This week marked the half way point in my training programme; a time when you would both like and expect to see some results from the last eight weeks of effort. Thankfully I can say I did; this week has been a good week, a very good week in fact...
MONDAY: I was excited to be back at my Body Pump weights class today after missing it for the last two weeks whilst I was away on residential trips with work. I expected it to be tough (it was) and I left hurting but feeling happy.
TUESDAY: the DOMs from my Body Pump return had already hit today, every part of my body was sore, and thus the prospect of intervals on an aching body did make feel a little fearful. Once I got over the initial stiffness at the onset of running I was fine though. The short bursts of speed that 12 x 200m intervals allows you to achieve reminded me of being at sports day at school and racing around a track. I even pictured myself on a track at times, imagining tearing around the 200m bend against others - maybe a little odd, but it worked!
WEDNESDAY: a steady 7 miles before Body Pump. My plan suggested this should be a slow run, but I found myself comfortably running at around 9min/mile pace. It was heading towards being a very pleasant mid week run until on the final mile my left quad muscle went into spasm. This happened to me earlier in the year when I was marathon training, and whilst I am still able to run, it means my quad just feels very, very tight. I was not too worried though as thankfully I had a sports massage booked for the next day, so I knew it would get sorted.
THURSDAY: Rest Day - and a fixed quad thanks to my sports therapists' magic hands!
FRIDAY: on the plan for today was a 5 mile tempo run, with the three middle miles being completed in 24 minutes. This was a tad daunting for me as my current 5k/parkrun times have been over 24 minutes. If I was going to meet my plan I knew I would have to really go for it. Its hard to actually put into words how this run felt apart from saying I felt like the old me; the runner from a few months ago and the runner who I had almost began to believe I might not get back to. I pushed hard during the run, and it was tough, but not in a frustrating way as has often been the case recently. It was tough in a 'I am determined not to let this pace slip' kind of way! I managed a sub 24 minute middle section and an overall average pace of 8.09 min/mile, even with the first and last miles being completed at an easier warm up/cool down pace. I was very happy.
SATURDAY: with last night's run firmly in my mind I headed to Lincoln parkrun in the knowledge I could run a sub 24 minute time. If I didn't then I would be very disappointed in myself. It seems I need not have worried as I actually managed to finish in 22.58 - completely bypassing the 23 minute time zone I have been longing to dip into, setting a fastest mile record (see image), and breaking my stint of running 24+ minutes. I was in fact only 20 seconds away from my PB! Full blog to follow.
SUNDAY: my plan demanded a faster pace for the 15 miles I had to complete as today's long run. I tried to draw upon some of the confidence this week had given me and attacked the run from the start. My first five miles were strong, before a headwind briefly knocked me back. I found my stride again though and regained some pace, even managing to make my final two miles my quickest. My average pace was 8.59 min/miles - the first time I have dipped below the 9 minute mark for a long run during this training cycle. Again I was very happy with my progress. I hope this week has not been a fluke - part of me cannot believe the sudden change and I am certainly not getting my hopes massively high. But I at least know that the old me is in there and I have eight more weeks to make sure the real me is back.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...