A bit of a muddly week for me with a Bank Holiday, family visiting, some annual leave days and the virtually unheard occurrence of a race on a Saturday!
MONDAY: Rest Day
TUESDAY: I had family staying with me today and to avoid disrupting the visit with my desire to fit in a training run, I rose early for my interval run - 8 miles with 5 x 1 mile repeats and 400m recoveries. I really struggle with intervals first thing in the morning and as usual it did seem to take my body a while to feel awake; the first interval mile felt like it simply went on forever! Mile reps are hard, and whilst I found the next two intervals more manageable, the final two were completed with a 'I just have to get this done' mentality. Pace-wise I ranged between 7.25 min/mile and 7.58 min/mile on the intervals - guess which was the mainly uphill mile!
WEDNESDAY: another early run; it was actually dark when I left the house, which prompted a quick route change in my head and the realisation that the joys of summer running would soon be ending. As this was a steadier paced run it did not feel such an effort as interval at the crack of dawn did, and I weaved my way around the streets of Lincoln, gradually ticking the 9 miles off at a comfortable 8.29 min/mile average pace.
THURSDAY: back to my normal routine of evening running, which felt much more natural. In fact I seemingly flew through the 7 miles I had on my plan, with the 5 middle miles at tempo pace. I aimed for 8 min/mile pace for the tempo miles, and comfortably kept well under this marker without feeling stretched.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: after volunteering at parkrun, I took on the Bassingham Bash 5 Mile Road Race (see image) - an unusual distance for me to race, held at an equally unusual time of 2pm on a Saturday afternoon. This was my third time running in the event, and I was not really sure what to expect from myself. I knew I was not going to hold back, despite this possibly being ill advised with 20 miles planned for Sunday, and instead just planned to go as hard as possible and see what I had in my legs. I really took off from the start, and my first mile split was 6.24 min/mile - this shocked me and I knew I would struggle to sustain anything like that. I did not let this fast mile put me off though and just tried to keep a rhythm going, not doubt my abilities, and remain confident in my legs. I felt strong throughout and whilst I inevitably slowed from that rapid first mile, I kept predominantly under 7 min/mile pace. Racing across the finish line I stopped the clock at 34:14, which was a new 5 mile PB and over three minutes quicker than my time last year, and also earned a few handshakes from some of my male counterparts. I later found out I managed to place 6th female, which considering I am currently training for a distance event as opposed to shorter distances, I was quite pleased with!
SUNDAY: the final 20 miler. With Bassingham Bash held yesterday afternoon, a 7:30am run did not allow for too much recovery in the legs, but my friend (who also ran the Bash) and I set off buoyed by the thought this was the last of the big long runs. It was neither a comfortable run nor a horribly hard run, it just sat somewhere in the middle of that continuum really. It did not even seem too long in comparison to last week's 22 miles, which shows just what marathon training does to your mind! We finished with an average pace of 8.43 min/mile - which we were both happy with. Once I stopped I could feel the accumulation of the weekend, and undoubtedly the past thirteen weeks, in my legs as they groaned beneath me, but I was very pleased with the weekend's achievements. One more week of moderate mileage to go and then taper time...
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...