My final week in the UK before I start my rather lengthy trip to the other side of the world. Whilst 23 hours on a plane does not appeal to me at all, the end destination very much does. It is similar to marathon training I guess, I cannot expect to turn up and run a marathon without investing the time into training beforehand. So, as much as I have wanted this week to pass by very quickly, I have still had to remain focused on the processes required to get there.
MONDAY: Rest Day - after Sunday's 22 miler, which I think was one of the hardest training runs I have completed throughout my various marathon training cycles, today I did not feel good - there is no other way to put it! I woke feeling so tired, almost delirious, and I could barely make coherent sentences - it was almost like being drunk! Thankfully I had the day off work, so I took things very easy and allowed myself some rest.
TUESDAY: yesterday's recovery really paid dividends and I woke today raring to attack intervals. I had 8 miles to run, with 5 x 1 mile reps and 400m recoveries. Mile reps can be tough, but I felt focused to tackle them and to try and maintain consistency and a strong running rhythm. My splits were pleasing logging at 7.18, 7.25, 7.36, 7.24 and 7.23 min/mile respectively, although you can see which mile landed predominantly on a slight uphill section!
WEDNESDAY: my quads troubled me a little on this morning's run, which was an easy paced 9 miles. I have been experiencing waves of tightness in my quadriceps just above the knee, it is not painful but just makes strides feel a little unnatural at times. Despite some strange sensations in my muscles, my 'easy pace' felt good today at an 8.20 min/mile average, and I seemed to grow into the run with the last 7 miles all logging at sub 8.20 min/mile pace without it feeling any extra exertion.
THURSDAY: my plan asked for some 'marathon paced' miles today - what is my marathon pace?! I am not really sure yet! So, as you can imagine this run was a little off plan! I ran a 7 mile tempo run still, but my splits were definitely not what I am capable of running 26.2 miles in (hopefully/maybe one day!) and were predominantly sub 8 min/mile pace. Body Pump in the evening.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: it was my last Lincoln parkrun for a good few weeks today and it felt a little odd. I obviously will be back, but I spend virtually every Saturday morning at Boultham Park now, unless I literally cannot make it fit, and to think of not being there just seemed strange! Today was a much cooler morning than of late, and in the fresher air I hoped I may be able to sneak under 21 minutes again. I felt I ran strongly, things felt good and my first two splits were both sub 7 min/mile pace. The final mile I just did not have enough left at the end though to really push for those extra few seconds, and I finished in 21:06 but as a bonus also as first female (see image). Although not the time I wanted, I was pleased with how it all felt, and also slightly overwhelmed again by the amount of fellow runners who shouted words of encouragement as I looped passed them on the course - some voices I recognised, others I was not even sure who they were! parkrun is a run with friends, and I have lots of friends thanks to Lincoln parkrun, which is why I know I am going to miss it even though I am only away for a few weeks!
SUNDAY: after last Sunday's truly hideous 22 mile run I was a little anxious about today's 20 miler. Even as I started to run I seemed to be gasping for air rather than breathing naturally - I just needed to relax. I planned a route with lots of variation and which passed through villages I had not ran through for many months; this was my way of trying to distract my mind from the mileage! Within a few miles I thankfully had calmed myself down and hit a consistent and steady running rhythm, which set the tone for the remainder of the run. I seemed to be hovering just over 8.30 min/mile pace quite naturally, and the fade I anticipated to come in later miles never hit. It was still hard work, but physically and mentally I felt strong, and as I hit 20 miles and slammed 'stop' on my Garmin, I had a big grin on my face. I finished with an average pace of 8.33 min/mile and with the belief I could have ran further if I needed to. What an absolute contrast to last week!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...