Hi there! When I had a little running blog before, I used to do a post on a Sunday talking about my week and what I’d been up to. I really enjoyed writing them because it gave me opportunity to reflect on what I’d achieved and the (very few) readers seemed to like them too, so I thought I’d keep them going now!
This week has been mega full on! I returned to Devon from Southampton on Sunday ready to start work again on Tuesday. Monday was a lovely day, starting with CrossFit and then later have a good catch up with my two besties! They’ve both just got engaged to their lovely fiancés , and they both have sprockers (springer/cocker spaniel combo) that we were meant to be taking for a walk all together, but the rain meant we saved it for another day and just went for lunch instead!
Then Tuesday I was up at the crack of dawn (as I have been for the rest of the week) to go to 06:30 CrossFit sessions. I am so happy to be back and I am absolutely loving it still. But I am a bit worried that I’m going to burn out if I do 5 sessions a week plus 4 runs for marathon training!! By Friday I was feeling pretty pooped, although I did manage to improve on a lift we’d done before Christmas, so I think maybe next week I’ll cut down a bit. It’s frustrating though because it’s such a community; so many people go every day and each day is different, so it’s difficult to miss out! Also, I am enjoying getting wear out of all my new gym wear and my Reebok Nanos that I bought with my Christmas money!
Speaking of Christmas money, I’d also treated myself to some fancy new running gear! This included the TomTom Spark 3, a Flipbelt and Coulax wireless bluetooth headphones. I was super excited to get everything and couldn’t wait to go out on a run to test it all. I think I’ll do a first impressions review of the TomTom as there’s a lot to say, so I’ll stick for now to just describing my training!
Tuesday morning we did sport at work which was a run. I went to CrossFit first and then we did about 3 miles all together as a group, which felt nice and easy. My training run was meant to be 4 easy miles so I was happy with 3 as my legs were still tired from Sunday’s 10 miler and 2 CrossFit sessions since! We had a little sprint at the end and I was happy with the energy my legs felt they had in them too which was good.
My next run was a hilly 5 miles on Wednesday, which also went really well. I ran the first mile in under 8 minutes and felt really comfortable. Since coming back from injury I’ve almost felt scared to try and push my pace, I think worried I’m going to burn out. I don’t know why, so it felt good to get that out of my system and I think hope that with one quality speed/hills session a week I’ll start getting my confidence back a bit! I really want to get back to a 22 minute parkrun which obviously means running consistently in the 7-something minute miles, but maybe I’ll get this marathon out the way first! The rest of the run consisted of one longish hill (0.7 miles) and 3 shorter hill sprints with jogging recoveries, followed by 1.7 miles home. It felt really great and that I’d worked hard but wasn’t totally knackered and I was happy with my timings (even though the watch wasn’t playing ball but more on that in another post!).
Friday is where it all went a little downhill I’m afraid! It was meant to be an easy 4 miles but I kept watching the pace and worrying that I was feeling tired. My easy pace was 8:45 minute miles which, thinking about it now, isn’t that bad – but at the time I was angry at myself for not being at around 8:20 for an easy pace. On reflection, as I’ve already said, I’d done a lot of phys during the week, including very early mornings which I’m not used to, and a tough run only a couple of days before, so really 8:45 was perfectly acceptable for a recovery run! Oh and I almost forgot, I wore my new flipbelt which kept riding up cause it was too big, and used my new headphones which kept falling out of my ears!!! Very frustrating. Still, at least I got the miles in. I actually ran into Exmouth and picked up 3 buckets of nut butter before taking the train home, so it wasn’t a totally fruitless activity!
By Saturday I knew it was time for a rest day. My right heel was hurting, as was my left calf and both my hamstrings were super tight! Luckily I had plans to go to a wedding fair with Jenny, one of the previously mentioned besties (as I’m going to be her bridesmaid and I’m so excited it’s unreal!), so it was a good day to have a break from running. I had a really good night’s sleep, enjoying the fact I wasn’t getting up at 05:45! It was a lovely day looking round the fair, then watching her try on a few dresses before we got lunch. I stretched, ate lots of wholesome food, foam rolled, iced my aching muscles and stretched some more. I went to bed early again and woke up today feeling refreshed and ready for this week’s long run.
Today was 12 miles. I made sure to warm up fully, foam rolled again and put a tubigrip (old school!!!!) round my calf just in case. I ditched the flip belt in favour of a phone-armband and actually managed to shape the headphones to my ears better so pulled on my trainers, headed out and hoped for the best! I planned a route all along a cycle path which runs parallel to a train line, so if any niggles niggled I could simply hop on the train home! I didn’t look at my watch for time or distance once, just went with the mile marker beeps so I knew when to turn round. I actually watched this video last night in a desperate attempt to see if how I could improve my running technique, and it turned out to be so helpful! I used to be a heel-striker before getting injured, when the physios told me to try forefoot striking. Since then, I’ve always had really tight calves and pain in my heels after running, so after watching the video I thought I’d give midfoot striking a go.
I made a conscious effort to stay down off my toes and imagine my feet to be part of a wheel – they explain this better, please go watch! – as well as upping my cadence and it seemed to all fall into place! I didn’t get too tired, my pace stayed nice and constant throughout and at the end I felt I could have kept going! Not to mentioned that I didn’t even feel the niggles and even now a few hours later nothing seems to be emerging. So I’m really happy with how it went and hope that if I keep trying to stick with this technique I might be in a little less pain which would be lovely! The last 3 miles were so windy and the hilliest, but I still felt strong and just accepted that they would probably be a bit slower than the rest of the run. Overall it was a very positive training run and now I’m looking forward to the “cut back” week of the plan before stepping it up again the week after.
When I got back I enjoyed a Lenny and Larry’s vegan protein cookie and it was incredible. I’ve been waiting to try it since I bought it but wanted to save it for after a decent length run, and I’m glad I did! I’ll definitely be trying to source some online in the future, or get my Dad to stock me up on his next trip to the US! I also made protein pancakes for lunch, an old favourite on long run days from the first marathon training I did! I used this recipe from a blog that I love, halved it and used my chocolate protein powder rather than the one she used. They were deeeelish!
Speaking of food, it’s been really nice to get back into a healthier routine now that I’m back at work. I loved Christmas and all the lovely food and travelling I did but it’s also nice to get back to normality. My plan for training is to eat as healthily as I can during the week and have my treats after my long run at the weekend!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and want to see more in the future! Sorry it’s a tad long, I’ll try and cut back a bit next time!
What’ve you gotten up to this week? Running related or otherwise!