Week 14 - aka the week that is not quite a taper. The training demands have eased slightly this week, although I have probably pushed myself just as hard. My aim going into the real taper weeks is to be a little more relaxed with my running; I do not want to burn out before race day!
MONDAY: Body Pump class
TUESDAY: this interval run was another tough one - 9 miles with 10 x 800m reps and 200m recoveries. It felt like there were a lot of reps to complete, which at half a mile, were quite a moderate distance still. I dug deep though and my interval splits were predominantly sub 7.20 min/mile pace, which I was pleased with. After the 7th rep I did really have to draw on some mental strength to keep going at the same level of intensity though; I literally just told myself this was the final really hard interval run before London and just to get on with it!
WEDNESDAY: my plan today was for 8 steady miles, and I went out with the aim of running around 8:20 min/mile pace. However, following a bit of a frustrating day, once I started running I felt almost unleashed and I found myself wanting to push harder - literally running out frustration! I finished with a 7.58 min/mile average - not on plan, but I did feel better for it!
THURSDAY: I am a qualified sports coach but rarely don my tracksuits anymore. However today I was called back into action at work for a full day coaching at an Easter Holiday Club with a lot of energised children. It was a bit of a shock to me, I had forgotten how draining it is! Post work I was therefore shattered, but knew I had to run still. Although I felt tired, determination to complete my run and not let fatigue win spurred me on. As each mile ticked by I actually felt more alive. I ran a 6 mile tempo run, with the 4 middle miles at around half marathon pace. I was so pleased with my splits, virtually on target and also consistent, logging at 7.57, 7.26, 7.21, 7.24, 7.23 and 7.31 min/miles respectively.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: this week I managed to remain sub 21 minutes at Lincoln parkrun, finishing in 20:46, which was also a tiny 3 second improvement on last week's time. I was really happy, but it definitely was a lot harder work than the previous week. I could not really pin point the exact reason why it felt so much more effort, but as I stood bent over by the finish funnel, hands on knees, gasping for air, my body was definitely telling me that it had worked hard!
SUNDAY: for me, a sign that I have been marathon training is when a 15 mile run suddenly feels relatively short in comparison to the past month or so of weekly 20 milers! I did not really go into today's run with any goal in mind; I met my friend as usual (see image) and we just ran and chatted as we have done for many a mile before. I actually do no think I looked at my watch at all to see what pace we were running. My left hamstring felt a bit twangy, but aside from that I just ran comfortably next to my friend, winding around familiar paths in and around Lincoln, with only the small distraction of a field of newborn lambs causing us to break stride to stop and swoon over their cuteness. As we hit 15 miles I almost questioned my friend about my Garmin display - 'mine says 8.13 min/mile pace?' Her's showed an 8.14 min/mile average. I was shocked at how we had ran that pace without real focused effort. I kind of loved that fact too though; I loved that we could push a little on a longer run, but the enjoyment of running together had not been lost.
Now with two weeks to go until race day, the real taper beckons...
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...