Well, my little holiday earlier in the week was much needed because as of this weekend I am back in full training mode for my upcoming autumn half marathons. And they fall within a fortnight of each other!
The first one is the Helly Hansen Beauty and The Beast Trail Marathon Challenge, which is on September 22nd. Don't you love the name? :) The race is described as "the UK's toughest, most rewarding trail marathon challenge". The "beauty" is the stunning parkland where the race will be held in Henley-on-Thames (one of my favourite places!) and the "beast" is the uphill finish!! In fact, the course is made up of laps of a large parkland, and each lap finishes with the uphill bit! 6 laps for the marathon, 3 for the half. I really like races that are laps of an area - it's how I trained for the Big M, by running laps of Battersea Park at 6am most mornings, it means I get to see my support crew (namely Tom!) regularly and it reminds me of my very first half in 2009! But I have never done a trail race before, nor are hills my friends, so this is going to be a whole new ball game for me! Luckily I live in the country so I will be able to take advantage of the woods and hills nearby to help me prepare for this challenge. I'm so stoked to be doing something different, it should push me out of the comfort zone a bit, which I definitely need!
The second half will be two weeks later, in London, and it is the very iconic Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon, which I've been dreaming about getting into since 2009! I'm really excited about this one, not only because it will be flat (!) and maybe I'll be able to get a PB, but also because I'll get to run through the four Royal Parks (Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, St James' Park and Green Park) through my favourite city in my favourite season. London is exquisite in the autumn, especially in the parks. I hope we get a good day for it!
So, the Almighty Marathon Training Plan from Coach Julia has been pulled out again, and I'm getting ready for the next challenges on the horizon. I'll be sharing it all with you guys - there'll be more food what I ate posts in the lead up to the races and a new training diaries series! I hope you'll enjoy it. It feels great to be "goal itchy" again! Even though I've not been running as far as often recently I've been feeling very strong. Must be all the yoga I'm doing....I can do wheel pose again with ease!
Next week, stay tuned for another challenge - food related this time - where I'm going gluten free for 5 days as part of the DS Gluten Free Blogger Challenge. There will be videos! (gulp!). Do you reckon I can do it?! Me, the wannabe baker and champion pasta eater? I've realised with some dismay that most of my go-to vegetarian foods have gluten in them too so this is going to be a huge challenge! I hope you'll enjoy seeing the results, it should be entertaining ;)
There will also be a podcast for you next week, featuring someone who's a bit of a legend. We chatted for so long I reckon it might end up being two podcasts!!
Right, running shoes on now. Happy Olympic weekend to you all!
What's your next challenge going to be?