A challenging and sometimes frustrating week both in running and for some personal reasons. However, I have kept going, which I think is the mentality I possess - it takes a lot for me to give up on anything in life, especially things I care about. It is also virtually three weeks until I fly to Australia now; I cannot wait to see my friend and the marathon at the end seems a huge bonus, and this just gives me even more motivation.
MONDAY: a morning Body Pump session the day after running a 20 miler was probably not my greatest idea - I just felt so tired! I had the day off work though, and with it being a running 'rest day' and having evening commitments, it seemed like a logical decision - my logic can openly be questioned at times though!
TUESDAY: on a slightly cooler morning I actually really enjoyed an interval run, and without the intensity of the suffocating heat, I felt I could run a lot more naturally. I completed 7 miles with 8 x 800m reps and 200m recoveries, with splits predominantly between 7.20 and 7.30 min/mile pace. Although I enjoyed the run, when I arrived home I made the mistake of comparing my splits to my spring marathon training, and I felt a little disappointed that I was a fair bit quicker in spring. My logic can once again be questioned here as so many variables can be apparent - however I know I am not quite as sharp/quick as I was earlier in the year at the moment, and sometimes that can frustrate me when I am training equally as hard.
WEDNESDAY: another cooler morning and an opportunity to boost my confidence after yesterday's run. I ran 9 steady miles, and including a warm up mile, averaged a pleasing 8:09 min/mile pace, and simply just felt strong.
THURSDAY: a real sign of marathon training is when you look at your plan and think - 'oh, its only 5 miles today' - the word 'only' simply becomes abused! Despite a relatively shorter distance, I got out running early with temperatures rising back to 'very hot' status. My legs were simply dead though; the run was supposed to be a marathon paced effort, but I just focused on gently getting round. Even taking it easy I was a sweaty mess at the end, and I think I have to remind myself just how demanding marathon training is, especially in this year's heat. Body Pump class in the evening.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: I ran Lincoln parkrun today with real determination to push myself and try get closer to sub 21 minute territory again. My first lap was strong and I tried not to allow myself to slow down too much on my second loop. However, by the third lap my legs were fading and I really had to fight to keep some pace. I was on the heels of a fellow parkrunner and just as I thought he was slipping from my reach, he turned and encouraged me to keep with him. We ran side by side through the finishing bends, him encouraging me to make my limbs sprint faster. He helped me believe my legs were not finished and I crossed the line in 21:11, which although was not sub 21 minutes, I felt pleased with my efforts, and I shook my pacer's hand and thanked him for his support. How I will get back to under 21 minutes or near to my PB of 20:22 I am not quite sure - but I will keep trying!
SUNDAY: when you are one mile into a 20 mile run and your legs already feel like they are at about mile 18, plus the scorching sun is practically racing you to burst through the clouds and make things even more of a challenge - you know you are in for a tough run. Today's long run was mentally and physically hard, but despite the fact so early on I felt pretty knackered, I still knew I would make it through, whatever it took. My legs felt tired, but it was strange version of tired; as the miles ticked by I felt I had the endurance to keep going, but it was like they were stuck in one very steady pace setting, unable to change gear. I was moving - that was all I focused on! My average pace was 8:44 min/mile - for me, not really where I like to be for a long run, but 20 miles banked when I could have let some slip away is an achievement I am happy with - I don't give up!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...