Monday 29th February to Sunday 6th March 2016

Training for: Mont Blanc Marathon / Lakeland 50 / TDS

Runs: 3 (Walks: 1), Total Distance: 49km, Total Time: 4:13

Week 6 - Mont Blanc Marathon / Lakeland 50 / TDS

Week 6 – Mont Blanc Marathon / Lakeland 50 / TDS

A more relaxed, low mileage week than last and not really intentionally so, it’s just how the cookie crumbled.

I started off Monday morning by donning my weighted vest and leg weights for my commute – the vest wasn’t uncomfortable at all but I did get a little warm on the way to work and back. By the time I got home I just didn’t have the energy to  attend Kettlebell class so instead I opted for a Yin yoga practice at home to loosen up my aching muscles and to free my mind.

Tuesday came and I was lacking in motivation and still feeling the long run from Saturday. As ever though, this didn’t deter me and I laced up and hit the road. I ended up running a very consistent and slow paced 14km which is great considering I had no goals in mind for the run at all: distance, pace, heart rate, route, CR attempts, nothing. I decided to let my mind and body work together and let them conspire to find the right pace, heart rate and distance.

Throughout the run my mind was in a better world, I can’t really describe where I went to with my thoughts but I felt disconnected from reality for most of the run, only really snapping back to it when approaching road crossings and consequently I felt very relaxed!

My weighted commute ensemble.

My weighted commute ensemble.

On Wednesday I did another weighted commute. It looks like the pattern for these will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

“If you want to be happy, be.” – Leo Tolstoy

During the evening I followed Tolstoy’s quote and stayed right in the moment during a one hour yoga practice in pure silence. Combined with the run earlier in the evening it really set me up for a beautifully relaxed and peaceful night of sleeping.

I stayed late at work on Thursday, which was planned as I had to induct a volunteer. Before they arrived I donned my running gear and hit the streets of London. The run turned out to faster than I’d anticipated – I’d describe it as sort of a fartlek/wave tempo – mainly because, typical of most of my road runs of late, I started off too fast with half a mind to chase my 5k PR…and then blew up, hence the fartlek/surges as opposed to outright tempo/LT! I have a love/hate relationship with running in London but this time around I found it to be really quite enjoyable managing to get through all but one set of traffic lights without having to stop. To accomplish this I mostly ran in the gutter to avoid pedestrians and to get the jump on aforementioned lights and the occasional left or right turn onto side roads.

Friday was a planned rest day because my best friend arrived from Australia with his 4 month old son who I’ve yet to meet and his wife! They are staying until the end of March which is great because I haven’t seen them for 14 months. Meeting the little fella was amazing, he was so calm and happy – surprising considering he’d only arrived in country 12 hours before after crossing the world!

My first meeting with young Alfred Airey!

My first meeting with young Alfred Airey!

On Saturday I donned my weight vest and ankle weights to take the 2 mile walk to get my car from my other best friend’s where I had left it the night before (after having a few reunion beers!). After driving home, dropping off the weights and hydrating I opted for a different kind of long run in more way than one. Instead of distance I was focused more on time and, for the first time, I was going long on the treadmill! It was one hell of a grind! I covered 18.5km at 3.5% incline in 1:36:00 and stayed consistent with the pace from start to almost the finish.

I felt really, realy tired and yawned a lot during first 30 minutes for some reason and then I snapped out of it and became reward focused over the next 30 minutes – I ate a little bit of Tribe bar every 10 minutes which kept my mind occupied and my legs moving because without the goals in place I was finding the run very tough mentally! There were so many time during the first hour that I just wanted to stop, stretch out in the pool and then head to the sauna for some Bikram but eventually my mind switched off and I became extremely focused and relaxed over last section. I don’t know why but over the final 3 minutes I decided to push the pace going all of a sudden from an average of 5:13pkm to 4:26pkm – a real dive into the pain cave for sure! After recovering from the run a little by taking on a banana and some cold water I went to the sauna and completed 15 minutes of downward and upward dog, child’s pose and single leg extensions on the top deck 40 celcius and then 20 minutes of pranyama, tree pose and mountain pose on the bottom deck at 33-35 celcius. After that I felt whole again!

Finally, Sunday came and I decided to take my brother and my Dad to visit my Ma and my Nan in Birmingham. We left early and came home late! After arriving at my Ma’s and exchanging a few greetings I took myself away for an hour and a quarter of flowing Hatha yoga which I was very grateful for. The 2 hour motorway drive with my Dad and brother as passengers was fairly stressful so I really just needed to unwind and focus my mind on positive energy in a quiet space. From my Ma’s we went to spend time with my Nan and stayed for dinner, following that it was back to the road for the 2 hour return journey!

After getting home I decided to follow a very slow, relaxed and short yoga session to relieve the tension of a night time motorway drive, it felt like such an appropriate way to end a hectic week and I appreciated the fact I had the time, space and peace to think through the positives of a day spent with a lot of different family members not least my Ma, my Nan and my brother and also to settle my intentions for the week ahead.

With that dear reader, I will wish you happiness and joy. May the roads, trails and treadmills of the world treat you well.

Peace & Blessings

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