The goal of last week was to back off my training just a little bit to give my body a rest after the heeeeaaaaawwwwwwgggg week before it, in preparation for the Burnham Beeches half, which I had scheduled as a trial to see how the training was going.
I started the week off with the now normal double recovery run Monday. I was pleasantly surprised as how good I felt on the morning run considering the 39k I ran the day before. The second run however felt sluggish as I'd expected the first to feel.
I'm now approaching the end of my programme so the intervals are back with Tuesday being the first in a long time. I did 5x 600m at 5K PB pace with ~2min RI between each. Things were a little tough at first, but as I loosened up I dropped into a great rhythm and really enjoyed the remainder of the session.
Wednesday was a longish MAF run in which I felt fantastic with Thursday, Friday and Saturday dedicated to being recovery runs keeping my HR under 144 BPM, with a set of 6x 100m strides tacked onto the end of Thursday's run. It took until Saturday's run to start feeling fully recovered from the intervals which worked out perfectly.
Sunday rolled around and I was feeling fantastic. I ate a good meal the night before - roast chicken with roast butternut and beetroot is becoming my go-to race staple - limited my alcohol to a 340ml can of Life & Death IPA 😋 and two small glasses of wine and got a good night's sleep. I woke up nice and early on Sunday morning, had my customary Bulletproof coffee, breakfast and headed to the race.
I knew this was an undulating course going in so wasn't expecting to dip under 80 mins but I changed my mind towards the end of the first lap when I discovered that the ups weren't that steep or long, but the downs were, and I was flying down the downs.
I went through halfway bang on target for getting 79 mins on the dot and felt really good too so I backed off a little up the hills and flew down the downs on the second lap. I was expecting to fall off the pace in the second half, but that didn't happen. Yes I was slightly slower, but not significantly.
I spent most of the race in 5th place with the 4th place guy always in sight, but a little out of reach… until about 16k when he clearly started to fade. This happened to coincide with the start of all the downs so I took my cue and picked up the pace and flew past him and spent the last 3-4k fearing he'd left some in the bag for the hill at the end. He didn't. :heart_eyes:.
Finished in 4th place in a new PB time: 1:19:10. This was not a course I was expecting to get a PB on so who knows what I could have done on a flat route. I think this goes to show all those miles are definitely starting to pay off.