Chasing sunset not sunrise
9 miles, 1:23:21, 9:16 min/mile, 272ft elevation gain
I did not want to run.
Sunday’s long-run had not quite gone to plan due to tiredness. I was still tired, I was worried about my knee & I had serious DOMS. I had been dreading it all day to the extent that I delayed running for 12 hours & rather than my usual 6am run time, I didn’t hit the pavements until 6pm.
This is most unlike me.
In hindsight my procrastination was a good thing, it gave my body 12 extra hours to recover from Sunday’s 20 miles. I set out telling myself I would just do a couple of miles, put some music on & zoned out taking nice & easy, keeping my heart rate zone in 1-2.
One mile, two, three… Checked-in with myself, I felt ok, kept going. Four, five, six… I was in my groove, feeling good, kept going. Seven, eight, I started tiring, my knee started twinging. I had one more mile to hit the nine on my training plan. I persevered. I did it. I completely surprised myself. I had enjoyed it.
And I got to see sunset!
3 miles, 22:10, 7:23 min/mile, 33ft elevation gain (+ 1 mile warm-up/cool-down)
ANOTHER evening run… Watch out, this might become a habit!
I had a choice, run at 5:30pm Thursday in the park & in sunshine or 5:30am Friday on the dark Croydon roads. I choose park & sunshine & pulled my tempo run forward by 12 hours. Good choice!
A blinding session! Although to be honest possibly a bit too much tempo as I was only a few seconds off 5km PB pace & my heart rate was definitely in zone 4 more then 3 but it felt FANTASTIC to get a bit of speed & pace going again.
Running in the evening is a completely different experience, not just in the fact that I would usually run fasted in the morning & so have to consider what I eat during the day but also there are more people out & about. In the mornings I often have the park to myself, there may be one other runner & a couple of dog walkers but at 5:30 on a beautifully sunny spring evening the park was heaving with runners & people out walking. A completely different atmosphere & I loved it!
Paced to perfection LSR
13 miles, 1:53:11, 8:42 min/mile, 89ft elevation gain
You know you’re in the midst of endurance training when the long-run on your training plan for the week is 13 miles & you think ‘oh, that isn’t long…’!
Today’s 13 miles was a homage to tapering for Brighton Marathon next week. Whilst Brighton is technically a training run Bea wanted me to ease off the week leading up to it. A few people questioned running 13 miles the week before a marathon & I had to somewhat blag it as I still haven’t made my NDW50 plans public knowledge…
The purpose of the run was to practice race pace for next week’s marathon. After blowing up so spectacularly at Thames Meander a few weeks ago I’d been thinking about what my goal for Brighton would be. Whilst it’s not a race that I have specifically been training for I think it is still important to go into it with a race day plan otherwise I risk of going off too fast, hitting the wall & blowing up again.
My plan is to PB.
There it is out there. My current PB is 3:54. My target is to come in just under 3:50. This equates to 8:45 min/mile pace. That 15 seconds per mile is a HUGE difference to the 8:30 pace I tried to keep at Thames Meander. I think I can do it & after today’s run I am feeling a lot more confident than I have for weeks.
Today’s run I put my head down & ran. I deliberately chose a flat, traffic-free route. I didn’t stop, no photos, no drink or snack breaks, no toilet breaks. I ran. Constantly checking my pace, checking my heart rate, checking in with how I felt.
I felt good. The pace was comfortable, I had to keep pulling myself back as I wanted to go faster. My heart rate was within target. My legs felt good.
13 uneventful miles. And how is this for pacing:
Brighton, I’m ready for ya!
And to top it off, my first long-run for about two-months when my knee hasn’t ached. Get-in!
I also did the Striders club run on Wednesday.
Despite insomnia rejoining the party this week, I think this has been my best week’s training for a while. Yes, slightly lower milage but I hit my target in every session, I felt strong on my tempo & long run. I felt comfortable in my easier paced sessions. I put a lot of focus into stretching & rehab exercises this week which has helped with the knee discomfort I’d been experiencing.
After a few weeks of what almost felt like negativity as I was writing, the week before a race is a great time to have a little boost in confidence.
This coming week is light, a couple of easy runs, no weight training, maybe a swim, lots of carbs & if I had any control over it I would also say lots of sleep…
Week Nineteen: 34.5 miles in total with 892 ft elevation gain.