Realisation dawned that I was a week ahead of plan and with the Wokingham half marathon looming I decided to freestyle this week and see how it goes. The week would culminate in a Hampshire League XC and long run, a very heavy week running every day.
Mon: The usual 8M schlep this time as a lap of Basingstoke on a very windy evening. I quite like running into the wind as it makes me smile to think of additional training benefit I’m getting. The route is one I have run around 30 times before, measuring 8.5 miles today my Garmin measured it at 7.6 miles meaning a slow pace of 7:03, neither of which were true.
Tue: Back with the Overton Harriers crew and a big upper of 1,2,3,4,5&6min off 2min recoveries at 5k pace. I felt strong early on running the 1,2&3 min reps at 5:25 pace the 4min was slower at 5:32 then back on it for 5 at 5:25 before a slight drop off for 6 at 5:30. Very pleased with the session and the feeling of strength. Nice to have no doubles to contend with.
Wed: A steady 10M around Wokingham at 6:33 pace feeling strong the whole way after the worst kind of news, getting quicker throughout finishing at 6:14 pace. Pleased with how I ran.
Thu: I decided to have another go at the session I quit on last week, 4 x 2000m. This time running on the track in Bracknell. I felt very heavy legged during the warm-up, but realised it was the pace, 6:30 is not warm-up pace! The reps went well getting increasingly tough but the thought of Tony’s passing steeled me each time. The reps went by in 6:45/6:57/6:57/7:04 with 400m recoveries at 2min. After a slower warm-down I was shattered but happy.
Fri: At last an easy 5M, my legs were not in good condition so I decided on an easy jog through the first few miles of the Wokingham half course. A little more undulating than I expected or could it be tired legs? Still covered 10k in 40mins which felt nice and relaxing.
Sat: The final Hampshire League XC in Dibden, New Forest, a venue I had not run before but I would gladly go back to. My legs were a little tired but after a 2 mile warm-up to take a look at the course I was ready to go. I ran strongly throughout on a true XC course. The first part is fast open grassland with patches of wet mud into a forest section on fire trials that opens up into scrub-land synonymous with the new forest. The second half of the course had puddles of random depths from 1cm to 50cm and you couldn’t tell which was which by looking at them, these saw many fallers. I managed to avoid these pitfalls by jumping between them. This led into a sharp climb back through the forest to the start/finish for a second lap. The second lap I was again strong managing to take some notable scalps for my highest ever placing in a Hants XC of 26th (4th V40).
Sun: Time for an easy 20M in 7min/mile. There was pain from the first mile in my thigh, I nearly stopped at 5 miles but decided to carry on slowly as the pain was OK at 7:15 pace managed to get round in 2:20. The leg was very painful and a bruise appeared quickly, which after investigation was a grade 1 tear of the sartorious muscle.