2 more weeks have past and the marathon training is really starting to ramp up.
Week 4 included 3 runs of 10 miles or more, including a 19 mile long run for a total of 50 for the week. Originally I had planned a 47 mile week with an 18 mile long run, but having upped my mileage the previous week, it seemed a logical decision to add the odd mile here and there.
The current week didn’t start as planned. A 4 day work trip to Lucerne and temperatures of around minus 8 degrees meant I had to attempt my LT session on the treadmill at 6.30am. The lack of sleep and heat of the gym resulted in a failed session with only 3 of the 5 LT miles completed. My dislike for the treadmill led me to brave the freezing conditions for my recovery and general aerobic runs, which I did but a little quicker than I should have – I blamed this on the need to keep warm!
Saturday’s recovery run including Gunnersbury parkrun was too quick again – no excuse this time.
So having spent the previous few weeks advising and sometimes lecturing others on the need to run the majority of training miles at an easy pace and to be disciplined by sticking to the plan, I needed to have a word with myself. It’s definitely a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’.
Today’s run was more of the same, although it has also given me a lot of confidence just 5 weeks into the plan. This morning was the inaugural Farnborough Half Marathon. As previously mentioned the plan was to do a few warm up miles, start the race slowly and finish with 10 miles @PMP (7.00mm). My preparation was going well – a large meal the night before, early breakfast, plenty of hydration and I arrived at the race in good time. And then it happened, I reached into my bag to put my Garmin on and I couldn’t find it. ‘Panic’ (this is overdramatic – frustration and a little annoyance was more the reality) struck – how could I run this properly without a watch! I soon calmed down and set out a plan. Starting slowly and picking up to 7mm was going to be difficult as I would be out of synch with other runners and would have no idea what pace I was running. I decided that I would push myself to 6.52mm for the first 10 miles, as I knew there was a 1 hour 30 pacer, and then finish with 3 slower miles. The pacer was very good and I didn’t miss the watch too much. I felt comfortable throughout and in part this was probably down to not having the constant distraction of checking my watch. The course itself was relatively flat, although there were a few slight inclines and a couple of uphill miles leading up to the 9 mile point. So when the 10 mile point came up, I was towards the highest point of the course. I initially stuck to the plan and eased off, but as we were running downhill I was able to keep with the pacer without too much difficulty. And so yet again I went against my own rhetoric by keeping with the pacer to the end. In truth it was very comfortable and finishing in 1.29.15 (my 3rd quickest half marathon) I now have a dilemma as to whether to step up my training and try and achieve sub-3 or stick with the original goal of 3.05 and GFA.
I don’t need to make a decision yet, but will see how the training goes over the next few weeks and see whether I need to adjust my goals – but most importantly, I need to stick to the plan!