Eighth week done

7th December 2019

A busier end to the week than usual but I find myself in a better position than at the start when a pain in my ankle was so acute that I had to give up mid-run. I wonder if I’m too sensitive to injury fears and while I feel I am right to listen to my body and stop an exercise if pain dictates I should also be more confident in my powers of recovery. A dab of Deep Heat goes a long way.

Wednesday was a rest day and a chance to see Amazon Prime’s coverage of the Premier League. Have to say first impressions weren’t great as Spurs lost but, really, coverage across all channels is so boilerplate it makes no difference where you watch it. Remove the logos and they would be indistinguishable.

Thursday saw me working from home and I thought I would try something different so I headed off at 7:00am with a 15km loop in mind. This is a favourite route of mine with a good selection of hills and a couple of nice long, flat sections where you can cover some decent mileage without being distracted by junctions and thoughts of navigation. It was the basis of my half marathon distance run the other week but I ruined it by adding too many detours with the result that I completely failed to find a rhythm. It was pretty cold and quite frosty underfoot as I set off which meant I wasn’t especially quick although I managed to maintain a solid target marathon pace throughout. I made a point of running all the hills this time but did take a couple of opportunities to walk after a couple of particularly difficult sections. It was at the halfway point, when I was furthest from home when I was struck by an issue that must affect long distance runners regularly. I really needed the loo, and not a Number 1 but a full-on ‘Paula Radcliffe’. What is the etiquette and approach here? Bearing in mind this was in a suburban setting and by now in the middle of the school run any natural solutions would be entirely inappropriate. I didn’t feel any choice but to continue, in increasing discomfort. At one point I passed close by my gym and considered detouring there but I was holding to an even pace in a homeward direction so thought to push on. By the end I had been in a state of clench for quite a while and my pace had suffered accordingly. All in all it was probably my fault for running so early in the morning but realistically how much of a factor is this when running regularly between 3-5 hours. Are there toilets on the course and what state will they be in by the time I roll round? This isn’t something that had occurred to me before, is it something else I need to worry about or will adrenaline see me through. Anyway, upon reflection the run was quite satisfying in that a month or so back this distance was a stretch and this week it felt almost routine. I’m going to take that as a big positive.

Distance covered 15km

I feel bad for missing out on my yoga session on Monday so on Friday evening I made a point of spending 30 minutes running through a series of stretches and poses at home. I missed the structure my instructor brings to her classes but I enjoyed trying. Inevitably I leant heavily on the poses I feel most comfortable with and avoided anything too challenging but I would like to spend more time at home doing these sessions so will begin looking for inspiration online.

Saturday morning was back to parkrun and with no school rugby my son was able to join me for a change. We were back to our home run this week and since I was last here they’ve switched to their winter course to avoid damaging the grass too much. In theory this all tarmac route should be quicker but fitting 700 odd runners onto a narrow pavement makes for a very stop-start experience. It’s been a few months since I was here last so it was nice to be back. The run itself went well and I managed a good pace throughout, even managing to set a year’s best of just over 27 minutes. After a short rest to get my barcode scanned I walked my son to the bus stop and ran home (at a more gentle pace).

Distance covered 10km

Weekly Training Summary

0 Spin class

0 Yoga class

0 Swim session

5 Runs (total distance 45km)

Current weight 13” 2’

Strange to see my weight hasn’t changed for a couple of weeks now, that may be something to do with my Beer52 advent calendar but it is frustrating to stall so close to my year-end target. I’m heartened to see that my total mileage increased but I’m aware that this is at the expense of some variety in my training. I will look at getting some balance back in future weeks.

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