I am now passed the half way point in training weeks - and I can feel it. This week it has seemed like I am demanding more from my body, even though it is feeling increasingly more tired; which in fact is exactly what I am doing! This is the challenging period of marathon training, the time when you must draw on strength, determination, the support of others, and most importantly keep telling yourself - I can do this!
MONDAY: Body Pump class
TUESDAY: after Sunday's off road, hilly, mud bath half marathon (more here) it felt a joy to be back running on smooth tarmac tonight, even with my legs still a little sore from the weekend's efforts. Intervals this week were 7 miles with 6 x 1000m reps at 10k pace and 200m recoveries. I struggle to find my 10k pace but was happy to run between 7:14 and 7:45 min/mile for all intervals, which seemed about right.
WEDNESDAY: an easy paced 10 miles, which actually felt quite tough. My legs were sluggish today and it all just felt a bit ploddy and unnatural. Pace wise I managed 8:45 min/mile on average, which is alright for an easy run, but just didn't seem that way at the time! I feared attending Body Pump afterwards may be a silly idea and could lead to total exhaustion, but I got through the class in one piece.
THURSDAY: it seemed yesterday's hope that I had successfully made it through a midweek 10 miler and Body Pump were a bit too optimistic. I was whacked today and delayed my run for ages. When I did get out the door my legs did as they were told; running 7 miles aiming for alternate miles at 9 min/mile pace and 8 min/mile pace. I was pleased my legs complied and I actually ran every mile quicker than on plan, but not massively. On stopping I was spent though, a mile from home due to rubbish route planning I could not even face a slow shuffle back, so instead I 'enjoyed' a weary walk.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: today's Lincoln parkrun visit was personally disappointing. After running predominantly 21 minute times this year, and nothing over 22 minutes for the last six months, finishing in 23:21 felt a bit of a fail. It seemed I was really forcing my legs to try go quick, and it felt like I was giving all out effort for not much reward. When I run well at parkrun I know it; although it is tough, my body feels in sync and my legs powerful beneath me. Today was far from that. I was disappointed, but maybe I should have anticipated it. My legs were totally knackered after Thursday's run, and yes I had a rest on Friday, but one day does not undo all the stress I have been putting my body through during the past eight weeks of training. I was still snapped smiling though (see image) so cannot have been all bad - parkrun never is!
SUNDAY: the first of a series of really long 'long runs' - 20 miles. I was a little nervous ahead of today's run; the prospect of pushing my tired body through 20 miles could have proven to be testing to say the least. It definitely helps having a friend and running buddy in the same marathon training boat, not just for the added joy of conversation and company on these lengthy running adventures, but for understanding just how your body actually feels. We aimed to take it steady today and just get the mileage in, which I think we managed, averaging 8:46 min/miles. The first ten miles I found relatively comfortable, from ten miles on things started to get a bit weary but nothing unbearable, and the last few miles were a mix of determination and realisation I had nearly made it. A tough week but the thought of London keeps me going.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...