So on Sunday I remembered that I needed to do my Magic Mile this week. Thankfully, participation counts for more than the age graded time, as I know I am not a speedy runner. The last time I did the Magic Mile was back in 2011, when I somehow managed to run 7.53! Back then there was a perfect loop opposite my house- pavement (and a cycle path, so nice and wide) with no roads or entrances on it. I had to measure it on the internet, as back then I didn’t have a Garmin either, and so it was a bit less scientific- I had to run the loop one and a third I think (the mile was as accurate as I could get it). Anyway, since then the land in the middle of the loop has been turned into a distribution centre, so there are now two big entrances busy with lorries- not ideal for “sprinting” past.
In the end I settled on a route about half a mile away- it was an out and back route, which is not perfect, but better than having to cross roads and driveways etc. After work on Monday I jogged/ walked up there, to warm up, and then went for it. I decided to aim for 8 minute miles, and see if I could manage to hang on. Surprisingly, I nearly managed it. I was gasping at the end (and I found it a bit strange as I was sprinting until my Garmin beeped, instead of heading towards a finish line- hard to know exactly when to push)- my final time was 8.12. I was very glad I had chosen a shady route, and then walked over to the allotment to do some watering (yes with a watering can and not just with my sweat).
I also picked a handful of raspberries which I had on my breakfast this morning- delicious!
Alongside breakfast I had some blueberry iced tea. I was sent some BlueberryActive from the lovely folks and CherryActive, and I had tried it as you are meant to have it (diluted with water)- it was good but I fancied a fruity iced tea, so I made up some black tea with cherry (yes, it would probably taste better with CherryActive!) and then left it to cool, and in the morning poured it into the glass along with the blueberry juice and some ice cubes. I am looking forward to trying it in a smoothie too, before I do a “proper” review.
So, my magic mile time this year was slower than my time two years ago. I thought I might be disappointed, but I am not really. Partly I think last time I did it the mile I measured might not have been accurate, but also because last time I had been training regularly. I could take it that I have slowed down, but I know that is not true either. Since then my half marathon time has come down a lot, my 10K time has improved, and Parkruns are showing me that I can be at least consistent with a faster 5K time. I think the proper idea of the magic mile is to do some proper speed training, but as it fell right after a holiday that was never going to happen. My best 5K time at Parkrun is 27.12 (a time I have managed twice to the second!), and for that I have to run 8.45 minute miles, so I knew I could go quicker than that as it is a shorter distance. I managed it 30 seconds quicker, which I have decided is not too bad.
Today I was going to have a run after work, but I was shattered! I would normally have a rest day after a long run, and although my run on Sunday was not that long, it was further than I had been for a few weeks. As I have had stiff legs getting back into it I didn’t want to make it worse, and I want to be able to manage the Sweatshop run tomorrow.
I feel like I have not got into a proper routine yet- I like to know I am doing Pump on this day, long run on that day, and at the moment I keep changing things up, which can be good but it also means I get confused about how many runs I have been on (I was planning on running Mon, Tues, Wed, Sat and Sun, and when I worked that out I realised I would probably get too tired as I normally do 3 or 4 runs per week). I like things to be neat!
Do you like a routine or do you change things up each week?