James came home this weekend! Again, other than Friday it was a horribly busy week at work but still a good one and I’m feeling pretty happy about Dublin marathon now. 2 weeks to go! I can’t wait.
Run 1: the interval run. Sounds so simple. 4 x 800m in 4.15. Round it up to 4 miles with warm up and cool down. To make it easy, I hopped on the treadmill one lunch time. I got confused about miles / km and began by running an interval that was 0.8 of a mile instead of 0.8 of a km… On my second interval something happened in my tummy and I had to jump off the treadmill to go to the toilet – this has never happened before! No more bathroom breaks were needed but my tummy felt uncomfortable for the rest of the run. No matter, I ran all my intervals just faster than the required speed and they felt good – I guess a sign that I’m capable of running much faster intervals!
Run 2: the tempo run that wasn’t
I am not sure whether there was something slightly wrong with me on Thursday. On Wednesday night, I had left work before 7 as a wave of tiredness flooded over me and I could no longer concentrate. I got home, ate dinner, and was in bed shortly after 9pm, unable to keep my eyes open. I slept well and woke up just slightly before my alarm went off. Then my mind wasn’t in it. I checked my training plan and saw I had to run 6 miles at 9.10 pace. That’s fast I thought to myself. Despite the fact that the week before I had seen 8.50 on the plan and thought that’s not too bad.
I drank a smoothie, fed the cat, and headed out into the gentle drizzle. I plodded through my warm up miles much slower than my usual plodding pace. When it came to the tempo miles, I just couldn’t do it. I was pushing myself really hard, it felt really difficult, and yet I was running ever more slowly. Such a change from last week, where I was running so much faster and yet finding it so much easier. I also had a few twinges in my calves that I didn’t really like.
So when I got to Vauxhall station, just under half way, I stopped. With 2 weeks to marathon day there’s nothing to be gained by pushing myself when things feel off. I’ve had some great training up til now, the key for the last few weeks is to make sure I don’t get ill or injured.
Run 3: the long run – 15 miles. Friday was a quiet day at work so I left just after 5.30 for a few drinks with colleagues before making my way home, where I got straight into my pyjamas and on the sofa with a glass of wine and bowl of pasta. I slept almost 10 hours and spent Saturday morning pottering around doing chores – so I was well rested for my 15 miles!
It was a beautiful autumn day, sun shining, and I headed out with a smile on my face. My first few miles were slow, but as I warmed up, without any noticeable increase in effort, my speed picked up until I was running at above marathon pace and it felt great. Not necessarily easy, but certainly a pace I could maintain. I ran my usual out and back, remembering the hot summer runs from this training cycle and thinking about the freezing winter ones I’ve done before.
When I came back to Clapham Common, with just over 2 miles to go, I realised I still felt as if I had so much energy – not that I could run much faster, but that I could keep running at that pace much longer. Then I realised that, of course, I was coming to this point in the run after less than 13 miles, whereas last week I had run 15 miles by that point… Funny when 15 miles begins to feel like a short distance!
Despite the failed run earlier in the week, I was really pleased with this one and am now feeling ready and raring to go to Dublin marathon. Two weeks left!
Cross-training: I had great intentions this week but the rain and long hours in the office got to me. I have to say this is the longest consistent time I’ve had of being really busy and I’ve gotten out of the habit of going to the gym in lunch breaks. Whenever I do I feel amazing, but then the next day I’ll have meetings or be trying to get something out as soon as possible and before I know it, it’s after 1pm and I’m too hungry to go the gym before lunch! I know I need to be more disciplined about this. But I did some yoga and some cycling for 5 and a hald hours training in total.
Something fun that was nothing to do with running
James landed early on Sunday morning and was home by 8.30am. We had a lazy morning together (he napped, I did some work) and then headed out for a Sunday roast at Hawksmoor. We’ve been before to a different branch and it was the best Sunday roast I’ve ever had. This one wasn’t quite as good but still delicious and really good fun – 4 close friends from university and James’ sister. Lots of laughter, lots of food, lots of wine, and then James and I came home and watched a film on the sofa. And I’ve got the day off work today! Perfect Sunday 🙂