Another week passes me by. Where is the time going?
The first thing I’m going to update you on is my fundraising, as after all that is a big reason as to why I’m doing all of this! I’m now £380 towards my target of £1000, which I’m really happy with… nearly halfway there! I still have a few fundraising events to come, so hopefully those will generate a bit more towards that elusive goal. If this blog has at all entertained you, please consider making a donation to my JustGiving page – it really would make such a difference and no amount is too small.
Now on to training - my lesson from this week’s marathon training is that if I shut up I can run a lot faster… I know, it’s a novel idea! More about this on Saturday’s briefing :)
The week panned out like this:
Tuesday: 4 x 1600m http://connect.garmin.com/activity/140756119
Thursday: 60 mins at pace http://connect.garmin.com/activity/141220885
Saturday: 13M solo http://connect.garmin.com/activity/142163262
Sunday: 20 min recovery run and a gentle cycle http://connect.garmin.com/activity/142163270
I should have done some light cross training on Monday, but didn’t have time to fit it in as I had dinner plans with my lovely friend Vicky. As this was a rest/easy day anyway it’s not too much of a problem that I missed it so I’m not going to worry myself over it.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not usually a fan of interval sessions, so the idea of doing mile repeats on Tuesday was a bit of a drag, but I’m so motivated for running generally at the moment that I went out there with my game face on and worked hard. Keeping myself at around 180bpm (my version of about 85% max HR) I did my first four laps of the track for interval number one and then stopped to walk around and recover, then repeated this another three times. I felt really good and found it fairly easy to settle into the proper pace to achieve the appropriate heart rate on each rep. I had to focus on counting in for three and out for four to control my breathing so I know I was at the right intensity. Overall I averaged out at 7:27 min/mile which I was really pleased with, and they were all fairly evenly paced.
Thursday runs at the HRC during marathon season are usually tempo runs, starting with a mile warm-up, then running at tempo pace for X number of miles, followed by a mile cool-down; but Sally wanted me to treat this as a pacing session and to start off at my target marathon pace from the off. My first mile was a bit slower than planned as I tried to get past the group who were doing their warm-up, and then each subsequent mile was too quick! I averaged out at 8:25 min/mile overall, so not too far off the 8:36 pace I’m aiming for – but the point was to try to keep each mile evenly paced out at the target pace and looking at my Garmin splits I kind of failed there! Hopefully, in time, I’ll become used to the pace and be able to run it on autopilot – which Sally says is the point of these sessions.
So this brings us to the weekend. Sunday was Harlow Running Club’s turn to host the Cross Country League that we’re part of and, having not wanted to risk injury, I decided to marshall rather than run, which meant that I needed to do my long run on Saturday as I wouldn’t have had time before or after the Cross Country. I mapped a route out near my mum’s home town of Sutton, near Ely, and drove up on Saturday morning after fuelling both myself and my car (porridge for me, unleaded for the car!). With only my iPod shuffle to accompany me I set out on the run a little later than planned, and was a little worried that I might overheat with the layers I’d put on, but despite the sunshine it was still very cold. And this is where the “talk less, run faster” theory came in to play: Usually on my long runs I have some company, in the form of Wendy or Laura, or both. So having set out on my own and looking more at HR as a target than pace, I realised that I was running around 20-30 seconds per mile faster than when I am nattering away with friends… who knew gossiping took so much energy?! There were a couple of “eeek” moments when the oncoming traffic travelling towards me at ~60mph didn’t see me until the last minute (look where you’re going Mr Ford Mondeo, not at the heron flying overhead – you know who you are!!) and I’m sure that’s a plausible explanation for some of the peaks in my HR, but the run went by without incident. Around the 10 mile mark I realised that I might actually be on pace to finish my 13M in under 2 hours, and against my better judgement I picked up the pace again for the last mile, following the second of the hills I had to climb, and sure enough I finished in 1:59:05. Ahh, done :)
XC day! I arrived at the running club around 9:30 am ready for instructions and it was really buzzing – lots of runners from Harlow Running Club, Ware Joggers, Saffron Striders and Bishops Stortford all ready and raring to go. I walked over to my marshalling position and waited for the first of the runners to reach me. I was roughly half a mile in to the route, which would double back and become half a mile from the finish. It was a very cold day, and my fingers and toes were becoming steadily number! The runners all did really well, and Harlow ladies finished 3rd, while the HRC men came 1st! HRC are 2nd overall in the league, with just one more race to go. Well done Harlow!
After my marshalling duties I set out on my 20 min recovery run that was scheduled. Not really much to report here, it was an “easy” run, but my legs were more tired that I’d thought. It was good to flush them out with a bit of gentle running, though, and they felt much looser afterwards.
I ended the week with a leisurely bike ride with Wendy – we were on a mission to go and get some cake, earning it on the way! I haven’t got access to my bike at the moment, so I used one of Wendy’s – a road bike, no less! It was my first experience of riding a road bike and I was actually a little nervous – the teeny tiny tyres and the low handle bars were very new to me and I also hadn’t used clip-in pedals for a long time… since falling off my bike (twice) at Thetford Forest visitor centre with my boyfriend, much to the amusement of him and everyone else around! Still, the height of the saddle meant I could still put my foot to the ground, so I felt fairly safe. It was a really nice ride, and the pit stop for tea and a slice of really tasty fruit cake was a lovely half-way point. I will definitely have to get myself some thicker socks and gloves for these things though as yet again they were numbing up. I really should try to get out cycling more often.
So that’s it – my week in marathon talk – overall it’s been another really positive week and I’m really enjoying my training. I hope you’re enjoying reading about it!