Monday, 7 February 2011

All's well that ends well?

Its been a week since my last post, and a week that didn't quite fit the positive spirit of that entry:

Pretty good day, though also my rest day. No pain or fatigue from the previous day but I opted not to calorie count to help nourish the muscles. Weighed in in the morning and was 2lb heavier than Friday, but perfectly happy with that as it will have reflected the high food intake of the previous 2 days and soon pass.

Alarm was set for 5am so I could get up and run 8 miles, but I woke at 2am with extreme stomach pain. If you've ever had full on food poisoning you'll know the sort of thing: shooting pains in stomach and back that are the precursor to extensive vomiting and the concurrent squirting of 'muddy' water from the back side. Thankfully, it didn't come to that but the pain continued until 3.30 by which time I'd switched the alarm off. Drove to Warwick and back in the day, still felt tired and bloated, and accepted that I'd need to miss the run.

Another early start, this time to head to a meeting in Scotland (and back) in the day. Had optimistically hoped to run intervals when I got in, but didn't get home until 9pm by which time I was shattered, so tired that I'd had to stop for a break 4 times in the last 2 hours driving and unfortunately succumbed to the transient charms of chocolate at 3 of the stops.

Felt better and decided to do Tuesday's run. First 2 miles were strangely slow but felt alright, but by mile 3 I felt done in. By mile 5 all I wanted to do was stop and walk. In the last couple of miles I was really pushing myself hard yet still doing miles not far under 10 minute pace. Still not calorie counting.

The previous day's experience along with high winds and rain made the idea of a tempo run outdoors less than appealing so I headed to the gym with the intention of doing Wednesday's intervals along with Thursday's core stability work. I got through 1.5 miles of warm up and 2 x 2k intervals on the dreadmill but my heart wasn't in it and I baled out.

Due to go to the gym for cross training but couldn't face it. Opted instead for rest and carb loading.

Endurance run day. Plan called for 15 mile progression run but as last week had turned into a 17 mile progression run I decided to do a straight 18 mile endurance run.

Headed off and didn't feel too bad. Certainly better than earlier in the week despite the strong wind. By half way I was running at 8:31 pace and had done a route that included 9 more rises of locks than the previous week, including the steepest in Britain, the 1:5 gradient Bingley Five Rise Locks.
Still felt pretty good until 13 miles, after which it got slowly tougher, and by 15 miles it was a real effort to keep the pace up and keep going despite the benefit of 16 downhill 'rises' of locks on the way back.

By the end I'd done 18.27 miles at an average pace of 8:22 a mile but felt fit only for the knackers yard. I knew it wasn't the distance and decided not to worry - it was almost certainly due to a combination of bug still not having gone fully, the strong winds, the extra climbing etc. After a bath I took my stiff body to bed for a couple of hours.

It was after that I twigged that dehydration might also be playing a part as I'd managed only one dark dribble of urine since setting off to run. Strange that, as I'd taken a bottle of water on my belt, had 2 teas and a small glass of water before leaving and drank so much the day before that I had to get up 3 times in the night!

Anyway, that's the first of the longer runs completed, and after drinking copious quantities I began to revive yesterday evening and refuelled extensively!

This morning I only have slight stiffness in calves and quads, otherwise ok. After a challenging week of non-counting, missed exercise and occasional comfort eating I was pleased that the scales were limited to a 3.5lb 'gain' - pleased in that most of the nominal gain will be food in transit from last night.

So, a difficult week but one that didn't finish too badly.


~Jessica~ said...

Actually sounds like a pretty positive end to the week after a shaky start: be proud of yourself for pulling your socks up and getting back out there, particularly after all the tummy trouble.

Fab long run: I don't think you'll have to relinquish your 'running God' status just yet.

Rose said...

There you are!!!!

Sounds like you had a very shattering week, all that driving is not fun at all. I'm not surprised that you couldn't keep to the plan.
It does sound as though your underlying fitness is really shining through.

Weird about the dehydration though. I don't really see how you can improve on that if you were properly hydrated before you went and took water with you..... I've started using a camelbak for my long runs and really feeling the benefit as I can drink and run at the same time whereas I had to stop to drink from my sports bottle (afraid of losing my footing!)


Alison said...

Sorry to hear you've been ill. Good marathon prep can't be down do a perfect 16 weeks though -- that would be an impossibility. So the success has to lie in how you deal with minor setbacks like this, and you seem to have come out of it relatively unscathed. I still think that the most fragile thing about runners is their mental attitude. It's so easy to get discouraged, but you seem very good at dealing with these hiccups.

Hopefully a good week this week eh.

Maria said...

I am impressed you ran at all after that week. Being ill and all that driving (I get annoyed in my 10 mile drive to work!). Well done on the long run too- very impressive esp with that steep hill and all the wind. So it does end on a positive note :)

Laura said...

I was wondering where you were! Sounds like a tough week but it ended well. The wind's been a real killer hasn't it. I went to the track for intervals yesterday and I had absolutely no idea how bad the wind was, I've never run in wind so bad!