OK, so the more observant amongst you may have noticed a distinct lack of updates over the last two weeks. The reason being, I am afraid, is that I am severely lacking on the internet front as our Sky Broadband box has finally given up the ghost and left me perilously close to my data allowance on my phone despite being only 7 days into the month!
I suppose, if I am being honest, that I didn’t have much to update you with last week (23-29 November) and certainly no fun pictures to share. The running week was a fairly standard one; my recovery plan came to a close with a little more speedy running – an enjoyable track session, a tempo run to work, a slippery-slidy parkrun despite the spikes, and 8 wind-assisted (and sometimes less assisted) miles on the Sunday.
So this week I embarked upon a slightly more intense week and began with a ‘recovery run’ at lunchtime on Monday. I forgot both my Garmin and my phone armband so I had to go a little Heath Robinson in putting my Strava app on my phone, wrapping it in a sandwich bag (without a sandwich) and then safety-pinning my short pocket closed. I decided I was bored with my usual four-mile out-and-back to Holmbury so I decided to go over the hill to Peaslake instead. The problem with that plan is that there is a lot of downhill to start with with pushed my target pace way out of the window. Which shouldn’t have been a problem as the long long drag back to the top on my return should have sorted the average out, except I think I pushed a little too hard.
Talking of pushing hard, the Tuesday session at the track was the infamous Cooper Test at which I managed to run almost 100m further than ever before. I made it all the round to the home straight, but only to the 60m startline, so not quite an eighth lap. Close though, and a very pleasing achievement in the wind.
On Thursday it was another all-out session as I ran to work in short blocks – 3x 10mins max effort off 90s recovery. As the route gets steeper the closer I get to work, the last ten minutes was particularly tough, but it was actually an enjoyable workout.
This week I also started the #RunStrongChallenge promoted by James Dunne over at Kinetic Revolution. This is basically a short ~10-15min workout with just a couple of exercises that he posts on Instagram every morning. It has been brilliant so far, even if it has trashed my legs a little, and it meant that on Thursday once I got to work I knocked out a bunch of Sumo Squats for example, and then on Saturday, immediately after parkrun, I did some single-leg deadlift-type-things and plank jacks in the mud.
parkrun itself was pretty good. Incredibly hard work in the rain, but it was a nice opportunity to test out the new Salomon Speedcross Pro trainers that I had received in the post during the week, courtesy of Salomon, and they appeared to hold me upright better than my XC spikes had the previous week.
In the afternoon it was great to see my folks who have recently returned from the land down-under, and Delilah was very pleased to received her birthday bicycle, even if her legs are currently a little short. We then went to see Santa at the local christmas tree farm, but the queue was massive so we just went on a tractor ride and on the horse-drawn carriage. Delilah really enjoyed it.
Yesterday I managed to fit in a steady eight miles in the morning. What was particularly weird was that I took the decision to run my route in reverse of what I would normally do. I am very much a creature of habit, but I decided to break the monotony of heading out and going in a generally clockwise direction. It was really odd to travel the same roads, but see things from a different angle. Not sure if I liked it.
In the afternoon we got in the Christmas spirit by putting the tree up, drinking port, and stuffing our faces with chocolate. Ho Ho Ho.