NDW50 Wk 6: Happy Christmas to me… (wc 19.12.16)

So, my last week of bimbling along before my official 20 week training plan starts next week. The plan was always to to have an easy last week of ‘freedom’. Run if I wanted, don’t run if I didn’t…

I didn’t run Monday or Tuesday, legs still sore from Sunday’s 16. Despite this I felt quite naughty to be skipping a few miles. Had a great swim Tuesday morning, after 2,000m I spent 20 minutes practicing tumble turns & diving! Thursday morning I then managed to tumble turn on EVERY turn in the deep end! Get in! One of 2016’s goals hit on the line!

I actually only ran twice this week with a grand total of 12 miles. Wednesday night it was the Striders Christmas run taking in the blinged up & sparkly streets of Croydon as we ran. A fairly easy paced 6 miles followed by a pint in the club house. Merry Christmas Striders!

We wish you a Merry Christmas…

Then it was parkrun (plus warm up / cool down) on Saturday, aka Christmas Eve.

After my recent surprisingly good results at parkrun (massive PB’s + 1st lady at Roundshaw twice) I had I my mind that I wanted to do one last all-out effort before training for the NDW50 started properly.

Until this year my 5km PB had been run at Peterborough parkrun, a fast & flat course. Visiting the parents for Christmas was the perfect opportunity to go for it so Christmas Eve was marked in my mind as PB attempt day. I desperately wanted sub-23.

Oh hello to waking up on Saturday morning with a stuffy nose & impending cold… hmmmmm…

After a 1.5 mile warm up, it felt as if my nose was running more than I was… oh well, I decided to just go for it & see what happened.

Mile one 7:23 on garmin. Oooooh, bang on target pace for sub-23…

Mile two 7:21 on garmin. Oooooh, a little ahead of target pace… Can’t breathe, let’s just keep going…

Mile three, 7:21 on garmin, just 0.1 to go, ahead of target… Don’t stop now…

5km, 22:43 on garmin (official parkrun time 22:42) BOOM BOOM & BOOM! Hello shiny new PB, not just sub-23 but sub-23 AND some! And breathe… (quite literally…)

22:42, average pace 7:19. 77th out of 505 runners & 7th lady. Knocked 44 seconds off the PB I set at Roundshaw in October.

Though this was about more than just a fast time & a PB.

12 months ago, on Christmas Day 2015 I ran my first post-long-term injury parkrun on the same course. I’d been out for 18 months & had just started my return to running. I ran 28:04 & was absolutely delighted. (My pre-injury PB was 24:41, again at Peterborough, hey it’s fast & flat…!).

In one year since injury I’ve knocked a HUGE 5 MINUTES 22 SECONDS off of my 5km time. (And 1 min 59 off my pre-injury time).

How? What am I doing differently? How have I got so much faster? I honestly don’t know. I don’t do speed work (I think I’ve done 3 interval sessions this year) & I haven’t done any structured training since the London Marathon in April. As you know I’m injury prone so I’ve just been running, no agenda… I’ve (accidentally) lost a little weight, I’ve started lifting a little weights, I’m more muscular than I’ve ever been & I’ve slightly changed my diet. Has this helped. Absolutely no idea…

The agenda does start on Boxing Day, day one of official NDW50 training. That’s when it gets serious. But what a great sign-off to the base building stage!

I planned to do a Christmas Day parkrun but with the all out effort of Saturday & the lingering cold I decided to forgo the festive run in favour of a rest day ahead of D1 on Boxing Day.

So this is it. Training real starts tomorrow. In 20 weeks time, all going to plan, I will have run my 50 miles. And knowing me I’ll already be looking for my next challenge…

A planned easy week, a mere 12 miles with barely a hill worth mentioning but this shizzle is about to get REAL.

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