The breaking news from this week is that it actually rained! Of course, Mother Nature decided it would be good timing for the skies to open on Sunday when I had 20 miles planned..! Prior to this, the heat has continued to be a challenge, and 5:30am morning alarms have remained a necessity.
MONDAY: this evening was the last session of the current block of Strength and Conditioning for Runners sessions I have been attending. I have really enjoyed the past weeks, not only do I feel I have progressed my running technique, but I have also relished being part of another developing community of runners. This final week we completed some timed runs using uphill and downhill gradients, as well as timed laps to measure our progress against week one. We also finished with a fun team relay challenge, which really emphasised the camaraderie which has built between us all.
TUESDAY: an early interval run of 7 miles with 6 x 1000m reps and 200m recovery periods. Even getting out just before 6am the temperature was already at 18 degrees. Needless to say it was tough at times, but I was determined to push as hard as possible. I could feel the effects of last night's Strength and Conditioning session in my legs, which had been completed at pretty much maximal effort, and by the end I really was hanging on in there! My splits were good though in the conditions; 7.46, 7.31, 7.26, 7.26, 7.28 and 7.32 min/mile respectively. Body Pump class in the evening.
WEDNESDAY: today started with an easy paced 10 miler - I would like to say I chose to keep the pace 'easy' but in reality my legs had absolutely no energy and I do not think I really had much option other than to plod round! I think the past few days had accumulated in my limbs, and I also do not think I had really fuelled enough.
THURSDAY: 7 miles with alternating paces; 1 mile easier, followed by 1 mile faster. I usually aim to keep about a minutes difference between the two paces on these type of runs, however this was a little more of a challenge given the warmth of the morning. I was not far from this target though and sometimes you just have to adapt and be realistic in the conditions. Body Pump in evening.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: Friday was a little bit 'off plan' for me. Generously given the afternoon off work by our employer, I went out for some pizza with my colleagues, which then ended up leading to some 'quiet' drinks, which then ended up with me pulling out some of my questionable dance moves until the early hours. I had not planned this evening at all, but in the moment I felt like I wanted bit of an escape to be honest. With this in mind, I did not feel my sharpest for Lincoln parkrun today! Thankfully the temperature had cooled a lot, else I think I would have massively struggled, and I managed to respectively finish in 21:17.
SUNDAY: waking up to rain lashing on my window and a swirling wind I will admit running 20 miles was not appealing. I was running on my own too, which meant I knew I would have to draw on some real mental strength to get the miles logged. I procrastinated for longer than I have done in past weeks, where I have been eager to get out before the heat built, and found myself staring out my kitchen window wishing it would clear up a bit and that I had my friend to run with. Wishing gets you nowhere though, so I headed out the door and ran. The first 10 miles were relatively ok; the wind battered me at times, but the rain was actually quite refreshing. From 10 miles onward though my legs got a bit twangy and tight in odd spots, which held me back a bit. After 15 miles I could then feel the energy draining from my legs. Hitting 16 miles I stopped, took on a gel and sent a message to my sister saying '4 miles to go - but my legs are gone'. Her reply of 'go, go, go' was what I needed - just 'go' Alice, no point thinking about it, just do it! Unfortunately as I turned to complete the final 4 mile stretch I was hit with a massive headwind which would persist until I arrived home. My pace and legs suffered in this, but I kept 'going'. Even when a huge fallen tree blocked my path (see image), there was no way I was turning back, and instead I completed a slightly precarious assault of its fallen branches. I hit 20 miles - the run was a mental and physical challenge at times, but that sense of knowing you did it never gets tiring.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...