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Entries in training (8)

Monday
Nov282011

6 weeks to go

Running 1st-27th November

I can't quite believe it's only 6 weeks to go! How on earth did that happen?

The last four weeks of running have been quite interesting. I did another 15 miles the week after I last blogged, which was difficult. I was fine for about the first 2.5 hours again, but then I got tired. The difference seemed to be that this time it wasn't my legs. My head went for the first time, and I couldn't make myself do it any more. I ran more slowly than the previous week, which really wasn't what I'd been expecting. I came off that week so flat, I didn't even want to think about running for most of the next week, and as you can see I didn't do any. I managed to force myself to go for a run on the Sunday, but it was a bit of an effort. 

It helped though. By the Tuesday I went for my first run home along the seafront in the dark. I was at my desk dreading it, but as soon as I got out of the door I felt great. Turns out it's not quite as far along the top of the cliffs as it is along the undercliff walk, but it's not as flat either (and windier) so I think it cancels out. I've got a new plan for Thursdays too. I now come into work with Clarkie, then turn round and run home and work there all day. That makes the trail running easier than trying to do it in the dark - it's not a good surface, I come close to turning an ankle on it when I can see, so a head torch probably won't cut it. 

The weekend of the 19th-20th we were up in Cambridge. I was supposed to be doing an 18 mile run, but after 13 miles my feet decided to let me know they'd had enough. There didn't seem much point in pushing them further for risk of injury, so we stopped and Dad came to pick me up.

The really strange thing is that bailing out on that run seems to have really made me feel much better about the whole thing. I can't work out why. It's almost like my legs responded to that 13 miles like a weekend off. I felt so much stronger and better this week. It could be that the weekend spent being looked after by my parents and doing almost nothing more than sitting in the sun in their conservatory is what really recharged my batteries, but the run this Saturday felt awesome. I did 16 miles in 3 hours, not the 15.2 or so I did a couple of weeks ago. Ok, the extra 25 minutes felt quite long, and my legs were glad to stop, but I've been in much worse shape after fewer miles. 

It feels like my calves and feet have finally given in. It feels like I can do this now. This week is a rest week, and then there are two more long runs to practice before I taper for the race.

Bring. It. On.

Sunday
Oct302011

10 weeks to go...

I meant to post last week, really I did. But last week was not a good running week. 

Two weeks' trainingThe first week was supposed to be a nice, restful week. Low mileage, just a 1 hour run on the Saturday. Well, I missed the Thursday run. I had really, really sore calves, and was just starting to worry about shin splints (yeah, probably hypochondria.) so I skipped and started stretching and so on. Clarkie dug her thumbs in a few times too, with interesting results where I nearly went through the ceiling! I thought I might need to do some miles in slightly more supportive shoes, to give my calves a break on the longer runs, so I tried to do the Saturday run in my Asics. I also mostly felt like staying on the sofa drinking tea.

It did not go well.

I hated the shoes, which felt like they were really squishing my feet. I lost the feeling in my toes after about 10 minutes. The wind was in my face, and the undercliff walk was full. It was extremely demoralising. 

This week started much better. Tuesday's run was awesome in fact. I felt good after my 8 miles. Then Wednesday evening I suddenly went very tired, and Thursday and Friday were spent at home fighting off a sore throat that was threatening to turn into a cold. My long run was supposed to be Saturday, but we went to Hailsham (I've been running on the Cuckoo Trail for these long ones) and Clarkie's mum needed some help shifting stuff and I was feeling a bit under the weather still, so we postponed. 

Today's run was great! Well, for the first 2.5 hours or so. This is a good sign. I've been extending my long runs by 30 minutes at a time, and I seem to die 30 minutes later on each one. My tactic is to try and push the bad miles as far back as possible, and it seems to be working. Only down side is my phone (which is what I've been tracking my runs on with GPS and an android app) died after 2 hours 55. So I think I actually did closer to 15.5 miles, because I kept going for the full 3 hours. Not sure what I'll do on the longer runs I've got planned. 

I should also point out that Clarkie is an absolute trooper, who comes with me on all these long runs on her bike. She carries the refreshments, chats at me, keeps me going when it's got tough and generally makes the long runs possible. Then when we make it back she feeds and waters me, runs a bath or puts me in the shower, and looks after me. There is no way I could do this without her. 

Next week is supposed to look a lot like this week. No Monday run because of the shunt of today's run onto Sunday. I might shift the 8 mile run to Thursday too. We'll see how it goes. Other than the long run, everything else is negotiable!

Sunday
Oct162011

12 weeks to go...

12 weeks today, all being well, I'll have completed the Walt Disney World marathon. I figure I'll do a bit of a weekly training update from here on. 

Last week's training:

I'm pretty pleased with that, I did all four runs and did the distance I was hoping to on each one. More or less, anyway. The Saturday run is done on time more than distance. The last 30 minutes was a bit painful, but that's better than the two hour run I did a couple of weeks ago. Slightly more than a half-marathon. Actually, before I uploaded it said 13.6 miles on my phone. Not quite sure what happens when I upload the GPX file!

Next week's training:

Next week is a light week. Should be easy enough, if my legs have recovered enough for a couple of miles tomorrow. Fingers crossed! 

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