With three-quarters of my weekly mileage goal in the bag already, I had only 25km or so to knock over in the four days left in the week. As I am planning on taking two days off on Friday and Saturday owing to Cécile’s parents being in town, splitting that 25km between this morning and a Sunday evening run seemed sensible. An easy 10 or 15km each day and I would be done, happy, and above 100km for the week once again.
Knowing I would be out for only 90 minutes at the most this morning, I gave myself a sleep in and set the alarm for 7:00am. As it happened, I woke naturally at 6:00am, listened to the radio for a half hour, and then got up and got going out the door around 40 minutes later. It was going to be a quick 60 to 90 minutes of running tempo on a Thursday morning – with one catch.
It was raining, and raining hard.
With the rain pouring down I set off along the Soane in the direction of the Isle Barbe. I know that it is about 6km to the island or 7km if I throw in the trail loop that turns around from the bridge. This coupled with the return route should give me about 13km for the morning, leaving a nice and easy 10K for Sunday night.
This run, though, was anything but easy.
I had decided to try some tempo work and set my target at 5:00 splits. This is OK on a regular day but with the rain, the puddles, the trail, and the uneven surface on the way back, it was a little more challenging to keep the pace where it needed to be. A couple of time before the turnaround point I thought I might have aimed a little high, and I lost a few seconds at the 5km mark when I had to stop to re-tie my right shoe. Still, heading back towards Lyon on the other side of the Soane, I was hitting my marks and keeping the average speed under the 5:00 split I was ailing at.
I brought up the 10K split a few seconds under the 50:00 minute mark and thought about turning it off for the final few kilometers to home. The rain, however, was still coming down hard and so any energy I would save by running a little slower was only going to be burnt up anyway keeping myself warm. So I pushed on, and finished strong, with three of the four fastest kilometer splits of the day coming in the last four kilometers of the run.
I’ve got two rest days coming up now and, looking back at my training log, in the last seven days I have logged more than 150km on road and trail. I’m still feeling strong, though, and I think I am right where I need to be in the preparation for the 50 miles now a month away on the Thames Path.