This week has been the last big push before taper weeks, and a large positive for me is that I have been sensible and kept my mileage in check. I tweaked my plan slightly due to the fact I knew I would be logging some additional miles 'off plan' and did not want to be overdoing things so close to the marathon. I have still logged 43 miles, but if I had not paid attention, it would have been a lot more! I also turned another year older this week, and as I joked to a friend at parkrun, I am now another step closer to some slower age qualifying brackets..!
MONDAY: Body Pump class
TUESDAY: a steady paced 5 miles - a distance which felt joyful compared to some of my recent longer early morning pre-work efforts. Pace wise I am not really sure what I ran to be honest; I seem to be having a few Garmin issues, as both during today's run and on my Wednesday run, 9 min/mile paces were logged for some splits when I know my own body well enough to know I was not running that pace!
WEDNESDAY: my Garmin issues carried on into today's run, so another run where I am unsure of my exact pace. I logged 6 miles though, with the middle 4 at a marathon pace effort, which with my random data readings, I just judged to feel.
THURSDAY: I had left my interval run until today, as to be honest, I did not like the look of what was on my plan! I had 8 miles with 10 x 800m reps and 200m recoveries - it just sounded hard! In practice is was not as bad, still tough, but the distance actually flew by. I pushed as much as possible on the reps, with most hovering in the 7:30 min/mile region. Later in the evening I logged a further 3 miles of mixed paced efforts at Run Club during a trail based circuit running.
FRIDAY: usually Fridays are my rest day, however today was my birthday and I wanted to run. It was also perfectly timed that as part of England Athletics 'Run and Talk' Mental Health Awareness campaign, my Run Club had decided to hold an extra 6.30am run session. I volunteered to lead it and was joined by three other early risers (see image) across a lovely and chatty 3 miles. It was the perfect start to my birthday; a run with company and also at a pace I could simply enjoy after many weeks of training. We ended with cake - of course!
SATURDAY: cake was a big feature of my birthday with it also landing on a charity bake sale at work, and it is safe to say my diet was not the greatest! Add to this I had enjoyed a few drinks in the evening with a friend - I literally only mean three glasses - but it had been a while since I had really drank, and waking up this morning I could feel it. I just did not feel sharp and as I ran my stomach was not happy, it felt full of rubbish and just not comfortable when pushing the pace. I also had somehow forgotten to put my watch on - so ran blindly around Lincoln parkrun, finishing in 21:39. I think it could have been worse!
SUNDAY: having 15 miles on my plan for today seemed like a relief - I am not sure if even I could have got myself around another 20 miles again! Perhaps the fact I felt less daunted by this run meant that in spells I actually felt the best I have during a long run for many weeks. My pace reflected this and I logged a few 8.30 min/mile splits, with a couple of added 8.20 min/mile splits also in there - this is despite having to jump over many a puddle (see image!) However, there were still moments when I had flashes of doubt and was trying to convince myself my legs could not do it, and during these times, I slowed. I have to try and draw confidence from those better spells - I know I need to.
Next week = the first of the two week taper and the realisation that Chicago is getting scarily close..!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...