You’re getting better – you just can’t see it

The end of Week 5 of my SDW100 training.

The first 4 weeks went to plan, with all of the planned runs completed and lots of steady, aerobic running to build an endurance base plus the introduction of some speed work (intervals or hill intervals).

This week I just didn’t feel on it. I well and truly lost my running mojo on Tuesday’s interval session (the first run if the week) but got it done. Upon reflection I think that last weekend’s 20 mile run took more out of me than I thought so I decided not to worry about this week’s planned mileage and have a lower mileage week. No point in forcing it this early on in the training.

Wednesday’s steady run was much more enjoyable but then, due to work and other commitments, I didn’t manage a run until today (Sunday). I had an 18 miler planned but family commitments meant that I only had time for 15 miles. Rather than stressing about “lost miles” I decided to push myself harder on this run and use it to test my mental strength, something I’ve made a focus in my 100 mile training. I know that I tend to stop running and break into a walk earlier than I need to during long runs and set about planning my route and telling myself that I’d run more of the hills than I normally do, albeit at a slow and steady pace.

This morning I set off and just ran, pushing a little harder than I have of late and only looking at my Garmin occasionally to check the distance covered. At those times when I could hear the voice in my head saying “Time to stop and walk, that hill is too long to run” and similar things I just kept going. It wasn’t easy but once I got into a steady running rhythm I found that I could maintain it. Several times during the run I ignored the voice and just kept moving. Easy does it. Momentum matters.

It’s only just occurred to me that I ran 15 miles of flat, coastal trails 2 weeks ago with Phil. Today I ran 15 miles of hilly, countryside trails. In the same time.

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Progress is, indeed, being made.

I'm still convinced that I'll run 100 miles in June and complete the SDW100. Now I'm determined to ensure that my training is quality and I continue to build my mental strength and push through perceived limits.

I guess I'd better start that by resuming the strength, core and flexibility work that I was doing until last week. Bring on the next few weeks.