I took Scaramanga Six out with me on my final run before the Bristol half marathon on Sunday. A nice easy 30 minutes along the river. Just one to keep the legs ticking over, nothing hurts so it’s time to put the number on my race vest and timing chip on my shoe.
This morning’s easy 30 minute run taught me two things: first that running after interrupted sleep is not fun (thank you to the cat and the scaffolders for that), and second that the zombies, run! app does not like Amerie’s 1thing as it crashed twice after playing it. This extended my mission from around 30 minutes to nearer 50 so I walked the final two tracks after stopping my Garmins.
Today was my last hard(ish) run before the half marathon next week, but I wasn’t pushing myself too hard ~85%. It was nice to get a time starting with a 24 considering that, though I was outside the top 100 for the first time in a while. A big turnout, even with the chill in the air reminding me that I’d better start bringing a hoodie and maybe gloves soon. I had a nice bit of a chat on the way down with a runner that I’m sure I recognise though they claimed it was the first time on the hill. Checking the results he wasn’t lying, but I must have seen him at another race somewhere.
I finished 105th out of 293 parkrunners, was 12th lady and 4th in my age category. I am holding steady at 4th in the points table with a maximum 100 points coming next week as I’m volunteering as photographer.
The taper has begun. I took a bit of weight off in my squats in Body Pump yesterday and the yoga class ended up being a mellow one, so when it came to do my final long run today I decided to shorten it (but speed it up a little), only going as far as the railway tunnel. It’s a gradual ease down now towards next Sunday. I don’t want to risk getting an injury/making my hamstring worse when it is almost fully healed.
It’s the final full week of training before the taper starts for the Bristol half marathon, so it was out along the river in the glorious sunshine for a nice easy run. I was slightly worried it was going to default back to an hour’s run after it played two songs back-to-back, but did finish before hitting the 40 minute mark.
I had to miss parkrun on Saturday as there was a review day scheduled for my psychology course and it started at 10:00 (a bit tight to make it there from a 9am 5km run if I didn’t want to arrive dripping in sweat). As it was I only just made it on time (after a detour via Starbucks) and the day kicked off with advice about the exam. It turns out that a lot of the advice from the run bristol training session was relevant to exam prep: getting a lot of sleep, making sure you eat and drink right, and not panicking but trusting in the work you have already done.
We then moved on to a couple of presentations about the personality and perception and attention chapters, which the neuroscientist giving them let us with the conclusion that they were rubbish and unfortunately won’t get tested on the neuro elements respectively. After which there was a quick break for some lunch.
After lunch we looked at the short answer questions (5 from 8 terms will require a definition and explanation of why they are important), then the lifespan development chapter which I had already decided I wasn’t going to focus on in my revision, which was just as well as my brain decided to check out about then anyway. I then got to go home and frantically tidy and vacuum as people were coming round that evening.
I put the OU on hold for the rest of Saturday and Sunday (I had a family commitment on Sunday), but did receive the mark for my final tutor marked assignment (TMA) on Sunday morning. A healthy 78 which gives me an average (before substitution, which will probably push it up a little bit) of 79%. This is a solid pass 2 grade. The OU module results aren’t the average of your assignment marks and your exam marks, but the lower grade you achieve in the two, so if I want to keep my pass 2 then I need to get at least 70 on the exam, which after the review day I feel is achievable.
I have also just applied and paid for my first level 3 course: A333 – key questions in philosophy. This is scheduled to start 4th October, which will give me a whole two week break between courses.
I took a few hours out of my revision timetable (for my level 2 OU psychology exam in a couple of week) to pootle along to the Bristol Wool Fair on the Downs this afternoon. I took the train up to Clifton Down and walked the rest of the way up Whiteladies Road, lucking hitting the Downs at the exact point where the Wool Fair site had been set up. I was quickly onto site and had a first initial trundle over to where SheerSheep were just finishing off a sheep shearing demonstration (with a very cooperative sheep named “Bessy”). Once that concluded I set off around the site past the food vendors and into the main stallholder marquees.
I like to have an initial look at all of the stalls before I get my wallet out, plus I was listening to the end of England’s innings at Headingley, so after having a good familiarisation with what was available, took myself for a mango sorbet from Shepherds who use sheep’s milk, before the serious shopping commenced. I started back at the SheerSheep pen, having a chat with Michael the shearer who introduced me to Saxon merino fibre, noting that sheep have letterbox pupils since they are prey animals (which is seriously freaky). I then moved on to Cotswold Alpacas who had two seriously cute alpacas, and picked up some fibre to spin, commencing the shop-a-thon.
My next purchase was in the Brunel marquee, with a gorgeous little yarn bowl from Emily Cross.
The shopping continued in Brunel with fibre from Wildcraft where I was assured that the 200g of BFL/sparkly nylon that I selected was nothing like September’s club parcel.
I reversed directions at this point and worked my way back through the Blackbeard marquee, buying fibre from Sara’s Texture Crafts. 100g of BFL in Strawberry
and 200g of merino/tussah silk blend in Heathered Highlands.
My final stop was back in the Banksy marquee where I finished my shopping at Raindrop Yarns where I picked up 100g of pink rainbow dyed merino
and a sock blank.
All in all, not a bad haul, including yet another canvas bag and a programme.
My hamstring had been a bit grumbly at yoga last night, so I wasn’t sure if I was going to go on my scheduled long run today, but decided that I would set out and if it didn’t feel right I could always turn around and come home. The hamstring felt fine though and I completed the same course as last week but ten minutes slower (which was intentionally and back to what should be my long run pace). Out to the TARDIS and back again, a nice 10-miler. Just the one long run left before the half marathon, or not if I decide to start the taper a little sooner.
The usual Monday morning route but this time it was dry when I left the house and within two steps of starting my run a cloud descended around me and I was very soggy when I got back (but no playing on the swings this time). I did manage to match my distance to my average pace.
Another Saturday morning, another charge up the Ashton Court hill. This week there were pacers as there was a run bristol training session afterwards looking at the upcoming half marathon. There was a 24 minute pacer and given that this is my usual pace I decided to stay near him. Well I lost him on the first hill and he was about 20 seconds ahead of my at 1.25km so I kept to running my own pace and crossed the line sub 24 minutes (he must have been closer to sub 23).
I finished 78th out of 273 parkrunners, was 8th lady and first in my age category. I am still holding steady at 4th in the points table by now only 1 point behind Emma Withers.
After a quick change of shirt it was time for some stretching and being talked at (but not before grabbing some free t-shirts, water bottles and my own weight in jaffa cakes and chocolate rice cakes). I managed to get a 10 minute consultation with a physio who confirmed that whatever-I-did-at-Body-Pump was probably a pulled hamstring but that it was healing nicely and gave me a couple of exercises to strengthen it. It shouldn’t be a problem for the half marathon unless I re-injure it, so that is a worry off.
The training session was great, as always, and I left feeling very positive about the half which I hadn’t been before with my interrupted training. Hopefully day school next week for my psychology exam (just before the half) will have a similar effect. Revision starts in earnest on Monday (after I get my final assignment polished and submitted tomorrow).