Week 36, 2012

Finally a solid week.

After 3 consecutive days of running (after injury) I was planning to take Monday off, but there was a group from SportsWorld going for a run and I just couldn't resist. It was a very nice training, I did a total of almost 17K and the main part of the training at a very decent pace of around 5:00min/km. Felt great to be able to run again!

Tuesday off and then on Wednesday I decided to try to finally run at a faster pace. The idea was to go at a target marathon pace (4:30min/km) for 10K. For the first kilometer my watch was most of the time telling me that I'm outside of the zone, so I though I was doing something like 4:40 and it was a great surprise when Endomondo informed me I did the first kilometer in 4:16. I had a dilemma whether to trust my Polar watch or my GPS, but calibrating the Polar is a tricky business plus I was completely knackered after this first kilometer so I decided to trust Endo and settled into a slower pace, around the planned 4:30min/km. It started getting tough after approximately 4K when I got, first, head-on wind and then I hit my beloved bridge. But after those two obstacles I manged to catch a second wind and finish the 10K averaging 4:32min/km. Not too bad, although I have to say it came at a price, as I was completely wasted and by the end my heart rate hit the extra-high value (for me) of 181bpm.

Thursday was a busy day. First little swimming (dreadful), then visiting my Physio (he insisted on using dry needles on me; oh, how I hate that), then gym and finally an easy run of 16K. Even though it was just meant as a recovery run, with all this activity I was totally tired by the end of the day.

On Friday I decided to go for a long run. The original plan was to try to keep it brisk too, something close to 5:00min/km, but it was hot and I was too tired from previous trainings to make it a sensible plan. Instead I decided to play it by the ear (or should I say, by the legs?), but to make it more interesting I decided to omit the usual break in the middle and to run it non-stop. Average pace: 5:32min/km over 26km.

Then on Saturday a much needed break and then the final run on Sunday. I was planning to do around 16K but it was super hot so instead decided to make it a fast, but shorter run. I run by the feel, without looking at the watch. I also run along a canal and back, which didn't make for a very exciting route, but allowed me to stay in the shade most of the time. What helped my pace is that on the way there there was a guy who chose to run after me, which worked beautifully to encourage me to increase my pace a notch ;). It also helped when on the way back I saw the same guy who turned around earlier, so first I was working hard to catch up with him and then he again stayed behind me and it took me some effort to shake him loose ;). Ahh, the beauties of rivalry ;). In the end I averaged 4:33min/sec over the 10K, so the same pace as on Wednesday, but my heart rate was substantially lower, which I take as a very good sign.

This run brought my weekly total to 5 runs, as planned, and 91km; finally a week that I'm happy about. However, it also reminded me why is it so difficult to keep up this level of activity. 10+ hours per week is difficult in itself, especially that with pre- and post-training activities it's actually quite a bit more. But for me the worst part is the kind of rest that such a lifestyle imposes. If I work out like this I really need to sleep a lot. And if I don't plan my trainings well I can easily end up spending best part of a day like a zombie, as this is pretty much how I feel after a difficult training. I seriously have no idea how people keep up such a training regiment (or even tougher), while keeping their daily jobs. Am I missing use of some stimulants to help me get going? ;). Any advice in that matter greatly appreciated, as I'll be back to work fairly soon :)

What else. I lost the first toenail in my life; a reminiscence of Lakeland 50. Feels weird, though I guess I should consider it my first ultra-running badge of honor ;)

Last three days of the next week and most of the next week I'll spend in California, which will probably make it very difficult to do a decent training. Which sucks as those are the last two weeks that I should be training seriously before Berlin. We'll see. I'll try to make the best of it and at least train a lot while still in Amsterdam.

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