It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
I am not sure if it was the switch to running in the evening due to starting my new job, or if it was just one of those things, but the 2 midweek runs were awesome. Both of them I was buzzing and just felt I could go faster and faster. So it was slightly surprising when 48 hours after running 7m at 8:10 pace I try to do it again and I can only manage 8:40. The difference was possibly that the Saturday run was in the morning, and I didn’t get up as early as normal so the sun was up and getting hotter all the time I was out. I must have been very dehydrated when I got back as after cooling off in the pool and having a shower and breakfast I was in bed for nearly 3 hours fast asleep!
This was the first week I tried to do “back to back” runs at the weekend, so I wasn’t sure how Sunday would go. I felt good when I got out of bed, considering the mess I had been at the end of the run on Saturday I was expecting to be stiff and tired, but I felt OK. The getting up at 4am on a Sunday does seem much worse than getting up at 4am on a Saturday. I am not sure why, but it just does. A change to the normal routine was that I didn’t listen to my music whilst stretching and getting ready which gets me in the mood.
Anyway, I set off and went slightly too fast for the first couple of miles and was just under 9:00min pace, and I had been planning on trying to do 9:15-9:20 based on what I had done the day before. I quickly slowed though and at 6 miles I knew I wasn’t feeling great. There wasn’t anything hurting or cramping, I was just getting slower and slower. I made it to 10m which was just outside our apartment where I had left a bottle of Gatorade (my Camelbak is still in the post!), so I stopped for a quick drink, which although I definitely needed was the beginning of the end. My legs stiffened up in the 20 seconds I stopped for and from then on it was a struggle and I basically walk/run the remaining 4 miles.
The end result was being extremely stiff and sore for the rest of the day and not feeling the best when I go up this morning (Monday). However, I have been to the physio at lunchtime and had some needling in my back, my IT band worked on and a general massage of my lower back and hip and things have loosened up nicely.
I think there are probably a few contributing factors to the poor showing this weekend. Firstly it was the first “back-to-back” weekend, so my body isn’t used to being pushed so far; I had run so fast during the week my body didn’t have as much to give at the weekend; because of switching training plans from novice to intermediate I missed the “stepback” week 2 weeks ago where you get an easier week. This means that in a little over 8 weeks I have gone from walk/running a couple of miles to trying to run 21 miles in a weekend. I think my body needs a bit of a rest, which it will get this week, although the only thing different from last week is that instead of 14m on Sunday I “only” do 10m. Hopefully, my body will recover a bit as there is only one pace run this week which is the 7m on Saturday, everything else should be a lot more relaxed than the last couple of weeks.
With the weather being pretty bad in Cayman just now the cross-training tonight is probably going to be a walk instead of cycle.
The good news is that all of my new gear should arrive this week! But I said that last week too…….