Training: It’s all in the mind!

Another not great week, but it wasn’t as bad as I had been believing.

This weeks workouts:

Saturday: 2M @ 8:48 Effective Pace (Treadmill)

Monday: 3M (0.5M @ 8:48, 2M @ 7:19)

Wednesday: 3M @ 8:30

Thursday: 13.1M @ 9:03

After the disaster of last weeks 13.1M long run it took me a bit longer to recover than I had expected (add in Max teething and not sleeping to add to the tiredness). I managed the Saturday run, but skipped the 3M on Sunday due to fatigue. Monday was meant to be 1M warm up, 4M @ 7:19 and 1M cool down, being a lunchtime and also still feeling tired I cut the warm-up to 1/2 a mile. 2.5M in to the speed section though I was spent and had to quit. My heart-rate was up around 170, which is what it is if I am sprinting, so I was obviously not going to manage another 1.5M at that pace. My legs were feeling tired, and obviously hadn’t recovered from the previous long run.

I took Tuesday off, and then went out for a gentle run Wednesday lunchtime and felt good, so I was in good spirits heading into the long run last night. After last week I was planning on just hitting my paces and running nice even splits at around the 8:43 goal that I was meant to do on the plan. This worked OK for the first 5 miles or so (despite another runner on the road trying to race me for a mile or so before he gave up which was rather annoying), As I reached halfway I was feeling OK, my heart-rate was up a bit, but then it was very humid so I wasn’t unduly worried. I decided to try and negative split the run due to the way I was running, so sped up, well I thought I sped up; my stride was longer and I felt I was turning my legs over and my heart-rate was up around race pace. So imagine the surprise when the split came up for the 6th mile and it was 12 seconds slower than the previous mile and nearly 9Min! I tried to step it up again for the next mile, thinking that maybe the watch had lost the GPS signal or something, and my time dropped off by another couple of seconds!

I was now 5 seconds a mile off the goal pace, which isn’t much and would have been acceptable, but I just couldn’t understand it; I felt like I was bowling along, at just about race pace and actually I was getting slower and slower. I was demoralized for the next couple of miles, and didn’t even look at my watch, and looking at the splits I actually sped up a bit. By mile 11 I was just flat-out annoyed, so decided it wasn’t worth it anymore and stopped for a walk, then a bit of a run, another quick walk and then ran the last 3/4 of a mile as quick as I could to just finish the run off.

I am still not exactly sure what happened. Looking at all the splits, they were all within 8 seconds (except for the 2 when I thought I was going faster, and the 2 where I walked), so I was going at a good steady pace that would have had me only a couple of seconds outside the goal pace. But those 2 slower miles just did me in mentally. To think you are going 45 seconds a mile quicker than you actually are is confusing, especially when you are hot and sweaty and feel like you are on your limit.

I think I need to adjust the expectations from myself in the weather we are having just now. Despite it being overcast all day yesterday, with the humidity the heat index was 98F when I set off. Having checked the expected temps in Orlando for the half-marathon in October, it is still going to be in the 70’s plus humidity, so although I should be a bit faster, the chances of me hitting the 1:37:30 goal I was aiming for are slim. Looking at the paces I am running now, just beating 1:45 would be a decent result!

I have an almost replica week next week to this week, with another half next Thursday, then a week of 5M recovery runs and then we are into Marathon training!

Whatever happens with the races later in the year, these last few weeks have made up my mind that serious training in Cayman over the summer just isn’t going to happen!