This week has been tough, very tough at times, but also really rewarding. I knew I was in for a test, with 52 miles planned plus my usual insistence on keeping with my additional gym routine. I have made it though.
MONDAY: Body Pump class - after running a tough 20 miles on Sunday this class was a bit of a struggle. I could really feel my physical fatigue and mentally I was also weary, which I noticed in my ability to withstand the usual Body Pump pain.
TUESDAY: a hideous interval run. I was really apprehensive about setting out for this as on my plan it looked awful and I simply knew it was going to hurt. 8 miles with 15 x 400m intervals at 5k pace, and 200m recoveries; not only did I have to push myself through fifteen fast intervals, but the eight mile distance also seemed lengthy in itself. It was not pleasant, but I kept on track and managed to pace all my intervals well at roughly my 5k pace.
WEDNESDAY: 10 easy paced miles. I struggled to keep my pace down, as the slower I went the more unnatural my stride seemed and it felt like almost more effort. My average pace was 8.33 min/mile, which suggests it was quite a good run, however it just did not feel it. Body Pump class afterwards.
THURSDAY: with a good level of miles already in my legs another 9 miles on the plan was not exactly what I felt my body needed. I laced up my trainers and chose a new route from my usual weekday paths, which I found helped make the distance much more manageable. My miles were scheduled to be alternating between 9 min/mile and 8 min/mile, however I was consistently quicker across all splits, more like 7.40 and 8.40 paces. Despite feeling tired before, I felt much better out running; not perfect, but better.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: a very good visit to Lincoln parkrun. I was not too optimistic about my chances of running a great time today what with feeling a bit out of sorts all week, and also having pushed my self a lot already. As soon as I began running though I felt my legs were strong beneath me and I slotted into a positive rhythm; a feeling which had been absent all week. I knew I was running a good time without the need to even look at my watch, but reaching the last few hundred metres I did glance down and realised I could actually be close to my PB. This spurred me on massively and I somehow managed a big sprint effort, eyes totally focused on the finish funnel. I stopped my watch at 21.30, 5 seconds away from my PB and recording my second fastest time ever at parkrun. At week twelve of my marathon training and after a tough few runs, I was very happy.
SUNDAY: my weekend running happiness continued today as I took on my longest training run - the big 22 miler. Last week my legs struggled a lot across the final few miles of my long run, and I really did not want to experience that level of discomfort again. I didn't, and in fact it was a wonderful run. On a gorgeous spring day the miles ticked by very quickly as I ran comfortably alongside my friend (see image). I felt a little dip at around the 16 mile mark, but unlike last week when I faded, this time I recovered. We even included a steep and long hill climb at mile 19 of our route (Yarborough Hill for any fellow Lincoln runners out there!) which last week would have totally finished me off - but we steadily and strongly took on the challenge. I finished with an average pace of 8.40 min/mile - very pleasing, especially as the last 22 miler I ran in my previous marathon training cycle was at 9.15 min/mile pace. Today's run truly left me with the feeling that I absolutely love running, even the tough runs!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...