Usually I sit and write a blog on a Sunday evening, reflecting on my week, consolidating my thoughts etc. Yesterday I ran out of time, which feels quite a joyous thing to say after recent months of finding almost ‘time filling’ activities. I logged a long run and then spent a long afternoon and evening visiting a friend and her family – actual people! – a simple thing which felt so wonderful.
I also almost instinctively held back on my blog due to the incoming London Marathon announcement which was due to arrive on Tuesday. I felt it would rather influence things so to speak! The announcement actually arrived today (Monday) and yet again it filled me (and it seems the overwhelming majority on social media) with frustration and almost anger. No update or definite decision on holding the race was given and instead a promise for another update by Friday 7th August.
At the last announcement I resolved in my head to focus on this five-week mini block of training, after which I thought I would know where I stand. I have tried to train as best I can, but to then find out I must prolong this uncertainty for further days and indeed runs felt exasperating. This is just me, lets not forget (as it seems the London Marathon may have) that we are still in the midst of a pandemic which has caused thousands of deaths and dramatic lifestyle changes for the entire population. Why is hosting the London Marathon even the right thing to do?
I will try not to rant; I just have to try and keep focused for a few more days. This past week of training has been tougher to do this though, and I have felt my commitment to the training plan being questioned by my logical mind – I have wanted to run, but why was I running what this piece of paper said? What is the point…? I did in fact deviate from my plan slightly, although still kept my weekly mileage as required, and it is perhaps telling that on the run where I really made myself adhere to the plan, I also really struggled mentally.
MONDAY: on what my plan told me was rest day - I enjoyed a near 7 mile run with a friend at a steady pace whilst catching up. It was a lovely start to the week, and I felt I did not need a rest day despite Sunday’s long trail miles. I did rest my legs on Tuesday though to prevent too many consecutive days of running.
WEDNESDAY: this was a real struggle run, my plan was for 9 slow miles and it was an absolute slog. I did not really want to run 9 slow miles and therefore my mind never settled into the run, I never found my rhythm and I used any excuse to stop, which then led me to battle in my head about why I should keep going. Not one to remember!
THURSDAY: I bounced back today; my training plan was for hill reps which coincided nicely with our planned Run Club session for the week. I split my run into two parts; a morning 5k on a hilly course to get some slightly quicker hill reps in, and then 4 evening miles of steadier continuous hills with my club mates. I love running hills with other people and that collective challenge and achievement.
FRIDAY: home strength work on my glutes and quads, motivated by the fact that this should be my final living room workout, as next week I have booked back into my usual (pre lockdown) strength class at the gym
SATURDAY: keeping with the hill theme of the week, I ran my hillier ‘not parkrun course’ pushing hard up the inclines. Next week I may be brave and attempt a flatter, faster time… I am just a little scared to try as fear I will be so far off my desired time!
SUNDAY: with actual plans on a Sunday and the forecast for a warm day I got up and out relatively early for my long run of 19 miles, which as the day heated up, I was very thankful for. With the warmth and distance, I took the run steadily from the start and the first ten miles passed relatively quickly. As I edged into the ‘teen miles’ however my legs lacked power; they did not feel like lead or ‘planks of wood’ as I described them a couple of weeks ago, I could keep running, but I had no drive and I could physically feel my quads tiring. Maybe it is in my mind now as I know I have lost strength over lockdown, but as I finished I felt a realisation dawn on me that if this marathon does take place, I may not be in my best physical condition regardless of how hard I try; I have catching up to do in areas that are not just pounding the pavements.
So who knows what the next London Marathon announcement will bring and how this will influence my running and life over the next weeks/months… more waiting.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...