I must be mad

Having missed training for the last few days, I was determined to make tonight’s track session. Travelling home from work I could see that clouds were starting to gather and the sky was getting dark. However my half marathon schedule was preying on my mind so I got changed and headed for the track.

As I got out of the car I could see that it had started to rain. Just light drops so I left my jacket in the car. By the time I started warming up the rain had stopped so I thought I might get away with it.

Session started, 200 and 400m intervals with equal recoveries. Total of 9 K. I was feeling a bit achy and tight in the muscles. So the first couple of laps were hard. But as I loosened off I started to feel good.

Then the rain started for real. Heavy and persistant. Small puddles started to form on the track and I could feel my feet starting to get wet as the water soaked into my socks and through my shoes. A sensible person would have stopped at this point but I was really feeling guilty about missing some days and so carried on. It’s only water, I thought, skin is waterproof.

It’s amazing how heavy a dri fit running top can feel once it gets really soaked. It also starts to stick to your body. That might have had something to do with the wind that was starting to get up of course. I tried pulling it away from my body but it just fell back and clung to me.

By this time my shoes were making squelchy noises and the kids were being told to shelter. But I kept on going.

Then it got even heavier. I’m sure the drops were hitting the track and bouncing 12 inches back up into the air. But I was as wet as I could get and closer to the end of the session than the start. It would have been a waste to stop now.

I finished the session and went straight to the toilets where I spent about 15mins wringing out my top. Must take a change of clothes next time….

Why do we do it?

Must be mad …. Or a runner!

Winds of change

The weather has been changing recently. Still capable of being warm but with some rainy spells and cool winds.

This made my hill session a bit easier this week. Occasional cool breezes across my face and body were just enough to keep me from overheating and made the hilly loops almost pleasant. I haven’t done hills for some time and had forgotten that there is a technique. This was explained at high volume ffrom behind as I struggled up the slope. Shorter stride, head up to keep your airway open and use your arms. It helped and I concentrated on this each loop became not easier but more controlled.

My distance run route is a bit hilly as well so the technique helped next day as I ran my 13K long run. Again cool breezes helped me along and I was pleased to be able to complete it this week. It was nice to see the cattle out in the fields enjoying the open spaces. Not so nice to run over what they had left behind on the roads between the farm yards and the fields though. That’s the countryside for you!

Road to no where

Back at work this week after having some time off and already it’s interfering with running!

Tuesday was supposed to be an 8K tempo run. However as I had to attend a meeting out of town I was unable to meet my friends for the tempo run. Instead I had a late treadmill session at the gym.

Treadmill sessions always seem harder than they should be. Running without actually moving anywhere and having no landmarks to strive for, motivation is hard to find. When the session is based on minutes rather than metres the clock seems to go very slowly. But it had to be done.

Making it up as I went along, I increased my speed from 10.5km/h to 12 km/h over the first 15 mins and then maintained the 12km/h until I had completed 8K. 12km/h is slightly under my best 10K pace so I thought that would qualify as a tempo run.

Finished off with a 10 min cooldown on the bike. Felt tired but good.

A hill too far

Still following the half marathon schedule. Saturday was to be a hill session. I haven’t done hills for some time so I knew it would be hard. It was also looking like another hot day when I joined the group of runners at the meeting point.

We did some warm up exercises and stretches and then the leader outlined the session. It was a challenging session. It consisted of 4 loops with 1 minute recovery between them. According to my Garmin the total distance was 6 miles with a total ascent of 74m. I don’t think I attacked the hills the way I was supposed to. In fact some times I thought I would be quicker walking up the hills and a couple of times I thought I was running on the spot! But I felt good that I was able to keep going and complete the session.

However I was really tired on Sunday morning and really struggled to do the scheduled long run. In the end I only managed about 5 miles and had to walk some of it. It didn’t help that it was raining and that I had decided to run early morning but I think it was mainly due to the effects of the hill session.

So I will need to see how this schedule goes. I may need to revise it if it turns out to be too ambitious and include more rest days if necessary.

But one way or another I’ll be ready for that half marathon!