I’m just under two weeks away from the Danville 10k – it’s Sat 28th May and I thought it was time to talk a bit about how training’s been going over the past four or five weeks. My goal for Danville is to go sub-50 – this would be a 8.01 pace, which is a big difference from my 8.10 pace current PR.

My last 10k PR when I was fresh, young and my hair looked good.
My last 10k PR when I was fresh, young and my hair looked good.


How to describe my training so far?  I think the best word to describe it would be ‘meh’. Which may not actually be a word and, if it is a word, it’s a word that some people violently object to. But it sums up where I am at the moment so let me elaborate on ‘meh’.

Some things have been good.

  • I have had a couple of really solid weeks with decent mileage, with a good mix of speedwork and easy running. These weeks have left me feeling awesome.
  • Two weekends ago, I ran a tempo run with 3 miles at goal pace. These were my fastest ever tempo miles, averaging 7.52. I felt flipping amazing at the end of them!
  • My Friday morning runs with Lisa are all kinds of awesome. Instead of easy, chatty runs we’ve been switching it up and doing hill repeats and interval sessions and it has been wonderful! She’s faster than me over shorter distances and much stronger up hills so trying to keep up has really pushed me! Also we have put the world to rights on a weekly basis.
  • I’ve finally got out on my bike this week, with a lovely sunny 30 miler! I thoroughly enjoyed it, I haven’t ridden my bike ‘properly’ since September so it gave me so much pleasure.
surf me 100 century cycling
My last 10k PR when I was fresh, young and my hair looked good.



  • My good solid weeks have alternated with weeks of low mileage and low quality. Life got busy, stuff happened…but I think those poorer weeks have taken the edge off my training.
  • I’ve not been eating brilliantly and I’ve put on the pounds I lost over Lent. The actual weight is not so much the issue as the impact that has on my speed and my overall body confidence. I was feeling strong and ‘lean’ and fast. I don’t feel that way any more.

Today I had a really crap run. I was up early to run before church. The plan was 2 miles warm up,  4 miles at tempo and an easy jog back. Warm up went fine, my garmin beeped and I sped up. Mile 1 came in at 8.06 (goal pace  is 8.00) but I felt good so I pushed a bit harder. Mile 2 came in at 8.09 but I was still okay with it, I just needed to make those last two miles faster. I congratulated myself on not going out too fast. I got to about half-way through that next mile…and just found myself grinding to a halt and stopping. I never intended for that to happen, it just did. My legs were heavy and achy (no idea why) and I just stopped. I caught my breath for a minute and then restarted my watch and ran on. Less than a hundred yards later, I found myself stopped again. My body was struggling but my mental game was just non existent. I called it quits and jogged home.

Looking forward to running here in a few weeks
The race route!

I’ve been thinking about this run all day. I try to keep running in perspective so I know it’s not a big deal, but if we don’t care about the goals we set ourselves, why set them. My sub-50 10k goal is a big one for me – I’ve always known it’s a goal I may not reach, and I definitely may not reach it at Danville. I think it’s do-able in the long term but I don’t feel like I have the fitness to crush Danville in the way I’d hoped to. However I.m not going to write that goal off yet, by any stretch.

So this is the plan.

  • Keep training my socks off. I’ve re-planned the next two weeks to try and get myself into as good shape for the race as I can do.
  • Taper well. My legs feel surprisingly heavy and tired, given the lack of punishing training I’ve been doing.
  • Reassess a few days beforehand. Sub-50 may not be on the cards for the 28th but I definitely feel that a PR (racing at 8.09 pace) would be possible. So maybe I chip away at this goal over a longer period of time than I’d planned. I don’t know as yet.
  • Cut out sugar and alcohol. I’ve actually been doing this for a week. After Lent, I’d hoped I’d be able to incorporate sugar into my diet in moderation (after all, cake is the best) but I was losing control again. And I think banning alcohol will stop me switching cake for wine, which isn’t a healthy alternative. So I’m cutting both out until the race. I’m a girl who needs incentives (which is shameful) so  if I manage not to eat sugar or wine until midday on the 28th, I’m making my first Invisalign appointment immediately afterwards. California dentistry, here I come!

So there we are. 13 days out, not fast, not flying, not impressed with myself. Let’s see what I can do by the 28th.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Angela says:

    I am a firm believer that there are runs and days sometimes that just feel like crap, regardless of how great your training has been, and there’s not necessarily a reason for it. I like finding reasons for things because it makes me feel more in control, but I’m not sure they always exist & we can drive ourselves crazy trying to find them. All you can do is make sure you’re rested & fresh for the race & go into it with a good attitude!

    (Also want a pacer? I will definitely not be trying to PR this or anything.)

    1. Cathryn says:

      Hell yes. Please. You serious?????

      I think you’re right about all the other stuff…nodding along with all your wisdom here.

      Will email you.

  2. Jen says:

    I feel very similar to you in terms of having a not-great training cycle and readjusting expectations. I hear you have a pacer now though, so that should help, hopefully! I’ll just be a couple of minutes behind you two. 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      Having a pacer has really re-energised my feelings! I will review my goals at the end of this week but I’ve never run with a pacer before, intrigued to see if I love or hate it. Join us on the PR freight-train if you want?

      1. Jen says:

        I think 50:00 is too much of stretch for me, but I hope to keep you two in my sights! All I need is to beat 52:51 to PR.

      2. Cathryn says:

        You can do that!!

  3. I understand SO MUCH the “Meh” feeling. I had that kind of troubles with my training for Boston. I still don’t know what it was or how to deal with it, though. I will just tell you what I tell myself in these moments: “Just focus on the fact you are outdoors and remember that you run because it brings you joy”.
    Even if you don’t PR on this 10K, I KNOW, you have this sub-50 in you. Don’t doubt yourself on that.

    I hope you’ll feel better soon 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thank you! I agree with you, that I can do it, it may just take longer than is ideal 🙂 And yes, I recently heard the saying ‘each mile is a gift’ – one day, we may not be able to run so we should cherish even the crappy miles!

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