Everyone will relate to the feeling when you look outside and it's pouring with rain, it's dark, and you really don't feel like going for a run, but know you have too! Well this is how I felt tonight. I had to because this is the final BIG week of training before a taper week next week for the Royal Parks Half.
On Sunday I put in a steady 12 miler off road. On Monday I put in back to back 4.5 milers (one at 6:30 avg mpm pace, the other at a more leisurely 8mpm pace) so 9 miles in total in one lunchtime! Tuesday was a rest day which brings me back to today's club run.
I'd eaten a massive jacket potatoe too just an hour earlier which isn't exactly ideal for a Wednesday LBAC club night which is always a rapid affair. It's often the way however that once you get yourself out there, such runs so often surprise and turn out to be the best. Tonight was no exception!
The rain literally fell out the sky in sheets soaking my supposedly water proof TNF jacket to the skin. Most were wearing just a tshirt, some even vests (Tom the pocket rocket), but us ultra runners are taught to go out prepared!
Anyway I quickly got into a nice stride and set about my business sticking to what felt fast but sustainable. On these type of training runs I try not to look at the garmin as I want to feel the pace I'm running rather than be told. I felt good (apart from the potatoe that was sitting high in my stomach or hadn't even made it that far!) I like running in horrid conditions (sometimes) as it's an extra challenge and most others probably don't prefer it this way so it's always an advantage if you can harness this and set yourself apart from others. I ran and ran.... harder, faster and further than anybody else. Was this really the slow ultra plodded from just a few weeks ago. I smashed out the miles mainly because I wanted to finish the session as quickly as possible. Why prolong such a run when the greatest benefit can be gained from going out hard from the start and sticking to it.
As you can probably tell from this post I am still pretty pumped up from tonights run. It really is a great feeling to feel that the effort I am putting in is paying back so quickly. This short 4 week training period in the lead up to the Royal Plans is going exactly to plan.
I covered 8.6 miles tonight in 59 minutes 10 seconds. My mile splits were: 7.24, 7.05, 6.47, 6.53, 6.47, 6.39, 6.37, 6.53, 6.41 (last 0.6 miles). Total avg pace 6.52 mpm. This just happens to be exactly the pace I need to run to go sub 1h30m in the Half! So if I can do it on a club night in the pouring rain, dark, dodging cars and puddles then what I wonder beckons on a fine Sunday morning in the Royal Parks of London. It's an exciting prospect and I can't wait.
It might come across that my motivation for this is based on time and splits, and getting a new PB but actually i'm on a high more because I'm just thoroughly enjoying my running right now. Why - well I think mixing it up and going from the ultras to training for a half has a lot to do with it. I'm learning a lot from this shift in training and it can only be a good thing.
what's next? A slower recovery run tomorrow lunchtime... :-)