Monday – 5 mile runcommute
Usually this would be a recovery run, but given that I hadn’t ran since… Thursday (what, really? urgh), this was more a run out of habit. As what could be expected from the period of inactivity, I was full of energy and had to regularly reign myself in. Unexpectedly, it turned into a progression run, with each mile approximately 15 seconds than the one before!
Tuesday – Intervals: 4*(1k @ 5k pace + 400m rec)
As I’ve alluded to in times past, with both my wife and I as keen runners we have the headache of arranging childcare when we both have runs at the same time we just have to do. With our youngest at my mom’s today, we were nonetheless still stuck with one other to deal with. An idea hit me; I’d be at the track, a small enclosed area with little danger. When the idea of joining me at the track was put to my daughter, she agreed, wanting to practice running faster!
Giving her use of my wife’s watch, I set her up on an interval session of her own, 100m sprints with 100m recovery, as many times as she could. Simple, right? Getting her to focus though… it’s like she has the attention of a 6-year-old!
I’d planned on 8 reps myself, but she was proving to be too much of a distraction. Cutting my session short, I ran a few reps with her so at least one of us got a decent workout…
Wednesday – 9 mile runcommute
With my daughter’s sports day the following day and being told only yesterday that she had to wear a red t-shirt, I spent a good deal of my lunch break and time after work looking around shops for an elusive girls’ red t-shirt. I couldn’t believe how difficult it was! Don’t girls wear red or something?
In comparison, my run went far smoother, shorter and easier! My only frustration came when a cyclist called out “on your right.” He did NOT just ‘on your right’ me! That’s MY phrase!
As my time to stride coincided with that taunt, I attempted to sprint after him but he was long gone. Oh well, at least I managed to get a red t-shirt. Small victories…
Friday – 5 mile jog
I really should have gone out for a semi-workout run yesterday, but I’m out of habit with Thursday runs. Furthermore, I hadn’t planned on a run today, thinking instead I’d just put my feet up after a long day of work.
A strange sensation came over me though; the urge to just run. The run was pretty relaxed, and other than firemen dealing with a fiery bus engine, was quiet.
Saturday – Perry Hall parkrun
I wasn’t too fussed about having a run today, and was on the verge of volunteering when all my usual parkruns announced full rosters. That said, I figured a good fast-paced run would do me good, helping to shake me out of the monotony of training runs.
Perry Hall my default choice, I figured I’d be in with a good chance of placing first unless Mark Ince showed up (he wasn’t there, but placed first at Brueton instead!). As I pulled into the carpark, I spotted Paul Coughlan who’s been running similar times as me lately, and hadn’t seen since he blitzed past me at London Marathon, giving me second wind.
Eyeing up the crowd, I spotted a guy in red who looked familiar, but I couldn’t place where I knew him from (it later turned out to be from Sandwell Valley parkrun). Nonetheless, my spider-sense warned me he’d be one to watch out for.
Though I was in first for all of a few seconds, as expected guy-in-red took the lead. At the same time, Rich Bayliss casually passed us, his gait remarkable (his heel didn’t touch the ground at all, like he was running on tip-toe!). While I admired his footwork, a shadow crept onto the ground with the silhouette of a familiar quiff; Paul!
We remained neck-and-neck for the rest of the race (yeah, parkrun is a race), neither one of us prepared to relinquish third place. He attempted a surge at about 1.25 miles, but I wasn’t having any of it! Right down to the last third of a mile, we remained level until my kick came into play without me realising, going sub-5 pace! I had a good lead at the end, but he must have kicked it up a few notches himself, almost catching me and finishing a mere one second later!
If Paul hadn’t have been around, I probably would have just ran at 6:15 min/mile instead of 5:56, so it was great to have the motivation to get me around faster. If only every running session could be like that!
Sunday – Half marathon
Needing to get miles in but not fancying the summer sun radiating on me in the afternoon, I fought my nature and went out in the morning. The run went pretty well, and the strides I threw in every mile felt comfortable. I was worried it would end up short by a couple of miles, but thankfully I only needed to make up a quarter mile at the end.
Thought it’s a route I’m well-accustomed to (although I’ve not ran it for a few months), it was disconcertingly quiet despite being the fairly reasonable hour (by normal people standards) of 8am. In fact, the main sign of activity was at a pub. Was there a sporting event on in the afternoon or something? :p