This week my running has fallen into one of either two camps – felt really good or felt really tough. There has been no middle ground! The tough runs my legs have just felt so tight; I bang on about a Sports Massage, but I am used to having one every month or so, and thus it’s been hard going without for nearly five months, especially when I have probably been running more cumulative miles than ever before during lockdown. I think my legs are hitting their limit! My prayers seem to have been answered though as the announcement this week regarding the further relaxing of lockdown restrictions means that Sports Therapists are now able to do hands on treatment. With my quads now at the ‘unbelievably tight’ stage I am literally counting down the days until my appointment, which I have managed to book for Friday.
MONDAY: home exercises and strength and conditioning - seems I may also be able to return to the gym soon!
TUESDAY: despite being ‘easy’ miles, this run fell into the ‘tough’ camp. My legs just had no energy, which meant that even though I was meant to be keeping the pace down, 8 miles still felt like a bit too much of an effort.
WEDNESDAY: I met my friend again this week for another 6am run out in the countryside just outside Lincoln. Considering how rubbish my legs felt yesterday I was a little doubtful if I would be able to keep up with him this week! However, my body felt like a totally different person, and I ran along strongly, keeping to the quick rhythm. A few times I glanced down at my watch and saw for sections we were even edging into sub 7-minute mile territory! We finished with 6 miles and an average pace of 7.18 min/mile – I could not have done that yesterday.
THURSDAY: this was both a ‘good’ running day and a double running day, with the long-awaited return of my Run Club in the evening. My solo morning run was intervals; just over 4 miles with 6 x 800m reps. I actually ran these on a very small loop of streets near my house, logging laps almost like at a track – I prefer this approach for interval running as it means I can switch off thinking about where to run and put all my energy into just running. I was pleased with my splits, which logged 7:16, 6.50, 7.06, 6.26, 7.06, 6.50 respectively, and my legs felt powerful throughout.
Then, after another day of the dreaded ‘working from home’, I could not wait to get out again and meet some of my friends from Run Club! It had been four months since our last Run Club session, and despite the fact we were all split into small groups across Lincoln (following Government guidance of course!) it was great to be able to run together again. A miserable, grey and damp evening brightened instantly by being amongst and running with friends! I have missed it, and I look forward to when we can become our bigger community again.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: I woke this morning and even lying in bed I could feel my legs were heavy and tight. With a long run looming tomorrow, I did not even attempt a quick ‘not Lincoln parkrun’ and instead plotted a completely new 5k loop, with a couple of gentle hills, which I ran steadily. As I ran, I knew my decision was wise - my legs definitely had no speed in them!
SUNDAY: my slightly more cautious approach yesterday did not pay off today. Whilst my legs felt better pre-run, during the run they were not great at all. From mile one they were tight and never loosened – I likened them to planks of wood which I stiffly had to try bend and keep moving. At times my quads reminded me of the final few miles of a marathon; that heavy tightness that doesn’t get any worse but just makes each step feel like a monumental effort! Somehow, I got through 18 miles; there was just this little voice inside my head willing me to keep going on! At one point I was at a section of my route where I could turn for home and cut the run short at about 9/10 miles, or start another loop which would mean I was ‘all in’ for the full 18 miles. I paused for a second, but found myself heading for the loop – am sure others may have headed for home, especially with the fact that the marathon I am training for is by no means certainly going to happen! Whilst my legs felt rubbish, my pace was slow and it was a tough few hours out running, I am pleased my mental strength is still apparent.
So that's Week 3 of this second version of training complete and another 43.5 miles in the legs. Two more weeks of training until the promised next announcement from the London Marathon…
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...