This week featured my first race of 2018 - the Leicestershire Half Marathon. My last race was in November, which although only a few months back, seemed like ages ago! I love a race day, so the prospect of Sunday was a big motivation throughout this week.
MONDAY: the second week of the Strength and Conditioning for Runners sessions I am completing. After chickening out of attempting box jumps last week, my mission this week was to complete at least one! I am pleased to say I managed a few tentative, slightly ungrateful (read I actually sound like a baby elephant as I land!) jumps this week - progress!
TUESDAY: this week's interval run actually felt quite pleasant; 6 miles with 16 x 200m reps and 200m recoveries. Although there were lots of intervals, they did not really feel long enough to cause too much stress. I find this type of short, sharp interval run a bit too stop-start, and think I actually prefer more gruelling, longer reps - which does sound slightly mad I know!
WEDNESDAY: an early morning ten miler before work. This run took some extra discipline to get out there. I practically rolled out of bed, slipped into my running gear, and tied my bed head hair into a scruffy ponytail - my glamorous life! I wanted to keep this run at a conformable effort, so did not focus too much on pace, and instead just ran round the streets of Lincoln to feel. I felt my energy dip slightly as 7 miles passed, but kept ticking the miles off, logging an end average pace of 8.20 min/mile. I was pleased with this considering it is not my usual routine to run a longer in the early morning.
THURSDAY: a 7 tempo run, with the middle 5 miles at half marathon pace. I aimed for the tempo miles to be sub 8 min/mile pace and thought it would be a good indicator for what I may be able to manage at Sunday's race. After a warm up mile my legs felt strong as I moved into a more powerful stride. My splits were pleasing, especially because of their relative consistency, logging at 7.39, 7.49, 7.39, 7.38 and 7.37 min/mile pace. Body Pump class after.
FRIDAY: another early morning run, which thankfully was only 3 miles. My body was aching from last night's run and exercise class so I kept the run gentle, allowing my legs to gradually and naturally loosen as I ran.
SATURDAY: Rest Day and a volunteering stint at Lincoln parkrun.
SUNDAY: Leicestershire Half Marathon (see image). Full blog to follow; but on a cold and extremely windy day I was delighted to run a new half marathon PB. I ran strong from the start; my first five miles were at a quick pace, and I had some doubts as to whether I had in fact gone off too quickly. However, forgetting actual numeric paces, I felt in control and comfortable, so kept going. There was a brutal headwind at times, and mile 9-10 in particular was almost like running against sheer resistance. With two miles to go however I realised not only a PB was on the cards, but also a chance to go under 1 hours 40 mins. I really drove for the finish from here on; I sometimes lack confidence in my legs at the end of a race, but today I felt I wanted to prove myself wrong. With one mile to go I was really powering, I could feel that I was and I looking at my splits later I actually ran my fastest mile in this final push to the finish line. I crossed the line in 1:39:15 - wind battered, slightly bedraggle from the sleet which had also been falling, but very, very happy.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...