Running has been the highlight of my week this week; after the joys of having my best friend visiting from Australia for the first time in two years, it has felt a bit empty not having her around again. This is one of the many reasons why I love running though, it is my constant, my 'go to' when I need something to focus on. With this in mind, I was therefore pleased to also have the purpose of the Run Up To Christmas challenge for this full week. Whilst I know my motivation to run is usually very strong, feeling part of this just helped me that little bit more.
MONDAY: to keep log some extra miles I opted for a short run to the gym for Body Pump, and then an even shorter half mile back to my house after - a simple way to log 3 more miles!
TUESDAY: today was one of those days where before leaving the house I did not hold too much expectation for my run, but then as soon as I started running it all just fell into place. Maybe less pressure leads to better results sometimes? I logged 6.3 miles (the odd 0.3 used to even off my current Run Up To Christmas total!) at an average pace of 7.58 min/mile. It always pleases me when I run sub 8 min/mile pace without consciously planning it - it is just a personal goal and something I am striving to be more naturally consistent at as my running progresses.
WEDNESDAY: another double run with a Body Pump class sandwiched in the middle. I say double run - the first 5.7 miles was a good paced, planned run; the second was 0.5 miles solely for the purpose of running home - but it all counts! The Body Pump class was actually replaced this week by a Cross Fit style substitute. I really enjoy the challenge when this happens as Cross Fit uses a mix of heavier weights and lower reps, which I am less used to, and thus it really pushes me - before subsequently leaving me feeling absolutely battered for days after!
THURSDAY: today was a bit of a struggle, as predicted my body was very sore from Cross Fit, but I also realised that with taking on the Run Up To Christmas challenge, and having an out of routine week last week, I had logged about nine days of consecutive running and consequently lots of accumulative miles. With this in mind I just kept my run short and easy; 4.3 miles at a comfortable 8.30 min/mile pace.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: it was so cold today - I thought it had been cold up to now on some of my runs, but today was next level cold! I ran the 2.5 miles down to Lincoln parkrun and braced myself for a further biting 3.1 miles. Stood on the start line in my little shorts and long sleeved top I kind of just wanted to get it over with - in the nicest possible way of course! Running was hard, it was kind of mind numbingly cold, so much so that I am not sure I was even conscious of what I was doing for most of the run; just snaking around Boultham Park in almost autopilot mode. I definitely never looked at my watch, and when I finished only then did I glance down, trying to get my fingers to function. 21:30 was my time - not my quickest but I had absolutely no complaints at all today! I then braved a meandering run home, where I kept forgetting to actually restart my watch, but officially logged 2.5 further miles.
SUNDAY: after surviving yesterday's cold, today's challenge was snow. Snow had been forecast, and as I woke I peered nervously out my curtain and was happy to see no white covering had fallen yet; I knew I needed to get out as quickly as possible before the conditions turned. I made it about 1 mile into my run when flakes started to drift from the sky. The flakes quickly built and soon were driving harshly into my face. 'You are mad' a little old lady commented to me (although she was also walking in this snow I must add?!) - and it did feel a little brutal at times I admit (see image). As I progressed further into my run the snow began to settle and build around me. Around 5 miles in I was now running on a white carpet, having to really focus on where I should place my feet. I had started quite steadily at around 8.15-8.20 min/mile pace, but I was slowing now as the paths became slippery, and my mindset shifted to simply getting around safely. Some paths were becoming crunchy with compact snow, others were glassy, whilst some remained joyously clear - it was a varied run to say the least and the mental endurance required actually probably tested me more than the physical 10 miles I ran! It was a challenge, but one I was determined to complete, and I am quite happy for that to be my only snow test for a while!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...