A fellow Brighton Marathon entrant asked me how I was feeling this week - 'Excited... and scared!' - I replied. I am at that point in training now where the reason behind running all these training miles starts to feel real, and it evokes both these emotions!
MONDAY: my legs were sore from Sunday's Ashby 20 race, but I knew I needed to get a run completed as I would be away with work from 6am until 8pm tomorrow - and although some do question my sanity, I was not going to get up any earlier to squeeze a run in! I waited until the evening to run today, in an attempt to give my legs a few more recovery hours, running from my gym to finish in time for a Body Pump class. My quads were tight and twangy, so it was very easy to keep my pace slow, averaging 8:49 min/mile overall across the 6 miles.
TUESDAY: Rest Day
WEDNESDAY: an extra rest day had helped rejuvenate my limbs a little, which I was pleased about as I met my slightly speedier friend for our Wednesday morning run. He had planned out a new route for us to try, with the increasingly lighter mornings now meaning we can venture away from Lincoln's central streets. We ran 6.5 miles in total, in a quick but comfortable 7.46 min/mile average pace.
THURSDAY: looking at my plan I thought my planned interval run was going to be another of those truly hideous runs, which at the time you hate, but by the end you feel proud to have completed. It was hard, but I actually coped much better with the demand than I thought, running 9 miles with 10 x 800m reps and 200m recoveries. I have learnt throughout this block of training that my speed is not where I was this time last year; I cannot hit the same paces on intervals and my parkrun times are also slower. However, what I have noticed is my endurance is greater, and whereas a run like this would have virtually killed me off last year, today I felt like I could have done more. Body Pump class in the evening.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: I knew today would be my last Lincoln parkrun for a couple of weeks due to the impending marathon, so I really gave it my all to try and get a sub 21 minute time again. I ran hard, and I am sure my face showed this (see image)! Closing in on the final few hundred metres I couldn’t quite hang onto the couple of fellow female runners in front of me, I could feel I had nothing left to give in my legs; I just had to focus on chasing down the clock myself. I finished in 20:57 – mission accomplished.
SUNDAY: mentally the prospect of 15 miles felt manageable today – another sign of marathon training! It was a pleasant morning for running, and for the first 7 miles I just got lost in the run and didn’t really rein my pace in when I probably needed to. Reviewing my splits later I was hovering above 8 min/mile pace for this section. Between miles 7 and 10 I seemed to settle to a better pace, before suffering a dip from miles 11-13. During this stage my quads suddenly went very sore and stiff again and running just did not feel as natural. Thankfully the sensation eased and I was able to finish stronger, averaging 8.14 min/mile pace overall. I hope my quads return to feeling completely normal soon - I need them to! I think they will, and it is not really worrying me. The two week taper that lies ahead of me now will certainly help.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...