Marathon Training Week 14 – Running is a Cruel Mistress

In the final full-throttle week of training I have endured some real highs and lows.

High:
Nailing 7x 800s at the track in 3:10 or less. If you believe the marketing about Yasso 800s that should mean that I have the ability to do a marathon in 3:10. I’m not sure about that though.

Low:
Suffering from the chafing that has been affecting me for the last three weeks or so – absolutely crippling once the pace ramped up. Without being too graphic about it all, it’s the kind of chafe that needs at least a fortnight off running – I just don’t have that luxury so I am just getting on with it.

High:
Nailing an excellent marathon-pace commute to work. With 12 miles on the plan, I had to leave the house super early in order to get to work. One mile warm up, followed by ten miles at 8 min/mile which I hit consistently, and then one mile cool down up the hill to work. I got to my desk bang on 9am. Boom!

High:
Celebrating the Cranleigh parkrun one year birthday in style. Really wasn’t sure that I had it in me to do very much on Saturday, but I set off on the G of Go as ever. Mark and Caroline came through and I held on as best I could as Mark called back to Caroline and I assumed he was pacing her. I knew I just had to hold on. The first mile was about the same as I always seem to do, but the half way time was quicker than I’ve done before and I just knew I had to hold on to Mark. Up the hill Caroline powered past me and Mark cheered us both on. We still bunched really well for the remainder of the course and a sprint finish ensued: Mark taking the win ahead of me and then Caroline in 20:02, 20:03, 20:04 – we were so close, but for me that was a seven second overall PB and 17 seconds faster than I’ve ever done at Cranleigh; just when I thought that no more PBs were coming my way on this course this year.

High:
The final long run of this marathon training session. A worrying-looking session on the training plan given the final 5 miles faster than marathon pace, but ready to bring it on!

Low:
The final long run of this marathon training session. It all started well, at least for the first few miles, but by about mile nine I strangely found it difficult to maintain my pace. I think this was because I had made it up to the canal in Guildford and was struggling a little with the underfoot terrain. I got the pace back on the return journey but I think the damage had been done. The watch reached 16 miles and I set off in search of 7:45 pace: I didn’t quite make it. I made it to 2 miles at 8:05 but as I turned around I knew things weren’t going to work out well. My stomach was in knots, and I had to stop for a moment. I paused for a quick call of nature, but as soon as I set off again I knew it was the end. I managed another mile in which my pace dropped significantly and I called it a day before the walk of shame.

High:
A brilliant afternoon at the Cranleigh food festival with Lyndsey and Delilah, and another fantastic time at the Wood Fair at Wisley Garden this afternoon. Lovely.

2015-10-04 14.23.41

High:
A final high week of high-mileage training completed! Onward to the taper!!

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