As Christmas gets ever nearer life always seems to get that little bit busier, and for someone who is quite tuned into how their body feels, I notice the effect this has. I have had a busy festive period at work and my sleeping and normal eating routine has slipped a little - one night I worked late and actually just had Quality Street for my tea (definitely not recommended)! It is a wake up call that is needed sometimes, especially as my Brighton Marathon training starts very soon. Although Christmas may be getting close, I do not feel especially festive, however a Sunday spent with hundreds of other Santas did help a little..!
MONDAY: Body Pump class
TUESDAY: my legs were unusually very sore following Monday night's Body Pump class; I do not normally get DOMS that bad from the session unless I have missed a few weeks, and I was already a little worried about my body's reduction in normal recovery rate. This morning's 5 miles were therefore quite steady at an 8.17 min/mile average pace.
WEDNESDAY: the soreness in my legs had faded a little today, but my energy levels were low. I did not feel particularly strong or powerful when running, and throwing in a long hill did not help things either. I ran 5 miles slower than my time yesterday, when I was consciously trying to take things easier - this was when I knew I needed to look after myself a bit better.
THURSDAY: after some focused refuelling and a good nights sleep, I was rejuvenated, running 5 miles at a better average pace of just over 8 min/mile and feeling comfortable. Body Pump class in the evening.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: after a fairly cold week all round, today at Lincoln parkrun it shifted to a new level of bitterly cold. My iphone informed me it felt like -6 degrees... lovely! Despite the baltic conditions, I ran much better and I felt happier with how I performed; finishing in 21:15. I was spurred on throughout my run by fellow females, one I was chasing down for most of the course, and the other who I knew was on my tail. Somehow I managed to dig deep in the final half a mile or so and gain the ground needed on the leading female, pipping her to the post in literally the final yards to finish 1 second ahead, and as First Female. That was my 11th time as first lady finisher at Lincoln parkrun - not too long ago my goal was to get the accolade just once! parkrun is not a race, and I think that is proven by the fact I spent time after the finish shaking hands with and chatting to both the ladies I ran with; its a friendly run sometimes with friendly competition!
SUNDAY: sat in a staff meeting at work a few weeks back the question was posed about who would be interested in running the Lincoln Santa Run to raise funds and awareness of our charity - all eyes looked at me! Obviously I signed up, along with a fair few of my other colleagues, and I was looking forward to the event as a bit of festive fun involving running. The weather had cheered itself up for the day, and in welcomed winter sunshine hundreds of red Santas descended on the Bailgate in Lincoln - it really is a wonderful sight! I lined up with my colleagues, donation bucket in hand, ill-fitting Santa suit somehow pinned and pulled into place, and when the 'go signal was given just ran like a child let loose. I did not wear my Garmin, this was simply a fun run out for me. I must have looked a sight as I weaved around the course, my Santa suit falling apart around me, bucket swinging wildly in my hand, but I was loving it. The course is a short, sharp 3.5k and before I knew it the finish arch was upon me. As I crossed the line a man with a microphone grabbed me; 'the first female Santa' he announced. I did a little interview, smiled for a few cameras, and collected a trophy and a voucher for some free trainers, all the while trying to name drop my work as much as possible! It felt quite sweet to be treated so wonderfully, I was almost a little embarrassed! I waited for my colleagues to finish and in doing so felt really proud of all their efforts; none of them are particularly runners, and the pride from some of their children who had joined us was wonderful. Christmas is about togetherness - and I think that is why the event gave me a slight festive feel, because together we had all achieved something. Shedding what was left of my Santa suit, I headed out for a solo 8 miles later in the afternoon, just a steady run, which I am sure my colleagues will think I am crazy for doing when I arrive in work on Monday morning - I must maintain the mad runner reputation somehow!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...