This week I have felt that marathon training notch turn up a little. I have had some tough runs and had to work hard to meet the requirements of my training plan. I have enjoyed pushing myself on the vast majority of my running, I like the feeling of working hard and challenging myself. However, I have to say Sunday's long run was bit too much and the combination of long miles and summer heat really pushed me to my limits.
MONDAY: Body Pump class
TUESDAY: with an early start at work my morning run had to be completed even earlier than normal today. A 5am alarm woke me ready for my 7 mile tempo run, which I aimed to complete with the middle 5 miles around half marathon pace. I focused on trying to make this middle section log 7.30 min/mile splits, and I was not far off this marker throughout. 5 miles felt quite a long time to hold this pace though, especially so early in the day, and I was pretty knackered at the end (see top image)!
WEDNESDAY: when I have a 10 miler to run pre-work that is when I know marathon training is starting to fully hit me. 10 miles seemed a long time to be out, even though I did keep the run at an a easy pace, averaging 8.33 min/mile.
THURSDAY: as part of Lincs S&C Run Club we hold a monthly track session and I was really looking forward to the challenge of it tonight. I used this as my interval run for the week and was pleased to see the session was due to be 10 x 400m reps with a minutes rest between. 'Pleased' may sound like strange reaction, but I knew it would challenge me and I liked that. The session was hard, jelly legs hit by half way and I spent a lot of the recovery period with my hands on my knees trying to gulp in air, but I really did give my absolute all to every single lap of that track. I messed up my watch - again! - so was a little gutted not to be able to look back at my splits for each interval. Next time I will get it right!
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: I managed to log another sub 21 minute time at Lincoln parkrun today - 20:53 - but in keeping with the theme of the week, it really was hard work and I fought for every second. I could feel I was a little jaded from the track session still as I started to run, but I had a real level of determination inside me for some reason and just knew I wanted to battle through. I ran with gritted teeth, trying to smile when marshals and fellow runners cheered my name, and when I crossed into the finish funnel, I was simply really pleased that my efforts had paid off.
SUNDAY: training for a marathon during summer sounds quite idyllic in some ways, but today I really hated the seasonal heat. I got out fairly early and to be honest the first 7 miles of the 17 miles I had planned were fine; I was in a good running rhythm, had accomplished a couple of hilly challenges I had thrown in at the start, and felt quite content. Heading toward 10 miles and as my route began to become more rural and exposed, the sun started to bore into me though, making me hot and making each step feel heavier than it should be. I stopped in pockets of shade to sip water occasionally, but it only meant when returning to run the sun hit me harder. For the final 7 miles I had to draw on some mental grit to keep on ticking the miles off; my legs were not actually feeling too bad, but I was mentally tired from constantly having to encourage myself. I logged my 17 miles in an average pace of 8.24 min/mile (see bottom image), and as I collapsed onto the foot of my stairs at home, I was exhausted. To be honest I was also questioning why I do this to myself! The 'why?' is of course part of a much bigger picture, and these hard challenges are all part of the process along the way.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...