Monday, 28 September 2015

A week I'd rather forget


7 days 7 races

Monday 7th September: a road/redway race. 6.8 miles in 46:59 40 sec taken off my 10k time

Tuesday 8th September: X-country race. 4.9 miles in 36:58

Wednesday 9th September: Track race. 1 mile PB of 6:19 (run in full morphsuit)

Thursday 10th September: race through Campbell park & redways. 4.35 miles in 30:06

Friday 11th September: a shocker of a 2 mile cross-country race, one I’ll be glad to forget

Saturday 12th September: park/redways race 6.44 miles in 44:38 1 more sec taken off my 10k time and finished 5th lady. It was the first time I’ve run 5 consecutive sub 7 min miles.

Overall finished in 36th place out of 91 runners and was 6th lady and first in my age category.

Sunday 13th September: Bacchus Half and I found my breaking point

 = more or less 38.59 miles and 182min 57sec of racing

It’s a little while since the crazy week finished. I got a couple of new PBs, I learned an awful lot (much of which I’m still processing) and it broke me. Mentally and physically I finished the week run down, exhausted and on my knees and not wanting to run another step.
You can see how much it was hurting here, in the final race of the Tour:
 

 I did not enjoy the Tour of MK experience at all. Yes, I know I was putting pressure on myself but it didn’t help racing in such a competitive environment. The Tour is primarily a MMKAC event and they are a ‘proper’ athletics club; members take everything extremely seriously and it’s all lots of track-based stuff and drills and things. None of the courses were particularly inspiring; Milton Keynes is a great place to run but I don’t think the Tour makes the most of this fact. Even the cross country race in Bow Brickhill Woods wasn’t the best. In fact that experience was terrifying- there were several steep technical descents and with runners hurtling past me I was scared of being knocked flying and breaking a hip. I really didn’t run well in that race and it cost me a better final placing.

Mentally it was very challenging racing every evening after a day at work and all the usual domestic things. From the Thursday I felt like I was running on empty but except for the Friday race I managed to pull some decent running out of the bag every night. I ran my heart out and my socks off every day but I didn’t take proper care of myself. Often not getting home until 8.30pm I didn’t stretch after races, didn’t foam roll and didn’t really eat properly, reverting to toast and bagels and crackers rather than lots of fruit and veg. I don’t know if that was because my body needed big doses of carbs or whether I was comfort eating because I was getting increasingly fatigued and sore.
What did I learn? That I can push myself very hard and get good results but there is a high price to pay. That I have to make time to recover- not just not run a couple of days a week but to do yoga and to eat properly all the time. No more late night carb binges!

Bacchus should have been fun but it was 13.1 miles too far. It was lovely though to meet up with a few UKRunChat people I’ve talked with in twitterland:
 
I'm not sure I would have got through the race if it wasn't for @beoutrunning and his Dragon. Thank you so much for your kind words, encouragement and hugs throughout the race. Here's a link to his blog if you're interested: http://www.beoutrunning.com/
Finally here are a few pictures from Bacchus. I really don't feel inclined to write about it- lovely course, fabulous race in terms of the set up, marshals, food, great live music at most of the feed stations, but I was in no position to really appreciate it. Perhaps next year I will race it on fresh legs...


 

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