Confused as usual about what I should really be doing. On the one hand I probably need to recover from the Speyside Way race and on the other hand, the reason that we did it in the first place was as a piece of experimental training for the Kielder Water Marathon to see how an extra long run affects the whole. And also we did it so we could combine a visit to my mum with a running adventure. In this sub-elite world of running, motives are rarely pure and goals are not singular. And we're fond of racing.
Anyway - we tested the water on Monday to see how we were with a run round Arthur's Seat and quite honestly I've felt worse after manys a long run. We took it easy and warmed up slowly and I was a bit stiff but really not too bad.
I don't have work today and although its club tonight, really just wanted to go and test myself alone and without pressure. Plus I hate waiting all day to run at night. So it was I went up to the Meadows for a combined recovery and speed session. I settled on 5 X 1 mile at what I wish my marathon pace was with half mile jogs in between. Usually I'd try to run a bit quicker in an interval session but I question the usefulness of that for improving my basic speed. I thought, "how's about practicing what I preach to others and doing something which is stretching but achievable?" So that's what I did. For the 1st mile interval the pace felt easy but I had quite a lot of stiffness in what I think were my left hamstrings and glutes. After the mile and during the recovery jog bit I stopped and had a really good hamstring stretch. This improved matters somewhat and so after the next mile interval I did the same thing and this loosened the whole thing off nicely. By interval 4 and 5 I was beginning to flail a bit, which is probably as it should be, so it took a bit more determination to make it at the pace I wanted. By this time both the right and left set of glutes were complaining, not in a "we're injured" kind of way, but in a "we're tired" kind of way, and I was glad to finally stop. Job done though! I did the session I set out to do.
An easy jog back home via Arthur's Seat rounded the session off nicely. On my way down Arthur's seat I saw the returning-to-form-after-a-long-absence John Blair galloping up the hill like a police horse or something. You wouldn't get in his way. It'll be interesting to see what he does at Berlin.
We have a couple of interesting races lined up in the run up to Kielder. The fast flat Stirling 10K, followed the next weekend by the long, hilly and arduous two breweries race.