The world was still standing on Friday morning and I did 5 easy miles for recovery after Thursday's workout. The legs were a little bit heavy but reasonably fine and I did a few fast strides over the last mile or two, which probably explains much of the yet-again-elevated heart rate. Things started to unravel over Friday afternoon and when I got up on Saturday morning, no longer being able to cope with the bed any longer, I got dressed and ready to go. Except then I just could not get myself to open the door and go running. It wasn't the physical exhaustion from lack of sleep, it was the fact that I was emotionally drained and just could not face the freezing cold rain outside. I knew the weather was going to improve later and I would have time for a run around lunchtime, otherwise I guess I would have managed to go out regardless.
When I did go out on my second attempt several hours later the weather had turned really nice, cold but crispy clear. I decided to do 6 easy miles. By the 3 mile point I did not want to turn around and ran for another mile before finally executing that u-turn. At some point I caught a glimpse of the watch and saw a HR in the 150s when I would have expected it to be in the 130s at the time. I guessed the stress levels were playing havoc because the effort was completely easy, or so I thought. It wasn't until I came back home that I realised that what had felt like a slow recovery jog was in fact 7:21 pace. I had messed up my Sunday run last week by running too hard on Saturday, so I was definitely worried about tomorrow's long run. At least that long run was a plain old long run with no faster segment, which made it feel much more do-able, even with the pace too high on Saturday.
Another sleepless night later I got up early again but actually had a bowl of cereal and a banana before going out. I have not eaten before a training run in years but last week's horror show was too much on my mind and I preferred taking some extra calories onboard instead of running for miles on empty again, fat adaptation be damned. The weather was beautiful again, which undoubtedly helped my clouded mind, and I opted for the very hilly loop around Caragh lake, followed by a loop to Ard-na-Sidhe to add up to 22 miles. It all went very well. I started feeling tired after 17 miles and fought side stitches for a mile at 18 but even then preferred to be out running rather than sitting at home with my demons. The fatigue and the stitch faded away again and I was still running well at the end. A marathon wouldn't have taken much out of me today either. At least my endurance is still good.
- 26 Feb
- 5 miles, 40:50, 8:10 pace, HR 144, with strides
- 27 Feb
- 8 miles, 58:49, 7:21 pace, HR 150
- 28 Feb
- 22 miles, 2:50:57, 7:46 pace, HR 149