After last weekend’s pretty epic training, I opted for something a little more gentle this week. There were two reasons for this…1) I have my next big post injury test next weekend so didn’t want to jeopardise anything for that and 2) it took me all week to actually recover enough to do some training so didn’t want to knacker myself out too much again!
Well that isn’t entirely true…I was feeling pretty shot Sunday through to Tuesday and only started feeling recovered on Wednesday, which was good timing seeing as I wanted to do my first RR10 of the year with the club (a sociable summer cross county league). To say I enjoyed it is probably on the verge of a lie but I do love any outing with the club, whether I am running or not so it was always going to be a good evening.
In hindsight I am happy with my average time over the 4.5 miles, I just didn’t pace myself properly over the course but I was pleased to find my sprint finish was still capable of making an appearance, although it did fail to catch the girl in front so that needs some work for next time!
However, as this photo suggests, it was enough to completely wipe me out again!
So the planned first bike ride with cleats on Thursday was delayed yet again…shame! (first time was due to the wind and rain on Tuesday as I didn’t fancy being blown over attached to my bike!)
It wasn’t actually until Saturday that I did my first training session since last weekend and this was my favourite day of the week! Mainly because I got to do one of my favourite run sessions for the first time in months but also because someone said I looked effortless swimming, another described me as an experienced lake swimmer and I got told I was someone’s hero! None are at all justified but they made my day!
It began with a 6.30am lake swim. It was the date we (as a club) had set aside to encourage those who wanted to try open water swimming for the first time to come along in the knowledge there would be several people there who had done it before to be on hand with advice. I am one of the least experienced open water swimmers in the club but I was happy enough in the water to do a lap or two with someone who just wanted a bit of moral support and I offered this beforehand. I didn’t know what people wanted or needed so I decided to get in and do a few laps before the planned club time so I could be on hand if anyone wanted company on their first lap.
I managed 4 laps on my own and a 5th with a couple of girls who were doing it for the first time, and did amazingly! Even better is they got out with the same feeling I get each time…total exhilaration…nothing beats an early morning swim with the sun on your face each time you take a breath. Then came the bit I had been looking forward to all week…my Parkrun sandwich!
During my marathon training last year I did a Parkrun sandwich every Saturday which consisted of a two mile run to Netley Parkrun, Parkrun itself which is 5k (3.1 miles) and then two miles back. This was the plan for yesterday but using Eastleigh Parkrun so I could run from the lake. It wasn’t until afterwards that I realised I actually completed the same distance I was doing last year and it felt so good to do that kind of mileage again. The bonus was the negative splits I achieved at the Parkrun bit which given my awful pacing at the RR10 I was very happy about.
Next weekend is Endure, a 24 hour team relay event at which I will be doing two 5 mile laps. I would have loved to have done more but Mr Physio has told me in no uncertain terms to not be tempted to do more, even if I have no pain on the first two. Whether he is right or not is neither here nor there, I am not risking messing myself up again for the sake of 5 miles (sorry team). Anyway, the Parkrun sandwich was a little test of how my hip would behave with the stop/start nature of Endure. Albeit shorter distances and rest periods so not really cooling down enough for a true resemblance, there was again no reaction in my hip. I was also finding the further I ran the more settled I felt in my running so the next test is going to be my resistance to wanting to ramp up the mileage too quickly!
On this note, I was asked yesterday whether I was being sensible with my decision to run to and from Parkrun after an hours swim…I know this was only because they care and don’t want me to get injured again. Whilst I brushed it off and said I was fine I was pleased they questioned me…not because I thought what I did yesterday was the wrong decision but it made me reflect on what I have done over the last month.
A month ago I was three days post May Day triathlon having run/walked my first 5k for three months and needing a good 3-4 days off before attempting another run. Now I’m running 7 miles feeling I could keep going and go out again the next day…this is actually the stage where I need to question what I am doing because it will be too easy to overdo it. So thank you, ladies, for questioning me yesterday, those words will stay with me each time I am deciding whether to make the next progression or not.
So finally, whilst on the subject of progression, today was my first bike ride with cleats. Before going onto how I got on, I just want to mention about the people doing their first open water swim and just how nervous they were…I didn’t have that fear with my first OWS, I couldn’t wait to get in so I struggled to relate to how they were feeling despite trying to be as sympathetic as possible. That was until I transferred my thoughts to using cleats for the first time and I started to understand what may have been going through their minds.
One incredibly gutsy lady was absolutely petrified to the point of tears and shaking before going in but she did it and whilst I don’t think she realises what an enormous step she took, she made me think about my relatively irrational ‘fear’ of cleats. If she could overcome her fear (and it was genuine fear) like that then I could stop being a wimp and clip myself into my bike.
So I did. And safe in the company of an experienced cyclist I went for an 18 mile bike ride fully attached to my bike. The cycling itself felt no different really except my feet weren’t slipping about on the pedals and unclipping was not a problem. In fact the only problem occurred when I started thinking too much…do I have enough time, are they coming round the roundabout, not sure, maybe I should un….too late, crash! Yes, I fell off! Well technically I fell on…on to the bike of the person I went out with so made minimal contact with the ground!
You know you’ve done something pretty daft when the first thing you hear is ‘what are you doing’ when I landed on his bike. This was followed by asking if I was OK, which I was, except for feeling like a complete wally, made worse by this all happening at a roundabout so plenty of other witnesses! It is safe to say that falling off your bike when forgetting to unclip (or in my case not deciding to in time) is actually an awful lot more funny and embarrassing than it is painful or scary!
All in all a very enjoyable week which will be followed by another relatively easy one before the 24 hour event…I am not sure what worries me more, that my hip won’t hold up or the safety of others being in my sleep deprived company for 48 hours when my tolerance of people at the best of times is about 12 hours…good luck team, you have been warned!