I can't quite believe it has been three weeks since Chicago Marathon already - time has absolutely flown. Looking at the positives, I would say I am doing well in avoiding too much of the 'post marathon blues' feeling which I have sometimes struggled with in the past; I have kept myself very busy - not just with running! - and it has helped. The one negative is however that my legs do not feel back to normal yet, and I am sure this is the longest it has taken me post marathon to feel a little bit more normal. This week things have seemed to begin to improve a little though, and I am happy with small steps forward, as long as things are progressing.
MONDAY: Body Pump class
TUESDAY: as I was not at work this evening I managed to make my Run Club's Tuesday night social run for the second week in a row - unheard of! I really enjoyed 4 chatty miles, catching up with a few people and not even thinking about pace (see image). Run Club has given me a lot of new friends - people I had never met before, and people whose face I knew from the running scene, but had never spoken to before - and I am thankful for that. Our Thursday Run Club sessions still have a large social element, but tend to also be more structured with intervals, hills etc., so especially in this non training period, I am going to aim to make these Tuesday evening sessions whenever work permits.
WEDNESDAY: my Wednesday running friend had to cancel on me last minute, so I was faced with trying to push my legs on a steadier run without his motivation. I managed 5 miles hovering in the 8-8:15 min/mile region, which I was pleased with, although it did feel much harder than it used to, which I took as a sign my legs were getting better, but are not quite there yet.
THURSDAY: after pushing myself a little more yesterday, I aimed to ease off the effort today as I headed out for another 5 miles. Starting my run with a long drawn out hill - just to add a little bit of challenge! - it then turned into a slight progression run as my legs felt looser as the miles progressed. Again, more promising signs.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: after a fairly slow (by my standards I know) reintroduction to running Lincoln parkrun last week, my aim for today was to try get back into the 21 minute region. It was hard, but my legs were much improved from the previous week, and I kept reminding myself this as I ran. My first mile split was actually akin to what I had been running pre-marathon and logged at sub 7 min/mile pace, but I couldn't hold it and slowed for the final two miles, although remained consistent with matching splits. I finished in 21:44, still nowhere near my best, but 30 seconds quicker than last week, so again I was happy. I then enjoyed a post run breakfast and chat in the famous Lincoln Bowls Club with a few members from my Run Club - I have ran Lincoln parkrun 131 times as well as 30 (I think!) volunteer stints yet this was the first time I have ever sampled a bowls club breakfast!
SUNDAY: more steps forward today as I upped my Sunday long run to 10 miles and also ran at a good pace throughout. My splits were within the 8:10-8:25 min/mile region, and whilst like earlier in the week, this did feel tougher than it has done before, I felt my legs did have some strength back.
On a slightly non running level, this week I was also recognised on Lincolnshire's 30 Under 30 List (more here) as one of the counties young rising stars (see image). My colleague/friend had nominated me and whilst I was extremely flattered to be included in the list, it was however the passage she had written about me which touched me the most. She had written something so genuine, that encompassed all that I try to do professionally and in my personal ethos in terms of trying to help and make a difference to people - as well as getting my parkrun and marathon addiction in there too! - reading it just made me believe that little bit more in myself . A few things have shaken my self confidence in recent weeks, and this recognition was incredibly well timed. I am sure improved self belief can only help me in a running environment too.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...