Was I Born to Run?

You may remember that I finished last week on an absolute high – certainly from a running point of view as I completed the five planned runs and completed a tough but enjoyable 18mile run in the pissing rain. Training was going brilliantly and I was looking forward to taking it up another notch.

Until Tuesday rolled round and I just couldn’t face going out. I felt lethargic, apathetic and generally just very tired. I seemed to be feeling downhearted about life in general rather than running specifically, and in a desperate attempt to shake myself out of it I went for my run on Wednesday night. I was aiming for about 5-6 easy miles, but in the end managed to drag myself around 4.5 before arriving back at the front door.

Feeling a little more inspired – and having had a bit of a think about work/life ratios I decided to give it another go on Thursday evening and managed a 5mile steady run of about 8:50min/mi pace. I felt good, but this was a little slower than the 8:30ish kind of pace that I had really hoped to achieve.

Friday really perked me up a bit though. A fortnight ago I mentioned an exciting proposition that may be coming my way, and today I am pleased to reveal (if you haven’t seen it on Facebook or Twitter already) that I have been selected to join a ‘Team GB’ group of runners and fitness types heading to the Nürburgring in Germany for the Fishermans Friend StrongMan Run.

It took a while to come together thanks to some logistical issues – but we got there in the end and on Friday it was confirmed that I would be joining a select bunch on a VIP trip to Germany. When I get the full details I’ll be doing a big report on the race, in the meantime watch this for some inspiration, a video filmed by last years winner.

I CANNOT WAIT :-)

Saturday is parkrun day, and after last weekends longrun mission normal service was resumed as I got a lift to the woods with Alma & Sean. With the long runs building up in distance I have decided to put a hold on PB searching at parkrun and just use it as a good opportunity to pick up the pace a little and of course some proprioception improvement is always a bonus. With that in mind I simply set off at a comfortable pace, and came in at 23:26. I love the fact that that time is now an ‘easy’ (relatively so) parkrun effort when 26mins was all out in November last year.

As an added bonus, it was Banstead Woods parkrun 250th event and one of the volunteers had made a huge cake to celebrate.

parkrun 250th birthday cake - delicious

I can assure you it was very tasty – but I reckon the icing probably gave me something of a sugar buzz – it certainly seemed to make the first mow of the lawn this year pass a little quicker. Although my back was suffering a little as a result on Sunday morning.

So Sunday morning rolled around – long run day. Also F1 day, and rather than head out when the rain delay came about I decided to put it off until after the race. Maybe this was my biggest mistake. So it was that I headed out for my 20 mile run at about midday.

I decided to do two seperate 10 mile loops – thus coming home at half way to refill my water bottle and to pick up my next bunch of gels – saving me having to carry it all.

The first 10 miles felt great, it was bright and dry, lovely and sunny but not too hot as on the exposed hill tops there was a nice breeze taking the edge off. I was running comfortably and fairly even paces until the last hill just before home where I slowed off just to ease my legs off at half way. I called at home and refilled my water bottle, and applied a little more vaseline in areas that were starting to suffer a little.

The splits of doom

Almost as soon as I left home again things went downhill – literally. I had decided to do two different loops rather than repeating a loop. The second loop started by heading downhill towards Horley, and going downhill my mile time plummeted. By the time I was about to turn off I was struggling very hard and half tempted to turn around and just go home. That wouldn’t solve anything though so I swallowed another gel and hoped it would kick in soon. I must have been thirsty I think as I had emptied nearly half my bottle just a few miles from home. It was pretty bad news from here on in really. I constantly felt uncomfortable and the cooling breeze from the first half seemed to be getting far colder in the second.

I completely lost my head when the road I was supposed to take was closed to all traffic and I was pushed around a diversion. This took me up a hill that I wasn’t planning and inevitably was going to add more distance to the run. I was walking a few portions of each mile that followed from here, and on occasion felt a little sick. I was fighting the temptation to phone Lynds and get her to pick me up – I only decided not to as I knew she was in the garden and may not have her phone on her, and even if I did get through trying to explain where I was would have been difficult as she doesn’t know the lanes this side of town.

I made it back to town though, and as soon as my watch hit 20 miles I pressed stop, still half a mile from home I refused to count anymore towards my ‘run’ because I just wasn’t running. Still – 3.5 hours on my feet all helps I guess.

Run elevation

I was feeling really pretty miserable after this run. But the superb twitter folks really picked me up and spoke a lot of sense. A lot of it I probably knew, but sometimes you just need someone else to give you a reality check. What really got to me is that I need to run 6 miles further in five weeks time at a pace 1:30min/mile quicker than my average pace on Sunday.

Next week brings about a drop in long run mileage before building to my peak 22 miles in a fortnights time. I must remember to fuel properly, to run at a reasonable time (note to self: sky f1 is repeated all day long, I don’t have to watch it live), and to pace it properly – it is a TRAINING run, it is NOT A RACE.

As I write this tonight though, I am feeling confident for the rest of the week and my legs have actually felt pretty good today, so I am happy about that!

Training by numbers:
33 miles this week
341.18 miles this year
53.97 total hours of running
233 donuts burned
90% Marchvellous score
97% Jantastic Finishing Score
1462.9km remaining in 2012

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