My wordpress Reader seems to be full of blogs telling me that there are eight weeks to go in this London Marathon buildup. Eight weeks! Where did time disappear to?
I suppose that makes it even more important to get a good week of training under my belt, on my feet and in my legs – especially after the previous fortnight’s disasters.
Ready to hit the road running (excuse the pun) I knocked out a comfortable four miles at lunchtime on Monday as I tried to wrestle with the demons inhabiting my head following the long run failure of the day before. I felt niggles left and right, decided I was probably doing the wrong thing in pushing through the (limited) pain. It went though, and I finished the run feeling pretty good.
The temperature had dropped by Tuesday, and running around the track was icy cold as the gigantic full moon hovered in the sky just above us. The session was a long one : 7x1000m off 60s. Something I had eaten beforehand seemed to sit a little funny in my tummy and the first few reps were rather uncomfortable as my stomach was highly unsettled. A quick pitstop soon sorted that out and the final few reps passed much more comfortably (it’s all relative when doing track reps!) The plan called for 2 ‘bonus’ miles immediately afterwards, and this week I decided to stick to the track – they passed with no bother in exactly 14 minutes.
I am thinking about turning pro in ‘resting’ as I knocked another rest day out of the park on Wednesday. I needed it because it was a super early start on Thursday as I had a 12 mile commute on the plan. With no faster bits in the middle, this steady, 8min/mi, effort meant leaving the house before 7 am so we were both very grateful that Delilah decided to grace us with a full night sleep. Apparently she then took that as a primer for a morning of being a pickle. By then though, I was well and truly out in the cold on my run. I settled into my pace early on and just ticked off the miles one after the other – all whilst listening to a very interesting episode of Marathon Talk in which they interviewed Dr Dan Gordon about the vagaries of pacing (there has since been a second half to this interview, and both are highly recommended if you haven’t already listened!)
Friday continued my practice as a resting athlete, but it did include a delightful trip to the dentist who had to hack out one metal filling, shave sharp bits of tooth out, and then apply a lovely new white filling. No pain in the mouth, but it sure did pack a punch on my wallet!
In order to fulfill other weekend obligations I decided to shuffle my runs around. So Sunday’s long run had to take place on Saturday. Time limited by Lyndsey working in the afternoon I had to get out early doors and take on an 18 miler; the furthest I have run since Frankfurt, and I was partly nervous having ballsed up the last two long-run efforts and so so far only managing 14 in this phase of training.
I stuck my headphones in my ears, kissed my girls goodbye, and stepped out onto the wild streets of Cranleigh. Weather was perfect and yet again the miles just seemed to tick by so smoothly. I felt comfortable throughout and I can’t believe that in October this was marathon pace – gotta love evidence of improvement!
With Lyndsey at work I gave Delilah the option to either go swimming or to the softplay. She chose the latter, and I wasn’t sure whether to be pleased about that or not. Once there, I knew it was probably not the best choice she could have made. On a Saturday afternoon it was manic in there, and given that she lacks confidence in running off and playing on her own I had to clamber up to the top of the play area with her and go up and down the slide. My poor weary legs!
I could see this moment coming from a mile off – I just had to hope that the shutter-lag on my phone’s camera didn’t miss the shot.
In the name of swapping I had to complete Saturday’s run this morning. On the plan had been a parkrun followed by 3 steady miles. Running 3 miles at parkrun effort pace all on my lonesome was tough, and in the end I was just happy to average about 6:50 pace for this session. I did a simple out’n’back 3 miles, so I headed home comfortably and got home in good time for a shower and change before heading back out the door and visiting my folks. Dad had his hip replaced a couple of weeks ago, and his level of mobility is pretty amazing – though it wasn’t quite enough for Delilah who was demanding attendance on the floor to play with toys or to dance! It was a lovely, albeit cold, afternoon for a stroll on the seafront too.
So there we have it; the first (and only) properly successful week of running in February. Almost 50 miles put on the legs this week. Marathon training is back on track, and I am feeling good. Bring on March!