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Training Training Training

On Saturday I added 5lb to my already heavy bergen  http://www.anthonypounder.com/blog/cns!400938DCD454D501!741.entry and hopped onto the stepper machine.
Keeping it on the low resistance setting I stepped it out for an hour until the machine broke.  It felt like the elastic band had snapped/slipped which meant there was no longer any resistance, anyway, I gave up and resolved to investigate / repair it later.  My back gave me a little bit of stick during the hour but not as much as my 1st effort.
Next morning I was up with the larks for a training run with Bunde.  We’d planned a circa 10 miler taking in some very tasty hills which we figured would help on the P Coy Challenge.  We set off at 07:30 and immediately I felt knackered – my legs were tired from the stepper exertion and we seemed to set off like bats out of hell.  We spotted a couple of runners ahead and we were soon past them, this was about a mile and already I was beginning to worry about the pace and my strength :-(.
We continued to run the planbned course and I felt like I was just hanging on (or out as they say in the military) until we got to about 5 miles.  5 miles was of course the turnaround point as we’d planned a 10 miler but we kept on running and decided to take a circular route home rathre than simply turning round and heading back.
I felt better & better as the run continued and we chatted about the London Marathon and how it was 4 years since I’d last ran it.  At about 9.5 miles we came to a hill known as Jubilee Hill.  Jubilee is a hill which neither of us had ran before but we decided to give it a go as it would be good training for "The Land of Nod", a fearsome hill about 9 miles into the P Coy Challenge.
I set off fairly slowly at the bottom as I was a bit concerned about my ability to run the whole way and just over half way I was very concerned as it got steeper and steeper and my legs were beginning to regret the hour long session on the stepper the day before.  My stride length grew shorter and shorter as I neared the top but I made it and was still able to speak (well swear) when we made it.
The rest of the run was down hill from there and 12 miles were completed in 1:39, not my fastest time ever as I’ve managed a half marathon in 1:37, but it’s a fair pace considering my lay off last year.
Taking the stepper apart later that day revealed that the band had simply slipped off – I reattached it and it was good to go.

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