So I have my marathon head on and blogging is back on the agenda – but what to blog about? No longer the need for all the ethereal (good word – had to look that one up) stuff that got me to London last year. Now much more bread-and-butter, and since this notionally started out as a "training blog" let's do just that.
Last Sunday, and fifteen miles under my belt. But I also have an aspirition this year to do Ride London 100, and have balloted. The results are out next week, but I know what my balloting skills are like, so I bite the bullet and decide to join the CLIC Sargent team for the event anyway. But I''m still hoping that my good friend from Weymouth, and last year's marathon supporter, Mr Jon May, will also get a place, so we can train (and fund-raise) together. Watch this space.
Monday, and rest day after "long run Sunday". But, with my other madcap plan to do the Weymouth Challenge half ironman in September, I need to learn to swim properly, and have been in the habit of going swimming straight from work. But today I go home first and find myself having to make a phone call, in my role as attorney on behalf of mum. In a nutshell, I am totally wound up afterwards and the swimming does not happen. And also, with regular team mates Jan and Jo not there, decide to forego Monday night pub quiz too. But instead, with marathon head back on, I feel the need to get www.keithsmarathondream.co.uk a bit more up-to-date :-)
Tuesday is Egdon Heath Harriers club night from Weymouth Squash Club. The four hour plan asks for "6 miles easy with 6 strides". But if I choose to go to club night then I do what the others do. I go with the "easy" group again, and again club president Richard takes us in place of Les. I run very easy. It is familiar territory for me with the Rodwell Trail disused railway line, and then across to Portland. We do the thing where we run in groups of five, and the last sprints to the front and then slows down and the last sprints to the front and then slows down and the last sprints ... ... ... etc etc (according to the Urban Dictionary an "Indian Run"). Garmin logs the evening at 7.99 miles.
Wednesday and the plan tells me to head for the hills for 7 miles. Not sure I fancy it, but I head off and do three times round the Belfield loop, twice up and down the dreaded Lanehouse hill, and once down to the army camp and back. I keep going really well and at the end Garmin logs it at 6.97 miles with 223 metres of ascent. Well pleased afterwards.
Thursday and the plan asks for 5 miles, with 3 at marathon pace. Previously I've been doing these runs on the causeway to Portland, because it's flat, but it can also be savagely windy. But I know that a complete loop of the Rodwell Trail (run from home, start in the middle, go to one end, run to the other end, back to the start point, and back home) is pretty close to five miles, and flat(tish). After a slowish first km, I sort of start to let it flow and average 5:15 mins / km over the next 5 km (which is clearly quicker than MP) before slowing down for the last 2 km. And from there off to Thursday night swimming lesson. Considering where I started from last September, I guess my swimming has come on a long way, though I can still swallow water along with the best of them. Tonight is back-stroke. At least no coughing and spluttering underwater tonight.
Friday, and we always finish work at lunchtime, so decide to go for quick swimming practice. And actually managed, for the first time, to do a complete length (25m) of front crawl with bilateral breathing thrown in (up to now I've only been breathing on my "good" side). And later in the afternoon the plan just calls for 5 miles easy, and again it sounds like the Rodwell Trail will fit the bill. Last year I was quite inspired by Alexandra Heminsley's "Running Like A Girl" (engages my feminine side ;-) ) and remember well the bit where she talks about engaging the "toilet stop". Well afraid that I had nowhere suitable to engage it on Friday, so had to walk much of the final 2 km (too much information?) or risk a serious accident. Was very relieved to make it home (indeed very relieved after making it home). Later unusual cross training - skittles match - bugger - lost again.
And Saturday is parkrun day, but is also rest day, so marshalling today. I so enjoy being able to encourage all the runners of such differing abilities as they go around ... and get better ... and remembering how far I couldn't run just two years age. Today is Weymouth run #75 so there are some serious cakes on offer at the end. Then something rather different afterwards as we go back to run director Mike's house for coffee and buns. The idea was to do the results processing with a "live feed" onto the big screen. But I have volunteered to be trained on results processing and today I'm manning the laptop. So quite a nerve racking ordeal with the chance for every slip of the mouse to be scrutinised. But there is much coffee drinking, bun consumption, and idle chit-chat, and all-in-all don't think too much close attention was being paid to my efforts. But many thanks for Kathy and Michelle for guiding me through.
And tomorrow the plan says 16 miles, which will get me up to about 41 miles for the week. Going well, but many a slip ... ... ...
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