Catchup on last week.

After Tuesday’s dismal efforts, I went out Wednesday thinking I’d see how it went, taking it easy if necessary. Should have been 5 miles Easy, then 5 miles at marathon pace.  Set off and it was all feeling OK. Not great, but OK. Hip not complaining, back feeling looser. Started off a bit slow, but gradually picked the pace up, such that by the 5 miles it was all running along happily. After that I decided that the pickup to MP was in order. I’ve got it into my head that MP is much faster than Easy. It’s not, it’s ~ 45 seconds different. So why was I suddenly running 45 seconds under MP? Not sure. Pegged it back to where I should be. I did keep drifting up towards 11:00, rather than sitting at 11:15. I’m going to have to keep an eye on that – running too fast in the first stages of a marathon will severely risk an uncomfortable finish.

Thursday was a run with Janet. Increased the distance she ran by ~ 0.5 mile, and, again, she ran that non-stop in pretty good pace. Having run back to work with her, she headed in and I headed off and ran another 1.5 miles to bring the run to the 5 miles.

Facts & Figures: Wednesday/Thursday
Distance – 10.0/5.25
Time – 1:55:41/1:02:03
Average pace – 11:34/11:49

So a pretty good pair of runs. After Thursday’s run I went to yoga and managed to stretch & contort my lower body into feeling much better than it had done all week. Upper body ached like mad on Friday though – so it must be doing some good! Janet was also feeling the extra distance in the legs, but in a good way. We’ll stick to the same distance next week – don’t want to overdo it.

I don’t think I bend that way…

I’m feeling a lot of muscles complaining loudly about the state of affairs today. Not due to running – in fact my legs are feeling fine; it’s the rest of me that’s having a moan. And the reason for the body’s displeasure? I did yoga last night.

Wednesday & thursday nights were both away, so the week fell into the usual routine, longer run on my own Wednesday, shorter run on Thursday.

Wednesday I set out for 8 miles ay easy pace. The plan has this as a mixed pace run, but I’m racing on Sunday, 15 miles. That will be run at 5 miles easy, 10 miles at marathon pace. seeing that’s a harder run than usual, the person who’s advice I’m following, said that Wednesday could be dropped down to easy pace all the way. So off I went. Started off feeling like really hard work. Not sure why, but it took a good 2 miles before i started feeling into this at all. From there, the pace picked up a bit and the last few miles raced by. I was slightly distracted in the final stretch. I needed to head down to the leisure centre and back, just to make sure it was over the 8 miles. in the sports hall there appeared to be some form of torture session going on, lots of shouts, groans and yells going on. I suspect it was Body Pump, or similar. There were some significant levels of aggression being pounded out there! I ran away a bit quick!!

Thursday and I went out with Janet, from work. This should have been a tempo 5, but wasn’t. We did the usual 3 mile loop at 11:30 pace – which is somewhat faster than we were managing the same loop before Christmas. And the real good news is that, apart from one short stop while 2 cars inconsiderately turned out of the road we were trying to cross, we ran the entire way – no walks at all. Next week, we’re going to go further – I’m under instructions to drag her if necessary! Anyway, I called it quits at 3 – not often I cut a run short of distance, but we’d both been a bit late finishing work, and I wanted to get a shift on.

Facts & Figures: Wednesday/Thursday
Distance – 8.1/3.0
Time – 1:34:42/34:34
Average pace – 11:41/11:32

After the run, I filled the car with fuel and headed down to the school for a 2 hour yoga class. I started this before Christmas, but after a break of over a month, I knew my toes would be a long reach away again… And that’s the cause of the numerous aches. I can feel it in my arms, shoulders and waist most. But I know it’s doing me good. The legs, hips and back had a good stretch and contort. I probably don’t spend as long stretching as I could or should do, in which case this class once a week will just help balance that out a bit.

This weekend I’ve got a guaranteed PB – never run a 15 mile race before! It is 2 laps, which I’m not sure how I’ll deal with. It’s very unusual for me to run laps – they’re usually out&back or complex figures of eight, where I may run the same route in both directions, but rarely the same stretch in the same direction twice. Looking at the results from previous years, there is a chance that I’ll be lapped by the leaders – not sure how I’ll handle that either! I’ll report back once it’s done.

What a difference a day makes

This week’s away runs went fairly well to plan, although in a different order to last week. Wednesday was with Janet. She’s at that lovely stage where she’s rapidly regaining the running fitness, and managed some distance further before stopping to walk than last week. Same route as last week, but a slightly faster time. 3.1 miles in 37:27.

Thursday was, therefore, me on my own. It was noticeable how very much more windy it was on Thursday, it really did cut through to the bone as I set out. Fortunately, after the first mile or so I’d warmed up and was fine in just the long sleeves. My head seems to think it is colder than it actually is once I’ve warmed up. Makes the first mile pretty uncomfortable, but that just gets everything moving quicker. Due to being a disorganised clot at times, I headed off sans Garmin (doh!) and I’ve not run that route before. So I’m not entirely sure how far it was, as it was a mixture of the route run with Janet and my usual head into town, round the park and back. I’m going to guesstimate 6 to 6.5 miles in a smidge under 70 minutes.

Then followed it up with a yoga session again. I can feel that working bits of me that don’t usually do much – last week I could feel it the day after in the arms & shoulders. Some moves carried over from last week, some new (to me). We did the sun salutation, which is beautiful to watch when it’s done in an apparently effortless manner. I may not have done this sequence justice – and forgetting which leg to bring forward in the second half never helps either! Hey ho, keep going and I’ll be able to knot my ankles behind my back in no time…

This week I have mostly been…

Wandering on Wednesday, Jogging with Janet and yelping at Yoga positions

Wednesday is mid-week run. What with a half on Sunday, I went out, but not terribly far. Just down the railway path, round the park & back again. Nice & easy, although it’s getting rather dark out. There are several stretches where I’m very pleased to have the head torch on. Although I did nearly measure my length of an unexpected rise in the tarmac. The light from the torch has quite a flattening effect – rises & dips don’t always seem as prominent as they are in practice, and I just caught one foot. Did that whole comedy fall, recover, stagger and carry on thing! Was very pleased that it was pretty dark out.

I’d mentioned going out for a run to Janet, someone at work. The company sponsor the local race, and last January there was a scheme to get people out & running, such that a trainer met them at work and organised runs. That finished after the race, but some of the group have now decided to try and keep it going over the winter. When I mentioned that I’d be running from work, she expressed an interest in joining me, giving her a second run a week. So Thursday, she & I met up in reception and headed out. Just a nice slow jog, with a few walks to cross roads. I’ll need to extend the distance as I head into marathon training, but the pace was perfectly good for what I’ll treat as an easy run. Also, while it’s dark, going with someone makes sense, and it’s a nice break from running alone.

Facts & Figures (Weds/Thurs)
Distance – 4.8 / 3.1 miles
Time – 57:22 / 38:03 minutes
Average pace – 11:57 / 12:12 mins/mile

After a stretch, I headed out to try a yoga class. I’ve regularly attended a yoga class on 2 previous occasions. Each time I’ve found that, over time, it increases my flexibility (bearing in mind I’m about as flexible as a brick) and works the core muscles all at once. I tried this one out because it fitted reasonably well with running – which has to come first for the time being. A 2-hour class, but we did spend the last 20 minutes doing breathing exercises. A mixed class, of which I would suggest I lowered the average age. Some very impressive ladies in their 70s if not 80s who were far more flexible than I am! A practical instructor too, suggesting mats, cushions, straps & blankets to make the poses more comfortable and achievable for even the most inflexible amongst us. I could feel it in the shoulders & back today, and I think I’ll give it another go. I know it will do me good – just need to remind my body how to get back into some of those poses!

As an aside, I note that the next view of my blog will be the 500th. I know a fair few of them have been Mum, but I can’t believe she accounts for all of them. Welcome readers, I hope you find something to amuse or entertain you in passing through.