Physically I think this has been the first week since the Sydney Marathon and landing back in the UK that I have felt almost 'back to normal'. It has taken a while, even though by my standards I have been quite disciplined with my recovery. Mentally I am not yet back at the stage where I want to be pushing myself too much when running; I am very much in 'running' mode rather than 'training' mode. I know I need the break though and it is not something I am particularly concerned with right now - I even debated not running the half marathon I had entered for this Sunday. I did find myself on the start line though, but with a fresh focus it felt a happy place to be...
MONDAY: a double session of strength work due to work commitments later in the week, starting with Strength and Conditioning for Runners and ending with Body Pump.
TUESDAY: I lacked a bit of desire to run today plus had a slightly sore quad muscle (probably from too much strength work!) so kept it short and steady, logging 4 early miles at around 8 min/mile pace.
WEDNESDAY: my quad was still a little tight, so I opted for an easy 5 mile run just to try loosen it off, which actually seemed to help.
THURSDAY: I felt like a little more of a challenge today, but did not think I could rely on my own motivation to push the pace. Instead I included some hills in my 4 mile route - nature's way of testing myself! Body Pump class in the evening.
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: it was parkrun's birthday today - 14 years since the event started at Bushy Park (which I am determined I will go and run one day!) It was grey, wet and miserable in Lincoln and probably more remarkable in these conditions is the fact that hundreds of people now chose to spend their Saturday morning running and volunteering every week at Lincoln parkrun - and indeed across the world! I could write paragraphs about the benefits of parkrun and even more about what it has added to my life, but I think this article sums it all up quite well - BBC News - it is so much more than just a run. Back to today's effort - the main positive was it felt a million times better than last week's return to action, however I still managed virtually the same time - 21:37. I am not 'training' in the week so not expecting to suddenly running sub 21 minute 5ks again, and that does not matter. The happiness I get from running with others and chatting to familiar and new faces each week overrides that.
SUNDAY: the race I nearly did not run. I entered the Hedgehog Half Marathon months ago thinking I may feel a bit lost after Sydney and want a next goal. I was wrong, and all week I had been debating whether I really needed to 'race' a half marathon. My colleague then said they wanted to come support me, which touched me and made me think I ought to run. I told myself that I would probably be heading out for 10 miles anyway, however my biggest realisation was why did I think I had to 'race' the half marathon? Could I not just enjoy a 13.1 mile run? Did it really matter what time I ran as long as I enjoyed the experience? I pinned on my bib Sunday morning with zero pressure or expectation - it felt good. The route was more challenging than I expected, lots of long drawn out hills, but my body coped far better than I expected too. I did challenge myself, but was not concerned by my pace or time however my efforts were enough to see my finish as 5th female and win my age category - which was a real bonus! Full blog to follow - but it was a happy Sunday run.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...