Ultra marathon training week 3

Last week started brilliantly and then disintegrated as I got a sore throat which then exploded into a full-on, streaming nose, lost voice, cold. Yet again I worked, on average 11 hour days every day except Friday, and a few hours at the weekend.  I was at a yoga retreat with a friend in Suffolk over the weekend which was fantastic, a great way to have a really relaxed weekend, and luckily my cold didn’t fully hit until I was on my way home on Sunday evening!

Suffolk sun through the clouds
Running: I had 4 runs this week. Two treadmill runs – one an interval ladder between 200m – 400m where I ran the fastest I’ve ever run and the other a more tempo session of 5 x 5 minute efforts. My best run was a 6 mile run into work on the first really cold day this winter. Despite the cold, I dressed up warmly and managed the paces I wanted to run easily (2 miles warm-up, 2 miles tempo, 1 mile easy, 1 mile fast). And it was so beautiful!!!

That run put a smile on my face for the rest of the day. By the time it came to do my long run, my cold was really kicking in. And despite the fact I was out in the countryside with beautiful scenery, I just couldn’t manage it. I knew it was going to be a struggle when I looked at my watch after 10 minutes to realise my “no effort” pace was about a minute per mile slower than it would normally be – and it felt harder than normal! I tried to push on but gave up after one of the slowest 5 miles I’ve ever run!

Cross-training: no cycling or swimming this week (well, one easy cycle to work where my bike has been ever since…). Instead, I did 3 yoga classes at my first ever yoga retreat (with Amanda from Docklands Yoga). The first class was a vinyasa, quite tough and a good workout. The second was a yin class, holding specific poses (such as pigeon and lizard – did you know they are called Swan and Dragon in yin yoga?!) for a really long time. I felt my body really needed that and appreciated the work it got – but oh how I hate holding Dragon/Lizard with my tight runners hips! Finally, on Sunday morning, we did a more abs and balance based yoga class, ending with Amanda coming round helping those who wanted into headstand and I managed to do it and hold it for ages! I was so pleased. Now to keep practicing 🙂

In between yoga classes we went on long walks in the countryside, I attempted a run and then curled up on the sofa reading my book as the sun set, and we all went off to the local pub for a big dinner. It was a great weekend – the perfect no-stress detox, it was just a shame about my cold as I would have loved to have gone on a really long run exploring the countryside.

A total of 8 and a half hours training for the week.

Something fun that was nothing to do with training: other than the beautiful walk Emma and I went on at the yoga retreat, on Thursday night I gave up work early and went for a run and then for drinks with colleagues. I had been working solidly for almost 9 hours and had really had enough. The run cleared my head, putting me in the mood to just go to the bar instead of heading back to the office to do some more. So off I went and had a lovely evening drinking wine and chatting to colleagues. It was exactly what I needed after a difficult week!

I worked from home on Monday as I made my way through an entire pack of tissues and did no exercise. I feel a bit better today so am going to try a short, easy run indoors and hope I’m on the mend!


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