(Not) Quite Like Old Times (But Nearly)

2 May

I started the week with a rest day to let my ankle settle, as it had been a bit sore on the Sunday. I’d also somehow jarred my neck/upper back, and it made sense to let that relax a bit, too. I settled for my bog-standard core/glute/calf routine and some stretching on Monday, and felt much the better for it. I got back to running on Tuesday morning with a steady 6 miles. The ankle felt fine, and the back/neck a fair bit better. I was supposed to be doing a 5 day trial, but it finished very early (by lunchtime on Tuesday). At first I thought this might give me a chance to get some longer runs in during the week, and started that plan with 9 miles on Wednesday, but my hard-working clerks (the people who allocate work for barristers) found me hearings to do on Thursday and Friday mornings, so instead I spent Wednesday afternoon reading for those, then did 7 miles with strides on Thursday, and 6 miles steady with a clubmate on Friday. I didn’t really have time for 7 miles on Thursday, as I faffed around way too much and was a bit late leaving the house, so my cycle into work was way faster than I would normally dare (I’m a bit of a wuss with downhills). Still, I was ‘in’ my virtual pre-hearing discussions at 9am on the nose, dressed for court and looking reasonably respectable.

On Saturday morning I tackled some shorter intervals: 8 x 1 km with 2 minutes of jogging between each one. I was probably a bit over-ambitious/got carried away in the first one where I had someone to chase down, and clocked 3.54. That surprised me: I wouldn’t have thought I was in 39 minute dead 10km shape at the moment! I continued to surprise myself in reps 2 & 3 (also both 3.54), and even in 4 & 5 (3.56 and 3.55), before my over-ambitious start slowly caught up with me: 4.00, 4.01 and 4.03. Still, I averaged 3.57/km over the session, which is 39.30 shape. (That’s 6.21m/m, so for the first time in a while I’m apparently within ~20s/mile of PB shape. That’s really encouraging this far out from target races in the autumn, as I don’t think I’ve been that close to PB shape since … ooh, probably 2017!)

However, the main event of Saturday was going to see my parents for lunch (al fresco, naturally, but their garden is thankfully fairly well-sheltered and they have 2 large picnic umbrellas). It was all going fairly well until we discovered, on the M4, that the windscreen wipers on T’s car no longer worked. We spent a bit of time on the hard-shoulder waiting for the heavy rain showers to clear, and then some time in the nearest services trying (and failing) to fix the problem, before there was another break in the rain and we made a dash on to my parents’ house, where we could at least eat and drink with good company whilst we waited for the RAC! It was very lovely to see my parents again (the first time since September), even if the no-hugging still feels downright weird. I will never take hugging my friends and family for granted again – and I’m not a particularly tactile person! We were later leaving to go home than planned, and then hit traffic on the way back into Bristol due to Kill the Bill protests, so we were met by two very hungry cats. They don’t seem to approve of us trying to get back to our normal lives, and much prefer their carers being at home 24/7.

Today I finished my week with 19 miles. I could definitely feel yesterday’s session in my legs, and it took a while for them to loosen up. I don’t think being sat in the car for 5 hours helped either, but it was definitely worth each of those 300 minutes to have a lovely afternoon chatting and catching up. Anyway, the long and the short of it is that 19 miles at 8.06m/m felt much harder work than 20 miles at 7.47m/m two weeks ago, but it was still a solid week’s training: 58 miles. I finished April on 242 miles, and I’m well above my target of 230 miles per month for 2021 at the moment.

The Ups And Downs of Running

25 Apr

Two weeks for the price of one blogpost, today!

Last week I started with a very gentle 5 miles on Monday, and then 7 miles with some strides on the Tuesday. Most of the week I wasn’t in court, and I took advantage of this, with 12 miles on Wednesday morning and then a sports massage: my first in 4 months! I had Thursday designated as a rest day to let my body adjust, and then on Friday I did a steady 7 with a clubmate. I slept appallingly badly on Friday night, and so my plans to be out of the door super early to get some mile reps done ahead of second round pupillage interviews had to be aborted, and I settled for 7 miles with some strides again. That meant my legs were nice and fresh on Sunday, and my 20 mile run was at a very spritely 7.47m/m (bearing in mind I’m rarely any faster than 8m/m, and often quite a lot slower!). 58 miles for the week.

This week I had meetings or hearings every morning, and so there was no luxury of being able to do medium long runs. T was also away, and so I didn’t really want to run in the evenings, as I was having to dash home to feed the cats as it was, and I don’t particularly like running soon after I’ve cycled home: I have a new found respect for triathletes every time I try to run when I’ve still got cycled-up-a-big-hill jelly legs! That meant 6 miles steady on Monday, 7 miles with strides on Tuesday, rest on Wednesday (when I had an 8.30am meeting), 6 miles steady on Thursday and 6 miles with a clubmate on Friday. By Saturday I was well overdue some speedwork, and opted for the mile reps I’d skipped the week before (hey, I’ve got 5 more weeks of freestyling things before a proper marathon schedule kicks in, so I’m making the most of it!). I did 4 again, and the first 3 were surprisingly nippy (although, thinking about it, although my runs had been slightly faster this week, I’d not done a huge amount, so my legs should have been nice and fresh): 6.23, 6.26, 6.23 and then 6.30 to finish. Even with the slightly slower last rep that’s an average of 6:23.5 per mile. It’s been a long old while since I was running a solo mile rep session at that kind of pace, fresh legs or not!

Today I felt surprisingly flat and slightly regretted my decision to do a route which was predominantly off-road and hilly (by way of comparison – and with the caveat that GPS elevation data is not super accurate – last week’s route had 235 metres of elevation, and this week had 670). I really regretted it when I doubled back on myself too quickly after I missed a turning and slightly tweaked my left ankle. I was able to finish the run, but it’s definitely a bit sore, and I’m a bit annoyed with myself for being dozy. Anyway, the combination of feeling flat, 20mph winds instead of 2mph winds, and lots of hills to climb meant I was brought back down to earth by a long run which averaged 8.30m/m. I’m thinking of it as a time on the feet run! 55 miles for week. I’m looking after the ankle with some strapping and intermittent icing, and hoping I get away with it.

Pausing For Breath

11 Apr

The week started with a Bank Holiday, and, having re-scheduled the tail end of the previous week, I was able to start my week with my medium long run (12 miles). Annoyingly, I had a bit of a sore spot on the top of my right foot. I’d felt it a bit during my run on the Saturday before, but had assumed it was because I’d slightly tightened the lacing on my trainer. It had felt fine on Sunday, but seemed to be back. Still, the run was a fairly ok pace, albeit the conditions were pretty cool and grey.

Tuesday was my rest day, as I was starting a 3 day trial (although it ended up getting adjourned, after all my work on Easter Monday!). It was probably quite a good time to let the foot rest, too. I did 6 miles easy on Wednesday, 6 miles with 10 sets of strides on Thursday and 6 miles steady on Friday. The foot felt fine on Wednesday and Thursday, but a bit sore on Friday, although I did note that because I was rushing to get out of the door (meeting a clubmate at 6.45am: ouch!), I probably did overtighten the shoe again. On top of that, I was back to cycling to and from chambers. It was always takes a few weeks to get back into the groove of that, and my quads are definitely still adjusting!

Saturday saw a return to a split marathon pace tempo, aka 3 x 4km. Once again I was a little overenthusiastic in the first effort (16.47) but the next two were bang on 2.59 pace (16.59 and 16.58). I think that’s the first time all 3 efforts have been under 17 minutes: hurrah! And best of all the shin/foot felt fine.

Today, after not the best night’s sleep, I surprised myself with 18 miles at exactly 8m/m. I’d expected to be a bit slower after the efforts yesterday and having taken ages to get to sleep, then woken by T’s on-call phone, and then woken, bleary-eyed, to feed the cats (who have no concept of a lie-in when food is at stake). Still, you should never look a running pace gift-horse in the mouth, and it was a lovely day to be out running: cool air temperature, but nice and sunny. 60 miles for the week. The next few weeks are a bit busy from a work point of view, and although I’ve built some reading days into next week to try and prepare for that, let’s just say I’m feeling apprehensive. I was in two minds as to whether I should try and work a lot this weekend to get ahead, but on balance decided it was better to rest my brain, and then really blitz things next week. Here’s hoping my strategy pays off!

It Was An April Morning

4 Apr

I had a reading day on Monday, to ease myself back into working again, so started with a final set of running chores: dropping off cat food sachets for recycling and buying bread and croissants at the bakery. A pleasant 7 miles, albeit I felt fairly groggy (going back to getting up in the dark is the worst thing about the clocks going back). On Tuesday I did 7 miles with 12 sets of strides and then a strength session, all squeezed in ahead of the court day. I slept quite badly on Tuesday night: it started very nicely, with the boy-cat deciding he wanted a really long snuggle on my chest, but for someone who sleeps on their side rather than their back, that makes sleeping very difficult, plus he was so happy he was purring extremely loudly for ages – nearly as bad as snoring! By the time I eventually turfed him off I was past sleepiness, out the other side, and unable to sleep. I took Wednesday as a rest day. I ran 252 miles in March, which is pretty good going.

On Thursday I was out at 7am with a clubmate, although both of us felt a bit sluggish. And then I was off into chambers. I’ve finally done the decent thing and become a pupil supervisor, which means I am responsible for training new barristers during their pupillage, or final part of their training, and although remote working is pretty effective for many parts of my job, and I’m likely to work from home much more than I used to even when life returns to ‘normal’, it’s really hard to support someone finding their feet properly over the phone or through Teams check-ins, so at least initially it’s back to cycle commuting. It looks like being a pupil supervisor might make me fitter, as well as challenge to think about why I do things in certain ways when I’m dealing with a case. It’s not just the pupil who benefits from a pupillage! My pupil started on Thursday (yes, April Fool’s Day. Maybe not the best decision we took as a chambers to pick that day…).

Friday was, of course, Good Friday, and as I’d had quite a light week I decided to do my faster run/quality session that day. After last week’s longer marathon paced efforts it was time for some medium length half marathon pace efforts, and I was pleasantly surprised that they came out at 6.34, 6.31, 6.29 and 6.32. It was a fairly still morning by recent standards, and cool without being cold, so pretty good running conditions. Maybe I was just having a good day! I do need to build that up to 6 repetitions again, so that it’s a bit more endurance focused, but 4 felt about right on Friday. It’s often better to finish a quality session feeling like you could have done a little bit more, rather than completely knackered with wrecked legs (although there is a sneaky satisfaction to having wrecked legs every once in a while). With the warm up, cool down and jogging in between efforts I covered 9 miles in total.

Being a day ahead of my usual schedule meant I could do my long run on Saturday, and it was a very pleasant 18 miles, just under 8m/m pace. I did the same route as last week, and it just goes to show how so many small things affect your pace each day, because this week I was 18s/mile faster. There’s no way I’ve suddenly gained that much fitness, it was just another good day.

I rounded off my recovery week with 7 steady miles in beautiful sunshine, followed by a tasty Easter breakfast with T. I do need to do a teensy bit of work first rather than risk leaving all of it until tomorrow, but the sun is shining so gloriously that we will head off for a walk together this afternoon.

So Don’t Give Up / Don’t Look Down / ‘Cause Your Time Is Gonna Come Around

28 Mar

T and I both had this week off, which meant that the 7am runs could take a rest this week. Obviously we couldn’t go away, and still followed the ‘stay local’ guidance, but it was lovely to have some time off together and be able to potter around taking it easy, even if the things we did do (cleaning the kitchen cupboards? Going through the filing cabinet?) weren’t always exciting (but the cooking was better: all the slightly faffy things I never have time to do during the week, and am generally too knackered to do by the weekend :)) We also foraged for wild garlic, and have plenty of tasty wild garlic pesto in the freezer for quick midweek meals once we’re back at work, and had some lovely walks. I’m not sure the cats approved of being taken to the vets for their booster vaccinations, but they definitely approved of the treats they got afterwards.

On Monday I did a steady 6 miles, and on Tuesday I did 8 miles with some strides. I did 12 on Wednesday (plus some strength and conditioning) and 7 on Thursday. Nothing very exciting, but good, steady base-building for the autumn continues.

As an athletics fan, I can’t let this week pass without writing about the British Olympic Team Marathon Trials, which took place on Friday. Although it was unclear for a while if the race would be televised at all, ultimately both British Athletics and the BBC streamed it, which was great. I scheduled Friday as my running rest day, and by 8am (race start time), was sat on the sofa with a pint of tea, good to go. The men and women started together, although obviously the men were quickly ahead. There are 3 spots on the team for men and 3 for women, but one spot had been ‘pre-selected’ on the men’s team. British Athletics had announced a selection policy that the first 2 men and women in the race would be selected, provided they had the Olympic Games Qualifying Time (OGQT: 2.11.30 for the men, and 2.29.30 for the women). In the women’s race there was a brilliant display of controlled, high-quality running from Steph Davis, who ran 2.27 and bits to knock a little off her PB and win, booking her seat on the plane to Tokyo, but heartbreak for second-placed Natasha Cockram, who was just outside 2.30, and so missed the OGQT. But it was the men’s race which had us on the edge of our seats, struggling to believe our eyes, but beaming from ear to ear.

Fairly early on a small group of men settled in behind the two pacemakers: Ben Conner, Dewi Griffiths, Mo Aadan and Chris Thompson. By 15km in, Chris Thompson had dropped off the pack. As the commentators kept on reminding us, Thompson is only a few weeks away from his 40th birthday, and as Jason Henderson wrote for Athletics Weekly “Everyone, including myself, simply thought he was dropped. This was Thommo‚Äôs last dance and he seemed to be going out the back door and en route to a probable DNF [did not finish]”. I thought that, too. The coverage cut away to the women’s race for a bit, and by the time they cut back to the men, everything had changed: in those few minutes, Dewi Griffiths had dropped back, and Thompson was back in the lead group, looking strong, and about to flow past. It turned out he had taken the decision that the pace from 10-15km was a little too fast for comfort (something like 2.09/2.10 pace, if I recall correctly), and that if the pace he could hold (2.11 pace) wasn’t going to get him a place in the top 2, so be it, but it was what felt right, and he was going to gamble that the other guys weren’t actually in 2.09 shape. He’d gambled smartly. The final 2 laps (just under 7km of running), saw Thompson pull away to win comfortably, dipping under 2.11, running a qualifying time and booking his place to Tokyo. But what made it special, for anyone who has had their own battles to win and setbacks to overcome, was the display of raw emotion in the finishing straight, and as Thompson breasted the tape. After all those years, a runner euphemistically described as ‘fragile’ by many a commentator (= gets injured a lot), had had one of those races where everything clicks, where you feel strong, where you feel in control, and where your race strategy plays out to perfection. As he said in an emotional post-race interview, given his age he probably should have retired 5 years ago. But thank goodness he didn’t. For runners of a certain age, it reminded us – as Jo Pavey did so magnificently in 2014 – that although life may not begin at 40, running success doesn’t have to stop there!

Suitably inspired, I did a marathon pace session on Saturday (3 x 4km): I slightly over-cooked the first one (16.48), undercooked the second (17.04) and nailed the third (16.54). I finished the week with 18 miles on tired legs, on a breezy day, to make 63 miles for the week.

A Year Is A Long Time In Running

21 Mar

On Monday I did a steady 6 miles in the morning, and then a strength session in the evening. On Tuesday I did a steady 7 miles. Although I had planned to run on Wednesday, I slept very badly: I took ages to go to sleep, then T’s on-call phone went in the middle of the night, and then the boy-cat decided that he needed to tell us he was quite hungry at about 5am. Perfect. I felt absolutely exhausted, and took it as my rest day from running (although I did do a strength session late afternoon, just at the point where I was ready for a break in a very hectic day).

On Thursday, after a much better sleep, I met up with a friend for a steady 11 miler, although the classic thing of pushing each other on a little happened, and I ended up doing the 11 miles under 7.45m/m, which is way faster than I would usually manage for a lumpy 11 miles early in the morning. Friday’s 12 miles, alone, was at a more typical 8.11m/m.

On Saturday I was conducting pupillage interviews all morning, with an 8.45am pre-interviews meeting, so I only had time to squeeze in 5 miles with 6 sets of strides. It’s always a bit weird running at weekday time at the weekend: you see a very different crowd!

I rounded the week off today with a steady 20 miles, which made 61 miles for the week. Base building for the autumn marathon campaign continues!

It’s funny to think that this time last year we were teetering on the edge of entering lockdown. Life was about to change enormously, and I don’t think any of us realised quite how significant those changes would be, nor how long those changes would endure for. Even now, there’s no real clarity as to when life will return to something approaching normal. But I guess those of us – like myself – who have come through the last year healthy and able to work pretty much throughout, have been luckier than we realise.

Like Only A Woman Can

14 Mar

This week started with a round trip to pick up a letter from chambers, so 5.5 miles plodded early doors on Monday.

On Tuesday it was more running to do chores, dropping off an entire rucksack full of cat food sachets for recycling. With a bit extra tacked on, 6.5 miles.

Wednesday was not a beautiful day, but it was the best time to do my medium long run, so a windswept 11 miles it was. I then did a strength session over Zoom.

Thursday the weather was grim, which was why I’d scheduled it as my rest day. Maybe total rest – not even a walk or some stretching – was a mistake, as I felt super lethargic on Friday. More rain and wind didn’t help: clubmate E, who I met up with, both agreed we’d have snoozed a bit more had we not agreed to meet for an easy run. Although I’d planned to do 7, I cut it short and did 6 as my legs felt so heavy. Friday evening was nicer: a Zoom strength session with some more lovely team mates.

On Saturday it was very windy, so I opted for a hills session, doing 6 continuous loops of the course we sometimes use for club sessions. It was less sheltered than I hoped, so I focused on form rather than speed, but it was definitely still a good workout for calves, hamstrings, glutes and quads.

The blogspot title comes about because of the events at Clapham Common Saturday evening. Unless the police bodyworn camera footage shows something exceptional, it is hard to understand how a vigil – even if not as socially distanced as vigils should be right now – ended up with what some footage suggests were pretty violent arrests of women, by Met officers. It’s still playing on my mind now. I can’t say I’ve organised my thoughts into a particularly coherent form as yet, but I don’t feel I can ignore it, even in what should be a blog about running.

Finally, I did my first 20 mile run for about a year today. A reasonable pace (8.05s) in slightly blustery but mostly sunny conditions. 59 miles for the week.

Here Comes The Sun, Little Darling

7 Mar

I started the week the easy way, with a rest day. Well, I had to cycle to and from chambers, but I had a rest from running! On Tuesday I did a slightly sluggish 5 miles, and on Wednesday an incredibly sluggish 7 miles. Every now and then you have an inexplicably bad run, and Wednesday morning’s run was one of those runs. At least it wasn’t on a race day! I did a strength session with a clubmate on Wednesday evening over Zoom, by which time I felt a bit perkier. On Thursday morning I felt so much better than I had 24 hours previously, and my 10 mile run was pretty good. It helped that it was a nice day, albeit the wind was a bit fresh and so my decision to ditch the gloves was foolish. On Friday I met up with a clubmate for a steady 6 miles, and even with a 7am start there was proper daylight, so that we could run out to Ashton Court and back (we were also lucky with the Suspension Bridge, which has a one-way system for pedestrians to enable social distancing, but does mean that you sometimes have to walk across, as entirely understandably there is a no-overtaking rule in place. But lady luck smiled on us – doubtless assisted by the early start! – and we were able to run both directions).

On Saturday morning it was another sunny, cool start, and I decided to do a mixed-pace session again, but this time to do the fast stuff first and the marathon pace stuff second. Slightly at random I settled on 10 x 1 minute at 5k pace with 1 minute jog recovery for the faster stuff. Either my Garmin was struggling with being on the Portway at the bottom of the Avon Gorge or I was running very erratically, because it claims that my pace varied between 5.53m/m and 6.20m/m. I’m pretty sure it was former, which just goes to show you shouldn’t trust GPS too much, kids. The marathon pace chunk felt super-cruisy and steady after that, and I nailed sub-3 pace feeling very comfy. Hurrah! 10 miles including warm up and cool down.

This morning the weather was glorious again, and I did a 17 mile route with a few decent climbs thrown in, plus one super decent descent (down through Ashton Court). The pace was pretty respectable given the route (8.12s) so I’m starting to tentatively hope that my fitness is gradually returning. If marathon pace is now in the 6.50m/m ballpark, that does mean I’m still about 20s/mile shy of my absolute best, but seeing as I’ve rarely got within 30s/mile of my absolute best in the last few years, it definitely counts as progress. 55 miles for the week, so a steady start to March, but I was definitely ready for a slightly lighter week.

Nothing More, Nothing Less: Only … My Minimum Mileage Target

28 Feb

OK, so Louis Armstrong didn’t sing the last bit, but I guess he wasn’t trying to get back into decent marathon shape.

Anyway, this week: I was in chambers for my hearings, partly supporting a vulnerable client for 4 days, and then the final day to let the decorator we had in finish doing the hall and stairwells. We now finally have a smarter, fresher looking house from top to bottom! Being in chambers of course meant cycling as well as running. On Monday I just did my cycle commute. On Tuesday I did a very steady 5 miles. On Wednesday we weren’t sitting (i.e. starting the court day) until 11am, which meant I could get a 10 mile run done. On Thursday I did 7 miles with 10 sets of strides. And on Friday, a steady 6 miles. Although it wasn’t lovely going back to running at 6.45am after two quieter weeks with few hearings, so that I’d been able to run at 7.30am and come to a little more gradually in the mornings, by late February there is at least daylight by 6.45am, and so it’s not the gloomy headtorch lit trudges of early January.

Friday morning was beautiful: cold but sunny (although I was a bit optimistic focusing on the sun, so that I was in a t-shirt and had no gloves). Saturday morning was misty. By the time I set off (8am) the mist had pretty much burnt off around our house, but I probably shouldn’t have been surprised that it was a different story at the bottom of the Avon Gorge. My glasses quickly fogged up, which made trying to run fast just that bit more exciting! Anyway, I’d decided to do a mixed-speed session for a change: 1 x 4km at marathon pace (16.59, so bang on sub-3 pace. Hurrah!); 2 x 2km at half-marathon pace (8.15 and 8.18, so about right); 2 x 1km at 10km pace (4.00, bang on, and 4.05: legs filled with lactic a bit on that one!). 11 miles including warm up, cool down and jog recoveries in between the efforts.

This morning I knew I needed to do 19 miles to hit my monthly target of 230. February was always going to be the month that made that a little harder, having only 28 days and all, so I’m pleased I hit the target, even if it was only 230 on the nose. It was another nice day, minus the mist we’d had yesterday, and although the pace was a bit slower than last week (8.10s) it was far from awful. I can always suggest that I was carrying some extra weight today: my hydration back-pack, 1 litre of water and some vegan jelly babies (also plastic free, thanks to Better Foods: good work!). It’s been a while since I bothered taking fuel on a long run, and I figured I’d better get back into it as the slightly warmer weather returns. 58 miles for the week, and 230 for the month.

Have You Heard The Raindrops Drumming On The Rooftops?

21 Feb

At the end of last week, I was exhausted. I was still pretty exhausted (and curiously achy) on Monday this week, so I decided it was the best day for my rest day. I just did some gentle strength work and careful stretching, and took the day as easy as I could.

It seemed to help, and by Tuesday morning I was ready for an 11 mile run at 7am. I ran with a slightly faster clubmate for most of it, which helps explain an early morning 11 mile run on a lumpy route coming out at 8m/m. Particularly impressive given the headwinds we faced as we ran along the wind-tunnel that the Portway can be! I did a strength session that afternoon with my sports masseuse over Zoom, particularly focusing on left ankle flexibility, as I could feel it had tightened up a bit.

On Wednesday I did a very gentle 6 miles: it was a beautiful, sunny, relatively still morning, and I couldn’t help but feel I should have switched the 6 miler and the 11 miler around! Except that wouldn’t have made for a very evenly balanced week, so my initial decision was probably the right one.

On Thursday morning I could hear the rain hammering down, and the girl cat was keen to snuggle on my lap, so I decided I’d run later on, when the weather forecast suggested things would be a bit nicer. Thankfully I remembered before lunch that I had an online seminar all evening, so I popped out in the sunshine for 7 miles with 10 sets of strides. It was genuinely shorts and a vest weather, and rather lovely!

By Friday morning the rain and wind had returned, and I plodded 7 miles.

Saturday morning wasn’t that much better, which was a pity, because I wanted to do some faster running. Mile reps felt like a better decision than the longer efforts I’d done last week, although I called it a day after 5: 3 with the wind and 2 into the wind, because doing a 6th and final rep into the wind, when it would just make me try and force the pace (fairly pointlessly) didn’t seem particularly beneficial. My legs felt slightly tired, but my breathing was definitely no harder than half-marathon effort, which was a relief, because the paces (around 6.40 with the wind, and 7.00 into it) weren’t especially encouraging. I’d have hoped for a small improvement on the last time I did the session, but I guess progress isn’t always linear and smooth!

Saturday afternoon included a slightly stressful trip to the out of hours vet, because the girl cat had an injury to her tail. As far as they could tell, it was a bite which had developed into an abscess, and there was no break, which was a relief, because a quick internet search had shown that tail pull injuries can be nasty. She’s indoors-only at the moment, and fingers crossed for a speedy recovery.

After a well-deserved lap snuggle for the girl cat this morning, I headed out for 19 miles. I picked a flat but not particularly exciting route, and was rewarded with a decent pace by recent standards (7.59m/m). My legs tired a bit towards the end, but flat routes can do that to your muscles: there’s no real respite for them, which you get with undulations. It’s why every now and then I try and do a much flatter medium long or long run, even if Bristol is not exactly spoilt for choice with exciting flat routes. 61 miles for the week: my biggest since Lockdown 1 began.