'You are so brown Alice - have you been on holiday?' - was the question I was asked this week. 'Its running!' I replied. Summer marathon training is certainly leaving me with golden limbs and dubious tan lines. So, the warm weather continues, and I think it has now been a month since the last time I contemplated an evening run. The good news is that this week I have felt far less shattered; the bad news is that certain non running aspects of life have left me feeling frustrated and at a bit of a loss at times - but I have channelled this energy into my running. Running is usually my answer to most things..!
MONDAY: Strength and Conditioning for Runners session, followed by a Body Pump class
TUESDAY: early morning intervals - although this run felt less like an interval run, with fewer, longer reps, and lengthier recovery periods. I ran 7 miles with 4 x 1 mile intervals and 400m recovery periods. I aimed for my mile reps to be as close to the lower end of the 7 min/mile pace bracket as possible, and was pleased with 7.38, 7.22, 7.17 and 7.21 min/mile splits - I always seem to take one rep to warm up in the mornings even when it is hot!
WEDNESDAY: this morning felt like a conventional British summer, it was still warm, but no where near the intensity of late. I had 7 easy miles to run, and in much kinder conditions I found that running actually felt a lot easier than past weeks (not sure why I was surprised by this!) My pace suggested I found things more comfortable too, with an 8.08 min/mile average compared to past weeks when I have been more towards 8.30 min/mile for easy runs.
THURSDAY: another early, easy paced run. The weather was still on the kinder side of hot, but I reined in my pace a little this time to give my legs some gentle miles, completing 10 miles with an 8.22 min/mile average. Body Pump class in the evening.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: after a week with no parkrun I was very happy to be heading back to my home Lincoln event this morning. I always call it 'my happy place', and standing chatting to friends in the sun (which was already burning my skin!) I am always reminded why. It was hot, but as I ran I felt the best I had at Lincoln parkrun in a good few weeks. I seemed so much more in control, and it actually took a while for this fact to fully dawn on me. It was as I entered the third and final lap that the thought really struck me - my legs feel strong still! So I pushed on this last lap, where in past weeks I have struggled around the final loop, and I finished in 21:07, my best Lincoln time for a while. A male runner crossed the line just behind me and thanked me for pacing him to a new PB - I had no idea I actually was acting as a pacer, but I was pleased to help someone and little things like this make me love the Lincoln parkrun community even more.
SUNDAY: today I was running solo again for my long run, which is not my favourite thing to do, but across the past few weeks I have had to get more accustomed to it. My plan was for 16 miles with the first half slower and the second half quicker. Usually I tend to ignore this on a long run and just get my miles logged at a consistent pace, however today as I was running on my own I thought I would attempt something. I did not have the confidence to try running half the distance quicker, but I thought I would assess my body towards the end and see if I could manage at least a fast finish. I felt strong throughout the run; there was no fade or struggle trying to force its way into my body, and as my route turned to head for home I decided to give the final 4 miles a push and see what was really left. My tank was definitely not empty, and my final 3 miles in particular were most pleasing with 8.20, 8.15 and 8.16 min/mile pace splits. This run gave me a real confidence boost; long runs have been a struggle of late in the heat and despite working hard, I was not really sure where my training was at - today helped push out some doubts.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...