Another week! Plenty of mileage both running and cycling. But somehow it all feels quite hard at the moment. I think it’s the cold. It’s still fun, don’t get me wrong – I am enjoying Autumn rather more than I usually do, but it feels like an effort and going fast is just not possible!
Sunday: Stowmarket Striders Scenic 7. It is so much harder to run now the air is cold. My legs aren’t so bad – it’s the breathing! And I need to breathe! I ran this with Linda and Liz until near the end when we reached a hill and Liz had the energy to attack it and Linda and I didn’t! It was a nice little route, through some pretty countryside and the weather was good for November. In fact, I’ve generally been lucky with the weather for my races but maybe I shouldn’t say that? Anyway, any time was a PB since I had never run a 7 mile race before and I completed it in 1:04:51 which is perfectly respectable. There was no medal at the end (boo!) but we did get a very luminous yellow buff which I guess will come in handy for cycling although it will clash rather with my red club kit!
(7.1 miles at ave pace of 9:09 mi/mile, ave HR 156bpm)
Monday: Rest day
Tuesday: I couldn’t make it to efforts (which is a pity as they apparently did hills which is what I need to practise)so I went out and did a long run instead. I ran the same route that Linda, Mark and I did two months ago when we were working up to the half marathon distance – it was one that felt really hard. But this time it felt easier – perhaps because it was cooler but more likely because I started the loop at a different point (from home) so the hilly bit was much nearer the beginning than when we ran it previously. I used the heart rate monitor to stop myself speeding up, keeping my HR under 150bpm even up hill). Anyway, this run felt good – other than the bit where I had to dive into some trees at the edge of Mousehold Heath for a natural break!
(12 miles at ave pace of 10:29 mi/mile, ave HR 143 bpm).
Wednesday: Rest day
Thursday: Cycle Paths of Norwich (which my son misheard as “Psychopaths of Norwich” which would have been a much scarier – and undoubtedly faster – tour). But instead this was a nice gentle exploratory ride, trekking down paths I had not been down before and it was good fun. The cycle paths were mostly good quality but of course you have to cycle slowly because of pedestrians and dog walkers. It’s just a shame that the paths don’t link up a bit better as it’s hard to actually go anywhere much on them – they are just little links between stretches of road riding, most of them not that useful for going places but fun and relaxing to potter along.
(26.4 miles, ave speed 14mph, ave HR 129 bpm)
Friday: rest day
Saturday: Foggy ride with Jess. I think this was the foggiest conditions I have ever cycled in and it was a bit scary in places. We had lights but I did feel a bit exposed on the occasions I rode alongside nearer the middle of the road. It was good to get out and clear my Belgian Beer Hangover but my back was very troublesome and I had to stop a couple of times and stretch it out and by the time I got home and for the whole of the next day it was really very sore. It’s odd as I had no problems on that bike last winter, and other than my shoes, nothing has changed. Anyway, Alan compared the set-up to my summer bike and the saddle was set further back on the winter bike so he has now adjusted that and I shall have to test it out and hope it is better. We stopped for coffee and a cake at the Hen House near Wymondham which was a place I’d never been to before but would definitely go back to again!
( 39.6 miles, ave speed 15.6mph, ave HR 144 bpm)
Running: 19.1 miles
Cycling: 103.3 miles
VCN Club Ride to Mundesley. It made a very pleasant change to ride to the coast as we’ve not done a lot of that this year as the wind has tended to be south or westerly (VCN always ride out INTO the wind so that we have a nice swift ride back after the cafe stop).
We were a good sized group of similar abilities and inclinations, so a nice steady ride of 50 miles at an average of 16.6mph was had ie spot-on for club ride pace.
NRR efforts. Didn’t go on the field this week. Did a 15 minute out and back with Linda, Sophie and Liz. It wasn’t as tough as efforts on the field although we were good girls and ran the return leg more quickly than the outward leg.
Rest – really going for the rest this week!!
Eek! 14 miles with Linda and Mark. Yep 14 miles!!! I was feeling quite nervous about this after the run last week which had felt so hard. But I had some useful hints about eating more (before and straight after the run) and I had made a big effort to rest all week, and this time I felt so much better. It was still tough of course but until 11 miles my legs felt OK. From 11 miles my legs were achy and the last mile or so were definitely longer than the miles earlier on. But we did it. We only really walked one section – a long uphill drag at about the 10 mile point. So that’s it. The long runs are over now until the big day itself. Next week I need only do a 7 or 8 mile run which is going to seem pretty short compared to these 10, 12 and 14 mile efforts. Yippee!
This should probably have been a rest day but I went out and jogged round the Norwich Parkrun with Karen and Helen. Darryl Davies, a local CoNAC and tri-anglia runner collapsed and died last Saturday whilst taking part in the Round Norfolk Relay. Darryl was a regular Parkrunner and local club runners had been encouraged to attend the Parkruns and to wear their club colours as a tribute to him. And we did – there were more than 600 people running at Eaton Park this week! I didn’t know Darryl but it was moving to be there amongst so many people who did. I feel so proud to be part of this running community of ours. There is something so haunting about this photo someone posted on Facebook of Darryl running last weekend
– it is, on one level, upsetting to know that not long after it was taken he would never run again, but also uplifting because he looks so relaxed and happy and was clearly doing something he enjoyed so very much. So I must remember to always enjoy my runs however long or hard they may be. Because that is what it is about. Always.
Cycling 73.6 miles
Running 20.2 miles
Hopefully I will get out on the bike with Jess!
Oh and there are two fun running events too – but I will write about those next week when I have done them!
5k East Anglian Air Ambulance Runway Run in the morning. This felt hard. I’m not sure why that was – the long run with Linda on Thursday, a rough course over grass with a few inclines and some wind – or whether I was unfairly comparing my time/effort with some of my better Parkruns which are on much easier terrain. Anyway, my chip time was 26:24 which was a minute inside the bronze standard time that I was aiming for – so job done. And it was a nice event too with a fabulous goodie bag.
40 miles on the bike with the Dandy Horse guys in the evening. This was a fun ride and it was good to be able to get out after missing the VCN Club Ride in the morning. My legs were tired and they complained a bit on the hills but I’m glad I went and I’d probably go again on another occasion if I was unable to get out for the morning ride. It’s good that there are more and more possibilities for people to get out and ride with a group.
NRR efforts on the field. The efforts sessions are always worth going to and provide an effective and fun workout whilst taking up very little of the evening. This week we had the annual club photo so we were a bit later getting out on the field. The session was run by Richard High and was a pyramid session. I am never exactly sure how hard to push myself for the effort bits but I suppose 5k PB pace is probably ideal ie 8 minute/miles. But really I have to go by feel as I can’t be peeping at my watch whilst running around the field and very soon it will be too dark to see my watch anyway.
Long run with Linda and Mark in the evening – 12 miles this week. I hadn’t been feeling very up for it all day, the weather was warm and I felt a bit slumpy. Linda said the same. Once I got started I felt better but this was a hard run. Mark was good at keeping us to pace (10’30 min/mile) but by 9 miles we were tiring and walked up a few hills in the last mile or so. But we did do it. I felt a bit weird though later in the evening – got up to unload the dishwasher and felt very faint so had to slump back on the sofa. I don’t think I am great at these distance efforts even when I run them at a nice easy pace. Next week we are doing 14 miles but are doing the Marriotts Way so at least that will cut out the hills. After that I think we taper. I hope so anyway.
Rest day. And I needed it!
It is hard to balance the time spent on cycling and running without worrying that fitness in one is compromising that in another. At the moment I am focusing on running because of the half-marathon (now less than a month away!) and last week I turned down the opportunity for a nice brisk evening ride with Jess because I didn’t want my legs to be too tired to do the long run. I did cycle on the Brompton Monday-Friday (59 miles in total) but that was it for cycling other than the Dandy Horse ride on Sunday.
Running 17.8 miles
Cycling 100 miles
Aims for next week
To make sure I get plenty of rest before the long run at the end of the week
Concentrate on running rather than cycling