Monday 23rd to Sunday 29th November 2015

Training for: CTS Dorset Ultra (53k)

Runs: 4, Total Distance: 53.2km, Total Time: 4:23

Week 13 of 13 - CTS Dorset Ultra.

Week 13 of 13 – CTS Dorset Ultra.

Week 13 of 13 done and dusted! I am proud of myself for finally creating, sticking to and completing a training plan of my own making. I followed the 80/20 aerobic training principal and I’ve found some big gains in my aerobic pace capacity. I around a week and a half on the sidelines due to an injury but once that was out of the way I resumed where I left off with little ill effect and I already have a 12 week training plan lined up for my first race of 2016!

The week for me, as ever, started on a Tuesday and I think I little stupidly and rashly I decided to bring my speed/hills workout a day forwards. I had a very decent road run in the cold and the dark – the plan was to run aerobic on the flatter sections and then run in the tempo HR range on the uphills. The plan worked out well and I did 3 uphill tempo repeats on a 700m road hill with 3 downhills at aerobic HR…unfortunately pushing hard on a pretty steep downhill on an unforgiving surface to keep up the heart rate juddered my back around a little and I felt my L3 nerve begin to play it’s old tricks again towards the end of the run and throughout the evening after the run. I did my physio prescribed exercises for such an occurrence and used my foam roller which helped quite a bit.

I did physio exercises whenever I had the chance at work throughout Wednesday and I had originally planned to listen to my body and take the evening off training when I head that my resoled Salomon Sense Ultra SG had arrived back at home! As soon as I heard that at lunch time I decided I’d head out for an aerobic off-road effort: 10km of laps on the mud, gravel and grass of the field at the top of my street. That is exactly what I did when I got home! I got straight into my running kit and was back out of the door within 10 minutes – I really missed my Sense Ultra having been away from them for 3 weeks. I’m so glad the aggressive LSR Fell Sole is fitted too them now and I’m hoping to get another 380km out of them before I will likely consign them to the retired list!

Mud, grass, grit. Uphill and downhill. All day!

Mud, grass, grit. Uphill and downhill. All day!

After the run I decided that because Week 13 is pre-taper week I would be justified in taking Thursday and Friday off. So I did just that and spent any chance at work and at home foam rolling my back, quads and hamstrings as well as using my spiky massage ball on my calf muscles!

Saturday found me in the West Midlands visiting my family. I went out for a run that I really did not feel like doing and I noticed my mental game was going to make the run tough from the get go! It took about 6km to get my HR up and I really was not enjoying the run mentally or physically until something clicked at 8 or 9km. Prior to that I was finding it difficult mentally because I was running on the road through the streets and roads of my childhood and I found it really sad to see the place looking so derelict after years of disinvestment and social decay and on the physical front up until the 8 or 9km mark I was feeling heavy in the legs, getting occassional twinge from my L3 spinal nerve and generally aching. After that point though I think I loosened up some muscles and released some tension and finally got into the flow…as I always say after workouts like these: ‘They can’t all be good!’.

To finish my week and my training block for CTS Dorset Ultra I went back out onto the roads again. This time running on streets near my Ma’s house and also around places I grew up around. My Ma’s area is less decayed and derelict and although the weather was atrocious with very high wind speed and freezing cold rain squalls I got into the flow within about three steps and really, really enjoyed the run! There were many flat sections so my HR stayed in the high aerobic zone pretty easily and, to counterbalance, there were also some steep uphills which I had to really slow down for lest my HR spike too much! The downhill sections were pretty good and I felt no pain or discomfort from any part of my body and my HR stayed where I wanted it without too much extra energy output – it was a fantastic run and the last one above 5-8km  before CTS Dorset Ultra next Saturday and it was a perfect remedy to Sunday’s mentally and physically challenging horror show!

Next week I will probably only run once or twice and that will be at the field at the top of my street – the aim will be just to keep my legs turning over and to put a couple more miles on my newly resoled Salomon before racing in them on Saturday. I am very excited about this race because it’s going to be challenging with the coastal setting, 1700+m of elevation and the potential for rain and high wind – I’ll write more about this on Thursday in my ‘Pre-race Ramble’!

Thank you all again for joining me on my journey on this blog since August 2012! I still can’t believe I’ve writing so regularly for so long. Tomorrow (Tuesday) the shortlists (Global & Regional) for the RunUltra Blogger Award 2016 will be announced – I made the longlist…will I make a shortlist?! I will be sure to let you know via Facebook and Twitter!

Until Thursday dear reader I hope that the roads, trails and treadmills treat you all well.

Peace & Blessings

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