Looking ahead at this week's training schedule I knew I was in for a tough week; high mileage with some demanding pace targets thrown into the mix. Time to test myself...
MONDAY: I started the week with some light cross training, lots of rolling around on a foam roller, followed by my Body Pump class.
TUESDAY: hills were on the agenda today; ten long hill repeats over a 7 mile distance. I was floundering where to even attempt such a run, but thanks to a great route suggestion from my friend, I found the perfect spot. I ran for a mile to said street; a long road which gradually builds in steepness, ending with a sharp incline, ready to being my intervals. I enjoyed the run so much more than I expected and my legs also felt a lot stronger than the hill session I had completed a few weeks ago. The ten repeats whittled down reasonably quickly, and as I ran the mile back to my house I felt quite happy, even though I could already notice the slight heaviness which had built in my quads.
WEDNESDAY: I am beginning to learn that Wednesday runs are a real test of character. As has been the case for the past few weeks now, the first mile or so felt horrid. But once I settled into the run I was ok, and actually managed to run slightly faster than suggested for the 8 mile distance. It seems mentally you just have to get past that first section! Finishing at the gym for my Body Pump class I was however a bit of a mess - I was soaked through from the persistent rain which had been falling throughout the run; my quads were red raw from a mixture of cold, rain and my insistence on wearing short; I was developing some form of red splodgey skin reaction on my legs,most likely from going from cold to warm too quickly; my shorts had chaffed so badly between my legs they had actually cut my skin open; and finally my fingers on my left hand had decided to go numb. The warts and all insight into marathon training!
THURSDAY: Rest Day
FRIDAY: I managed to get out in daylight today and enjoyed what was probably the best run of my marathon training yet. I ran for 9 miles, my legs felt perfect, running was almost effortless, and the distance seemed to fly by. I was actually shocked by how I manged to keep my pace so strong even with some headwinds and on a hilly route. I managed an average pace of 5.12min/km, when I am aiming for around 5.20min/km for the marathon - very happy.
SATURDAY: a steady 5k loop, I ran a fair bit faster than the 30 mins my plan suggested, but kept the route easy on the legs.
SUNDAY: according to my plan the 'slow' 18 miles I was to run today was to be at 5.20min/km pace - not really what I would call slow! I attempted it anyway, and managed to stick to it for the first 10k or so (target being 29km). My legs had felt a little heavy from the off though and I was fearful I may pay the price of this optimistic start. As predicted, I did suffer in the middle of the run, I had to slow down as heaviness fully hit my legs, and I also met the strong headwinds. It was a real battle at times; but I was determined to keep going. On the last stretch I had that weird sensation where every step kind of hurts, but you sort of switch into autopilot and somehow just keep going. I finished with an average pace of 5.40min/km and a total time of 2hrs 44mins. My plan recommend an approx time of 2hrs 35 mins, so I was not too far out, and considering this run took my total to 45 miles for the week, I was happy; extremely tired (see post run photo!), but happy!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...