This has been the biggest week of training of this marathon cycle, and as I sit here writing with my legs still buzzing and head a little fuzzy in that post really long run haze, my body is telling me so. It has been another mixed week of running, some good runs, some average runs and a bit of a quad niggle thrown in the mix. This still remains one of the most testing marathon training blocks I have completed - the last few weeks in particular have challenged me at times - but in amongst the tough runs, are still those moments when running gives me joy, and that is worth keeping going for.
MONDAY: Body Pump class
TUESDAY: my quads were still tender today from last week's efforts at the track and running Newton's Fraction Half Marathon. I delayed intervals to allow some more recovery and completed a 5 mile tempo run instead. It was steady, the tempo miles just under 8 min/mile pace, and running emphasised that my quads were still rather sore!
WEDNESDAY: I tried intervals today, and whilst my legs were better, my quads were definitely still not perfect. My quads are my weakness - if I were to look back at this blog across all my entries and see how any times I have struggled with this muscle group I think I would be shocked! I therefore had to rein back the speed a little on the interval reps, as I quickly learnt that real maximal extension was not comfortable. I ran 8 miles with 15 x 400m reps, with a mixture of paces ranging from just over 7 min/mile to closer to 7.40 min/mile. I still managed some speed work at least.
THURSDAY: with an easy 10 miles on the plan I was pleased to give my legs some gentle running. I kept the pace nice and comfortable, which meant instead it just felt like I was out running for an extra long time! In the evening we did some trail running techniques at Run Club. My trail experience is very limited compared to my road running, so I took things slowly and safely, but also really enjoyed running in new parts of Lincoln and learning. I was so engrossed in running I kept forgetting to actually turn my watch on - but think I logged around 3 further miles.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: the start of a mixed weekend of running. Heading to Lincoln parkrun I had no expectations on my performance, in fact my hopes probably extended no further than being able to have my weekly chat with a few friends and leave with the happy warmth parkrun always gives me. I was therefore shocked by how well I ran, especially as my left quad was still not right when being asked to extend further than a steady running action. I could feel I was running strongly, I did not need to look at my watch, and I love runs like this which just feel so naturally good. I was also smiling and feeling happy as I ran; the comfort in my strength pleased me. I finished in 20:48 and in my best time for a number of weeks (see image).
SUNDAY: in contrast to yesterday where my run left me feeling slightly more confident in my body, today's long run was another in my recent series of challenging longer runs. I had 22 miles to log - a test in itself - and really just wanted it to feel as good as possible. Over the first 10 miles I was hopeful; miles were passing quickly, I was focused on running but not so much it consumed my thoughts, and I just seemed to be ticking along, not super speedily, but better than I have been. I held my own up until around 15 miles, but those final 7 miles I just lost it. My legs started to hurt and I could not take my mind away from the pain. I also could not escape thinking about how many miles I had left. I needed to distract myself, but I couldn't. It was a challenge to keep going, and every time I was forced to stop to cross a road etc. it took an almighty effort to make myself go again. Hitting 22 miles I was a little disheartened by my average pace - 8.45 min/mile - but moreover by the fact that it was another Sunday where I was left feeling knackered from a long run, but at the same time not great for it.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...