Last week was a weird running week. I sandwiched a tough run (the first RR10 race) between two fairly easy runs.
I took Monday off as a complete rest day. I think it’s so important to rest your body. It can be so tempting to just run all the time but I know from experience that this never works out well for me.
Tuesday I could have gone to the interval session with the club but I had the RR10 on Wednesday night and really wanted to try hard. So I went for an easy 6 miles after work. Nothing remarkable.
Wednesday was the RR10 in the evening. This is basically Hampshire’s set of league races that are around 4-5 miles long and tend to be fairly hilly and off-road. Like clockwork the rain started as soon as I left work about two hours before the start.
Ben dropped me off at a fellow club friend’s house so I could do a mile warm up run. I can’t just start flat-out race speed without warming up first. My legs de-friend me that way. Ben’s knee was giving him a bit of grief so he declined the extra running.
Sadly the toilets were locked at the time of the evening and I was desperate for a wee (sorry for TMI) It wasn’t even like a safety wee, it was a ‘genuinely-required-pee situation’. I had to dash off to find a bush, which was such an effort as most of the bushes were a bit scarce in their foliage and there were so many flipping dog walkers. Anyway, I found one of the necessary criteria. Hmm a whole paragraph on my peeing situation – apologies.
We did a bit more warming up. Anyone else just feel terrible during warm ups? Like every ache your body has ever experienced rears its head. I felt so de-motivated and tired.
Anyway we all headed to the start (our running club was looking strong with it’s red white and blue vests and such a great turn out). I planned to line up fairly near the front so I wouldn’t get caught behind people (RR10s are based on positions not time). Then we were off.
It was painful, fast, muddy, slippy and the whole time I was just thinking “this is hard.” and “I could slow down, that would be nice”. I decided not to look at my watch because a) I was concentrating on not falling over with all the mud and b) I just didn’t have time. It was one of those races I just kept my head focused the entire time.
Amazingly I came 10th female, and first female in my club. Judging from how tough the race felt and my race photos, it’s clear I worked hard for it!
Still have my name on my vest from the marathon. All the cool kids are doing it 😉
Are race photos ever flattering? This is on the last 100m. I remember seeing the photographer and in my mind briefly thinking “Oh jeeze this is going to be bad” as I desperately tried to sprint to the finish.
The next photo is one of my favourites. Not because I look nice or anything like that. It’s just the evil daggers I’m throwing at the photographer.
I look seriously grumpy!
I was so chuffed with my position and after grabbing a drink I stood and cheered as other club runners finished.
Ben finished 192nd out of the men. There are always a lot more men than women unfortunately for Ben. He was chuffed though as his knee hadn’t caused him any issues. Whew.
Then cakes appeared. Well, obviously I was there in a nano-second. Would you be surprised if I said I had four cakes? Yeah I’m not either. To be fair though two of them were quite slim biscuits. The other was a regular sized (amazing) cookie (with mini eggs in it?? WOW) and a slice of iced sponge.
I went home buzzing as you can imagine!
It took ages to fall asleep that evening. Maybe it was the cakes or my aching legs but I really struggled.
Thursday I woke up tired and achy, but in a satisfying way. That evening I went to running club with the absolute iron intention of an easy run. I ran the mile down there at a nice relaxed pace enjoying the sunshine. I tagged along with the normal group I go with but telling myself over and over again not to go to fast. My options were limited with groups – it was either an off-roader (the one I went with) or a 7 mile 8-8.30min/mile group, or the much slower (than me – it’s all relative!) groups.
In the end I think I’d chosen well as we took it nice and easy and the terrain was very similar to the previous night’s RR10 so speed just wasn’t an option. Whew. But my legs felt very heavy and tired. I almost dashed off home as we past near where we live. It was a good 8.5 miles though in the end with an average pace of 9mins (a couple of those miles 10mins so that was good).
Friday was another rest day. I had intended on a strength workout (this week has been terrible for that) but it just didn’t happen sadly. You win some, you lose some. I did have a sports massage though on my calves. My left calf was feeling tight and almost a little niggly so I wanted to nip that in the bud quickly.
Saturday I got up earlier than usual and ran the 4 miles to Parkrun to help set up. I ran the extra miles because Ben and me were off to a wedding later in the day so a Sunday run was never going to happen 😉
On starting the run I felt so tired and my legs so heavy (still!). I was not feeling it at all. I made Ben make me a coffee that he’d take with him so I could drink it when I got there. He’s lovely like that.
I got to parkrun, we helped set up and I was dragging my feet a bit. It was cold and I just wasn’t in the mood. However, when we lined up I put some music on and just got into it. I ran 22 minutes flat! It was crazy, I suddenly just decided “let’s do this”.
Not my fastest, but the course is the three laps with the hill and some fairly boggy grass so I was chuffed. The effort was definitely there! I was pleased I went for a speedy run.
After that, it’s two days off and then strength workout tonight (Monday night) and then hopefully intervals with the club Tuesday evening.
How was your week in terms of work outs?
How do you motivate yourself to work hard? Music tends to help me and also the ‘race environment’ gets me going.
How often do you work out and what’s your balance between cardio and strength? I try to do at least two strength sessions a week and usually 4-5 runs.