Sunday. 8.30 am. A quick glance across the valley. Rain driving through Wharfedale from the west. Not good. A track session to be tackled this morning; I can only hope there is a "weather repeat" of yesterday. Early morning rain turned to bright warn sunshine. very welcome although I must admit I wasn't prepared for it and was far too overdressed for my Saturday 6 miler on the road. March weather is SO unpreditable.
To conclude week 9 of her marathon build up, I had Sally down for 8 x 1K today. But my "acquaintance knowledge" tells me that reps. of less than a mile can be quite punishing on the legs. Particularly wee legs that have 22 miles in them from the previous Wednesday! So I suggested yesterday that we do the session on the track up at Carnegie. Tartan being softer than tarmac!
I say "we" as I need a speed session today as well. The task for me being ...what session can be devised to cater for each of our needs? I've calculated that based on her mile rep times
which she has been doing at an average of 6:40 of late, that Sal should manage around 4:05 for a K rep. I reckon I could cover 900 metres in 4:05 so she will start at the 200 mark, I will start at the 100 point at the same time.
So basically, this morning, I'll be the hunted prey and she'll be the hunter!
If my calculations are correct and we both run to expectations then we should cross the finish line each time together. She will continue arouind to the 200 mark; whilst I turn back to the 100 start. Sounds like a plan!
Sunday 2 p.m.
Is there another commandment which dictates "Thou shalt not use a running track on a Sunday".
We splash around the outer track perimeter path whilst the pools on the tartan get bigger and bigger. We've both plenty of clothing on, but it's so windy, wet and very cold! At least we're not on the top of Ilkley Moor.
After a nod and a wink at "dynamic stretching"....a swung my legs in the air a few times....we were away. As forecast. on the first rep Sally was on my shoulder as we swung into the finish straight and I had to up the pace so that we crossed the line together..........4:03. Great stuff, I thought, but too fast?
A little restrained on the next one.....4.06. A plane roars overhead; taking off from Leeds Bradford airport, no doubt carrying passengers bound for a spot of late winter sunshine. My mind went back to track sessions of the past in the warm, winter sunshine of the Canaries in Las Palmas and on tracks at Villanova and Barcelona in Spain.
But we weren't on the plane, we were struggling around a puddled strewn track in North Leeds and the rain was steadily turning to sleet. Surely it couldn't snow, could it?
As conditions deteriorated my times went out but only a touch.....4.08 4.08 4.08 4.08 but I rallied with 4.07 and a final surge back to 4.03. Sally stuck to her "stalking " task extremely well
crossing the line shoulder to shoulder on all but one of the 8 reps.
To her immmense credit Sally dug very deep today. Many would have thrown the towel in today in the conditions. I'm more used to solo track sessions in adverse weather at Nelson. She more used to speed work in a straight line on the road! Not having done a track session for probably 6 years ( only her 2nd ever!) and with 22 mile run in her legs from Wednesday the morning was proving a tough one. But that was the plan. the need to run hard and fast when tired. As is required from 20 miles in a marathon. I reminded her that if she could manage 6:40 mile pace for these K reps, which she was doing, then a marathon pace of 7.20 will feel a "doddle" on the day......up to 15 miles at least,
then time to dig in. As she did today.
So as per last week I salvaged the week with a Sunday speed session and maintained the year's average with a 43 mile week.
Sally meanwhile has completed her peak mileage week of 65 miles. She will be grateful there's only 4 easy miles to do tomorrow before ploughing on towards the SPEN 20 mile race next Sunday.