This week’s training went REALLY well, after the disappointment of last week’s ankle-twisting debacle! Both quantity and quality were decent and there were some really reassuring, even exciting, hints that my running is getting a little faster!
Monday: Easy Run
I was ready to test my ankle after last week’s twist! So six very easy, gentle, tentative miles. It was very slippy outside after all the recent rain so I used my apartment complex’s treadmill which was a wise decision. Pain-free miles. 6 miles at 9.49 pace.
Tuesday: Interval Run
Risked the muddy path to run outside today. Usual interval session. I felt pretty decent – almost too decent, I didn’t feel that spark and adrenaline rush during the speedy bits that I usually feel. So I was surprised that this week’s session was faster than the last session I ran a few weeks ago. Ankle felt pretty solid. 4 miles at 8.56 pace.
Wednesday: Rest Day.
Thursday: Long Run
I wasn’t hugely in the mood for this long run so I treated myself to a run in the city. School finishes tomorrow and fitting my long run in will be more complicated for a few weeks. (Not complaining, so excited about having the Dude to myself for a fortnight). So I drove an hour each way to the Warming Hut and ran 12 miles along the Embarcadero. It was grey and overcast but running in the city is always a treat! And I got to listen to the final Serial podcast on the way in!
I ran a new workout today from the 80/20 plan. It was called ‘Long Run with Speed Play’ and basically consisted of one mile warm up and then 10 repeats of 0.25 mile tempo and 0.75 mile recovery, ending with one easy mile to cool down. I REALLY loved it – the miles flew by as I was always waiting for my Garmin to beep so I could run fast again. The different views and the games of tourist-dodging kept me busy too! 12 miles at 9.29 pace – my fastest long run for a long time and it felt pretty awesome throughout.
Friday: Easy Run
Six easy miles to shake things out. I did toy with the idea of going back to Zumba – I did love it last week, but I decided I should do some ankle-strengthening before I stepped back into the danger zone again. 6 miles at 9.47 pace.
Saturday: Cross Train
I headed to the gym today, somewhat nervous about re-twisting my ankle. Today’s class was called ‘The Athlete’s Workout’ and promised a circuits-style class. In the end, it was a tough cardio class incorporating weights, a step and mat work, so nothing like its description. It was led by a tiny pixie of a woman who could have been anything from 50 to 70. She absolutely kicked my bottom. The cardio element was steady and didn’t kill me, but the planking and crunching and muscle-toning moves had my legs and arms shaking! I was very cautious with my ankle and got through the class safely.
Later that day, we went for our first family hike for a LONG time. Two easy miles round a local park on some surprisingly isolated trails, given that they were surrounded by residential streets!
The Dude got his first pair of Salomon trail shoes this week (deeply discounted in the REI sale). We’ve loved Salomons for a long time now so it’s fun to be a Salomon family. The Dude basically thinks he’s Kilian Jornet now!
Sunday: Tempo Run
Everything was working against me for this run. There was blustery wind from every direction. I ran at 2pm, having snacked on cookies at church all morning and thus with my belly weighing me down. The muscles in my inner thighs and the back of my thighs were aching badly from yesterday’s gym class. Everything was tough. But I set out to do my tempo run with my boys accompanying me on their bikes. One mile warm up and then hammer time, four miles at tempo.
It was flipping tough. I felt like I was working so hard and the winds were buffeting me from all directions. Headwinds on the way north…and headwinds on the way south, seriously! I kept fighting as hard as I could, spit elegantly splashing into my eyes and settling on my lashes. That final mile was interminable. As I ran, I reflected sadly that when I checked my garmin, I’d be seeing 8.30s even though I was running flat out, and I comforted myself with the absolute knowledge that, even if I knew I could run faster, I knew I couldn’t have run any harder today.
I caught my breath at the end of the tempo miles and jogged slowly home, stopped my garmin and gloomily checked my paces. The tempo miles clocked in at: 8.05, 8.24, 8.18 and 8.14!! Absolute triumph. I literally walked back to the apartment with my hands in the air like I’d won a medal. My fastest miles since I was training for Bay Breeze back in February. And if the weather was kinder, I knew I could run faster, if not harder! REALLY excited. 6 miles at 8.43 pace.
On the whole, this was a good week’s running – I’m delighted to have run 34 miles. I’m really happy with how my ankle feels – no pain, no discomfort when running. I was really pleased with my long run and over the moon with my tempo miles.
I was also pleased to get a gym class in. My gym is super-cheap so if I get one class per week done, that will be enough for me. I secretly want to go back to Zumba – maybe next week!
One other exciting thing this week was that I got a (fleeting) mention on the Marathon Talk podcast this week – I left a comment on their FB page about Jo Pavey not winning Sports Personality of the Year. I heard my name as I ran through San Francisco and found the whole thing far more exciting than I should have.
And now it’s Christmas Week! I’m off to wrap some presents!