My marathon entry confirmation has arrived and will get me my bib. Eerily, I entered from here in Oxfordshire, my son signed up from London – and our start numbers are within 5 of each other.
On Monday I did the long slow run from week 18 that I couldn’t get myself motivated for the previous day. I did 13.22m (21.3km). That’s the last training run over 10 miles. It was OK and felt quicker but it wasn’t much faster and was still too slow to suggest that I can go sub-4 hours.
The week 19 runs ware 3×3 miles and an 8 miler. It all seemed quite appealing and easy but I woke on Tuesday with painful Achilles tendons and some tightness in the calf muscles (I wonder if that’s a cause of the Achilles issue or a result of it?).
Does that mean I should stop now to avoid making it worse for the marathon itself? Based on previous experience I don’t need to do that but I’ll keep it up my sleeve as a last resort if they don’t get better. Yet more stretching needed, I guess.
I spent the morning hobbling around at a local infant school helping to run a ‘balanceability’ session. That’s starting to ride on bikes with no pedals, which is the new method of learning to ride properly – steady wheels are very outdated, apparently. The children were 3 year-olds, and it was good fun as they enjoyed it so much and put such effort into it. My wife and I walked for an hour in the afternoon in very pleasant early spring sunshine.
I did the final long run on Wednesday afternoon – my normal 8 miler. To my surprise, I managed my best time (just one sec/km inside sub 4hour pace) which is encouraging – but I had to push pretty hard to do it and it was just less than one third marathon distance.
I read that a key difference in running as you get older is a shortening stride length – I guess that’s down to the strength and spring in pushing off the ground. Any spring I might have ever had has certainly sprung.
Thursday I did 3.3miles (5.3km) at a very similar pace – wearing lycra shorts and no compression top beneath the running shirt … for the first time in the whole of the training! I did the same run on Friday, 11 sec/km faster (although the Garmin recorded it as being further so that might account for some of the apparent speed).
The main problem now is neurosis about even the slightest twinge while running. I’m sure that I’m not alone in having a broad range of pains (knees, feet, ankles, quads, thighs, calves, hips, etc) that come and go whenever I run. Normally I ignore them but now I find myself wondering which of them will develop into something serious that stops me running in the marathon.
Time to get a grip.
We went up to London on Friday afternoon for three social meals over the weekend. I ran along the Thames Path Sunday morning which was delightful – 6.7km (4 miles) @5.27 per km. It had turned cool again after a warmer end to the week but I ran with a short sleeved top for the first time in all the marathon training over the last 6 months.
A bit more food discipline this week and I managed to get down from a post New York high of 68.5kg. Weight isn’t the most important factor now but every little helps. The week ended with me around 67kg (about 148 pounds).
I’ve rejigged the mileage chart from the previous post to put Monday’s run into week 18, where it should have been – it’s only one day’s difference but looks more sensible in relation to the taper.
At the start of the week I (foolishly) looked at weather forecasts for Rotterdam for the marathon. It did not look very good: fairly cold and quite possibly wet, with a stiff breeze. One forecast even mentioned snow. By the end of the week the consensus was for slightly milder weather and a reduced possibility of rain. Oh well, plenty of time for that to change again (for better or worse).
Looking on the bright side, at least my lack of warm weather training isn’t going to be an issue.
|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 (22.km)|
|16||42m (67km)||10m (16km)||1:00|
|17||33m (53km)||9m (15km)|
|18 (New York)||20m (31.2km)||4:00|
|‘Running’ totals||440m (707km)||290m (466km)||56:00|