This week there has been some challenging runs. These have felt like good challenges though, as they have been runs which I hope are pushing my training in the right direction...
MONDAY: the first week of the Strength and Conditioning for Runners block I have started. I really enjoyed the session and found it eye opening to see the differences in aspects such as balance in the separate sides of my body. I also met my nemesis in the form of a box jump - the prospect of completing this exercise fills me with fear, and my aim is to master it by the end of the sessions!
TUESDAY: a lot of intervals; 6 miles with 12 x 400m reps and 200m recoveries. I find this type of interval session challenging as whilst the reps are a little shorter, there are just so many, and I find picking the pace up over and over again hard work on my legs - but good training nevertheless! I aimed for the intervals to be at my 5k pace, roughly sub 7 min/mile, and was really happy to manage this on all bar one repetition, with a couple of 6.40 min/mile paces in there too.
WEDNESDAY: this run was a bit of a mid week test. I had 8 miles on my plan, which felt long for an evening run, but is also something I need to start getting used to again as my marathon training progresses. To add to this there was an icy and persistent headwind - nice. I just had to focus on ticking the miles off at a steady rhythm and was pleased to stick roughly to 8 min/mile pace throughout.
THURSDAY: an early morning tempo run, which again was a bit of a challenge. It was still very cold and there was a lot of hidden ice patches on the ground which made me run a little tentative at times, plus I had not had that much rest between my run last night. I had 6 miles to run, with the 4 middle miles at half marathon pace, which I aimed for sub 8 min/mile. My warm up mile felt sluggish and I struggled still on the first tempo mile, with a head wind and slight hill making it seem extra hard. I rallied for the remaining miles though, hitting my target tempo paces at 7.52, 7.46 and 7.42 min/mile splits.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: today's Lincoln parkrun was a slightly poignant affair. As I stood with my friend chatting waiting for 9am to arrive, a notice caught my eye; a popular parkrunner called Pauline had sadly lost her battle with cancer. As I stood and read the wording, and then later again during tributes made during the run briefing, I could feel my eyes welling with tears. I did not know Pauline well, but she certainly had added to my parkrun experiences. I had the pleasure of volunteering with Pauline on a few occasions and we had always chatted. When she marshalled and I had been running she would always enthusiastically cheer my name, often commenting on my jazzy purple running shorts. It always made me smile and motivated me - as I am sure she did to many other parkrunners. We were encouraged to run for Pauline today, and as I looped around Boultham Park I thought of her cheering us all on. I ran hard and my legs didn't let me down, my end spits showing this with very consistent pacing. I finished with another new 5k PB of 20:22 - my third of 2018. As ever I was shocked, but also happy with what my jazzy purple short clad legs had managed on this day.
SUNDAY: 16 miles with my running buddy. I did not start this run well at all, I could feel the effect of my parkrun efforts in my glutes slightly and I also felt almost jaded and dazed - almost like I was hungover (although I had definitely not been drinking!) My slightly delirious state was emphasised by the fact I actually left the house and started walking to meet my friend without even wearing my Garmin; it was only when I went to press the start button did I realise it was missing from my wrist. Running with my friend I soon woke up though and the miles ticked by rather quickly. My legs felt better than last week too, and they were less weary during the final miles. We finished with a 8.27 min/mile pace average overall, which for a steady run was really pleasing. Next week's long run is my first race of 2018 and I am really excited to chase down some bling!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...