Archive | May, 2020

Land Of Confusion

24 May

After a weekend spent mostly working, Monday came around all too quickly, and slightly bleary eyed I headed out for a short cycle ride to loosen the legs up.  It was then a day in front of the computer screens, with a hearing in the morning and a conference in the afternoon, all rounded off with a webinar in the evening.

On Tuesday morning I did my now fairly typical speed session, a pyramid of faster efforts by number of minutes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, all with a minute jog in between.  It was a little breezier than the previous week, but my paces were pretty similar to the ones I managed in the better conditions.

On Wednesday morning I awoke to foggy/misty conditions, and the first 7 or 8 miles of my run were fairly cool.  The fog/mist then lifted very rapidly, and suddenly the full heat of the sun warmed me up very quickly indeed.  With the added effort of running uphill to get home, I arrived back much hotter than I left!  I had an ankle strength and conditioning session with my sports masseuse and then club strength and conditioning that evening (all Zoom, naturally).

On Thursday I popped to the bakery on my bike as my exercise ahead of a long day.  I was on a Teams call/hearing for 4 hours straight and barely had time to pause for breath ahead of our weekly Family Forum, which was another hour of screen time.  I’m finding the screen time really tiring, as there are none of the breaks you would normally get in court to look up at the judge, or go and grab a cuppa at lunchtime.

On Friday morning I did 7 miles including 12 sets of strides.  I was feeling pretty wiped out from the previous day, and realised that, having worked all weekend, I had now not had a day off for a while, which wasn’t helping.  I took the day as easy as I could.

On Saturday I did my first run with company for I don’t know how many weeks!  I met E, a clubmate, who joined me for most of my recovery run, although as usual, when nattering away, the pace crept up (down?), and it ended up being too fast for a recovery run.  But it was so lovely to catch up in person (albeit staying a sensible distance apart), that it really didn’t matter.  Half an hour later we were taking part in the same strength and conditioning session over Zoom.  It’s the small things which are keeping us all sane in these unusual times, and my Saturday morning S&C sessions are right up there for me.  Our boy-cat, Z, decided that things had been a bit calm and zen in Cat World recently, and failed to turn up for his dinner.  At 9.45pm, when we had pretty much resigned ourselves to the fact he’d got himself locked into someone’s shed having a jolly good nose about, he turned up, demanding food.  He’s lovely, but he certainly knows how to make us anxious!

Having stayed up late because (all joking apart) Z was pretty skittish and anxious, so maybe he was locked in somewhere, he just managed to escape on the same day, I had a lie-in this morning ahead of my long run.  It was pretty warm by the time I started running, and even warmer a little over 2 hours later.  And, as proof that you really, really, really shouldn’t trust everything your running GPS watch tells you, mine claimed that I went down to 69m below sea level today…

Another 48 mile week.


Back On The Treadmill

17 May

Monday was another recovery day, which meant a cycle ride.  It was pretty windy, so it was hard to just let the legs turn over, as I would have ground to a halt!  But I kept it as gentle on the legs as I could.

On Tuesday I repeated the pyramid session I’d done last week (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 minute efforts, all with 1 minute jogs in between).  The fast bits were faster, but the slower bits (especially the run home at the end!) were slower, but that’s not such a bad thing.  The main purpose of that session is the faster running, and lockdown/social distancing seems to have made me a slower runner.  I guess a combination of lack of mental effort/desire to run fast (there are no races and so my external motivation of racing well has gone, limiting the extent to which I’m prepared to make my body hurt in training), plus my sleep seems to be more variable, and I guess I’m moving less (no cycling to/from chambers and no walking to/from train stations and court buildings).  It all adds up!

On Wednesday my medium long run was 11 miles again, on the same route as last week, and at a fairly similar pace.  I had a strength and conditioning session over Zoom again, and this time it was the girl cat who wanted to Zoom bomb.  She also walked under me when I was trying to do press ups (I think she was a bit aggrieved I couldn’t really stroke her), which made things a bit interesting!

Thursday was a cycle ride to the bakery and back again.  The hills home are tough, but the sourdough is worth it!

On Friday my legs felt rubbish, but I did 7 miles with 12 sets of strides, and told myself to focus on form and leg speed, and not worry about the pace.  By Saturday that seemed to have done the trick, as my legs felt much better, and my recovery run was on the fast side of permissible (the best recovery runs are very slow and very gentle to really help your legs recover.  The clue is very much in the name!).  Then it was time for another strength and conditioning session over Zoom (no feline interference this time).

This morning I rounded off my week with a 15 mile run. The pace was much better than last week’s, but it was also less humid and the wind didn’t seem to be as strong.  It also helped that there was someone about 10 metres up the road from me who was running at a similar sort of pace, which helped drag me along (in a socially distanced way).  48 miles for the week again.  Sadly, quite a lot of work to do this weekend.

Lockdown, Lockdown / Don’t Dream It’s Over

11 May

Last week began with a cycle trip incorporating a bakery stop.  On Tuesday I tried a bit of faster running again: 9 miles including 1 minute fast, 2 minutes fast, 3 minutes fast, 4 minutes fast, 5 minutes fast, and then back down in time increments, with 1 minute jog between each section.  It’s quite nice doing a pyramid session, because as you’re getting tired you only have to enter the ‘hurt box’ for a shorter period each time!

On Wednesday I ran 11 miles steady, and then did my club’s strength and conditioning session (over Zoom, naturally) that evening.  It’s nice to see everyone (and being brutally honest, I’m not sure I’d be prepared to travel for a 30 minute class, whereas 30 minutes from the comfort of your own lounge is not too much bother.  Even if your cat does Zoom bomb!).

Thursday saw a gentle cycle ride in the afternoon to loosen the legs out, and then on Friday it was time for 7 miles with some strides.  By Saturday morning the temperature was pretty high, and I was already warm by the time my 6 mile recovery run was done.  By the end of the strength and conditioning session which followed I was absolutely roasted – and as we all discovered the next day, it was a bit of a killer session, especially for the glutes…

Sunday morning was still sunny, but cooler than the day before, and also humid and windy, so my long run of 15 miles wasn’t the most comfortable (plus the glutes were a bit sore).  Thankfully I was able to take the afternoon easy and focus on rehydrating.  48 miles run, and 2 cycle rides (not very long ones).

This week also saw two more family birthdays: one over Skype, and one at home (T’s, not mine).  Socially distanced birthdays are curious things.

As for where the most recent changes leave runners: well, not much has changed.  I think it would be a brave runner who tried to go for a runner with a friend but also staying 2 metres away from them and the rest of the general public the whole time.  I’d probably trip over just focusing on all that!

Groundhog Week

3 May

Monday was a short cycle ride, as I still felt pretty wiped out. On Tuesday I did 8 miles with 10 lots of 2 minutes fast, 1 minute jog. My ankle was a bit sore from being tweaked the week before, but did gradually ease off.

Wednesday saw 10 miles steady, an ankle stability session (much needed!) and then a strength and conditioning session. I slept well Wednesday night!

On Thursday it was time for another cycle ride ahead of not one but two telephone hearings (it’s been a while since I had 2 hearings in one day…). Friday saw 7 miles with 12 sets of strides. Again, the ankle isn’t great in lightweight trainers, so the strides were more about ‘fast feet’ and good for than really pushing the pace.

On Saturday I did 6 miles steady and then had another strength and conditioning session. Everyone who took part (by Zoom, naturally) agreed it was a tough one. Going by how my legs felt today in my 14 mile run I think my muscles are finally starting to adapt to the demands of the strength work. 45 miles of running this week.

I’m currently incapussitated on the sofa at the request of the boy cat, but sadly for him Sunday homework club is calling and I will have to turf him off shortly.