Can an average runner take on 53-miles in the Scottish highlands? Our Online News Ed Rhalou starts the third week of her training.
Week three of my training plan for the Hoka Highland Fling and things are now in full swing. The plan stipulated a 60-minute easy run on Monday, a midweek speed interval session, strength and conditioning, and a 5-minutes easy 35-minutes long pace and 5-minutes easy run, finishing off with a 12-miler at the weekend.
The problem with training in January is running after dark can be daunting. Once the sun sets, unless I manage to rope a friend in, I’m not wild about running around North London on my own. Fortunately last week I was invited to run with the lovely ladies at Elle Magazine and inadvertently managed to fit an interval session in to boot.
After enjoying weekly lunchtime runs together, the Elle team decided to launch a monthly run club for ELLE Insiders and kindly invited me along for the ride. Led by trainer Tim Weeks and accompanied by glow sticks and a ghetto blaster, a gang of us jogged around the city and the twinkling lights of London town after dark were a sight to behold.
At 6K it was just a small fraction of my running week and not a patch on the 53-mile run I’m preparing for. But our little trot refueled my love tanks and reminded me why I do this in the first place. Ordinarily I’d feel completely out of my comfort zone amongst fashion and beauty editors. But be it the sublime Scottish Highlands or the bustling streets of Soho, it doesn’t matter where you are, the running community will welcome you in with open arms. Running is an equalizer and as we raced through the city streets I felt just as comfortable running with this lovely group as I do leaping through the hills with my crazy Scottish fell running friends.
By the weekend I was so enthused about running and geared up for my training that I skipped out the door and ran my 12 miler with relative ease. Sometimes it’s good to have a little reminder about why I’m putting myself through this. Yes I want to challenge myself physically and mentally and prove that I can do this, but most importantly I want to enjoy the ride.
Admittedly I need to get some serious hill training in, so next week I’m going to do my best to seek out some inclines. Follow my progress here and find me on Twitter @Rhalou.