I will be honest, I am feeling a bit torn at the moment. Part of me wants to enjoy an easy spell of running, with no training, and relax a little generally, whilst the other side of me fears losing fitness and does not want to lose sight of the goals I am chasing. If I am honest I feel I probably need the former; over the past 18 months or so, physically I have achieved so much in my running, trained hard and raced in a number of events, whilst mentally I have continued to push myself not just in training, but in order to keep going on a personal level when at times life has really hurt me. This week has not given me too much choice in my rest/training debate as my body still feels very indifferent post Chicago Marathon. I feel tight in my muscles and a bit tired still - which probably confirms my thoughts about what my focus ought to be now. It is not always that easy though!
MONDAY: I returned to my Body Pump weights class today after a two week break. I knew the class would make me sore afterwards as it does not seem to take much for my body to lose any strength I gain. I was half tempted to lower my usual weights, but once stood in the class, my desire to try get back to where I was before fitness wise was too strong, and I whacked my usual weights on the bar. I actually managed to complete the class without problem, but the next day my body paid me back for my overenthusiastic approach...
TUESDAY: my DOMs were very bad today, not post marathon level DOMs, but still 'cannot bend down to tie my own shoe laces' level. My own fault really! I was covering the weekly social run which my Run Club hosts tonight; usually I find myself working late on Tuesdays and cannot make them, but this was quite well timed. I was able to run nearly 6 miles with friends at a nice and comfortable pace, which suited both the soreness in my legs and my post marathon recovery.
WEDNESDAY: 'I will be slow!' I had warned my Wednesday morning running partner after we agreed to meet for one of our 6am runs. Although my soreness was a lot less, I still knew I was not up to pre-marathon speed levels yet. Our first mile ticked over at 7:45 min/mile pace - a bit quick for my limbs - but we then settled around the 8 min/mile region, which to be honest I was shocked to be able to hold. However the final mile of our route featured a long drawn out hill which my quads simply did not have the power to drive up. I plodded up it, pleased not to stop at least, but once flat path resumed it was clear the hill had wiped my legs out a little, and it was a slow finish for the final half mile or so. Our average pace was 8.11 min/mile - which although it was a tough ending, I was really pleased my legs had managed. I hoped it may have been a turning point.
THURSDAY: yesterday's run had buoyed me, however I was conscious not to overdo things. Unable to make my Run Club in the evening due to work, I headed out for 5 easy solo miles. My pace was slow, and even though I was not zooming, it did not feel easy; my legs were tight and each stride just did not feel normal. I was a bit sad at how much of a contrast it was compared to yesterday's seeming progress, but tried not to let it bother me.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: back running at Lincoln parkrun in the absolute pouring rain (see image). The conditions and World Cup Rugby on the TV meant for a much smaller field size to normal, and I must applaud all those who decided to come run today, as well as volunteer, as it was pretty hideous! I was absolutely soaked to the skin when I finished running, and the course even featured a very large water obstacle puddle, which emphasised the amount of rainfall we have had of late. I did not run very well to be honest, I gave my all, but my legs were just not there. My quads were so tight and I did not have my normal leg lift and ability to drive forward. My first mile was vaguely ok, but I faded badly, finishing in 22:15; which for me is a lot slower than normal. I was not too down, there is nothing I could do if my body was not ready to go any quicker, and I did try my best. It is also hard to feel too down after parkrun anyway with so many people to chat to and lift your spirits - despite the downpours I still found myself stood around the finish area in shorts and t-shirt chatting to people like a mad woman!
SUNDAY: my 'long run' last week was 6 miles, so this week I aimed for 8 - a sensibly steady approach. I set out to explore some new routes in Lincoln on a beautifully autumnal morning, and tried to let this take my mind off how my legs felt. It was real mixed bag of miles, some I ran well, in the 8.20 min/mile region, but there were a couple of much slower ones when it was like my legs just stopped working. Despite some pace improvements, I have to say it did not feel totally comfortable throughout. That tightness and limited range of movement in my limbs was still there.
So this week has been a bit of a mix bag in terms of running. Next week I feel I will just have to continue to listen to my body and see what I am capable of; I need to try accept the easy weeks I need.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...