Archive | August, 2019

Back In The Fifties

25 Aug

I started the week with 5 miles easy.  I was pleased that my legs felt pretty ok after the 10k race the day before.  On Tuesday I ran home from chambers and although I’d planned to do 10 miles, I had the plods pretty badly (and the run home is very much net uphill), so I settled for 8 miles instead and spent some quality time with the foam roller to try and loosen up my legs a little.  I did the 10 mile run on Wednesday instead, and the legs finally felt a bit better (pace of 8.12s versus 8.32 the day before: what a difference it makes being on the flat, having no rucksack and the legs being a little fresher makes!).

I had planned to run on Thursday evening but felt a bit tired, so settled for Friday morning instead and got my 11 miles done.  On Saturday morning I did 5 miles with 6 sets of strides, because I was racing the next day.

Today’s race was another low-key race, but it’s a bit of a favourite: the Avon Road Relays (this year expanded to include the South West Road Relays: fair play to the Cornish athletes who made the long journey up!).  It’s 5km on a mildly undulating course (I suspect the course ‘adds’ 10-15 seconds, and would respectfully disagree with the person I overheard claiming it adds 30-40 seconds!).  It was pretty hot, but no wind to deal with.  All in, I was ok with my finishing time of 20.03, although I did get stuck in a little traffic on a narrow path and got held up which probably cost me the 19.59.  Plus I guess 11 miles 2 days out would leave my legs a bit tired at the moment, given my lack of fitness.  It was nice to come away with a South West W35 team bronze medal.

Oh, and it was nice to cover 51 miles for the week.  Although I know 60 miles per week is my real ‘sweet spot’ which really lifts my fitness, 50 miles per week is another important benchmark.


Relishing Running?

18 Aug

I started this week with an easy 5 mile recovery run on Monday.  My legs felt relatively ok after their busy weekend, which was a pleasant surprise!  I then did 10.5 miles on Tuesday: I only meant to do 10 miles, but slightly miscalculated a running route.  It has been a while since I’ve needed to know my 10 mile routes, after all…  On Wednesday morning I was out early doors to do 8.5 miles with some strides in the pouring rain.  It was going to be 9 miles, but that extra half mile the day before suddenly came into its own, and saved me an extra few minutes of getting soaked!  I had a sports massage and then headed into chambers.

On Thursday morning there wasn’t time to do my scheduled/planned 9 miles before my hearing, and so I ran after work.  I’d had some worrying and stressful personal news during the week which had played on my mind a bit, and I don’t know if it was that, or work stress, or a bit of both, but I felt really tired and out of sorts.  It’s rare for me to get to the end of a run and feel no better for having done it, but Thursday was one of those days.

Friday was my rest day, which was lucky, because I was still feeling pretty flat.  By 4pm in the afternoon, having been turning pages listlessly for a fair few hours, I gave up and came home.  At least that evening T and I had planned to go out for dinner, so there was something to look forward to after an hour or two of feeling a bit sorry for myself as I slumped on the sofa…

Revitalised, I did 5 miles easy with 4 sets of gentle strides on Saturday morning, and then had a rather domesticated day: after the food shopping, I made bread, baked a cake, and made dinner, before settling down to listen to a gorgeous evening of Russian music from the Proms.

I’d taken what was effectively a mini-taper (2 days easy) because I was racing today.  The Two Tunnels race series happens just outside Bath, so pretty close to home, but I’d never done any of the races before.  I was a bit apprehensive that their packed race schedule, with races leaving every 10 minutes, would mean rather a lot of congestion (the race schedule was just like a busy train timetable: appropriate for a race route on an old railway line!).  In that regard, I wasn’t wrong.  It was the only thing that marred an otherwise lovely race (nice, flat route and wonderful marshalls).  Running in the Two Tunnels was slightly discombobulating.  There is subtle lighting, but the visibility is poor, and it was hard to have a strong sense of pace with only limited visual feedback.  Given one of the tunnels is apparently a mile long (it certainly felt it!), this meant a decent chunk of the race was spent trying to run to effort.  The only other tiny gripe is that because each individual race wave only had about 100-150 people in it, after about 4-5km I had no-one in my own race to chase, and was really doing a solo tempo run from that point onwards.  I was horribly aware at times that my breathing was definitely more like half-marathon pace effort than 10k pace effort.  With those caveats, 40.40 was solid but not spectacular, although enough for first female finisher (small smug FV40 moment: it’s nice to show those youngsters a clean pair of heels occasionally ;))

Edit: I don’t look very happy in this photo, but I did enjoy myself, honestly!


The Days Are Just Packed

11 Aug

I was in court in Exeter on Monday and Tuesday which meant evening runs: on Monday a mere 4 miles, plodded on tired legs when I was dehydrated. Tuesday was little better in terms of energy levels, but I forced myself to do 7 miles with 12 sets of strides. The pace wasn’t great, but the effort level was fine!

I ran a very steady 7 miles Wednesday evening and made the most of a day out of court on Thursday to run that morning. I had the gorgeous surprise of not just a Bristol Balloon Fiesta mass ascent, but balloons actually landing on the Downs. Word obviously got out, and hordes of people arrived during my 9 mile run, quite often pyjamaed children dragging parents clutching an insulated mug of coffee! It was Bristol at its lovely, quirky best, and left me smiling for most of the day (although perhaps not right up to 9.25pm, which was when I finally left chambers…)

After a slightly hectic day it was time for some speed on Friday night: 8 X 1km off 2 minutes on the Portway. Everyone’s idea of an awesome evening;) The weather gods misread their memo and delivered strong winds and one torrential downpour. The wind strength meant I couldn’t get under 4.00 minutes per km but I was pleased with the session nonetheless.

The highly observant amongst you will have noted the lack of rest day so far: this was all part of a cunning plan to keep Saturday free for a long walk as part of a friend’s 40th birthday celebrations. It might not have been the most tranquil rest day but it was a lovely catch up.

That just left 9 miles to do this morning to bring up 45 miles for the week. My legs felt surprisingly ok, but perhaps the DOMS will really kick in tomorrow!

Mileage Over Age

4 Aug

Last week I ran 39 miles. This week my sights were set higher:

However, I started the easy way with a rest day (partly because my hearing finished pretty late, too!).

On Tuesday I ran 7 miles and then had a sports massage before starting work. After this leisurely start to the day I was working until after 7pm but still squeezed 6 miles in on Wednesday morning, keeping it fairly easy due to the massage the day before.

On Thursday I was in Gloucester so couldn’t run in the morning. It wasn’t too pleasant running early evening but I got 7 miles with strides done. T and I then treated ourselves to pizza at a local Italian restaurant when neither of us could quite face cooking: it’s rare for us to both be afflicted by the Cooking Blahs at the same time!

Friday I struggled to get up at 6 (weighed down with too much tasty pizza?!) so had to do my easy 6 miles after court.

On Saturday morning it was time for my return to speedwork. I did 4 X 1 mile with a 3 minute jog between each one. I’d hoped to be under 6.30 for each one, but faded a little in the last two. Still, Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that. With the warm up and cool down it was just over 8 miles all in.

Today I plodded out 8 miles steady with some gentle climbs thrown in. That made 42 miles in total. The answer to life, the universe and almost everything, but on the low side for endurance mileage!