Kill or cure…

I felt awful over the weekend, truly awful. I really hoped that it meant that this bug is finally coming out and leaving.

My optimism was well-placed, as I felt so much better yesterday. So much so, I went to the club track session. Billed as a ‘laid back’ session, as most of our runners will be running either the Leicester Half or full Marathon this coming weekend, I thought it would be easy. Well, easyish.


After warming up and drills (can I just say how much I love bounding/skipping? If I could run a race based in this technique, I swear I would win. I’m like Tigger down the track, it’s brilliant!), the session started off with 10 minutes at 10k pace. My plan was to run at the 10k pace I’d need to run if I ran a 21:30 5k. Confused? Don’t be. My aim next year (seeing as I failed this year) is to record at least one 21:30 5k. To do this, I need to be able to run at this pace, in fact, even quicker, as part of my training runs. As I’m just getting my pace back, I am using 21:30 5k pace as a starting point. There are pacing calculators that can calculate race times based on one race, so taking my goal I can work out what pacing I should be doing for another distance. Based on the desired 5k time, I’d be looking at a 10k time of 44:57 at a pace of 7:14min/mile. 

What I ended up doing was 53:49 10k pace, or 7:52min/mile pacing. It was hard work.

Then, it was 5 minutes at 5k pace. Here, I needed to aim for 6:55min/mile pace. Instead, I achieved 7:42min/mile pace. I was shattered. 

We finished with a 1 mile time trial. I had to use every little piece of grit and determination to get round the 4 laps of Saffron Lane. I clocked a disappointing 7:41. I ran a 7:51 mile at Robin Hood Half a few weeks ago, about half way through the race, and without pushing! I was disappointed with my times at the club’s measured mile a few weeks ago, this was a real blow to my fragile confidence.

Of course, the quiet little sensible voice in my head has told me that bearing in mind I have a cold, and spent the day before laid out, shivering and achy, to be sub 8min miling is a good thing. Unfortunately, the self-deprecating voice is louder. I’m useless. I need to work harder. Lazy mare. Grr.

I don’t think I’ve ever appreciated a hot shower so much. I was freezing by the time we got home. I was also pretty restless, and spent most of the night awake. Not great preparation for the impromptu bike ride I had planned with my mate, Lou. My work was cancelled late on, and she asked if I fancied joining her. Why not, it might help to loosen the legs after track.

We cycled the John Fraser 10 route. This was going to be a challenge, as it would be my first road cycling in years, plus it would be my longest ever bike ride. After my crash, my confidence on the bike was shot, and I’m still finding it difficult to ride. It’s no BMX. I’m like the cycling equivalent of Bambi.

It’s a glorious day, blue sky and sunshine. There’s an autumnal chill to the air, but I soon warmed up once I got going. It’s perfect weather for riding, running, or walking. I’m really pleased I went out. One thing I never thought I’d say, but I would rather run up the tougher hills! Talk about hard work, I had to really push those pedals to get up some of them. It’s a shame The Bloke was working, I think he’d really have enjoyed the ride. 

What I did notice was the difference in attitudes of drivers out on the lanes compared with the centre of Blaby. Unlike when I’ve run them, motorists gave us plenty of room, and I didn’t feel pressurised, or intimidated. However, on the way back through Blaby, some impatient fools got far too close for comfort. Some people really are idiots when overtaking bikes, especially where there are crossings in the middle of the road. As for overtaking us on roundabouts? Dangerous fools. I won’t be forced into the pavements, though. I have as much right to be on the road as any other vehicle. People need to be a little more patient.

That said, it didn’t ruin my ride. I’m itching to get back out there and do it again! I am a bit gutted I forgot to turn my Garmin back on after a drinks stop, and ‘lost’ about 4 miles, but these things happen. To me. Doh!

I’m running again later, and will probably take it easy. I’m absolutely shattered now, and could easily take a granny nap. I can’t wait for this cold to shift, and if this exercise doesn’t get rid of it, then I don’t know what will.


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