Archive | July, 2020

The Sliding Doors Parallel Universe

19 Jul

On Monday I started the week with a rest day: I did some gentle strength and conditioning work and some stretching, but my bike needs a repair before I can cycle again.  On Tuesday I ran 10 miles easy, and repeated this on Wednesday.  I did my club’s strength and conditioning session that evening.

On Thursday I did my club session, which was a reverse pyramid: 2 x 3 minutes, 2 x 2 minutes, 2 x 1 minute, 2 x 30 seconds, 2 x 1 minute, 2 x 2 minutes and 2 x 3 minutes.  Because the sessions are a bit earlier than they were pre-lockdown (6pm rather than 7pm) it was still pretty hot and humid during training, so it felt like hard work!  Curiously (having typically been better at longer efforts than shorter ones), I seemed to fare better over 1-2 minute efforts than 3 minute ones.  But I still suck at the flat out 30 second efforts!

On Friday I did a very gentle 5 mile recovery run early doors, and then 6 miles easy on Saturday ahead of some more strength and conditioning.  And then T and I went to meet my parents at Lydiard Park near Swindon for a belated birthday picnic.  It was so nice to see them for the first time since Boxing Day, although a bit weird meeting up with your mum and dad and not being able to hug them.  But I guess that’s the new normal.

In the other version of 2020, where Covid never happened, by now T and I were to be on whatever the civil partnership version of a honeymoon is, in Malaysia.  Maybe over the weekend we would have been in the city, seeing T’s family, rather than being at the beach, and spending lazy days reading, swimming and then popping up to a beach-side restaurant for a delicious outdoor lunch.  Perhaps we’d be in a hawker market, with dumplings and noodles and rice and spicy tofu and everything else we could desire on offer, or trying out yet another Chinese vegetarian restaurant.  Or (thinking about the time difference for a moment) just sitting in the garden, listening to the night and enjoying a nightcap in the warm night air.  But hey, Swindon’s not so bad this time of year either 😉

Today I did a 17 mile long run to bring up 55 miles for the week.  My legs were pretty tired and heavy today, and it was warmer than I expected (I think I was lulled into a false sense of security by early morning showers, and so didn’t dash out of the door, thinking it was going to be a fairly cool day).  There are rumours every which way you turn about whether the London and/or Valencia marathons will go ahead, so I’m still in a training no-man’s land, but I guess there’s no harm getting the long runs back up to about 18 miles and letting the body adapt to that mileage again.  It’s long enough to give some real endurance benefits without completely trashing your legs in the way a 20-22 mile training run can.  Maybe we won’t be racing marathons until next year, but hopefully I’ll be back to full fitness by the time we finally can.


Running Out Of Steam

12 Jul

Another fortnight has flown past!

Two weeks ago I started the week with a cycle ride.  I then realised on the Tuesday that the virtual 5k mob match times had to be submitted that day, and wondered if my tired legs could produce anything better than they had 10 days before.  They couldn’t.  Still, it was another tempo run under the belt!  On Wednesday I ran 10 miles very easy, and then did strength and conditioning in the evening.  On Thursday, after a cycle ride in the morning, it was back to a club session, although in slightly less sultry conditions.  My legs felt a bit meh, and I was quite a lot slower than the previous week.  Although the efforts were longer, so you’d kind of expect that, I was hoping that the lower temperatures would sort of cancel that out, but it was not to be.  I found it a bit dispiriting, although on reflection that was silly: one quality session wasn’t going to suddenly turn me back into the runner I used to be!  On Friday and Saturday I did very gentle 6 mile recovery runs, and was reassured that I wasn’t quite as hobbled by the club session as I was the week before (so that slower-than-last-time-fast-running wasn’t so tough on my legs).  I did strength and conditioning on Saturday, and then worked most of the afternoon.  On Sunday I did 16 miles steady in rather blustery conditions (who ordered summer storms, by the way?!), to bring up 55 miles for the week.  I then worked most of Sunday, too, because I was starting a 5 day trial the next day.

This week started with a cycle ride on Monday.  I had a really bad IBS attack Monday night and very little sleep, so ran Tuesday evening.  All the warning signs that I was over-fatigued were there: horribly slow and absolutely no energy.  I’d been sneezing a lot, and hoped it was just slightly late hayfever, but it was clear by Wednesday morning that I had a cold.  Hopefully not too bad a cold, but I definitely had no inclination to exercise, so slept in as late as I could and skipped my strength and conditioning session that evening.  I still felt exhausted and pretty sneezy on Thursday morning, so decided that had better be a rest day, too.  Encouragingly, my energy levels started to improve that day (in that I didn’t get to the end of the hearing feeling I was better for nothing more than lying on the sofa), and I actually had twitchy legs when I tried to sleep that night, indicating that my body felt like exercising again.  It’s hard to know which part of my quack regime to credit: maybe it was the echinacea?  Maybe it was the curries?  Maybe it was the First Defence?  Maybe it was the paracetamol?  Maybe it was the sleep?  Maybe it was being able to take things really easy because there was zero travelling for work?  (I mean, even if I’d been in court in Bristol that still would have meant being out of the house 8.15am to 5.15pm at a minimum.)  Or maybe it just wasn’t a very bad cold in the first place!  Whichever, I’m very glad it was pretty much done and dusted within a few days instead of hanging around for a week more and ending up with a secondary chest infection.  (And in case you’re wondering, yes, I’m pretty sure that the rest was crucial, and it’s the one that work normally prevents.  Perhaps lockdown has some selfish benefits.)

The twitchy legs on Thursday night meant I slept pretty badly, plus T and I wanted to have breakfast together on Friday morning to mark me getting one year older, so I didn’t run until the afternoon.  It was pretty par for the course for a run when I’d barely moved the last 3 days, i.e. my legs felt tight and creaky and my breathing was a bit all over the place, but it was done.  Celebrations for the day continued with a lovely 3 course meal cooked by T.

By Saturday morning I was starting to feel a little better, and I was able to do another steady 5 miles (at a slightly less discouraging pace!) and then a strength and conditioning session.  I took the rest of the day fairly easy, with a few hours’ work in the afternoon, but otherwise relaxing.  Today I did 11 miles and then worked.

So, 30 miles this week over 4 runs.  I was due a cut-back week at some point, although hadn’t envisaged it being quite that drastic!  Still, no harm done.  I feel a lot better than I did this time last week, when I suspect my tired body was frantically trying to fight off the cold, and just about ready to face another week on screen.