This training week has been another good week; I feel almost scared to admit this for fear of jinxing things! I have really began to feel like the old me; the runner who I thought I might not ever get back to being. My legs feel like mine again. Don't get me wrong, things are still tough as you would expect in Week 9 of a marathon training programme, but I now feel like I am able to cope and deal with the demands much better.
MONDAY: Body Pump class to start the week.
TUESDAY: the prospect of running 7 miles with 10 x long hill repeats instilled me with some fear. Only a few weeks back I had struggled up any form of incline, which my legs then battled to recover from for the remainder of a run. I was thus fearful of how I would cope with so many lengthy hills. The first five hills I however felt strong on; hills 6-8 began to feel a bit harder, but it was only really the last two inclines which truly made my quads burn. I completed the run with a lot less of a struggle than I expected. A further highlight of the run was the man who asked if I was lost - clearly running repeatedly up and down the same road ten times had caused him to question my sanity!
WEDNESDAY: I had to split my run today due to finishing work late. I say 'had to' more like 'chose to'. I did not want to miss my Body Pump class so I squeezed in a fast three miles before the class, then added the remaining 4 miles afterwards. I thought I would suffer more on my second run after an hour's weights class in the middle, but pleasingly my legs coped well.
THURSDAY: a weekday ten miler, which my plan said should be completed at 8.30 min/mile pace. This pace seemed to be a big ask for me, and was not a pace I had been able to sustain over a long distance for some time. I went out optimistically though and got myself into a determined mindset where slowing down was just not an option; and luckily my legs seemed to comply! In the end I finished with a much better then expected average pace of 8.16 min/mile.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: Following on from last week's trip to Lincoln parkrun where I found myself in 22 minute territory for the first time in 2016, I headed into this week with a new sense of expectation. Could I match this very surprising time? I couldn't match it... instead I bettered it, running thirty seconds quicker than last week and finishing with a new PB of 22.28! Where on earth has that PB come from!? Just two weeks ago I was struggling to complete 5k in anything under 24 minutes! I was one happy runner!
SUNDAY: to finish a week where the demands of my plan have seemed that tiny bit more, I had my longest run of this programme to date, 18 miles at a suggested pace of 8.30 min/mile. I ran with my friend who was also completing her long run as part of her Berlin Marathon training. Running together not only helped me tackle both the distance and the weather conditions we faced, but also helped me attempt to go faster than I have been running on long runs. Our first five miles were quick; with a strong wind behind us we managed 8.20-8.25 min/mile pace. The wind was not always going to be in our favour though and certain sections were a battle, with some miles seeing us really fighting against an intense headwind and an increasingly hot sun. Naturally our pace slowed in these sections and towards the end my legs were also tiring, but a finishing average pace of 8.53 min/mile pleased me. For a long run this was a massive improvement from a few weeks back where I was running 8-10 miles at around 9.20 min/mile pace; especially when the conditions were a lot more challenging today (see my beautifully windswept post run photo!) A good run to end a good week.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...