Day 77–The Calm After The Storm

Following yesterday’s horrendous run I had a fairly miserable evening – cold, exhausted and generally not feeling that great. Thankfully an early bedtime and a good, extended, night’s sleep helped considerably, although I did continue to spend much of the day in a slightly weary daze.

I went out for my run shortly before midday. In total contrast to yesterday’s run, the skies were blue, barely a breeze to mention and the faint warmth of very early spring sunshine gently warming my stiff, aching limbs. The first mile was, as so often is, spent awkwardly shuffling along. It was, however, considerably quicker than I’d expected it to be.

From then on the legs loosened off as I trod over the familiar recovery run route, my only regret not donning a pair of sunglasses as I ran into the sunshine. Fairly quickly the run was coming to an end, only to have an unplanned encore to post a package I’d meant to take with me on the run. The mile splits were quicker than they felt, hopefully they’ll feel better for tomorrow with a marathon paced run of some kind planned for the evening and some miles in the morning.

Day 76–Very Cold, Very Wet, Very Windy

What a difference a day makes. Yesterday I was almost euphorically eulogising the joys of running. Cool but spring like conditions, fresh legs, good pace, no aches: bliss. Today whilst covering the final day of F1 testing, I watched the weather slowly deteriorate from blue skies and a breeze to heavy cloud and strong winds. Results from the morning’s half marathons and other races began to filter through – the wind was generally wreaking havoc with people’s racing ambitions.

I finally finished work at 5:30pm and headed out for a planned long run – the intent to run between 16-18 miles. Almost within seconds of leaving the house the first drops of rain of the day began to fall. Within a mile the rain was falling steadily and I’d turned into a fierce head wind. With light fading I just about made it to Barrowby (the only unlit section of the run) before total darkness. By now the I was running at or just below seven minute miles when the wind was behind me or a cross wind. I’d tentative plans of running the second half of the run at a quick pace, but the depressing weather put pay to those intentions – today was about getting around in one piece and knocking out the miles.

I ran around the houses and in extravagant loops to make up the distance By twelve miles the rain was hammering down and I was chilled to the bone. My left hamstring was tight and that was sending aches to the knee and the hip. The worst thing about the run was that I was only ever around two miles away from being home – the temptation to call it quits was great as I slowly began to lose feeling in my cheeks and fingers.

At just over 17 miles and with the rain turning into something approaching hail, I sacrificed the 0.8 mile I’d intended to run and called it a day, rushing into my home as quickly as possible. Totally soaked and fairly miserable, that was one of those runs that in the long run will mentally make me stronger and will help in the grand scheme of things fitness wise, but will not rank highly in my list of favourite runs.

A bit wet after my long run
A bit wet after my long run

Day 75–Aggressive Attack On The Progressive

Covering the seventh day in total of F1 preseason testing in Bahrain, I was itching to be out for a run – the novelty of seeing cars with mostly phallic shaped noses having worn off several weeks ago.

At just gone five pm I was able to get out. I fancied doing something along the lines of a progressive run – that is where the pace and the intensity increases with each passing mile. Some nervous moments with my right IT band before heading out made me think whether I’d even do much running, thankfully there was barely a whimper of discomfort from any part of my body during the run.

The run began comfortably but sprightly. Heading up the A52 to Barrowby and past the site of Tuesday’s lamentable two mile reps, that run felt like a million years ago as things felt really easy. Once at Barrowby and the remainder of the run either gently downhill or flat, I relaxed and went with the flow. I made no conscious effort to progressively increase the pace, it just happened that way.

By four miles I was nigh on 2:45 marathon pace. An identical fifth mile then, on the flat, a 6:13 mile six and a change up in gear, closing the final two miles in under twelve minutes. As often happens when you hit a groove, it all felt very easy. Moreover, the final mile aside, the entire run was done comfortably under planned marathon heart rate. If I feel like this at Rotterdam I’ll be on for a good one.

Split Summary
1) 1m – 7:16(7:16/m) 135/157bpm 94cal
2) 1m – 6:52(6:52/m) 151/160bpm 102cal
3) 1m – 6:40(6:40/m) 149/156bpm 93cal
4) 1m – 6:17(6:17/m) 148/155bpm 88cal
5) 1m – 6:16(6:16/m) 153/157bpm 90cal
6) 1m – 6:13(6:13/m) 156/163bpm 92cal
7) 1m – 5:56(5:56/m) 160/166bpm 90cal
8) 1m – 5:51(5:51/m) 167/170bpm 94cal
9) 0.24m – 1:34(6:28/m) 163/169bpm 24cal