Archive | May, 2017

These Are A Few Of My Favourite Things

21 May

This week was actually pretty fun: I did 7 miles on Monday with a few very gentle sections of 2 minutes where I ran at marathon pace.  Nothing too strenuous on the legs, just reminding them that there is more to running than just plodding.  On Tuesday I did a very gentle 6 miles.  Wednesday was a rest day.  On Thursday I went over to Weston-Super-Mare for the final Prom run.  I knew that my post-marathon recovery had been slow and that there was no question of a fast time, but it was nice to catch up with people, and my rough target of something around marathon pace was met: 32.15 was about 6.27m/m, and marathon pb pace is 6.28m/m (London averaged 6.42s…).  This is a photo of me sort of racing:

You can tell I’m not taking it too seriously because I’m waving, and almost smiling…

My legs felt relatively ok on Friday, bar a little bit of tightness in the calves because I hadn’t worn lightweight trainers since the marathon, but because of other commitments I took my second rest day rather than doing a recovery run.  On Saturday I just did a steady 5 miles before what was probably the highlight of the week: New Bristol Sinfonia’s 20th anniversary concert.  We had a great audience turnout and an absolute ball playing wonderful music together.  It was a really special evening that I’m very pleased to have been part of.  Happy times.

Consequently, a bit of beer was drunk and I went to bed very much the wrong side of midnight (I’m just amazed I didn’t turn into a pumpkin), so this morning’s 13 miles was very steady, and actually finished this afternoon because it started so late in the day.  40 miles for the week.  Plenty of playing.

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Glass Half Full

15 May

So, this week I hit 50% mileage: 35 miles, when a peak week in marathon training is 70 miles.  But seeing as I won’t be running quite so many miles this summer/autumn (given a focus on half marathons rather than a marathon), perhaps I hit over 50% mileage?  Anyway, it was otherwise an unremarkable week: 5 miles VERY slowly on Monday (the legs were still extremely sore from my racing exploits on the Saturday beforehand), 7 miles at a slightly more respectable (i.e. faster) pace on Tuesday, a rest day on Wednesday (enforced by workload), 7 miles on Thursday, 5 miles on Friday and then my first double-digit-distance run since the marathon on Saturday (11 miles).  It wasn’t particularly fast, but it was lovely to be doing a slightly longer run and get out to the beautiful Blaise Estate.  At this time of year everything is still green and gorgeous, and with the sun shining it was a delight to be out.

Yesterday I was at a family wedding (hence didn’t get around to blogging).  It is fair to say my glass was more than half-full at times!

 

When You’re Weary…

7 May

So, this week saw me return to work (in the sense of being back in court: I’d spent a fair chunk of my pre- and post-marathon time “off” reading 3,500 pages of court documents), and it left me surprisingly tired.

I ran on Monday (bank holiday) but decided that Tuesday had better be a rest day, as I’d run 4 days in a row and my calves were feeling pretty tired.  I was able to squeeze 5 miles in before setting off for Swindon on Wednesday, and ran a very steady 7 miles on Thursday evening.  It was one of those beautiful evenings when you feel slightly smug that you’re out in the stunning sunshine, looking at the beautiful views as you run across the Suspension Bridge and from the plateau in Ashton Court, and generally being thankful for everything running adds to your life (this photo isn’t from Thursday, but still shows the fantastic Avon Gorge in all its glory, with a shadow from the bridge).

On Friday morning I got an email from Bristol & West’s Ladies’ team manager asking if I was willing to go to Southampton the next day to fill some gaps in our track team, as we’d had some last minute drop outs.  On the strict understanding that their expectations were low, and a few points from me finishing near the back were better than no points as a result of having no athlete, I agreed.  I hadn’t intended to race for another few weeks, possibly not even for another month, but I figured the club were pretty desperate to be asking a long distance specialist with battered post-marathon legs to step into the breach, especially as this wasn’t the Midland League, which I usually do, but the National League, which is a much higher standard.

We arrived in Southampton and after a bit I headed off for my warm up.  My legs still felt pretty heavy, and although the sunshine was beautiful, the wind was a bit strong (over 4m/s at times: they let the sprinters/jumpers know, as if it is over 2m/s then any personal bests scored with a tail wind don’t count).  I lined up for the 3,000m, feeling more than a bit apprehensive.  I did my best, I really did, and my breathing wasn’t too bad, but 89-90s/lap felt really, really hard (certainly after the first few laps: there was a brief honeymoon period before the lactic acid kicked in when I thought I might be about to get away with it).  I crossed the line in last place in 11.13, which is 27s slower than my best (and my 3,000m pb is weak compared to my 10k, half marathon and marathon times!).  My legs were incredibly sore, and it was plain that my post-marathon recovery was by no means complete.  It felt like I had travelled a hell of a long way to run incredibly badly: I’d run over 2 minutes slower than the girl I’d replaced on the team would have managed!  Still, it wasn’t like I’d agreed to do the 1,500m in about an hour’s time or… no, I had.  To try and ensure my legs didn’t completely seize up I went and jogged gently for a mile, then had some energy drink and lay down, then had another very gentle jog before toeing the line for the 1,500m.  I managed a fractionally quicker pace over 1,500m than I did over 3,000m: 5.30 (88s/lap vs 90s/lap), and also managed to finish last but one rather than last, thus securing a few more points than I’d feared.  My hamstrings, calves and glutes were so tight as I finished.  I did the bare minimum of warm down, and then tucked into my “lunch” (it was 4pm, but with races at 2.15pm and 3.35pm there was no good time to eat between breakfast and the race!).

This morning I just did a very, very steady 4 mile run to loosen the legs a little (bringing up 30 for the week), and then went to an orchestra rehearsal.  The New Bristol Sinfonia turns 20 this year, and we are celebrating on May 20th with a concert in Clifton Cathedral.  Beethoven (Coriolanus Overture), Brahms (Violin Concerto) and Sibelius (2nd Symphony).  It’s a delightful programme and the rehearsal was a complete joy.