I feel like I have been on a countdown this week - not to the marathon as such, but the taper! I am ready for a reduction in mileage, and this week has been the last of the really large weekly mileage totals. Next week is a little more moderate, and this is then followed by two easier weeks leading up to Chicago, which will hopefully let my body recover fully and soak in these training gains - I hope!
MONDAY: Body Pump class
TUESDAY: I had 8 miles of intervals on my plan today, and whilst I knew I could manage them, I was also realistic that my legs were still a little sore and tired from Sunday's big 22 mile run. I have tried to put less pressure on myself these past few weeks when I have been feeling tired and not expect to hit 'ideal' paces. It helps enjoy the run more for a start! I had 5 sets of mile reps to incorporate into the run and these felt fine endurance wise, my legs were just not quite fresh enough to get a bit closer to my ideal pace region.
WEDNESDAY: a nice early 6.5 mile run chasing the rising sun. My legs felt better and I ran with my friend; I am particularly finding at the moment that his company gives me the mid week boost I need!
THURSDAY: the importance of company in my running was emphasised to me today. I completed an early 8.5 miles on my own, easy paced and just letting the legs tick slowly round. It was just an 'ok' run. In the evening it was Run Club and I led one of my favourite sessions doing figure of eight loops on some nearby hills. Everyone really challenged themselves and it made me so happy to be running with people testing themselves but with smiles on their faces too. I logged nearly another 3 miles as I dotted around supporting people - but it felt much more rewarding than my own run that morning.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: it was a beautiful September morning at Lincoln parkrun; sunshine, warmth and lots of people I knew to catch up with. My run was a little frustrating though, and I dipped just over the 21 minute mark for the first time in a while, finishing at 21:03. The time was not what frustrated me as such, it was the fact I let another runner get into my head. I ran the first mile loop really well, but on the second this runner told me I was running too fast and needed to slow down; I actually felt good still, but they got to me and I naturally dropped off my pace a bit. My final mile lap was just as quick as my first as I renewed my own self belief, so at least I know my legs still had something in them. Why this runner felt the need to comment on my pace I am not sure, I am certain it was not meant to cause me to slow down, but probably was trying to help - but I just did not need it!
SUNDAY: another 20 miles... and I have to say I was not looking forward to it! I just had to 'get it done', that was my mantra! I took all pressure off again, no pace goal, no time target - just 20 miles to log. It was just an 'alright' run, nothing spectacular. At times I felt better, but lacked the confidence to push myself a little more. Positives were that I did not want to cry like I did last week towards the end! More practically I also practiced drinking 'Gatorade' which is what will be supplied in Chicago, and it seemed to sit with me fine. Its done - and despite the challenges of some of my past Sunday runs, deep down I am proud I have achieved them.
In more exciting news, this week at work we launched something I have been working on and been keeping under wraps for nearly 6 months now - the Lincoln City Half Marathon 2020. This is being delivered as a partnership between my employer, Lincoln City Foundation, and race organisers Curly's Athletes. Believe it or not, this was not my idea, but my colleagues, and I have naturally found myself supporting getting the project off the ground. My obvious passion for running, the fact Lincoln currently does not have a 13.1 mile road race, and the community benefit of running means I am very passionate about it. It has also been really interesting getting a behind the scenes look into race organisation! I am not going to plug the race endlessly, but if you would like to explore the lovely city I call home, you can pre-register at www.lincolncityhalfmarathon.co.uk
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...