I don’t know what made me do it, but what’s done is done. Once again I turned what should have been a nice and easy training run into some race against myself, and I didn’t even plan it.
Friday didn’t start too well. I had gone to bed quite early, but woke at 3 am and spent the best part of the next two hours trying to go back to sleep again. When the alarm when off at 5:40, I was less than rested. I fact I was sorely tempted to turn around and go back to sleep, but managed to heave myself out of bed. Once I was out on the road, I felt better and quickly got into the groove. I checked my time after 3.5 miles and was surprised to see that I was doing nearly 8:00 pace. I did slow down for a bit, but my internal pace control unit must have shut down, because within two minutes I was running just as fast again. In fact, I must have gotten faster with each mile, because the next time I checked my watch was at mile 9, and by now it was clear that I was going well below 8:00 pace. I passed our driveway where I had deposited a water bottle, but mindful of what happened two weeks ago, I decided to go on without drinking. Since the legs seemed incapable of going at easy pace, I decided to turn it into a progression run and run the last 5 miles at fairly hard pace. This worked ok until about mile 12, when fatigue finally caught up with me, and from then on I had to push myself to keep the pace going. When I passed the half-marathon mark I checked my time again. The watch said 1:40, which is actually faster than my best racing time, not that I count training runs as an official PR. When I got home one mile later I felt both great for having done such a great run and bad about pushing myself hard when I should have been cruising at an easy aerobic level instead.
Saturday was a rest day, and I finished the week on Sunday with 9 miles, including 10x100 strides. For the first two or three miles my calf muscles felt rather stiff, but they loosened up as the run progressed. The sky was very cloudy, and I felt a few raindrops initially, but half an hour later the sun was blazing down once again and I felt uncomfortably hot. I took off my t-shirt for the last two miles because I felt like I was baking underneath a layer of cotton. I hope none of the neighbours minded. It was also my first run in my new pair of Asics Nimbus. They had felt incredibly comfortable in the shop, so why did they feel like I was accidentally wearing somebody else’s pair as soon as I hit the road? In fact, I felt a blister developing on my right heel towards the end of the run. I might just about have gotten away with it, but it might still come out tomorrow. For the time being, the shoes are in disgrace at the back of the cabinet. I’ll probably use them again for a shorter run next week and hope that they magically start fitting my feet.
Weekly mileage: 55 miles (not 56 as mistakenly stated two posts ago)
21 Jul: 14 miles, 1:47, 7:38 pace
23 Jul: 9 miles, 1:12, 8:00 pace