7.57 pace.

Despite the ice bath, ibuprofen and adoption of compression wear my legs do feel a bit sore and tired so suspect there could be a couple of days worth of DOMS to come, but nothing too terrible.

For the remainder of the day I will be eating pie and peas, after which there are rumours of jam sponge pudding and custard. Happy days.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Feeling up tempo

Yes, that's right another tedious word pun as yesterday was tempo run day.

Objective was a warm up jog for 1.5 miles, 5.5 miles at 7.30 pace then another 1.5 mile jog to cool down. Results were:

1.5 miles @ 9.50
Mile 1 @ 7.33
Mile 2@ 7.33
Mile 3 @ 7.26
Mile 4 @ 7.23
Mile 5 @ 7.25
Mile 5.5 @ 7.27
1.5 miles @ 9.15

Average for tempo element 7.28.

I'm pleased with that, mainly because after the first mile (which was all over the place pace wise) I managed to get a good feel for the required pace and stick to it. The only variation in pace from mile to mile largely being down to whether I went up a couple of rises of canal locks or down them.

Diet was good again, largely down to the number of extra kcals from the exercise making it easy for me to relax on a Friday evening (with jaffa cakes and rich tea biscuits) yet still stay within target.

Been 2-3 inches of snow here overnight and its forecast to continue until dinner time. Hope that clears ahead of tomorrow's 20 miles.

Plan for today is to make some Bolognaise sauce shortly (so I can carb load tonight) then make ANZAC biscuits before making another pie filling or two for the ideal post long run meal tomorrow: pie and peas. This afternoon its the gym for core work and cross trainer before a light swim.

Scales are still being kind:

14/02 171.8lb 18.5% BF
15/02 169.0lb 17.7% BF
16/02 169.4lb 17.7% BF
17/02 167.4lb 17.2% BF
18/02 167.2lb 17.1% BF
19/02 166.0lb 17.0% BF

Weight loss great - typical first week I suppose - but yesterday's loss appears to be less fat but whilst I'll take note of individual results its the trends I'm really interested in, and the trend is good.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Back to the gym

Yesterday marked a return to the gym and a return to core stability exercises - something I hadn't done for nearly 3 weeks.

I've tended to cross train and work the core Thursdays and Saturdays meaning yesterday was the first planned session this week and illness last week and a mix of illness and work the week before meant none were completed then.

It proved pretty satisfactory though. I did 30 minutes on the cross trainer at a fairly easy 'recovery' pace followed by the 20 exercises and stretches in my routine. I was pleased with how they went, in particular things like the single leg squat where there appeared to be no loss of strength/stability. There was just one exercise where I felt the glute mede on the left wasn't firing as well as it might, but I'd expect that to improve in the coming weeks.

Diet wise broadly on track. I say broadly because in the evening I went over target by 3 rich tea biscuits, a slice of wholemeal bread and a smear of spread. However, that still left me way under maintenance and I'm not sure how accurate the allowance was as WLR's estimates for the cross trainer seem miserly. My guess is that you could increase them by 50% to be accurate, which would leave me about on target for yesterday.

The scales agree:

  1. 14/02 171.8lb 18.5% BF
  2. 15/02 169.0lb 17.7% BF
  3. 16/02 169.4lb 17.7% BF
  4. 17/02 167.4lb 17.2% BF
  5. 18/02 167.2lb 17.1% BF

As I have geeky, statto tendencies I have all that logged in a spread sheet so I can track daily changes, overall changes and even total and daily loss of fat. From that, I was pleased to note that yesterday's loss was, apparently, entirely fat.

Interestingly, I was reading a couple of articles yesterday on the effects of weight loss on running performance that gave a rule of thumb that a 1% reduction in weight would lead to a 1% reduction in race times. If that were accurate, my dropping to 11st would knock over 15 minutes off the marathon time. At the very least though, that is dependent on the lion's share of the loss being in the form of fat rather than lean tissue and that's why I'm monitoring the composition of the loss.

Other point is that I'm relying on the weight loss to make 3:30 achievable rather than to reduce the target to 3:15. I'll make a definitive plan for time in the week before but my loose plan at this stage is to aim for something like 3:28 to give me a touch of breathing space. Don't know though, that could all change (up or down) depending on how the next few weeks go.

For anyone interested the articles are here and here.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Mixing it up

Yesterday was my first session of 'mixed intervals' and I must say I quite enjoyed them.

Idea is to run intervals that get gradually faster but shorter in distance, starting at half marathon pace and finishing at 3k pace. That variety makes them far more interesting than cranking out 3 - 12 intervals at the same pace and distance.

I wasn't sure how well I'd cope after being ill and, effectively, not doing any sort of speed session for nearly 3 weeks, but was quite pleased with these results (target pace in brackets):

  • 1 mile warm up @ 9.12 (9.12 - 10.04)
  • 2k @ 7.27 (7.30)
  • 1 mile @ 7.07 (7.08)
  • 1k @ 6.43 (6.53)
  • 0.5 mile @ 6.38 (6.40)
  • 1.1 mile cool down @ 9.0 (9.12 - 10.04)

Pleased to have hit all targets but did struggle to 'feel' the pace within intervals so I tended to set off much too quickly, slow down until the average got close to target and then try and hang on. I think that will come back within a week or two.

I confess though that the final interval isn't quite accurate. The Garmin is set to imperial so I was converting imperial to metric for some of the intervals. That obviously confused me as I realised later that I'd ran half a kilometre for the last one rather than half a mile. That irritated me but I'll bravely soldier through...

Thanks for the comments on yesterday's blog entry. Sue took the hint from my whingeing the evening before and got back for 4.45 at which time I was still working upstairs and the tea wasn't on. Between that and the kcals from the run it felt an easy day with lots of kcals left over in the evening allowing me to finish the toffee ice cream from the freezer as well as indulge my recent liking for rich tea biscuits and still stay within the allowance.

  1. 14/02 171.8lb 18.3% BF
  2. 15/02 169.0lb 17.7% BF
  3. 16/02 169.4lb 17.7% BF
  4. 17/02 167.4lb 17.2% BF

Could have the makings of one of those 'bonus' first weeks and predicted date for reaching 11st is now a week before the marathon. I don't think I'll carry on restricting calories so close to the race and I may have already had my sudden loss so rate of loss may drop below target now, but at least it shows I should get fairly close.

Looks to be about 70% of loss coming from body fat but I'm taking that with a slight pinch of salt as I'm assuming there will be some water in there and also a reduction in 'food in transit' so at the moment I'll take it only as a very rough estimate.

I'll probably just post the current week's stats each day.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The Waiting Game

Not a huge amount to 'report' from yesterday, at least not on the running front as it was the week's rest day so no exercise, which helped me get rid of the slight leg stiffness that I felt yesterday morning.

It wasn't a great day nutritionally though.

We'd planned to have a makeshift tea of southern style quorn burgers, oven chips and peas - a thriller if ever there were one - but I found a Madras curry paste that had just gone out of date and hurriedly made a curry. That left the option of sticking to plan or going with the curry which, in itself, was fine, a little higher in calories but all quite accountable. The problem was one of timing.

Sue used to get home around 4.45 - 4.55 each day but on the odd occasion this would be 5.15 - 5.30. For the last few weeks its been 5.20 - 5.40 pretty much every day. That might not sound like much but its something I struggle to adapt to.

Let me explain.

On a day like yesterday I'm working and cooking in the kitchen from about 4.15pm, so I'm near food. By this time of day I'm starting to get hungry. I won't start cooking our tea until Sue gets home as otherwise there's a danger the food will be cooked and burned long before she's home. From 4.45 the kids are desperate for their tea so I need to get them something quickly. Hungry, surrounded by food, while its cold and dark outside, not knowing when I'll be having my meal, my resolve begins to weaken.

I'll have just a slice of bread and spread or a couple of crackers, then I'll end up eating any leftovers from the kids tea (not off the plate - anything left in the pan), then, if Sue calls to say she's 'just setting off' at 4.45 I know it'll be at least another 45 minutes until the oven can go on so I pick some more. By the time we have tea I'm not hugely hungry as I've spent an hour grazing but eat it anyway. Then, having already eaten too much, I'll have a couple of slices (or more) of toast and/or a couple of biscuits later on. As much of it is 'mindless eating' and unmeasured, I can't remember what I've had to log it on WLR. Guess is that yesterday I went a fraction over maintenance. Not terrible but not on track either.

Its just a situation I struggle to deal with. I have some success if I stay working upstairs - but that doesn't feed the kids - or if I get myself something to pick at like a small bowl of edamame beans, and head for the living room rather than kitchen. I think its the waiting and uncertainty.

Sue suggests I eat with the kids but I like us to eat together, besides which we often don't eat what the kids eat - yesterday, for example, they had leftover biryani - which might mean putting the oven on twice for us to eat the same meal separately, which seems a waste of money to me.

Any ideas?

Today's results reflect yesterday but I don't think there's much long term damage:

14/02 171.8lb 18.5% BF
15/02 169.0lb 17.7% BF
16/02 169.4lb 17.7% BF

(Thanks for the suggestions yesterday but there doesn't seem to be a paste function on here - if I right click its greyed out?).

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

First run back

Blogging on consecutive days? I must be 'back' eh?

I'd have to class yesterday as a successful day in terms of getting back into the groove.

I went for a couple of 15 minute walks during the day and didn't feel weak or wobbly (though still getting the odd gripe pain) and that confirmed that I should go for the planned 9 mile run.

My only objective for that was to complete it. No concern for time and no expectancies of how it should feel. In the end it felt fairly good - considering I hadn't had a run for 8 days and had been ill. OK, from 5 miles it felt harder than normal and by the end my legs felt tired and a bit achey - more like a 15 mile run than a 9 mile one - and they felt stiff and sore afterwards (which was a surprise) but it was fairly hilly, had a couple of muddy patches where I had to run on well worn grass verges by the road, fairly windy and I've been ill. All in all an average of 8.22 a mile was perfectly acceptable:

  • 8:43
  • 8:09
  • 8:14
  • 8:18
  • 8:16
  • 8:34
  • 8:37
  • 7:51
  • 8:39

Not difficult to see where the hilly miles were.

In terms of diet I'll call yesterday a qualified success.

I'd planned to calorie count very carefully and started the day in that manner but post run I felt that a) I had lots of calories to play with and b) was eating foods that wouldn't be easy to count. For tea I had the post run delights of Bombay mix, couple of poppadoms, a banana, homemade chana chaat, homemade vegetable biryani (with a hard boiled egg thrown in) and then a hefty slice of bara brith and (I confess) 5 rich tea biscuits with a brew before bed. After the run I had 1745 kcals left to play with and that was to leave a 1000 deficit so I'm pretty confident I stayed under maintenance level and probably stayed close to target.

In fact, having just thought to weigh myself, it seems to be a typical 'first day' result:

  1. 171.8lb 18.5% body fat
  2. 169.0lb 17.7% body fat

I think I'd like to bear my soul like this for the next month or so to track progress and give me an extra nudge. Need to find a better way of doing it though, rather than re-typing each day, as there's no 'paste' function. Any ideas?

Monday, 14 February 2011

Staying positive

I'm not exactly overdoing it with entries for February am I?

That's largely because there's nothing much to report in terms of running, diet or fitness.

I wasn't sick again after the post last Tuesday but shall we put this... 'loose' until Saturday and continued to get gripe pains and wind. Lots of wind. If somebody had popped a turbine in my pants last week I'd have made a noticeable contribution to combating the world energy shortage.

Aside from those ailments, by Friday afternoon I was out of bed and felt relatively normal again but found walking even 20m slower than normal and I felt somehow wobbly or disjointed when I did it. From that I decided to avoid trying any exercise on Saturday and then when Sunday came round I opted to skip anything then too. I'd got very dehydrated on Tuesday/Wednesday and still had a bit of that at the weekend (maybe even now too) and wanted the first run 'back' to be at least 'OK'.

So, no exercise to report but surely I've lost a good deal of weight?

Well, no.

I'll grant you that on Tuesday my calorific intake was limited to a bottle of (glucose laden) Lucozade and on Wednesday and much of Thursday I wasn't eating normally but I was drinking a mix of Lucozade and more glucose from sachets of Dioralyte, and eating a large packet of plain biscuits. By Thursday Evening I had a craving for chips - with lots and lots of salt. On Friday I ate relatively normally albeit that I couldn't really face meals so I picked constantly at carbohydrate heavy items - biscuits, bread, a packet of crisps, leftover noodles, leftover oven chips, more biscuits.

As I was denied exercise, at the weekend I was struggling for what to do with myself so found solace in cooking: 36 iced/fruit buns, a loaf of bara brith, a rather excellent meat and potato pie. Of course, cooking comfort food meant lots of eating too. Add to that a craving for sugary sweets (liquorice comfits to be precise) on Friday and sharing Revels and Aero Bubbles with Sue and Bethan on Saturday and the weekend would not be one that Gillian Mckeith would approve of.

So, some sickness induced fasting at the start of the week but then a less than healthy diet and almost complete inactivity. I'm apparently 0.8lb heavier today than I was at the same time last week.

However, I'm determined not to be downhearted. I've had only 2 runs in 15 days and haven't lost an ounce BUT the enforced rest may turn out to be a blessing.

My legs feel a bit tight due to inactivity but there's no residual pain in shins or elsewhere so, as long as I can run at least moderately normally now, its been a decent recovery from the training to date. It might have even been a good break mentally too. Not that I'd ever plan, or advocate, this length of time off as the peak of training begins but, I'd got up to 18 miles for the endurance run and there's plenty of time left. The glass is half full.

In fact, building on that particular theme, last week was officially a recovery week so the relative shortfall is limited somewhat.

I'm certainly looking forward to this week's training. As I didn't run yesterday I'm going to switch Monday's rest day for Tuesday's 9 miles steady as that will allow for a cross training/rest day in between each run this week which will limit the impact of getting straight back into peak training.

There's also a subtle change in the format as its the start of a new 'period' of training. Out go the 5k intervals and 10k tempo runs (which I fear I'd have struggled with after 2 weeks of disruption) and in come mixed intervals and half marathon pace tempo runs. The latter, I hope, will be more easily adapted to and lead more directly to marathon pace running. The intervals start with recovery pace then build through half, 10k, 5k and 3k paces with each interval getting faster but shorter. That should be nice and varied. On Sunday its a 20 miler.

Weight wise, the 11 stone target is beginning to look unachievable in the time left. It was just about doable this time last week but gaining a pound puts me 3lb behind target and unless the weight absolutely plummets this week (i.e. one of those freaky half stone loss weeks that can happen in the first week of a diet) I think something like 11st 5lb is a more realistic aim. That's OK. Whilst the extra 5lb would have made a difference I'll still be appreciably lower in weight than now and running will feel so much easier.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Action replay (don't read if eating)

Last Tuesday morning I woke at 2am with really bad stomach pains.

At just after midnight this morning I woke with the same. The difference this time was that within an hour I was vomiting severely and water was going into mouth and squirting out of backside in a minute. Frequently I wasn't sure which end to hover over the toilet. Water is still going straight through but haven't been sick since about 5am.

Really, really nasty. Went down a flight of stairs to see if we had any Dioralyte a little while ago and needed to get on all fours to get back up. Still got stomach pains and feel rotten.

At the very least that will put paid to any running today and tomorrow and might need me to tread very carefully after that for a few days.

Might be a bug that's been breeding for a week but feels more like a poisoning. Had a prawn sandwich (from Marksies) yesterday but other than that had eaten the same as the others. Only other thing I can think of is the energy gels I've used the last 2 Sundays - they were use by October last year but were sealed and mainly sugar so I assume(d) OK, but its a coincidence that I had the pain same time last week after 2 gels and pain and sickness/diarrhoea this week after 3. Not sure, have had some degree of diarrhoea each morning for about 10 days.

Sorry if this has been a bit graphic but at least typing it has taken my mind off for a few minutes. Being home alone ill is horrible.

Monday, 7 February 2011

All's well that ends well?

Its been a week since my last post, and a week that didn't quite fit the positive spirit of that entry:

Pretty good day, though also my rest day. No pain or fatigue from the previous day but I opted not to calorie count to help nourish the muscles. Weighed in in the morning and was 2lb heavier than Friday, but perfectly happy with that as it will have reflected the high food intake of the previous 2 days and soon pass.

Alarm was set for 5am so I could get up and run 8 miles, but I woke at 2am with extreme stomach pain. If you've ever had full on food poisoning you'll know the sort of thing: shooting pains in stomach and back that are the precursor to extensive vomiting and the concurrent squirting of 'muddy' water from the back side. Thankfully, it didn't come to that but the pain continued until 3.30 by which time I'd switched the alarm off. Drove to Warwick and back in the day, still felt tired and bloated, and accepted that I'd need to miss the run.

Another early start, this time to head to a meeting in Scotland (and back) in the day. Had optimistically hoped to run intervals when I got in, but didn't get home until 9pm by which time I was shattered, so tired that I'd had to stop for a break 4 times in the last 2 hours driving and unfortunately succumbed to the transient charms of chocolate at 3 of the stops.

Felt better and decided to do Tuesday's run. First 2 miles were strangely slow but felt alright, but by mile 3 I felt done in. By mile 5 all I wanted to do was stop and walk. In the last couple of miles I was really pushing myself hard yet still doing miles not far under 10 minute pace. Still not calorie counting.

The previous day's experience along with high winds and rain made the idea of a tempo run outdoors less than appealing so I headed to the gym with the intention of doing Wednesday's intervals along with Thursday's core stability work. I got through 1.5 miles of warm up and 2 x 2k intervals on the dreadmill but my heart wasn't in it and I baled out.

Due to go to the gym for cross training but couldn't face it. Opted instead for rest and carb loading.

Endurance run day. Plan called for 15 mile progression run but as last week had turned into a 17 mile progression run I decided to do a straight 18 mile endurance run.

Headed off and didn't feel too bad. Certainly better than earlier in the week despite the strong wind. By half way I was running at 8:31 pace and had done a route that included 9 more rises of locks than the previous week, including the steepest in Britain, the 1:5 gradient Bingley Five Rise Locks.
Still felt pretty good until 13 miles, after which it got slowly tougher, and by 15 miles it was a real effort to keep the pace up and keep going despite the benefit of 16 downhill 'rises' of locks on the way back.

By the end I'd done 18.27 miles at an average pace of 8:22 a mile but felt fit only for the knackers yard. I knew it wasn't the distance and decided not to worry - it was almost certainly due to a combination of bug still not having gone fully, the strong winds, the extra climbing etc. After a bath I took my stiff body to bed for a couple of hours.

It was after that I twigged that dehydration might also be playing a part as I'd managed only one dark dribble of urine since setting off to run. Strange that, as I'd taken a bottle of water on my belt, had 2 teas and a small glass of water before leaving and drank so much the day before that I had to get up 3 times in the night!

Anyway, that's the first of the longer runs completed, and after drinking copious quantities I began to revive yesterday evening and refuelled extensively!

This morning I only have slight stiffness in calves and quads, otherwise ok. After a challenging week of non-counting, missed exercise and occasional comfort eating I was pleased that the scales were limited to a 3.5lb 'gain' - pleased in that most of the nominal gain will be food in transit from last night.

So, a difficult week but one that didn't finish too badly.