I wasn’t expecting week 2 to feel all that different from week 1. The runs are only thirty seconds longer, after all, and since there’s fewer of them you’re only running for an extra minute in total, and how hard can that be? But it turns out to be harder than I expected.
I think a lot of it was down to my brain now expecting the running to stop after 60 seconds, so the first two runs on Day 1 were the toughest – after that it got a little easier. I took a slightly different route that day, which made the overall distance longer but cut out the steeper bits of the hill I usually cross. The last part of the way took me down the always-busy Byres Road, so my last run was a slalem course navigating round pedestrians.
On day two, the first few runs were still hard. I was deliberately making sure I wasn’t going too fast, and I noticed that I didn’t feel tired until I was about two-thirds of the way through, so I’m sure it’s mostly a mental block after the 60-second intervals of week 1. (The first part of my run is all uphill, but the slope’s very gentle, so I don’t think it can be contributing that much towards the issue.) The third run was easier, and I was getting into my stride by then. I’d originally planned to do the longer, flatter route again, but after getting used to the pace after the third run, I turned off for the steeper route instead.
This one zig-zags across the steeper slopes of one of Glasgow’s many drumlins; I coped with it fine during Week 1, although the way the runs were spaced there had me walking up the first steep uphill stretch and only running on the second one, usually on my final run. But this time, with the 90-second runs, I had to run most of the way up the first uphill, and bloody hell is it steep. I mean, you notice it when you’re walking (I’ve seen quite tough-looking cyclists get off their bikes and push them up that short stretch), but you really notice it when you’re running. And every step gets steeper as you get closer to the top. I was really, seriously wondering whether I’d be able to keep running, even though I wasn’t going any faster than a medium walk and was absolutely determined not to drop out of any of the scheduled runs, just because it really seemed that my muscles just weren’t going to be able to keep on pushing me forward, but just as I got to that point the woman narrating the podcast told me to start walking again.
After that, the final two runs were fine: the fifth was downhill, which is tricky but breathable, and the sixth was uphill again, on the same stretch that always ended up being the last run in Week 1. It was a lot easier than I was expecting this time, though – maybe just in comparison to the earlier hill! Still, I finished in good time without being too exhausted. Bring on Day 3.