Tuesday 27th August 2013

Early Workout Soundtrack: Tool – ‘Aenima’

8km (Pisa Marathon, Session 8. Easy 7 + 1km Tempo)

Late Workout Soundtrack: Wu Tang Clan – ‘The RZA Hits’ (on the way to the pool)

100m (freestyle) warm-up

40x25m (freestyle) 20:40

100m (breaststroke) warm-down

Today has been a rather beautiful one. I woke up after another 8+ hour sleep, the sun shone, the birds sang and not a soul has bothered me all day!

I went for a fantastic dog walk this morning and did a bit of foraging for fresh blackberries – the yield this year is so plentiful that I’ll still be picking them come the first frosts! It’s always a pleasure going out foraging with Loki, he gets very much involved and spends most of the time picking blackberries from the lower reaches and munching away contentedly until I’m ready to move on – he came home this morning with a bit of purple muzzle which drew some funny looks!

After putting together a smoothie, drinking some coffee and eating some toast I laced up and headed out for a nice easy run. I decided on a mixed trail and road route today as I enjoyed being out in nature with dog, I saw no reason not to return in the early afternoon. I clocked a lovely easy 7km following dirt and gravel paths, alongside a river for a short while and a couple of laps around a hay field before deciding to put the pedal down for an extra kilometre at tempo pace on said field. A smashing run that left me smiling, sweating and very hot at the end. I don’t know about everybody else out there but I don’t take any fluids with me on a run unless I’m ranging out past 10km – I figure this gets me used to the idea that I might not have the opportunity to grab a drink at every station during a race and serves to teach my body to run with what it has, unconventional I know but like I’ve said in previous posts: I tend to live life my way!

Anyway, after my final tempo K I decided to take off my running shoes and socks and go for a very easy and gentle kilometre around the field. I absolutely love running through grass, dust, mud and everything in between with nothing on my feet – in past training blocks I’ve even run the occasional K or two at tempo with nothing on my feet, usually after a decent bit of rain has fallen and the fields are nice and soft. That said, I’ve also been known to run an easy K or two on tarmac/concrete in a bid to strenghten the skin on my feet and with a view to reducing the chance of blistering over distance. Anyway, I won’t go on as I’ve written about this before on #keeprunningblog.

After getting home from my run I prepared a super food salad with a bit of turkey breast thrown in for good measure and settled down to watch the latest episode of Breaking Bad. What a shocker it turned out to be as well – that Walter White is a pretty heavy character when all is said and done! Whilst eating and watching the show I also drank down a pint of my homemade smoothie using the day’s freshly picked blackberries – in the mix was also some almond milk, a bit of honey, some fresh ginger, an avocado and a banana. Top drawer, healthy living stuff I assure you!

After finishing up my lunch I resisted the urge to put on a different show and called my housemate as I’d just heard him leave the house. Previous experience has shown me that he was most likely going to be heading to the pool considering he was going out for his daily run as I was getting back from mine. Well, what do you know, I was right! I told him to hold up and wait outside the leisure centre and I’d be with him in 20 minutes. I rarely train with anybody else – be that running, swimming or cycling so it was a refreshing change to swim my planned kilometre with a friend and a very proficient swimmer. I’m pleased to report that with a hard effort I improved my PB over the distance by 3 minutes and 20 seconds (don’t hold me to that, my math is not that great! My previous 1KM PB is noted here if you want to cross check)! After this my friend and I did a nice and slow warm-down, he chose to do his using back crawl (crazy cat) and I chose breaststroke, and then we headed to the steam room.

I think we may have drawn some strange looks in the steam room as we both discussed swimming technique, marathoning and various other bits and bobs…not so bad you might say if it hadn’t been for the fact my friend was holding some pretty out there yoga poses whilst I paced relentlessly and did some dynamic stretching! What can I say apart from we both tend to take our sport seriously – it’s not just a hobby, it’s life!

Now I’m sitting here a few hours after all of the above has taken place and I’m feeling really quite zen. I’ve had a great day with two very different and very fulfilling workouts under the belt! To add to my happy and zen feeling I’ve just ordered my new pair of running shoes which I intend to do my road workouts in. I’ll also be running my first marathon in them so I’m really excited for them to arrive!! They should be in my possession and on my feet no later than Saturday. If they arrive before then it’s all good as Friday is set for an easy 4 miler and Saturday is also an easy 4 miler 🙂

So, that’s all for today folks, I’m off to take my happy self to visit my Dad and eat some dinner. Hope you’ve all had a fulfilling and happy day, and if not, I hope this post inspires you to get out there tomorrow and make the most of it!

Peace and blessings.

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