This week has been tough – I will not beat around the bush. Tired - I think that is the only word I can use to describe how I have been feeling; physically, mentally and at times emotionally. I had guessed this week might be challenging, with high running demands combined with a very busy few days at work, but it hit me harder than I expected. 5.30am alarms for running with some days not getting home from work until past 10pm – I love both my job and running - but it’s not a good combination. I have survived though, but I know I really need to look after myself this week ahead to avoid burnout and undoing all the good I have achieved so far.
MONDAY: following 20 miles on Sunday I was weary today. I had a double combination of Strength and Conditioning for Runners and Body Pump planned for the evening and really was not sure I had the energy for it. In the end I completed both, and felt better for it. Later that evening I then had quite an emotive personal situation, which affected me a little, and with lots of thoughts and reflections running through my head (and indeed for most of the subsequent week) I really did not sleep well.
TUESDAY: my word for how I was feeling today is drained – and it was only Tuesday. A tired body and emotional mind made me chose to switch to a slightly easier run on my plan – 5 tempo miles, with the middle 3 miles at marathon pace. What my marathon pace actually is, I am not sure, but I seemed to run around 7.45-7.50 min/mile. A shorter run was much better for me, although the tempo miles felt a little tougher than perhaps they should have been.
WEDNESDAY: after getting home post 10pm Tuesday night, I was pleased I was meeting my friend from Strength and Conditioning for another run this morning, as it simply made me get up. The 5.30am alarm would not have been welcomed otherwise. I still felt fatigued, but chatting to my friend helped take my mind off it, and running at his pace meant we logged strong splits across 7 miles of 7.39, 7.25, 7.38, 7.35, 8.32 (a big hill!) 7.31 and 7.30 min/mile.
THURSDAY: is it boring if today I said I felt tired? The only run left I had on my plan was the 9 mile interval run I had postponed from Tuesday – safe to say the prospect of which did not fill me with absolute joy! The run went better than I feared, 9 miles passed quickly with 8 x 800m reps thrown into the mileage. It essentially paved out as a 7 mile interval run with a 2 mile cool down at the end. I felt spent during the cool down, but was pleased to see my pace remained steady, just over 8 min/mile. My interval reps were mainly sub 7.20 min/mile with a couple slowing as I tired. I then worked until 10pm at night again…
FRIDAY: with a race on Sunday and a planned Rest Day for Saturday, today should have been 3 easy miles. I did not run 3 miles; with another long day at work ahead, I knew there would be absolutely no benefit to my fitness or wellbeing. I rested.
SATURDAY: Rest Day and a lovely morning volunteering at my home Lincoln parkrun before heading back to Suffolk ahead of Sunday’s Cambridge Half Marathon. At this point I was probably looking forward to seeing my parents more than I was running a half marathon. Monday’s personal events were playing on my mind, and to put it frankly, I needed a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on.
SUNDAY: after a couple of days rest I felt fresher going into today’s race. The weather was a bit bleak with rain steadily falling, and I felt a bit guilty for my parents who were coming to watch! I loved having them there though, and it spurred me on (see images), especially towards the end. Run wise, as soon as I started I knew my legs were not as sharp as my PB at Leicestershire Half Marathon two weeks ago. I had also forgotten what a big race is like - 10,000 runners on narrow Cambridge roads meant the start was ridiculously slow. Full blog to follow – but I ran well for the first ten miles; sub 7.30 min/mile pace and consistent, if slightly slower than a few weeks ago. The final 3 miles were tough though – my legs just drained and I had to dig deep for the finish. My finish time was 1:37:49, and I was really happy to log another sub 1.40 half. I was knackered though – and as my parents found me at the finish arch, I was an exhausted mess! My mantra from Cambridge Half is - share what you love with the people you love, that is what matters most.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...