Fearing the world was going to fall apart last week following the snowfall at the weekend I was pretty happy to get out on the road on Tuesday evening. Having taken a small tumble onto my backside on Monday morning, I was a little cautious about running in the melting snow which was freezing as the temperatures plummeted.
Happily though, I managed to cover 4 and a bit miles in 45 miles. Generally I felt OK, but struggled a little to keep my HR down as was the purpose of the run.
On Wednesday though I headed back out the door, snow had continued to thaw on the whole, which made running a lot easier. Except it was still mainly on the road as many footpaths in the locality, which led to a couple of hairy moments on one particular stretch of road. The plan was for a hill set, and I programmed the timed efforts into my wonderful Eduardo. The only teeny tiny problem though, was not technology issues, but human error – I forgot to add an extra interval, and had set my watch for 2 sets of 6 minute Kenyan Hills rather than three. It was tough, probably a hangover from the hilly 10km at the weekend, and I struggled quite a lot – not convinced I could have even managed the third. This probably turned out to be positive, as it meant I didn’t get downhearted about the inability to complete the session. By the time I got home I also had the fitness challenge Squats & Lunges to do, which was tricky on a set of quads that had just completed hill reps.
The plan on thursday was to complete my run having gotten home from the Runners Need talk, but leaving London in the snow suggested this would be unlikely, and as it continued through the night I decided to give it a miss and head straight to bed instead. I packed my sports gear to take advantage of a free session at my work gym on Friday.
I had a good look around the gym, and it seems like a great little set up, it was pretty simple, but clean and also quiet. I don’t intend to use the gym very often, so I have discovered this way to get discounted day-passes for gyms in London. If you are interested I can give you a referal code to get you a free £5, drop me a line if you want details.
I had been due to complete 6 miles on Thursday, but owing to train-based time constraints I programmed the dreadmill for 5 miles and set of at what I hoped was a steady pace between about 6.2-6.5 miles. But my first mistake was not taking my headphones. This proved to be fatal! Within a mile I was feeling uninspired and uncomfortable. I wanted to up the pace just to finish sooner, and I was just so bored. But the pace just seemed to high for me. In the end I struggled my way to 3 miles in 28:20 before hitting the stop button and departing the gym. Never again will I take the dulcit tones of Tom & Martin for granted again :-)
Sadly, Banstead parkrun was cancelled on Saturday – I was pre warned – but I thought that I might make the trip to Nonsuch. Instead I slept through the alarm, and past 9 o’clock, so instead I just headed out for 4 and a bit easy miles again from home. It was all nice enough though, but again HR decided to stay a little high – I was a little fearful of signs of becoming under the weather, but *touch-wood* nothing so far.
Waking up this morning, I headed downstairs to be greated by the horrendous sight of more great big fat flakes of snow falling, and I could see them starting to settle on the drive! Not yet ready to run I didn’t mind too much, but as it continued I started to get a little concerned about a potential abortion of the long run. Thankfully though, by the time I was fuelled and dressed it had stopped and I headed out into the cold for 14 long miles.
Whilst my aim is to keep HR at a manageable pace, I am rather more interested in maintaining a comfortable slow pace – this generally leads to a fairly low HR anyway, and I was quite happy to have averaged 160bpm. Even better news, was the pacing of my run. I feared I had set off a little too quickly, when my first mile came in at 9:35 I was a little concerned, but I felt OK so I carried on.
Cool and calm weather on a beautiful undulating route led a really enjoyable run through the snowy Surrey countryside with pretty consistent 9:35min/mile average pace. Everything about my run today made me feel good an positive for the Silverstone half in 4 weeks time, and ultimately Milton Keynes Marathon in 11. Maybe I need to start thinking about some pacing goals for each of these, dare I say it, a little quicker than those that I had in mind when I started.
Training by numbers:
29.52 miles this week
159.5 miles this year
25.32 total hours of running
105.78 donuts burned
100% Febulous score
1755.3km remaining in 2012