Monday 10th to Sunday 16th August 2015

Training for: 2015 Rest Period

Runs: 3, Total Distance: 31km, Total Time: 2:27:44

I promised myself a week off from running and cardio after last Friday’s HR spike on an easy trail section so by the time this Friday rolled around I was pretty excited to get out and get a run in. My week up to Friday had been pretty placid, it was my Dad’s 60th birthday on Tuesday and it was good to see him relaxed and in celebratory mood that evening after dinner.

Friday at work  was extremely hectic, there must have been something in the air because we had a number of clients showing a lot of anti-social behaviour from 1700hrs the night before – I gave 4  written warnings on Friday which is more than I’ve given in the 4 months I’ve been in post! Needless to say I was pretty tired after my shift but the air was cool and light rain was falling on my way home which served to wake me up and get me into the mood for a decent trail run!

I got home, drank some water and pulled on my running gear before setting off onto the trails. As soon as I dropped into a rhythm I could feel I was in for a nice relaxed, peaceful run. My mind was devoid of much thought aside from putting one foot in front of the other and breathing steadily. I was relaxed enough to be able to shoot some video on my phone without breaking stride and I really enjoyed the sounds of the trail underfoot and the patter on rain on the leaves of the trees – I even managed to pass by a herd of unfenced cattle without feeling scared or unsettled! I got home without checking my watch once and found my HR averaged just 1bpm over my top MAF zone so I was pretty pleased.

My next run came on Saturday afternoon. I ran the exact same route as Friday and didn’t look at my watch again until I approached my front door – my goal for the run was to complete the route faster than the day before and I succeeded in doing so by around 2:30 which is pretty good as my average HR for this run just 2bpm over my top MAF zone. I will admit that this run did feel much harder than Friday’s, it felt much more laboured and my mind was very noisy – I kept asking myself over and over if we were nearly done yet, could I walk yet or could we just stop this damn stupid exercise! I managed to ignore it for the most part and forced myself to up the pace when my mind was at its noisiest.

Even though Saturday’s run wasn’t amazing I felt invigorated when I returned home and decided to start researching my non-running adventure for next year. I figured as I tried out an ocean adventure this year I’d head for the mountains in 2016. So, it’s with great excitement that I can tell you I am planning a 6 day alpine excursion – hoping to summit 2 or 3 3000m+ peaks, alpine style, culminating with a summit of Mont Blanc the weekend before UTMB! The plan after this is to run either the CCC (if I get a spot through the lottery) or another mountain ultra having used a week of alpine mountaineering as acclimatisation and cross training. If I don’t get a spot on CCC then the Mont Blanc/mountain adventure will be moved to the week prior to whichever race I choose – I’m looking at IronTrail or Mountain Man in Switzerland, Ultra-Trail Monte Rosa (Lizzie Hawker’s race) or maybe the Sardona Ultra – I’ll know which one I’m going for in January when the UTMB lottery results are announced!

Finally, to round out this week’s post, I decided to go for a road run this morning. All I can say is ‘ouch’. I really wasn’t expecting to struggle with a road run at all, I woke up thinking it’d be great to round out the week with a bit of a speedier effort but within the first klick of the run my legs felt heavy and tight. I thought they’d loosen up after maybe 3km but they just felt like they were getting ever heavier and ever tighter, then, halfway up one of my favourite road hills my lower back began to tighten and spasm sending pain shooting up my back and down my legs alternately and intermittently until the run was done! It was real battle of a 10.5km run! My mind was less noisy than Saturday as I just concentrated on the road ahead – I checked my watch a few times and was pleased to see that even with the pain and difficulty I was still running an average of 4:40pkm up until the 8.5km mark when I started to slow quite significantly. I finished the run with a 4:46pkm average, and to round out with a positive, I noted that my average HR was only 1bpm above my top MAF zone! Not bad going considering I felt awful for most of the run.

Next week I’m aiming for 3 runs again and I’m going to keep a closer eye on the heart rate and attempt to keep in well within MAF range as I’d like to make the most of my rest period by focusing on aerobic running. I’m planning a return to race-focused and [fairly] structured training sometime in mid-September.

That’s it for this week dear reader! I hope the roads and the trails have treated you all well and that the week ahead is a good one.

Peace & Blessings x

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