A Week in Review (8 Nov – 13 Nov)

7 days. 168 hours. 10,080 minutes. This is a summary of my running week. Ups and downs. Aches and pains. Feelings and emotions.

Distance: 24.2 miles | Time on my feet: 3:18:26 | Races: 1 | PBs: 1

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Tuesday 8 November 2011

Track night. (Warm-up, 1 x 1200m, 2 x 800m, 2 x 400m, cool-down)

With a week of racing and Saturday’s run still lurking in my legs we headed down to the track for a speed session. Overall it felt really good. As usual I finished thinking I maybe could’ve pushed harder but I was happy with how comfortable it felt to keep the pace going:

1200m – 5:08 (6:22/mile)

800m –  3:26 (6:22/mile)

800m – 3:35 (6:39/mile)

400m – 1:41 (6:26/mile)

400m – 1:37 (6:23/mile)

Wow, I have more pace in my legs than I ever thought I would have! My mile PB from August’s Club Championships is 6:35 so this gives me real confidence that the sessions are working on my short distance speed and that I could probably beat my time already even after such a short amount of speed training. Track sessions are something I actually look forward to, simply because they work! They might be hard, but they definitely work! Really happy with tonight’s session and the consistency in times.

Thursday 10 November 2011

Steady training run (7.4 miles, 8:23/mile)

I was working away towards the end of the week in Rossett, just over the border into North Wales, so I couldn’t make the usual club training session. Instead, like a proper little running addict, I made sure I packed my gear (all except my headlamp, that is…ah well, I’ll manage without…) and headed out into the quiet country roads to get my fix. The last time I was there I had done a reccy to see if there was a reasonable route I could do. It’s going to be a semi-regular occurrence for me over the next few months so I needed to know I had somewhere to run!

I started out later than I had planned and I was also really conscious of the race coming up at the weekend so I found myself constantly working to maintain a sensible pace without being tempted to go too quick. I had two lasting memories of the run:

  1. The first thing I noticed was how very dark it was (why on Earth did I forget my headlamp?!). I was in the Welsh countryside (although over a 100 miles from where they filmed the moor scenes in An American Werewolf in London), in the complete dark. On my own. In visible “come get me” running gear. Turning out of the hotel grounds I could literally see nothing in front of me but once my eyes adjusted and realised there was actually a full moon (gulp) which was so bright it was casting a shadow of me onto the road ahead! A patchy mist had descended and amongst the mild air there were pockets of coldness which were refreshingly welcome. “Stick to the roads, lads. Beware the moon!”
  2. Secondly, at around 5 miles into proceedings, I was made suddenly aware of a noise in a field to my right as I trotted along. An owl had broken my trance with an eerie screech and in an instant I was suddenly ‘back in the room’ and aware of all the sounds that were around me. The noise of my footsteps. My rhythmic breathing. The traffic far in the distance. The odd rustle in the trees and bushes as I passed. I wondered how I’d managed to go so far without really registering any of the sounds until then. Talk about being in the zone! The owl’s cries faded as I left it behind me and headed back towards civilisation and a big bowl of salmon pasta…

Overall a nice, easy, relaxing run.  Running solo definitely gives you room to think, straighten out a few things and de-stress. Just the ticket. Roll on Saturday’s race!

Saturday 12 November 2011

Cleethorpes AC Multi-Terrain Race. 4.29 miles, 31:26 (7:20/mile)

First time round for me at this race. I can’t remember it even being mentioned last year but I had run round the route countless times during training and I was curious to see how quickly I could get round it in anger. To make sure I pushed my pace I even ran without my watch – something which has resulted in faster-than-expected finish times in the past.

All went well for the first road section. The pace felt quite a lot under 7:00/mile but I could hold it and I felt comfortable. Good old track sessions! 😉 After about a mile the route went off-road and I felt my pace drop a little. Still, I could keep things going without too much of a problem. Track and grass all the way to about 3 miles when we were back onto tarmac and heading for the finish. I had no idea where the finish line was so I was reserving the ‘kick’ until I could see the line ahead of me. In the end, a sharp left turn revealed the finish sooner than I expected and I crossed the line with fuel left in the tank. Overall a really encouraging run and I was pleasantly surprised with the finish time and 27th position. If things turn south for my marathon training I could always concentrate on my shorter distances!!

Anyway. It’s a PB (sod off, I’m claiming it!!)

Sunday 13 November 2011

Long Training Run: 10.1 miles, 1:29:33 (8:52/mile)

With the previous day’s race still loitering around in my upper thighs, I was all too easily persuaded to venture out to do a long run amongst the Wolds hills. The thought had crossed my mind whether or not to run on tired legs but I knew that sooner or later I needed to get used to running on consecutive days and besides, I was promised a “nice, easy run” so what was there to be worried about…

Ship Inn 6 Route - Click to Enlarge

Considering the  previous day’s efforts I felt surprisingly good throughout the run. The hills demanded extra effort than usual but I could keep things going to a level I wouldn’t have been able to even a couple of months ago. Unusually for an “out and back” course the combination of the variation in scenery, the fact we attacked the hills from both directions and the great company (thanks Mandy and Cheryl!) all helped to keep it interesting and before I knew it we were done. Even though it was slightly further than last week it didn’t seem as far somehow… After being used to doing 17 miles on the flat on a weekend run the shorter time on my feet is noticeable although the more demanding terrain takes care of any concern I could have that I wouldn’t be worked as hard.

Ship Inn 6 Route Profile - Click to Enlarge
If I can build up duration on terrain like this it can’t fail to help make me a better runner. Fact.

153 days, 10hours, 10 minutes to go…

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