I’m not 100% sure, but it must be about four weeks since I last wrote a blog post. Some of that is down to laziness, but a large proportion is simply down to the fact that I just didn’t feel compelled to whine about my running. Today, I figured that I might as well do just that.
In the last running-related blog post of mid – June I had visited the physio whilst on an enforced week of rest and recovery which I hoped would see the end of lingering knee / ankle pain. This appears to have been a success as, touching all the wood in the vicinity, I have not seem a recurrence of these issues.
So, my training for the Coyote marathon kicked off officially the following week and the mileage jumped up quickly. It was the final week of term which should have been a good thing, but a student team-building day on Monday meant I missed that run. Then I have blood on Wednesday and pretty much wiped out the rest of the week before my long run on Saturday let me feeling low because my steady 8 min/mile pace never materialised and as I got slower still my knee took a hammering. At six miles I ‘phoned Lyndsey for a lift and my seventh mile was actually my fastest because I knew the end was finally coming. I completed just half of my target 15 miles for the day 😂
We went away for our first proper family holiday the following week and although Uplyme and Lyme Regis are beautiful, they are not flat places! My easy run on the Monday morning in the drizzle had some ridiculous elevation, but when I caught a tiny glimpse of the sea from above Lyme Regis it all became worthwhile. I had worried about how I might do the track workout there, but I was just about able to do a solo benchmark session running round and round the cricket oval in Uplyme.
Life continued to get in the way as I missed a six miler as I had to get to London on Saturday morning and then I attempted a 16 mile run on Sunday which was supposed to finish with five miles at 7 min pace. This started badly and got worse. So much do that I was back to ‘steady’ pace but making the same effort, and as my form dropped my knee hurt, so yet again I bailed out early.
Week three of the training plan started, and I missed the easy run for a day in London with the wife looking at the summer exhibition at the RA. Probably as a direct result, my first time at the track in forever was a painful affair. I was back on it by Thursday though as I set about a threshold session aiming for six miles at 7 minute pace. With a heavy metal soundtrack battering my ears I very nearly pulled it off. But then long run number three saw me baling out early yet again. My pace was so slow that I ran out of time before I had to go out and instead of 17 miles I struggled to about 15.5.
Feeling pretty fed up by this point, I was even more disappointed to miss another Monday easy run. Many might consider this ridiculously slow-paced effort as rather easy to sacrifice, but I have definitely discovered that when I miss this opportunity to ease out my legs from the weekend the Tuesday track session is far harder! This meant that 10×400 last week felt pretty tough, but at least I kept them consistent at 90s each. This was an interesting warm up ahead of the club handicap race on Wednesday, but it was what the coach prescribed. As the country was gripped in the continued heatwave called “summer”, running had been tough, and this race was no exception. Thanks to some navigationally challenged members of the club Caroline and I finished joint first (though to my mind she won as she waited for me at the end.) The effort was followed by delicious pizza at the pub at the bottom of the hill. The weekend rolled round and it was time to feel a bit miserable about the long run. Finally, I actually completed the distance set, but after a sting of a hill at mile 13 the final five definitely saw my pace drop.
I know the heat has played a huge part in the difficulties I have faced in the last four weeks, but that doesn’t seem to appease my negative mindset and I find myself stuck in a loop of disappointment having struggled so much recently; I feel that I am just not enjoying this marathon training.
Yesterday I made it out for the easy four mile leg shake-out so hopefully that will mark the beginning of an upward trajectory in my training. Fingers crossed please everyone.