A bit early this week, but 2 weeks away from the Marathon marks the beginning of my mega month of races and the first one is this Sunday!!
The story so far:
6.75 miles run.
27K run – my last major long run before Marysville – they won’t be any longer than this until marathon day.
And to come….
A few miles. Scope out the race start line, how long it will take me to get there, what shoes to wear, etc.
Putting Warm Weather Training To The Test
It has been an educational week (what training week isn’t) but the lessons this time were not necessarily lessons to show me my limits, but more like mock exams – tests to show me where I am at.
I am back in the UK, briefly, the weather is a lot colder, the air is easier to move through, and hydration is less of an issue. Time to have some fun.
Monday and Tuesday were particularly fun as I headed out at dusk and found myself haring along a very dark section of the Thames path, with no head torch, running as fast as I dare and hoping there were no stray tree roots, dogs or light less cyclists to trip over. It was exhilarating, if a little scary.
The big one, the true litmus test, a test to see what sort of shape I am in for this marathon. Luckily I have (actually) run 40K before, last year to be precise, so I know what it is like to run and feel sore for a very very long time. Although my long runs in Doha were not necessarily what one would call long (in distance) for marathon training, they were at least long in effort. I guess what I am trying to say is that the idea of a 3 hour training run is not alien, or horrifying, to me and I have experienced running at the 5 hour mark. And without completely distilling what was an awesomely fun long run down to data – I just needed to see whether I am looking at a 4 hour marathon or a 5 hour marathon.
When I headed out at 9am on Wednesday morning it was raining, hard. Not an issue, I have been looking forward to a bit of rain. I had planned to run between 30 and 32K and I had given myself 4 hours to do it, which works out at about 7min/K. Unfortunately this was not the case, as much as I tried, as slow as I went I just could not get it slow enough and after a good 10K of constantly trying to slow down, I resigned to the simple fact that despite the knowledge of the distance I had stretched out before me, my body simply did not want to run any slower than about 6:40/K. This may have had something to do with the rain, it did rain at me for all of the time I was out there.
So I hummed along my route – a there and back between Kew and Wandsworth bridges, I got very wet (yay) and stopped when I hit the 27K mark. I was, understandably, beginning to ache and as I had only covered about 22K in previous long runs, I didn’t want to risk an 8K distance spike a few days before my half and do some damage. Still, at a little over 3 hours with only 2 walking breaks, I felt pretty good. I asked myself the important question:
“Can you imagine running another 15K off the back of this?”
And I can! A few hours later I wasn’t even that sore. True, walking was a little uncomfortable but I have felt stiffer after Paddle boarding.
This morning, I ran an easy 10K, my aim was to run something close to marathon pace, which I achieved. I an feeling pretty confident as I contemplate the next 2 days. My plan is to run the first half of the 1/2 at marathon pace (6min/K) then the second half at somewhere between 5 and 5 1/2 mins per K. This should not only give me another indication of my condition for Marysville but also allow me to set a new PB as this should get me around in about 1:55 – a good three minutes quicker than my last half marathon.
I know these posts are getting a bit technical but that’s kind of where I am at the moment. I plan to have some fun with my race report though, and a long 22 hours of flying to compose it.
To Be Continued.