My 3 runs so far this week had been a warm-up jog and 2 longer runs at a steady rate. So that meant that today I ought to try a faster one. I chose 7.1 miles (one lap of the hilly bit and then to the next village and back), for which my best time was 53:54. I was aiming to take a minute off that.
I looked at my watch after the first mile and it told me I was going far too fast. But, I felt relaxed; and just kept going. Somehow I managed to take 3 minutes off, finishing in 50:49. I felt in control all the way round. At the 5-mile mark I was only 10 seconds off my best 5 mile time from last Saturday - when I felt like I was going flat out (relative to the distance), and finished with a sprint. The last 2.1 miles today was also faster than I've ever covered that distance at the end of a run (14:42).
This seems like an odd business. My records don't show me as having eased off in the last couple of weeks so that I could record a fast time more easily. Sometimes running seems hard work and sometimes it feels easy. Sometimes the reasons for that are easy to work out - trying to do too much, or having had a break. Sometimes though, I don't know why. I hope I'll work it out before the race day! Maybe really pushing myself on the shorter run last Saturday was what did it. Or maybe its the extra strength from last week's 20-miler. I really don't know; I hope I'm not peaking prematurely! I do know that on days like this it's easy to admire God's world - the colours, the hills, the sky, the quietness - as you slide by.
I think this has probably been my best week of training yet. I ran the same distance as last week (39.2 miles), which is the most I've run, and I've felt great. Admittedly the effort of the 27 miles on Tuesday and Thursday (combined) really tired me out - I've cat-napped during the day 3 times since then!
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