At 21 miles, this week’s long slow run was the longest in the training plan. After a rest day on Sunday I couldn’t resist tackling it on Monday, just for the relief of getting it out of the way early.
Unfortunately, it was pretty chilly and windy (around 30mph) – and the road I’d chosen to drive out to was fairly straight and almost perfectly aligned with the wind.
I thought about calling a halt to the whole thing the first time I turned into the wind and almost came to a shuddering stop. I carried on in the hope it would improve. It didn’t. I remember thinking that the only way it was going to get worse would be if it rained. Five minutes later the wind strengthened, the temperature dropped and it began to rain.
If I’d been near the car I might have abandoned the run but (of course) I was at the furthest possible point from it. By the time I got to the car the rain had stopped – so I continued and made the best of it.
As Stephen Stills might say, ‘if you can’t be with the run you love, love the run you’re with’.
In the end I ran for 22.1 miles (35.5 km). Certainly not fast, but quicker than either of my 20 milers over the recent weeks. That was despite that fact that the 11 miles with the wind at my back were no compensation for the 11 miles of headwind.
Perhaps I should have carried on for another 4.1 miles and put a tick in the 2019 marathon box.
After feeling fairly stiff for the rest of Monday, I made Tuesday a rest day to be on the safe side. The plan was to run the regular 8 miler on Wednesday with the intention of seeing if I could increase my speed to get closer to 4 hour marathon pace.
It was chilly, the wind was still strong and rain was forecast but I got out anyway – and the rain started a minute later. In spite of everything, the run went quite well – the fastest of the five times I’ve run it, but still a little outside 4 hour pace.
Thursday marked exactly a month until the marathon. To celebrate, I decided to go to the gym for leg and core exercises and to run just 3 miles on the treadmill at a bit faster than 4 hour pace to see if muscle memory might kick in and ‘recalibrate’ the speed of my outdoor running. As usual, I don’t really know what I’m doing – but that’s not going to stop me doing it.
I ran for 5km (3.1m) in 27m 27sec – 11 seconds per km inside the target, but only for a short distance. I do not remember having to run that fast to get around sub 4 hours in the 1990’s.
It was half an hour on the turbo on Friday @31kph (19.3mph) – my first time over 30kph average with this turbo.
Saturday was windy again with gusts up to 40mph and I thought of postponing the last run of the week until the following day – but that was forecast to be worse. I like having Sunday as a rest day so I have the chance of doing the week’s long run on Monday to get it out of the way early – so it was out into the wind for the 8 miler.
I had hopes of running all the remaining runs at a faster pace – and despite the wind I did manage to shave another 2 seconds per km off Wednesday’s time.
So, that’s 4/5 of the way through the training plan. On one level I’m pleased that it’s coming to and end as (skiing and Christmas aside) I’ve trained 5 days a week now since mid November and I’m a bit weary – but on the other hand I’ll soon know how worthwhile it has all been.
|1||16m (26km)||10m (16 km)||2:00|
|2||19m (30km)||13m (22km)||2:00|
|3||21m (33.km)||66m (106km)||1:00|
|4||22m (36km)||14m (22km)||1:00|
|5||24m (39km)||13m (21km)||1:00|
|6 (Christmas)||13m (21km)|
|7||26m (41km)||63m (101km)||3:00|
|8||14m (24km)||13m (21km)||7:00|
|9 (Skiing)||16m (25km)||12:00|
|11 (Skiing)||7m (11km)||6:00|
|12||34m (55km)||35m (56km)||1:00|
|13||38m (60km)||14m (22km)||1:00|
|14||38m (60km)||30m (48km)||1:00|
|15||39m (63km)||14m (22km)|
|16||42m (67km)||10m (16km)||1:00|
|‘Running’ totals||369m (593km)||281m (451km)||50:00|