Wintery weather and icy conditions have been another feature of this week - I am starting to wish I was back marathon training in the middle of a summer heatwave again! Well, maybe not - but some above 0 degree running temperatures would be nice please mother nature!
MONDAY: the official start of my next block of Strength and Conditioning for Runners. It is always good to be back at these sessions, and I am constantly learning about my body and how to maximise my running, as well as enjoying being with a group of liked minded people.
TUESDAY: today I was out running before the street lights had even been switched back on along some of my local streets. My alarm had gone off at 5:10am as I had to squeeze my miles in before an early start at work. Intervals at least woke me up, and I ran 5.5 miles with 15 x 200m reps and 200m recoveries. Normally this number of intervals drains me, but this morning it felt manageable. Pace wise I literally just ran as fast as possible, with the majority of reps hovering around the 7 min/mile marker. Body Pump class in the evening.
WEDNESDAY: another early start, not quite as harsh as yesterday, but I was out running before 6am again. The weather conditions were almost akin to last Wednesday, and an overnight frost had once more left very icy pavements to greet me. The 7 easy miles on my plan therefore had to be kept very easy again, averaging 8.46 min/mile. I can't say I enjoyed this run - it was so cold and I was fed up of tiptoeing cautiously - I just wanted to run carefree!
THURSDAY: with the forecast saying this morning would be -6 degrees I did not even bother setting an alarm for a pre-work run; I knew the pavements would be like ice rinks. A freezing fog never lifted all day, and by the evening I still was not confident running tempo miles on the streets. Reluctantly I headed for the treadmill. If I am running on a treadmill you know it is the last resort! I ran 7 miles with the middle 5 miles at a faster pace - it is difficult for me to assess exact pace on a treadmill as I very rarely use one and the settings are so different to what I am used to; so I simply ran to feel. Body Pump class after.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: drawing back my curtains I was very uncertain as to whether I would be running parkrun today - my street was white with frost and ice, and I could not imagine Lincoln parkrun's Boultham Park venue would be much better. I kept refreshing the website, but no cancellation was given, so I made my way to the park, half expecting to be the only nutter there. I was wrong, 267 people, plus the wonderful Lincoln parkrun volunteers, braved the elements for our weekly 5k. It was very slippy underfoot, and I think we all knew that not only were we running out our own risk, but that speed was not on the cards for today. As soon as I started running the skies opened with snowfall, it was like running in a snow globe as flakes tumbled around us (see image). I found a pace and rhythm I was comfortable with and navigated the course with care. I probably felt safer running here amongst a crowd of friendly faces than on some of my early morning solo ice runs! I finished in 22.36 - which was a lot better than I predicted in the conditions. Today was really not about time though, it was a memorable parkrun not just for the wintery weather, but for the dedication and care of the running community to make the event happen and to look out for one another.
SUNDAY: a long run of two halves - quite literally. I had 16 miles on my plan; the first half to be steadier and the final half to be quicker. Whilst the ice was melting, it was still bitterly cold as I headed out, so much so, the freshness of the air made my eyes water. The cold got to me during the first 8 miles; although I was running around 8.10 min/mile pace, things felt slow and as if I was prolonging my exposure to the elements; I feared this was going to become a slog of a run. As the second half approached, I debated in my head if I actually had the energy, drive or desire to push myself - not a great mindset to be in! However, as my watch ticked over 8 miles it was like a spark was lit inside me; my legs woke up and my body suddenly felt warm and alive – I even had to take my gloves off as my hands were sweating! Where this spurt came from I am not sure, but my final 8 miles were all sub 8 min/mile pace, and I relished the sense of being strong at the end of a long run. I hope this strong feeling continues - just not the feeling of being cold please!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...