This week has felt a bit like a ‘hangover’ week – and unsurprisingly, not because of excessive drinking! I have just felt like I have constantly been playing catch up from a long and busy weekend last week, and whenever I seemed to be regaining some of my energy levels, a busy day at work or an early morning training run would send me backwards again. I recognised this; and my focus for this weekend has been to try and keep it very relaxed, aside from the obvious runs I had planned. Downtime is not the easiest thing for me – I like to be busy and productive! – but it’s a challenge I must accept during marathon training; it’s not just running the miles!
MONDAY: a tired Body Pump class in which I could already feel my general fatigue.
TUESDAY: it was tough to get out the door for early morning intervals today; I sat on the bottom on my stairs looking at my front door and procrastinated for as long as possible! Once I got out though I actually really enjoyed my run; even though I felt weary, I was well within my target paces for 6 x 1km reps across a 7 mile distance. I aimed for 7.20-7.30 min/mile and most were quicker than this.
WEDNESDAY: I met my friend for an early mid-week run; he had been away and had not run for two weeks, which I was secretly pleased about as it meant we settled to a nice steady pace, a bit more comfortable than we sometimes run together! We logged 6.5 miles on a new route, averaging just under 8 min/mile pace.
THURSDAY: today started again with me sitting at the bottom of my stairs not really wanting to go out the door. Easier miles were welcomed, but I had 10 miles on my plan, which felt a long way. I got out, and again I was fine once I was plodding away, and I did find quite a comfortable pace. Later at Run Club I led the session, which gave me an opportunity to run with a group of runners at a different pace to me and to encourage them. I welcomed the relative break for my own training, but also really enjoyed chatting to new people and supporting them through the session.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: with how I had been feeling all week in mind, I had moderate expectations for Lincoln parkrun today. It was also warm, which was perfect for the summer theme the event had this week (see image of some of my Run Club who got into the fancy dress spirit, including running with a snorkel!), but also a bit of a shock after some cooler weather of late. I actually ran really well; my legs felt strong, the heat did not bother me too much, and I managed to run exactly the same time as last week, finishing in 20:55.
SUNDAY: the first of the proper long ‘long runs’ of this training – a 20 miler. All week I had this run on my mind; long runs have been testing me this block and I knew this would be the biggest challenge yet. Add to this the continued heat, which was forecast to get up to 30 degrees, and I knew I needed to be both physically and mentally strong and try to push out any doubts. I went out as early as possible, after setting a 5 am alarm to eat breakfast, and was thankful of the early cloud cover. I knew as soon as the sun came up though it would be a different story. The first 10 miles were ok, although carrying my CamelBak full of water reduced my pace, as I am just not used to carrying the extra weight. I needed the water though, so there was no way around that. The final 10 miles got progressively tougher as the heat simultaneously increased. The final 5 miles were so hot, it was like someone had suddenly turned the heating on! I just had to focus on ticking those final few miles off, I was so near, but even two miles seemed like forever. I was pleased to make it home and to collapse on the bottom of my stairs (again!) I averaged 8:45 min/mile for the run, which I just had to take and try not to dwell on. I felt like I had the endurance to keep going, but there was no real pace in my legs to accompany it. I am also nowhere near hitting the paces I was on long runs during my Brighton Marathon training earlier in the year, and whilst deep down I know conditions are different and these are supposed to be long slow runs, it is sometimes hard not to compare and worry. I have to focus on the fact its 20 miles under my belt, whilst also continuing to focus on the recovery in between.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...