One of the most interesting(?!) things about this week has been my realisation that I’ve subliminally re acquainted myself with a past love of marmalade…
I bought a jar a couple of weeks ago and I’ve already had to buy a new one, overlapping the end of the first so as not to leave myself with none.
I was reading Bruce Tulloh’s book Running over Forty in which he explained typical breakfast options at running training camps.
On the list was marmalade on toast. It awakened something within me so I just had to get some and I must admit I’ve eaten quite a lot since.
Anyway I digress from explaining how Week 7 has gone.
Overall it’s been just OK and this has mainly been due to 2 things –
- Ongoing knee troubles;
- Chest pains.
Overall I feel like my knee issues are manageable and towards the back end of the week I felt fine. However my knee has been overshadowed by a worsening of chest pain on my left hand side. I first noticed this just before getting home from last Sunday’s long run. It was the run where I had the nasty fall…
Although I didn’t feel any sharp pain at the time of the fall I did go down on my left hand side and I’d protected myself with my left arm.
As I was coming back up the hill to home I could feel a pain and tightness in my chest which I was conscious of for the rest of the day.
To be honest I didn’t think too much of it Monday through to Wednesday but in hindsight it did hamper my training a little.
On Monday I did the usual treadmill run with a 5 minute warm up, 45 minutes easy and 5 minute cool down. Overall I felt OK.
On Tuesday I got back down to Elswick Harriers for the (in)famous Wallbottle bank continuous run. The loop is pretty much bang on 800m round and includes a draggy hill and then downhill. The ratio to uphill / downhill could be 50/50 or maybe 60/40 as we were running clockwise this time. Both other times I had ran anti clockwise. This felt like a more gradual draggy uphill and steeper downhill.
I usually get about 8 laps done in 24 minutes and I try to run in my Lactate Threshold zone.
The jog warm up is also quite uphill and means you’ve already got a decent sweat on before the start of the session proper.
I was aware of my tight chest on the way up.
We got underway and as is normally the case it was Lee Bennett and me out front with Lee’s son Rowan tracking along.
I was able to stay close to Lee for a few laps before he dropped me on the 3rd downhill. Lee is a skilled fell runner and also particularly strong downhill. Whereas I tend to put the brakes on with my languid stride Lee is able to quick his feet and let go.
At that point Rowan was still right behind me. I was noticing that I was having to keep my breathing shallow as I felt some discomfort in my rib area on the left hand side.
I was checking my heart rate regularly and noticed it was between 170-175bpm on the uphill sections. I comforted myself that I was applying the right amount of effort, especially since I was still feeling the XC in my legs from the Saturday. But overall I was finding it a tough session. At about half way I was contemplating the prospect of another 4 hills and laps!
Pleasingly I was able to dig in and coming down a hill to the end of another lap I could see that I only had about 3 or 4 minutes of running left. That helped me dig in and finish off.
I had switched off mile laps and also the pace indicator on my Garmin so I was fully focussed on just running for time and heart rate. So I wasn’t aware of what type of pace I was on. That was good. I feel this is key for my training as it is too easy to get emotional about pace which should not matter in training unless you have set out to do specific paced intervals.
I was pleased to finish the session off and it had felt like I’d paced it fairly even overall. The coaches at Elswick were also measuring our times for 5k which I completed in 18:42.
Overall I completed 4 miles in just over 24 minutes averaging 173bpm. A decent session especially since I felt a little held back by my sub optimal breathing.
On Wednesday I got just over 8 miles in. The rain was absolutely pelting down. Actually I quite enjoy running in the rain and it brings a bit of challenge jumping over and dodging puddles. I ended up averaging 150bpm which is below my true aerobic zone (starting at 153bpm) and the pace was pleasing at 6:47/mile.
Thursday was the toughest run of the week (it is always as its the 6th day of running continuous as Friday is always my planned rest day) both in terms of my knee and chest. The plan was just a 30 minute recovery run with 5 minutes warm up and warm down and then some strides to finish. The whole thing felt laboured so I deliberately didn’t push it. And then on the strides my knee was playing up so I cut those short. Overall I was pleased for the recovery day coming and comforted myself that I could rest up.
But then at work on Friday my chest was particularly tight. It feels like 3 ribs around the left side are bruised although there is no external bruising to be seen. I have been taking Ibuprofen and also rubbing some gel in to no avail so far.
My original plan was to have a go at a fast parkrun but waking up on Saturday it didn’t seem like a sensible idea. The old me would have been down in the dumps about another annoying niggle getting in the way and I dare say I would have sacked off the rest of the weekend. But I am determined to not let things get me down and I was able to get out for a long jog just over 11 miles. It didn’t feel amazing but I think the fresh air did me good.
On Sunday I decided to push a little more into my aerobic zone and was surprised with over 7 miles in 45 minutes averaging 6:20 pace at an average heart rate of 155bpm. Also, my knee felt good (as it had for the run on Saturday) which is a bonus. Fitness wise things are definitely looking good and I just need to be patient with myself.
Overall for the week I totalled just under 6hrs of running and just over 49 miles.
I’m still fully focussed on getting myself on the start line of the North Eastern Cross Championships in Redcar on the 9th December 100% fit and confident of a strong performance. Next week I am back on my travels to Athens for a work trip but the running gear is packed to ensure I keep ticking over.
Thanks for reading.