Taper week. never have two words looked so beautiful on a scruffy bit of paper than these! After three very heavy race weekends on the bounce, the realisation that I wasn’t going to have to do as much running this week was a joy to behold. It meant I could spend my Monday having a lie-in, resting my aching body with all its cuts and bruises from it’s weekend of OCR without feeling guilty.
In all honesty this taper week was more well planned than I could have anticipated as I have been shattered all week, to the point where twice I came home from work, sat on the bed to take off my work clothes and found myself waking up an hour later in that bemused state of “What year is this, what planet am I on?” that comes from an unexpected nap… and I don’t nap! I clearly needed a rest.
I made it a light training week, with just two Bootcamp sessions, and it’s fair to say I struggled with these, a bruised rib making some exercises nearly impossible and leaving me feeling a bit pathetic! I managed a couple of kilometres of running during these sessions but nothing crazy, so I should have been going into Friday well rested, but I still felt sluggish and tired.
Friday evening I travelled with the hubby to Rye Harbour for the first of the three races that make up the Rye Summer Series with a sense of trepidation. I had won the series last year but am well aware that my running is not where it was, I was curious to see, in race conditions and on this flat course, exactly how much slower I’ve actually gotten!
It was a really hot evening, as we set off out of the harbour and along the road, before turning into the nature reserve. The wind was fairly strong pushing back at you as you ran, and It was already feeling like a struggle, it felt like my brain was having an argument with itself as I ran, the pessimistic side telling me “You can’t do this, you’ll never make 10km, You’re already struggling” against the side of me that stubbornly refuses to ever give up “you’ve got this, don’t stop running, it doesn’t matter what time you do, just get it done”
The race directors had made the decision to move the water station from the end of the out and back course, to the 3km mark meaning you would hit it twice due to the hot conditions, and the hit of cool water was quite reviving. I had a bit of a stitch from the off and my knee was aching, I was being passed fairly regularly and really felt like I was struggling out to the 5km point. Round the cone and back the way we had came, I started finally to get into my stride, picked the pace up a bit and began to feel a bit more comfortable despite the heat feeling 10 times worse now the wind was at your back and not in your face. Back past the water station most of the second cup went over my head, as I started to pick a few people off again, turning into the final straight and finishing seconds after one of my bootcamp friends who I’d not quite been able to catch. After a quick breather I jogged to the end of the harbour and back to make up the 10km that my watch had clocked slightly short and ended up clocking it as just over 52 mins although my race time was less than this due to my extra little jog. This was 4mins slower than last year, which feels a little disappointing despite knowing I would be slower, but I had still managed a top 10 ladies finish and it’s given me a time to aim to beat next month!
I finished my week with a personal training session where we did a short run then lifted weights and had a really long stretch giving me a slightly shorter than planned distance for the week, and brought my well needed “rest week” to a close. This week no excuses, time to get back out on those long runs!
Week 13 running total: 19km