If last week my hamstring was out to test me, this week it was the turn of the weather. Living in Lincoln meant I have been fully hit by the 'Beast From The East' and this week has seen very heavy snowfall, mixed with ice and sub zero temperatures - delightful weather at the best of times, let alone when trying to train for marathon! After a tough week, Sunday did give me some reward...
MONDAY: despite the minus temperatures and threat of snow flurries I braved my (outdoor!) Strength and Conditioning for Runners session this evening, still wearing my usual attire of running shorts naturally! It was a little fresh shall we say, but once I got stuck in, it was fine. I wish the rest of the week could have been like this weather-wise, as the cold was bearable and at least still allowed me to be active outside...
TUESDAY: the first 'snow day'. Scattered snow showers throughout the day meant by the time it came to my evening run the risk of ice and slipping was too high for my liking, and the treadmill sadly beckoned - bear in mind I hate the treadmill! Intervals on the treadmill at least broke the monotony a little, although it still felt longer than if I were running outdoors for some probable psychological reason! I ran 7 miles with 6 x 1km reps and 200m recoveries. I chose a level on the treadmill which felt hard to push myself during the intervals, although it was hard to gauge exactly as my gym's treadmill operates only in 'km', which as 'miles' person I find hard to get my head around! I felt knackered afterwards though so knew I had pushed myself well.
WEDNESDAY: the second 'snow day', with significantly more snow falling overnight. I was supposed to be travelling with work today (which snow also thwarted!) so had woke early to get a run in, which I had already predicted would have to be on the treadmill again. As I walked to the gym the snow was up to my ankles and I feared the gym may even be shut. It was open though, and I joined a few hardly soles sticking to our exercise regimes. I had another 7 miles to do today, alternating the miles between a faster mile (sub 8 min/mile) and a steadier mile (sub 9 min/mile). As soon as I started to run I could feel yesterday's treadmill effort in my legs; my muscles were sore and not used to the change, but I was determined to get my run completed even if it felt another long slog.
THURSDAY: unsurprisingly the 10-15cm of snow which had fallen had not melted overnight in the sub zero conditions, so you guessed it, the treadmill was my safe running option yet again - the joys. To add to this, my gym was now closed and so I had to find another gym which was open and pay for the pleasure of running on a moving belt! My training plan was for ten miles today, but I knew I was never going to make that happen on a treadmill, especially as my legs were still accumulating a lot of soreness from my adventures on the treadmill already this week.
I made it to 8 miles, which when I was literally running staring at nothing but a white brick wall I am proud of! It was hard today and I have never known miles to pass so slowly. My legs took a good mile to warm up and I made sure to use the final mile to try cool down and prevent more soreness developing, but kept the middle miles around 8-8.10 min/mile pace. Two miles dropped - but under the circumstances I had literally no issue with that!
FRIDAY: with the unsurprising news that Lincoln parkrun was sadly this week cancelled due to snow I opted to get some more of my weekly miles in today. With a place in the Cambridge Half Marathon on Sunday I also thought by running today it would give my legs a full day of rest before race day. A treadmill 5k felt like nothing compared to my recent runs, and it was psychologically much more bearable. I also pushed the pace a little on this run, which also felt good and made time seem to go by much quicker! To make the most of paying for another day of gym use, I gave my legs a very easy spin on the bike afterwards to try reduce some of the treadmill tightness. After four treadmill runs I could not wait to run outside on Sunday and just hoped the weather would not jeopardise the race.
SATURDAY: Rest Day
SUNDAY: Cambridge Half Marathon and a chance to not only race, but run OUTSIDE. Thanks to the hard work of the OSB Events team the race was on, and at 5 degrees it felt almost hot compared to the rest of this week! Full blog to follow, but I loved the race, and despite debating treating it more like a training run, with my parents coming to support (see image) and the weather revival, I went for it. I was pleased with my decision; as on crossing the line I had run new PB of 1:36:51 - I was so happy for so many reasons.
So the snow has been a bit of a training nightmare this week. There are of course worse things which could be caused from snowfall, and a lot of people will have suffered more than having to run on a treadmill quite a bit! It has still been an added challenge though, and a few of my friends and family did ask me throughout the week if I was still able to marathon train and hoped I could somehow. They know how much running and training means to me, and I guess that is why I have been so resolute in getting my miles in still! A half marathon PB at the end felt like a nice reward too!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...