This week my mileage has been high, with the peak weeks of marathon training starting to hit and the long runs becoming really long. Taking this into account, I am pleased with how the week has panned out...
MONDAY: Body Pump class
TUESDAY: my plan was for 7 miles of fartlek, and although at times I hate them, I would actually have preferred to run some scheduled intervals. I find fartlek difficult to complete, but I attempted it, opting for a hilly route and intending to run the hills hard then recover afterwards so to mix up my intensity levels. However, my legs felt so strong on the hills that I did not really stick to my plan; I attacked the hills but then didn't feel the need to recover. I virtually put in maximum effort for the whole run - not fartlek. Next time I am planning my own intervals!
WEDNESDAY: today's run was supposed to be a slow six miles, but I really struggled to drop my pace, which sounds silly I know. I was running relaxed but was averaging 8.30-8.40 min/miles still, much quicker than my plan suggested. After my initial frustration, I just went with it, as it felt almost more of a strain to try and forcefully slow down. Body Pump class after.
THURSDAY: the challenge set today of running 8 miles at 8 min/mile pace daunted me a little. It seemed a quick pace for me to maintain for such a duration. I went out with the mindset of trying to stick with the pace for as long as possible, if I slowed towards the end so be it, but I wanted to get in as many miles as possible on the 8 minute mark. As soon as I started running however a huge surge of determination took over me, I settled to 8 minute pace quickly and then continued to run hard and on pace. Six miles felt good, but the last two were tough, and it was purely the mindset I found myself in that kept me going and refused to let my legs slow. I finished with an average pace of 8.01 min/miles (see image) - I happily took that!
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: Saturday this week meant race day as I took on the Bassingham Bash 5 Mile Road Race. I ran the event and also raced a 5 mile distance for the first time last year, and from this had set myself a time of 37.30. I had been apprehensive of my chances of matching this time so late on in my marathon training; although a recent return to some speed had given me a glimmer of hope.
I ran hard from the gun, pushing my legs to fight against the very strong wind bracing us runners. I knew I was running well, I could feel it; and like on Thursday, when things began to feel a little tougher, my mental strength refused to let my legs tire. The last 400m or so my teeth were actually gritted as I fought the clock, crossing the line in 37.17 and a new PB. I was very pleased.
SUNDAY: a 20 mile run was also going to be tough but it felt a real challenge today. I was tired before I even started to run, and once I had begun I really struggled to get myself focused on the task in hand. My mind wandered, my legs could not settle to any sort of pace, and I knew I was in for a battle. I think mentally and physically I was fatigued from the Bassingham Bash and also Thursday's run, as on both occasions I had pushed not only my body, but had also drawn heavily on my mental strength. It just was not coming together today. The run could have been worse, I was still ahead of my plan's suggested pace of 9.30 min/mile, averaging 9.14 minute mile pace, and my legs actually felt their best during the final 5 miles. In a week where I have exceeded my own expectations and showed some real mental resolve I must not complain!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...