It was a slow, post-race recovery sort of week. Not that I let myself realise it until the week was nearly over when I was already annoyed at myself. Silly, silly – I should have learned by now that after a hard race it takes my body a little while to get back into the swing of things, even if it doesn’t hurt per se. I also had a pretty stressful week at work with a lot of responsibility thrown at me all at once. Things didn’t go to plan at all.
Monday – Gym
Legs not hurting but did feel quite stiff trying to complete the Legs & Cardio circuit from Week 2, Day 1 of the Kayla BBG. Was trying to skip with a skipping rope that was too short for my body, so that caused some problems! Have lost nearly 2kg since the start of the year so nearly rid of the Christmas paunch.
Gym and Track
Sleep > morning gym session. At track in the evening I tried stepping up to the fastest pace train, and was lucky to be joined by a few other gutsy girls as we attempted to hang on to the boys’ feet. It was so icy on the track that I had to run on the grass instead – I just couldn’t get any grip at all. The ice + the new speed group + post-race legs got a bit much and just before the end of the second 800m set I couldn’t keep it going anymore. First dropped back to group 2 for half a set, then group 4 (which I thought was 3) for 800m. Eventually realised my mistake and picked up with group 3 for the second half of their 4th set, and then finished the last 4 sets with them too. We were running at ~4:30/km pace which felt just on the safe edge of comfortable and was all the pushing I wanted to do for today. Total of ~10km.
Wednesday – Easy run
This is when the work stress kicked in: despite never having managed a project alone before (I’m a Software Engineer, not a Product Manager!) I found myself as the only person on my project and hence in charge of it’s success: and with a two-week deadline. Lots of work and thoughts to get my head around, so when another PM came with me for a lunch run I used to opportunity to brain-dump on him and get a fresh perspective. He’s a beginner runner, so we walked for him to reply a few times. Added another 10 minutes alone at the end because the run hadn’t felt like a proper run at all. 6.2km.
My rescheduled gym session from yesterday was forgotten when I got home, crawled into bed and refused to move until I’d consumed several episodes of New Girl.
Speed run and gym
Similar to a few weeks ago, my mile reps speed run in the morning didn’t turn out very well at all and instead of 6 miles with 4x1mile hard I ran 5.2km with 1km hard in the middle. (Clearly miles don’t agree with me!) That made me fairly grumpy, so in the evening I cancelled on some work drinks and instead sweated it out at the gym with an arms & abs session. Commandos and 4mountain-climbers+1push-up are killer. Ouch.
It was Australia Day though! 🇦🇺
Friday – Gym
Really wanted to at least manage to go to the gym 3 times this week, so woke up at 6am to fit it and packing for my weekend away in. This was a full body session featuring the same awful moves from the night before, along with some burpees, squats and more. Probably not the greatest idea to work the same body parts on a consecutive evening+morning, but that’s the only way it would fit in.
Saturday – Progression parkrun
For Christmas I gave my boyfriend a weekend away in the countryside, so that we could visit Stonehenge and see what England outside of London is like. Luckily, the parkrun craze extends beyond the big city, and we were able to do a bit of tourism at the Southwick County parkrun in Wiltshire. This was a very muddy undulating 2.75-lap course which I used as a progression run. I had forgotten to take my watch so went entirely on feel (and tracked on Strava for later). Ran the first .75 lap with Sye at a slow pace, then left him behind to pick up speed. I overtook so many people on the 2nd lap and felt a bit bad for easily ducking past people who were struggling along. Kicked it up another notch on the 3rd lap and really had to push to get around. I wasn’t overtaking many people anymore so it felt like my pace was slowing down, but when I later checked Strava the kms progressed nicely. Best run of the week, and we met some really friendly people too!
Sunday – 3 hour long run
Somehow convinced Sye to let me disappear for a long run on our romantic weekend away (he is dating a crazy marathon runner, so I think he sort of understands!) and went off exploring the countryside on foot. I imagine that how I felt on this run was a lot like how ultra runners feel. Instead of planning out a route, I headed off in one direction and then took whichever turn or pathway I most liked the look of: and which took me as far away from the roads as possible.
For the first hour it was heaven: I followed a sign that said “The Plain” – turned out to be a big hill leading to a plain. I tried running up the steep incline but my calves were screaming so walked up the next hills (so much more enjoyable!). Found myself running on little country lanes and across grass fields next to a big military base with “KEEP OUT” signs around the edge. And at one stage I found some donkeys and a yak! That was very cool.
Into the second hour I had come down from the big hill and was running across fields with no paths or anything other than a faint tractor marking. Of course I got stopped by several “Private Property” signs (annoying) and once I found my way out of that mess it was time to start heading back to our AirBnB. Couldn’t face running up the hills I had previously come down so tried to stick to the highway: it was not fun to have cars whoosh past at 60mph whilst you’re running on the road. Tore a hole in my leggings when they got caught on a bramble and was feeling pretty miserable and like I wasn’t going anywhere at all. I nearly called it in and asked to be picked up, but instead had a caffeine gel which got me through the last 3-4km.
So knackered on my return – despite being less distance than I would normally cover in 3 hours (26.5km) it had been such a rollercoaster run. Refuelled with a delicious toasted cheese & pickle sandwich from the Edington Farm Shop near where we were staying, before rounding off our trip by visiting Stonehenge!
Total kilometres: 53km