Monday, 20 April 2015

1 week to go...

It's my last week of training before I run the London Marathon. I plan to do very little this week. On Wednesday I will be at the Expo with my friend Ralph, to pick up our race numbers and see how much free stuff we can blag. I also have a leg massage booked for Wednesday evening.

Last week I did a lot of walking and had a great midweek swim while my daughter had her swimming lesson, followed by my return to Pilates after 2 weeks (I felt so stiff so it was great to have a stretch). The cross-training I've done these past few weeks is definitely helping keep the injuries away.

I ran with my son Tuesday evening, a very slow first mile (run-walking) followed by me chasing him home after he decided to run back "at his own pace". My son needs to learn about pacing (or run with someone faster/not me).

Thursday was a mish-mash of fast short runs on my own to and from and around club, and 2 miles very slow run-walking with a new starter.

On Sunday it was my last "long run" before the marathon (I like how I no longer view 8 miles as a long run...). I decided to run in the afternoon while my daughter was at a birthday party in Letchworth, and I hit the Greenway for some off-road running. I took a bottle of Lucozade Sport with me again to make sure I can stomach it, and I was fine throughout the run, which is great news! Unfortunately my shins and calves felt tight and sore after only a couple of miles; I'm hoping the massage on Wednesday will help ease this tightness, and I will do a lot of stretching daily too.

After the 8 miles/birthday party, I joined some club friends up in Langford to film a promotional video for an event we are organising. So that was a 2 mile walk (up a hill) to the location and another 1.7 miles of running around.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

2 weeks to go!

Just 2 weeks to go now until the London Marathon, it's all getting rather exciting. The medal was unveiled today, and it looks a beauty!


Training this week has gone fairly well. After a frankly disastrous attempt at a long run on Monday in Blackpool (it was raining and I was tired so I went home after 5 miles!) I managed a 6 mile tempo run on the Tuesday; midweek runs are the sessions I've been missing from my training so it felt good to do this. I also got out on my bike with my children; it was probably the slowest cycle ride ever recorded. I could have walked faster than we cycled, in fact I had to push my bike most of the way because my daughter is still not very confident. The club run-walk on Thursday was really good, my group ran for a longer period and at a faster pace, which meant they covered more distance :) Finally, I squeezed two walks with my daughter into the week, 2 miles on Friday evening and 0.75 miles home from her football training on Saturday.

Today's long run was planned to be around half distance (12-14 miles) at a fastish pace. I'd read earlier in the week about how you should do some speedwork if you're feeling sluggish during the taper, and I've been feeling unwell the latter part of this week (sore throat and headache, nothing major!). What better cure than a quick half marathon? The first 6-8 miles were great, but I began to slow noticeably from mile 9 onwards. I didn't eat breakfast though, so that is probably why! I also tested Lucozade Sport (mango and passionfruit) during miles 6-12, because that will be the drink on offer during the marathon and I needed to see if it would affect me adversely. I had some slight stomach cramping almost immediately, not sure if that was just a coincidence, but otherwise I felt fine and tolerated the drink OK. I will feel confident taking it during the marathon.

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

3 weeks until London Marathon

3 weeks to go to the London Marathon means the first week of my taper. The plan was to try to maintain the mileage but still do a longish run at the weekend.

For the first few days I was still recovering from Oakley 20, so I actually found my foam roller and used it on my sore legs. I had a gentle jog on the treadmill on Tuesday, which started as a brisk walk and turned into a bit of an interval session because I wanted to finish within 30 mins! On Wednesday I took my children swimming and I swam 800 m, another good recovery session.

From Thursday until Monday we were in Lancashire visiting family. We had two slow family walks on Thursday and Easter Sunday, keeping my mileage up! I wasn't sure when to attempt my long run, whether to do a tough 15-16 mile hill run around Pendle or an easy flattish 18 mile run in Blackpool. Knowing how rubbish the weather can be in Blackpool, and secretly wanting to run up a steep hill or three, I opted for the long hill run.

I ran my usual hill route, which is about 9 miles, but I tacked on the Whalley Nab climb that I have attempted before but failed at because the Nab is almost impossible to run up! I then planned to add on a loop around my old hometown.

The first 4 miles were constant climb, and I took some walk breaks, telling myself that I was not out to kill or injure myself. Looking back at previous attempts of these hills on Strava, I ran my quickest time on this route; good stuff! The next 5 miles were flat, with a quick descent at the end, and I enjoyed this section before reaching the Nab. Last time I attempted this run I walked as soon as I put my foot on the steep incline; this time I managed to run about 25 metres before giving up. Whalley Nab is truly impossible to run up! I walked on the road for the next mile, only starting to run again when I got chased by two dogs! If I ever attempt this route again I think I will skirt the Nab and take a local bridleway, which should be easier to run (albeit still hilly!). By the time I reached my parents' house I was shattered and in no mood to carry on for another 5 miles, so I headed home, 11.5 miles in the bag in 2 hours. Slightly disappointing, but I thought I would recover for a couple of days and then perhaps attempt a run of 10 miles on Monday along the prom in Blackpool.