Three weeks down on this second half of term and I am starting to flag. The girls have done incredibly well at not getting sick so far this term, which is no mean feat, but I could begin to feel some throaty soreness as the calendar kicked over toward mid-November.
Monday miles were, as ever, easy peasy; a gentle plod to Holmbury and back eased any of last week’s tension out of my legs and helped set my mental fortitude against the week ahead (UCAS deadlines looming = highly stressful office environment.)
Track-Tuesday rolled around again, and the autumn/winter weather took an upturn as the temperatures soared back towards double figures. It was a simple session on offer; eight reps measuring 600m each, with 90s rest between each. I settled into a decent rhythm with runners ahead and behind me, and save for the fourth rep were I seem to have lost my way a little, I hit consistent 2:15-2:16 for every lap.
Wednesday rest day was welcomed as I was starting to feel a bit crappy and indeed that night I slept appallingly badly. I was already a little nervous about the Thursday session as it was looking like it might be hard work – but having woken up tired and crappy was making it even less appealing. I had finally talked myself into attempting the run when Lyndsey pointed out that she had already stated dinner so I immediately reversed my decision and stayed in the warm.
That just meant that I had to do it on Friday instead. So I came home, got changed immediately, and headed out into the cold. The target was a simple one really – three sets of 2×6 minutes; the first at 7:30/mile, the second at 6:30/mile. The first block is roughly my ‘steady’ pace, but the 6:30 pace is my aim (give or take) for the 10km in a couple of weeks. I was cold and tired; I gave it my best. The first two reps were done, but only just. The third was a brutal affair, coming in at closer to 6:40. the whole time I was just wondering how on earth I was supposed to string all these miles together next weekend. I need to remember that late on a Friday night, running solo, is very different to a properly fuelled Sunday morning racing with others around me.
I had a sports massage booked in for Saturday morning with Tony at the Hands On Sports Therapy clinic at Broadbridge Heath. If you are local and need to see anyone about a injury, or for a proper deep tissue massage, then give him a shout, because I would highly recommend him. Thankfully he only found a couple of knotty bits in my legs and nothing that caused excessive amounts of pain when massaging.
There was nothing on the plan for today. Just a big blank space; an empty void waiting for me to take some miles and apply them to my freshened legs. I chose to head back up into the hills, and wallow in some more mud. A few miles in, I came across one of the many wonderful art installations / benches that have been installed recently (I ran past three this morning) and stopped for just a moment. It was as I left that I suddenly realised that although I probably was only planning on running 6 miles, I was enjoying myself so much, and feeling so good, that I would just carry on a bit longer and tag on an extra loop. It has been an awfully long time since I last felt like that about my running. It was something of a revelation.
So there you have it folks. Another great week. Thankfully I appear to have shaken off that cold-y thing with some heavy doses of echinacea. Onward to the Jigsaw 10km in a week’s time; then maybe some rest. Maybe.