Running has been a little up and down lately. There have been good and bad runs thrown into the mix and I’m less than seven weeks out from the Brighton Marathon. But this is Standard Anna so I won’t stress (too much) over it. I mean, same ol’ same ol’, right?
The calf/hamstring issue is slowly dying away. I know what not to do to annoy my hamstring and my calf niggle seems to be disappearing. It’s a pesky thing and one I’m not sure entirely what’s going on there but the discomfort is definitely easing up on most of my runs now to almost nothing. Progress? I certainly hope so.
So I’m currently running four times a week – two runs at work (usually Tuesday and Thursday “runches”). I tend to run one of those runs with my friend, Kyle, who’s recently got into running. He’s progressing really well, breaking 22 minutes significantly already at parkrun. We tend to do just four easy chatty miles on a Thursday which is nice.
Though I did have probably one of the coldest runs I’ve ever done last Thursday – just before all the snow came down. Literally the coldest, iciest wind in Kyle and my face the entire time. I think we managed one normal conversation between us both swearing and saying how cold it was. It was awful. I’d sensibly packed leggings instead of my usual shorts as I knew the Beast from the East was about and as we were running easy I didn’t want to be absolutely freezing (ha. I was anyway…). It always feels so weird running in leggings though! So used to my shorts – I just feel a bit more free?
Anyway, despite there being no snow on the ground yet (we had luckily gone out a couple of hours before Portsmouth turned into Narnia) I still managed to slip over. We turned round a corner and there was a large puddle iced over and I just couldn’t change my trajectory in time and ended up running straight over it – well, I say running but what I mean is skidding over it and then landing on my leg and bum.It was actually a really painful fall. But thankfully only on a superficial level – like my skin had been torn up and it was a bump on the fleshy part of my ankle rather than any bone. Whew. Kyle helped me up (probably trying not to laugh as it was so ridiculous) and I tested it out walking and, though it felt tender, it was fine to bare weight on. We decided to run for a few metres to see how it was and luckily it was OK so we carried on for another three miles. So actually it was a really good thing I’d worn my leggings! Thankfully they hadn’t torn.And then the snow came down… meaning most parkruns were cancelled on the Saturday. It was a shame but fully understandable. Instead I went out for four miles in the snow.This did mean a nice lie-in and no rush to get out of a lovely warm bed. It was a fun run but SO tough. I mean, it was like running on sand. The snow was really dry and powdery so pushing your feet off and working out where to put them was physically and mentally tough work.It wasn’t actually that cold though so I was happy in my leggings, despite people on social media thinking I’m mental. If anything, in my two layers and a buff I was too warm by the end!The pace was obviously a lot slower because it was harder and to be honest I was just happy to be outside running. The air was still and crisp and it was a very invigorating run if that makes sense?The next day’s run however was a lot colder – not on my legs or body but on my feet. The snow had melted a little and was very slushy but still everywhere. I wanted to get between 10-15 miles, depending how everything felt. Running on the pavements was the best option because that’s where the good routes were for a longer run, but this meant a lot of running through slush. My feet got soaked and cold VERY quickly. It made them feel like dead weights at the end of my legs.But the run went well. I felt my calf a little bit at the beginning but eventually it disappeared and everything felt fine. I’m SO pleased you would not believe. It was such a solid good run. I felt like I could have carried on. My fitness seems to be in a good place (not necessarily speed, but general endurance). I felt comfortable and at ease running. My legs did feel tired though running through the slush. The extra mechanical process of foot placement and moving them over trickier ground did tire them out. But thankfully it was slippy. There was no ice and the snow wasn’t that nasty slippery kind. It helped going a lot slower of course. Usually I’d do my long runs around 8-8.30 mins/mile but because of the snow I was forced to slow down. This is something I REALLY need to do more of. When I was training with Mike last year for the New Forest Marathon to get him his sub-4 we were training at 9+min/miles and I had my most consistent and strong period of running. WHY DO I NOT LEARN. So my long runs, snow aside, will be a lot slower now. I just need someone to keep pulling me back….So I feel really positive at the moment. I still don’t have any time goals for Brighton but I’ll see how the coming weeks go. The Reading Half Marathon will be an interesting one to test my where I’m at. I’m looking forward to that race as a good tune up and to help me plan for Brighton. Hopefully another solid long run this Sunday and then Reading the week after. It’s all go!
How’s your running going?
Did you run in the snow?
Do you prefer to wear shorts or leggings?