Friday, September 20, 2013

Lazy, or not so lazy post - onwards towards Berlin

8 days to go then the 415+km run, the 10 lbs of weight lost, the 2 pairs of trainers, the £100+ spent on energy gels & drinks, the kids bedtimes missed, the countless extra showers, the training plan, the costly travel, and the organising will have been worth it... Running for a reason... DiabetesUK @ Berlin Marathon

Monday, September 16, 2013

It seems I might be tapering

From yesterday's run completion [16.7miles of mixed pace that went very well] it seems that I am now in a what is commonly known to runners as a taper (a period of relative rest just prior to a big event / race), this doesn't mean I stop training from here on it means that I do shorter less intense sessions from here until race day. Why am I so taken aback to be here now? Well my first marathon training was so bit by injury that I didn't manage a premeditated training plan, only a controlled set of injury dictated cross training sessions over the weeks leading to the race. The second marathon I had planned and did not start was hit by illness and an injury the week before race day (which was supposed to be a taper week).

So here I am wondering how this build up will go, pondering the quality (or otherwise) of my training, and curious as to what race morning will bring. I am hoping that I won't go stir crazy during the taper (apparently it is common to get twitchy to squeeze in more training), as I have plenty of organising to do ahead of travelling to Berlin. Less than two weeks to go and I am very nervous in general about the race - though if nothing else it sounds like being a brilliant occasion to be part of (there is apparently a different musical act performing every kilometre or so!).

My next scheduled run isn't until Wednesday so I'll let you know if I get the twitches. How do you do the taper thing?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Worries around my race pace choice

I completed a great out and back run last night at a decent pace over 80mins, now the only thing that troubles me is where I wear my running belt (pouch at the front or back?) - okay no, the thing worrying me still is my choice of marathon pace! At this point I have a feel for what I think I can safely run for 3hrs, but what pace I can achieve over 4hrs+ still worries me. I am looking for a constant pace, and hoping to avoid a massive fade or pace crash. It is the fine line between so slow that I have too much left at the end and so fast that I have nothing left after 20 miles.

I am going to go with a conservative pace window, hope that I am not wildly unrealistic, and hope that there is something left in the tank come the final 5k to 10k. The worst that can happen is that I cross the line regretting not going harder, but that is hardly likely given that this is my second ever marathon - the most likely outcome remains that I an overly optimistic in choosing my pace window and end up suffering in the final third of the race.

Still at least I am at the point of being 2 weeks and 3 days away from the race and not worrying about illness or injury niggles. You think I am nervous now, wait until I get into the taper and add some nervous pent up energy into the mix... oh dear! For the moment it is time for me to put my head down into the weeks training sessions and move these thoughts to one side.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Odd - 18 miles that didn't hurt too much

Yesterday I set out with no small amount of nerves for my longest run of the marathon training plan that I have (for the most part) been following. It called for 3hrs, with 2hr 15min at long run pace and 45mins at regular pace - which I adapted because of routes, etc. to roughly 20km long run (just below marathon pace) and the rest at whatever pace I would feel right very slightly faster than marathon pace. Trying to block the run out into two clear sections.

In the end I managed most of my plan, with the first 10km feeling weird, too easy and very nervous at around 6:29min/km. The second 10km loop (I ran around Cardiff Bay twice in full loops) I began to realise was on a good schedule, I had reserves, and once I had bought a bottle of water (my hidden one was discovered and taken, whoops) things were looking on track at around 6:28min/km.

I'd noticed that I had the itch to run faster but was relieved to look back at the GPS track afterwards and find I didn't succumb in that second loop. The final section the run home started out - well how can I put this? - too hard! I turned for home thought about the pace change and seemed to try and do that in the first kilometer or two, which left the rest of the run (just over 6km) feeling that bit tougher than it should have. I managed something like 6:10min/km for the third block.

Today I feel great, no niggles, no aches (out of the ordinary), and just the appropriate amount of tiredness. I am left a little worried about how an inadvertent pace burst made the last 2km harder than it might have been, and need to make sure that if I try any pace change at all in the race it is far better measured out. It brought home to me that one kilometre kicked out too hard can have serious repercussions down the line. Overall though I am finding it odd that it didn't hurt as much as I'd feared... maybe there is something to this training plan thing?

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Run, Run, Run, Physio, Run

I have been really busy running of late (yippee) and so haven't had time to get here to write about it. I've powered around a fartlek, grunted around a 14.2 mile long run, stressed around a regular run, had some physio (more on that is a tick), and then blasted around a shorter route with my training buddy... phew!

In the middle of this run of runs (pun sort of intended, sorry) there is a trip to the physio, which was weird mostly for the fact that I wasn't actually broken in anyway. I went for an assessment and moreover a sports massage for my increasingly tired legs. The assessment went really well with a couple of usual suspects showing up as tight (damn my lumpy running style), as soon as those were loosened along with the rest of my legs it felt great. I am planning on a trip there again just before the marathon to get all loosened up, and then a couple of days after the big run to fix me again.

It is fabulous not to be carrying around an obvious injury and to be feeling okay all round - though it is a little disconcerting given I've had such a poor couple of years of injuries and so on. A lot of the time I find myself ruminating quite where my running might be with an injury free years training behind me... still at least I should arrive at the next start line, and be stood there with a solid (conservative) race plan to mostly just get out there and enjoy it.