The ‘Help! I ate my mojo!’ half marathon challenge

It has been 7 months since I last trained for a race, 7 months that I have filled with:

  • Cycling anywhere, everywhere and some places in between
  • Eating ice cream by the bucketful
  • Drinking coffee by the gallon
  • Proving that my tolerance for ale remains above average
  • Trying to convince myself that the occasional cigarette in the beer garden does not make me a smoker
  • Walking home at 4am too often for a grown up
  • Wearing lipstick
  • Haphazardly running threshold sessions in the vain hope that when I decide to be a runner again, I can

For example, 2 weeks ago…

photo 1 (1)

…I went for a beer after a track session on Thursday night, which turned into three…

photo 2 (1)

…and then cycled to Brighton the next morning.

My running mojo disappeared just after my marathon last year. The story of its disappearance is a long one that I may write about another time, but for now all I need to tell you is that I ate it, I drank it, I ironically ran away from it, but now I’m chasing after it again. I started training this week for the Run Hackney half marathon and, though that gives me just 8 weeks to train, I’m really looking forward to it – because 8 weeks of training is far less daunting than 12!


Last time I blogged I very optimistically announced that I was gunning for 1:45. I’m not sure how I feel about that goal now. The logic behind it is:

  • I last ran a half marathon in 1:48. That was a bit hilly, especially compared to Hackney which is as flat as a pancake
  • Despite eating my mojo, my 5K times continue to hover around 23:30
  • Following my results last year, 1:45 is the next logical goal… It’s kind of a milestone time, y’know?

But the truth is that I am not the runner that I was last year. My work/life balance is far healthier these days and without the regimental madness of that old life’s timetable I’m having to find new ways to motivate myself to train. And so, if I may, I would like to amend my goal for Run Hackney. I would like to run another sub-1:50 half marathon, the same goal that I set and achieved last Spring. I want to prove to myself that I can achieve those same goals, but without the madness that last time accompanied them!

And so, dear readers, I am pleased to announce that the 8 week ‘Help! I ate my mojo!‘ half marathon is underway!

Unlike previous training challenges I have not made a training plan for this race. Shocking,  I know… I am setting myself some outlines though:

  • 1 long run (10-14 miles)
  • 1 speed session (most likely on the track with my club – these are fun!)
  • 1 race pace session (mile reps building up to 2-5 mile blocks)
  • 1 strength session (I’ve recently plucked up the courage to enter the weights room at my gym and it is awesome – it’s all about the deadlifts!)

That’s a minimum of 3 runs a week, but I’m aiming to do 4. This week I have already managed a speed session, some weight lifting and have a 10K race lined up for the weekend. And despite hangovers, I’ve still managed some respectable long runs, albeit on Sunday afternoons, rather than in the morning…

photo (1)Run Hackney – I’m gonna run you so hard!

Oh, and I have another goal – to start blogging again properly. That’s right , weekly updates are coming your way. Expect the first on Monday! Over and out, peeps.



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