Annecy HM Training: Wk 9

Another solid week in the books! My legs, super-heavy last week, felt significantly better (if alas not ‘fresh’) and that made for a happier runner in any case!

wilts cottage flowers happy me
Happy! Also, I miss flowers, bare legs and running skirts! Brrrr…

Monday: Long run

The forecast for Monday morning was rain, so, for my 15-mile run, I decided to run 3 5-mile loops that passed my house each time, so that if the rain proved too horrible I could hop on my treadmill and finish it in the dry. I also decided to run the first loop conservatively, push the second loop and then see what was left for the third loop. The whole thing went really well. I enjoyed the loop structure much more than I expected. The second loop felt surprisingly decent although I was hardly fast, and the third loop didn’t feel anywhere nearly as rough as I’d anticipated. In the end, I ran 15 miles @ 10.15 and I was pretty satisfied.

Massage

In the afternoon, I cashed in my Mother’s Day gift and got a 30 minute sports massage. The lady was fab – I talked her through my training and how my legs had been feeling heavy and she worked away on my legs and glutes. Came away feeling slightly battered but refreshed. 

Tuesday: Rest day

Wednesday: Run Club

This week’s run club was an out-and-back on the same route where I fell over a few weeks ago. We ran 30 minutes out, turned round and run 30 minutes back, so ideally we’d all finish together. I knew I had a tough run planned for Thursday so kept it steady. The roads weren’t icy like last time I ran that route, and I ended up feeling really awesome throughout the run. 6 miles @ 9.39.

Thursday: Hill repeats

Kenyan Hills again. A 2 mile warm-up and then 3 repeats of 3 minutes working hard up and down a hill in my village. Each repeat took me up and down the hill twice and then back up a third time, with a recovery of walking back down. I took 2 minutes to stretch and rest and then repeated the three sets, so I did six sets altogether with 2 miles cool- down at the end. My legs felt significantly better than they had on this workout last week, although I was slower on the repeats as I’d purposefully taken it more steadily. 6 miles @ 10.36. 

Friday: Easy 3 miler

Lovely dawn run on the local lanes.

file-2
Little town, just a quiet village.

Saturday: Medium-paced run

We were in London for the weekend so I got to run new streets for this run. The weather was absolutely brutal – temperatures were at freezing point, there was a bitter arctic wind blowing (seriously one of the coldest winds I’ve felt for a long time) and it was snowing lightly throughout. In addition, I had a belly full of Mexican food. So just getting out the door was a triumph, to be honest. The goal was 7 miles @ 9.20. I ran faster because I was so cold and I wanted to be done…but I couldn’t face any more than 6 miles so I figured that was good enough. 6.1 miles @ 9.06. 

(I wanted to get a photo of London in the snow but it was too cold to stop)

Grand total: 36.4 miles

Naval gazing

This was a decent week. I hit all the miles (except that very last one), I hit all the goal paces. But I genuinely can’t imagine holding anything like 8.30s for 13 miles in 5 weeks time. I’m not even sure I can imagine holding 9.00s for 13 miles. I’m honestly comfortable with not PR-ing in Annecy, much as I would love to of course, as long as I feel like I’ve run my best in training and on the day. Yet part of me despairs a little that I’ll never get ‘fast’ again. So I push those rogue thoughts to the back of my head, I keep working and I trust the process. On my coach’s FB page, people he’s coaching are constantly posting PRs so he clearly knows what he’s doing…I shall keep persisting.

My goal this week is simply to do what’s on the plan. I have a niggle of a sore throat today, after spending a freezing cold day in London, so I’m determined to fight that off and keep going.

One other thing this week…after my massage, I was much more diligent about stretching. I always  generally make some kind of token effort but I took twice as long this week (i.e., a full minute – gasp) and I think I felt the difference.

Other fun stuff

As I said, we were in London this weekend, staying with lovely friends we haven’t seen for over 12 years! It was fab. They took us to the Olympic Velodrome from London 2012. We were in California for the London Olympics so we’d never seen these iconic places and it was quite thrilling even on a brutally cold day!

 

Our friends are very keen cyclists so there was a lot of bike geeking. It struck me that I haven’t ridden my bike since I got back to the UK – apparently I’m a fair-weather cyclist. I definitely came back to Wiltshire fired up to get Liesl or Margarita prepped and back on the road again once it warms up a little bit!

me margarita 40
Poor unridden Margarita

London was packed full of runners at the weekend – the London Marathon is a few weeks away and everyone was getting in their final long runs despite the truly brutal weather conditions. Most were warmly dressed but there was the odd random nutter in shorts! I really enjoyed being in London again, it made me very nostalgic for my own days of pounding those London streets for my 20-milers, getting excited about signs for road-closures and that mounting excitement for the marathon. I’m so grateful I got to run that amazing race once!

Okay…let’s keep going. We have more snow and I potentially have some germs so let’s see what happens this week.

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