Oh, and the photo from mile 7 (I think) in Ballycotton speaks volumes. I still had 3 miles to go at that point. Still, I got me a shiny nice PB as I keep reminding myself.
I'm still in recovery mode. As I mentioned in my previous post, my quads felt like I had run a marathon. Since Connemara is only 3 weeks away, this means that I will have inadvertently had a 4-weeks taper by the time that race comes around. Let's see what that will bring.
For various reasons, I did not manage a road run on Thursday but did a cross-country one in some neighbouring fields instead. To be perfectly honest, I cannot see what the attraction is. I prefer being able to stride out on a smooth road surface and the 2+ miles felt like a lot more, but I do hope that a break from the tarmac did the legs some good and the 8 easy miles on Friday felt reasonably good.
The kids' course in Cork is still on and it was my turn again on Saturday to drive them there. My preferred option in Cork is the Blackrock area but I didn't really have time to get there so ran on the straight road instead. There is something about that road that always makes me run faster than planned (even at mile 23 of the marathon). Again and again I slowed myself down but eventually changed tactics, doing half-mile pickups at sub-7 pace instead. It felt pretty good, but I did notice some sore legs later that day.
Sunday morning would normally have seen a long run, but with only 3 weeks to go that was down to 15 miles, especially taking my tender legs into account. I did a workout that I had been planning for a while; in fact, I had been hoping of doing it more than once. The coach had called it volume pickups last year, alternating tempo-pace half-mile sections with steady miles. As I'm training for an ultra rather than a marathon I did them slower than last year but did a couple more instead. The plan was to do the miles at 7:15 and the half miles at 6:45 pace; in reality I was a little bit faster on average. What the average figures don't tell you are the constant pace changes. I found it really hard to stay on pace and repeatedly had to change the effort level after consulting the Garmin. It felt a bit like running a race where one guy keeps surging like mad and you're trying to keep up. The idea behind the whole thing is to make 7:15 pace feel comfortable, which it did for most of the workout. I found the mental challenge brought on by the constant change in pace much tougher than the physical one.
- 8 Mar
- 2.15 miles, 18:14, 8:28 pace, HR 143
- 9 Mar
- 8 miles, 1:02:30, 7:48 pace, HR 143
- 10 Mar
- 10 miles, 1:15:07, 7:30 pace, HR 141
- 11 Mar
- 15 miles, 1:45:56, 7:03 pace, HR 151
alternating mile and half-miles
Weekly Mileage: 50+