Marathon Training week 11

It was a big week this week, with over ten and a half hours of training despite two runs being shorter than planned and no swimming or strength/conditioning. I also have a new plan – 10 press-ups every day without fail, beginning on my knees and hopefully eventually graduating to a full press-up (/push-up?) I’m sick of not even being able to do one!

Run 1 – the tempo run

Well this was a disaster. I’m writing this bit immediately after – on the tube from London Bridge to Canary Wharf when I should be running so that might give you some indication!

The forecast was for temperatures below freezing in London but I was prepared – I had bought new fleecy Ronhill winter tights and was wearing ALL the clothes. And indeed there was no problem with the heat to my top half – that was fine. My body is just very bad at sending warmth to my legs first thing in the morning.

Every step was heavy, slow, laborious, horrible. There was no rhythm, no lightness of feet. I hoped I’d warm up and it would go away but no such luck. From the beginning I was willing the run to be over.

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The problem with running to work is that you do have to do it in a certain time. Had this been a weekend I would (probably) have forced myself to continue, albeit slowly and with plenty of walk breaks. As it was I didn’t have such luxury.

When I reached Kennington, only two stops from home, and was desperate to dive onto the tube I knew I wouldn’t make it all the way. The plan became to make it to London Bridge then jump on the Jubilee line. I will repeat the “tempo” run later in the week and make this one my short run. It’s been a while since I hated every minute of a run so I suppose it was about time!

Run 2 – The Long Run – 18 miles

I was worried about this one as I knew it was going to be cold. After my disaster earlier on in the week I was very concerned that the run might end up being a slow horrible freezing cold slog. I began by putting on my thickest tights and then another pair over the top… yes two tights! Then my thickest running jumper, a cycling jacket, a neck warmer, a headband, a hat and a pair of gloves. I was very wrapped up!

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I set off and within five minutes was too hot – the hat came off and the sleeves to my cycling jacket also came off. As soon as I got into Battersea Park the temperature noticeably dropped and I put the hat back on. The pond was almost all frozen over, despite the fact it was 11am by this point.

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I ran my usual route along the Thames Path down towards Fulham and then Putney (or is it the other way around?) Past the boathouses, the path turns into a proper footpath and there was barely another person around, just a few runners. It was really beautiful.

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I just plodded slowly along and after 9 slow miles I reached the turnaround. Time to plod slowly home. The last two – three miles were painful, so painful that little whimpers came out of me. It was my ankles that really hurt. I kept going as I realised when I had to stop to cross a road that stopping and starting again hurt so much more than anything else.

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I ran 18 miles in 3 hrs 13, an average pace of 10:45. My goal marathon page is 10:08 and I’ve been aiming to run my long run less than 60 seconds slower so I was pleased with the speed. However, the pain at the end means I am now slightly worried about being able to run 8 more miles, over an hour longer, at a faster pace … How will that be possible?! There are still 7 weeks left to go but only two long runs now – 13 miles, 20 miles, 12 miles, 22 miles, 13 miles, 10 miles, MARATHON. How funny that 13 miles is no longer a long run.

Run 3 – the tempo run

I was SO tired this morning. This is not an excuse but the truth – yesterday I cycled 45 miles and the day before I ran 18. So last night I had one glass of wine and slept solidly for over 10 hours, not waking up until 10am. This left me slightly pressed for time for my 10k run given  we were catching a train back down to London in the afternoon!

i set off and quickly realised I was wearing far too many clothes – spring had sprung (for one day at least) and two pairs of tights was overkill. Especially given all the horribly steep hills I was panting up. I was running an out and back and turned back almost five minutes before I’d planned to as my legs had no energy in them and I just couldn’t face another hill.

The way back was then mainly downhill and I quite enjoyed myself – stopping running after only half an hour felt like I’d stopped before I’d even begun! Slightly pathetic really and I was very slow – but to be honest, I don’t mind. Rest is good for you. I’m so constantly exhausted at the moment I am looking forward to a bit of a cut-back week next week – only a half marathon to run at the weekend!

Cross-training

No swims this week – I knew I would only be able to get one swim anyway so that meant I was less keen on doing any. So that’s two extra swims I’ll have to do at some point over the year. One long 45 mile cycle, 3 short commuting cycles.

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Something fun that was nothing to do with running

This week was mega hectic. Meetings all Monday, dinner and cocktails with my sister on Tuesday, Cats with an old friend on Wednesday, Spanish lesson Thursday morning, Friday off work to run and then Northumberland at the weekend!

Top moments were:

– seeing my little sister for a good catch-up
– marvelling at the incredible dancers at Cats and singing along (in my head) to all the songs
– the wonderful cycle with James and Joe on Saturday

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