A Week in Review (2 Jan – 8 Jan)

Under 100 days to go!

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: 30.15 miles | Time on my feet: 4:45:35 | Races: 1 | PBs: 0

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Week 2 of official training…done.

With 2 fast races in 3 days and only one day’s rest in 8, I finished this week feeling quite tired. The regular running and lower recovery time took its toll, especially on my ankles and calves which felt in a state of constant fatigue. I really need to watch for increased risk of injury. Ache is a good sign that strength is being built, however, and a good reminder of the hard work I’ve put in.

Juggling the plan around to fit things in, I decided (after some coaching from some experienced club marathon runners – thanks guys)  to swap Tuesday’s and Thursday’s sessions and run the Cleethorpes AC 5k Prom race, treating it as a fast training run. The theory goes that I would run the race faster than I would as a training session and that proved to be the case.

This week also saw some strong, prolonged winds right across the UK which made proceedings extra-interesting (there’s nothing like running into strong wind to keep the heart-rate up!) Scotland took the brunt of the gales – gusts topping 100mph recorded – although gusts of 70mph were recorded close to home in Lincolnshire. Thankfully Cleethorpes escaped without being too badly affected and the “free extra resistance training” subsided towards the end of the week.

Schedule vs. Actual

Schedule Actual
Monday Rest Rest
Tuesday 7 mile (1m jog, 3 x 1.5m fast, 1m jog) 6 mile (2m jog, 5k Race, 1m jog)
Wednesday 6 mile (58 mins) 7.1 mile (63 mins)
Thursday 4 mile (1m jog, 2m brisk, 1m jog) 6.88 mile (63 mins)
Friday Rest 3.5 mile (46:00)
Saturday 3 mile (30 mins) 9.56 mile (89 mins)
Sunday 10 Mile (95 mins) Rest
TOTAL 30 miles  30.15 miles

Tuesday

With Sunday’s New Year’s Day 10k race still loitering in my calves, and against a blustery backdrop on the sea-front, Tuesday’s 5k race was a chance to put in a faster-than-usual training session. The plan: remember the schedule, go fast but steady and don’t blow up. The race didn’t count towards the new club road league so there was no pressure.

Having started quick I soon settled into a pace which felt comfortable. I’m beginning to learn what racing feels like and my body is becoming more able to sustain effort for longer periods. A year ago, 7:00/mile was a pipe-dream but there I was comfortably maintaining the pace despite an anti-social cross-wind and having raced 2 days before.

Could I have run faster? Yes. Should I have run faster? No. I finished the race in 22:07, 20 seconds behind by PB but I accomplished the goal and it felt comfortable. Good sign for when I start to turn attention to increasing speed.

Oh…and I beat Bruce for the first time 😉

Wednesday

Heading out on Wednesday my legs were heavy and whilst normally I loosen up fairly quickly this time it took a couple of miles before joints operated more freely. The winds were quite strong at this point and after a couple of miles a left-turn found me running into head-wind for almost 3 miles. As I turned again at the end of the stretch I had the wind behind me for the remaining mile or so which was a welcome break from leaning into an invisible wall – at one point a gust almost stopped me dead in my tracks – and I finished the route having done a mile more than necessary. Needless to say I slept that night!

Thursday

Club run. Having swapped sessions, Thursday’s run was now a scheduled 7-miler with 3 x 1.5 mile faster sections. Some other people were planning to do 10 miles as part of their marathon schedule but my body was telling me that 7 miles at a reasonable pace (i.e. forget the speed-work) was a realistic and appropriate plan. I was content in the knowledge that I had filled my speed quota for the week and in a mixture of necessity (and by that I mean a) having tired legs and b) needing the loo after 3 miles – damn you Runner’s Trots!) I was glad to turn into the club and finish off clocking 6.88 miles.

Friday

I had no intention to run on Friday but something rather special happened. My wife, in a move which surprised me to say the least, decided that she wanted to head down to the club’s Beginner’s Session which is held regularly on a Friday night and run with the club. Having been a life-long stranger to running, she started training to complete the charity fund-raining Race for Life last July in memory of my dad and after recovering from a subsequent persistent ankle injury has been slowly building up over recent weeks to now being able to run 3 miles non-stop. I’m very proud of her achievement and determination and especially pleased to have been with her on her first club run which was a distance personal best for her of 3.5 miles. Running is such a positive thing for so many people and it’s a very special thing when you can share those special moments with people you care about. For 46 minutes I forgot about my tired legs and ran with a massive smile inside 🙂

Saturday

One more run to go to end the week…

The extra run on Friday, and taking into account how I generally felt, led me to dismiss the shorter run and swap Sunday and Saturday’s schedule. As I have reported previously, I swapped my Sunday long-runs for a Saturday morning on predominantly off-road routes with runners from the Wolds Vets club and fellow Clee AC runners. The runs are much tougher than flat, tarmac only runs – something I trust will accelerate my training and result in a stronger road performance.

Saturday was also the first opportunity to test out a Christmas present  from my wife – a pair of Innov8 X-Talon trail shoes – and with the ex-RAF Lincolnshire airbase of Binbrook being the venue we set off on a planned 10 miler.

All was going well until mile 4 when I felt a rub on my right heel. The rub turned into discomfort, the discomfort turned into a pain and with my left heel joining in through sympathy I eventually ended up with no skin on either heel 5 miles out from the cars. Bad times. Running uphill through a ploughed field felt like a razor-blade sawing into my heel. Grrrr – think happy thoughts!!

OUCH!! Click to Enlarge (only if you're not squeamish!)

All I can say is thank God for Compeed!

Rest now until Tuesday. Time for some sleep and recovery…

97 days and 20 hours to go…

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