I have run more than 55 miles this week, including 3 tough interval sessions – 4*3 minutes Kenyan hills, 6*1km intervals (with 30 seconds recovery) and 4*1 mile intervals. It is hardly surprising that my legs have felt lethargic. Furthermore, yesterday was a long run and today I ran a 5 mile warmup before my final race of the year.
Unsurprisingly, I didn’t feel sharp during the 6.5km cross country, but none of these factors are excuses. In fact, they are different cogs in the wheel that is my training regime. As such, the ‘race’ was to be more of a training session. My previous best was a 23:30 and MS had calculated a club handicap time of 23:00, but these were ‘milestones’ rather than targets.
I started slowly and felt like I was treading water as runners whom I would normally use as gauges seemed to be performing significantly better than myself. I continued with this feeling throughout, downhill as well as uphill, even glancing over my shoulder on the home straight, until I eventually crossed the line… in a time of 22 minutes 56 seconds.
According to my race pace calculator, this now becomes the best race I have ever run – better than any performance on the road. Admittedly this calculator is less effective at the extremities (6.5k Is a relatively short distance), but this is the first time a race could be extrapolated to a sub-60 minute 10 mile. Roll on Wymondham 10k and 2012.
The line separating fitness from injury is a fine one. It can sometimes be a few weeks before you can tell if a good week of training was judged correctly, or the foundations of a demise.
Following my good run in the Holt 10k, my temperature dropped quickly, together with my blood-sugar levels and I felt rather ill in the afternoon. This has happened in the past when I have run well, although is usually confined to longer distance races, so I wasn’t concerned.
The following day, my legs felt great and, unusually for my recent training plan, I went for an easy 5 mile run around town. But that night, I had a bad night’s sleep and woke up in the morning feeling slightly ill. I rested that day, hoping it would pass. The next two days, I felt no worse, so went for a run on Friday. Again, I felt no worse so continued on Saturday, Sunday and Monday – taking it easy each time. It was half term, so I figured the enforced break from the usual routine would also help.
However, after Monday’s run, I felt worse. By Tuesday, I was really ill and didn’t run comfortably again for over a week. I missed the Fenland 10m, took the following week easy and have now had one good week’s training. My legs still feel like they are heavy, but that didn’t stop me racing this morning.
Currently, I feel ok but, by this time next week, I may discover that I have overdone it. Either way, I am now investigating summer races – Trail Marathon Wales, anyone?
Tonight’s training run sees my annual mileage surpass 2000 miles for the first time ever.
Meanwhile, this last weekend had me running 17:26 over 5k in the first Ryston Cross Country race of the season, see images (although I’m not sure you’d wish to encounter that on a dark alley at night).
Holt 10k at the weekend, and potentially Fenland 10m at the end of the month.