What a week!
84 miles in total! That is the furthest I have ran since completing the Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon in October last year. Considering I am training for Pilgrims Ultra in a couple of weeks in the lead up to Marathon Des Sables in April, I would say that is well on track.
One of the hardest things about racking up the mileage is not necessarily the sore legs (yes that too of course), but finding the time. I work full time, so this does mean getting up early in the dark, or heading out later after a full day at work to get the miles in. I got in 11 miles Monday morning nice & early, did the same 11 on Tuesday morning, followed by 9 in the evening to make up the 20, followed by a well deserved rest day, a short 5 Thursday morning and another rest day Friday. 2 rest days in preparation for the big weekend.
The plan was to run 30 miles on the Saturday from Edinburgh to East Linton via the John Muir Way along the coast, stay the night, then run back. Saturday was a great day, blessed with dry weather and sunshine. We (hubby & I) packed up our backpacks (6kg) and headed off. To be fair the first 20 miles were pretty easy, felt good & strong, then of course it starts to get hard! The John Muir Way is brilliant, well sign posted, mixed terrain of paths, sand, trail and rocks with some great views en-route. Photos next time, my hands were too cold to get photos. I need to look at getting some better gloves, been eyeing off Ashmei gloves……I wear gloves, but I find that once I have stopped once, my hands get cold and can never get warm again and it really puts me off. I have been reading about the Ashmei gloves, and they have special material so you don’t need to take them off to use your phone, perfect for taking photos! Anyhow we made it to North Berwick, 26 odd miles on the clock, and realised it was still another 6 or 7 miles to East Linton…..do we plod on painfully slow & then have to back it up again tomorrow, or jump on the train back to Waverley station (save our accommodation money!) and run back home from there to make it 27? The train won! Home, dinner & bed.
I woke up Sunday feeling pretty alright, so we made tracks for our planned 20 miles, we needed to do an out and back, otherwise it wasn’t going to get done. We headed off, bit slow to start, not sure if that was from the sore muscles or the very icy paths. It was definitely small steps or you would end up on your bum! No packs today, just running to get the mileage in. Felt pretty good for the first 10, so that was encouraging, even the next 5 were okay, but have to say the last 6 (extra mile as I got lost, don’t ask!) were quite tough going. But that’s what its all about.
I’d set up my training plan to really test my endurance, and this week certainly did that. I am hoping that by pushing my limits it will make me stronger, ready for more. So a rest day Monday then back on it, ready for another tough week, upping the mileage slightly with a back to back 30:30 on the weekend. I’m feeling positive though, my legs felt good this morning, but wisely I will take the rest day and maybe get some Bikram Yoga in tonight to help the recovery, and then carry on strong for the week.