With three weeks to go until Berlin I feel like the pre-marathon anxiety is starting to hit me. I have begun to over analyse every muscular ache and panic about anything that does not feel quite right. Things are going well though, despite my fears, and I even managed another PB this week...
MONDAY: Bank Holiday Monday meant a change in routine with my usual Body Pump class not being held. However being the total Body Pump addict that I am - you may have noticed I very rarely miss a class! - I managed to download the music playlist and thus confidently headed to the gym with my friend to recreate the class. How committed is that!
TUESDAY: hill repeats - not just any hill repeats, but 7 miles of running with 10 x long hills. On paper the run looked horrible and it was not much better in reality if I am honest! I chose a hill which I am too scared to drive my car up for fear of stalling; which either gives you an indication of how rubbish a driver I am or how steep the hill is! The run was almost a bigger mental challenge than physical. Once I had learnt the gradient of the hill and how to attack it, my legs complied, but mentally the will to push myself up this seeming mountain ten times was hard work. At the halfway point I doubted if I could do it - but I did, much to the amusement of the little cat who sat on a wall at the top of the hill and watched me throughout (see image)!
WEDNESDAY: yesterday's hills had left my legs feeling sore. Add to this a visit to my Sports Therapist for a massage, I was tender to say the least! With this in mind I took my run steady, and kept to my plan's suggested 9 min/mile pace. Body Pump class after.
THURSDAY: today's plan was for a six mile tempo run, with the four middle miles at 8 min/mile pace. My legs still felt sore, which concerned me a little, and I was worried how I would manage. After a mile warm up my legs seemed to loosen though and as I entered the tempo miles I found my rhythm - splits of 7.52, 7.44, 7.46 and 7.36 meant I finished the run feeling much happier than I started.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: a trip to Lincoln parkrun which resulted in me leaving with a massive new PB of 21.34! In my last three visits I have ran a PB at each, but this is the first time I have ever gone sub 22 minutes. Looking at my splits and thinking back to when I ran a 25.38 time a few months ago it seems quite unbelievable. I pushed hard from the start and felt in control the whole way round, my legs, my breathing and my mental focus all coming together; I guess it could be described as being 'in the zone'. I even managed a second female placing, which beats my previous record of finishing third female. Safe to say it was a good morning.
SUNDAY: after last week's 22 miler, the prospect of running 20 miles somehow seemed more manageable, and in my mind I broke it down into two sets of ten miles. I ran consistently again, averaging 9.12 min/mile pace, and found on the long interrupted paths I had chosen I strode along nicely, with the miles gradually ticking away. It was the final four miles which were the hardest though as I returned from my rural route back to Lincoln's city centre. The stop-start nature of traffic lights and road crossings made my legs hurt, but even with this pain I still felt strong and like I could have continued running further. I need to run like this during the marathon - keep the start conservative and have that extra left for the final few miles. That's doable right?!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...