Following my last post I had an interesting week of training. I don’t usually use this blog to talk about my individual, daily runs, but as this was an unusual week, I thought it was worth talking about.
At the point of my last post I had already run a few fast miles on Monday of that week, despite heading out for what I thought would be an easy, slow run – it just felt right at the time. In the post I talked about the Tuesday night speed workout and following the discussions that I had that night, I knew on Saturday I wanted to try for a relatively fast 15 miles.
On Wednesday I ran relatively fast again, 3.25 miles at 7:45 pace, and then another 1.35 miles barefoot (therefore slower at about 9:30 pace). Then on Friday morning, again feeling good, I ran about 10k at 7:15 pace. This was turning into a fast week.
On Saturday I skipped the club run (although I did pass the group at one point) to try to do that fast 15 mile run. I managed 15 miles at 7:46 pace, resisting the urge to do more at the end as I still felt relatively good.
All of this running gave me a week of just under 38 miles with an overall average pace of about 7:51 per mile. Crazy, right? Particularly as it followed on from another high mileage week (by my standards) of just under 43 miles.
After that effort I decided to have a low mileage week to make sure I wasn’t overdoing it. I only had 2 runs from Monday to Saturday totaling 14 miles (both runs still faster than 8 minute miles).
On Friday I made a return to Bodypump classes after a couple of months off (various excuses for not going) but I now know that I need to keep going regularly. While the class didn’t seem too bad at the time, the next day my quads were hurting (and my arms too, but that was more expected). My quads were bad enough that it hurt to walk down stairs.
This lead up to a weekend of racing, with two 5k races over two days (the second of these was due to a postponed race earlier in the year – I will write more about that second race in my next post as there is a lot to say about it).
Sunday was the Jimmy D 5k which always attracts a large, competitive field. It’s a USATF NBGP 700 point race and a women’s championship race hence the fast field. I’ve done this race since the year I started running, and I’ve got faster every time.
This year was no exception, although I had no expectations for the race at the start. I decided to focus again on running form. I wanted to focus on how I lifted my legs as I ran. It’s tough to tell whether I really did anything different than I would normally do – perhaps I lift as much as that naturally – but focusing on it forced me to think about it (almost) constantly. It seemed to be working well as I went through the 2 mile mark at an average of 6:10/mile, and, although the third mile was slower due to it being mostly uphill, I did seem to be very gradually closing the gap on the next group ahead so felt as though I was doing well. I didn’t catch them though, but equally, nobody passed me, so I’m very happy with that. My final time was 9 seconds faster than last year at 19:40.
As this race is usually so competitive it’s tough to get age group awards. Last year I was 6th and I wasn’t expecting to get any closer this year. However, I did manage to get the 3rd place age group award which made me very happy.
What surprised me most following the race was how much my biceps were hurting. As I mentioned before, Bodypump caused me all sorts of aches the day before but I wasn’t expecting a run to make things worse – I guess pumping your arms while running must really give your arm muscles more of a work out than I thought. This has demonstrated to me the importance of upper body strength in running so I will try to get to Bodypump more often.
On Monday I wasn’t sure what to expect – having run so well on Sunday I expected Monday to be harder and slower. You’ll have to wait to find out what happened in the next installment.