Wednesday 30 November 2011

The need for speed

So I am signed up for a 5k this Saturday!

The last 5k race I did was Edinburgh Parkrun on 23rd April, when my time was a modest 26m29s. I am really hoping to beat this on Saturday - (in fact I beat it a few minutes ago when I went out for a test run!). That Parkrun race was a comeback from all those months of non-running and heel pain injury, so I was pleased with the time, but now I want to get closer to my PB.

I think it was in October 2009 when I ran my fastest 5k (also Edinburgh Parkrun) in 24m50s. That was a pretty long time ago, and obviously I lost a lot of fitness while not running much between Sept 2010 and March 2011. Now I feel that I'm getting back to full running fitness, so I'd really like to run something close to that PB.

This means I need to be running around 7.59 min miles, which seems absurdly fast. However, I must have done it once, I suppose. I tried a fast 5k last weekend and it was a disaster - I ended up stopping after 2 miles. But I've just run 5k with the aim of a fast but comfortable 1st and 3rd mile and a fast as possible 2nd mile. I pressed the off button on the Garmin at 26m15s - the fastest 5k I've run since 5th July!

Now I ran fairly hard just now, but I had enough held back to speed up at the end and finish strong. When I came through the front door, I was breathing heavily, but not about to collapse or puke, which was how I felt when I got my PB. This indicates that I could go quite a bit faster!

Of course it'll all depend on the day - the race is in a town I've never visited, so I don't know whether the course will be hilly or crowded, and if there is more of this windy weather we've had, then I don't fancy my chances. But my goal for Saturday is to get close to 25 minutes, and my super-goal, if all conditions are perfect, is to get near that PB from the old, pre-plantar fasciitis days!

Monday 28 November 2011

Busy busy

Wow, it has been a while since my last post! I've just been finding it really difficult to make the time for blogging in the last week or so. Partly because for the last fortnight I've been busy reading this:

- all 650 pages of it. I enjoyed it, but the writing was small too, and it took me a long time to get through it. I'll definitely read the sequel when it's published though.

So anyway, I think our family is always ill around this time of year, and 2011 has been no exception. Since having a weird illness a couple of weeks ago, I've just been feeling exhausted, and the kids and Pete have all had their share of coughs and colds recently. However, I am definitely feeling better now, and hopefully the constant stream of green from Robbie's nose will be gone soon (yuck!).

Last week I got back to a good week's running. I started with a 7 mile run on Monday. This was a mile down on my last long run, but I'd had a week off due to being unwell, so I thought I'd play it safe and not push too hard. It felt comfortable and enjoyable, at 9.30min/mile pace. That seems to be about my favoured speed for longer runs.

On Tuesday I had planned a bike ride in the afternoon, but somehow it didn't happen. Having been away for the weekend, I had a lot of washing and cleaning the house to catch up on, but cycling's loss was running's gain, as I went for a run in the evening instead. It was just a short one, and my Garmin refused to pick up a satellite, but I'm sure it was at least 3 miles.

On Thursday it was a good session at the club, where we ran figures of 8 round the houses - 1 loop hard followed by 1 loop recovery. With warm-up jog there and back, it ended up as 5.5 miles. I was with 3 other women and we turned out to be a good match for each other, which was really helpful for keeping me going!

On Friday I fitted in a 10m cycle, which was all around fields and farms - a route I'll definitely take again. Then I ran a fast 5k on Saturday morning. It didn't go too well though as I felt great for the first half, then turned around and realised that I had been benefitting from a tail-wind which was now against me. It was really tough, and I was tired, and I ended up stopping to catch my breath after 2 miles. I only walked for a minute or so, then completed the run, but it was still pretty fast (for me) - 26m29s for 5k - which indicates that prehaps I went too fast at the start.

Next weekend I have signed up for a 5k race! It's Ladies only, and there are a few walkers taking part, so I'm hoping to be near the front of the field for once! So I'm not sure how I'll train this week - not too big a mileage, and a couple of days taper maybe.

Last week I ran 18.6 miles, which is half a mile further than my previous biggest week of 2011! It will be less this week, but hopefully faster...

Thursday 17 November 2011

Strange week

I have been strangely ill this week. Yes I know it was only the week before last that I had a little bug and took some days off, but here we are again.

On Saturday I had a bit of a headache, which I put down to red wine on Friday night. On Sunday I had a really bad headache and felt shivery and achey. On Monday Pete had to stay home from work to look after the kids, and I spent the whole day in bed. Whenever I got up my head pounded and I felt dizzy. On Tuesday I threw up before I'd eaten anything, but then felt quite a bit better.

Now I'm feeling almost back to normal, but I just can't get enough sleep, and I'm still getting little headaches. I don't know what it is.

So all this has meant I've done sod all exercise all week. Last week was ok though - up until Friday at least. I ran 8 miles on Monday! I was really happy with my longest run yet this year, and I kept my pace nice and steady (9.27 min/miles ) so it didn't hurt too much.

On Tuesday evening I went out for a 3-mile recovery run, and my legs were obviously feeling it as this turned out to be at 9.37 pace - slower than the 8-miler!

On Thursday I ran with the local group, and we did 400 metre repeats - 4 x 400m with 1 min recovery between each, then a jog round the block. We did this set 3 times, which totalled 12 repeats of 400m! It was hard-going. I ran with 2 women who I felt were both a bit faster than me and I had to keep pushing myself to keep up.

Then on Friday I cycled 10 miles against the wind, so that was quite slow too. Given that I didn't run or cycle at the weekend, I was pleased with 16.2 miles running mileage.

So I might try a little jog tomorrow, and then we're away all weekend, so I might just start again next week. Thank God I haven't got a half marathon or other long race planned - I can do what I want really!

Monday 7 November 2011

A few days off

In my last post I was excited about running my highest mileage week of 2011, but I mentioned that I might make the following week a bit of a break. It certainly turned out that way.

I knew I wouldn't be able to fit a run in as I was travelling and staying at a friend's all weekend, but I planned to run on Tuesday and Thursday, as well as a bike ride on Monday. In fact by Thursday evening I felt quite under the weather, with a headache and lots of aching muscles all over. I also had a really sore throat, so I think I'd caught some nasty little bug. I decided to stay home on Thursday and not risk the run.

So after my big mileage week, I managed a really tiny one! I ran 3.6 miles on Tuesday, (which included my fastest 5k since 14th September!). Thank goodness I am anal enough to keep such detailed records. I also has a really good bike ride on Monday. It was 11 miles on country roads and cycle path.

And that was that. I had an exercise free period from Weds to Sunday, so look out November - I'm rested, I'm ready and I'm going to be building that mileage up again!