Marathon Training – Week One Done!

So finally week one is done! The tale of the tape for the week is 27 miles, which by my reckoning is the furthest I think I’ve ever run in a single week in my life. And maybe that’s a good thing in itself, but on the other end of the scale, and in the context of what is ahead, it is practically nothing.

Week One, in fact, is the shortest week of the entire programme. Yesterday’s so called ‘long run’, done every Sunday, was 9 miles, and that is the shortest run that we will do between now and the middle of November, or more precisely speaking until after the marathon is finished! So in other words, I’d better get used to this, and a lot more!

I also started last week’s blog post by saying that I was going to follow this programme to the absolute letter, but I inevitably didn’t! For starters, work got in the way (but only slightly), and so I swapped over Thursday’s 5 miler with Wednesday’s four miler (but otherwise did the same runs as the programme said, one a tempo run and the other hill repeats.

But secondly I also had a trip this weekend for a reunion. The reunion was with very special friends, whom I met around 5 years ago when climbing Europe’s highest mountain, Mount Elbrus in Russia. It was a monumental trip in so many ways, defined by awful weather when trying to summit, and a bout of pretty bad altitude sickness for yours truly, commemorated in this blog post below:

The group of us try to have at least one reunion every year, and this year it was in The Lakes and had been organised for quite some time, so there was no way I was missing it. We had a totally amazing time as we always do, and went on some great walks and generally just enjoyed each other’s company in and around Ambleside over three days. It did however involve a 600 mile drive, three walks (one of around 14 miles), and a day off work just to get there, plus (I’m very happy to say!) copious amounts of socialising. I also had then to try to fit in a 5 mile run on the Saturday and a 9 mile one on the Sunday, so something had to give!

In the end I left the rest of the gang to it on the Sunday morning to climb Helvellyn, and came back to do my Sunday run in my home town. Melanie came over from Cambridge to meet me and do it with me too, and we will all being well be able to do all of our long runs together. That’s tremendously motivational for me, especially as she is the reason I’m doing New York in the first place :).

Here are a few pictures from the weekend in the Lakes, the first one of us on the last morning before I left. A finer and more lovely group of people I will never ever meet :).

Me getting a friendly look (or I hope it was friendly!) from one of the local residents
The view over Lake Windermere from Ambleside YHA.

So onwards into week 2, and 31 miles of what looks like some very hot conditions with the forecast to hit 36 degrees C on Thursday. That’s too hot for practically anything in my book, other than a nice gin and tonic or three! Wish me luck………..

The 24 Peaks are getting too close!

Well next weekend is getting very close indeed. Like 5 days away close, and that is scary.

The reason for such trepidation is that on Friday I will head to the Lake District for the so-called “24 Peaks”. It is an event that I only came across a few months ago, and thought “why not?”, whilst right now I just find myself saying “why?”.

The challenge is to climb 24 peaks above 2,400 feet in the Lake District in 24 hours trekking time, but spread over two days. There are 36 miles of walking, plus around 13,000 feet of climbing, including Scafell Pike, the highest mountain in England, a tough climb in itself, and others such as Great Gable, Helvellyn, and Bowfell.

The full list is as follows, as modified for the route that I am taking through Global Adventure Challenges, the expedition leaders:

Day One: Bowfell, Esk Pike, Great End, Ill Crag, Broad Crag, Scafell Pike, Lingmell, Great Gable. Green Gable. About 18 miles of walking plus the climbing.

Day Two: Red Screes, Dove Crag, Hart Crag, Fairfield, Seat sandal, Dollywagon Pike, High Crag, Nethermost Pike, Helvellyn, Browncove Crags, Lower Man, Whiteside, Raise, Stybarrow Dodd, and White Stones. Again about 18 miles of walking.

Walks start both days at around 6am, following a minibus ride to the start, so 5am for breakfast both days in the bunkhouse.

I haven’t trained specifically for this, but am hoping that I have enough residual fitness to get me through it. I suppose having done the Yorkshire Three Peaks, the Welsh Three Peaks and a fair amount of other walking (I’ve just done 37 miles this weekend alone for example) should help a lot, but we will see.

I’ve done so far this year on my measured walks 227 miles and 33,800 feet of ascent. But that is since March. How much will that help me? Well some, for sure. I am set to find out though, and very soon.

I am maybe in for a shock…..