It’s been a quiet week running wise with legs not willing and motivation lacking, but I’m slowly getting back on track and this weeks run with a view photos are part of the reason why. Started to see lots of deer on my runs again which I assume is the warmer weather and also earlier daylight? But whatever the reason it seems that I’m quiet enough despite my running technique to get quite close to them before they see me or I see them. Getting a photo on an iPhone of this is of course easier said that done but in my first photo you can just make out the deer leaping across the rapeseed field.
It’s fair to say we’re getting April showers at the moment, so while mild it’s all of a sudden wet underfoot again. Bit of adjusting needed to get used to that again but Bracken is certainly loving having big puddles to dive through on our runs, I’m sure he’s half seal really.
Despite my first ultra looming on the horizon I took the whole of this weekend off running to try to give my legs and mind a proper break. I even rested when the kiddies slept which is unusual as that’s my 2 hours of get jobs done time normally. I did whole heartedly also embrace eating a massive roast beef dinner yesterday with pudding to follow. I figured my body probably needs some good calories at the moment so why not. Actually quite nice to just relax and eat like that rather than always be thinking about eating clean (although there was plenty of lovely veg with the roast).
This week is all about getting consistency again and also lots of stretching before a bit of a taper next week for the race. Also need to start thinking about the mental preparation needed.
A day late with this weeks run with a view but then it feels like Monday today doesn’t it? In any case last week was a great week of running. Yes that’s right, GREAT. Running confidence is such a fickle thing isn’t it? The post big race come down should never be underestimated and I wasn’t feeling completely satisfied due to my time to compound it. Then you do the whole rest for 3 days a week which further adds to the fidgetyness and if you’re anything like me turn into a grump.
But last week was a return to form, felt strong and absolutely loving being back 100% on trails and not thinking so much about pacing/intervals/splits. Feels like the spark has returned now that I’m refocused on a trail race again and as a result motivation is up.
I decided to push things over the long weekend and use the opportunity to get some good miles in given I need to build quickly towards the Ridgeway 40. I did 3 runs for a total of 40 miles which is way more than I’ve done in such a period before. Calf muscles feel a bit tight but apart from that I felt pretty good and able to keep the pace up also. We’ll ignore the fact that my 20 mile long run was only half the distance of my race in 3 weeks though right? After all that’s only 1 more lap to do….
Mornings like those captured in the photos below are a huge part of that returning running motivation; magical seeing the sun appear from behind the hills as I covered the first couple of miles of my run. No one else but me and the hound there to see it either. It’s on runs like these that you forget what distance you planned to run and you just take in the spectacle that mother nature is putting on for you.
Last was all about marathon recovery and feeling my way back into training. But it did feature some glorious sun rises to remind me exactly why I love trail running so much and they feature heaving on this weeks run with a view.
The theory is you should do very little running in the week after a marathon to give your legs a chance to recover. The aches may go quickly but there is deep tissue damage you can’t feel. But I was a fidgety, grumpy mess by Wednesday and could resist no more. Thursday morning I had an awesome 6 mile blast around my regular loop and boy did it feel good. Aches gone, karma restored and a much happier Ben!
Yesterday I finished the week with a lovely 10 mile loop at 6am with Bracken, great to be out doing a longer run again and an important first step in training for the next challenge. More of that to come later this week.
For all those bathing in London marathon glory enjoy it, it’s a great achievement. But if you’re anything like me you may well already be thinking about the next challenge.
There is only one photo for this weeks run with a view and really there doesn’t need to be more. This is me, 26.2 miles done, everything left on the course, absolutely shattered. Not quite the time I’d hoped for, 9 mins over my 3.30 target but proud nonetheless and with every race you learn something new about this wonderful world of endurance. The scary thing is that for my next race I need to run another 1/2 marathon after doing the marathon distance, going to be interesting!
If you were racing this weekend I hope it went well and you achieved what you wanted.
P.S you may have noticed there was no run with a view last week, that was because quite honestly there were no interesting photos to show. Another week of recovering from a cold and trying not to panic about running a marathon!
Today’s run should have been a 2 hour easy pace run on the road as a final longish run before Taunton marathon, instead I did 90 minutes on my favourite trails with the hound for company. I just couldn’t face another plod along the tarmac when the sun was shining and the Ridgeway was calling me. After a bit of a write off week of running where the best that could be said was that I ran, today’s run helped restore a little bit of running karma.
I think if I’ve learned anything in training for this marathon it’s that my enjoyment of running is directly correlated to the amount of time I spend on the road. As much as I love running if I spend too much time on tarmac the excitement of tying up my laces soon begins to wane. Escapism is a big part of the reason I run and so naturally getting on a trail where it’s just me and the wildlife is always going to win.
Thankfully after Taunton marathon is done I start training purely for trail races again and so no need to step foot on tarmac at all! Then the challenge will be getting myself ready to run an ultra but I’m trying not to think about that just yet, especially given how hard my long runs have felt for the last couple of weeks.
Not many photos this week because running has been, well, a little shit and I really don’t need a reminder of those runs.
Parenthood is the perfect training for ultra running