This week I did all of my scheduled training sessions – that almost never happens. However, I did it and I now have that achey/sleepy/I may just have yet another slice of my banana bread after my industrially sized bowl of pasta Sunday feeling that you get when it’s been a marathon training job well done kind of week.
I actually really enjoyed all five of my training runs this week, but the ones I want to focus on in this post are my progression/interval run and my Satuday parkrun.
Now, normally I do my speed sessions, or at the very least define my “speed sessions”, in the form of intervals or on the track, and usually with NRC. However, one of my favourite sessions to complete and feel like I’ve done well on is the progression or alternating paces run, because when I’ve completed one I almost always look back at it with disbelief. I love training on a track but there’s something about a continuous run that involves speed that makes me think “hell yeah, I can do this” – if I can hit the times. After track and a steady run on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively, my session was planned for after work on Thursday. I was going to do 2km very easy, 5km at half marathon pace, 1 to 2km very easy to get me home. However, leaving the office at nearly 8pm after a long day meant I wouldn’t get home and get out running til nearly 9pm. Not to mention trudging to Bank station int the dark and mizzy rain meant motivation wasn’t exactly running high. I texted that I was going to miss my run tonight and just deal with it in the morning instead and go home and wallow about feeling tired and eating chocolate. Quite a nice plan really.
But then I put my music on shuffle on the tube home, and somewhere around Elephant & Castle I went from not really paying attention to who knows what, to hearing the familiar dum di dum di dum di dum of Survivor crashing through. Eye of the Tiger. The ultimate cliche, but man does it work! I got my wifi signal at Kennington and texted to say that the run was back on, and it was ON. I knew I needed to go out there and just smash it as best I could.
5km at half marathon pace… I started with the first two at the pace I know I can comfortably hold for a good but non PB half marathon, and as I settled into kilometre three I knew there was more to give on this one and came through fighting in the rain to get two faster km repeats and a final fastest one – 4:40, 4:38, 4:30, 4:28, 4:25 – and by the time I was just ticking the legs over at easy pace to get home I was practically bouncing down the road with glee.
Lesson? If in doubt, channel your inner Rocky and learn when to push through and when to rest.
Next, onto parkrun. I’d never done a parkrun before Saturday and given their widespread popularity I won’t bang on about what it is, but I did enjoy it very much. I took part in the one at Brockwell Park in Brixton, which is a hilly park, and tried to take it at more than steady but not race pace, and was really pleased to come home in 22:34. It did make me start thinking about what I could do if I were to properly go for it and go back each week – and I guess therein lies part of the attraction of parkrun. You can race you vs you as often as you’d like, without having to feel pressure as there really is a wonderful community atmosphere. I’m a convert.
Time to talk about food, after all it’s a big part of my life, and half of the name of my blog. So I thought I’d just cover off three of the foodie items and spots I’ve enjoyed this week.
The Restaurant: The Guinea Grill, Mayfair
This is where I went for my valentine’s dinner and the food is unpretentiously outstanding. Just really good quality steak, pie and British fare in a traditional pub combined with a white tablecloth restaurant. Not the cheapest, but a special venue for dinner with an ‘old soul’ kind of guy.
The Recipe: Cannellini Bean Stew by Deliciously Ella
I love both sundried tomatoes and quick meals that taste like they’ve been cooked slow – so this was a winner for me. I’m trying to be a little more frugal at the moment and used this vegetarian recipe as a filling evening meal, with a jar of sundried tomatoes found at Lidl for 85p. Bargain.
(Deliciously Ella’s pic, not mine – I do not create attractive plates of food)
The Snack: KIND bars
I’m very lucky and KIND sent me a selection of their delicious bars to try as one of their random acts of kindness and they’ve been helping me get through a busy period of work where nearby office snacks are neither healthy nor filling. The Mocha one and the Chocolate and Peanut one were definitely my favourites and I was pretty heartbroken when I finished my box. So you can imagine the butterflies in my stomach when I got sent some more with love on Valentines Day. Chocolate and me are always a match, but throw in peanuts too… it’s love.