Abingdon Marathon training, week 14

Once again, time has galloped away and it’s almost the end of week 15 of my training, so week 14 is now a bit hazy. I’ll try my best to do a recap.

Monday, Wednesday, Friday – rest days (although Wednesday was a long and stressful day involving a lot of meetings and travel for work, so not restful at all!)

Tuesday – 4.6 lunchtime miles with 10-second bursts of speed in the middle. Always fun to do those.

Thursday – Another lunchtime run: 5.4 miles with mid three at marathon pace. I felt like I had excess energy to burn on this run, and perhaps ran some of the marathon pace section a bit too fast.

Saturday – I did a slow 3.8-mile jog to parkrun, and then ran parkrun at about 9:10 pace. It was parkrun’s 15th anniversary so a lot of runners turned up – over 1800 in total!

Sunday – I took part in Kingston Half Marathon. I only signed up for this a few weeks ago. I’d been thinking for a while it would be good to do a half marathon before Abingdon, just to keep my racing muscles warmed up and to see how I might do in the marathon. I think doing one two weeks before the marathon might be a bit close; but we’ll see.

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The Thames from Kingston Bridge – taken by S, who kindly supported me during the race 🙂

I didn’t feel great on this run. I had heavy legs and my head wasn’t really in it. The race started in the town centre. The first mile was very crowded and twisty-turny so I went out slowly – probably a good thing.

I then sped up and managed to stick to around 8:30-8:40 pace for most of the run. I stopped and walked at all the water stations so that I could make sure to drink enough (they used cups, which I can’t drink from while running). I usually take water with me on my long runs and I really wished I’d taken some for the race, as I was feeling a bit dehydrated. After lagging a bit in miles 10-12, I pulled myself together for the last stretch and finished strongly. My official time was 1:55:09 – my second best official HM time. So that’s pretty good.

Total mileage for the week: 30.1

2 weeks to go!!

Weekly running report, 3-9 June 2019

Since finishing Hannover Marathon two months ago, I’ve fallen out of the habit of blogging. I think this is partly because I haven’t been training for anything; but also because when I’ve tried to build my running back up again, I’ve been sidelined by pain in my IT band.

Thankfully, that seems to have settled down now. I’ve been able to get back into more consistent running – which has also been great for my mood. (Although I managed to just write and delete a whole post and so I’m having to type it again from scratch – not the best start to my blogging comeback.)

At the beginning of this week, I took a couple of days off after a relatively heavy weekend of running (6.7 miles fast-ish on the Saturday; 8 miles very slow on the Sunday). On Wednesday I did a slow 3.4 miles into Bushy Park and back; and then an easy 4-miler on Friday morning.

Saturday was parkrun day. I wasn’t feeling great, but I managed a reasonable run. I squeezed in at just under 26 minutes. This felt hard. It baffled me that I ran it at the same pace at which I’d run the Vitality London 10,000 at the end of May; and the pace at which I’d like to run next week’s half marathon. That seems impossible at the moment. (Yes, I’m running a half marathon next week. I’m feeling vastly undertrained for it. So we’ll see how that goes.)

Today I went for a long, slow run in the morning. The weather was perfect for running: sunny, cool, and with a light wind. I did 11 miles – firstly through Bushy, then I ventured down to the towpath for some lovely views along the river (I took no photos, sadly). I then toddled around Hampton Court Palace, and back into Bushy again before heading home. I noted, once again, how very lucky I am to live where I do.

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Me on my new bike

In other exciting news, I bought a bike this week. I haven’t had a bike for – I don’t actually know. Many years. I took it on its first proper outing today, after my run. I cycled into Bushy with S, who was doing a brick run (running after a bike ride). We then sat in the sun at a new cafĂ© with friends. A nice ending to the week (and well-timed, as there was an unexpected torrential downpour this afternoon).

Weeks 10 & 11 of marathon training: Recovery, race, recovery

Once again, another week has passed without an update. I’ve ticked off three more runs since last Wednesday, so I suppose I’ve just been getting on with it rather than stopping to analyse, which I think is a good thing.

Saturday’s run was a very easy 20 minutes around the block. I had treated myself to a lie-in, rather than my usual Saturday morning routine of going to parkrun. Turned out this was a good call. I realised just how much of my time lately has been taken up with running and related socialising. Not that I don’t enjoy it, but I do need my alone time.

I definitely felt the benefits of an extra bit of rest, especially as on Sunday, I was running the Thorpe and Egham Half Marathon, along with S. and a group of friends. It was an early start: S. and I picked up two friends at 7.15am, and then went on to another friend’s house, where we arranged ourselves into three cars and drove to a car park about ten minutes’ walk from the race event village.

It was a really beautiful day: a bright, frosty morning, followed by blue skies and blazing sun. It was perfect running weather. I hadn’t really decided what sort of run I wanted to do – I had been so focused on the marathon that I hadn’t really thought about this race. In the training plan that I am sort-of-but-not-really following, it did say to aim for a fast half marathon in time of less than 1 hour 50 minutes. I wasn’t sure I was quite at that standard, but I did vaguely think I might be able to do around 1:51-1:52 – which would be a half marathon PB for me, by around four minutes.

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Not very far into the race – still smiling.

I set off a little too fast (getting carried away by the race adrenaline as usual), but reined myself in and slowed down to about an 8:30-8:40 pace. This felt fairly comfortable, so I stuck at that. Although the course was hillier than I had expected, and I did feel a bit tired at times, I managed to hold my pace until the end – something I hadn’t managed to achieve before in a half marathon (I have always slowed down in the last few miles). The big timer showed 1:53:56 when I crossed the finish line. I was very pleased with that – and even more pleased to learn that my chip time was 1:52:43.

I collected a pile of post-race goodies – medal, yellow t-shirt, flapjack, etc. – and joined 52647429_10158237798678047_4814764673616314368_nthe rest of the group for stretching, photos, and then lunch at an Italian restaurant. There were several PBs to celebrate, and it was also a friend’s birthday. All in all, a good team day out.

My legs felt quite sore on Monday (and still do now) so I was glad to have a rest day. Yesterday I went for a very easy four-mile run. A speed workout was on the plan, but my legs still weren’t up to much more than recovery pace, and I was okay with that. Tonight I need to do some proper stretching (and maybe foam rolling – eek) before the next batch of training runs.

39 days to go!