NDW50 Wk 10: Oh so cold (wc 16.01.17)

A cold sunrise

7.2 miles, 1:00:00, 8:14 min/mile, 190ft elevation gain

I couldn’t make the Striders Wednesday evening run this week, so I did my own 60 minutes group two paced run around the streets of Croydon! And I was pretty much bang on target!

One of the things I like about running with the faster group on a Wednesday is that it pushes me to run outside my natural comfort zone in a way that I don’t when I’m running solo. I know I am capable of the speed but by myself I often struggle to push myself to that slightly faster pace, its very tempting to ease off when it begins to feel a little difficult, running in a group it’s hard to do that.

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So I am super pleased with this run. I was aiming for an average pace of 8:15 – 8:20 & at 8:14 I don’t think I could have gotten much closer! It also showed me that I am most definitely a morning runner, I found this SO much easier than last week’s group two evening run, even though I ran fasted.

I timed the run to finish at as the sun rose in a local park so that I could take some photos. There is something very magical about this time of day & I try to catch as many sunrises as I can. I love just watching & looking as a new day starts. South Norwood Country Park was looking quite splendid under a blanket of frost as the sun rose into the blue sky. But it was COLD, so, so, so cold! Taking photos my fingers went numb, I jogged the mile home (theoretically this was going to be my cool down… didn’t need it!) then it took me about 45 minutes wrapped in a blanket to warm up again!

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Shorts in January, who am I…?

Roundshaw Downs parkrun, 5km, 22:51, first lady, 7:21 min/mile

I’m not quite sure what processed me to wear shorts, in January, in minus two degrees, after saying that Wednesday’s run was the coldest run ever…

But with a course PB, only nine seconds off of my overall 5km PB & first lady at parkrun I’m not going to ask too many questions! Not quite sure what happened there as this was supposed to be a tempo (aka ‘comfortably hard’) run & I felt as if I still had something left in me. Interesting…? AND after a night where insomnia won the sleep battle

Beautiful sunshine, although there was frost on the ground which made for pretty good running conditions. Shorts were definitely the right choice!

parkrun most definitely fuelled by coffee after not sleeping...
parkrun most definitely fuelled by coffee after not sleeping…

Striders Riddlesdown 14, 15, 16…

16 miles, 2:40:04, 10 min/mile, 810ft elevation gain

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The Striders Riddlesdown 14 that was actually 15… (And well 16 because I ran a warm-up mile…) I’m beginning to learn that Striders marathon training runs are never ‘quite’ the distance they’re advertised!

It was an absolutely flipping GORGEOUS day! So, so cold again (minus three when we set off, wore long leggings today!) but so sunny that you barely felt the cold. Absolutely LOVED it!

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We set off from the club house at 8:30am & ran across Lloyd Park into the rising run. A little train of runners running across the frosty grass & into the sun!

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After a few weeks of solo long runs it was great to be running with the club again, nice to have a bit of a chat & catch-up! I’ve done quite a lot of harder paced runs so I opted to run with one of the slower paced groups to really make this a long ‘slow’ run. Happy with an average pace of 10 minute miles, pretty spot on & felt comfortable throughout.

This was a mixed trail & road run, we headed off across Lloyd Park, skirting round the edge of Addington Hills before a longish road section up to Shirley Heath – a new to me trail & one I’ll have to try & remember! Selsdon Wood up to Kingswood & Riddlesdown which I really am going to have to try & get to more often, parkland, trail, hills & great views!

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Chatted to Myles for quite a lot of the run, he is also doing the North Downs Way 50 & we’ve spent quite a few club runs talking about it. It was meant to be his first ultra too but then last weekend ran the 43 mile Country to Capital. On a longest run of 14 miles… (injury & illness scuppered his training). There is hope…

I’m working quite hard on my recovery after long runs at the moment because I realise if I’m going to manage the back-to-back sessions Bea has in my training plan I need to be spot on with it. Knowing at the end of this 16 miles that I had another seven miles to do the following morning meant that I really focused on it

Previous marathon training periods I would hurt for a few days after the long run, the thought of running again the next day would never even cross my mind. Sometimes even walking was a challenge… But after a few weeks in I think I’m beginning to get a good routine going.

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  • Gentle cool down, the temptation at the end of a long run is to stop, sit & not move… I try to finish with a little cool-down, even if it’s just five minutes of walking.
  • Stretch. I have my stretches down. My absolute favourite is the pigeon pose!
  • Foam roll if I think I need it (I could do better with this, I just don’t like foam rolling).
  • Hot shower. Always feel sooooo good!
  • Compression tights. I live in my compression tights for 24 hours following my long run. I even sleep in them!
  • Move… As much as I want to snuggle up in bed for a little nap post-run, I know keeping moving is better for me. It may just be walking up to Crystal Palace to get a coffee, or even a simple wander round the lake in the afternoon. Something other than sitting still for the rest of the day.
  • Hot Epsom salt bath & a glass of wine before bed. Honestly, is there any better post-long-run recovery method than a glass of wine in the bath!
  • Sleep! I try not to be too late to bed & hope that I win that night’s battle with insomnia…

So far this is working & every Monday I have woken up with lovely fresh-feeling legs! The one element of recovery I am struggling with is nutrition as I often just don’t want to eat. I know the importance of protein/carbs after a hard session but I struggle to get them in. I really, really need to work on this as I don’t want my nutrition to let me down.

Week Ten: 33.8 miles in total with 1,444 ft elevation gain.

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Author: photogirlruns

Photographer. Runner. Green. Vegetarian & proud to run on plants. This is a personal blog as I embark on a slightly crazy running adventure...

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