And that is week 9 of 30 done. I’m now into double figures for weeks and come next Sunday will be celebrating completing the first phase of the training. Can I get a high 5 please?

During week 9 I learnt a Very Important Lesson, namely the importance of having and following lists. When I run into work I have to plan ahead to take in a set of clothes, wash stuff and breakfast, this is fine and good and I have to do it 2 evenings ahead – if I’m running to work on Friday, I take the bag on Thursday and I get my stuff together on a Wednesday. Following me? Good. This Wednesday I was wearing the jeans I thought I’d wear on Friday, so as I was packing the bag I thought ‘better not forgot to pack these jeans before you go to bed’…. Yeah you know what’s coming next. I arrive at work on Friday, get to the shower room and…. No jeans. I spent to next minute rechecking my bag, like you do when you know you have forgotten something and hope desperately it’s tucked away at the bottom of the bag. Luckily Pilla was off work on Friday and could come to my rescue, but not before I had to spent an hour sat in the office with my run shorts on, feeling like the kid at school who forgets his gym kit.

Since discovering that my old Garmin 305 could be programmed with routes and work like a car sat nav (albeit a pretty basic one) my long Saturday rides have been transformed. It’s no longer just picking routes I can easily remember, it’s borrowing routes from cycling groups and heading into the hills. I found myself on a pretty similar route to last week and rode well into snow territory in the Peak District (ok there wasn’t that much snow left but still going from Manchester City centre where we hadn’t seen any at all in one short ride made it feel like I had gone a long way).

Had a very enjoyable run on Sunday, sometimes you have those days where it just seems easier to run than not, everything just clicks into place and you almost have to keep yourself in check to stop going too fast. I had one of those runs and loved it. Checking my pace for that run, I’m down to 8:52/mile which is pretty much what I was running for my long training runs for the marathon last year. I’m pretty pleased with this and as I add in a little bit of speed from week 10 I think that pace might keep on improving.

Talking to a fellow wannabe outlaw (@nicolaclarefox) on Saturday night made me realise we both already had a list of fears for the day – mine in my head, hers on an actual spreadsheet. I think I’ll blog about it another time but already worries about what might happen creep into my day. I can only guess what I’ll be like the week before! Nic has also managed to get me a spot in the actual velodrome courtesy of her cycling team on Thursday night and I’m very very excited about this. It’ll replace a pretty dull spin session too. It also means I’m missing Valentines day which is another thing I’ll need to make up to Philippa post July!

As usual the actual details, including some more lovely graphs, are here.