This week has been pretty standard in terms of running, however the weekend offered an extra reminder of the pure joy that running can add to life, and has added to mine.
MONDAY: Body Pump class
TUESDAY: I had a long and busy day at work today, but managed to find an opportunity to squeeze a quick 5 mile run in. When I can just about fit a run into a day I am grateful to have that chance to get my endorphin hit, so in these situations tend not to put any pressure on myself in terms of pace. With no expectations I was therefore pleased to naturally hit exactly 8 min/mile pace.
WEDNESDAY: a pre-Body Pump class 5 mile run, which was almost an exact copy of yesterday's run, with my legs seeming to revert comfortably to 8 min/mile pace.
THURSDAY: Body Attack class - the endless squat jumps and lunges killed my legs this week and walking home I felt like I had just stumbled across the finish line of a race, with that feeling of having very little left in the tank!
FRIDAY: Rest Day
SATURDAY: this Saturday marked my local parkrun's 4th Birthday. Lincoln parkrun has grown to become a near on permanent fixture in my week, and thus has had a huge positive impact on my life. I know I am not alone in feeling like this, and I am bias to say we also have a very special community at Lincoln. It was therefore heartwarming to stand listening to the celebratory run brief, with this all in mind, and feeling a small part of something so special. The morning itself was very cold, and in the first mile I felt the effect of the wintery weather, with my body feeling a bit shocked by the conditions the air seeming harsh to breathe. The following miles I adapted a little better, but could sense I was not going to achieve my sub 21 minute time goal without even needing to look at my watch. I clocked a 21:25 finish time, which I was content with in the conditions; after all time is not everything at parkrun and there is always another week! I then went and left a message on the white board which had been brought along to the event this week and asked us to describe Lincoln parkrun in no more the 4 words (see images) - 'my happy place' - I wrote, and I really mean it.
SUNDAY: across the last few weeks I have been completing a longer run on a Sunday without any set time or distance in mind, which after months of marathon training has offered a bit of a break. Today was much the same, albeit on a much colder morning, and I headed out for a no-pressure long run with my friend. For some reason though I just really loved this run, more than any of the Sunday's runs throughout the past few weeks.
I never looked at my watch until we had finished our route, and I didn't really think too much or pay attention to how my body or legs felt. I simply enjoyed the tranquillity of an early, frosty morning and the conversational company of my friend. To me it felt like a slightly unconventional form of relaxation, and the therapy that running so often gives me. Taking it back to the facts, I finished with 12.75 miles in the bank (I wasn't even fussed about making it up to 13 miles like I may usually have been!) and an average pace of 8.35 min/mile.
Looking ahead to next week, I am excited as I am seeing my best friend as she visits the UK for the first time since moving to Australia. I have not seen my friend in two years - which writing I find hard to comprehend how I have coped! - and this also means we also have not ran together in two years. So there is some serious catching up on both life and miles to be had - I can't wait.
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...