Today was a perfect morning for a run. The wind still and reflections on the water nearly as crisp as the morning air.


As I had decided to include more strength training, I wanted to run the stairs leading up my hill, or at least see how many I could run before facing a heart attack. Let’s just say there is loads of room for improvement! The view from the top of the stairs is worth it though:


When I got back down I was treated with spotting the ship behind the rock!


Today’s run reminded me of how far I’ve come and I thought about the book I am reading right now. “Running to the top” from Arthur Lydiard was my original inspiration for “becoming slowrunnergirl”. I had read it back when I started running again and his training plan just seemed so incredibly far away that I went to create my own “plan” in the hope of getting to his mentioned durations at least. “Speed will come with time, it is just a matter of running consistently and without injuries”. This is what I told myself back then and forgot all about it.

Now the year is ending and at the end of the year I wanted to make the decision if I run an ultra next year or not and I got back to read his book. I was blown away by the fact, that when I read his beginner marathon plan I thought “hey that sounds doable”. When I now read about running 6 times per week, it doesn’t feel like a distant vision. It’s reality. I just ran 50 minutes and feel like I finally recharged my batteries and am ready to tackle the day.

So will I run an ultra next year? Probably not. I think I could, but not the way I want to. I don’t yet have any concrete plans, but I think it would be clever to get some more experience in shorter distances before I tackle anything big. Of course the temptation is there, but I have the rest of my life, so I shall do it properly. Another reason is that there is i.e. the perfect “first ultra” for me, just around my cliff, but one of the starting conditions is to have run a marathon.

What is next? I will continue what I have been doing, but won’t increase the duration. I will include faster segments. To transfer from my typical “MAF” paced run to more Lydiard style “Steady” runs. 80/20 fits right in there and I think December and January at least will be good for this. I plan to include more of the hills and stairs stuff to prepare my legs. It will be a nice mix-up, for my legs, my brain and you as you follow along and read my ramblings!

Got an opinion? Give me your best!

14 Replies to “Reflections”

  1. Nice pics. Me and my better half try and pick at least one event per year. It gives you a focus for your training. I personally find it hard to stick to any decent schedule unless I have a race on the horizon. So I would suggest that if an ultra is on your ‘to do’ list, and you need a marathon to qualify, well… there’s your goal for next year!


  2. Good post and obviously plenty to consider. How much hillwork do you do at the moment? I find that on the flat I think I could happily do a marathon distance but its the hills and steps that really fatigue the legs. So if you are indeed looking at a marathon in the coming year then you’re going to have to train specifically for the course. Steep or rolling hills or none at all.

    For example I must admit I’m kinda terrified at the fell race I have in May as its 24 miles of really steep stuff and I’m starting to wonder if if bitten off more than I can chew, flat sure, hills arghhhh! Then again its another 5 months of training.

    Sounds like youre transitioning from being slowrunngirl into areas where you can’t keep your HR down and keep running. Ofc walking hills is fine – It’s my plan! But what I’ve found is once the HR has spiralled once on a hill it gets harder and harder to recover both in breathing and legs.

    And injury – It was speedwork that did for me, too much too soon, I guess just take it easy and keep ramping it up incrementally, I dont know why im telling you this as you’re so much more organised and disciplined than me but thoughts keep spilling out!


  3. I’m not doing any conscious hill work atm. But there are hills all around me. By now I can slowly run up the not too steep ones and stick to my HR. I have no idea of any course yet! 24 miles and hills sounds like a nice one! It will be great to read about you killing yourself :p surely you could train for it though.


  4. Ditto… i got excited about being able to run and increased distance and speed WAY to quick… and i LOVED hills… hills every night… no plan what so ever i just did what i loved, when i wanted etc BOOM! almost a year off now with constant injury!
    I could beat myself up… (actually to death at the moment – cos thats how it feels)… but i will go slow starting Jan and like you, aim to be injury free for a year at least and then rethink….

    You sound like you are ready for a goal poppie…

    Why don you try a 10km first? you could so smash that now, you do, on your own!

    Depends if you wanna ‘SMASH’it… why not go to see how being around all those people feels… what it does to your head, how you push etc… can to stick to YOUR race etc…

    When i did parkrun, never did i expect to wanna go back the next week and PB, and again the following week… etc… i didn’t think it mattered to me AT ALL… turned out it did and i was so shocked! 🙂

    I am doing virtual races again, well lets see, i have two for Dec, one for Jan entered… i am better doing them, i don’t like all the people around me etc… and i only figured that when i did a race.

    Go and check out a blog called, its by a girl called Sarah Erikson… she is AMAZING! did an ultra all on her own in Tenerife… she is on IG too… ex South African… totally inspirational in her training etc….


    1. You might have a point of introducing only one scary item per event! But a 10k is run so fast lol … isn’t that why I wanted to run an ultra? Maybe just for fun as part of a bigger race hm … I will definitely take it slow and keep listening to my body.


      1. Forget the pace. Run your own race. Yes a 10k can be done at a fast-ish pace if that’s what you trained for and are up for it. But what’s fast? For me, 45 minutes would beat my PB. An hour would be pleasant. For other runners, an hour would probably bore them to tears. For others still, an hour would be a PB by a long streak. We’re all different. What I would say is that there are few hiding places in the longer distances. Regardless of pace, unless you walk the 26.2 miles, running a marathon requires decent amounts of training, and going beyond the point where the body both runs out of fuel (the wall) and the will to go on. And an ultra is just more of that (though one of my running colleagues who has done lots of ultras reckons they are really eating competitions, with some running thrown in between meals 😉 )
        So I would say do all the distances, at your own pace, and see what you like doing. The magic word is always pace. It’s not time, and it’s not distance.


      2. I kind of want to start with the mile now! Experience it all somehow … as you said at my own pace … because if I do a longer race then a shorter one might not be an as valuable experience … 10k is a nice distance though. Surely I can find one on the way to a half that is slow enough and maybe even on trails.


  5. You can do time and distance, so you can do whatever you like! I’ve done the Manchester 10k a couple of times- you get put into a group according to what you think your time will be (so I chose 1hr 15 to 1hr 30 ) and you end up running with ‘people like you’! If you wanted to run an event there’s absolutely nothing that should stop you from the running aspect😊


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