It was the best way to spend the end of the perfect training week, to go and celebrate my Mum on Mothers Day. I couldn’t physically visit her and take her out for a cup of tea and scone somewhere as she left us in 2015 to make sure Dad was behaving himself upstairs and so I adjusted my route on my long run to visit a place that holds the most memories of her for me and chat to her on the way round.
My Week In Numbers:
Monday – Rest & Mobility
Tuesday – 5 miles
Wednesday – Rest & Mobility
Thursday – 6 miles
Friday – Rest & Mobility
Saturday – Run to parkrun (2.2 miles), Run with PT client (2.4 miles), parkrun (3.1 miles), Run home (2.5 miles)
Sunday – 18.1 miles
Total – 39.3 miles
It’s funny as I’ve never been that bothered about total miles run in a week as I prefer to focus on the quality I’m getting from the miles I’ve run so maybe I’m feeling smug about a great week and decided to count them this time.
Tuesday’s run was pretty good. Where I used to do 4 miles, I’ve now added an extra loop on the route that takes me up to 5 miles. The pace was fairly comfortable and it was just a run. No concern over pace or anything, just a run and that’s good for me. There’s a time and place to think about mile splits etc but on my Tuesday runs, I’m more keen to just get out there.
Thursday’s run was where the detailed mattered. I’ve normally been doing form drills but this time I decided to run 6 miles and try focus on form on alternate miles and make these quicker than the other ones. I went on the same route as Tuesday but went a bit further on the extra loop to see if I could get the distance there rather than have to extend it towards the end of the run. Working on the form has been paying off and it was good on that run despite there still being some snow on the road. The 2nd of the faster miles was harder but then there was a good chunk of it on a gradual incline and also a patch of black ice to navigate for good measure but it gave me a good workout.
On Saturday, I decided to run to parkrun again even though I had a run session with a client first. I made sure I left in plenty of time so I didn’t have to end up sprinting down as I’ve done in the past. It was 2.2 miles down followed by 2.4 miles with my client. Sometimes we aim for 3 but she ran really well for 2.4 miles so that was good to see.
The parkrun route changed to go clockwise around the North Inch and I thought this might be a pretty good idea but then when we hit the riverside, it was like running through a wind tunnel! This was a greater challenge to run through than the distance of the run. I had started a bit further back than normal and as parkrun has got busier, it’s not as easy to get through to where I’d normally be than it was when I first started doing it and started further back to avoid going off too fast.
I did manage to wind my way through and finished in 21.02 with an impressive negative split. I’ve been starting to get a few of these lately for the first time in ages and so I’m happy with that level of progress. I tried to avoid hanging around too long and ran home, taking a bit more of a tourist route as I was trying to work out how many miles I was on and I knew that taking it closer to 2.5 miles would give me 10 miles for the day.
We had homemade pizza again for tea. I started making them again over a year ago in the build up to Paris and I’ve kept it going almost every Saturday since. The making of them from the dough base to bringing them out the oven and cutting them up is actually very therapeutic. I used to make pizzas for a living in the 90’s and so the buzz from making them is why I’ve kept it going.
Sunday started with my usual breakfast of Avocado and Peanut Butter on 2 slices of toast. This gives me energy and this is something else I’ve been doing every week for a long time. I’m very much a creature of habit and if I find something that works for me then I’ll keep doing it. If it ain’t broke, why fix it?
I went out with the intention of doing around 18 miles and within that, doing 3 miles at marathon pace or quicker and 1 mile recovery. The majority of my first 2 miles were uphill and so I decided to make my first faster mile in mile 3 so I could run downhill for that one then onto another downhill stretch for the second one. It was when I got to the riverside and into my first recovery mile that I decided to switch Marathon Talk off on my headphones and run for a bit chatting to Mum to wish her a Happy Mothers Day and thank her for everything she taught me.
When I got to the North Inch, I decided to do a full lap, partly so that I could nip into Bells Sports Centre to the toilet and also so that I could show my appreciation to Mum by timing my next recovery mile by walking/running through Norie-Miller Park, a place that holds lots of memories for me personally as well as Mum. One abiding memory was finishing primary school for the day and meeting Mum on the bridge next to the park and handed her some Daffodils as a gift for Mothers Day. It was the look of horror on her face when she asked me where I’d got them and I told her I’d got them in the park!
I continued the tribute by running out to do the loop around Scone but by going to Gannochy first and passing the houses close by that Mum & Dad had stayed in during their latter years. Normally I do this particular loop the opposite way as the route I had taken here is a gradual climb for at least a mile and I prefer short, sharp hills and get them over and done with.
Even though I had run 10 miles the previous day, I still felt pretty good and felt my quicker miles were still reasonably good towards the end although a bit slower than the first lot.
When I’d done the double session last week, I felt my legs were bit heavy on the Sunday run but today it felt my body had adapted to what I was doing. Doing these double sessions have been staple for me over the last few years and I believe them to be more valuable when it comes to the marathon than only a long run at the weekends.
Have you tried doing double sessions like that? What have you found works for you in your training?