Recovery Weeks and Long Runs

This week has been relatively relaxed with regards to exercise. I’ve had quite a busy few weeks and so I thought I’d give my body some time to relax. I do hate these ‘easy’ weeks, though. I feel so lazy but I know that in order to improve (and stay injury free!), you need time to put your feet up and give yourself a break.

After Sunday’s 17 miler, I spent Monday walking and stretching as much as possible. I find that this helps ease those little niggles, rather than sitting down and doing nothing.

I did intend to go for a short run on Tuesday, but it just didn’t happen. No excuses, I just failed to get my butt out of the door. Instead, I did a couple of rounds of Tabata and some push ups. Tabata was the order of the day for Wednesday also, although I just did one round.

On Thursday, I did a short hill rep session. A planned run with the club failed to materialise after a delay in dropping my eldest daughter off at her first disco. The hill reps helped raise the heart rate but it wasn’t a brilliant effort. My head just wasn’t with it.

We went to watch Tristan do parkrun on Saturday. It was a dismal day with persistent rain and a bitterly cold breeze. The girls were still happy to play in the park, though, as we waited for Tristan to complete the 3 laps; made ever more tricky by the softened ground.

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Thea got a bit left behind in the frenzy at the start........

Thea got a bit left behind in the frenzy at the start……..

We cheered on Tristan to the finish where he managed to shave a second off his previous best time. Despite this, he was disappointed as he hoped to go quicker! He’s only been running 7 weeks and in that time has already taken 4 minutes off his 5k time!  I was impressed with his time today especially because the conditions were so poor.

Cheering on the parkrunners

Cheering on the parkrunners

It was another early start on Sunday. I was a little apprehensive about the planned 18 miler when I looked out of the window. Snow! I hadn’t expected that. There was quite a good covering but the roads were clear.

IMG_4353It was bitterly cold when I met Ali at 8am in Kirkbride. The snow wasn’t laying but it was thick in the air. We wrapped up warm and set off. It was cold and there were many floods but nothing could stop us! We managed to keep to a good even pace, even when tackling the three major hills on the route. These came in quick succession and the rest of the route was, thankfully, flat! I started with a High 5 gel at just under 7 miles and kept taking it slowly until mile 15 when I finally found a bin in Newton Arlosh!! I think 2 gels would probably serve me better at these distances and I will try this out next time.

The miles ticked by quickly as we chatted away. At mile 13, Ali observed that we’d both gone rather quiet. Running together but lost in our own thoughts and struggles. Mile 16 was were it (once again!) got tough! Thoughts were running through my head. I thought about dramatically throwing myself down in the verge, urging Ali to leave me and go on ahead; to save herself. She could do this (and then come back for me in the car!). However, as these thoughts were whizzing round in my head, the miles continued clicking on by. The last mile hurt. This was new territory. Our longest ever run. I swear I saw every 0.01 mile whirring by ever so slowly on my Garmin during that last mile. As we approached the magical 18 miles, Ali said we should stop our watches at 18 miles exactly and then slowly jog the remaining half a mile back to the cars. However, at 18 miles exactly, I stopped my watch and came to a dramatic halt, much to Ali’s bemusement! We then revised the plan and walked slowly back to the car. We managed 18 miles in 3 hours 3 minutes, giving an average 10’10 min/mile. We’re happy with that 🙂

Route: 18 miles is a long way!

Route: 18 miles is a long way!

18 mile pace18 mile elevation

Not the most inspiring conditions for a mammoth run!

Not the most inspiring conditions for a mammoth run!

After a few stretches, we headed off home and I continued stretching off once I returned home. Almost as soon as I stepped in the door, Tristan asked if I minded if he went out for a short run. After Saturday’s disappointing (for him!) failure to get an official parkrun PB, he was determined to see just how quickly he could do a 5k. He was desperate to achieve that sub-30 time that was so far proving elusive.

We followed his run on Runtastic and I knew it was going to be a good time!  Returning home, we found he’d smashed his 5k PB, finishing in 28:53!! Amazing! His progress continues to astound me! Very inspiring.

The plan this week is to take things relatively easy again, To give my body time to recover from this latest effort. I’m also planning on entering the Lorton 10k on Saturday, although I will see how I’m feeling on Friday before making a final decision on this.

My running is going well at the moment and I’m really enjoying it; I just hope it continues like this. It really is my sanity saver 🙂

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