Marathon Training Week 16 – I Can See the Light

Taper week two, or training week 16, started as most of the preceding weeks have done – with a gentle four miles in which to ease out an lingering repercussions from the efforts over the weekend. It felt good to shake off the Cross Country race and 13 Sunday miles.

Tuesday’s track session was tough as the long session was actually relatively short (recovery in brackets) :

400m (45s)

8x 600m (7x 1min, 45s on final rep)

400m (30s)

200m

Not sure when I last did a full blown 200m effort like that. I was definitely done-in at the end.

Marc and I went for a drink afterwards to discuss the plans for this week and race day itself. Since then I have been trying to come up with my coping strategies for when the going gets tough, and I think that I have a few points to remind myself of when I am out on the roads. I suspect I’ll take a marker pen with me to write a few keywords on my hand to focus on when I need them.

I rested, as usual, on Wednesday before my now standard Thursday morning run commute to work. I’ve grown to really enjoy these morning runs, and given the short distance to cover this week it was quite nice to be able to help sort Delilah out before leaving.

I wasn’t planning on going to parkrun on Saturday, but Lyndsey has assumed that I was so I decided ‘why not?’. I only had an easy run planned. I hadn’t been at the park long before Martin sidled over and asked what my plan was, given I was well into the taper. I told him that I was looking for about 9:30/mile pace and I was quickly handed a bib and the number 30. Looks like I had a job to do as a pacer for the first Cranleigh parkrun pacing event.

I had a bunch of ladies surrounding me on the start line who all hoped to reach the 30 minute goal, and one lady in particular, Jane, kept ticking along next to me very nicely for the first lap as we got to halfway in just about 14 1/2 minutes. Perfect pacing for the second time up the hill. However, I started to lose Jane behind me and I caught Andrew’s daughter and shouted to her, walking in front of me, to say that her Dad had told me I wasn’t allowed to catch her up. At the final corner I passed her, but encouraged her to keep up with me. In the end, my bus was a little too fast as I managed to finish the course in 29:05 (oops – but in fairness it was bang on my target pace of 9:30.) Jane ended up coming in at 30:03 and secured a PB, but I can’t help feeling guilty for getting a little too far ahead of her over the hill and not helping her to ultimately duck under that 30 minute time.

In the afternoon I had a brilliant time in Guildford (excluding the crowds) as we did a little bit of shopping and Lyndsey pretended she had a full-size doll to dress up as I desperately searched for the elusive ‘business-chic’ required for my trip to the states in a week’s time.

Today I knocked out a super-steady, nice and comfortable, eight miles around and about the village of Cranleigh. It was perfectly pleasant, and quite pleasing that I was able to keep my pacing fairly consistent despite not really paying too much attention to the Garmin.

Then I spent the afternoon getting my domestic-godess’ness going as I cooked up a storm in the kitchen with roast chicken followed by plum crumble. yummers.

This time next week: I’ll be back home! Bring on the final week!

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