The first week of tapering. I hate tapering, and I think out of all my marathon training cycles so far, this has been one of the more challenging weeks.
MONDAY: Body Pump class
TUESDAY: an early morning run in frankly appalling weather. The rain was heavy and constant; within a few minutes of running I was wet through, feet squelching in my trainers. It at least motivated me to get my intervals done as quickly as possible! I ran 5 miles with 10 x 400m reps and 100m recoveries. The recovery period was short, but as the intervals were not too long it felt ok, and I managed most reps at around 7:15 min/mile pace. When I finished running I looked and felt like I had virtually stood in a cold shower wearing all my running gear. Not pleasant.
WEDNESDAY: I struggled with motivation to go out and run this evening. My plan was for 6 easy paced miles and as I tried to find the desire to lace up my running shoes I was just filled with fear and worry. What if the run doesn't feel easy? What if I injure myself now? Lots of 'what ifs' ran through my head, for reasons I am not really sure! I went out of course, but struggled to keep my run easy; I think the slight anxiety I had built inside me was preventing me from being able to truly relax. I finished with around an 8 min/mile average pace, not really my 'easy' pace, but I felt a bit less anxious for getting the run safely completed at least.
THURSDAY: my worries from yesterday seemed to manifest today and I woke with a slight soreness in my shin. Cue panic. I went out for my early run as planned and tried to forget about it in my mind. Of course it was impossible to forget, and although it did not hurt or affect my running, it affected my mind. I ran a 5 mile tempo run, with the middle miles at around half marathon pace, and although my pacing was good, I just did not feel at ease. I went to another Body Pump class in the evening, where I nearly dropped a 5kg weight on my foot, only saving certain injury by pushing the falling weight away using my thigh. Yes, I do now have a massive bruise on my quad, but at least my precious feet are still ok!
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: a rest day seemed to have served the slight soreness in my shin well, however today I woke with a very painful headache. Nurofen-ed up I volunteered at my local Lincoln parkrun and the wonderful parkrun community cheered me up and boosted my spirits, especially with the number of well wishes I received for the marathon, which felt really touching. After my stint in high viz finished I crashed a little, my headache came back with a vengeance and I reluctantly succumbed to trying to rest until it went away. Later in the day my headache finally shifted and I went out for the easy paced 3 miles on my plan. What caused the headache I have no idea, but it was pretty frustrating!
SUNDAY: after a bit of a turbulent week I was very much looking forward to a Sunday run with my friend (see image) - our last longish run before London. It was probably the first run I had enjoyed all week! We ran a steady 10 miles averaging 8.13 min/mile, which was a little quick maybe, but I think we both were too busy talking and simply enjoying the miles to really notice. Importantly, the run made me feel a bit more confident in myself again and also relaxed me a little. Whether I will be quite as relaxed next Sunday morning I am not so sure...!
So, one week to go... and a just a few more taper miles to survive!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...