Well, my run last Wednesday morning was a good one after all. The plan was a quick 10 miler, though in the end turned out to be 11.5 for good measure. This was followed on Thursday with a 10k. As much as my legs are feeling pretty strong and cardio fitness is great, there's no question my legs get to a point where the muscles need broken down and softened a bit. The repetition of each step during the road runs can feel a bit like slabs of meat pulling on my knees. I readily booked in for a massage with another of our massage therapists, Margot Manson after work on Friday. I love the feeling after a massage, of walking home and my legs and hips feeling as though they're gliding, like someone has taken an oiling can to them.
The massage set me up nicely for my last long run on Sunday. For the first time, I ran with my brother Thomas. He has also signed up for Glencoe, though his training has been very different from mine. 2 weeks of the month Thomas works offshore, thus his dreaded long miles on a treadmill are such a stark contrast to my sensory experience on the West Highland Way. Imagine, 50 miles in one week, one foot in front of the other and going nowhere! Add in 4 walls and a BIG mirror in front of your face - not a pretty sight! I introduced him to what now feels like my route -18 miles (out to Killearn and back). He did really well, but did find it tough. At least he's got a good 18 miles under his belt. Though he's my brother, it did feel a bit strange running with someone. You get used to your own rhythm, without thinking about anyone or anything else. Suddenly, someone else has piggy-backed onto your rhythm, which can feel a bit hijacked at times as they speed up or slow down, affecting your fluency. I really enjoyed running together and the company, but on the day it's about running your own race the way you've trained for it.
I also ran my last intensive hill session last night in the park. I left work at 7.30pm, already starting to see daylight diminish. By the time I finished my session half an hour later, darkness had fallen, and definitely time to get out of the park. This just highlighted how long I've been training for this - I did my first 10 mile run off-road at the end of January.
I'm please to say I will get a relatively long lie this Sunday. My long run will be replaced with the Sun Salutation marathon we'll be hosting at balance for the second year running. Having taken part last year, I'm looking forward to a fantastic yoga session which will focus on the sun salutation sequence for an hour. There is something quite meditative about continually repeating this sequence, though don't mistake it for a nice relaxing class. This is quite a rhythmical but strong sequence which will give your whole body a fantastic workout. This year we're giving all proceeds to Motor Neuron Disease Scotland. It's a great class and a great cause, so please go if you can.
Time for some sleep before casting my vote in the morning!!